Next time you are in Secunderabad make sure to walk from where there used to be Anand Theatre upto St Ann’s High school. Until a few month back, these places were not fit for a safe or pleasant walk, nor even to wait for a bus, leave alone waiting there for someone or sitting to catch a breath after successfully crossing the busy road in what seems like a ‘Who Dares Win’ bid at daredevilry. Secunderabad, or what appears as the ‘other part’ of Hyderabad for those who live in the concrete jungles of the now developing areas, is definitely getting a facelift. Doing so, it is proving to be a delight to get back to the part which already has a lot of interesting stories to tell.
The paintings on the pillars of Metro rail in Secunderabad
Parade Grounds was always crowded with men and young boys who like to play a game or two, even if its only for their fitness fix. Now in a pleasant surprise, pot holes around it are fixed and the footpath has been redone with cemented tiles; the outer periphery too has become a sought-after place for people seeking to engage in a quick jog or brisk walk. With this, there are makeshift stalls selling healthy juices for a few hours in the morning.
While this is being done and executed well, it will be a delight if only GHMC takes notice of a corner inside Parade Ground that is quickly beginning to look like a garbage disposal area. Bus commuters wait in that corner and evening vendors do not think twice before slipping their waste inside the ground.
Morning walkers take a break and soak in the Vitamin D rich sun as they sit on the benches of the foothpath at Parade grounds
After having recently traded Parade Ground for Necklace Road, photographer Sanjay Borra admits to being delightfully surprised at the way Secunderabad looks now. As a photographer Sanjay uses his morning walks to explore new areas and discover and capture images that might be of interest for his collection. “After my first recce I was delighted to find the photo ops. I loved capturing videos of the metro rail from inside the Parade Ground. There is a lot of energy and enthusiasm inside the ground. From thereon, I have started to enjoy my trips to Secunderabad. It is much cleaner and less crowded than earlier,” he says.
While it considered to be less ‘happening’ because Secunderabad lacks an active night life and clubbing scene, it is also turning out to be a hotspot for history walks. There is much more to draw people to Secunderabad than the famed biryani place. For the walks that Yunus L conducts in Secunderabad, the reaction he gets from first-timers, he says, is amazing. “People fall in love with the place because it still has the charm of the old buildings. Not too many glass and metal skyscrapers here; every nook and corner comes with a story or a character. I think it is the non-gaudy simple feel of the buildings that finds a special place in everyone’s hearts the moment they see the place,” says Yunus.
The evenings are also busy. “Seeing office goers chosing to walk after disembarking a bus is a delight. Some also meet their friends in spots where there are facilities to sit and relax for a small chat. The old Sangeet theatre area too is beginning to look up. Railings on the new footpaths make a lot of us feel safer as we walk, even it’s for a short distance. I am hoping it will look even better once this phase of Metro works is complete,” says Mohd. Zubair.