Friends’ visits are always like a fresh breath of cool early-morning breeze. They arrive, with bags full of energy, enthusiasm, (and gifts if they remember to); life changes for those couple of days, it is loaded with all sorts of activities – sight-seeing, roaming on the streets aimlessly yet consumed in talking about ambitions and future, eating, laughing and most importantly, feeling happy!

Even God loves it when friends meet up. You want to know why? Well, Hyderabad weather hardly rocks, but last weekend, as one of my BITSian friends planned a sudden trip to the city, God made the blues of Hyderabad heat vanish altogether and we couldn’t have asked for more.

Two days and the Threesome. There was not a road left un-touched. From Old City to the modern one, the two city-dwellers among the three of us covered every nook-and-corner of the city so that this friend gets to feel the true air of Hyderabad!
Three spots we visited are worth a special mention here for three different reasons. One was Charminar, second was VengalaRao Park, and the third one was the Barista coffee shop.

Every tourist to Hyderabad has Charminar on top of the list of places-to-visit. It wasn’t so on my friend’s list (he had no list actually!) but once there standing in front of the monument, he couldn’t resist going up. Although the climb is not much of a delight, the circular steps of Charminar remind you of two things – one, the fact that you are entering ancient history; second, you think of how easy it was for Harry Potter to go up such a staircase when going to professor Dumbledore’s office, that you wish it magically started to rotate!
Once up on Charminar, you can get a microscopic view of how huge our population is. People sprawling all around the monument, it seems and feels as if the monument is adjusting itself between the swarm of people, somehow balancing itself amidst all chaos. And in that chaos, there are the lives of hundreds of people – some praying in the mosque on the left, some stopping by the small vendors to buy balloons bags or bangles, some auto-wallahs looking for a customer, some kids playing on the sides of the roads, some fruit vendors… And that is not chaos for them! That is Life, and everyone there, here, everywhere survives on a balancing act!

VengalaRao Park is a city park developed by the GHMC (in the Naidu times), that stands near the Nagarjuna Circle on the road towards City Centre Mall. It has an extremely beautiful and placid landscape, adding to the scenery is a small pond in the middle. The green lawns sprawl all around it, with many ‘comfy’ spots for couples on one side, and a playground full of swings and slides for children on the other! We reached this park late afternoon on Sunday after a tiring climb at the Golconda fort. And for the most part of the time that we spent there, we slept. There was so much beauty all around, yet all that we did was sleep. And, we couldn’t have enjoyed the place better. Facing the overcast sky, with dreams on eyelids and serene breeze blowing on the face – all that one can do is Sleep! So we did!

Barista was our stop in the evening. This was my first visit to Barista – THE coffee shop! My brother later congratulated me on achieving the feat; he is 16 and has been there more than he should. What I liked the most about this coffee shop was the game of Scrabble they provided to customers! It delighted me totally J Of course, I did enjoy the coffee, oops, Cappuccino as they say, Cookies dipped in Cream and Chocolate syrups and obviously the Conversations. The coffee shop does come across as a simple and Costly affair, but for those who love chocolates as much as I do, the Dark Temptation is a must-try, although the Strawberry Delight looked equally delicious for a summer-evening snack!
Apart from the eating, licking and drinking there, we realized how meticulous we were at filling up the Feedback forms, how strangely what seemed to be there was actually not there, how when it came to chocolates and syrups we lost all etiquette, how miserly we were at paying compliments, how girls attach more emotion to detail than boys ever imagine to, how distracting a cricket match can be, how interesting coincidences in life are… and much more. After all, life is all about realizations!

Two days, the Threesome and it was Terrific!

Visits are always too short than they seem to be. But, KD – thanks for making the weekend so full of fun and laughter! (And perhaps, gear up the longer weekend trip that’s coming ahead.) 


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