Saturday, February 04, 2017

Dal Khichdi in Gurgaon

Gurgaon – a city that has always been fascinated me. Everytime I have visited the city over the last 12-15 years I am amazed at how the landscape of Gurgaon that was once upon a time farm lands, has  changed over the years. 

Tall Glass buildings, a throbbing night life, young call center workers, immigrants from the south, east, west and north-east of the country along with those illegl immigrants from across the border integrate into this hub and figure out their survival strategy amidst the adrenalin rush of the  Harayanvi and Punjabi locals. 

In that melting pot you find those neo Gurgaonites, still nostalgic about their Old-Delhi lives, that they left behind and migrated to Gurgaon.
You will spot that not so wide generation gap that divides the middle aged and the millenial, between those who go all the way to Chandni chowk and Sarojini  market to shop and those who have comfortably adapted to the funky malls of  Gurgaon. 

No other satellite city speaks so loud about the changing Indian middle class like Gurgaon does.

It is a Milton Keynes of the east, I said to a fellow colleague who had travelled from the UK.  
It was a business trip with a packed agenda.  We had checked into Westin Gurgaon. 
I was nervous and prayed for nothing to go wrong.
And voila Murphy’s law proved itself to be so true.

Motion sickness and lack of fresh air due to prolonged exposure to closed air conditioned spaces had been causing havoc to my digestive system every time I would travel. My worst fears came true. A throbbing headache followed by violent bouts of nausea and I was out of action. 

I survived the first half of our meetings on day one, frequenting the rest rooms and barely able to hold myself up. Beyond a point I realized I could not hold up and I quickly excused myself and returned to the hotel. 

The reception at Westin Gurgaon, sent over a staff to ensure I was all right. 

A doctor was summoned and he prescribed me medicines. A member of the staff ran down the local pharmacy to get me my medicines and very soon I was feeling better. I still needed to rest.   

Just as I was reclining into the bed, wondering when to take the medicines, the Chef knocked at my door and asked what I would like to have. I shook my head and said I just would not want to eat anything and would like to go to sleep.

Much to my protests, the Indian hospitality prevailed.  An hour later, at about dinner time, he sent over with the room service a tray with food. Complimentary from the kitchen, the room service said to me as he wheeled the tray into my room.

With trepidation I opened and looked up the tray. It was the pithy  and watery ‘khichdi’ with very little spice and salt that I would have expected my mom to make for me when I was ill.
The smell of hot freshly cooked food permeated the room and whipped up my appetite and my almost numb taste buds. As I set the plate, I saw something that made me smile. There it was … a ‘get well soon’ card from the Chef.

Tears strolled down my cheeks. What better could one ask than your typical comfort food and the warmth of people around you caring for you when you are sick and far away from home.

That was unexpected luxury from strangers, that too in a five star hotel.   

And then I slept like a child. 

I had heard that Westin chain of hotels, the world over are known for their comfortable luxury pillows.  There are different types of pillows to choose from.  And truly they take the definition of comfort mattress to a new level.

The next day morning, armed with intake of light juices, a mild watery khichdi ( a repeat of last night’s menu prepared by a different Chef who was instructed by the previous one before he left for the day) for breakfast I was all geared up to hit the road for the day two meetings.

The strong dose of doctor’s medicines, kept my digestive system under control and I was pulling through.

That evening, with a feeling of accomplishment, I came back to my room and took a long relaxing bath in the tub.  I was feeling better although I knew the medicines were holding me up. 

As I looked through the window of my 9th floor hotel room, that moon lit night, the city of Gurgaon pulsated and throbbed with life.  The glass buildings that housed the service centers of the global multinational corporations were brightly lit all night, the highway that connected the satellite city to the national capital twinkled with red and yellow lights of moving traffic that felt like a necklace laced with pearls and rubies.

When I checked out the next day, I could not thank the staff enough for their thoughtfulness and making my stay a comfortable one.   A day later when I was back home I received a call from Westin Gurgaon asking I was feeling better with a special instruction from the doctor to complete the course of medicine that he had prescribed. 

I vowed to stay there the next time I visited Gurgaon. Hopefully I may not have to summon the doctor and instead enjoy the luxury, comfort and warmth of Westin, Gurgaon, knowing fully well that I would be cared for like a special guest.    


“I am blogging about my luxury stay experience for an activity at BlogAdda in association with MakeMyTrip


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