Secunderabad has been celebrating like mad this past week. 200 years of existence and all. Almost everyone has succumbed to the ‘apna shahar, manaooru’ sentiment and attended at least a concert or an army display or something.
The Vyas involvement extended to:
1) Concert by Karunya and Hemachandra, former being runner up in Indian Idol II and the latter a close finisher in the Sa re ga ma pa Challenge 2005 contest. Both chaps sing brilliantly and they’re cousins, what’s more, so we went really hoping to hear them sing together.
Summary: Karunya was seriously good and quite people-savvy – constant banter, new songs and likesuch. Hemu was disappointing – sang three songs, none of them Telugu, which didn’t go down well with the audience. Still, he apparently dashed in and out just for the concert, so perhaps he simply wasn’t as prepared.
2) Heritage tour of Secunderabad, which was a revelation. I had no idea we had so many monuments. Three churches, one mosque, one Parsi dharmashala, two hospitals and a jail in one morning.
3) Splendid Secunderabad Run, which gave me a headache that hasn’t fully gone.
Please allow me to rant here about celebrity latecomers in general and Mr Megastar Chiranjeevi in particular. First, it is not being from Secunderabad – why call it? Second, run was scheduled at 7.00, so people gathered at 6.30. Megastar not arriveth. Organisers show dismal lack of consideration for 10,000-odd people gathered and wait for one man. Some enthu runners set off and were hauled back so they could be flagged off. So we simply flagged while we waited. Man finally shows at almost 8.00, makes matters worse by talking for a goodish time. What was a benign sun had by now turned a little ferocious.
Flag-off happened and chaos ensued. Apparently, the organisers had their finger on the pulse of the public after all: many morons are in fact interested only in the Megastar. As runners tried to get cleanly away, hundreds moved in the opposite direction towards the podium. Groups were torn asunder and women had a rather uncomfortable time of it. The run wasn’t particularly scenic and we finished in less than an hour and went off to breakfast and Pokiri.
Regrets: missing the Hariharan concert, which turned out fabulous, as well as Pt Jasraj and co and Daler Mehndi. Still, one cannot have everything, no?