I was back in office on Monday after a “not so good” experience of Group Escorting. My first group..wonderful destination Jim Corbet National Park..Awful group!! When Big Boss our Regional Sales Manager said that there was one more group ready to leave on Friday my first reaction was No Not again. But the destination was too tempting to resist – the Lake Palace in Udaipur . Wow THE LAKE PALACE –that too when I had just started my career. All my batchmates were green with envy. I was again enthusiastic about the whole thing. Met the corporate with our SM Sanjeev, the group leader for this group , had meetings with the corporate , shopped for gifts & goodies, made plans for evening games. I was involved.
My Team Leader, Sandeep was preparing to take another group to Jim Corbett again from the same company on the same day. He wanted me to go with him because I know that place. But how can I leave the chance to go to Lake Palace. I refused. But there came a “kahani mein twist”. Actually the corporate was Sandeep’s account. Because of the earlier group the bosses were upset with him. This time the big bosses were going to Lake palace & the sales persons and their families were going to Jim Corbett. For Sandeep and also for our company it was very important that both groups come back happy. So our Big B decided that he would go to Udaipur himself and I would go to Corbett with Sandeep. I was “ordered” to get my bags packed when I come to office on Thursday morning because we would leave by that day evening. The group was scheduled to arrive on Friday early morning by Ranikhet Express. Early morning at 5. The hotel Corbett Hideaway already had a group till Friday 8am and they could only give us rooms at 9/9.30am. Not before that. That was middle of winter in early January 2004. Our RM allowed us to take his own car with the driver Dinesh. We left at 4pm , went to SN market to get the props for evening games, Sandeep got his personal CD player and we bought 2 VCDs . Munnabhai MBBS & Kal ho na Ho. Even then Sandeep was muttering “Pray to God for some miracle. If the group arrives at 5am & no rooms , we are dead.” I was again involved . After all that was my job.
At Garhmukteshwar ghat we threw coins to the Ganges praying desperately for a miracle. After having Tea & Parathas enroute at Gazrola , I happily dozed off at the back seat with Sandeep taking all the tensions and muttering aloud sometimes “Jaane kya hoga Rama re..” The highway from Moradabad to Ramnagar has sugarcane fileds on both the sides, there is a railway track also running parallel .Suddenly Sandeep exclaimed “Get up..see that”I looked front & the whole road was covered with dense fog: so thick that it almost zero visibility. Never were we so happy and relieved by seeing fog, of all things! The train was going to be late anyway. So chill ( it was already chilly).
As expected the group arrived at 9 am. The train was 4 hours late much to our relief. Even though we joined everybody in cursing Indian railway, we were thanking it straight from our hearts!! This time things went smoothly. The group gone back happy. Sandeep was ecstatic.
Sometimes keeping the things simple can be so fulfilling. With the earlier group there was a hostess , DJ, cocktail dinner, theme dinner..still they gone back complaining. This group only saw one movie out in the bonfire area “Munnabhai MBBS.” They laughed , enjoyed, had a good time.
One of the best groups I had ever escorted. With whom there were some wonderful moments frozen in the calendar of memories forever!