The Telangana bandh on Wednesday failed to have any impact on the Old City that remained abuzz with activity all through the day. It was business as usual for stores and commercial establishments as well as for roadside vendors, who gave the bandh a big thumbs down. Public transport in this area too remained undisrupted with the usual number of buses and autorickshaws plying on roads. Shoppers and tourists too were spotted wandering on the streets, surprised how this part of town was up and about despite the bandh that had forced the rest of the city to shut down, at least partially.
“But this is how it is every time. We are never affected by any such bandhs,” said mehendi dealer Wasim Khan in between attending to his customers, a giggly bunch of college students. His stall located right at the entrance of the famous Lad Bazaar was doing brisk business on Wednesday morning, like most other stores around it. With the Ramzan month on, there was little time to breathe, these traders said.
A little distance away from the bustling Lad Bazaar, the street outside the jewellery and apparel stores of Charkaman too were seen swarming with people. Though buyers from the `new’ city areas were missing from these stores on Wednesday, owing to the bandh, shopkeepers said that the footfall was still impressive. “There is always a marginal drop in business on such days as people from outside the Old City are not able to travel to this part of town, either because of some trouble or lack of transport. But local people do come out and their numbers are good enough. Now the rush is even more because of the festive season,” said Santlal Dadala, owner of Mungalal Santlal (textile store) attributing his 85-year-old love story with the Old City to this peaceful environment that, he claimed, prevails in the area all through the year.
But not all in asal Hyderabad seemed in high spirits like Dadala. The vendors crowding around the iconic Charminar, for instance, expressed their distress over the ‘T’ bandh, which they said had hit their business. The reduced number of visitors to the heritage site on Wednesday resulted in little or no sale of their wares. “Had it not been for the bandh, you would have seen a sea of young kids around my stall by now. These bandhs will ruin small-timers like us,” said teenage ice-cream seller Sharfaraz Khan echoing the sentiment of his other friends selling coconut water and trinkets right outside the towering monument. TOI