A day in the life of …

People, Hospitality Trends

G Raju, Associate in the horticulture department, Hyderabad Marriott Hotel & Convention Centre.

What does your job entail on a daily basis?
My day starts early. I am out there before the sun is up, mowing and weeding the lawns, cleaning the water bodies and pathways, getting rid of the dry dead leaves, watering the garden. Once a month I spray the garden with fertilizers and also ensure enough space between the plants so they get ample light and space to grow.

What is the best part of this job?
A garden is like a family with different trees and plants with individual requirements. It’s very interesting to understand the pattern of growing and need for each plant and to tend to it. For instance while some plants don’t need much care to grow healthy, others need to be sprayed with fertilizers. It makes me very happy to observe these small things and work with this large family.

What part of the job do you not like and how do you motivate yourself to do it?
I hate having to wake up at 5am in the morning to water the plants. However, just to see the lush green grass, delights me. Looking at my beautiful garden and the myriad colours in it motivates me all the time. Another motivating factor is that our hotel has also received awards for the best garden. At the Horti Expo 2011, Hyderabad Marriott Hotel and Convention Centre was awarded the first prize in category “Gardens Maintained by Private Hotels”. This has given me more reason to make my garden look beautiful.

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you at work?
When my guests ask me for the names of the different plants and flowers just to watch them pronounce the tongue twisting botanical names makes me laugh at times.

When was the last time you watched a movie in the theatre? Which one was it?
I went to the theatre with my family last year and watched Jalsa, a Telugu movie. My favourite Telugu hero is junior NTR and in Bollywood, Hrithik Roshan.

Which is your favourite hotel in the world?
I have been in this hotel for 16 years. So this is my favourite place. I come from a small village called Thulapet. When I came here all those years ago looking for a job, vacancies were available only in gardening, since I had done a little agriculture in my village, I took up the offer. Ever since I have seen the hotel grow and the garden become more beautiful, guests and associates appreciate the garden and even ask for tips. Seniors treat me like family and never once disrespect or chide me. So I love this hotel.

What is your motto in life?
My motto is Go Green! I would like to make the place I live in greener so that I can leave my little daughter a nice place to live in.

What would you be doing if you were not in the hotel industry?
I would have been in my village, an agriculturist. Tilling the soil and growing paddy, feeding the people in the city.

What is your dream destination and activity for a holiday?
I would really like to see Agra and Delhi. I want to see the Taj Mahal and in Delhi I want to show my daughter the Republic Day parade and all the old historical buildings. I do make it a point to take my family on an outing once a year.

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