‘If we don’t mess up, Hyderabad has a great future’

K Ramya Sree, June 14:

Former speaker of the Legislative Assembly of undivided Andhra Pradesh, Nadendla Manohar may be active with AP politics but proudly calls himself a true Hyderabadi. He cherishes the city, having spent most of his life in Hyderabad. Manohar, an MBA graduate from College of Commerce and Business Management, Osmania University, was a two-time MLA in undivided AP, and he joined the Jana Sena in 2018. He speaks to The Pioneer about his association with the city, fondest memories, likes and dislikes and more…
Nadendla Manohar who was born and raised in Hyderabad calls himself a true Hyderabadi because of being brought up in the city that boasts of a rich culture and diverse tradition.
“I was born and brought up in Hyderabad. Right from my schooling to masters, my education has always been in Hyderabad. I have done my schooling from St Paul’s, graduation from Nizam College and masters from Osmania University. I have been here all my life. It’s something I cherish. We have seen the real Nawabi part of Hyderabad and the Cybercity that has grown into the 1990s capital. I proudly call myself a true Hyderabadi,” Manohar says.
Reminiscing about Hyderabad of the 1970s, he shares, “I still remember the city so well. Every Sunday I would go to the Chowk area in Charminar to buy pets like pigeons etc. We used to buy antiques from Jummeraat Bazaar. I miss that quaint old Hyderabad, the culture and traditional places where you would walk around without any rush. It was the typical laid back Hyderabad that we will always remember and talk about.”
Who wouldn’t love monsoons, especially the monsoon in Hyderabad? The politico feels there is no better place on earth than Hyderabad in the monsoons. “One thing we always miss is the monsoons. There is no better place on earth than the monsoons in Hyderabad. I really love it. Those are my vivid memories,” he says.
Speaking about riding a horse from Jubilee Hills to now called Hitec City, Manohar tells us, “We used to live in Himayatnagar and moved to Jubilee Hills during 1979. Ours was the first house there amidst all the rocks. We could spot peacocks, rabbits, foxes and what not. We had horses at our home, so we would regularly ride towards what is now called Hitec City. Suddenly, all that has changed and the city has developed into skyscrapers and other fancy stuff. Probably 50 years ago, we did not imagine that transformation the city would undergo.”
He adds, “You would love Hyderabad as a city if you go back to the old times. We already had great parks, museums, buildings that were so beautiful in architecture, for instance the AP Assembly building and the lakes. We could happily go fishing wherever we wanted. Now it is all gone. Until late 1980s, you could spot leopards once you cross Secunderabad area. Hyderabad was an environment conscious city. People would love this place for the lakes and the greenery it had. Now everything has eroded systematically. Masab Tank was a Tank then. You would really love the old Hyderabad, it was laid back, it reflected the old royal times. Now its more of hustle bustle and is fast moving.”
How is Hyderabad different from other cities? He tells us, “For the past 15 to 20 years, i have been shuttling a lot between Hyderabad, Tenali and other parts in Andhra Pradesh. Compared to those cities, Hyderabad has its own character, a tradition and culture that is truly missing in other cities. Other cities have grown in the recent years but Hyderabad has a deep-rooted tradition. People here don’t pay much attention to your caste and religion. Its more about being friendly with people regardless of the religion.”
The tradition, tehzeeb of Hyderabad is something that comes to the politicos mind when he thinks of the city. “People across all religions are respected here. We should be proud of it. And the food is also something that one cannot forget. I still remember my younger days where dinners wouldn’t go without qawwalis and ghazals.”
“The city has given us a lot of opportunities to study and grow here. Although I had the access and opportunity to study my masters abroad, I chose to do it in Osmania University because of the campus and the quality of education here back then. We are grateful for that and we are able to build on it.”
With likes come dislikes too. Manohar says he dislikes the pollution here now. “At times it hits you. Because this is not the city you knew and it will force you to reflect about the good old days. The city has grown in a disorganised way. Urban planning was left to the air. Urban development planning has gone for a toss. Greed has overtaken our inheritance. I truly believe Hyderabad to some extent has lost its charm and the traditional values because of the greed. Greed under the guise of development.”
Manohar was a nationally ranked tennis player. He has participated in several tournaments in the country and abroad. He was Bronze Medallist in the National Games, 1986. “Lady Hydari Club is where I learnt tennis. It is now called the Liberty. Apart from playing tennis there, the walks near Tank Bund is something I can never forget. Palace Heights restaurant in Abids used to be my hangout back then.”
Manohar feels Hyderabad has the potential to become the second capital of India. “Hyderabad to me is home. To me Hyderabad is a city which has a promising future to the next generation. In the coming years, Hyderabad has the potential to become the second capital of India. Because we have lot of resources and people with incredible talent that has proved themselves in several fields. If we don’t mess up the place, Hyderabad has a great future.”

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