“Mehman Bhagwaan ka Swaroop Hote Hai”
Guests are gods in disguise.
Such a noble thought, noble enough to have become Indian Tourism’s tagline – “Atithi Devo Bhava”!
Noble as a thought and even for promoting the sentiment of Indian culture of considering guests as worship worthy!
While on the other hand, we had a Bollywood movie, usually taken to be a depiction of the modern Indian society: “Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge!” (Translates to Dear Guest, When would you leave?)
I did not appreciate the movie much, however, the title could not have better spoken of my sentiments, in many such encounters.
Allow me to list down some.
#Encounter1 – The Inquisitive
Either you won’t know them or even if you know them, you may not care much. Still following questions have popped up!
“Beta, what do you do?”
“Oh! Your parents are pharmacists? How did you end up in Engineering?”
“WHATT!! YOU LEFT POST GRADUATION IN ENGINEERING TO JOIN A JOURNALISM COURSE? HAHAHAHAHAHAH”
“Ohh!! You’re a journalist?!! Tough job for girls haan! Especially after marriage. U know what I mean!”
“When are you getting married? It’s the right age! Or don’t have plans at all?”
“Ohhh!! You married out of your caste??? Ah anyway it is better not to expect from people of your generation!”
If they’d have enough guts, they would go to the extent of asking me when am I having a baby! Very common but highly annoying!! The worse is yet to come: the questions on which I was reluctant to answer, they’ll cross question my parents for the same!
Dear Guest, from whatever planet you have come to me, neither am I amazed nor am I interested. I have stopped putting in efforts to understand why you’re so inquisitive about everyone’s matters except for yours! I hope you got the message that I am NOT even remotely interested to clarify your doubts! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a life to live!
Distant relatives, acquaintances of your parents/ in-laws would generally be in this category!
#ENCOUNTER2 – The Caring
You know them very well since they’re in regular contact. But they want to know if every detail of your life..!!
You remain so busy with your life.
You hardly come and meet us or even call us.
You have to come to my place.
You know you should do this..
You should do that..!!
I do this, I do that!
You and your husband have demanding jobs! How long will this go on! How will you take time out for babies!
Uncle, Aunty, Sir, Madam, Would you please bother minding your own business! I’m sure your kids must be having a hell of a time with you. My family is there to worry about me!
Someone from your gossip monger interfering relatives or closed circle of family friends.
#ENCOUNTER3 Stereotypical, Formal and Full of Expectations
Again not anyone you know but you are bound to sit before them for they know people who live in your house.
First, there’s no common topic, interests or attitude but then you’re her colleague’s daughter.She has to know your marital status, college grades and designation right?
Next, you’ll be expected to sit in front of her, even if she won’t talk to you or take you to be a part of the discussion. You walk out it’s an insult.
You’re a girl and you walked to that uncle in shorts to serve water – uncle gets scandalized and thinks the girl has no Sanskaar or etiquettes!
You didn’t ask or insist to that distant relative if she wants another serving of Dal or Sabzee – you’re so inconsiderate – because you did not insist them for more until they puke and instead thought they better feel free and at ease.
Dear Guest, Your type is most often seen anywhere and everywhere. I’ll be glad to talk provided you learn to respect my individuality.
It seems such kind of atithis (Guests) take themselves for god before they enter your house!
And I might ask with confidence,
“Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge!”