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Tuesday, Feb. 20
The Indiana Daily Student

arts travel

Jay Telangana and a weekend in Delhi

Living abroad has forced me to become more flexible.

It’s a welcome change from my meticulously-scheduled days at IU.

Time is a fluid concept. Classes and plans are often cancelled on short notice.

Our program organized a weekend trip to Hampi set to depart Aug. 14, the night before India’s Independence Day. Located in Karnataka, India, Hampi is famous for its beautiful Virupaksha Temple and ruins from former empires.

But ongoing political unrest in Andhra Pradesh posed a security threat to the train we would take to get there, and our trip was cancelled just a few days before we were supposed to leave.

A briefing on local politics may be warranted here.

The state of Andhra Pradesh is divided into three regions — Telangana, Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra.

In June, the government approved the decision to make Telangana India’s 29th state.
The Andhra Pradesh legislature still needs to draft a resolution to begin the lawmaking process, but an approved bill could establish the separate state by next year.

Some students at University of Hyderabad celebrated the news by parading around campus, playing drums and interrupting classes with shouts of “Jai Telangana,” or “Victory to Telangana.”  

But most Hyderabadis I’ve discussed the issue with expressed sadness about the division of Andhra Pradesh.

While the Telangana movement argues other regions are taking jobs and resources from Telugu people, the state’s capital is home to many businesses and real estate investments. People also have family members who live in other regions of Andhra

The fact that Hyderabad will serve as a dual capital for Telangana and what remains of Andhra Pradesh only complicates the issue further.

In order to avoid potential conflicts, a few friends and I decided to take the opportunity to leave South India entirely and go to Delhi.

My newfound spontaneity lead to booking a flight up north less than 48 hours before the departure time.

We arrived in Delhi Wednesday afternoon and spent the next four days exploring Old and New Delhi, and visiting big tourist attractions like the Red Fort and Humayun’s Tomb as well as smaller neighborhoods.

If you ever find yourself in Delhi, take a tour of Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti  to learn about Sufism or grab lunch in Majnu ka Tilla, a Tibetan colony.

We caught a train at 4:40 a.m. Thursday morning to take us to Agra. Travelling sleeper class where three cots are stacked on either side of a small carriage was an
experience I was glad to have once.

Seeing the Taj Mahal in person was worth the uncomfortable ride. The Mughals had great taste in architecture.

But Chandni Chowk was the highlight of our time in Delhi. Not for the claustrophobic personality, the market was packed with vendors, shoppers and rickshaw wallahs. We spent hours exploring the jewelry stands, and I bought way too much tea and masala.

A weekend in the nation’s capital made me appreciate the relative calmness of Hyderabad. It feels good to be back.

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