There are many methods of greetings. But the Hyderabadi style of common greeting has been ‘aadab’ (the other being ‘namaste’ or ‘namaskaar’). This is observed intra as well as inter religiously. According to “Farhang-e-Asafia” (a well-known Urdu-English dictionary)aadab means a respectful Salaam, especially to the elders, and a graceful tradition or custom or mod.
‘Kabhi jungle me mujhe Qais jo miljata hai
Wahin jhuk kar aadab baja laata hoon’
Aadab is done with the right hand touching the forehead 3-4 times. The other ways are ‘aadab arz karta hun’, ‘aapki khidmat me aadab pesh karta hoon’, ‘aadab arz’ etc. In the court, ‘farshi/salam’ (floor salam) was a tradition. The person offering salam used to bend and wave the hand touching the floor many times.
Aadabs are common in a poets’ gathering (mushaira). A poet has to do aadabs repeatedly when his verse (Sher) is praised by the knowledgeable gathering, who would shout ‘waah, waah’, ‘kyakhoob’ or mukkarar (repeat the verse). In a company of friends, whenever a good sentence or work is carried on by someone, he gets laurels and the reflex action is an ‘aadab’ or when a person is complimented, aadab is the response.
It is also a sign of respectful response and greeting. It is said that when Nawab Mir Yousuf Ali Khan, Salarjung the third, used to come out of his palace, he instantly used to greet everyone with aadabs, even to the menial staff, irrespective of gender and caste. He would never wait for others to offer aadab to him. Sometimes some people wait for an aadab, and then they respond. It shows intemperate nature and lack of culture.
This form of greeting is also done in several ways. To an equal, usually one doesn’t bow the head, but simply offers his aadab. To the elders, one bows and offers aadab. During the AsafJahi rule, the courtiers had to bow considerably and wave the hand many times to conclude the aadab. The full arm used to almost touch the floor. The more you bow and bend, the more reverence is exhibited.
The other forms of aadab are ‘tasleem’ or ‘tasleemaat’, ‘bandagi’ or ‘kornish’ (bowing posture), all offered to elders.
Maharaja KishenPershad, who was a great philanthropist famous for his charity would give alms to whomsoever offered aadab.It is a secular way of greeting in the city of Charminar, irrespective of religion, belief, caste and community.Namaste or namaskaar is another method of greeting. Pranaam is the most respectful way of greeting, especially to the elders. To touch the feet, known as ‘Charansparsh’ is also common on special occasions and festivals.