The view of the lake from the Krishnadevaraya statue on Tank Bund is just spectacular. As traffic zips past on the busy road, the statue of Buddha shimmers in the evening sun; the concrete structures, Birla Mandir on the left and the fluttering national flag on the right create a picturesque effect. The air is charged with buoyancy as a group of four friends from Ram Nagar High School in Zamistanpur take turns to model for a photo session. “It will be uploaded for friends on Facebook,” cheers Vishnu from the group.
Although this road connecting Hyderabad and Secunderabad is one of the favourite destinations for Hyderabadis, most of the time it evokes mixed feelings. Thanks to the stench coming from the algae-laden green water dumped with debris and garbage, it is common to see people in the vicinity covering their noses. Fitness enthusiasts, friends and selfie-seekers walk on the pavement clicking pictures with Buddha in the background; green lawns on the opposite side attracts families with children and also youngsters in love. One can often spot couples chatting and laughing away while relaxing on the steps of these statues. Masala murmura sellers, ice cream carts, soda bandis do brisk business here. Venkataiah, who waits for customers with his cart rues the business has drastically reduced. “Ippudu giraaki ledu,” he states with a disappointed tone but adds Sundays and holidays sees many visitors. “The evening rains also stop people from coming here,” observes another hawker.
The walk continues with Nandu and Vijay, students of MediCiti Nursing College. The duo reside in Yakutpura and have accompanied their friends from village to a trip to Tank Bund. The nursing students voice their concern at the water’s condition. “We come here for time pass. The scenery is good but our heart breaks when we see the water. It is not good for the environment and it can also lead to diseases.”Nearby is an extended area above the Maisamma temple, which is home to pigeons. Groups of pigeons take flight as people feed them grains and corn. Shanta, who sells these grains sits nearby under a shade with her baby. “People come for different reasons to feed these pigeons,” she points out. “Some believe it is a virtuous act and others want to take pictures with fluttering pigeons in the background,” she observes. Her husband Shiva is a braveheart and saves people when they try to commit suicide in Tank Bund. She shows a hoarding nearby with his photograph and the number of people he has saved till now.
As we speak, an auto stops by and a woman walks in to take the quota to feed the pigeons. This has been the daily routine of Sangeeta Rani, an employee of a firm. “I enjoy coming here everyday; I feel at peace when I feed these birds,” she smiles. The steps at this walkway lead to lower Tank Bund but the walls drown in the smell of urine. The overwhelming smell is repulsive and can make your Tank Bund trip a total disaster.
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