The unrelenting Telandrama has struck Hyderabad again, leaving me no choice but to commemorate this struggle in the true traditional art form of this Telugu state(s) : theatrics styled for the screen. Over the past few weeks, since bi-daily citywide shutdowns pulled up stakes and headed for the beaches, I’ve been trying my best to understand what’s going on here. I found a certain Srivyal’s and Soutik Biswas’s perspectives very helpful, very recently… then, as soon as I woke up this morning, I was dismayed to find that bandh is back in town. So, as I understand it, here is the reason I couldn’t go celebrate the holiday break with my favorite kids today.
Meet Democratic Telangana, a lovely young maiden whose family claims a proud history which they trace back to honorable mention in the Mahabharata itself, through generations of evolving religious and political loyalties.
Andhra was a strapping young lad who grew up nearby, and began to woo Telangana, convinced that only she could truly understand him. When he became a state in 1953, he asked for her hand in marriage. "Only Telangana can speak my language!" he cried passionately, to convince her skeptical family members.
The two were finally wed in 1956. However, Telangana soon became dissatisfied with the way Andhra treated her, and they began to fight. In 1969, Telangana attempted to throw Andhra out of the house once and for all.
Their eldest son, Hyderabad, was the favorite of both parents. He was so disturbed by the vicious bickering in the household that Telangana and Andhra were frightened into a truce, and years rolled by without anyone even mentioning the events of 1969.
The Andhra Pradesh family worked to develop their lands and build up their fortune, and met with incredible success in some respects. Some of the children were always at the top of their class, and some of the businesses hit the market at just the right time.
But not all. Some of the Andhra Pradesh children suffered even as others flourished.
Telangana would always complain that Andhra was reaping the benefits of everything they had built together while oppressing her and ignoring her needs.
Andhra would respond that it was he who provided everything their children required to grow and thrive all these years, that without him, they would have had nothing!
"Because you've taken everything that was mine and profited from it! Well, that's it! It's OVER! Get out!" Telangana declared one day in 2009. "Or else." She added menacingly.
"Fine!" shouted Andhra. "I'll leave, and I'm taking Hyderabad with me!" / "Take Hyderabad?!? Hyderabad is the center of my world!" rallied Telangana. "Don't you dare touch him!" / "I raised him!" Andhra snarled. / "I gave birth to him!" hissed Telangana.
In coming weeks, stay tuned to any major news source for the next chapter in this riveting family drama.