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On a heady trip

The healthy competition among students is a learning experience for them, says Mubin Sultan


This is an educational experience. I particularly liked the huge cauldron SHERYL



SKILL DISPLAY Students of catering technology trying their hand

It was a special day for them. They had been looking forward to this fun-filled day that was full of activity. Lively interactions, healthy competitions and celebrations, in addition to an exciting event to test how hospitable one could be marked the day. "We want our guests to feel at home," says Saketh.

Clad in a chef's apparel of white aprons and checked ties, staff and students of the Siddhartha College of Hotel Management welcomed the delegates and guests to the gala events that unfolded on the college campus on the World Tourism Day last week. An impressive front office, a comfortable lounge and clocks displaying world time zones created the right ambience needed to transform the guests into the world of hospitality.

Tourism and hospitality are inextricably linked and a good tourist destination invariably includes the best hotel facilities. People love to discover the joy of exploring new destinations by making friends with strangers in a strange land, trying varieties of cuisine and culture and travelling extensively.

It were the wealthy Romans who, on discovering the wonders of the Mediterranean, gave way to an industry that has now emerged as one of the economy-boosting factors for any nation. India has some of the famous and best tourist destinations and a visit to these places would only enrich travel experiences. That the country is also best known for its hospitality was amply demonstrated by students of the college.

D. Mukherjee of the faculty took students round the separate kitchens meant for different purposes and explained the functioning of gadgets and the latest technology used in cooking in hotels across the world. "This is an educational experience. I particularly liked the huge cauldron which can be used to cook 35 to 40 kg of rice in one go," says Sheryl of Maris Stella College.

Siddhartha College also has a model restaurant, a well-equipped bakery, a library and a front office lab.

The celebrations included competitions activities like tourism theme display, vegetable carving, flower arrangement, and tourism and hospitality quiz.

A model of `Himalayan Tourism' prepared by girls of Maris Stella College was a big draw at the exhibition. "This is very simple. A few rolls of cotton, a handmade shrine, a house made of match sticks and a Tarzan helped us draw people's attention," jests Afza, a final year student of tourism and travel management. Their creativity, hard work and smart replies got them the first prize for tourism theme display. Replying to a query on the choice of the Himalayan theme, Hephzibah said the model sought to clear the myth, especially among foreign tourists, that India is not a `a frying pan,' as suggested by Edward Morgan Forster in his book `Passage to India.'

`The Pasta Station,' an innovative idea of Jude D Costa of Westin College of Hotel Management also won a prize in culinary arts section. He created a railway station with raw spaghetti and macaroni. K. Shilpa displayed her skill in flower arrangement while Vidyasagar of the host college bagged first place in vegetable carving.

He created penguins out of brinjals and parrots out of bottle gourds.

The quiz was exciting handing out tips to the audience on skills of a good cook. "I now know that it is not correct to use salt in marinating red meat, something I have been doing for years," said Priyanka who is eager to try the new taste that the tip would bring to her dishes. Students of Siddhartha were the winners in the quiz contest too.

The master baker of the college, Somjit Upadhyayn made scrumptious fruitcake and the students assisted him make delicious samosas that were appreciated and relished by one and all. We live in a jet-setting age, which does not leave us with any time to indulge in even small luxuries of life. We often forget that simple things can add colour to life.

It could be a delightful train journey; a satiating meal, nature's bliss or even a warm smile etc. Celebration of Tourism Day is celebration of these little things that enhance the quality of life we lead and makes it worth living.

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