Book Title: Her Master Key
Subtitle: A Hotel Housekeeper’s Story From Inn-dia
Author: Shruti Johri
Total Number of Pages: 172
Publisher: Rupa Publications India
Publication Date: 20 Dec 2017
She uncovers incredible and amusing stories from luxury hotels in India. She captures extraordinary episodes of infidelity, bigotry and brings to light the absurdity of travellers. She highlights the struggles of white-collared, blue-collared and non-collared staff to break the stereotypes around hotel professionals. While much has been written and read about star hotels in the West, the tales from India remain untold. It’s time we read these stories!
REVIEW BY SOHINEE DEY
Her Master Key tells the story of Gauri as she encounters different events and people in her career working as a housekeeper at a five star hotel in India.
The author has tried to show a side which is often hidden behind the ostentatious semblance which tricks people into believing that what they see is true while the reality is something else altogether. But, once the veneer cracks open, an ugly side is exposed. This not-so-flamboyant side is mostly witnessed by the hotel workers and thus in this book, we get to see several of incidences where the guise of fashionable and elegant lifestyle almost falls off.
Just like a person from a middle class family has big dreams and has a fascination towards bigger cities, Gauri left her home in Bhopal and got into housekeeping and moved to different cities trying her luck at finding a steady job. As she moves from hotel to hotel, she accounts her experiences and shares the instances when she had encountered some awkward, edgy and embarrassing situations.
Gauri moved out of her house at the age of seventeen and at the beginning of her career she had had to suffer; from travelling at odd hours to dealing with the chaos of the hotels to explaining her family that housekeeping should not be frowned upon. As she made her way to the top, she had to work as a trainee, a middle-level officer and then finally she is promoted to the position of in-charge.
From hotels of Jaipur to Mumbai to Delhi, she had been confronted by occupants of different nature and belief. It is also to be seen how the incidences are squashed down so that they don’t hamper the hotel reputation. The book also sheds a light on the stereotyping of different levels of hotel workers.
Don’t be fooled by the flashy exterior, next time you step into a hotel!
I would say that this book is completely different in its approach and it was good move on the author’s side to tell the story from Gauri’s perspective who is actively involved into the scene of housekeeping and not from a dweller’s perspective because then it would have felt as gossiping. I’ve come across stories where an occupier shares her exaggerated experience.
The language is simple and the narration is good too but I felt that the endings of the chapters were a bit rushed.
Certainly, the author has been able to capture the whole behind the scene scenario. She had given an insight into lives of the hotel housekeeping staff, the struggles they face and the measures they take to ensure that a customer has a happy stay.
If you always had been curious about what goes on behind the luxurious life in hotels, I would recommend you to read this book.
POESY IN CHRYSALIS RATING: ⭐⭐⭐.8/⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
DO YOU WANT TO GET YOUR BOOK REVIEWED?
*I am currently open to review requests for the month of January, so, if you want to request a review, better do it soon!*
Just send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org regarding your review queries or just e-mail me for a chat! Once I receive your e-mail, I’ll get back to you and discuss all the details. I’m only an e-mail away!! You can also leave a message on my facebook page now!
DO YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT ME?
I have listed down all my social media links in the Contact Page. I am known to be a friendly person, I don’t bite 😛. Come, let’s talk!!