Sunday, January 4, 2009

Frisking, Fashion Mags and Farewells

My last day in Hyderabad.

I managed to stay healthy until this very morning when my stomach decided enough was enough. I think I jinxed myself by telling everyone how I hadn't fallen sick the entire trip.

It doesn't help that I do not want to leave. I feel connected to this city more than any in the world. As a Tollywood actor recently told me, the people of Hyderabad are like a small village transplanted into a developing metropolis. Everyone still knows everyone's name, family, lineage. The same troupe of young elite travel from club to club. The same men meet for chai at Nizam Club every Sunday.

Changes, of course, include the metal detectors and car searches and purse checks. To go into McDonalds you are awkwardly patted down by a less-than-perfumed security guard. It is at once comforting to see the extreme measures, and disheartening that the city has to accommodate for turbulent times.

My interview at a magazine I won't mention is tomorrow. I've been trying to prepare, while inundated by this sluggish internet connection. I literally get off an airplane in Mumbai, go straight to the interview, and return to the airport to fly to Newark. Ah, 15 hours of cramped seat and stale food await.

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