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Monday, Oct 18, 2021
Outlook.com

Hotel Room Propositions

The hospitality industry may lend itself to innuendo, but rises above it

Hotel Room Propositions
Illustration by Sorit
Hotel Room Propositions
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

M.S. Oberoi’s biography recounts the moral outrage his decision to employ female housekeeping attendants had elicited. Conservative Delhi was, expectedly, awash with the obvious innuendoes. But the legendary hotelier’s reaction was rooted in straight-forward logic. “He had set out to build his reputation, not to ruin it. Why, equally, should anyone presume that Indian women would part with theirs?” Initially, women applied with brothers and fathers in tow. Forty years later, I appeared for an interview at the same hotel. I went alone.

By then, hospitality was an accepted profession. But the spectre of male-female dynamics still persisted. During the interview, I was asked what my reaction would be should a guest want to sleep with me. I said I would laugh it off. For a young college co-ed, getting propositioned didn’t appear to be all that big a deal. No, my inquisitor persisted, what if he was serious? The interview, which had hitherto been friendly, had now taken a perceptible shift. “You will...

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