I’ve decided to stay in Hyderabad this weekend instead of gallivanting around the country. My reasons include:
1) Tickets are hella expensive on short notice
2) I still have lots of work to do
3) I still want to go see the old city of Hyderabad (I’m told its relatively sort of safe-ish for now)
4) I want to get some sleep before everyone else gets here
Old City is where all of the tourist markets and sites are and while I’m not interested in shopping per se, its the presence of other awkward white tourists wearing kurtas and fanny packs that is always strangely good for my ego and my soul. I don’t know how many will be there given everything that’s been going on but I’m curious. Curious too to see if I will see any protests, etc and if people think its safe enough to try going what with all of the Telangana/Andhra stuff going on.
This evening I went out to explore KBR Park. I’d heard good things and it did not disappoint. For 10 rupees and the surrendering of my camera battery to the guard outside I got my fill of peaceful walking. There were shrubs and signs painted with kitchy environmental quotes. In addition there were beautiful peacocks everywhere and just a lovely assortment of people. Husbands and wives, lone wolf joggers, groups of girlfriends in salwar and tennis shoes all just out and enjoying the evening. On my way out I passed a few women meditating in a garden. I think when you go to a new place or a new city, the best way to learn to like it is to see the people who live there enjoying it as much as the people I saw tonight obviously did.
And a word on trust. When I rolled up to the park with my obvious camera bag the guard told me I couldn’t take it in. As I (crushed-looking I’m sure) started to walk away he offered to take my camera battery and let me go inside. Trust I think, is an instinctive thing, I find that especially here, I know right away when I’ve made a good or bad decision trusting someone. This guard took my battery, popped it in his shirt pocket and told me he would be at the gate until 10pm. I went on my walk and as I came back up to the gate, the guard caught my eye, smiled, and pulled the battery out of his pocket for me. There is something really beautiful when those moments of trust work out like that. It’s like all of a sudden a smile means a friendship and a job done means something so much more.
So I didn’t get any pictures of the peacocks today but I did get a picture of a rooster that was poking around our road. I love roosters, I don’t know why. They are just so (forgive me for being ridiculously trite) cocky and arrogant and strutting. I mean you just can’t get an animal that lives up to its stereotype better than a rooster. So anyways, here’s the rooster: