Being a Host

One of the biggest advantage or disadvantage of living in the country’s capital is the number of outstation guests we have to handle. Earlier the husband’s convenient home was the reason (bachelor with a big enough home, a full time help, car at service etc), then it became meeting the newlyweds (that is when I came into the picture), at times the reason is some treatment, sometimes it is shopping for business purpose, at times it is preparations for weddings or other family functions and more than often it is travelling via Delhi.  Few hours of halt is extended to a day or two for the sheer convenience our residence provides and the social animals we are. Belonging to a big fat Indian family also plays it role, so does the big network both sets of parents belong to.

No, I am not complaining, I love having guests over and even accommodating them with our daily schedule is not new for me, because at my Mom’s place also, it was the same. So much so that a close friend used to joke that ‘Dharamshala kyu nahi bana lete tum apne ghar ko’. But jokes apart that time, entertaining them wasn’t my sole responsibility, it was my parents.  I only had to be a help to mamma and try to follow her orders to the T.

Now I am the one responsible for playing the host even more than the husband.  And needless to say it is a big learning experience.  As it is not only related to meeting new people but putting up with them, cooking for them, being their local buddy, cleaning up after them and lots of more things that comes with the package of being a host. For a start it teaches you being a better guest yourself.  Just half an hour back we have bid our byes to the first guest of summers and the discussion that followed with TBH has made me do this post.  Here’s a list of few of my random observations of different types of guest that have visited us.

The Good Guest

  • They are happy positive people and their arrival brightens the home.
  • They are the people who understand the concept of space; non interfering, non demanding and non over expecting lot.
  • They would be hassle free – fussiness free people.
  • They know it’s your household. And would do their bit of help if they see you are the only one struggling in the kitchen or even otherwise.
  • They would try to manage themselves and would not expect you to accompany them at every outing they have in your city.
  • They would be okay as far as spending money on need basis is considered. For example if they are visiting here for their own work, they don’t mind spending on commute/eat out sessions even if you are accompanying them.
  • They would clean tidy up the guest room, make bed each day. Keep their stuff in an organized way.
  • They would clean up the bathroom post usage.
  • If the stay is extended they would not mind minding their own business after a period of time.
  • And they eat whatever is served on the table or help taking menu decisions or if allergic to something they don’t forget to mention beforehand.

The Not so Good Guest

  • Yes they are opposites with many a peculiar habits.
  • They totally believe in the concept of ‘jo tera hai vo mera hai’. Using a lot of personal items without even bothering to ask.
  • Adding to the above point, they totally consider your household as theirs in regard to giving gyan as how furniture should be set, how wardrobes should be organized, they would share useful but uncalled for kitchen tips instead of providing help.
  • They don’t believe in concepts like cleaning up, leaving the bathroom dirty, leaving wet towel on bed;  hanging laundry as if a decorative piece on the balcony railing instead of using the common laundry stand are few common habits.
  • They are fussy eaters, and they have different excuses for not eating whatever is cooked. They don’t take the initiative of sharing their likes and dislikes in time Instead they make you feel guilty of not been able to feed them properly.
  • They are the kind of people who boasts of practicing yoga daily, even taking classes but not able to wake up before 9 am even a single day on the weeklong stay they have with you. 
  • They think being their driver or local guide is the only occupation we have, they insist on taking you along wherever they go and never bother to pay for the common expenses.
  • They don’t understand that we are attached to the home we are living in even it is a rented space. They complain about the type of construction, how bad is the flooring, how the contractor has saved every penny he could etc.

I can go on and on about them. The experience of being a host multiple times to different kinds of people is giving me a lot of fodder to write, I should probably keep adding to my own list from time to time.  Like the shopping experience with all these guests demands a dedicated post in itself so does the sleeping patterns of them. But enough for now, more on this may be later.

So what kind of people you have had experience of entertaining?

Note: The term guest for me excludes my close family members – both set of parents, our siblings, Bhaiya – Bhabhi and alike. 

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11 thoughts on “Being a Host

  1. Santulan April 3, 2013 at 12:38 pm Reply

    Ooh, I don’t get much guests so I guess I should say you’re doing a good job managing what ever you can when the fussy guys come over

    • onehonestwriter April 3, 2013 at 2:04 pm Reply

      Me and TBH together doing a damn well job, considering the number of people as repeat guests 🙂 but the toll it takes on us is a different story 😉

  2. MoRS April 3, 2013 at 2:33 pm Reply

    Wow. I am glad I live in a city where guests are few and so it is always fun to have them around. My Delhi cousins say the same story. One of them is sending his kid to a boarding school because the influx of guests were distracting her too much.

    • onehonestwriter April 3, 2013 at 5:35 pm Reply

      Really? I think I will learn to say firm No when the time arrives.

  3. Nisha April 3, 2013 at 7:32 pm Reply

    I have an aunt living in Delhi; her house is actually a Dharamshaala!! I’ve tried to be the best guest possible but what I hate is this Indian formality of paying for the guest whenever you eat out. I mean, poor Delhites!! We should push for going dutch… always. This ‘jab hum tumhare ghar aaayenge tab tum khilana’ puts a lotttt of pressure.

    • onehonestwriter April 3, 2013 at 7:51 pm Reply

      You are so right, we should actually Dutch whenever eating out or during common commutes. The seemingly small expenses at times screw the budget or for me the amount I would have otherwise spend on personal shopping ;).

      It seems its the story with all dilly wallas.

  4. LiFi April 3, 2013 at 9:30 pm Reply

    I think this story can be true in all metro cities where you get guests often. I don’t get a lot of guests now that I am in foreign land and now I look forward to get some. My sister who lives in Bangalore go through similar situation like you mentioned, I think every month she will have at least one guest visiting putting her already hectic schedule into mess. Like you said there is always that good and not so good guest category.

    • onehonestwriter April 4, 2013 at 8:32 am Reply

      Same with us, every month there is some one or the other visiting us, but i kinda like having people around. It just that the some of them leaves a sour mark. Don’t think I will manage very well without seeing frns n family often in a foreign land.

  5. techie2mom April 4, 2013 at 4:47 pm Reply

    It’s the same here as well!!! Since we shifted to Noida, we have visits from friends, relatives and old neighbours!! And like you i too have realized that there are 2 types of guests 😉 and the importance of being good guests ourselves 🙂
    Once in Hyderabad, we had a guest who wanted us to travel 20 kms to buy cheap watches for her servants!!! The travel would have costed more than the watches 🙄

    • onehonestwriter April 4, 2013 at 8:44 pm Reply

      Like I said, it seems the case with every other person living in a metro 🙂 and I can so connect to the watch thing, some of them get so adamant on buying cheap stuff without even realising how much time n money they are spending in an otherwise easily available thing.

  6. jennifertheprincesz July 24, 2014 at 4:17 pm Reply

    I been with such experiences since childhood as there were some or the other guests coming at our place but now I am bit relaxed though I stay in Delhi but not entertained such guests for a long time touchwood 🙂

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