‘FEW EURO­PEAN CUL­TURES CAN MATCH AUS­TRIA’S HOSPI­TAL­ITY’

UDAY KULKA­RNI, PRES­I­DENT, IN­DIA & SOUTH ASIA SCHINDLER IN­DIA

Impact - - CONTENTS - UDAY KULKA­RNI

A ME­THOD­I­CAL AP­PROACH TO TRAVEL

Right from the early years of my ca­reer, travel be­came a part of my life and at some point in time, I just be­gan en­joy­ing it. I had the priv­i­lege of work­ing in roles that re­quired me to travel to var­i­ous parts of In­dia and the world, in­ter­act­ing with peo­ple in dif­fer­ent func­tions and back­grounds. Though my travel in the early years of my ca­reer was for of­fi­cial pur­poses only, I grad­u­ally be­gan to make it a point to ex­plore and dis­cover new places on such oc­ca­sions. I am a firm believer in plan­ning my travel, so I do not em­bark on any voy­age with­out prior plan­ning. I re­mem­ber times in my ca­reer when I had to take an emer­gency trip within a day’s no­tice or a few hours’ no­tice. This made me re­ally quick and ef­fi­cient. In fact, to­day I can pack a bag within just 15 min­utes!

LEARN­ING PUNC­TU­AL­ITY FROM THE SWISS

I have learned a lot from my trav­els. On ac­count of my role at Schindler, I have to travel fre­quently to the com­pany’s head­quar­ters in Switzer­land. I con­sider it the per­fect coun­try. Ev­ery­thing in Switzer­land moves like clock­work, and that is per­haps be­cause of the how much im­por­tance the Swiss give to time. They re­spect peo­ple’s time, and they ex­pect it of oth­ers as well. This can take some get­ting used to, es­pe­cially for us in In­dia. It is from them that I have learned to ap­pre­ci­ate the im­por­tance of punc­tu­al­ity, and I have also learned to or­gan­ise my rou­tine bet­ter.

AN AUS­TRIAN HOL­I­DAY TO RE­MEM­BER

I have trav­elled across Europe and South­east Asia, but by far my favourite travel ex­pe­ri­ence had to be on our fam­ily hol­i­day to Aus­tria back in 2010. Aus­tria was a spe­cial hol­i­day, not just be­cause of its breath­tak­ing, scenic beauty but also thanks to its cul­ture, food and hospi­tal­ity. I am fas­ci­nated by Aus­trian his­tory, es­pe­cially since I learned that there is so much more to it than what we know of the World War. What is also im­pres­sive is that their gov­ern­ment takes great care to main­tain palaces and other places of his­tor­i­cal in­ter­est, while en­sur­ing they are tourist-friendly. For ex­am­ple, at sev­eral tourist spots, you can lis­ten to au­dio in dif­fer­ent lan­guages de­tail­ing ma­jor events in Aus­tria’s his­tory. We vis­ited ci­ties like Salzburg, Inns­bruck and Vi­enna dur­ing the summer, and the weather was per­fect! We walked for miles with­out even feel­ing ex­hausted. What I also en­joyed was the ex­pe­ri­ence of Aus­trian folk dance and mu­sic. One per­for­mance re­ally stood out in par­tic­u­lar – this was a recital of tra­di­tional Aus­trian mu­sic, cou­pled with mu­sic from var­i­ous other coun­tries, in­clud­ing In­dia. Imag­ine our sur­prise when they sang Sa Re

Ga Ma dur­ing the show! The other high­light of our trip was the Sound of Mu­sic tour and con­cert. It is spe­cial to see the lo­ca­tions where the leg­endary movie was made.

OF AUS­TRIA’S UN­PAR­AL­LELED HOSPI­TAL­ITY

The Aus­trian restau­rants, food and hospi­tal­ity were much

bet­ter than any of the other coun­tries in Europe. In Salzburg and Inns­bruck, we tried the lo­cal food avail­able at sev­eral street-side cafes. There is some­thing charm­ing about sit­ting at such places and watch­ing the lo­cals go about their life around you. I have to say that very few other Euro­pean cul­tures can match Aus­tria’s, in terms of hospi­tal­ity. They are a friendly lot of peo­ple, and they make an ef­fort to help and put tourists at ease. As far as the food is con­cerned, we had some fan­tas­tic, in­dul­gent break­fasts and de­li­cious steaks on this trip. Speak­ing about food in Europe in gen­eral, I have to make a spe­cial mention about the crois­sants. They are the best, and you can­not find crois­sants as good as these any­where else in the world.

MY MOST MEM­O­RABLE TRAVEL MEAL

I would have to say my favourite meal is ragout – a kind of dish made with veal and rice that I gen­er­ally eat on ev­ery trip to Switzer­land. I do not usu­ally eat veal, but this is an ex­cep­tional dish, so I make it a point to have it ev­ery time I am in Switzer­land. Fon­due is an­other favourite on ev­ery Swiss trip!

MY TRAVEL MANTRA

I be­lieve in trav­el­ling light. What I carry is usu­ally a small stroller and a back­pack. I also en­sure that I carry dry fruits and nuts on all my trips as an emer­gency snack.

THREE THINGS I CAN­NOT TRAVEL WITH­OUT

• My iPad and my phone • Charg­ers for all my de­vices • My bag of toi­letries that con­tains ev­ery­thing from shav­ing cream to nail clip­pers

(As told to Christina Moniz)

With daugh­ter, Mri­nalini Kulka­rni at In­ter­laken, Switzer­land

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.