Friday, 12 February 2016


There are times when you meet someone and you know that he surely has a story to tell. A first encounter with Ganesh Arun Mulajker (don't think anyone calls him by that name anymore) alias 'Bunty' got me intrigued.

The story starts like this- a few weeks back,we decided to plan a short weekend get-away from Singapore. Our destination choices in the region were plenty- Kohsamui, Cambodia, Vietnam, Bali, Krabi

Krabi has always been special. As a couple this was our first overseas trip 13 years ago, a year before the famous 'Tsunami' hit the island. Our first 'backpacking' holiday. So taking the kids back there sounded exciting. Of course the hotel and our requirements were different now- a good hotel by the beach with a kids club, nice restaurants, and enough activities to do as a family. 
Si Kao, Trang Province

As we zeroed in on our hotel- Ananatara, Si Kao in Trang province, one name popped up in every research- Bunty! Every person had something 'special' to tell about the guy. So the name stayed in my mind.

Just as we entered the hotel lobby, this wide smiled (seemed like an Indian) guy welcomed us and said, "Hi, I am Bunty". I had a bigger smile on my face and wondered what's with the guy. As we settled into our holiday, Bunty was quick to gauge that we don't like the crowds and preferred 'off the cuff activities'. 

Everything that Bunty recommended worked perfectly for us. During breakfast time, you could hear tonnes of people calling out for Bunty. Bunty even had his special way to convey that he cares - our 3-year old even had fever one evening. We happened to mention it to Bunty. A few hours later, lovely balloons and an even better worded card was at delivered to our room (as in the picture).

So what was special about Bunty- his personal touch, his ability to connect with anyone- young or old, knowing the names of all the odd 100-room guests, creating personalised itineraries for them, being seen around the hotel anytime of the day (or maybe even the night). He was surely not your 'usual' concierge guy
'Bunty' Mulajker

I was itching to hear Bunty's 'real' story-  what was it like for him to be working in a remote island like Si Kao, doesn't he miss India, does he have Indian friends and many more. My few minutes spent with Bunty at his office gave me a quick recap of his journey. It can easily be passed off as a 'Bollywood' film script as well. 

His tryst with Thailand started 22 years ago in Bangkok and several jobs later he landed in Hua Hin and now Si Kao. His knowledge of the region will amuse you. He enjoys Thai food more than Indian food, speaks Thai better than Marathi, his family home that he misses is not in Pune but in Hua Hin.
I was still curious about the name 'Bunty'. How did he get that name? Even that has a story to it- as a kid he used to have a lot of 'bun' and 'tea'. So his parents used to call him 'Bunty'. So following the Thai tradition of having a 'nickname', he called himself 'Bunty' from the day he landed in Thailand.

Normally at the end of any holiday, you come back with loads of memories of things you did, food you ate, places you visited. For us, Bunty will be a big part of it and like the others I mentioned about him too in my online reviews!  

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