In Focus With photographs, words and a personal flair, these women have added a new edge to literature on the city.
Looking for lost stories
Blogger: Anuradha Goyal
Anuradha began blogging in 2004 as an experiment but eight years later, her travel writing and book reviews have won her immense popularity on the blogosphere. It was immediate feedback from her readers that keep the former Infosys employee going. “The fact that people you don’t know and never will know are relating to your work is very rewarding and keeps you going back to it,” she says.
“Very often it is my readers who send me inputs for what I should write about next.” Having spent time in various Indian cities, Anuradha has made it a habit to explore every place she is in. Anuradha’s series ‘Hyderabad Hues’ will give Hyderabadis a whole new insight into the city they live in.
The series chronicles walks through different parts of the city and as Anuradha herself points out, there is a “surprise element,” lurking around in every place she goes to. One of her most popular posts is on the Punjagutta rock.
“This is the one that received the most feedback because many people who lived in an around Punjagutta had never heard about this,” informs Anuradha.
The other interesting places she has blogged about include Ranigunj and the Spanish mosque. “Once you start writing,” says Anuradha, “you find stories everywhere.”
Key word; nostalgia
Blogger : Madhumita Gopalan
“Hyderabad is so gorgeous! Everyone should see it,” says Mudhumita Gopalan who had made it her mission to photograph what’s left of the old Hyderabad. Madhumita’s photoblog was started, as most blogs are, “impulsively one afternoon”.
A graduate in computational physics, Madhumita recently quit her job with a corporate to pursue something more in tune with her creative side. “I was always interested in History,” explains Madhu, who has grown up in Hyderabad and witnessed first hand how rapidly the city is changing.
“I am the kind of person who clings on to old stuff and I really want to capture as much as I can with my camera before it all gets modernized,” she points out. Madhumita tries to explore places that are not available on tourism websites or brochures.
The most interesting places she’s photographed are the houses built and occupied by the noble men.
Everything you need
Blogger: Deeptha Doshi
Deeptha Doshi began blogging on January 1, 2008 and while her main motivation was to share information about the city with family and friends, The Hyderabad and Secunderabad Blog is a go-to website for any information on the twin-cities. What makes Deeptha’s blog different from other blogs from the city is that it compiles valuable but neglected information about the city - emergency contacts of police stations and fire stations, customer support and utility services for instance. “Most websites at that time were focussed on events, parties, shopping and travel and I felt that there needed to be a space which would contain other information as well. The blog started out as a personal space and now has a sizeable following,” says Deeptha.
Like most other bloggers, Deeptha holds a day job. She is a web consultant who blogs whenever she finds the time or comes across something useful that needs to be shared with the readers or when a reader requests for some specific information. Her latest post lists the AP Electricity Department Customer Service Centres in Hyderabad and Secunderabad – much needed information as summer is only a few weeks away. While Deeptha grew up in Hyderabad, she is currently abroad. The blogging, however, continues from overseas.
Blogger: Pattu Raj
It is never too late to start writing a blog. Pattu Raj began writing hers on organic terrace gardening at the age of 60. “I took up gardening as a therapy, so that I would have something to do and thought it would be nice to put it all down in words; but it grew into much more than that.”
She has been blogging for three years now. Pattu, who has spent fifty years in the city, writes for anyone with a large enough balconies and a penchant for gardening. What makes it special is that the focus is on organic gardening. “It is about going back to old practises. I think of myself as an armchair activist and don’t believe in using fertilisers but things from our own kitchens.” The blog, she says has won Pattu a lot of readers turned friends and has also helped her to learn a lot.
“In order to write I have to keep myself updated with practises from all over the globe and that has given me a lot of exposure.”
Hyderabad has long been a favourite among historians and writers; several books have been written about its history, culture and its transformation in the last two decades. Adding to this literature are the city’s bloggers who capture the city in its many different moods, be it nostalgia, curiosity or even pragmatism. Here are a few women whose blogs offer a window into the city they have grown to love.