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Volume 8 Issue 4 June 2019

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Iringal A BEAUTIFUL VILLAGE IN KOZHIKODE

TIME

THE INEXPLICABLE MYSTERY

THE DRIVER OF GUEST SATISFACTION IN

Hotel Industry


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Foreword Dear Reader Many tourist destinations in Kerala still need to be introduced. Iringal is a beautiful little village near Vadakara in Kozhikode has a special place in the history of Kerala. It is featured in this edition. The hotel industry is one where innovation has a very high significance, given the fact that all the players have realized the imperative necessity of delivering the best services and experiences to the guests in every transaction.Organizations exist because of customers. Therefore, identifying and understanding the needs and wants of customers to enhance their experience should be the focus of any successful organization. Innovation can be explained as the process of developing a solution in the form of a physical product or service that delivers new value to customers. The hotel industry in India is striving hard to be as innovative as possible.

SIJI NAIR

Managing Editor & Director e-mail: sijicn@gmail.com

The article about Guest Satisfaction in the hotel industry would be useful for our readers. The Pinarayi Vijayan-led government in Kerala observed its third anniversary on May 25th, 2019 The Chief Minister said that Kerala, in the last three years, had topped in various sectors, including improving law and order and elimination of corruption, and healthcare. Happy Reading!

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Volume 8 - Issue 06 - December 2018

www.metromartdaily.com Read our e-edition: www.issuu.com/metromart Annual Subscription Rs- 500

Publisher

Hari Shanker

Managing Editor & Director Siji Nair Sijicn@gmail.com

Volume 8 Issue 4 June 2019

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Executive Editor N. Vijayagopalan Editor

Iringal A BEAUTIFUL VILLAGE

V. Viswanath

IN KOZHIKODE

Editorial Assistant Ampili Nair

TIME

THE INEXPLICABLE MYSTERY

Projects Head Raj Nijith Business Development Manager Ratheesh Kumar Asst Manager - Sales & Marketing Jayaprakash RP Creative Head Kiran Mohan Manager - Administration Sabu C.N. Manager - Accounts Sindhu R.

THE DRIVER OF GUEST SATISFACTION IN

Hotel Industry

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Metro Mart is a monthly journal published from Trivandrum, Views and opinions expressed in the journal are not necessarily those of the Publishers.

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Contents Training in the 24 Staff Hospitality Industry

Anniversary of 10 Third LDF government in Kerala

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TIME The Inexplicable Mystery

Driver of Guest Satisfaction 16 The in Hotel Industry

18 The Folk Dances of ASSAM 22 IRINGAL A beautiful little village near Vadakara in Kozhikode

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Hampi The Forgotten Empire

38 Medical Updates 40 The Picture Page

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THIRD ANNIVERSARY OF LDF GOVERNMENT IN KERALA

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he Pinarayi Vijayan-led government in Kerala observed its third anniversary on May 25th, 2019 sans any celebration or announcement of new projects. According to official sources, any celebration was avoided as the model code of conduct was in place for two more days. CM Pinarayi Vijayan, in an article released to the media stated the government has already fulfilled most of its promises which were

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to be realised during its five-year tenure. He said his government was entering its fourth year with the “satisfaction” of implementing various projects which are turning to be a model for the country. The Chief Minister said that Kerala, in the last three years, had topped in various sectors, including improving law and order and elimination of corruption, and healthcare. The Chief Minister mentioned the launch of the “Loka Kerala Sabha” and the Kerala Infrastructure Invest-


The Chief Minister said that Kerala, in the last three years, had topped in various sectors, including improving law and order and elimination of corruption, and healthcare.

ment Fund Board (KIIF)’s recent listing of debt masala bonds on the London Stock Exchange among his government’s achievements. The government has published its progress report on completion of its three years, first time in the State by a ruling government. The publication of the report was held at Nishagandhi auditorium on June 10th, with the Chief Minister handing over the first copy to Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan. The progress report, which has been published to mark the start of the government’s fourth year in office, contains an evaluation of the extent of implementation of 600 promises in the LDF’s election manifesto. The report is a very comprehensive one with a sector wise coverage of the government’s performance.

The progress report also has an appendix related to what the government has done beyond the manifesto, including various policies proclaimed by the government, the post-flood rehabilitation and reconstruction, Rebuild Kerala Initiative, the Chief Minister’s speech delivered at a recent conference in Netherlands, KIIFB’s role in resources mobilisation to name a few. The progress report would be made available on the government website. The function was presided over by Revenue Minister E. Chandrasekharan. Water Resources Minister K. Krishnankutty, Transport Minister A.K. Saseendran, Ports Minister Ramachandran Kadannappally, Mayor V.K. Prasanth, and Kerala Congress(B) legislator K.B. Ganesh Kumar offered felicitations. June 2019

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UNIVERSE

TIME The Inexplicable

Mystery Kripa Kishor

Is time an abstract concept? Does it actually have any physical form? Are all abstract concepts unreal? Can these abstract concepts bedocumented with evidence? Is time a mental construct or does it exist independent of human consciousness? A very popular saying goes like this “Time doesn’t exist; only clock exists”. Let’s take another popular saying into consideration “Time doesn’t exist. Only change exists”. Let me prove these statements by taking a very familiar example. Imagine that you are living in the Artic and it’s very cold outside. So you sit in the comfort of your house and watch an analog clock making several 24h rotations. You don’t know if its day or night outside, you don’t know what time it is or even if the time is correct. It’s something for us to hold on to the ocean of change. I think as humans at least once we might have thought about the mystery of time. This question is something that guarantees to leave u speechless and awestruck for quite some time. This in fact made me think about the book The End of Time. In this book Julian Barbour argues that time exists merely as an illusion. He is one among 12

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the few people that completely deny the existence of time. According to him we use time like a ‘god of the gaps’ to explain it and we have no other theory for that. Barbour further believes that there are evolutionary reasons for our creation of the idea of time. We are programmed to detect a lot of things ‘records’, sequences of entropic states. We even try to manipulate these records. These notions of reality seem to even challenge our everyday perceptions and therefore it does not appear very convincing. This concept might appear as a very challenging one because it carries the death of pre conceived notions that we carry around with us nonchalantly. Time in Physics Let’s keep all these theories, statements and notions aside for a while. How is time defined in physics? In physics time is defined by measurement; time is what a clock reads.Time is a measure in which events can be ordered from the past through the present into the future, and also the measure of durations of events and the intervals between them.In classical, non-relativistic physics it is a scalar quantity and, like length, mass, and charge, is usually described as a fundamental quantity. In the International System of Units (SI), the unit of time is the second (symbol: {s}).It is interesting to note that Galileo, Newton, and most people up until the 20th century thought that time was the same for everyone everywhere. Perceiving Time When we talk about time another question arises; how do you perceive

So you sit in the comfort of your house and watch an analog clock making several 24h rotations. You don’t know if its day or night outside, you don’t know what time it is or even if the time is correct. It’s something for us to hold on to the ocean of change. time? Other than temporal illusions and other effects like the Kappa effect, even our emotional state, it is notable that even simple emotional states like awe and fear can slow down the perception of time. Studies prove that millennial depression is on the rise.One study assessed this concept by asking subjects to estimate the amount of time that passed during intervals ranging from 3 seconds to 65 seconds. Results indicated that depressed subjects more accurately estimated the amount of time that had passed than non-depressed patients; non-depressed subjects overestimated the passing of time. One study assessed this concept by asking subjects to estimate the amount of time that passed during intervals ranging from 3 seconds to 65 seconds. This is the reason why children are mostly asked to do activities instead of whiling away their time. Have you ever wondered asto why your dreams are extremely small? This is because time may June 2019

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The Buddhist Pāli Canon mentions the relativity of time. The PayasiSutta tells of one of the Buddha’s chief disciples, Kumara Kassapa, who explains to the skeptic Payasi that time in the Heavens passes differently than on Earth. feel as passing “faster” during sleep due to the lack of reference points. Another experience sometimes reported is a long dream seeming to go on for hours when it actually lasted only a few seconds or minutes. Spirituality and Time Spirituality is a widely discussed concept. We evolve and change constantly, and along with this our spiritual life too improves. This concept is even related to how we perceive time. Time flies when we are having fun at a party or are enjoying an interesting movie. In this case your energy transforms and shifts. You will not be the same person before and after the experience. This means your “spiritual time” – moved forward. Imagine the same scenario and what if you have social anxiety disorder. Things will be unpleasant and sad for you. When this happens, minutes feel like hours, hours like days. Time seems to slow down, and 14

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take longer to pass. Your spiritual memory can get stuck. You might mull over a situation that happened when you were a small child.For that situation it’s as if time stood perfectly still. During this phase you won’t experience any kind of spiritual growth but once you come out of this phase, everything would start making sense. Only if you heal the memories that keep you stuck in the past, you will be able to make progress in life. Astronomy and Time For astronomers, however, time in the sky can become quite complex. The reason is that our units of time measurement — the day and its subdivisions of hour, minute, and second — are based on astronomical phenomena that are themselves more complex than you might think. Here, then, is a summary of the time systems that a well-informed amateur should know about -Local Apparent Time, Local Mean Time, Standard Time, Universal Time (UT), Greenwich Mean Time, Ephemeris Time, Dynamical Time, Coordinated Universal Time, and Sidereal Time. Philosophy of Time All animals except humans live in a continual present, with no sense of the temporal distinctions of past, present and future. Our consciousness of time is therefore one of the most important distinguishing features of humankind, and one of the things that truly separates us from the lower animals.One major point of contention among the ancients was whether time is linear or cyclical, and whether it is endless or finite.In the


19th Century, philosophers began to question whether the present was really an instantaneous concept or a duration, and the conventionalists and phenomenologists all made their own contributions to the debate on time.More recently, modern philosophy has continued to argue over whether time is real or “unreal”. Time Travel Time travel is the concept of movement between certain points in time, analogous to movement between different points in space by an object or a person, typically using a hypothetical device known as a time machine. Some ancient myths depict a character skipping forward in time. In Hindu mythology, the Mahabharata mentions the story of King Raivata Kakudmi, who travels to heaven to meet the creator Brahma and is surprised to learn when he returns to Earth that many ages have passed. The Buddhist Pāli Canon mentions the relativity of time. The PayasiSutta tells of one of the Buddha’s chief disciples, Kumara Kassapa, who explains to the skeptic Payasi that time in the Heavens passes differently than on Earth.The Japanese tale of “Urashima Tarō”, first described in the Nihongitells of a young fisherman named Urashima Taro who visits an undersea palace. After three days, he returns home to his village and finds himself 300 years in the future, where he has been forgotten, his house is in ruins, and his family has died. In Jewish tradition, the 1stcentury BC scholar Honi ha-M’agel is said to have fallen asleep and slept for seventy years. When waking up he returned home but found none of the people he knew, and no one

believed his claims of who he was. H. G. Wells’s The Time Machine (1895) popularized the concept of time travel by mechanical means. The term “time machine” was coined by H.G. Wells and is now almost universally used to refer to such a vehicle. Here we tried to unveil the mystery of time from the eyes of scientists, philosophers and scholars. However we are always emotionally attached to the idea of the time. The following words would perhaps reflect the emotional aspect of the enigma, that is time. With no start or end flows a stream That’s the enigma knows as time. None knows where it’s coming from; And where it’s heading to; And what it will unfold; And what gifts it has for us; And what miseries it has for us; And when it will hurt; And when it will heal; And when it will bring joy; And when it will bring sorrow; And where it will take us to. Some think it’s an illusion, None knows its intention. Many say ‘I don’t have time’ When they are sailing on time. And incessantly flows that stream That’s the enigma known as time. (Courtesy for poem : N.Vijayagopalan)

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The Driver of Guest Satisfaction in

HOTEL INDUSTRY

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hough Indian hotels have been at a rather lower pace in technology adoption compared with their western counterparts, the scenario is fast changing, in spite of the constraints and the challenges faced by different categories of hotels in India in adoption of technological innovation for enhancing the quality of customer experience.

and understanding the needs and wants of customers to enhance their experience should be the focus of any successful organization. Innovation can be explained as the process of developing a solution in the form of a physical product or service that delivers new value to customers. The hotel industry in India is striving hard to be as innovative as possible.

Hotel industry is one where innovation has a very high significance, given the fact that all the players have realized the imperative necessity of delivering the best services and experiences to the guests in every transaction. Organizations exist because of customers. Therefore, identifying

Now we are seeing even mid-priced hotels concentrating on ambience and aesthetic appearance rather than just focusing on providing only additional customer facilities and functional benefits. Higherpriced hotel chains now provide stylish shelving and state-of-the art cupboards and cabinets in their

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guest rooms which earlier used to be the kind of amenity provided by boutiques. The most important area in which hotels are adopting innovations to enhance the customer experience is technology. Hotels have become aware of the fact that they have to use technology to implement more innovative services designed to increase customer engagement. With about 35 per cent of the world’s population being socially networked, hotels that are able to use social media effectively have started deriving incredible benefits by creating awareness about their service, managing perceptions about the brand, motivating satisfied customers to spread positive word of mouth about their experience and responding with agility to address negative experiences posted on the web. Social media is now a critical tool for the hotel industry thanks to the increasing numbers of people using social media to decide about their vacation destination, for sharing their vacation experiences and writing reviews about the places they had been to on vacation. Now large high-defnition, at-screen televisions in guest rooms are not an uncommon sight in hotels. And hotels in the mid segment and above provide modern conveniences such as free Wi-Fi, iPod docking station, wired and wireless Internet access, electronic door locks etc. Adoption of digital and Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions to keep

track of users is gaining ground in the hotel industry. The industry professionals believe that AI has entered the hospitality business as a boon to the hoteliers that helps them to offer a multitude of amenities and services to their guests while saving up the important resources. The real boost of artificial intelligence in hospitality sprung from the fact that it has the power to impact and transform the industry completely. It is not anymore just about food, hygiene and ambience, but replicating exemplary customer experience at every touch point through the customer lifecycle. Chatbots/artificial intelligence in hospitality is changing the way booking inquiries are handled and visitors are converted into patron customers. The front-desk hotel staff that is normally responsible for handling booking-related queries could well be replaced with conversational bots. These intelligent chatbots are programmed to create simulated conversation through natural language processing and natural language generation (text/ voice) in native language. In the modern hotels, now there are numerous data collection points and each touch point provides meaningful data about the customer which can be utilised to provide a better experience each time. All these highlight the fact that hoteliers have started appreciating the catalytic role that technology is playing in generating customer satisfaction and enhancing the guest experience. June 2019

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TRADITION

Culture and Tradition in Perfect Harmony

The Folk Dances of

Assam

Padma Mohan Kumar

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t is often said that folk dance is the best manifestation of the culture and tradition of a particular place. The best example to this statement can be seen in the various ethnic dance forms that are prevalent in the different corners of Assam. Assam, the tea garden of India, has a rich culture to boast of. The State of Assam is home to many

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groups: Mongoloid, IndoBurmese, Indo-Iranian, Aryan, Rabha, Bodo, Kachari, Karbi, Mising, Sonowal Kacharis, Mishimi and Tiwa (Lalung). These cultures come together to create an unique Assamese culture. An integral part of Assamese culture are the folk dances of the State. Assam has a number of folk dances and the most important among them are


Another major folk dance associated with Assam is the Bihu. It is performed during the Rongali Bihu festival which falls in the middle of April. The Rongali Bihu is one of the three Bihu festivals, the other two being Kongali Bihu and Bhogali Bihu. the Bagurumba dance and the Bihu dance, both danced during festivals held in the spring.

Bagurumba Dance

The chief among the Assamese folk dances is the Bagurumba or the ‘butterfly dance’. It owes its name to the fact that the movements of the performers resemble those of butterflies. It is commonly performed by the Bodos of Assam who live in regions like Kokrajhar, Nalbari and Bongaigaon. This dance is the chief highlight of their Bwishagu festival which is celebrated in mid-April. The celebrations begin with cow worship which is then followed by the young ones of the family bowing down to their parents and the other elders in the home. Then the deity, known as Bathou, is worshipped with offerings of chicken and rice beer. Bathou is

the supreme deity of the Bodos. The festivities are then concluded with a community prayer. The dance is performed by the girls dressed in colorful costumes and traditional jewellery while the men play the accompanying musical instruments. These are the traditional tribal devices such as the Gongona which resembles a curved horn and the Kham which is a long drum made of wood and goatskin. The other instruments include the Siphung which resembles a violin. The dance is performed with slow steps and hands spread out. The performers go through various movements such as hopping, swinging, bending and rising again. They chant ‘bagurumba, hay bagurumba’ while dancing. This highly attractive dance symbolizes June 2019

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the natural world. There are two variations of this dance form. One is the Natural Bagurumba which is performed without music while the other is the Royal Bagurumba which is accompanied along with singing.

Bihu Folk Dance

Another major folk dance associated with Assam is the Bihu. It is performed during the Rongali Bihu festival which falls in the middle of April. The Rongali Bihu is one of the three Bihu festivals, the other two being Kongali Bihu and Bhogali Bihu. The songs sung during the Rongali Bihu festival are based on romantic themes. The Bihu dance is performed by both men and women. The men are attired in dhotis which are long and thin pieces of cloth worn around the waist. The head is adorned by the gamocha. Both the dhoti and the gamocha are not 20

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only brightly colored but are also embellished by beautiful embroidery in various designs on the two ends. The women Bihu performers are attired in the traditional Assamese costume. This attire consists of the Chador and Mekhela. The Chador is a drape used for covering the upper portion of the body while the Mekhela which is shaped like a cylinder is used for the lower half of the body. A blouse is worn below the Chador. Pat silk, cotton and muga silk are used for making these dresses. Their attire is completed with colorful jewellery and their hair is done up with pretty flowers which match the colour of their dresses. The Bihu is a brisk dance with the performers flinging their hands and swaying their hips to a rhythmic beat. It represents youthful passion. As with every other folk dance, music is a must for the Bihu too. The instruments are essential for playing the conventional tunes for the dance. These include the dhol, pepa, taal, toka, xutuli, gogona and baanhi. This art form has remained untouched by any innovation and has retained its purity. The Bihu dance truly represents the culture and heritage of the Assamese people. The Khamba Lim is another folk dance of Assam. The performers include two groups of men and women who stand in two rows. The folk dances are performed during the harvest period. They are marked by absolute gaiety and abandon.


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Iringal Iringal is a beautiful little village near Vadakara in Kozhikode has a special place in the history of Kerala. History encounters you in lots of ways at Iringal.

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ringal is a beautiful little village near Vadakara in Kozhikode has a special place in the history of Kerala. We are inviting you to Iringal. History encounters you in lots of ways at Iringal. It might come to you as a whiff of a war fought in the bygone era, the renowned resistance of Kunjali Marakkar against the

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Portuguese, or it might resound in your tympanum as the squall of the ghosts of giant granites, splintered ruthlessly by gunpowder. Besides history the place is also known as the hub of traditional craftsmanship. It is Sargaalaya, the Kerala Arts and Crafts village at


Iringal in Kerala, an initiative of the Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala. It is an exclusive place in Kerala where once can not only pick a product fashioned by the traditional artisans but also learn one or two lessons in the subtleties of crafts-making. Conceptualized as a tourist destination, Sargaalaya was developed and implemented on the Responsible Tourism model. Put up on a sprawling 20-acre land on the shores of the Moorad River at Iringal in Kozhikode, the craft village has 60 stalls housed in

beautiful cottages that are environment-friendly and ethnic in design. The management of the village is vested in the hands of the Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society (ULCCS). Iringal village in Kozhikode connects to other parts through Vatakara city on the west and Kuttiady town on the east. National highway No.66 passes through Iringal. The nearest airports are at Kannur and Kozhikode. The nearest railway station is at Vatakara. June 2019

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HUMAN RESOURCE

MANAGEMENT

Staff Training in the

I

Hospitality Industry

n every business, independently of the activity, human resources are the most precious capital. In terms of global competition and rapid change, personnel training are indispensable aspects. Every employer endeavours to attract qualified and capable personnel, in order to use their skills in achieving organizational objectives. In a market economy where uncertainty is rather wide-

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spread, obtaining knowledge and information is becoming a source for creating competing advantages. One of the most important aspects in contemporary hotel industry is getting to know the new methods and techniques through training. Staff training is an important part in Human Resource Management, in order to improve employee performance, respectively it helps putting


their skills to better use and specialization in their work. Application of an efficient training process has an important impact in increasing employee performance. Hence staff training is a vital aspect in the hospitality industry. The hospitality industry uses a diverse workforce, which includes a variety of positions that may or may not have a strong educational component. A cleaning personnel and restaurant servers have different requirements than

check-in clerks, chefs and managers. Yet, the entire workforce is a reflection of a hotel’s hospitality culture, which makes it imperative that everyone needs to be trained from top to bottom on certain specific values and standards and service yardsticks. Employment related aspects are among the most critical issues of the hospitality industry. It is necessary that a lack of focus on employee satisfaction and training should not hurt the industry.

The Company Culture designed to enhance the guests’ experience. It is necessary that in every location, the guests get the same service and a consistent experience, for which periodical staff training is a must.

Every hospitality company has its own special way of doing things. You might perhaps remember a specific hotel because of the chocolates that a courteous maid deliberately left on your pillow. The floral bunch received by you at the reception or the warm greeting on checking in or a special type of towel in the bath room or the nice courtesies of the restaurant staff might linger in mind for long. These are all components of a corporate culture that’s

Training is also important to have consistency among staff in the larger chains. From the way the pillows are fluffed to how the lobby is designed for convenience or relaxation, chains need to reflect the same culture, albeit with some customization. So, if a person is staying at a hotel chain’s property in Bengaluru or Chennai or Hyderabad or Thiruvananthapuram, there should be consistency as to how the hospitality staff acts and how they do things. Let us have a look at a few aspects related to staff training in the hospitality industry. June 2019

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Developing and Training Talent Many hospitality workers start in entry-level positions and work their way up into higher level jobs. When a company takes the time to train people, it is easier to recognize the talent that can be developed for higher management positions.

Training for the hospitality industry is diverse. Basic skills include communication and ways to interact with the hotel guests. It also involves teamwork training and diversity training, because the staff is perceived as one unit by guests. Learning to work together with

people from different backgrounds is essential since staff never know what the background of any specific guest will be. Yet the guest experience needs to be the same for everyone.

Problem Solving and Service

Superb guest service that leads to amazing experiences is the goal of the hospitality industry. This is something hospitality leaders need

to develop in staff. Of course, things can sometimes go wrong and it’s part of life. For example, if a guest has been given the wrong reservation and the problem is not resolved in a friendly and positive way, the guest will not have an enjoyable experience. The goal is to resolve problems so the guest forgets the inconvenience caused, feels satisfied about the solution, enjoys the stay and would choose to return.

Safety and Security If there is a danger or some security or safety issue in a hotel, guests look to staff to direct them and guide them. Because, the guests are unfamiliar to the place and the staff is supposed to know the issues thoroughly. Staff should be trained as to the basics of safety, with many having the ability to perform first aid 26

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and CPR if necessary. The hospitality industry must also prepare staff, and develop plans in the event of natural disasters and potential terrorist activity. This is so important, because if the staff doesn’t know what to do, guests will go panicky and chaos will emerge while they are trying to determine the best course of action.


Retention High turnover remains a problem for the hospitality industry. HR can introduce institutional measures to enhance employee satisfaction and morale to increase retention. In-house professional development programs have the potential to present hospitality jobs as viable careers and having social esteem. This enables recruiters to show veterans and new hires how successful people in the industry have advanced.

Recruiting Skill gaps and worker shortages are universal employment problems, but highly skilled recruiters can help establishments select the quality of housekeepers, wait staff, chefs or bartenders they need. This requires the required professional expertise on the part of the Human Resources Department. Undoubtedly, periodical staff training programmes are indispensable in the hospitality industry, given the fact that guest satisfaction is a major driving force in revenue generation in the industry, which is more so as compared perhaps to any other industry.

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Hampi

The Forgotten

Empire Maneesha Ajit

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A

journey into the world of kings, battles, monuments and bygone era, Hampi is an open air museum located in Karnataka. Spread over 4100 hectares and enclosing 2000 odd monuments and ruins of the mighty Vijayanagara Empire, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hampi is a photographer’s delight, a historian’s muse and a heritage enthusiast’s play ground. The name Hampi has its origin in the word Pampa, the ancient name of the river Thungabadhra. Myth has it that Parvathi or Pampa, the daughter of Brahma and a devout worshipper of Lord Shiva, married Shiva at this place and hence the place came to be known as Pampakshetra and Shiva as Pampapathi. Pampa later morphed into the Kannada word Hampe or Hampi.

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The Vittala Temple, a Vishnu temple which was built on a rectangular courtyard with intricately carved pillars. The highlight of this structure is the pillared walls and the stone chariot. Another interesting fact is the 56 musical pillars that reverberates music through the stone columns. 30

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Hampi is bound in both history and mythology. One version of Hampi’s history starts with how Deva Raya or Harihara Deva-I founded the city of Vijayanagara on the south bank of the river Thungabhadra opposite Anegundi, with the aid of his Guru Vidyaranya believing that the Thungabhadra river would protect their kingdom from the attacks of the Deccan Sultanates. Harihara Deva or Hakka was succeeded by Bukka who reigned for another thirty-seven years and is believed to have consolidated all the Hindu rulers under Vijayanagara. Hampi became a thriving city under the rule of Krishnadeva Raya. During his regime the empire saw its peak and covered the whole of South India and beyond. The Vijayanagara Empire, which was in constant conflict with


the Deccan Sultanates, was defeated by a coalition of four allied Muslim sultans of Bijapur, Bidar, Ahmadnagar, and Golconda at the battle of Talikota on January 23, 1565. Over the next five months the enemies plundered the place, destroyed it and burnt it down to ruins. According to local folklore, an entire episode of the Ramayana was supposed to have occurred here. The monkey kingdom Kishkinda, of Vali and Sugreva, is portrayed as the region around Hampi. Anjaneya Hill, located across the river Tungabhadra, is believed to be the birth place of Hanuman. Rishimukh Hill, a popular spot among the boulders, is believed to be the place where Hanuman first met Rama and his brother Lakshmana and the Chintamani Temple, a cave temple just

across Thungabhadra river, is the place where Rama conducted his meetings with Sugreeva and Hanuman to plot against Vali. This was also the place where Rama finally killed Vali. There is an interesting tale about the boulders found all across Hampi. These are believed to be the boulders that Vali and Sugreeva threw at each other during their intense battle and this apparently piled up all around Hampi. At the Bhima’s Gateway, there is a beautiful panel of Keechaka episode that happened during the exile of Pandavas, image of Draupathi tying up her hair after Bhima slayed Duhsasana, images portraying Bhima killing Keechaka and inscriptions of the Saugandhika flower depicting tales of the Pandavas . While everything in Hampi is defiJune 2019

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nitely worth seeing, some of the must visits are: The Vittala Temple, a Vishnu temple which was built on a rectangular courtyard with intricately carved pillars. The highlight of this structure is the pillared walls and the stone chariot. Another interesting fact is the 56 musical pillars that reverberates music through the stone columns. Each pillar is from a single slab of granite and the sound it makes is indicated by the musical instrument held by the courtesan carved on the pillar, to protect these pillars tapping on them to emit musical notes is prohibited now. The Lotus Mahal is a two storeyed symmetrical pavilion surrounded by four towers in pyramidal shape giving a lotus-like visual appearence. A meeting place for women of the royal family, it is one of the few secular or non religious structures in Hampi and a beautiful blend of Mughal and Indian architecture. The gopuras of the Virupaksha temple, dedicated to Virupaksha, (Lord Shiva) has solid granite base while the top of the gopura is made using a mixture of bricks and wood.

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This temple is believed to be functioning uninterruptedly ever since its inception in the 7th century AD. Mahanavami Dibba is a huge square stone stage made in three layers. This was built by Sri Krishnadevaraya after his victorious expedition to Orissa. The walls of the structure have beautiful carvings similar to that of the colourful Dussera celebrations. Underground Shiva Temple was built many meters below the ground level and most of the time, the sanctum and most parts of the temple are underwater. Hemakuta Hill is where during Shiva’s wedding with Pampa, the Gods from heaven have apparently showered gold. Hema in Sanskrit means gold. The name of the hill thus connects with this legend which literally means heap of gold. The market place of Hampi, which was once a business center, the Hazara Rama Temple owing it’s name to the magnitude of depiction of the Ramayana ,the elephant stables, Purandara Mantapa, Queen’s bath, Anegudi gate, which was the entrance to mythological king-


dom of Kishkinda, Yoga Narasimha Statue which was built where Lord Narasimha had supposedly done penance after killing Hiranyakashipu, Matanga Hill, the Jain temples, Bheema’s Gateway, Sunset Point and Watch tower to see the sun set over the Tungabhadra River are some of the other attractions. For the adventurously inclined, Hampi offers bouldering, rock climbing at the Sun temple and coracle ride along the Thungabhadra river. The coracle ride should not be given a miss as it gives a view of the beautiful rock formations on the sides of the river caused by years of erosion and a view of the temples and carvings on the banks that otherwise lie submerged during the monsoon. Travel suggestion around Hampi would be to the temple towns of Badami, Aihole and Pattadakal( another UNESCO World Heritage Site) all within 3 - 4 hours drive from Hampi. Hampi’s Living heritage is definitely its people. Living among these ruins, over generation using these ruins to construct dwellings they have incorporated this rich heritage into their daily lives and in their own way are

preserving it. Apart from the locals at any point of time there will be a pot pourri of travellers at Hampi. Hippies, sadhus, pilgrims, musicians, historians, photographers both amateurs and professionals alike aiming for their next perfect click of the ruins, boulderers, bikers and marathoners. Go Heritage Runs, an award-winning series of fun run have been conducting yearly heritage runs/walks along the scenic banks of the Thungabadra river and past the ruins to promote awareness. The best time to visit Hampi will be during the winter from October to March if you want to roam around without drenching in sweat. During the monsoon from June to August, the mesmerising coracle ride will not be possible as the water level will be very high and also the boulders become quite slippery and walking around them gets tricky. In November there is the Hampi Festival, a 3 day cultural extravaganza including music shows,

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Hampi has accommodation in all ranges. The New Clarks Inn, Hotel Mallige, Shanthi guesthouse, all offer decent and comfortable stay, for more relaxed and luxurious stay try the Evolve Back Kamalapura Palace, an Orange County property or the Hyatt Place. puppet dance stalls, fireworks and various other processions as the locals join in the festivity. The Purandaradasa Aradhana during Jan/Feb every year is a festival to celebrate the birthday of Purandaradasa who lived in Hampi. This festival hosts various musicians from across the world joining in to celebrate in Classical Style. The gateway to Hampi is Hospet, a city about 13 kms from Hampi. There are train and bus services from all major places to Hospet. The nearest airport is Hubli, about 143 kms from Hampi. A more practical and cheaper option to reach Hampi would be to fly to Bangalore and take the overnight Hampi express to Hospet Jn. and from there, a bus or taxi. 34

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Hampi has accommodation in all ranges. The New Clarks Inn, Hotel Mallige, Shanthi guesthouse, all offer decent and comfortable stay. For more relaxed and luxurious stay try the Evolve Back Kamalapura Palace, an Orange County property or the Hyatt Place. No travel is complete without some souvenir shopping. Handcrafted stone artefacts, figurines of gods or replicas of the Hampi ruins, crafts by the artisans of the Lambani community, leather goods, musical instruments and banana fibre crafts are the choices to remind you of the places that you have visited. No picture can do complete justice to this city of ruins. You need to touch the stone structures, feel the intricately carved pillars, soak in the grandeur and glory and make an attempt to connect to the glorious past. Hampi calls for a visit! ‘Where there is ruins, there is treasure’-Rumi.


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COMPETITION

Winners For Clint Memorial Online International Painting Competition Announced

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he winners of the International Children’s Online Painting Competition in memory of prodigious child artist Edmund Clint were declared today after the jury went through close to 39,000 works it received from the stipulated 4-16 age group across as many as 96 countries. State Minister Shri Kadakampally Surendran, who holds the portfolio of Kerala Tourism that organised the event, announced a list of 110 winners of whom 15 are eligible for attractive tour packages with family. Ten of the 15 are from foreign countries.

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1st - Parth Joshi, Age 12, Vadodara, Gujrat, India - 17143

The first prize went to Parth Joshi, 12, of Vadodara in Gujarat. He, along with four other top winners from India, become eligible for a five-night Kerala travel accompanied by two members of the family, the minister told a press conference here.

three prize-winners will get a certificate and a memento. Twenty other winners, too, will receive mementoes. The artists whose works were shortlisted will get special prizes, while all the participants will receive certificates.

Fourteen-year-old Nafisa Tabassum Authay of Bangladesh won the second prize. She, along with nine other children from abroad who won the top prizes, will be eligible for a five-night Kerala tour with two members from the family. Aaradhya P.G, a six-year-old Malayali girl, fetched the third prize. She figures among 40 prize winners from the host state who will receive a cash award of Rs 10,000 each. The first

Clint (1976-83) was a Kochiite who drew more than 25,000 pictures in 2,522 days of his life before a prolonged illness cut short his life. Born to Mr M T Joseph (who died earlier this year) and Mrs Chinnamma Joseph, the boy’s life and works went on to earn increasing global acclaim. Clint’s life has found portrayal in seven books and two documentaries besides in a 2017 Malayalam feature film.

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MEDICAL NEWS

Medical Updates Coronary heart disease may speed up cognitive decline

It is natural for a person’s memory and thinking abilities, or cognitive function, to wane as they age — even if they are in good health. However, the rate of cognitive decline can speed up if they experience heart attack or angina, according to new research. Studies that have explored the links between circulation problems and cognitive decline have tended to focus on conditions that affect the blood supply to the brain, such as stroke. Few of these earlier studies, however, have looked at the long-term links between incident coronary heart disease (CHD), such as heart attack and angina, and cognitive decline. The recent Journal of the American

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College of Cardiology study is unique; it tracked cognitive decline both before and after incident CHD. The study concluded that Incident CHD is associated with accelerated cognitive decline after, but not before, the event. It suggests that the findings highlight the long-term relationship between cognitive decline and CHD.

Low fruit and vegetable intake may account for millions of deaths

Findings from a new study suggest that inadequate consumption of fruits and vegetables may be a major factor in heart disease death. Not eating enough fruits or vegetables may have dire consequences for cardiovascular health. Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, fiber, potassium, magnesium, and antioxidants. A diet that includes fruits and vegetables can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, and improve digestive health. The researchers estimated that the risk of heart disease is 20% lower among individuals who eat more than five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, compared with those who eat fewer than three servings per day. Executive Knowledge Lines


The United States Department of Agriculture recommend that adults eat at least 1.5 to 2 cups per day of fruit and 2–3 cups per day of vegetables. According to another study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only around 1 in 10 adults meet these guidelines.

An 8-hour work week could be ideal for mental health

How many paid hours per week does a person need to work to maintain good mental health? That is the question a new study aimed to answer, and the findings suggest that shorter work weeks and longer weekends could be most beneficial. In many countries around the world, people in full-time employment work 40-hour weeks (typically 8 hours per day), Monday to Friday. Some countries have shorter work weeks, however. For instance, in Belgium, people typically work 38-hour weeks (7.7 hours per day), Monday to Friday. In Norway, there are 37.5-hour weeks. Yet companies in some parts of the world are increasingly trialing

short weeks to see how they affect employees’ productivity and overall sense of well-being. A recent study by researchers of Cambridge University in the United Kingdom found that www.eklines.com

working up to 8 hours per week of paid work boosted the mental wellbeing of people who were leaving a period of unemployment. However, the study revealed that working a “standard” week of 37–40 hours brought no additional mental health benefits. This effect was the same for both women and men.

Surgeons’ Misbehavior May Signal More Patient Complications

Patients of surgeons who were cited by colleagues for unprofessional conduct on multiple occasions were found to be at increased risk for medical errors and complications, a study of two geographically diverse medical centers found. Among more than 13,000 patients under the care of 202 surgeons, those whose surgeon had at least 4 reports of unprofessional behavior filed against them by their coworkers had a significantly increased rate of any complication compared to those whose surgeon had zero reports filed against them (14.1% vs 10.7%, P<0.001), reported William Cooper, MD, MPH, of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and colleagues. Specifically, they had a significantly increased rate of any surgical complicationsor medical complications, including more surgical site infections, cases of sepsis, pulmonary complications and renal complications (1.1% vs 0.7%. In the reports filed, unprofessional behavior was classified as unsafe care, a lack of respectful communication, falsifying schedules or other violations of integrity, and failing to follow policies or maintain other responsibilities. July 2019

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How vitamin D helps fight treatment-resistant cancer

The main cause of failure in chemotherapy treatments is that tumors develop resistance to anticancer drugs. Now, a new study reveals how vitamin D can help to overcome this problem. Using cultured tumor cells, scientists found an ‘active metabolite of vitamin D3’ that kills cancer cells. Researchers from South Dakota State University, in Brookings, have demonstrated that calcitriol and calcipotriol, two active forms of vitamin D, can block a mechanism that enables cancer cells to become drug-resistant. The mechanism is a drug transporter protein called multidrug resistanceassociated protein 1 (MRP1). The protein sits in the cell wall and drives a pump that ejects cancer drugs out of the cell. The researchers showed that calcitriol and calcipotriol can selectively hone in on cancer cells that have too much MRP1 and destroy them.

Genetic Defects at Birth May Have Hidden Consequences

Birth defects may put children at increased risk for childhood cancers, with a new study estimating that just under 10% of childhood cancers could be attributed to chromosomal or nonchromosomal birth defects. The study of more than 10 million births from four ethnically and racially diverse states showed that children born with chromosomal anomalies were at more than 11 times greater risk (odds ratio 11.6; 95% CI 10.4-12.9) and those born with nonchromosomal birth defects were at 2.5 times greater risk (95% 40

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CI 2.4-2.6) for being diagnosed with cancer before age 18 compared with children born without any birth defects. The risk for cancer increased with an increasing number of such birth defects, with children with four or more major birth defects about six times more likely to be diagnosed versus those with none (OR 5.9; 95% CI 5.4-6.5).

Low vitamin K may reduce mobility in older adults

Older adults with insufficient vitamin K are likely to be at higher risk for mobility disability, according to new research. Low levels of vitamin K may restrict mobility in older adults. The investigators who carried out the study say that their findings “suggest vitamin K may be involved in the disablement process in older age.” They describe their work in a paper that features in a recent issue of The Journals of Gerontology: Series A. Previous studies have established links between vitamin K and long-term conditions that can raise the risk of mobility disability. These conditions include cardiovascular disease and osteoarthritis. However, none of those earlier investigations had examined the relationship between vitamin K and mobility disability directly.

New findings offer pathway for fight against non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

A research group from the Medical University of Vienna was able to decode the mechanism as to how the hormone Leptin stimulates the liver to export lipids and reduce the fat production in the liver. This occurs due to the activation of neurons in the


brain stem. These findings provide new approaches for the fight against non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which often occurs in connection with obesity. The results were just published in the top journal Nature Communications. Leptin is a hormone produced by the adipose tissue and critically involved in controlling appetite and hunger satisfaction. Leptin passes the bloodbrain barrier and signals to the brain how much fat mass is available in the body. People suffering from pathological overweight (obesity) or a fatty liver, generally exhibit elevated circulating leptin levels due to an increase in body fat mass. However, the leptin signal arriving in the brain may be limited due to leptin resistance.

The Health Benefits of Sleeping on Your Side You know how important getting enough restorative sleep is for facing each new day refreshed and ready to take on the world. Now research suggests that your sleep position may have an impact on brain health, too. For a study done on animals, researchers used dynamic contrast magnetic resonance imaging to see the brain’s glymphatic pathway. That’s the system that clears waste and other harmful chemicals from the brain, much like the way the lymphatic system clears waste from organs. The researchers found that brain waste was cleared most effectively when sleeping on one side rather than on the back or stomach. This means that side sleeping could help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s,

Parkinson’s and other brain-based diseases. That’s because a buildup of brain waste likely plays a part in these illnesses.

Facebook Posts Can Reveal Medical Conditions: Study

Medical conditions are among the many things your social media activity can reveal about you, according to a new study. By analyzing nearly 950,000 posts of more than 500 words by 999 Facebook users, researchers were able to predict 21 types of medical conditions, ranging from skin disorders to pregnancy, CNN reported. The researchers observed that people’s personality, mental state, and health behaviors are all reflected in their social media and all have tremendous impact on health. They looked for language in the posts that likely indicated characteristic behavior or symptoms of certain conditions, CNN reported.

Yogurt Might Help Men Avoid Colon Cancer: Study

Yogurt is a healthy food, and it may also be a cancer fighter, a new study suggests. Men who had two or more servings of yogurt a week had a 26% lower risk of developing precancerous growths in their colon, a new study reports. Researchers didn’t find the same cancer-fighting benefit for women, however. The researchers observed that these data suggest that other characteristics of yogurt, such as its potential role in altering the natural bacteria in our guts, may have cancer-preventive properties. But they cautioned that the study doesn’t prove yogurt prevents colon cancer, only that there appears to be an association. June 2019

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The

PICTURE Page

Photographed by Ananthu P Nair Location: Perumathura Beach, Trivandrum

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Profile for Metro Mart Magazine

Metro Mart June 2019  

Metro Mart within the last Six years were able to make its presence felt in the city and now a utility readers look upon. Our readers are th...

Metro Mart June 2019  

Metro Mart within the last Six years were able to make its presence felt in the city and now a utility readers look upon. Our readers are th...

Profile for metromart