All of us at some time or the other play host to guests visiting us. Heres how to be a good host even if you have no free time. According to a saying in Sanskrit "Atithi devo bhava", or a guest is similar to God. Looking after of guests well is very strongly ingrained in Indian culture. However, in todays world everyone is so busy with their own lives that if guests come visiting, we really canno
All of us at some time or the other play host to guests visiting us. Here's how to be a good host even if you have no free time.
According to a saying in Sanskrit "Atithi devo bhava", or a guest is
similar to God. Looking after of guests well is very strongly ingrained in Indian culture. However, in today's world everyone is so busy with their own lives that if guests come visiting, we really cannot spend much time with them. And if we start catering to a guest's every whim, there will come a time when we will start
dreading the arrival of guests, since it means subjecting ourselves to
so much work.
We should, however, try and find a balance.
How much time and attention you can devote to your guests naturally depends a great deal on your profession, on how much free time you have, on where you live, on your economic status and so on. But irrespective of all these factors, there are certain bare essentials you should try and take care
Nirmala stayed over at her newly married nephew's place for 2 nights when she was visiting
Calcutta on work. She was astonished when she realized that the sheets
on her bed were not fresh. She went to the toilet, and the towel was
damp. There was a hairbrush lying on her bedside table, which was full
of hair. Needless to say, she was horrified, and her opinion of the new
daughter-in-law of the family lowered by quite a few notches.
If you don't have a cook, ensure that even if you don't
have the time to cook for your guests, there is always something in the
fridge so your guests can make themselves a sandwich or a cup of tea if
they wish to. Show them around the kitchen so they familiarize
themselves with everything. Remember, if you don't have a servant, you
are not expected to do all the cooking and serving. Your responsibility
ends at providing them with an open kitchen and a bedroom. If guests
you especially at your invitation, for example, if there is a wedding
in the family, then you are expected to look after their needs.
Moderate your behaviour
Because guests live in your home as a member of the family,
they see a lot more than an outsider can see, and they don't hesitate
to talk about the habits of your family members to others. So don't
fight with each other, and coach your children to be on their best
behaviour around guests.
When someone has come just to spend time with you, entertaining
them is your responsibility. But if they are staying over at your place
because they had to visit the city for work, it is not bad manners if
you don't move your schedule around to entertain them. However, try to
make the time to take them out at least once for dinner, during their
stay with you.
Often people visiting
from out of town don't know their way around your town. Even if you
cannot take them wherever they want to go, make sure you assist them in
any manner possible. If they need to go somewhere, let them know how
they can get there. If they are tourists, plan out an itinerary for
them. Even if you cannot join them, you can let them know where to go
and how to get there.
Monica had gone to stay with Radha during Radha's
wedding, and she needed access to an Internet connection. Radha was at
the beauty parlour, so she asked Radha's brother. Instead of trying to
help her out, he simply said that they didn't have a connection at home
and walked off. Radha then tried to find out from others if there was a
cyber cafe nearby, and went around speaking to everyone else in the
house, trying to organize a way for her to reach the cyber cafe.
Fortunately, another local who stayed close by, took her to his house
as he had a connection, and she managed to get her work done.
Instead, Radha's brother should have had the decency to ask
around, and even if he didn't have the connection at home, to try and
orgainse something for her. He, instead, turned out to be just another
unhelpful, bad host.
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- The Indiaparenting Team