I am in ‘Satyam’ land. Hyderabad has definitely mellowed. A locality like Banjara Hills looked desolate at 7.30PM on a weekday. Strikingly different from what I had experienced last time. And here’s fool proof evidence of market nose diving. I call it the Auto-Con Index. This time to get to the hotel from office (less than 1km) the autorickshaw driver politely asked for 15 rupees. On my earlier visits I shelled out 30 rupees for the same distance, that too after a lot of cajoling! So that’s a straight 50% discount on the 'extra fare' and the politeness was a bonus. First I thought it was an one off lucky aberration. But same thing this morning. The first driver I asked was willing to go and all for rupees 15. Wow! I hope my fortune lasts next week when I am in Chennai. That will be the acid test!
But this trip is not without its share of bloopers. Hob asked me to get a Charminar and without thinking (which is fast becoming a habit!) I said, “What! When did you start smoking Charminar?...” His retort, not surprisingly was “Ufff…it’s so difficult to talk to you! Never mind….I wanted a miniature of the iconic….” Not good. Not good at all. Last week he said my ability to observe is poor (I would call it ‘selective’) and now this. Agreed, I present my deficient senses on a platter for him to pick on me, but still….hmmm.