Horrors at hotels

Horrors at hotels


Horrors at hotels

You would have heard scores of stories around horrifying hotel experiences — bad food, taps that run dry, or crawly, unwanted bedtime buddies. But, there are times when the hotel is at the receiving end of the horror: guests who are noisy or messy or who wear bathrobes to public lobbies. Not to mention those who vamoose with toiletries and towels.

But what about guests with suspicious demands?
Once upon a time, I was alone in a hotel room, struggling to open a bottle of cough syrup: you know, that annoying malfunction in which the ring below the cap twists around with the cap, not ripping at its joints as it is supposed to?

I was agitated. I tried to slice the joints open with my credit card. Of course, like for everything else, my credit card was useless. I summoned my teeth to the rescue but now, in addition to the sore throat, I had sore teeth. The bottle cap stayed firmly sealed. Fed up, I called room service: “I want a knife.” I croaked hoarsely.
“Knife, madam?”

There was horror in the voice.
“Knife for what, madam?”
“To open a bottle.”
“Knife, madam?”
“What bottle, madam?”
“How does it matter?” I growled impatiently, in a low, menacing grind, “Just send me a knife.”

“Can I send a new water bottle?” he wondered if he could pacify me  with a new bottle, instead of sending over a knife to someone who sounded mentally disturbed.

“I DON’T WANT WATER. I WANT A KNIFE. A KNIFE. A KNIFE,” I was yelling with exasperation. I think he considered calling the police and the ambulance, as he sent up a bevy of liveried minions to rescue me from my suicidal motives. I hung up on room service on hearing a faint rustle outside the room. I hoped to spot a human who could help. I opened the door and saw a bewildered-looking bahadur wiping a table in the silent corridor.

He darted a scared look in my direction, and then continued to wipe the table. I plodded, softly to him, and whispered, “Chaaku hai?”

He jumped out of his skin. He scrutinised me with narrow, fearful eyes. I stood there staring at him morosely, massaging my tonsils.

“Madam, chaaku?” he seemed to be in the throes of panic.
“Hmm...” I yowled like a wolf on a full-moon night, my throat felt like prickly cacti. There was a pause. He, then, fished out a pen from his pocket, thrust it in my hand, and ran for his life. Seems he had learnt, in Kathmandu Public School, that the pen was mightier than the knife. Rescue came a few minutes later, after a few more angry phone calls. I finally had the knife, and peaceful sleep. Cannot say the same for the hotel staff though.

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