Hello and welcome to our Message of the Month.
This month we feature an interesting story teller from the corporate world – Indranil Chakraborti. In his book, “Stories at Work”, we were delighted to find a story about a proactive staff member at a Mahindra Holidays resort in Coorg. This is a story from the world of vacation ownership, and one that we will remember for a long, long time.
Indranil believes that “stories” are more meaningful and have a better recall than a narration of facts and figures. Keeping this in mind, we talked to four young people about their holiday stories – especially those they remembered in a very special way.
And here’s what they had to say.
Looking back, I remember the vacations we went to from school – I was in the boarding then. We girls were deep into Enid Blyton stories and during each holiday, we went around looking for abandoned lighthouses, caves, and mystery tunnels. We were always looking for locations to play out our own adventures.
On one of these mystery outings, three girls accidentally lost their way around but found a pet dog that was reported missing during the week. That’s when local farm hands started a search party – only to find them in a lonely stretch of the forest, looking just as lost as the pet dog. (This story is always remembered with amusement, during our class reunion parties.)
I too remember my younger days, when the family went on annual vacations. I used to be terrified of water those days - even to set foot in a pool at the shallow end.
On one holiday, an older cousin dragged me to the deep end of the pool, and just pushed me in. So there I was, sinking like a stone till my survival instinct got me flapping my arms and kicking hard with my feet - to come up spluttering. I did six more jumps that day at the deep end.
That holiday I conquered my fear of getting into water, and went back home to start swimming classes. In a couple of years, I represented my school at a swimming competition. (Must thank my cousin for making that holiday truly unforgettable.)
Now there’s one holiday in the Nilgiris that I just can’t forget. I also remember the ride on that magical train, with the beautiful countryside rolling by, and little children waving out at us. I remember, I too started waving back at the children, and suddenly felt my favorite doll slipping out of my hand, and drop out of the window. I craned my neck backwards to see one of the children picking up the doll.
That evening at our resort, one of the housekeeping ladies found me devastated and sobbing. She put her arm around me and said comfortingly that God would somehow find my doll for me.
The next morning, I heard a gentle knock on the door and rushed to open it. It was that friendly housekeeping lady again, with my doll in her hand. The child who picked up my doll when it fell off the train was a niece of hers and had come home with it. (My parents gave the lady a box of chocolates, but I can’t thank her enough for making my holiday memorable.)
A few years ago, three families in our building decided to go on a vacation together - we went to a beach resort in Goa. It was a nice holiday and we had a wonderful time, over a long weekend.
When it was time to check out, one of our friends went to clear the bill with his card. He took one look at the bill and said, “Let’s stretch our vacation by three more days.”
Apparently, ours was the 5,000th booking since they started, and the management had decided to spring us a pleasant surprise - a 50% discount on the bill. In about three minutes I found that we had already unpacked our bags. (Sometimes, surprises can take you by surprise – that’s what made this holiday memorable.)
So there you go – these vacations were considered special because there was a story attached to it. Stories that resonate, will always be remembered and retold.
The Editorial Team, AIRDA
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