Public Gardens aka Bagh-e-Aam was built by the Nizam regime in 1920s. As a kid I remember going to a place with my family which was full of greenery, flowers, fountains and never ending view of the sky. While my parents and relatives settles down with their irani chai, osmania biscuits and the overload of gossip session, we kids, myself, my sister and brother, sometimes cousins, used to run in the huge never ending garden of tiny mountains of lush green grass, screaming, dancing and singing until the lunch is ready to be served. We used to climb the mountains and roll down like a dice. There was so much to do in one whole day that it used to feel like just few hours. Later as I grew up, my dad enrolled me into this Saturday Art Special class conducted by Mr T. Vaikuntam at Jawahar Bal Bhavan. Although I had attended the class only once it's still embedded in my memory like a seal.
And how can one forget Lalitha Kala Toranam, the open theatre, inaugurated by the then CM Mr NTR as a service to general public to watch some beautiful telugu black and white movie of NTR, ANR, Anjali Devi and Jamuna, and many more, under the full moon night for free? Nostalgic.
Having completely lost touch with it due to my education and growing up, i re-discovered this place in early 1990s all by myself and was amazed. The State Archeological Museum is a delight for art lovers. The museum boasts of one of the richest repositories of antiques and art objects in the country including the Buddhist gallery, Brahmanical & Jain gallery, Bronze gallery, Arms & Armour gallery, Numismatics gallery, Ajanta gallery and more. Adjacent to the State Museum is the Contemporary Art Museum where i got introduced to the original watercolor wash technique art of Chugtai. Also this is where I first had a closest look of an Egyptian mummy. Brilliant!
This was 80s and 90s.
The new millennium saw a radical change and development in the nawabi city of Hyderabad. Most certainly this place also got affected.
2015 gives a very different picture altogether. Today whenever I visit Hyderabad, i make it a point to go for Friday prayers in the beautifully peaceful Masjid at the entrance of the garden. After finishing my namaz I just take a leisure stroll across the garden to see if something new has come-up. Definitely things are different now. Clearly this place is becoming more of political leaders set up (due to its adjacent Telangana Legislative and Assembly office) and for some stupid reason there are more and more concrete structures being built by the government than preserving its flora and fauna. Last I heard the locals have filed a case in the High Court to stop further construction of any sort of building in the gardens. Bravo!
But all said and done nothing actually is lost in the end. One can still spend a few hours lazing around doing absolutely nothing. Now won't that be so much fun!