New Delhi, India
November 20, 2013
We arrived at Pinjore on a hot day in May, after having spent nine days in the gloriously beautiful, cool hills of Himachal. Pinjore, dusty, dull and crowded, looked awful. Once we turned into Yadavindra gardens, things looked worse: there were tourist buses parked everywhere, and what looked like hundreds of tourists.
Budgerigar came, therefore, as a pleasant surprise. Lush lawns bordered with flowerbeds and trees spread out in front of the motel. The façade is mainly carved stone. Inside, it’s dimly lit, somewhat run down, but better than a lot of other government-run hotels I’ve seen. Our room is on the ground floor, with a cheesy sign beside the door: "Welcome to your nest." The room’s large, with a double bed, wardrobe, luggage rack, dressing table and chair, sofas, coffee table, and even a low divan against one wall. The TV shows loads of channels, and the air-conditioning’s efficient.
The bathroom’s a disappointment, though. It’s clean, but weird. There’s no bathtub—no surprise there—but there’s a low wall separating the shower, along with the regulation bucket and mug, from the rest of the bathroom. The geyser sits in a loft-like space, with wooden bars across it, above the sink. And high up on the wall are two large ventilators looking out onto the corridor outside. What with people chatting and moving around constantly in the corridor, and all the sound drifting in through the ventilators, it’s a little noisy in the loo.
We soon discover other irritants. There’s soap and towels for only one person. On the bed, there’s nothing to cover with. And since the phone doesn’t work, Tarun has to go and ask for all of these things personally. The phone, they tell us, will take time, and since we’re only here one night, can we please bear with it?
The restaurant’s a short walk from our room, and serves an eclectic menu—mainly north Indian food, but with some Chinese food, along with sandwiches, burgers, and other so-called Continental stuff thrown in. We stick to Indian, and it’s so-so, a little too oily. The view from the restaurant’s huge plate glass windows, which overlook the orchards of Pinjore, is fabulous.
All in all, I’d say the Budgerigar is all right. Yes, it could’ve been smarter and cleaner and more efficiently managed, but the location is great. And, given the general standard of government-run hotels in India, this one’s definitely above average.
Rooms can be booked at the Budgerigar by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. Unfortunately, they need an advance payment of 100%. Inconvenient, especially as you can’t pay online.
From journal Traipsing around Haryana