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Book a trip down memory lane

J.S. Ifthekhar
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Ghulam Yazdani
Ghulam Yazdani

Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was on a short visit to Hyderabad. On a sudden impulse she decided to call on the 7{+t}{+h}Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan. When she dropped in at the King Kothi palace unannounced, the Nizam was pleasantly surprised. Had he been informed in advance he would have welcomed her properly, the Nizam told her. But the reply Mrs. Gandhi gave left him speechless. “Should a daughter need to inform earlier to meet her father?”

Few know this little known fact, certainly not the present generation. Scores of such interesting anecdotes concerning Hyderabad, its important personalities – be it the erstwhile ruling class or well known socialites, poets, writers – can now be read.

Senior advocate Ghulam Yazdani, in his memoirs ‘Kuch Yadeyn Kuch Bateyn’ recounts fascinating facets of the Hyderabad of yesteryears. Going through the book is like going down the memory lane. One gets a sneak peek into the Asaf Jahi rule, the ways of the eccentric nawabs and their exploits. Of course, Mr. Yazdani takes potshots without offending anyone.

The prudence of the 7th Nizam is legendary. Once he sent some clothes, which were not new but unused, to his son Azam Jah Bahadur. The latter returned them, saying, “I am not an orphan yet. My father is still alive. However, my father, who is an orphan, can wear them.”

The Nizam was very much impressed with this reply, although he was critical of his son’s squandering ways. Mr. Yazdani’s book is full of such real life incidents. Once noted writer Sardar Dilip Singh fell ill, and all his friends visited him. But his closest friend, Mujtaba Hussain, the famous satirist, didn’t turn up. Several days later when he went with a bag of sweet lemons, the Sardar complained. Upon this, Mujtaba Hussain remarked: “Dilip bhai, do you know what is the price of mousambi these days?”

There are a number of such witty titbits, which make the book un-put-downable. Do you know what are the essentials of ‘khichdi’, the Hyderabadi dish?

Khichdi tere char yar

Kheema, papad, ghee, achar

This laugh-a-page book has anecdotes from all walks of life. For instance, famous physician, Dr. Ram Prasad, while examining a patient enquired whether he suffered from constipation problem. “Starting trouble”, remarked the patient who was a mechanic by profession. To the same question a traffic cop replied “traffic closed” for three days.

A unique thing about Mr. Yazdani’s book is one can read it from anywhere and get engrossed. What’s more, the book brings back memories of the old Hyderabad. No wonder when it was released the other day, the Urdu Hall at Himayatnagar was filled to capacity with old-timers.

Scores of interesting anecdotes concerning Hyderabad and its important personalities find place in ‘Kuch Yadeyn Kuch Bateyn’, written by Ghulam Yazdani


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