Friday, January 27, 2012

I remember now: Saha was my boss at Adyar Gate Hotel

A month ago, after a meeting, "G" suggested to a few of us that we go have dinner.  "S" and I thought it was a great suggestion. 

It was only the three of us, and "G" drove us to Park Sheraton.  As we walked in, I told them how that hotel was my employer for a grand total of three weeks, twenty-six years ago.

Of course, back then it had a different name: Adyar Park.  By the time I spotted the advertisement for a management-level maintenance engineer position, I was already unemployed for more than four or five months.  I had quit my job at Calcutta, and had had enough with loafing around and going to interviews. 

The worst decision I ever made was to take up an interview offer in Rajasthan, during the peak of the summer months.  The idea was to collect the first class train fare from them, travel by second class, and use the difference for more travels.  Well, stupid is as stupid does! 

When I told "G" and "S" about me having worked there as a maintenance engineer, I am sure it sounded impossible to believe, when by now they are used to thinking about me as a geographer. What a wandering life I have had in more ways than one!

As I was telling them about this, I tried my best to recall my boss' name.  I knew it was not any uncommon last name, by which I addressed him.  Try as I did, my memory simply failed me.

That was a month ago.  A couple of days ago, thanks to the cricket match in the television and conversational background, it came back to me: my Adyar Park boss' last name was the same as the wicketkeeper's: Saha.

Mr. Saha had spent quite a few years as an engineer in the commercial shipping industry and, if I recall correctly, Adyar Park was his first assignment on land.  One of his first orders/advice to me was this: do not ever run through the hotel, unless it is an emergency of the utmost urgency.  He said we had to walk in a way that did not cause any concern in the guests' minds.  It made sense after he said that.

As managers, Saha and I could eat with other managers in the special lunch room.  That was a decadent experience.  Some days we ate at the regular lunch room too.  I quickly connected with a technician, Dominic.  He was a lot of fun, and I am sure privately he wondered why I was his boss!

After a couple of weeks, I told Mr. Saha that I was not cut out for a job at Adyar Park.  He understood.  I completed the week, and was off the hotel for good.  Until a month ago, that is.

It appears that I might be there again in a few days, with "G" and "M." 

I wonder now whatever happened to Mr. Saha.

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