Friday, May 25, 2012

do we socialise more virtually rather than in reality.

While sitting at a waiting lounge at a client’s place alongside my colleague It suddenly dawned upon me there was hardly any communication happening between both of us as we both were busy playing with our handheld gadgets, sitting next to us were three executives of another organisation and they too were all busy with their gizmos least interacting with each other but very much active in a virtual world. This brings us to the point has gadgets really changed the way we think, act, interact, react, feel and do? Has it reduced interpersonal interactions?

It seems as if mobile phone owners are constantly chatting, texting, surfing the Web and playing games on their devices. I, wondered if the popularity of the hand held phones has caused people to become less social. After all, when people are busy with their handheld phones, they're not making small talk with the other people sitting next to them on the bus, train , public places etc.

People become reserved over time as they spend more hours plugged into their mobile phones. They forget, essentially, how to communicate with the strangers they encounter on the street. In the past, people would ask their bus or train mates how their days were going. Now, these same people will instead spend the entire commute reading sports scores or catching up on celebrity gossip with their smart phones browsers.

Until a few years ago we enjoyed our wait outside the client’s place, as along with our supervisors and peers we used to discuss about our industry, our organisation, the competition etc., which was enriching.  During the wait we were told how to make cold calling, managing  PR, ABC’s of maintaining relationship etc., and I, used to learn a lot when experiences were shared.

I, was taught the best way to spend time at a client’s waiting lounge is to pick up some books and read. Alas, today no books are kept at the waiting lounge, and in those places where it is still visible either a back dated issue are available or we ourselves are not interested in picking up the books. Today, however with the arrival of high end phones we are either busy sending mails or majority of our time is spent on social networking, we pretend to be very busy and display scant respect to others by continuously staring at the gadgets expecting a message to arrive every minute.

We text while we walk, drive, eat, there has been news that people have become Insomniac and some has developed the habit of texting even during their sleep. These days phones dominates our lives. Texting is also changing the importance of grammar and right spelling, causing many problems because people simply do not know how to write formally and accurately. IT is not a surprise when texting causes many problems both physically and mentally. 

We text even when the person we are contacting lives down the road or is at a longer distance,Grammar, spelling, syntax, abbreviation do not matter any more, which is why texting is largely popular with younger generation. Many people have expressed their concerns about the non-existence of grammar it seemed to have in our society in the present and text messaging is not helping to change the trend.

Are we then getting evolved negatively - A few years ago, people used to either meet for coffee stop by one's house or pick up the phone and call, today many people are more apt to learn or receive the latest news about one another through Facebook rather than from a personal inform. How many people learn about the happenings of family and friends online? even of those who live nearby? 

It is resulting in decreased face to face interaction, less phone calls, less one to one interaction (earlier during birthday's or marriage anniversary, we used to visit our dear and near ones, exchange greeting during festivals and share joy and happiness, but it is just a mere formality of sending a text message and greeting them). This significantly impacts interpersonal realtionship. Let's live out of this caged life and enjoy life to the fullest. Recently watched a marathi movie Ek Unaad Divaas, it teaches us how to enjoy life by living one day in a different way.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tale of Udaipur's old city

On a recent visit to Udaipur was suggested an infamous hotel in old city for stay, Udaipur as we all know is city of lakes, known for majestic Palaces, many of those have been now converted to luxurious hotels and are the prime business of this city.

On reaching the city, the hunt for uncovering our hotel was initiated and I, began enquiring about the direction for reaching our terminus, traversing through narrow lanes for tracing the almost impossible location, this was in stark contrast from what we drove from Ahmedabad to Udaipur which is an excellent four lane highway road.  

At some point with no sight of the hotel I, parked my car and had to navigate through foot to discover the same. After discreet enquiries eureka I could locate ‘Hotel Tiger’ near Gangaur Ghat Chandpol. I wondered how Christopher Columbus would have stumbled upon America.

The roads leading to the hotel was not clean. Upon reaching the hotel I, was informed that this being an off-season they are not in a position to provide us any room service including tea/ coffee, breakfast, lunch etc. and we have to manage it on our own. To add to our already existing problems we were informed that they do not operate lift, and hence the only choice was to ascend the stairs, no parking space too sir was the reply. I was only blaming myself for such a choice of a hotel.

However on a closer look, I fell in awe of the property. The interiors were great as it was built on lines of a heritage property. Both the lobby and rooms were spotless. The white marble was sparkling and the ambience soothing. I wondered how in such a congested place they are able to manage and pull customers and run the hotel.

The whole marked was buzzling with activity. The way to the hotel was steered by a series of courtyards, overlapping terraces, corridors and gardens - a harmonic glut hard to describe. The place is housed with many antique articles, paintings, decorative furniture and utensils which would be attracting thousands of visitors every day and announcing availability of roof tops restaurants.

We have shops by the name of Bougainvillaea, CafĂ© Isaac with multilingual hoardings and this really caught my attention and to my surprise was made to understand that Gangaur ghat was earlier only visited by foreigners who used to spend months camping and visiting in and around places. Gangaur Ghat in Udaipur is the prime location for travellers, backpackers with lots of hotels, restaurants and cafes. This place is next to the famous City Palace and Bagore-ki-Haveli which is just walking distance away from the Ghat. This part of the city is beautifully restored and still holds the heritage of the ancient architecture.  I could still observe lot of foreigners walking across the streets.

For the convenience of foreign visitors all the hoardings had three or four foreign languages, infact the hotel menu card also had translation of names of food in four different languages. Incidentally all the hoardings screamed that they are recommended by Lonely Planet including the daily cooking classes.

The food that was dished upon was continental, Mexican, Korean and less of Indian. Cafe Edelweiss served continental dishes and sweets, Irish Coffee, Arabic Coffee, Cappuccino, Expresso, Mango crumble, Apple crumble, eggs, toast, Iced Tea.

I, was briefed that this entire area  experiences full visitors during winter season, majority of them being foreigners and the hotels are packed to their capacity and would be the best time of visit. The biggest surprise was the owner of the hotel was not an Indian but a German Gunther Maria Norrenburg settled in Udaipur for over a decade.

The purpose of writing this piece was though I, felt negativity at the first instance but there is so much to observe, learn and understand that this place can definitely be visited by families and would be a great place to spend and unwind.