On and off - 3

Not on…

The Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai turned away an 82-year-old woman because she was wearing slippers. The report says:

“Manjamma who lives in Davangere in Karnataka is in Mumbai visiting her grand daughter who is an engineer and lives in Vashi. On an excursion to Gateway of India Manjamma, who was accompanied by her daughter, her doctor son-in-law and another grand daughter who is also a doctor, expressed a desire to visit the Taj. Manjamma told her family of how her own mother had sipped coffee at the Taj and described to her the beauty of the hotel.”

I am really angry and am glad that Mumbai Mirror took this up. Usually only when the fancy unshod by choice M.F.Husain is refused entry into a club it becomes news. These are two different things. A club can by right make any rules it so desires. Hotels cannot. As long as a patron is paying, there ought to be no problem.

Foreigners enter the hotel wearing soiled sandals and dirty shorts and no one stops them. And trust me, quite a few are only sitting in the lobby. Or using the facilities. This applies to well-dressed locals who make use of the loo or just to get the cool air-conditioning air as respite from their walk or shopping.

I am afraid the hotel cannot make rules where it will not allow people to walk in with slippers. Slippers qualify as footwear. Yes, if it is a formal restaurant, then I would understand. But please, how many wearing Jimmy Choos (and yes, we do have those) know how to conduct themselves?

It is disappointing that the family is straining to emphasise they are educated. Education has nothing to do with it. Unlettered film stars and underworld dons get into these places quite easily. As do politicians. Imagine what a heart-warming story it would have been had Manjamma gone to the coffee shop and recreated her experience and her mother’s and compared them.


A news item from Japan:

“Welcome to Butlers Cafe, princess,” says a Western man in a trim suit as he places a sparkling tiara on a woman’s head.

In a nation where many girls grow up on Western fairy tales, Tokyo’s Butlers Cafe is tapping into the popular fantasy that they will grow up to meet their Prince Charming.

Just stepping over the threshold, Japanese woman can forget for a few hours that they are in Shibuya, one of the capital’s most crowded areas, and enter a world where a handsome man rushes to the tinkle of her bell, goes down one knee and asks "Yes, my princess?"

I don’t agree with the Western fairytale part, but let us be realistic. Many women do not have these luxuries and having travelled to Japan I do know about their Western obsession. We all read fairytales; some of us start believing in them. A little fantasy does not hurt.

We all know that when women grow up the Prince becomes an Emperor without clothes. That ain’t too bad, but where is the titillation?


  1. FV:

    Angry, very ANGRY about the first one.

    On the second one, not qualified to comment.

  2. One only does remove chappals before entering the house of God (well in many religions). par Wahi chappal aunty ji utar ke maarti na hotel walon ko to tab sahi tha... aur bhi badiya khabar chapti thi! kya?

    i dont know why my wife would not go out with me if i am in chappals... even when i say i will not come out of the car...

    Farzana ji mein to wo BATA hawai bhi nahi pehenta jo yahan ke beej US ja ke pehente hain...! main to wo Lotto wali pehenta hoon yahan...jo main Alfa se laya tha? bahut confusion hai!!

  3. PS:

    Why are you not qualified to comment on the second?


    Ah yes, the durban should have got a chaanta...

    Re. removal of chappals, I do have separate ghar ke and baahar ke footwear and absolutely remove the ones I wear out in the passageway.

    Hum aapka dukh samajhte hai...eik kaam karo, nange paaon gaadi se niklo aur biwi ko kaho uske saath chalna ibaadat hai...phir Bata aur Lotto chhodo, woh station ke baahar waale pilaastic ke chappal se bhi khush hogi. Ab confusion nahin, na?


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