Jimmy Kirkpatrick ko gussa kyon aata hai?
You'd think the guy would be happy. He's been reunited with his gorgeous wife and two children. His story's been told, and even stayed on the best-seller's list for a goodly while. What more could a dead man want? A home, you say? Ah, we see what you mean. No wonder, he's miffed.
You see, to James Achilles Kirkpatrick, British ambassador in 18th century Nizam's court whose love-story inspired William Dalrymple's White Mughals, home meant the Residency. Not the Taj, my dear ignoramus, the British Residency. This is where Kirkpatrick and his lady love, Khair-un-Nissa, spent many idyllic moments. This is where their children were born. And this is where he built her a home. A home that looks a lot like the White House might look if it spent two centuries baking under the Hyderabad sun, and breathing traffic fumes from the choked by-lanes of Koti.
Now, looking on as young girls bustle about attending classes in the ancient elephant stables of the Residency, you can see why the Osmania University College
For Women needs help. One of the 100 endangered heritage sites named by the World Monuments Fund, this OU College is in for major restorative surgery to prevent it from crumbling into oblivion.
The British Residency rests on the northern banks of the Musi, and is one of the last standing relics of Anglo-Indian architecture in the country. An airy villa with large Georgian bow-fronted windows and impressive colonnades, the Residency has been used very well by the College. But it's time now to give the rambling monument a break. Or ol' Jimmy's soul might have something to say about it.