Collections of Dilip Prakash

HOTEL BILL GATE A very imaginative story

Posted on: April 10, 2008

A very imaginative story which may soon become a reality.

A SHORT STORY – by raj bhatia


Year 2015

I attended a five days conference in Los Angles. On my way back to India,
I took  a detour to San Francisco, the city I had always loved for unkn
own reasons. I had come to know that a new hotel had opened a few months
earlier – HOTEL BILL GATE . My professional curiosity made me avail the

I took an early morning flight from LA to San Francisco. At the airport,
I took the sharing limousine service to the hotel. The weather was
pleasantly cool. I was enjoying the view from  my side of the window.
Even though it was seven in the morning, there was a lot of traffic. I
heard the driver saying – ‘You people are lucky. There is no heavy
traffic at this time.’ Whenever I had gone down to States, I used to be
enchanted with – the endless traffic on the freeways. You could see the
cars driving at all the twenty four hours of the day. In my mind I would
say, ‘This country never sleeps.’

I reached my hotel in twenty minutes. As the car stopped, my side of the
door opened, I paid the fare to the driver, got down and collected my
baggage. As the car took off, I turned around towards the entrance of the
hotel. I noticed a small counter in the corner, on which a neon sign
started flashing. ‘Good Morning. Welcome to HOTEL BILL GATE. If you re
quire a baggage trolley, please press the button here’. As I had one
baggage with wheels, I ignored the message and proceeded towards the
entrance. The double glass doors opened automatically as I came closer.

I entered the large lobby, but did not find a soul. I was surprised,
because it was a 800 rooms hotel and I thought it would be quite hectic
at this time. I saw on one side a counter on top of which it was written
RECEPTION. I walked to the reception counter, but there was no staff. The
moment I came near the counter, a screen on the opposite wall lighted up
and a pretty young lady appeared on the screen. I noticed that there were
three large screens of 72′ on the opposite wall. The recepti onist looked
at me and said, ‘Welcome to HOTEL BILL GATE. Will you like to check in?’
Without waiting for the answer, she asked me to enter the name on the key
board lying in front of me. I started typing my name. As I entered the
words ‘Ra..’ the recepti onist said, ‘Mr. Raj Bhatia, we have a booking
for two days for you. Your particulars are on the screen. Please confirm
if these are correct by pressing ‘Y’ on the keyboard.’  I looked at the
screen which showed my personal data. I pressed the letter ‘Y’.

‘Mr Bhatia, you have indicated that you will settle the bill through your
American Express credit card. Will you please swipe your credit card for
me?’ After the formality was complete, she s aid, ‘Please keep your right
hand on the glass screen to the left side of the key board. Also, there
are blank – hotel cards  lying on the right side of the key board, will
you please swipe one.’ After I gave finger prints of my right hand and
swiped the hotel card, which was similar to any credit card, she said,’
Mr. Bhatia, this card is your room key and your companion during your
stay at HOTEL BILL GATE. For any information or service at the hotel, you
can use this card.’

All along when I was hearing and looking at the receptionist, there
appeared to be some familiarity, which I could not figure out.  On the
screen at the bottom , her name ‘Simi’ was appearing. Finally, I dared to
ask, ‘Ms. S imi, though I have never met you in San Francisco, but you
look very familiar.’ Simi giggled and said, ‘You are right, Uncle. I live
in the same building as you do. I am living on the 15 th floor, while you
live on the tenth floor. We have met m any times in the lift, though we
have not talked to each other.’

‘Simi, when did you move to States?’ I said.

She again laughed and said, ‘No, I have not moved to States –  I am still
in Gurgaon. I am c hecking you in from my Call Centre in Gurgaon, where I
am working. Actually I am not allowed to give my location to the guests,
but I have told you.’

This information came to me as a shock. As I was about to ask some more
questions, Sim i said, ‘Ok, Uncle. See you soon at home. I have already
taken 3 minutes in checking you in, while the standard time allowed is 2
minutes. Any further delay will call for my explanation.’

‘Can I talk to you again?’ I said.

‘Most likely not, because your call may be taken by any of the 1,500
operators in twenty locations in twelve countries. Good bye, Uncle. Have
a pleasant stay at HOTEL BILL GATE .’

With that the screen changed and a few promotional materials started
appearing. I was not out of shock, when the next screen became alive. A
European looking female appeared and started addressing the person , who
had just moved next to me. ‘Good morning, Mr Hoto. We hope you had a
pleasant stay at the Hotel?’ The gentleman, who appeared to be Japanese,
bowed and said, ‘Most pleasant.’

‘Mr. Hoto, your hotel bill has been charged to yo ur credit card.  You
had asked for the taxi. Taxi No  CA WBX 648  is now reaching in the
porch. Have a pleasant journey back home to Tokyo. Sayonara.’

‘Thank you.’ With that the Ja panese guest took a bow towards her. The
girl smiled and took a bow as well, though her bow was a little awkward,
which may have been that she was sitting on a desk and not standing or
not fully trained to Japanese custom. I noticed that a taxi just came to
the porch with a screeching halt.

I was lost in my thoughts and reviewing the magical moments, when I heard
somebody calling me. I turned round and found an unmanned trolley which
had a small screen in the front. The screen had a smiling face of an
American, who was saying to me, ‘Good morning Mr. Bhatia. My name is
Kenneth.. I will take you to your room 1621. If you would please keep
your bag on my trolley.’

I picked up my suitcase an d kept it on the trolley. ‘Please follow me.’
I followed the trolley which was moving just ahead of me and took me
towards the elevators. As we approached, one of the elevators’ doors
opened.  ‘Mr. Bhatia, the lift will take you to the 16 th floor.. I will
go in the service lift.   I will meet you on the 16 th floor.

With that the trolley took off in other direction. The moment I walked in
the lift, the door clos ed. It started moving at a speed and stopped on
the 16th floor. As I came out of the lift, I saw a neon sign on the
opposite wall, which started blinking. It showed my Room No and arrow
direction. I started moving towards the arrow direction.. I heard my b
aggage trolley approaching me from other direction. The trolley moved
just ahead of me and came to halt outside  my room. The room door opened
when I came close. The trolley followed me inside. I removed my baggage
from the trolley. Kenneth said, ‘Mr Bhatia, you can have all the
information about the services of the hotel on the TV screen. Have a
pleasant stay at the hotel.’ I was in a confused mind, how to tip the
robot trolley. Kenneth smiled on his screen and said, ‘Mr. Bhatia there
is no need of tipping. Thank you very much and good day.’ With that the
trolley turned, went out and my room door closed.

Immediately, thereafter, my TV screen came on. A girl, with features of
Far-East countries – Ko rean, Chinese or Japanese   came on the screen.
She said, ‘Mr. Bhatia, I would like to inform you some of the features
of your room. It has all the modern facilities. Room temperature is
automatically controlled to 68 degree. Should you re quire  to change,
you can set it on the dash board next to your bed. You can call any where
in the world without any charge.  A computer with internet connections
are provided in the room. In the room, a safe has been provided where you
can keep your valuable items. Full bar and snacks are provided in the
refrigerator. Any consumption is automatically charged to your bill. We
do not have Room Service. Every alternate floors have a limited dining
facility which is open from 7 a.m. to 10 pm. We have extensive dining,
bar, sports, entertainment facilities in the – Annexe of the hotel.
Details can be seen on TV. Please remember to carry your hotel card at
all times during your stay at the hotel. For use of the servic es, you
need to present your card each time. In the hotel there are TV screens in
various locations. You can enter your card and get whatever information
that you may require. Mr Bhatia, do you have any question?’

‘Only one question. Can you see me?.’

2 Responses to "HOTEL BILL GATE A very imaginative story"

[…] HOTEL BILL GATE A very imaginative story American Express credit card. Will you please swipe your credit card for … me?’ After the formality was complete, she s aid, ‘Please keep your… […]

Dear Mr. Raj,

Really a nice story, if it can happen, it will be wonder and miracle in Hospitality industry, you are genius.

Regards, Deep Agarwal

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