HYDERABAD: These buildings have a story to tell,’’ reads one of the chapters of Rani Sharma’s new book, `Deodis of Hyderabad’. Recollecting more than 200 years of history between two covers, Sharma’s book attempts to chronicle, evaluate and preserve the vestiges of the royal retreats of the Nizami era.
At a bookreading at the Administrative Staff College on Monday, veteran stage performers ‘The Little Theatre’ read out excerpts from the book which tells the secret history of Hyderabadi ‘tehzeeb’ and culture, through its many ‘deodis’ and ‘baradaris’.
Crafted as a series of reminiscences of the past, Sharma’s book explores the stories behind such structures as the Rai Rayan Deodi, Bashirbagh Palace, Peshkar Deodi, Asman Jah Deodi, Bella Vista, among many others. At the reading, recollections of these fortified residences charted its roots in Telengana, Marathi and British architectures.
Vivid descriptions of the lavish lifestyle of Nizami courtiers were retold through excerpts that searched the origins of the 12- doored ‘baradari’, the decadent architecture that revealed the royals’ love for the musical and performing arts.
It also revealed the state of neglect and decay these historical structures are steeped in today, in a city that is quick to embrace modern convenience. The author, a member of INTACH and Historical Society of Hyderabad, has penned the book on a note of nostalgia, contrasting it with the present-day conditions of the deodis, which have either been demolished, turned into settlements or are decaying into ruins.
The book, published by Akshara, is priced at Rs 450 and will be available at major bookstores in the city.