Guests are always welcome as per our culture.In these times -in metros,where we reside in matchbox type flats,guests lead to a lot of inconvenience but we Bhartiya endure all Mehmaan with smiles galore.Some guests are so accommodating that you end up feeling like a guest in your own house !
When I & my family visit my inlaws ,we eat brunch & drink glasses full of coffee till we have to politely refuse.In this case,though, we are guests,we adjust our breakfast & lunch & dinner to match the timings at the home there.But my inlaws make us adjust, when they come visiting us, as they are our guests! So here also,we have early lunch almost bordering on breakfast time.Moreover,any new dish prepared is frowned upon-so tastes also have to suit the guests. I make desperate attempts to like dishes prepared there when we are visiting ! But, it is a one way traffic-I have to make things to suit them while they are here & the things they make, suit me as I am family,not guest to be pandered to -so obvious,isn't it ? That's why ,I am tense whenever I visit my in laws.My hunger pangs make me angry but, I have to keep smug, for the need to pretend normalcy in such awkward situations !
Then we had a guest the other day- he was a far flung relative.He came visiting & at midnight,he remembered, that he needed to recharge his mobile .My dad went with him of course, but, after trying to make him understand that he could always recharge in the morning.But anyway,it didn't work & our guest had his way.Then, when he was almost ready to depart,he said that he feared that eating at stations enroute may cause him indigestion ! So my bhabhi immediately set to work & prepared rotis & sabzi for the journey.My brother was of the opinion that if he disliked the stuff,he would throw them all & all the man hours nah, woman hours would have been wasted .To this, my dad replied, that nothing would be wasted as he would eat them up.I know that my dad hates wastage but, then ,I did not know that, he would accompany the guest on the journey to keep a check !
I have a cousin who came visiting us recently.She would eat nashta alone later,after all had eaten.When my saas chided her for not eating with others, she said that she is habituated to eating alone .Then we took her to a shop to buy her a dress as a parting gift.She chose the most expensive dress available, making us wonder as to why we ever got her to the shop ! Not only that,as she boarded the bus,she said that she had only a 500 rupee note & the conductor will demand change.My hubby took out two to three hundred rupee notes & handed them over to her .His idea was- that was small change compared to the expenses we would have incurred had she stayed longer !
Sometimes the atithi stays so long that he becomes as good as a member of the household of the host.In such a case,we may be forced to ask,"Atithi,tum kub jaoge ?"