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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Lovers' Lane in Hyderabad

My flat is on Hi-Tek City Road, near Gachibowli. A couple kilometers away are Hyderabad's Botanical Gardens. It costs Rs 15 (about 39 cents) to enter. I'm not really a botany kind of guy. I went in once because I hoped I could use it as a place to walk for exercise. It isn't that big. Also, it's quite the local lovers' lane. It seemed like every tree, every bush, had a couple laying underneath it, doing what couples often do when they're laying under trees and bushes. It wasn't x-rated, at least what I saw, but it was what any teenager of my generation would have labelled 'necking'. I didn't want to irritate people that wanted some privacy.

Yesterday my walk took me past the entrance of the gardens and I noticed something I hadn't before: many - maybe most? - of the couples walking in, or walking out, or riding to or from the gardens on motorcycles were Muslim couples. The women were in black burkas. (Not all Muslim women in Hyderabad wear them but many do.)

So I wonder: are the Botanical Gardens, like, the place where young Muslim couples go to, well, you know? Hey, I'm just asking the question. I had an anonymous comment on an earlier post concerning Indian dowries, and I wonder if this will elicit some response.

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