The multitude of nuanced cultural facets that define Hyderabad are very often glossed over by either its relatively recent official designation as the ‘City of Pearls’ or the gluttonous cacophony apotheosizing Biryani and Haleem.
The historical texts alone can never provide a good understanding of the past, especially its impact on society and the resultant evolution of a distinct cultural identity.
Oral history, kept alive through recounting from one generation to the next, proves to be a far more powerful and informative source.
This Conversation will touch upon some interesting facets of Hyderabad’s history, dwell upon the evolution of its unique syncretic culture, reminisce about iconic personalities who shaped society, and reflect on the contemporary relevance of the city’s famed socio-cultural inheritance.
Oudesh Rani, Columnist Urdu Munsif
Sajjad Sahid, Practising civil engineer
Oudesh Rani holds a PhD in Urdu from the HCU. She graduated in Russian from MSU and holds a Persian and Arabic diploma from EFLU.
She is daughter of the renowned Urdu scholar Rai Bahadur Narain, and sister of the revolutionary communist freedom fighter, Raj Bahadur Gaur. Oudesh Rani, thus, had a ringside view of culture, politics and the various struggles of a bygone era of Hyderabad.
She held various positions at SJM, Hindustan Aeronautics, NCERT etc.
She now writes a column forf the Urdu Daily Munsif.
Sajjad Shahid is a practicing civil engineer with a keen interest in history, culture, art and architecture. A dedicated heritage activist, he has contributed towards increasing awareness for the protection and preservation of built heritage.
Shahid is a prolific writer and his columns and articles are published in leading newspapers and journals and offers a course on Culture, Art and Architecture of Hyderabad & the Deccan at the Study in India Program of the University of Hyderabad