My Home, My Love for Hyderabad

My Home, My Love for Hyderabad

I’m neither a travel blogger nor a food critic but somehow I decided I’m going to be both for this trip. We decided to visit India in December when we had to visit Tirupati for offering Arlo’s birth hair. It is a tradition that has been carried on for generations in both our families, and we couldn’t say no. So we booked our flight with Qatar Airways. We knew at least a few weeks in advance we were travelling but we only started packing three days before the big day. It was chaotic. It was a mess. I don’t know what I packed and what I didn’t pack. I was supposed to pack so much more and I forgot half of Arlo’s stuff. Arlo got sick the week we were supposed to travel. He was throwing up a lot and had a fever too. And then when he started to get better we took a breath of relief thinking how can that get worse, and yep it got worse. I got severely sick. I threw up and I had a fever on Friday night (we were supposed to catch our flight on Saturday at noon). VJ and I were worried about managing the now better Arlo when one of us was not able to even take a sip of water. But I started to feel better by the next morning.

If you are travelling with a child below 2 who doesn’t watch TV and doesn’t like the usual modes of entertainment, taking the bassinet seat is a huge help. I’m so surprised that flights do not allow a diaper bag separately. You are supposed to carry all the baby’s stuff in your carry on. The long flight was extremely tiring. Twelve hours in a flight with 300+ people and multiple babies around you is just hectic. Qatar was kind enough to give us bassinet seats. We took a few candy bags from the dollar store for the crew so that they would be understand for our needs (and we didn’t have any). But they were kind enough to get us the occasional water and even held Arlo for us while we packed. But the food was terrible. The portions were so small that they wouldn’t have been sufficient for a child. There was exactly 2 tablespoons of rice, 2 tablespoons of dal and 2 tablespoons of curry. Even the bread was terrible.

The first thing that I seemed to notice was how expensive everything is. Because you land from an international flight the porters and the cab drivers think they can charge you extra. The next thing that I noticed was that there are no feeding rooms anywhere. I tried to find one at the airport to feed Arlo and change him but couldn’t find any, except for a teeny tiny changing table at the women’s restroom. Coming home was wonderful. The love and care parents have been showering on my kid is so darn amazing. Spending time with my parents after such a long time felt so good. The chaotic life, the loud horns, the morning smells of tiffins and the evening smells of chat woke me up from the long slumber that my soul has been in. Everyone thinks that India is what they see in Slumdog Millionaire (which most Indians hate, even the songs), but it’s quite different. The colorful display of clothes everywhere, the availability of food any time of the day, the amazing flower vendors and the fruit vendors and the constant reminder that it is home is something that you cannot find anywhere else.

The first day I made sure I had pani puri. I dragged my parents along and visited the chat bandi that I used to frequent a few years ago. I used to eat there almost everyday. I missed it so much. The next day we were exhausted and VJ decided to visit his parents home, so I relaxed at home with mom. Arlo loves it here. He absolutely loves the Uber rides, he loves my dad’s bike and he loves going out the door. As soon as someone is wearing the sandals he super-crawls to them. It’s super adorable.. The next day we went to the Exhibition that happens annually in Hyderabad. It’s one of the biggest fairs and it’s amazing. It has food, clothes, snacks, home decor, and whatever next comes to your mind – they have it there. This was another reason I visited early Feb, so that I could catch the fair. I was a bit disappointed this year. The stalls were less, the food was over priced and the quality was bad and there were ZERO rides for kids. Twenty years ago, exhibition was all about the rides. If you went to one and returned without riding one of the rides, it was the saddest thing ever.

The pani puri stall that I used to frequent
Our chats getting ready
Didn’t know I could miss chat so much
Pani Puri… Love Love Love!!!
The flower vendors that come every evening! The smell of fresh marigold, jasmine and rose still lingers in the air long after they are gone. Jasmine is something I miss terribly. Summer means mango and jasmine!
I miss the displays. Sometimes my mom buys us clothes because of what she loved on the display.
Cotton Candy at the exhibition (fair). It’s delicious (because it’s pure sugar).
The sale of candy and other sugary stuff.
THE Rides
The overpriced Gokul chat Samosa chat th($1.10) at tasted bad. It was so horrible that I felt it was a huge waste of the Rs. 70 we paid for one.
The arrangement is so pretty that you are tempted to buy.
Veggie Lolipops

Yummy Vada Pav… Which tasted pretty good for the Rs. 50 ($0.90).
They were pretty tired, to be fair it was pretty hot.
The bed sets look pretty good! I felt so bad just walking away and not shopping for them.
The 100s of dry fruit sellers that come from every part of India and sometimes Pakistan too!

So as you see, my trip has been going great. My only regret as always is that I wish I had more time to spend here. I know that if I move back here it won’t be the same. I won’t visit McD every day. I might not eat pani puri everyday, oh well, who am I kidding… I will eat pani puri everyday despite where I live. But I miss this life. I wish I had a much better camera to shoot all these pictures, but for now this will have to do. Keep watching this space for more updates on my trip.


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