One of the many things I enjoy is spending a few days with my brother and his family in Hyderabad which I did recently. Our onward journey was rather uneventful as we didn’t counter turbulence in the air, nor did we crash land at Rajiv Gandhi International airport. Once in Hyderabad we had a gala time roaming about not withstanding the warm weather and sultry evenings. I noticed the city looked different and more congested ( its nearly a year since I visited last) with half finished medians appearing on main roads and commuters forced to travel that extra distance to reach their destination and also pay much more than what the metre showed, in the name of the recent hike in petrol prices.
How can one leave Hyderabad without having a go at the freshly home made mango pickle, I thought on the last day of my stay. Knowing my fondness for the sweet mango pickle, my sister-in-law packed a large spoon full of this along with “minappa rotte” ( an Andhra dish made with idli dough) in a plastic box with a small partition for my dinner. Once I boarded the train and the ticket collector checked our tickets, I gently and unobtrusively tried to pull out the plastic box from the carry bag to have my dinner. And to my shock I found my grip was loosening and the box slipping from my hands ! Then I took the box along with the carry bag and to my consternation found red oil dripping from the bag and the box was also fully covered with it. I quickly took out my handkerchief and tried to wipe the box and my hand in turns but it only resulted in my kerchief also turning into a bright red colour! When I looked up, the lady sitting opposite me asked if I needed some tissue. I helplessely nodded and accepted it thanking her profusely for coming to my aid.
Though the pickle looked pathetic drained of all the oil I was thankful that it still remained there for me to relish along with the Andhra dish!
n.meera raghavendra rao