Jalsa , Mumbai June 10/11 , 2011 Fri/Sat 3 : 28 AM
Not without connecting to my EF .. no way .. would I would allow to end the day!!!
Just returned after a quick visit to Hyderabad for a wedding of a dear friend’s daughter. And filled with the grandeur and ceremony and hospitality of an Andhra Wedding. Tradition, relatives, friends, ladki wale, ladke wale at the Sangeet, the music evening before the marriage, where both the families sing and dance together, building bridges and accepting each other as one. Healthy camaraderie and competition, teasing and the pulling of legs - a joyous evening with tons of music, heaps of dancing and general happiness. The women out in their traditional saris and their jewelry. The men in their traditional achkans or ornate kurtas and for this wedding thousands of people !!
The stay was momentary, but pleasant and warm and hospitable. Stayed at the historic Falaknuma Palace - the palace of the Nizam of Hyderabad, once the richest man in the world. The palace had been left as it were after the abolition of privy purses, when the status of royalty was withdrawn from all the princely states. But Taj Hotels restored it and brought this massive property to its present shape and may I say, have done an excellent job of it. Situated on top of a hill overlooking the city, it is an incredible site as you drive up in a horse carriage or a buggy - cars not being allowed after a certain point, to the main imposing structure and ushered into the very first room of the Palace, the Nizams Office, table still in tact and told ‘this is where the Nizam sat on his work twirling his paper weight between his fingers. The paper weight - a 180 carat diamond, now given a name and a property of the Government of India, lying in a vault in Mumbai I believe and apparently valued at 100 million USD. One diamond !
Though some of the most renowned diamonds came from this region, it was primarily renowned for its pearls. And I read somewhere that the Nizams pearl collection could fill up an entire swimming pool. There is also the largest dining table serving the food on crockery and cutlery made entirely of gold, within this Palace. It seats around 120 guests at a time ! What magnificence and what style and designs of opulence these Maharajas and Nizams had. And what a life they led !!! How did they ever conceive size and vastness. What prompted them to build in a particular fashion, how the use of material and where to put it. Just so stunning and unbelievable !!
So its back to reality now. Back to earth and back home - our own little palace, bigger and better than any other in the world - our home where we live !!
See you in the morrow … as the rain lashes against the glass through a storm ! Guess we just made it in time else we would have had to encounter this weather in the sky as we flew in …
Good night then …