Thursday, October 15, 2015

Hyderabadi Courtesy


Before I settled for good in Hyderabad a decade ago I had heard a lot about the famed Hyderabadi Nawabi courtesy.

When we shifted to the Banjara Hills environs, I was trying to explore the neighborhood during my nightly walks on the paved roads. One evening around 9 pm I lost my way and was sort of alone among the few pedestrians in the bustling car traffic. And saw a fully veiled lady walking ahead of me. And tried to overtake her and ask her courteously which turn I take to the Venkataramana Colony. And as I was nearing her, she looked back, caught my hand and shouted:

"Why are you stalking me?"

And she saw me and realized that I was a grizzly old shriveled gent and dropped her hand.

And I sped on without turning back.

And when we shifted to the My Home Jewel gated community I was driving my car and found a back-packed youth walking by. And I stopped my car and asked him:

"Which way to the post office?

And he got into my front seat, saying:

"I will show you"

And I thanked him. And stopped my car by the post office that he escorted me to and thanked him. Before he got down, he smiled and asked:

"Could you please spare Rs 20...I am short of the bus fare?"

Then again one day I was getting the Free Air filled in my car tires tipping the middle-aged gent the default Rs 10. And I felt sorry for him and asked:

"How do you do?"

And he saluted me and asked me to find a job for his useless son in the software firm my son works.

And one day I was driving my car alone on the Old Bombay Highway trying to reach Vikas School in a hurry. And found 4 youngsters walking jauntily by and stopped my car and asked them:

"Excuse me! Which turn I take to Bachupally?"

And their leader replied:

"We don't know the way to Bachupally but all of us also are going there"

and tried to get into my car.

I hurried on like one chased by the devil.

The other day, my dhobi lady (with two urchins) came to collect our wash. I knew she had a life-threatening surgery a year back and asked her politely:

"How are you now, Chennamma?"

And she touched me for an advance of Rs 300.

The only unfailing courtesy that flatters me endlessly happens whenever I halt my car by the grocery store and buy my milk pouches. After fleecing  me, the store-keeper, a Marwari gent, asks me:

"Returning from duty, sir?"

...Posted by Ishani


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