26 November, 2020

Hotel Staffers

It is the same story at both hotels. "The guest is first, the company second; we stand the last."

Dinesh Parab
Hotel Staffers
When he first heard the gunshots, Kandahar's manager, who requested not to be named, ran outside and saw two armed men heading towards this Oberoi restaurant. Rushing back in, he bent down to deadlock the restaurant doors with the help of the hostess on duty. "Next thing, I looked up, they were right there, guns raised," he says. "These were no ordinary guns. With one bullet, our door came down."

As the glass shattered, the manager herded guests together, leading them down a service corridor with his barman at the tail of the group. The hostess had taken a bullet hit to the arm and was bleeding profusely. Tying her arm tightly with a napkin, the manager asked another staffer to escort her out and ushered 40 guests outside to safety. They've been calling him ever since: "Because of you, we're alive," they say.

It is the same story at both hotels: of housemen running ahead of gunfire to disperse people; of stewards securing restaurant doors under a steady stream of bullets; of waiters feeding guests even as they waited it out in...


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