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Ci-(TEA) Tales - Ep 1

'Hyderabad High'

See Hyderabad through the eyes of International Consultant Bradley Carter.

It was another day, another airport for Bradley. He arrived in Hyderabad after a busy work week in Jaipur.

He walked outside to hail a cab. He was tall, and people noticed him. Brad was accustomed to the attention wherever he went.

He didn't consider himself good looking, even if everyone else did.

He was just Brad, International Consultant and proud "servant" to his cat, Snoop, back home.

Like most of the airport's Brad had travelled through in India, Hyderabad looked great. He could see the car park as he exited the building.

Someone knows what they are doing in the gardening team, Brad thought. It was wonderfully landscaped.

A few people were approaching him to offer a ride into town. As usual, they were polite and eager.

He followed one guy and worked out the rate. They headed to the hotel in town.

"Good afternoon, Sir! Where are you from?"

"Ahh, I live in Jaipur currently, but originally from Australia."

"Oh great! I loved Alan Border. And Steve Waugh!"

"Haha, I doubt the kids these days remember Alan Border. I used to play, except I kept injuring my ankle. Perhaps I should have been a spin bowler instead," laughed Brad.

"Oh, that's nice. Yes, you look like a fast bowler, Sir!"

"Unfortunately, I don't move like one!"

"Have you been to Hyderabad, Sir?"

"No, this is my first time."

"Well, Welcome, Sir! You will like it. I have lived here for 57 years. It's a nice place."

"That's great. It looks good so far."

* * *

Brad sorted his travel documents and then looked out of the window of the fast-moving taxi.

Hyderabad reminded him of Jaipur - mostly low-rise buildings and good roads.

They were making fast time. The traffic was manageable today. Brad didn't plan to stay in the hotel too long. Hotel rooms reminded him of his nomadic life. They reminded him of home.

They passed a large hoarding for Ikea, the retail giant. He remembered wandering around Ikea in Australia with Sophie. That was years ago. He smiled at the flood of memories that the simple sign on the road in Hyderabad just brought back.

He liked Hyderbad already. Sometimes you can get a 'feel' for a place. Perhaps it's the traffic and the behaviour on the roads - it sometimes tells a story. Or the shops and buildings you pass. Or the people, their clothes, behaviours. Often it was the cab driver's welcome. Overall, Brad had a good feeling about the city.

They reached the hotel and parked outside the lobby.

"Okay, Sir, please take my number. If you need any help at all while here, please call me. You can call me anytime."

"Thanks very much. What's your name?"

"I am Syed, Sir."

"Thanks, Syed. I'll hopefully see you again."

* * *

Brad checked into his hotel. It was in Banjara Hills. It certainly looked like a pleasant suburb.

He sat on the bed and looked through his phone. He had a meeting with a tech expert tonight, and then tomorrow was a long-awaited free day.

Brad messaged the number he had and organised to meet at 8pm at a restaurant. Most of the meetings he had been to in India were in cafes or restaurants, not offices. He liked this style of business.

"Hello again, Sir! Good to see you so soon!"

Brad had called Syed after his shower realising he needed to travel to get to his meeting as it was not close to the hotel.

"It's a nice place you are going. You will enjoy, Sir."

Brad had not personally spoken to the technician. His employer in Jaipur suggested he should meet with them as soon as possible. The Hyderbad consultant had a recent experience that could help Brad understand the context and ground conditions.

Brad was an international consultant for disaster management technological solutions. It was a relatively specialised field of work, so he was looking forward to meeting someone else who could speak his language!

As they drove through the streets, Brad thought this part of Hyderbad could be in any city. Rows of homes, quiet streets with kids on bikes, evening walkers.

"Okay, Sir, here we are. Have a pleasant evening! I will be here waiting."

"Thanks, Syed. Do you have dinner?"

"Don't worry, Sir. I do not need more food, according to my wife!" Syed laughed. "I eat late anyway."

"Okay, I'll see you in about an hour."

* * *

Brad entered the restaurant.

The restaurant was called "Olive." First impressions, it was one of the best-looking restaurants he'd been to in a long time. There was a Mediterranean feel, and as he walked through the stylish rooms, he saw a stunning view of a lake in the distance.

What a place for a business meeting, thought Brad. Brad was not affected by many things. He had an easy-going nature. He knew who he was, and he knew other people. Nothing much phased him. He sailed through life with ease, and his pleasantness seemed to pass to those around him.

"Good evening Sir. Do you have a booking?"

"Ahh, yes, I think it's under the name..."

"Brad! Over here!"

A woman with a girl waved him over.

"Hi, Nilofar?" Brad asked

"Yes, call me Nilu. And this is my daughter Kaya. Her father is in Germany tonight. He's a pilot. Hope that's okay if she's here for the meeting?"

"Of course, of course, no problem at all." Brad smiled.

"So, what do you think of Hyderbad?"

"Well, it's only been a few hours, but it reminds me a little of Australia, to be honest. Especially the drive up here. Just a few elements, but enough to almost feel familiar."

"Oh, that's great! My best friend is in Sydney, actually. I was planning a visit later this year."

Kaya wandered off with her phone and sat on a seat overlooking the lake. It was a good idea; she seemed to sense the conversation about to be had by the "experts."

"We'll get to work talk soon, but let's order something, " Nilu said, taking charge of the menu.

Brad sat back and looked out at the sublime view. Hyderabad could be his new favourite place...


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