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Humans of Hospitality

In a country as vast and diverse as India we always make the mistake of broadly looking at economics from a macro perspective but every region is different and needs expertise, analysis and planning. Every region has its own unique cultural factors, climatic conditions and challenges that needs to be factored in to every policy or program that is planned.

The hill's have an unique ecosystem of it's own and a set of challenges that have triggered migration at unprecedented levels. Young boys in this tiny Himalayan hamlet know well in advance that once they reach a certain age they have to migrate to far of lands and start working, earning and supporting their families. They have been seeing their fathers, cousins, uncles leave home only to return in a couple of years if not more.

Most of these boys looked forward for this initiation, the curious mind of the young to explore unknown lands and the perks of financial independence were their motivation while lack of a education system and opportunities were the triggers.

By 17, the farthest Kiran had been from this village in the hills of Uttarakhand was about 70Km for a temple fair but now he prepares for a journey of hundreds of kilometers to the western coast of India. Like most others who have traversed this journey before him, he too is accompanied by someone from the family or village, somebody trustworthy who has been working for many years in these unknown lands.

Kiran and his elder cousin will be travelling by bus and then a couple of trains to reach Madgaon railway station in Goa, it is here that many from his village and family work in the hospitality sector. Kiran's elder cousin is a Tandoori chef at a beach side restaurant who himself started his career as a teenager. Now in his mid twenties, he has experience, learned a skill and earns relatively well to send some money back home.

Goa is like Europe for young boys from conservative village upbringing but it is going to be tough few months for Kiran. An alien culture, language, food and climate await him. In these conditions Kiran will have to learn a new skill, he has no experience in this field and will be learning on the job. It is in such difficult circumstances and under the pressures of performing without training in a fast paced restaurant service that will harden young boys like Kiran. The situations that they navigate in an ecosystem that is harsh and far away from the comforts of their home makes them stronger to take on this tough industry. These boys do not have the privilege's of taking time to acclimatize, learn or skill themselves nor do they have the option of giving up.

The unorganized Hospitality industry is filled with many such young boys and men, we met Kiran and had a discussion with him about his journey. He is now a waiter at a restaurant in Panjim. he did not want his audio, video and pictures to be shared on this platform.

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