My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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HYDERABAD, India, Friday—The first thing we visited in Hyderabad was a museum which has recently been opened on basis of a most remarkable collection made by the late Nawab Salar Jung. He seemed to have collected everything from jades from China and Japan to Italian and French furniture. I was most interested in the jade and in some of the daggers among the collections. One lady's dagger was really beautiful, though I believe it was meant to be used in case the lady wished to kill herself and not on someone else.

After leaving the museum we let the cars go for a while and we took photographs and wandered around the bazaars from the silversmith's street to the street where they were doing embroidery on all sorts of material. It fascinated me to watch the women do this needlework without a pattern before them.

There is general spring festival going on now and one of the oldest customs I ever have seen is going on—the young people throw colors at each other. We saw some of them stained blue and red and green all over their clothes.

Later on we drove out to see one of the big forts, which was high on a hill and was protected by walls within walls. At one time the walls enclosed whole towns and villages. The women's quarters and the great hall to which the ruler retreated when attacked are clear up on top of the rock. We did not go up but just went to one end and climbed up the wall to get a good view of the buildings all around in the fading evening light. We waited till the sun set and then got a view by moonlight, which was quite lovely. Our guide told us he had brought a friend from Pennsylvania to see this fort and he liked it very much, and I can well believe that, for we were delighted with the scene.

We returned in time to dine with our host and hostess, Mr. and Mrs. Vellodi and then went to bed rather early.

Next morning we had an early breakfast and at 8 o'clock we started out to see the fort itself. We went in through a door which had heavy spikes to prevent the elephants from battering it in. After getting some good views of the fort we were shown to a number of startling places. One was under the arch where, standing on a certain stone it made a noise that could be heard at the top of the hill. This warned those at the top that horses or men were approaching.

Then we saw a large bathing pool where the water had been brought through clay pipes laid under the ground many years ago. Here, also, if one made a noise it was echoed back three times from the top of the hill.

On our way from the tombs of the kings we saw bullocks drawing water to fill a cistern in the way it must have been done hundreds and hundreds of years ago. Getting out, we found that we were at the pool which had originally been a palace where the wives of the ruler would come to bathe and where he would sit and watch them.

After seeing the fort we visited the archaeological museum which was to me very interesting because we got our first real idea of the differences in the various religions.

Then, late in the morning, I went with Mrs. Vellodi to a meeting of the Indian Social Welfare Conference, of which she is president. This group is composed of both men and women and they are undertaking a very ambitious program designed to alleviate suffering among the masses.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Hyderabad (India) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, March 15, 1952

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.