Hundreds cheer as Secunderabad celebrates its birthday; Chief Minister, city MLAs absent
Tourism Minister J. Geeta Reddy declares the nine-day celebrations open and releases tricolour balloonsTableaux of different regions showcase their traditional art formsChetak helicopters fly past the pylon showering petals to kick off the celebrations
HYDERABAD: The rain threat subsided, clouds cleared and the sun shone brightly as Secunderabad, the gracious and fashionable twin of hoary Hyderabad, celebrated its 200th birthday on Saturday.
Hundreds of people cheered the `grand old lady' and celebrated the big day as a lively carnival swept through the streets of Secunderabad.
However, the glaring absence of Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy and city MLAs at the function was the only sore point on an otherwise lively carnival.
Tourism Minister J. Geeta Reddy declared the nine-day celebrations open and released tricolour balloons. The weather was calm enough for the three Chetak helicopters to fly past the grandly unveiled pylon showering petals to kick off the celebrations here.
The colourful carnival amidst the beat of the drums as 1,000-odd artistes in all their finery and costumes reflecting the eclectic mix of communities that made Secunderabad their home over the years took the gathering and curious onlookers to the days gone by.
Mounted policemen were followed by horse chariots carrying marriage parties, including brides and bridegrooms from different religions and cultures, be it the prim and propah Anglo Indians, robust Punjabis and coy Parsis.
As the procession proceeded towards the sprawling Parade Grounds, the main venue of the celebrations, it was cheered and waved by all.
Traditional folk dances of the region, `Potharajus', `Pullirajus', Lambadas and others danced their way on. The multi-ethnic, multi-lingual composition of the sister city of Hyderabad was also reflected in the tableaux of different regions showcasing their traditional art forms, like the Mohiniyattam of Malayalees, `Bharatanatyam of Tamilians and, of course, the `Balle balle' of Punjabis.
"Two thousand kilometres from Ludhiana... yet at home... " was the message of the Punjabis and it sure did attract the eye. The `Little England' residents (Anglo-Indians) too had their own musical band tableau with young people and cute kids in suits and ties. `Bathkamma... Bonalu' and other facets too were showcased.
Tableaux of the South Central Railway, Lepakshi and Army Sports & Adventure Club formed the party. Another army tableau reminded people of the Military Games to be held in the twin cities in October this year. Cultural artistes on bullock carts and camels strolled along as firecrackers were burst.
The action then shifted to the Parade Grounds where Remo Fernandes rocked the night away even as the skies threatened to open up.
Minister Mohd. Ali Shabbir, Mayor T. Krishna Reddy and others were present along with hundreds of Secunderabadis bowing to the genial old lady!