Saturday, November 29, 2008
Why Taj Is A Jewel In India's Crown?
Legend has it that the founder of Bombay's Taj Mahal Hotel, a Parsi industrialist called Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, commissioned the building after being refused entry to the now-defunct Apollo Hotel, which had a strict Europeans-only policy.
Tata is said to have said I will build a hotel where everyone and every foriegner is welcome. And so you have the 105 year-old Taj Mahal Hotel. The terror attacks on the Taj Mahal Hotel only prove that Taj is a jewel in India's crown.
India now understands why every single person who has worked at the Taj Mahal Hotel has qualities to be Prime Minister but why Prime Ministers and politicians are unfit to serve at the Taj.
Here is Rajesh Singh's tribute to the chefs and hotel staff who died while serving and caring for India's guests:
I plan to write a cheque for Rs. 600 for the staff of Taj Group of hotels, Bombay, the amount being a token amount similar to my first ever stipend or salary I received in the year 1990, as an apprentice steward.
Of course they do not need this money.
It is just a gesture of solidarity from an ordinary citizen who thinks he owes at least the gesture to the men who served till the last.
Till the last news came 9 of hotels staff had lost their lives trying to save guests, including the GM and his family.
What happened In Bombay (and not Mumbai), I insist can not find blame anywhere.
If it can happen in New York and London, it can happen here. Any amount of intelligence and preparedness can not eliminate these incidents.
One thing is sure, these things will occur and reoccur, and the best that we can do is get used to it, do what we will be doing tomorrow anyway.
I think it will take much more than these to wreck the nerves of Bombay. Incidents like this unite India; they make Raj Thackeray look irrelevant. Who usually are doing more damage than all the terror strikes?
I have virtually grown on the streets that faced the onslaught last night.
Right from the Taj where I had the best job of my life. Bar tending at 1900’s the then Disco, I have room serviced to The JRD in person, and my appointment had come after a personal interview from the then GM Kerkar himself.
I was in first year at college and tips in dollars were not the only thing that I was seeking.
Not every one could afford a pint of London pilsner at the bar, at least some of our college mates for sure. And any one who has a little knowledge of bar tending would know how easy it was to make one extra beer out of three beers.
The staff of the hotel was where the city of Bombay gets its soul from. Though from the roots themselves, Marathi as an unofficial language, Bandra English as filler, but courteous and professional to the core.
3 minutes for the morning tea from order to the door bell and 7 minutes for break fast. We had to report back and all timing was noted.
Peeled potatoes, folded napkins, learnt to walk with a dozen beer glasses on top of your palm amidst the dancing drunks, froze the glasses before serving champagne.
Served topless ladies every Sunday by the pool.
I learnt more of life in one year than a decade elsewhere.
you can also read rajesh at his blog i-me-rajesh.blogspot.com