HYDERABAD: So many memories come to my mind listening to the talk of life in Hyderabad.
The sehriwala who used to come and sing early in the mornings during Ramzan at the gates to wake up for sehri. I still wonder how he knew which houses to go to.
I remember when driving on our roads was such a pleasure, when there were payments for pedestrians and people observed the rules of the road.
The streets used to be washed and swept clean. During summer, bishtis (men who carried water in large leather bags) would water the plants grown on the roads. The purdha rickshawala would faithfully do ratab (permanent to ferry school kids from home to school and back). They would never take another sawari during that time. The zanana mardana theatres where purda was drawn to segregate the men and the women.
The weekly shopping at Abids for clothes and the Grand old Mozam Jahai market for fruits, vegetables and meat. The families would have their permanent vendors and knew each one by their names.
The exhibition at Nampally were families would take their toshadans (tiffin carriers) lay the food on dastarkhans that were elaborately laid out.
Muslim weddings and parties where the ladies wore the most exquisite jewellery and khada duppatas. The memory of having to see the Nizam of Hyderabad (Osman Ali Pasha the 7th Nizam) the richest man in the world who would go for his ritual Friday prayers to the Mecca Masjid in his vintage car in the traditional sherwani and roomi topi acknowledging the cheers of the people as his car passed by.