Since everyone had the day off, my work colleagues in Hyderabad took me and my fellow American traveler to Charminar, Mekkah Masjid, and Golconda Fort. I’ve posted those pictures on my Facebook page, so I’ll leave those sights to those pictures. Here, I want to talk about my non-photographic impressions.
First, the smells of India. Yes, there are spots where the sewage is noticeable, but those have been very few. Instead, the overwhelming aroma is of spices and fragrant incense. Everywhere I’ve been, I could smell the perfumes of spice in the air. It’s wonderful. I’ll never be able to enter an Indian market again without remembering the bazaar in Hyderabad.
Next, the tastes. I’m at a hotel with an amazing restaurant, and I’m tasting things I never dreamed possible. It’s a different palate, sure, but again, the spices penetrate the mind and heart and win me over, every time. I have to be careful what I put on my plate, because I will clean it, totally. And while I could order French toast or waffles for breakfast, I want to try the Indian offerings while I’m here. So far, it’s been amazing, and I don’t see any break in the action. I’ll be adventurous, and order something different each day. Today was upma with sambar. Out of this world. It’s like grits with masala.
Now, the sounds. Horns all the time on the streets. Peacock calls on occasion. Hindi, Urdu, and Telugu whizzing past my ears, with me being able to pick up scraps of the Hindi and Urdu. Bargaining. Sharp rebukes. Kindnesses. Grace and gratitude, it’s all here. I’ve slept very well in my quiet room, but the noise of the city is its heartbeat.
You might gather that I’m loving my trip here. You would be correct in that observation. Now I need to start my second full day here…