Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Club Mahindra - Pudhucherry

"Find something that you love to do and then get someone to pay you for it," they said, "and you won't have to work for a single day in your life." 

You've heard this said before. Many times. And every now and then, you might have also come across one or two people who behaved like this. In spite of the long hours and cranky customers. One thing is certain, you really can't fake it for long. Because most customers will immediately distinguish between the 'good-riddance' smile that an air-hostess might flash you at the exit of an aircraft and a genuine smile. For the latter to happen, one has to be genuinely happy! And we met several happy people who were terrific at what they did. In our world, getting one such hire would be a challenge. Getting a team like this, is nothing short of a miracle!

Ajith, Siva, Pradeep, Imran, Priyanka and the rest of the team, you folks rock!

It was our second visit to Pondicherry. And this time, it was to Club Mahindra. Most of the road to the destination was good, save for about 20 kms in between that was really bad. It made even the SUV we were driving, to groan in pain. The roads however, were forgotten once we hit Pondicherry.

Club Mahindra, Pondicherry is a few kilometers in the interior and access is via narrow roads. But there were Club Mahindra sign boards at all turns which made it seem that all roads lead to the sea! We were given a traditional welcome and then shown the campus. Every Friday sees the women staff dressed in white saris and the men in sparkling white mundus and shirts. The resort sits on 24 acres that is right next to the beach. You can hear the roar of the sea as it hits the banks. It's also a beach with sand, not the rocky beach that Pondy is famous for. The walk to our room was through narrow winding walkways. Our baggage arrived later from the reception, in an Omni.
Time for Mahindra to switch to their own electric vehicles!


We were shown our rooms and briefed about the basic controls. After ensuring we were comfortable, and that we don't lock ourselves outside the room by mistake, Shakthi, our host dropped the first bomb...

Bummer
"Wifi works only in the lobby" he said. This evidently was to get people to come back to the lobby from their rooms and participate in the many activities they had planned! Seemed to work for me. But from conversations we overheard, it could also be the reason why most people would open the score card by giving Oyo Rooms 1 and Club Mahindra 0.5 :)

We went back to the lobby, because that's where all the action seemed to be happening. This is one resort that will ensure that you are not just whiling away your time, but are occupied, doing something engaging and useful. It's time well spent. And it's usually something happy! At 12 noon on most days, some of the staff teach guests how to dance. This is a scene you'll thoroughly enjoy, even if you have two left feet. Now remember their apparel. And now imagine the dance. What a lively bunch of happy people! And my golly, were they dancers! Don't take my word for it. Watch how happiness spreads -


This video was actually shot on the next day. But on day one, they were dressed in traditional apparel. And there were no accidents. Or wardrobe malfunctions ;) All this without missing a single beat!

Children

This place is an awesome place for children. Any place with/near water usually is. However,  swimming or venturing into the sea is risky as the sea on this side is not calm. Add strong currents and a pretty steep bank, and it's a recipe for disaster. So your best bet when it comes to water, is the L shaped swimming pool. It's just 4 feet, which means it is safe for most children. One part also has a kiddie pool for infants. Those who do not know swimming can have their feet firmly planted on the ground, inside the water.


Now, if you don't want to get into the water, you can try water zorbing. It's a good exercise to check your sense of balance or to fall head over heels and still enjoy the fall at the same time!



Even if you are not a water baby, they have an entire team focused on children. Lots of activities from various kinds of painting and handiwork. And trust me, your children will not have enough of it! There are plenty of other team activities. Some free, some paid. The staff always make it a point to try and engage with children and are quick to distract a particularly cranky child so the parents can take a break. And they did a kick-ass job at it. Without actually kicking any ass. There are lots of indoor and outdoor games for small and big kids (parents)! Children can also be kept engaged by signing up for magic shows, riddles, games and of course - food!

Chum

The spread for the buffet in each meal is pretty exhaustive. There's more than something in it for everyone. And if that's not enough, there's also a live counter. You are bound to put on more than a few grams in weight. You can try to walk off your guilt on the beach during dawn or dusk.
But some sins aren't forgiven so easily!

Activities

Find out if you can be a cosmonaut.


Or if you have a Formula One gene



Or simply enjoy the flora.


And fauna.


 Or just push a few trees apart!


And then watch the splendid sunset (after missing the sunrise because you slept like a lazy bum)!


The adults don't have to feel left out.There are various 'big people activities' including cookery, outdoor games, tug of war, riddles, paper craft, treasure hunts and other fun stuff.


Tail piece
 
Take a walk along any beach. One or two kilometers. You'll come to a colony of fishermen. The earlier in the morning, higher your chances of an 'encounter'. While there are people who won't accept anything offered using a left hand (because it is for the 'other' use!), we also have people who take a squat in the same sea that feeds them! Even if the government wasn't building toilets, one would wonder, why don't they use their brains? Would they crap on the same plate that they eat from? Modi needs to start building those toilets in fishermen colonies on the beach! Or maybe Mahindra just got itself a new CSR project : ) And for the right-hand-is-holier debate, remember that you are forcing between 10 to 30 percent of the population (the lefties) to shake hands with you using the their other-use-hand!

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