As we all know, the Roll of Honour, and all it entails, has been a much anticipated and prestigious event for the staff of the Thomas Cook India Group. Each time the winners are taken on a grand holiday to an exotic destination, along with their families. This time we present a first-person account from a spouse! Siddhi, the wife of ROH winner Anirudhha Hirlekar-Leisure Travel, Mumbai, couldn’t believe her good fortune! Here she gives us an ecstatic account of her experience of those blissful days in Prague.
“Every once in a while, you hear a piece of news which you don’t believe instantly. For me, 1st Aug 2019 was that day. I still remember Aniruddha telling me that the destination of the much awaited Roll of Honor (ROH) trip for 2019 was Prague, and, more importantly that I and baby Mira would be accompanying him as part of the Performance Meet.
I always knew Ani would travel to an International destination in September for his much awaited ROH trip (he had been going on and on about the experiences of his colleagues who had been on such trips in the past and all the fun they’d had), but I had never thought it would be Europe, and that too Prague! (Ranbir Kapoor’s ‘Rockstar’ being our favorite movie’, the city had always been on our bucket list!).
While the thought of accompanying him was exciting for me, I was worried at the thought of taking baby Mira (barely 10 months at that time) along with us. How would we manage the air travel, her food, her sleep timings, water for her, how would she react to the changed weather etc. A 1000 questions bothered us!
But the real heroes started showing up at every step of the pre-departure preparation and later throughout the tour. From patiently replying to all our queries, to helping us with good flights, comfortable seating, and inflight proper meals for little Mira, every aspect of the pre-departure formalities were well taken care of! (This was baby Mira’s first flight experience).
After a journey of almost 12 hours we had reached our city of dreams – Prague, and no sooner did we land the real Thomas Cook experience started with us being welcomed with a rose and a chocolate for every arriving guest, from a beautiful lady in a traditional outfit.
The hotel chosen for this trip was the best in its class, and at a very convenient location. The amount of yummy food we were fed by the team of Thomas Cook Tour Managers and the other representative from MICE throughout the trip was unbelievable. Most of us must have gained significant weight after the trip, although the walking tours and exciting activities at Tankodrom Milovice ensured that the food intake was compensated for.
As mentioned earlier we were concerned about baby Mira’s food, to our surprise every venue / restaurant we went to ‘a special ‘Khichadi’ was ready for her. Because of this she was well fed throughout the trip while we could gorge on delicious Indian food.
The sightseeing was very well chosen. While some places gave us a glimpse of the amazing history of this part of the world, others showed us their technological advancement. The tours were full of excitement and surprises. I personally loved the visit to the Tankodrom Milovice Camp which was a real adventure. The experience of firing a real AK-47 rifle and the ride on a real Tank was something I will never forget!
While the complete arrangements of the whole trip were amazing, the small surprises that popped up, like the Magnum Ice cream after the tram ride, or the Hotel Chocolate in Dresden, elevated the entire experience to another level.
The arrangements of the awards night at a grand venue in a five star hotel were fabulous. The ambience, the music— everything made us feel special. My interactions with Ms. Mona Cheriyan and Mr. Mahesh Iyer were the icing on the cake. At the very special moment when Ani was called on stage to collect the award, and we were asked to accompany him, with the whole crowed applauding and cheering for us, it was an unreal and humbling experience.
Personally this trip was very special for us as it was a pre-birthday celebration for our little princess Mira (she turned a year old on 6th October), and it all happened because of the hard work put in by the entire team in arranging this trip… If I had to rate the whole experience of the Performers Meet Prague 2019, I would definitely give it a 5 ! … My heartfelt gratitude to all who made it happen. Thank you so much for the beautiful memories that will linger long after the excitement is over. It was very, very special!
–Siddhi Aniruddha Hirlekar —