Dec 16, 2009

HYDERABAD by Syed Ali Arif

How do you tell the world how much you love your city? Write a song? Stand on the rooftop and shout it out? Tattoo the name of your city across your wrist? Meet Syed Ali Arif. This young artist has found the most wonderful and unique way to celebrate his love for his hometown, Hyderabad, and share it with other people who want to flaunt their love for the city.

HYDERABAD by Syed Ali Arif is a range of products for the die-hard Hyderabadi and his home - cushion covers, lanterns, mugs, mouse pads, note pads, bags and much more. Quirky and wonderfully kitschy, the images in this collection include Hyderabad's monuments, the city's royalty, the auto rickshaws that we love to hate, APSRTC's public buses, colorful, Tollywood that influences our culture so much and funny phrases like Kya Miya, Kirkiri, Nakko, Kaiku that form an integral part of Hyderabadi vocabulary. I saw this collection in Inhabit in GVK1, fell in love with it, and decided to try and get in touch with the brain behind it.

Born and bred in Hyderabad, Arif is a full time artist, with a Diploma in Fine Arts from Dr. P. R. Raju’s institute here. He grew up in the old city area of Hyderabad, and moved to the new city in the late 80s, so he is equally familiar with both parts. He loves the tameez and tehzeeb of Hyderabad and says, “I love each and every corner of this city”. His work takes him all over the world, but he declares that he is yet to see a city as wonderful as Hyderabad.

He says, "Due to my art I moved to Mumbai three years back, and the Hyderabad collection was just a way to thank my beautiful city which gave me so much." He now shuttles between Hyderabad and Mumbai.

Arif’s favourite activities in Hyderabad are catching up on movies, going on long drives late in the night, hanging out all day at the Sunday book market in Abids and the early morning market near Charminar on Sundays.

Here are some images from his collection that Arif was kind enough to share:
And here are the Charminar themed cushion cover and notebook that I bought  for myself:

Arif's collection is available at all Inhabit outlets. This is his portfolio, and his contact details are available there. You can also email him at


  1. Thats Lovely. Thanx a lot Madhumita for the write up.
    Arif :O)

  2. Anonymous2:41 AM

    I love hi collection....hope to see some of his products in Mumbai soon ;-)

  3. Ok...I am heading straight to GVK this weekend...I need these badly to soothe my true blue hyderabadi soul....

  4. I LOVE LOVE LOVE his collection!!!! a brilliant idea!!!!!!!!

    He has always managed to think out of the box and come up with lovely concepts...I wish to see his collection in Mumbai soon

  5. I had read about him in the papers. Very interesting work!

  6. Anonymous6:06 AM

    This is true love for the city. I wish him all the best. And ofcourse I did buy loads of his stuff :) All the best Arif!

  7. love the cushion covers:-)

  8. Sherry3:18 AM

    I have seen them. Bought them too. and Love them. His collection Rocks!!!

  9. 過去的事早已消失,未來的事更渺不可知,只有現在是真實的........................................

  10. Anonymous5:41 AM