HydSecBad/Hyderabad027.jpgI went to fort, alone again. There were all the signs of rains spoiling my day. I sang “Rain rain go away. Please don’t spoil my day.” It worked.
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I liked the fort. Guide told me many stories. That the king had 360 queens. (A lady quipped “Daily one”). How the bedrooms of queens were lighted by pearls because the candle light would make the room dirty and when servants come to clean the room they might look at the queens. Why eunuchs were body guards of queens. How there were provisions for hot and cold water by providing two paths. That in the Nagina bagh, they were selling pearls and diamonds. They were countless in number and hence the name. Na-gina. That a Hindu king had built temple on the top of the hill next to which a mosque was constructed by the Muslim King after conquering. Disciples come to temple in large number even now during the auspicious festivals. How a soldier accepted bribe and let Aurangazeb inside the fort and that the soldier was cut into so many innumerable pieces by Aurangazeb and was buried in Na-gina bagh. Aurangazeb almost destroyed the fort. It took 8 months to destroy the fort which had taken 62 years for its construction. There are some whispering walls, echoing domes. How stones were used to keep the heat away from the roofs. How lifting a 240 kg weight was the selection process for the army.

360 steps take you to the top of the hill where there used to be assembly. Next to which is the temple.

I met two kids (yeah, let me call them like that..they made me uncle. Uncle, uncle, uncle!!) who accompanied me for the rest of the fort visit. They were innocent, curious, full of happiness and enthusiasm.
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I went to Salar jung museum next. Damodar accompanied me here. We were running out of time and I was really exhausted. Few paintings were good. There exists a clock, which consists of 60 different parts. It has day, date, time dials. At every hour, a toy comes out and dongs the bell. Another toy would tirelessly dong every second. Ivory, modern art, wooden exhibits were all present. Modern art varied from simple to unbelievably simple. I wonder what qualifies as art. One painting was named “abstract”. I would have known that without the title, tell me what the painting means. Another could not even be named, so was titled “Painting No 2”. The oil paintings were good. Ravivarma’s were there, as well as a Mona Lisa and few others which look different depending on the direction from which you see them. Among the wooden statues, there is a Man on the front and woman on the back. Actually it should be front and back but on one side and another. As Damodar noticed that the statue should have been standing sideways allowing us to see from both the directions instead of showing us the rear in the mirror.

Even though many asked me not to go to Charminar, for there is nothing worth, I still wanted to visit. Just for the heck of it.
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An hurried, quick meet with Amit who was equally busy, before winding up the tour.

Thanks all – Babu, Muktesh, Damodar, Amit, Nagi, Ramani, Dutta, Rizwan and Irfan.

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Next: A conversation with a co-passenger