01 August, 2021

Slipstream People

To a time when we weren’t Andhras and Telugus, but proud Hyderabadis

Illustration by Sorit
Slipstream People

I grew up in Hyderabad, and I am a proud Andhra. I went to a convent school, and later graduated from Osmania University with its spectacular Arts College building. Those days we never asked where our friends came from or what their religion was. Hyderabad was a cosmopolitan city and we were as likely to have friends who were Muslims or Parsis as Hindus. And among them would be some who spoke Urdu with as much elan as they did Telugu. The air was still heavy from the Naxal movement when we were in university, so the only thing we ever asked anyone was if they had been to jail.

My own family came here from Madras. My father, along with a few colleagues, had migrated from the Madras Preside­ncy to establish a new zonal office of the State Bank of India in Hyderabad. In his case, of course, the bankers were given an option of either choosing to stay in Madras or go to the newly formed zonal office in Andhra. It transpires that Tel­ugu-speaking people felt a tad discriminated against in the then Madras Presidency, so much so they tho­ught it was better they have...

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