This is a story of grit of a student who was a constant in my stories to other students throughout my teaching career. I was a part time faculty at Maurya College before my college hours began at 9 am and the first batch of students who got admitted there were under the impression that it belonged to a more famous chain of hotels and us, the faculty, were determined to give it a go and not let them feel disappointed in their choice of institution.
In the first batch of students was a South Indian boy from Delhi who did not have any big dreams. He just wanted to be a waiter, albeit a good one, after he graduates. He had come to this conclusion after his internship, I presume as he found out that this group of people made the most tips in the hospitality industry.
Graduation and subsequent posting later, he found himself in the room service department of the Taj Group of Hotels in Delhi. His was dialectical verbose and talked nineteen to the dozen and was loved by guests and staff alike. His work brought him in touch with VIP’s staying in the hotel. One of the interactions was with an assistant of a steel magnate which landed him a personal valet position in an exclusive neighbourhood and residence in London. He spent several years in his service which gave him connections to the who’s who of London elite.
He used to narrate the privileges associated with his job, which could range from the access to fancy vehicles and purchase of wine and spirit selection by mere pointing at them. He even told about the fancy wedding of the magnate’s progeny in an normally inaccessible part of Paris which made the headlines all over the world and when he was provided with a Merc for the three day duration of wedding to jambol in the streets of the romantic city!!
This stint was followed by stints in luxury hotel properties in London and is currently a British citizen and his job allows access to all sports events — cricket and football included and he names several international cricketers who are pals with him.
But he has not let any of these get into his head and remains the guy that I knew three decades back. He is as respectful and if any of my students have heard the stories of Dom Perignon or the Chateau Margaux or my fancy cocktail shaker in my collection it is thanks to this generous guy.
It was his birthday on the 10th of June and I wanted to post this by that day, but I missed the deadline. Belated birthday Bala Radhakrishnan. Thank you for the years of support and constant chatter which keeps us going. You are an example worth emulating.
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