I have spent the better part of the last year and a half talking to hyderabadis (the kind who can tell you where the original Ohris with the tin roof – was it a tin roof? i forget – was) and trying to make some sense of this city.
Here’s what I found.
1. Do NOT under any circumstances be on time. Please. Kill time at nearest mall if needed. If asked why you are late, say, “ATM”.
2. Expect people to point right and say, aage left trun (intended spelling) lene ka.
3. Expect auto-wallahs to ask in front of Begumpet station, Secunderabad wala St Francis madam? And then whiz away in disgust wen you say. Nahin begumpet wala.
4. While on the subject of auto-wallahs, expect them to say, 50 mein madhapur aata when you say 85 mein punjagutta.
5. Do NOT expect to try and cross any road without feeling that someone will run over your toes.
6. Expect to eat Ice Cream and Gulab Jamun at all weddings irrespective of whatever else is served or whatever the season (a typically AP thing, expect to see old aunties in pattu saris with lots of gold chains and blue rubber chappals).
7. Expect to see statues with in-built ladders at all major and minor intersections.
8. Learn to say Nakko, Kaiku and Aisa Kya. Leave alone getting used to hearing them.
9. There is no such thing as too much when it comes to getting a ticket in Black.
10. Do not be decieved by appearance, the weirdest looking guy will get up when you point up/out and say “Ladies”