As we sail through the last week of February and are gearing up for exam-month in March, I can’t help feeling excited when I think of the vacation months afterwards. Okay, so this year will have fewer summer vacation days since my son will be busy with various entrance tests, nevertheless we will get the chance to get away for a few days.
Each time we discuss destination options, my folks love to tease me about wanting to go to Hyderabad. I have so many lovely memories that I consider it my spiritual hometown. I’ve grown up here, attending school and college and then worked here for several years. My closest friends live there. What’s not to love?
Any excuse I get, I enjoy making a trip there. And always the problem of too many people to see, too little time. Also, if I go stay with one friend, the other will freak out. So it takes a lot of planning and pacifying when I head out there.
I remember a couple of years back when I had to visit Hyderabad for an audit. Five of us were going as a team. I was so looking forward to the trip. As I browsed luxury hotels in Hyderabad – we had the budget – all those happy memories of working in the city came flooding back. I wondered if some of my colleagues were still in the same town. As I made our booking in The Golkonda, one of the 5 star hotels in Hyderabad, I decided to dig out my old address book and dial some numbers. Imagine my joy when I found that one of my friends now ran a travel agency and did bookings for upscale hotels in Hyderabad! After a rather marathon chat, we decided to meet up. When I got there, we gathered a couple more friends and had a fabulous evening together, visiting our old haunts.
Golkonda was everything we expected it to be – fab rooms and service. The breakfast was such a massive spread we never thought we’d get out to our first appointment of the day. It was a wonderful trip and our only regret was that the trip was so short.
I also fondly remember – when we lived in Hyderabad, a friend was visiting and staying at the Taj Banjara, another 5 star hotel in Hyderabad. She suggested we went over and stayed in her room rather than at my place – and it was such fun. I remember being impressed at the range of beauty products lined up for the guests and the beautiful fruit basket they welcomed us with.
So now – as I am mentally listing places for short trips, Hyderabad is in the top three. Might be fun to go visit as a tourist for a change. There is a belief that whoever goes and sits on a certain bench in the Makkah Masjid behind the Charminar is bound to visit the city again. I certainly don’t need that excuse – I consider it my home town!