Have you ever felt that your identity is threatened? Your identity, perhaps as a part of something which you hold dear?
This morning I was very close to feeling so. I was looking at some old pictures which I had taken close to 2 decades ago as a little girl near Tank Bund in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.
When I and my sister were little, my parents used to take us to Hyderabad for a week every summer. Every year we as a family would take our little cousin who used to live in Hyderabad to play near Tank Bund. We used to play in the grass for hours with balloons, plastic toys and whatever they happen to be selling at that time. I must say we have spent many many many summer evenings playing in the grass. Each day we used to sit under one statue to play.
After I grew up, Tank Bund was a link to my life connecting Secunderabad and Hyderabad. My college was there, my Aunts place, my CAT school, my sister's daily-walk-route, our favorite theaters and parks...everything used to be either this side or other. Hardly a day used to go by without coming across Tank Bund. I have 3 good friends who were equally attached to it and we used to LOVE sitting in the rain (yes!) and eating corn-cob, freshly roasted and seasoned with lime juice, salt and a hint of chili powder. Ahh! what bliss!
Now all these years later I hear the news that most the statues (19) are destroyed! How is it possible that people who live there can bring themselves to destroy something which they have grown-up with...as part of their lives? When does hatred replaces common sense?
Irrespective of what is going on politically, how can one destroy their own culture? Apparently people of Telangana have complained that only 7 out of 32 statues were their side. Does resorting to vandalism solve the issue? How much lower can one fall?
The CM apparently declared that all the statues would be restored. But its not going to be like the old-charm anymore. On the same note, I wonder why the police were not well prepared to handle the situation. I mean its not like its a surprise that there be violence on the roads? Hyderabad is not the same for me anymore.