I meet the Hotel.
Do something you like and you will never have to work ever in your life.
That belongs to the book of lies. No matter what you do you have to slog and work hard, to protect what you create is the norm. That there are times you have to push with all the might that you have, against odds – no this is no easy dance. So work hard and respect what you do – that has been my mantra for the longest time, and I have learnt that this is the only way to succeed. My journey started pretty much in the same way that most working peoples’ journeys start with a starry eyed dream and a promise of success.
My love story with hospitality started when I was very young. I was thirteen when I had my first sit down super formal at the ITC in New Delhi. There was something magical in the way that the place was run. The precision with which the plates were kept, to the lights that were shining, not a bulb was fused, the crispness of the napkins and the number of people who walked around with a swift purposefulness, who dropped, charming, albeit busy smiles. I was confused at how Important they all were, and certainly a part of the perfection that I was witnessing, and I would want to be included into.
Of course I was at one of India’s oldest known brands and I had no concept of back office or any office for that matter, what was a salary – as children we don’t know, I saw the beauty – obviously man made and I fell in love.
And the ITC food ! That was exquisite! Nobody can fault me for being a fan. From the butter soft melt in mouth naans to the creamy and smoked Dal Bukhara, being a Bengali – this food was not a part of my culture, I had never eaten any of this.
So a small boy dreamt of working with the hotels. Thus, with a great deal of conviction and focus and conviction I started to work my way into the industry.
If anyone has gone through hotel school they will reverberate with this idea that it is perhaps the hardest and most demanding place to be and it pulls out of you a performance that even you did not know existed. We worked the dreaded 20 hour shifts, fought and worked as ODC’s for all the parties for the glammie do’s and big wigs, we looked at the industry stalwarts and heard stories about how they had worked their way up.
Somehow that was the romantic overriding notion and that was the thing to do. So did I.
When I hit my first job – I walked out the first day in my crisp new suit and a heart full of ideals and a head bursting of ideas. There was so much to do and at the end of each day there was a satisfaction that I was in the right place at the right time… I checked my watch for my appointment.
I had to wait. I was a newbie, I didn’t mind, I was here to stay.