My visit to “city of winds” i.e. Hyderabad, two weeks before, added to a new sort of city lifestyle in my mind. I have lived in Chiniot, Lahore and Karachi, but visiting cities like Multan, Rawalpindi, Hyderabad and Faisalabad had always been my desire which came true by invitations from friends close to heart. These friends never minded my stay at their homes regardless of how congested they live in cities where ‘development’ goes beyond territory. Intimacy and love and feeling of being in a family-like environment made my mind restrict my heart to return to Karachi two days later. Hyderabadi hospitality, love of friends and their leaving everything else behind for me made me break all the pre-conceived notions of Hyderabadis. Love and value of friends made me believe that there are still people in cities who value people more than material.
I found two kinds of mindsets worth noticing in Hyderabad. First: the traditional one. Second: the nuanced one (at least for me). Traditional one is like same everywhere in Pakistan. Local Punjabis, Sindhis, Pakhtuns, Balochis-all of them value material and luxuries and consider ostentatiousness important part of their lives. For instance, they spend lots of their time and money in building luxury homes and buying expensive cars. What I found extra-ordinarily different in the nuanced one was prioritizing ‘education’ above everything else for a certain ethnic group. Cars and fancy homes ceased to be their priority. I don’t know whether their centrality on education is need of the hour or something else. The truth is I liked that mindset, mindset where education is given preference above everything else regardless of economic resources. I don’t criticize mindsets elsewhere; the intention is to simply appreciate what I liked. For clarification, these nuanced ones were immigrants who came from India after partition.
Coming to the refreshing part of my visit, we went to a village 30 KMs from Hyderabad by car. We felt nature so closely that we got our feet dusted with soil, took photographs in bananas crop that was ripe, ate unripe mangoes and meet some villagers. A friends’ grandfather was enlightening us about different crops being produced. Overall, it was a marvelous visit to a natural place after a long time.
We visited Hyderabad Club and Boulevard Mall, wandered around Thandi Sarak, Latifabad, Sadar and Defence. The Hyderabadi clan really made this visit an indelible one. Last unforgettable thing was a cute pardon that came from mother of one of my friend. She said: Beta koi ghalti ho gai to maaf kar dena, fridge kharab tha aap ki khidmat nahi kar skay (Son, pardon us for any misconduct and we couldn’t serve you well because of defective refrigerator).