TELL IT NOT IN HYDERABAD
you heard of Golconda? Have you heard of its shining towers and its
streets paved with gold? Have you heard of its slender lofty minarets,
studded with diamonds, gleaming in the sun?
that, if it ever really existed, is no more. Not even the name survives
except in legend. But there is a city called Hyderabad. It is believed
to be the original Golconda. There must have been a scarcity of
historians in ancient India. You do not say such and such a place is
believed to be the original Jerusalem or Athens or Babylon; you know it
to be one of those cities of the distant past.
Hyderabad is the sprawling capital of a native state of the same name
in India. As such it is a fortified city. It is about the same size as
Kansas City, if not smaller. There are no minarets or shining towers or
streets paved with gold. There only are mean, narrow streets and
squalid, squatting houses and buildings, and dirty-looking natives
begging for the equivalent of a cent. It is one of those places that
the Hollywood producers show you on the screen as a travelogue. The
announcer, who has never been there, has a smooth voice telling you how
picturesque everything is, how glamorous, how exciting.
is nothing picturesque or glamorous or exciting in Hyderabad or along
the banks of the sacred Godavari River. For along that river, where
many diamonds were found hundreds of years ago, you find only the
outcastes, the untouchables, perched far away, begging for pennies,
not too close to the liver because the river is sacred, but close