Start Over And Start A New Life

Start Over And Start A New Life

4 mins 3.1K 4 mins 3.1K

"Just relax Sir, I am taking four rooms now as I can't afford six," I tried to calm him with my usual keep-it-cool formula.

"No Sir, this is unacceptable. You booked six rooms, but now you want 4?" he sounded commanding.

"Yeah, I booked for six rooms, but I also said that I may or may not have it all Sir!" I explained.

"No no no! I installed solar power Geysers in each rooms hoping for your visit," he was insistent and was compelling us to stay.

"I understand but try to understand our position as well. Your rate is too high for us to afford," I tried my best to calm him down.

"I installed solar power geysers and LCD TV just because of your booking, and now you say you can't stay?" slowly his tone changed from a hotel manager to that of a ruffian. I also understood that he was adamant.

"We just can't stay because you spent money on your hotel. Why would we pay for that?" I exploded; that was my limit.

Alright! Let me elaborate more. This happened during my official trip to Punjab. That was the first time I had to spend around three months away from home. As a part of my work, I used to travel around the state - every district, every city, every village to assess the diabetes statistics of the state. It was a nation-wide diabetes survey, conducted by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), where I worked and was posted in Punjab. 

I grabbed this opportunity as soon as I came to know about it through a friend for the sole reason of traveling, even though it didn't have anything to do with my studies. I like to experiment when it comes to my career, anyway..

I used to stay in hotels and was supposed to conduct the operations with the help of local field assistants. The hotel bills and other expenses were to be taken care by the Government.

Now Government reimbursements have certain limits. I wasn't supposed to spend more than Rs. 200 per day per head for the hotel room. Allotting Rs. 200 for a hotel room in India's most developed and costliest state was nothing less than a joke.

The above incident happened at Gurdaspur, one of the biggest districts in the north-western part of Punjab. I had spent most of the day looking for a hotel, but all I could see were sugarcane and wheat fields all around the district.

At last, I settled on a hotel and booked six rooms for Rs. 600 per day. I supposed that three people would be able to manage in a room and so the expense would come out to Rs 200 per head.

I didn't have a choice as there weren't any other hotels nearby, but the hotel guy had other ideas - as soon as  our team of 32 members reached Gurdaspur from Amritsar, I was informed by the hotel manager that only two people would be allowed to stay in a room, if not, extra charges would be applicable.

I was infuriated by that sudden statement. Still, I managed to work out a way and decided to take four rooms instead of six and shift other teams to another district so that the budget would be maintained and the work wouldn't be affected. But that hotel manager was very adamant and wanted me to take all the six rooms as per booking. I almost had to fight that guy, with the help of my local assistants, to settle at four rooms.

That was one incident which brought about a big change in my life - I learned to be independent, I learned to be adaptive, I learned to cook, I learned to command others, no matter who they were. But most importantly, I learned to stand strongly for my rights.

This trip instilled in me a sense of positivity, which still guides me in my life. It helped me start over and start a new life.

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