Hyderabad: The good, bad and ugly

Radhika Chhotai,

New Indian Express, Hyderabad 04 Dec 2009

One of the biggest changes that has transformed Hyderabad is the continuous traffic snarls with the congestion going from bad to worse. There was nearly no traffic earlier and we could reach from one place to another, in not more than 30 minutes.

Being a fashion designer, another thing I hate the most is the fact that Pochampally weaving and Ikkat art is dying. Earlier, each house in Pochampally would have a loom in their house but today only five to ten houses have looms. Though at one point in time, Hyderabad was famous for Pochampally weaving and Ikkat art, today the demand has gone down.

Also, earlier if you went to Charminar, you would find traditional embroidery everywhere around you, but now it is not that easily found. Very few people sell that traditional embroidery. They are more interested in selling modern and new designs, catering to the demand.

But, one thing that I like about the city is that it is very accepting. Coming from Tirupati, they not only accepted me, they made me feel welcome and at home. When I came, Kalamkari was a dying art, but because of the renewed interest of the Hyderabadis, I could bring it to the level that it has reached. Today nearly 45 to 50 families depend on Kalamkari art for their livelihood.

I also like the sensibilities of Hyderabadis. They have a very unique taste that blends tradition with modern. Hyderabadis are very traditional at heart, but still are open to new things, and this openness leads to a fusion in the type of clothes they prefer.

One thing that has not changed about Hyderabad is its passion for cinema. People are as crazy about movies and cinema, as they were ages ago. Even today, you see long queues to book tickets on the first day of a movie.

Also, the ice-cream shop that I used to hangout in my childhood, Rasranjan, near Abids, hasn’t changed a bit. They still have the best vada pavs in the city and their ice creams are as delectable as I remember them to be. They have ice creams with natural fruits and its quality is the same.

But Hyderabad has become a concrete jungle, it has no open spaces where we can just go and sit in peace. A lot of people from outside Hyderabad have set shop and the city has become overcrowded.

Earlier Abids used to be the hot joint for youngsters, but today hardly anyone visits that area. Though it is still my personal favourite, the area has lost its fame over the years.