Last year, my family visited me in Hyderabad. Coincidentally, one of my childhood friends, DJ, also happened to be in Hyderabad on his solo trip during the same time. Although we attended the same tuition classes from childhood, we never had a chance to talk back then. Years later, we started communicating on Facebook and became good friends.
One day, DJ told me, “Hey Cookie, I’m planning a solo trip this year.” While I don’t remember all the places he visited during his trip, Hyderabad was conveniently located between his home and destination. I suggested that he could come to Hyderabad and bring some sweets from my hometown since I have a sweet tooth 😅. He agreed to meet me after his trip.
Unfortunately, my schedule was busy because I didn’t take leave from work. Every day after work, I had to go straight to the hotel where my family was staying so that I could spend time with them. When DJ told me about his plan, there was no way I could refuse him. He also asked me to go with him since he didn’t know anyone here. I took a day off and went to meet him.
His plan was to visit Golkonda Fort, Qutub Shahi Tomb, Birla Temple, Charminar, and a good restaurant. It was a sunny day with temperatures around 32-35 degrees Celsius in Hyderabad. Our first destination was Golkonda Fort. This was probably my fourth or fifth visit there.
To get a beautiful view of the city, you have to go up to the top of the fort. DJ loves photography and wanted some good shots up there. However, it was too hot for me to climb up 300 steps or more (that’s what they said) in the scorching heat. Instead, I waited in the shade and watched some school kids who were on a picnic.
DJ might have liked it if I had gone with him to the top of the fort but he didn’t pressure me to accompany him.
Our second destination was the Qutub Shahi Tomb, which was near Golkonda. It had many trees inside and wasn’t crowded. As soon as we entered, DJ got his camera ready and started running around taking photos. Meanwhile, I walked around like a normal person, not taking any selfies. I hoped for a good photo but felt too shy to ask DJ for one. Finally, when DJ finished his work, he took a few photos of me. I hardly ever have photos taken from an actual camera! Our next stop was Charminar. It was already 5 p.m., and according to the internet, it closed at 5:30 p.m., so we had to adjust our plans accordingly.
After that, we headed towards Birla Temple but couldn’t take any pictures because cameras or phones weren’t allowed inside. The weather was windy and pleasant as we witnessed the sunset and enjoyed the distant view of Hussain Sagar Lake, the Buddha statue, the winding streets resembling snakes, and the evening sky looking like a dreamy painting – everything about that moment felt perfect.
We sat there talking about life and relaxing; it’s been a while since I’ve had such a good time like this.
DJ had to buy something for his girlfriend, and he wanted me to help him select it. We hired an auto to go to Charminar (the market). After hearing our conversation, our auto-driver interrupted us and said, “Do you really want to go to Charminar? I think the price is too high there. You can go to this market down this road. Come here in the morning; they have really good collections. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.” DJ and I were staring at each other, confused. “So… what do you say Cookie?” “I don’t know. Whatever you want. Just make sure that I don’t get home late.”
The auto-driver took us to a restaurant, Shahi Dastarkhwan in Lakdikapul, that he highly recommended. We had Biriyani and Patthar ka Gosht, which was the best mutton/goat dish I’ve ever tasted. DJ gave me some sweets he brought from home. We said goodbye to each other and got into our Ubers. I was happy that my family wasn’t dramatic about it and they also enjoyed the Biriyani I brought. It was definitely a good day.
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