So, the plan to go for a short visit to Hyderabad starts more than a month ago. For a long time before that half of the phone conversations between Divya* and me were about Hyderabadi Biriyani, the campus, Kim Fung restaurant, and many other things that we miss in our homeland.
*(Divya doesn’t wish to reveal her real name in this piece… Her fake name which she chooses is Anamika Menon; for writing convenience I have shortened the fake name to Divya)
Once we were fixed on going, we abandoned all the plans to pursue Hyderabadi Biriyani in Kochi. We just let know three people about our arrival in Hyderabad on 7th March and asked them to keep the secret- which they did very well. And then, the day of our departure came. I came to Ernakulam North Railway Station and found the super-excited Divya and we boarded the train together. The journey was generally uneventful except for re-living our most favourite classroom memories- we played Bingo, Paper Cricket, Tic Tac Toe, and Poojyam Vettu (no idea what it is in English) just like we did in the back bench of MCJ classes (along with fellow-culprits Rohith, Hanuma, Megha, Anwesha, Omen, Ananthu, and sometimes Asher).
Once it was almost time to reach Secunderabad, my heart started beating faster. Once we got down, without any delay (except for the bad Selfie in front of the station for Whatsapp) , we rushed to Alpha Hotel right opposite- Biriyani calls!
First Biriyani is the Best Biriyani
The waiter takes order; the waiter brings onion and lemon; the waiter brings water; the waiter brings ‘mirchi ka saalan’; the waiter brings ‘raitha’; and finally, the ‘Hundi’ of Biriyani arrives! We watched with sparkling eyes- the fine white and yellow rice being served in our plates slowly and gently from the overflowing Hundi, the chicken piece being divided in two, the orange-red coloured masala part of the rice being served- we looked at each other and smiled- the smile of eternal food salvation! Before taking my first taste I just looked at it- the colours, the aroma, the presence- Ha, food bliss! Divya had already started eating after taking a few pictures for her ‘for memories’ phone gallery. I slowly poured the saalan on top of the biriyani. I first had the rice part alone, then had rice with saalan, then had the chicken.
“Yum Yum Yum…”
Who knows, may be the biriyani wasn’t that great according to the normal standards of Hyderabadi Biriyani, but we wouldn’t know, we wouldn’t care. We were waiting for months for this… and we were hogging with grace!
We are proud Biriyanists! All hail Biriyanism!
(I think I just invented two words)
(To be continued...)