The weeks leading up to Ivanka Trump’s maiden visit to Hyderabad for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017, as adviser to her father and US President Donald Trump have been a flurry of activity, akin to welcoming a baraat to the bride’s home, like someone observed on Facebook earlier today.
Everywhere the eye sees these days, there are cleaner roads, a little dirt-free and a little dent-free. Not a beggar in sight and traffic junctions at most arterial roads are free of the imploring, coaxing, threatening eunuchs and street sellers, the stray dogs thoroughly removed and the homeless shifted to a dormitory.
Art installations, new artsy planters on the HITEX Road and several more lights with entire roads in the vicinity of the summit venue re-laid, are nothing short of festivities. No more bumpy drives, on these roads at least, after the recent rains.
Everywhere the eye sees these days, there are cleaner roads, a little dirt-free and a little dent-free. Thanks to Ivanka Trump. Photo: Reuters
A sudden and fresh crop of yellow asters have bloomed up at the Indira Gandhi statue circle near Necklace Road. The art on walls and frescos underneath flyovers look touched up. The flyovers themselves closer to where Ivanka’s entourage will pass look like new-age artworks, painted vivid and happy.
So where ever Ivanka goes, she will see this spruced-up version of the city besides, of course, an array of hoardings — in pink background — dotting all over the place, of herself with the Telangana CM, K Chandrasekhar Rao or Prime Minister Narendra Modi who will also inaugurate the Hyderabad Metro. The Taj Falaknuma Palace where Ivanka will dine with PM Modi too has the local residents around rather happy, with the roads repaired and garbage efficiently cleaned out. A fountain was revived outside the palace with the trees on surrounding streets painted a bright white on their lower trunks for a neater look.
The old city of Hyderabad — we hear she might visit the Charminar too besides the Golconda Fort — has turned into a near fortress with several hundred security personnel deployed. While the obsessive security checks go on, the folks here are rather amused and can’t wait to see the “khoobsurat Ivanka” as one lace shop owner pointed out. Young men have been flocking to take selfies with her hoardings.
With traffic restrictions in place and the Golconda Fort closed for other visitors, normal life in the area is affected but not too many are complaining. “We don’t know why exactly she’s coming to Hyderabad but it’ll be an honour to host her, give her some Hyderabadi bangles to take home or we would be happy just to get a glimpse of her,” said a local, insisting that it is our responsibility to ensure that she goes back with happy memories of Hyderabad’s tehzeeb and mehmaan nawazi.