Saturday morning, Tennish
No visit to Hyderabad is complete without a “Wow yaar. Yeh kaise banaaya yaar” gaping in wonderment at the Veiled Rebecca at the Salar Jung museum. Poets could wax lyrical about it. Lyricists could wax poetic about it. But only our driver, the amiable Feroze, could describe that symphony in marble thus:
Maanlo ek ladki hai. Aur maanlo woh poorey safed kapde pehenke paani ke andhar chale jaathi hai. Phir woh baahar aathi hai, bheegi bheegi. Kaisi dikhegi?
No. Not like Bipasha Basu in Jism. I could insert an image here, but I won’t. I urge every reader of this blog to go to that museum and feast your eyes on the Veiled Rebecca. Giovanni Maria Benzoni, how on earth did you sculpt that?
Saturday, rest of the afternoonish
It seemed as if the authorities in charge of the Charminar had decided to paint it red. It did also seem that they didn’t want to spend too much money painting it. I suppose they must have made a blanket request to the citizens living in the old city to direct their generally poorly aimed projectiles of chewed paan at the walls of the 4-minareted landmark of Hyderabad. Oh man, do they spit in the old city. While the women were busy buying bangles, I was busy trying to evade red coloured spit missiles.
That was when I spotted this amateur travelling musician salesman.
I have this habit, I confess. I collect cheap flutes. I have bought them from Trivandrum, Shimla, Ooty, Munnar, and hell, even Haryana, where I am told, the only form of culture is agriculture. So we started the ritual. I picked it up and played the overture from Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (simply because it has a full range of notes and thus serves well to test 20 rupee flutes). I then asked the flute salesman to play a demo tune. And as is customary, he played the overture to ne pas aller à l’étranger from the suite Le Empereur d’Indie. For some reason, flute sellers all over India find Karishma Kapoor’s imploring plea to Aamir Khan to not go abroad very addictive.
So there. End of day. I had managed to cover every exhibit in the Salar Jung museum with two women, itching to shop, in tow. As they say in these parts, Yeganeshtu All Oddsu.