If you’ve never been to Hyderabad, you might associate certain stereotypical things with it, like the jaw-dropping Nizam’s jewels that leave the vaults of the RBI to make their appearances at crowded exhibitions now and again. Or what many consider the definitive dum biryani—and they’re willing to fight you over this. Or the behemoth that is the Telugu film industry, the creative force behind the pan-Indian Baahubali phenomenon. Hyderabad is a historically cosmopolitan city that has imbibed flavours from as far away as Persia, as well as from neighbouring states, like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. All the while, it proudly owns its Telugu identity. One of the many happy results of this secular blend is a delightful patois of the Deccan called Dakhni, the language of the common Hyderabadi. Our Spotlight this time will venture into Hyderabad’s intriguing past and present through rare 19th-century photographs, engravings and modern art, so you too can go beyond the stereotypes to see the city in its surprising, heartening, many-splendoured form.