May 132009
Once the crying stopped the little one once again came in her elements and decided to explore the room. Kids some how enjoy exploring their surroundings, every corner is treasure island, every curtain is a secret hiding place from a screaming mother trying to force feed the kid. In the course of her expedition she decided to go under the bed and I had to lie down on the floor to try to bring her out of the room. To my horror I discovered that under the bed a lot of trash was lying, it seemed that the hotel staff had been simply pushing the trash under the bed rather than taking it out. Once princess was out of her new found hiding place I called house keeping and go the room thoroughly cleaned. Misses gave a thorough bath to a once again howling little girl. From that day onwards it has become a habit with me to check the underside of beds to find out if it is clean or not. It also gives me a clear indication if the hotel is generally hygienic or not. I remember reading some where that you can tell a lot about a restaurant by looking at how they have kept their bathroom, may be similar saying applies on the trash under the bed.

Most of the so called tourist hotels in India have panache for not maintaining the service standards that they promise. It is very common that the staff is untrained local boys more than happy to help you for a tip but totally unaccustomed to how to deal with city bred critters coming in camouflage of a tourist. While most of the so called tourist believe because they are paying for a room they have absolute right to show to every body that they are descended from cave men.

Our hotel had an air-conditioned restaurant where the ACs never seem to work as the staff believed that the outside weather should be permitted into the room. Now if the weather is coming into the room how can you discriminate against the insects? So here we were in the AC restaurant, the little one decided to explore the surroundings once again and walked around the aisle to chat with the receptionist a chirpy malnourished bespectacled lady who could speak only a few sentences in English but was happily talking to our daughter in Bangla. Our daughter who could barely understand her mother tongue Hindi was happy to do a chat with her in Kidlish a combination of English, Hindi and some words that only she could comprehend. We decided to concentrate on the vegetarian food that we have ordered unless it becomes non vegetarian by a sprinkling of insects entering the room illegally without proper documentation. We would have focused on the food for about 40 seconds that I noticed that the receptionist across the aisle is talking on phone and the daughter dear is missing in action. I requested one of the waiters to go and check if our daughter is outside or not. He came back and nodded that “ May hobe na” to this we said yes this is not may this is September but we are looking for our daughter, again he responded” May hobe na”. This led to suspicion in my mind and I decided to leave the table and go and look for the missing miss. I asked the receptionist where the little girl she was chatting is and she gave us looks as if we are the most irresponsible parents in the whole universe.

What appeared that she got busy with the phone call and the daughter dearest has vanished in that fraction of second and the receptionist took no notice where the child has gone. Only then it occurred to me that the waiter by saying “ May hobe na” meant that the girl is not there. On realized what has happened we panicked and started looking every where in the hotel. We looked in the garden in the ppl room where the hotel had an empty aquarium with only some stones and dirt but no fish in it. The whole word to me was looking to me like that aquarium empty and meaning less. We have looked the whole ground floor of the hotel, in the kitchen and every where but the kid was no where to be found. One of the enterprising waiter even went to main road to look if the child has wandered outside of the main gate. The gatekeeper mentioned that he has gone out to check the water pump for watering the garden and the child could have gone out during those few seconds. He could have not given us any worse news than this to us. We dispatched one waiter outside to look on the main road and one towards the beach to look for the child, all this while I had a feeling that no matter what she could have not gone outside of the hotel building. I decided to go and look on the upper floors of the hotel, to which my wife said she cannot climb the stairs on her own as she has never done the same ever. I still decided to go and check in the rooms upstairs with a housekeeping guy with a master key to the rooms. Our room was on the 2nd floor and we first decided to check the same first but she was not there. The house keeping guy opened the other guests room one by one on second floor in our hurry we just assumed that all the rooms would be empty and opened the doors of a room where a couple was in the room. I cannot explain how mad they were with us and at the poor housekeeping guy. Once we have finished the second floor we reached the first floor we opened the first room which was just next to the stair case and right below our room on second floor and there sitting pretty on the bed was our little princess who just smiled and jumped from the bed to see me and hugged me. From her kidlish all I could understand was that she came upstairs to her room and saw it open so she entered the room but then the door closed and she could not get out but since she could hear our voices so she did not panicked and any way she was in new home for next 2 days so there was no need to worry. We thanked almighty god and the hotel staff for their help in this search expedition with a resolution to never let her go out of our sight when we are traveling. We are following it till date.

 Posted by  Beaches Tagged with: ,  Add comments

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