This generally happens to me all the time. When it is time to laze around, and we make plans to go ghooming (roaming), I get real lazy. I start thinking of ways and means to try and get out of going out, perhaps fall asleep so deeply that I don't hear my cell scream, or I don't hear my door being pounded. Such were my sentiments on day 2 of my term break. You can't blame me, I get 5 days free for over 45 days of relentless, hard work. So, but obviously I have a right to be phooped! But for every ditch queen like me, God makes enthu masters. Doc girl is one such person and my supremely amazing experience yesterday is thanks only and only to her. So here is the story.
We wanted to go see the Salar Jung museum. I had been there over 17 years ago, and I remembered a couple of exhibits rather vividly - the veiled Rebecca and the double statue. Now that I am in Hyd, it was absolutely essential for me to go and say my hello to those two amazing works of art. And there was Doc girl, who had only heard about the beauty of the collections in the museum and being a huge fan of anything historical, she desperately wanted to go see the museum. So we began gathering junta. You see, the more people we commit to, the less I can get lazy and ditch last minute.. So doc girl called a couple of people she knew, and I called a couple of people I knew, and came up to a total of 7 of us - the not-so-secret 7! Luckily for us, one of the NSS7 (not so secret 7, but sounds real secret agentish right??) was our friend Rajuguide. He wanted to be known as more than just a guide, but we were not so ready to give up the easy twang of 'rajuguide' - rajuguide, sounds so perfect!! So, Doc girl, Sportygirl, ME, Rajuguide, mangoman (he has a story that will follow shortly), baby, and kulfiman(he has a story as well), went to town! No, this is not a new Justice League although Marvel is more than welcome to come and pay me royalty for rights to these characters. Yeah, so we took a shuttle into town and a ric thereafter, at the bestest of prices, thanks to RAJUGUIDE. Who said there is no such thing as a local language advantage? So off we went to the museum. We reached the place around 1ish and we realized that many of us were hungry. So, off we headed to Shadab for some sumptuous Biryani. Yaar, museum toh bas bahaana tha, the guys were willing to come, just because Shadab was close to the museum. So after a really really wonderful dinner, the lazybones in me reared its head and begged me to pleeeeeeeeeeease go back home. But onward we marched off to the museum. And man! it was worth every single minute. The ceramics, the European paintings, the miniature paintings, the aggregate beauty of the place, brought a smile to all our faces. Given my fetish for anything dainty and porcelain, I loved every inch of the Japanese and Chinese galleries. Doc girl and I wished we could own a piece of each of those pieces of ceramic marvels. But then again, if wishes were horses, beggars would ride them!
And then we went on to see the veiled Rebecca, and as before she took my breath away. The finesse shown in the sculpture, with the attention on each fold of cloth, the expression on her veiled face, the plain beauty of the statue, left a lasting impression in my mind. And once again, I was thankful I pushed laziness aside and just got myself to come to the museum. After looking at the two-statue, the musical clock and all other auxiliary exhibits, we left, but with only the picture of veiled Rebecca lingering in our minds.
I was exhausted and not really in a mood to go exploring further, but again, our enthu masters Doc Girl and Rajuguide insisted that we go to Chaarminar as well. I wanted to somehow again get out, the feeling was almost akin to the one I experience coming down Fuji a couple of years ago, where I just wanted to be airlifted home!!! But we walked on, and walked all through the old city. And the experience was sublime. Chaarminar in all its majesty looked nothing short of splendid. And there I was taking pictures of the monument. Angle badal badal ke. Each of the pictures ended up being a masterpiece in themselves. And when I looked at the bangles along the road side suddenly all signs of exhaustion simply vanished. Sportygirl, Doc Girl and I went ballistic looking for the right mix of color and handiwork, while the guys looked on haplessly. They didn't have much of a choice anyway! Several vendors later, when we were lighter by a few currency notes, we moved on to a small Irani shop, where we picked up some really amazing authentic Irani chaai. But not before I got a steal buying a set of 6 bracelets for 50 bucks! The woman in me screamed for joy after having had a chance to bargain after soooooo long. Thereafter, the guys, not wanting to look shopping-impaired decided to go buy - mangoes. Our friend mangoman, who so far had had a rather boring day (since clearly yaar bachpan se history mein koi shauk nahin tha), bought a few mangoes. It was then that he was accosted by this beggar woman who, in his words, 'uspe chadh gayi', (later we realized that she just tugged at his tee) and demanded a mango from him. Extremely shareef mangoman surrenders a mango, in return for freedom from the molestation! Hence he shall be remembered for years to come as Mr Mangoman! We were unaware of this whole story till later, when Kulfiman treated us to.... you guessed right, Kulfi. Our dear friend Kulfiman suddenly developed the urge to indulge in Kulfi. He said that there was a WORLD-FAMOUS kulfi place thereabouts. I wonder whether there exists any such world famous kulfi place anywhere! But then we walked almost a mile in search of the world famous place, only to realize that Kulfiman himself was on a mission to 'Go I know not where and fetch I know not what'. Ultimately we walked into some random ice cream place, which we hereby proclaim to be the world famous kulfi place in Hyderabad, and insisted that Kulfiman treat us to the cold delight of our choice - the least he could do to make up for our wild goose chase!
And finally, when we were ultimately ready to leave, we realized that no cabs were available. And so finally, we trooped into 2 rics, the three of us girls along with baby in one, and the rest of the guys in another. Wonder how baby can be a chaperon! But I guess we picked him, since he was the only one willing / ready to ride double seat with the ric driver. I guess he didn't have much of a choice anyway.
And after reaching campus, we learned that there had been a terror alert declared in old Hyd city. Hardly a reason that managed to keep us zindadil people away from fun. And as before, I guess yesterday also forms a milestone on my memory lane. New friends, new acquaintances, new places, new experiences - but all contributing to my collection of pleasant, never to be forgotten memories....