Waah Taj Waah!

Came across a social media post yesterday by thebetterindia,

Which spoke about how Taj group of hotels has been able to imbibe “atithi devo bhava” as one of its core value.

Must admit that I have had wonderful experiences while staying with Taj in different cities.

But my first impression was certainly a disaster.

Year 2003,

Us, a group of badminton team mates representing IIT Kanpur had gone to play inter IIT sports meet in IIT Bombay,

Most of us were visiting Mumbai for the first time in our lives,

And guess what, Gateway of India was on our list of places to visit,

Right opposite stood the Taj Mahal Palace, a beautiful architecture matching the grace that Gateway of India had to offer,

Afternoon, we all felt hungry and decided to have a rendezvous with The Taj.

Considering, it was a first for most of us who had been to a 5-star hotel,

We were really looking forward to it,

I still remember, it was 1:30 pm,

Having heard so much about the hotel from who’s who of society,

When the four of us decided to have a walk-in,

By the way, we were wearing casual sports t-shirts on the day,

Might have looked a bit shabby as well!

As we approached the entrance,

The big man, durbaan (doorman), a sardar ji,

Waved his hand,

As if ordering us to move aside and give way to a guy who had just stepped out of a beautiful BMW, to let him enter first,

In his same rude mannerism, he asked,

What’s the purpose of your visit?”

Oh, we are students and have heard so much about Taj that we thought we will give a visit”, one of my friends spoke in an excited tone.

You cannot enter like this”, he spoke back.

“How can we enter then if not like this?“, all of us wondered what kind of privilege would require us to enter the hotel.

Let me do my work, you cannot enter”, he seemed to have no reason for what so ever for not letting us enter.

We all thought there was no point arguing and we left.

They say, first impressions are the last impressions.

Well, not so, at least in my case,

Because every time I visited thereafter, I was impressed by the hospitality,

Though would certainly want to speak about few lessons that I learnt on the day,

Whether it’s a good thing or a bad one,

Limited in her ways, society perceives you by the way you dress on most occasions,

Some of us might say, that we don’t care,

It’s a choice, to each their own, how one wants to dress,

yet

Society will have her own means of developing her perception.

At the same time, don’t judge a book by its cover!

and

A customer never forgets his/her first experience.

Two,

I know Taj is extremely proud of its core values,

Yet, a failure to be able to percolate these same values to each and every employee results in such bad customer experiences,

Which surely affects brand loyalty to begin with,

and

A bad word of mouth for the concerned.

Hence, extremely important, how and what each and everyone in a company communicates to her stakeholders,

Which in turn means having a fantastic mechanism of hiring and acculturation.

Third,

Nothing is so called perfect in this world,

As a startup founder or as CEO of a big company, if one gets entangled in the fame and adulation,

One tends to drift away from his/her core purpose,

As, there is always scope for improvement.

Considering Taj and the likes of Marriott, Leela etc. are the go to hotels for who’s who of our society in any case,

The General Managers and the senior leaders of their properties may want to take a cue,

When it comes to ensuring wonderful experiences for their clients and customers.

Source for the image: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g304554-d302179-Reviews-The_Taj_Mahal_Palace-Mumbai_Maharashtra.html, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/dont-judge-book-its-cover-eliot-clarke

Foodieeeeeeeeeeeee!

The one thing that turns me on amongst all things is my love for the delicacies for which our country is so famous for :D. And on several occassions, Saty has accompanied me on my discovery of the famous and not-so-famous streets of Lucknow.

Sometimes, thanks to my ever-increasing gourmandising nature,I end up losing all control over myself. By the way, why I say it is ever-increasing is because every new place that I happen to visit, I end up discovering a new recipe which surely mingles well with the taste buds that I have been bestowed with from that Someone who is sitting up there.

Though, there was no new place yesterday, and though I was munching on the same good old recipes that I have been since the time when I was a small kid, I was in a mood to treat myself for no reason as such, or at least for no reason known to me.

As a result, I ended up holding on to my stomach, the moment I finished having my dinner. As with every other good thing, this also has its pros and cons and sometimes the cons are very difficult to deal with, at least in this case.

Somehow, God has ensured that for every crime that you do, there is an antidote which you can avail of to restore normalcy in the same.

And as I was trying to restore that normalcy in my stomach, guess who called! Yes, it was none other than my fiance who has, of late, been too concerned about my health sheerly because of the foodie in me.

It was only after a couple of minutes that I realized that my fiance’s worry is more related to the manner in which we would be presenting ourselves to the audience as a couple on our the day, whenever that’s supposed to be. If it was in her hands, she would make sure that I be on a diet-schedule.

And to my surprise my mother always seem to agree to my fiance’s worry of me turning more and more into a kind of personality very similar to Mr. Ram Kapoor of Bade Acche Lagte hain, a TV soap that is being telecasted on the Sony channel.

It is not often that a mother-in-law tends to have the same kind of opinion as the daughter-in-law, but thanks to my gourmandising nature, they both have seemed to develop a bonhomie, at least on this front.

On second thoughts, when the pros of being a foodie seem to outweigh the cons, do you think I should give a damn on the contemplated diet-schedule? NAAAAAAAAAA! and after all Mr. Ram Kapoor doesn’t look so bad. 😉

Source for Image: http://foodie.blastmagazine.com/, http://entertainment.oneindia.in/topic/ram-kapoor

Mango Dreams

One thing apart from the so many things that I can die for is nothing but what the World calls the king of fruits, mango. Having lived in a city for so long, it is but natural to have developed a liking for the same, especially considering the fact that Malihabad (famous for its Dussehri mangoes World over) is just a step away from the centre of the city.

How often it is that you only realize the importance of some precious thing when you are staying far from it. Yesterday was one such day. While feasting on the langra variety of mangoes, one of my uncles who had come to my house for dinner, took me to a different World altogether through his description of one of the baghs that his family owns in his native place.

His love for mangoes was quite evident from the manner in which he chose to describe the essence of the fruit. It was only after half an hour of vivid description that he took a deep breath followed by a sigh lamenting on the fact that due to the curfew that has been imposed in Bareilly, he has been unable to treat himself with the same.

Seeing his love for mangoes and as a matter of fact, since I happen to share the same emotions for the fruit, I couldn’t resist myself from telling him about a source through which good quality mangoes can be delivered at his door step, straight from the bagh.

I told him about this initiative by a fellow batch mate of mine from IIT Kanpur, and a very dear friend, who has started this e-Commerce activity this very season and has been extremely well received from all over the country for his excellent operational capabilites (http://mangobagh.com).

The moment he heard about the same, there was a big smile on his face and I am sure if anyone of you would have seen him, he would have looked like a 5 year old eagerly waiting to pluck a couple of mangoes straight from the branches of a mango tree.

He went on to share some stories from his childhood and college days, which reminded me of mine and made me a little nostalgic. By the time he finished telling us the same, it was already 11:30 p.m. and it was time to bid good night.

And for the very first time, a good night was about to become many mango nights for I was sure that both him and myself would be dreaming about the king for at least a couple of days that were about to follow.

Source for Image: http://www.mangobagh.com/