The streets in HITECH City (Hyderabad Information Technology Engineering Consultancy City), Hyderabad, where the IT revolution has perhaps hit hardest, is not filled with young Indians in collared shirts jabbering on headset headphones, has few long streams of electric wire weaving about from iron statue to statue, and the glossy, posh buildings, are almost entirely absent. Instead, High Tech City is a surreal desert of nascent buildings, still undergoing erection, and the only movements of the streets is of the migrant workers, living in gigantic tent cities, on every roadside. Here multinationals aggregate in Industrial parks, the foreboding shadows of their incomplete buildings stretch from the rocky hills of High Tech City, onto the city of Hyderabad.
Hyderabad is a great deal like Bangalore, only not yet.
I enter in the Islamic holy month of Ramadon (Ramza here), a time when rickshaw drivers sway their bikes, enervated by lack of water and over-exposure to the sun, when every night becomes a festival of cheap chicken and lamb kebabs, only to end abruptly so the participants can wake up in time to eat before sunrise, and when the women are stylishly dressed in the latest foot fashions, limited by the burkas enshrouding their entire bodies.
Oh yes, and it’s the week of Ganesh.