The Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) is special in many ways. Besides being billed as the world's biggest metro rail project in the Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode, the HMR also has a cool mascot.
Meet Niz - who was born in 1985 in a family that can trace its lineage all the way back to the Nizams of Hyderabad.
Launched by the HMR in September 2014, residents of the city may have seen the mascot in posters and banners on the pillars of the metro rail.
According to the website of the L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Limited, Niz's father was a man of strong principles and hence right from his childhood, Niz had a strong sense of right and wrong instilled in him.
That's not all, he even completed his engineering from IIT-Delhi, before he pursued a course in Urban Planning from the prestigious Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University in the United States.
He is not one to stay away from his family and country for too long. Therefore, soon after completing his masters, he returned to India to use his knowledge to serve his fellow people.
Niz has an extremely progressive outlook towards life that is deeply entrenched in culture. He is proud of his city and its rich heritage in terms of the forts, monuments, food, and customs. He is as comfortable with gourmet pasta as he is with gongura; as comfortable with burritos, as he is with Biryani!
Similar to most people his age, Niz is most comfortable in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. However, since he loves to be well-dressed all the time, he can usually be seen in a sleeveless jacket and a lovely Nizam turban, as worn by his ancestors. He also prefers wearing mojris to shoes or sandals while moving around.
Niz can also narrate the entire history of Hyderabad, starting from the time of Muhammad Qutub Quli Shah who named the city after the girl he loved, to the reign of the Asif Jahi dynasty, and finally to the bustling city that Hyderabad is today.
Describing him, the company wrote, "He will sprinkle the story of the City of Pearls with anecdotes of generosity and tehzeeb of the Hyderabadi people, the food and the dance forms. He will tell you how Hyderabad became the IT hub it is today and attracted the Microsofts and Googles of the world. He is a man whose wit, warmth and charisma can charm anyone and everyone around him. A man who epitomizes Hyderabad."
Niz is also a huge fan of Steve Jobs, and says that he chooses Hyderabad over everything else, because there's no city in the world that's quite like this one.
The HMR was taken up in 2012 at a cost of Rs 14,132 crore.
The original construction period for the 71.16 km elevated metro ended in July this year but the project could not be completed due to various reasons and the developer was granted a 17-month extension.
A 30-km stretch of the Metro Rail from Nagole to Miyapur, is scheduled to be ready before the Global Entrepreneurship Summit being hosted in the city from November 28 to 30.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will be attending the summit, has been invited to inaugurate the HMR.