Sunday, December 19, 2010

MTDC Resort, Karla – A painful stay

It was a perfect setting for a wonderful weekend; close friends, booked cottages at MTDC Resort of Karla, filled car fuel tank and kids were jumping in joy. The drive was equally good on Pune expressway, overseeing the valley of Lonavala and how the newly built bungalows painted the hills. The chill in the wind reminded us winter, the hard-to-find season in Mumbai.

The first glimpse of the MTDC’s resort in Karla was touching – old trees making decent shadow all over the huge campus. The cottages are scattered around one side of the Indrayani River, where they also managed to make a dam, and on that boat & water scooter rides. We checked-in to our designated ones, unfortunately they were located at the tail-end of campus. Though we didn’t mind the location, it was pretty much easy two minutes drive to the restaurant.

So far so good, paddling the boat coupled with two shots of vodka made us hungry and we were looking for a nice lunch. Our good times started seeing a blurred vision when it was more than ten minutes and nobody came to take the order at the ‘Indrayanai Restaurant’, the only food joint within the resort. After raising some voice, someone reluctantly took the order and then started another long wait. Again some shouting and meeting the captain at the counter brought us half the amount of roasted papad, heard the rest are coming from the store. Then there was a series of events which were enough to put us off, finished rice, half-boiled chicken and hurriedly made dal without salt.

After the utterly disgusting lunch, we thought of ordering our evening snacks well in advance and will ask them to deliver at our cottages. There came the next blow, they do not deliver in cottages! Today when every smallest of the small shop is giving a free home delivery for customer satisfaction, this great rule of this resort finally killed our well-planned evening. Then it was series of drives from the cottage to the restaurant and back. They not only discourage having food in the cottages, but also do not provide any plates with the order. When we had to pay for the quarter sized paper plates, we finally thought of calling it a day there.

Lastly, the next morning they delivered the bed tea at 8:30 AM which was ordered for 7 AM, that also after making rounds of calls. This is my worst weekend holiday experience in Maharashtra in almost a decade.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Wedding Photography in India

There are lots have been changed in Indian weddings, from in-house events to farmhouse or hotel, from long planning & effort of family members to professional wedding planner, and in some cases, from prolonged rituals to legal marriages – Indian weddings have seen a sea change in last twenty years. But even now, when it comes to wedding photography, most of couple or their family members tend to think of the studio guy around the corner – that also book them at the last moment and bargain to the extreme extent in which even the studio guy around the corner cannot deliver quality works!

And the irony is as soon as the wedding is over, farmhouse owner will not allow you to stay more than an hour after your time is over, all the yummy food will be remembered till the guests reach their home and all the decorations will be of no use at the next morning. So what’s left from the big fat wedding? The photographs, period. And the photographer is bargained in such a way that he is left in just survival state, leave alone delivering stunning images.

With loads of experience in shooting weddings and delivering great images, we at ‘The Wedding Studio’ face the same challenges; perhaps not as much as the studio guy faces regularly. All the future brides & grooms and their family members need to understand, to get stunning images from a wedding, they must allow the photographers do their best job – idea of getting one in good bargain will make them a looser, if not always.