Sundeep Bhutoria

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ess bee

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sorry! The place is reserved

During one of the week days last week, few of my acquaintances went to one of the famous night club-cum-bar lounge on Camac Street. As they entered the place they could sense that there was a big group out there, or else, they would have been able to easily spot the regulars at that hour.
They went inside and booked seats on a table that was vacant. A few minutes later a steward came and politely requested them to shift from there as that particular table was reserved for a private party. They complied and shifted to another table. Just as when they were about to order food and drinks, another steward came forward and informed them that the whole club was booked for a private party on that day and that they could not be entertained.
My friends, after being treated like a yo-yo by the restaurant staff, had no other options but to leave the place. Although when they entered the Club nobody informed them about the situation. They came to know that the place was booked only when they were about to settle down.
Government offices in India have perfected the art of playing yo-yo with customers who are sent from one table to another to finally back to where they had started from. It seems this malice is now spreading.
Booking night clubs, lounges or discos for a private party is very common and no one, and least of all I, should have any problem with that. But I think it is very unethical and wrong to restrict general people from entering the place, even if you happen to reserve it for some group or individual, without giving a public advertisement or information via advertisement. One could at least put a notice well in advance so that others who take the trouble to coming are not inconvenienced like my friends were.
I don’t know for sure what the law says about booking places like this for private parties. But I remember during our college days that the only day one could book Incognito in Taj Bengal or Dublin at the ITC was during the weekends. Even on such days when the lounges were open to the public the practice was to block just one portion or an area of the lounge.
I think it is totally inappropriate to block out somebody without prior information may it be a hotel, restaurant, bar, movie hall or any other place of entertainment.
I also know many of the bar lounges in Delhi and Mumbai never take bookings if someone wants to book a whole place. Of course, there is a provision everywhere to book one side or a section of the place. But without prior intimation, barring someone from giving access, I feel, is certainly against the grain of any business ethics. One more thing I wish to say is that my friends who had gone to that club were all ladies.
I have earlier expressed my views about some typical national traits like the “chalta hai” attitude towards life. Then there is the Nimby (not in my backyard) syndrome that shows a general apathy towards issues not involving us. And now, we can add one more to that - “Sorry! We are booked”.
-ess bee

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