D is for… Dear Guest


Atithi Devo Bhavah or the ‘Guest is the God’ is the mantra which is actually a sort of  ‘code of conduct’ or the the Host-Guest relationship in India. We, as a family, are the bestest hosts and firmly believe in the above. Don’t believe that, ask our friends or better still come and stay with us! So, while we are great at entertaining our guests, and abide by the above code of conduct, do you think the guests aka the God should also be following some code of conduct??

I believe, Yes! Here’s a missive from the hosts to the guests…

Dear Guest

They say that when in Rome, do as the Romans do. While we are very accommodating and supportive, there are a certain things you should try doing as per our Rome.

When we hurriedly rush to the shoe rack to get a pair of slippers for you, by that we mean that we expect you to wear slippers inside our home, and not roam bare feet especially in the bathroom. And when we insist you to wear slippers, please respect our wish even if you never do that at your home!

By the neat and clean look of our base ie home and a few minutes of observations and interactions, we are sure you get the idea that we are a hygiene conscious family. While we appreciate your enthusiasm to help us in the kitchen, we would appreciate your help with a smile (and not through gritted teeth) if you’d wash your hands before touching anything in the kitchen.

We have opened the doors of our home for you to stay with us comfortably. But even for a minute, please don’t consider our home as your hotel room. The wet towel has to find its way on the clothes line in the balcony and not on the bed.

The suitcase which has been dragged on the dirty railway platforms, the washrooms of the airports or through the muddy road CANNOT be placed on the bed or on the centre table. Period!

Picking up your heap of discarded clothes on the bathroom floor might be your wife’s favorite chore. Please don’t expect your hostess to do your wifely duties even for a second!

You think that it is ok to wipe the dust off your shoes with the hand towel when nobody is looking. Please think again, we, especially your hostess, is a very good detective!

We understand your quirkiness for food and beverages. If your child drinks ONLY Boost and cannot have Bournvita which incidentally we use, how about you carrying a small 10 grams pouch of the brand of your choice? We can afford the pouches too but we aren’t aware of your preference AND we do not wish to be made to feel guilty for not having your brand at 11 pm!!

We love our big collection of books. The notice on our library cupboard which reads : “Our Policy : No Lending or Borrowing of Books”, which incidentally you read it aloud, is for guests like you and is certainly not applicable to us. Please note that it is not a subtle hint but a very explicit and in your face statement. Let’s not embarrass each other on this one, please.

As you must have observed in your life that not very many people open the doors of their homes and heart, gladly and cheerfully for others. But we do! While we strive to make you at home, it would be good on your part to make us happy too.

So when are we meeting next??

Best Wishes
Your Hosts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Superb! I am lucky to have decent guests most of the times. But yes, I have experienced guests throwing the small leftovers of dinner (curry leaves, dahi, etc.) right into the sink. So I make it a point to tell my guests baaton baaton mein what we like and don’t like.

  2. Lol ,good one Shilpa..
    I am graced with regular visits from two NRI families (those who still think that Kelloggs is the best food and is NOT available in poor India )They hand out used stuff to their not so privileged relatives in Gujarat.They have obnoxious,ill mannered kids who think,like their parents,that they own not only my house but this whole world :/ You just opened a can of worms lady..

    • Thanks Laxmi. Am glad you enjoyed reading the posts here! Well, I aint a teenager and I am a home maker cum corporate trainer cum assistant entrepreneur (the last part… assisting the husband in his office who is an entrepreneur!!) 😀

  3. Hi Shilpa, I totally loved this write up! So true. Will share it soon on my social networks. I am sure a lot of people will enjoy and identify with this post too! Keep writing, waiting for your next post eagerly!

  4. This post touched a raw nerve. There are some terrible guests, and I have a cleanliness OCD too. The combination is volatile! I have spent many a minute gritting my teeth putting away books, clothes, plates, dirty laundry, shoes what not! The worst are guests who ‘forget’ half their things back at my home and expect me to reach it to them via courier or through a friend/relative traveling their way. Sigh!

    But I do enjoy entertaining. Hmm!

    • You said it Meera! All this is because of this OCD for cleanliness! It would be much easier if we were a bit chilled out on the issue! But then it our Rome, isn’t it?!
      We love having friends over too. Some of the best times are shared with friends! 🙂

  5. hahhaha . Me scared to come now 😉 I may steel a book and demand for assam tea … 😀 U sound like my mom
    actually I too have same issues .. Guests shud behave like guests , not like BOSSES
    made a fun read . Loved reading 😀

    • LOL 😀 I will gift you a book!! And we have Assam tea in our kitchen! So dont worry… just come over!! 😀
      Glad you loved reading this post, Afshan 🙂

  6. O! God! i was nodding my head at each point… and the faces of such guests kept flashing.

    I feel like taking a print of it and sticking at the place where it would be easily visible to my guests the moment they enter my house. 😀

    Needless to say superbly written. 🙂

  7. Hi Shilpa.This is a very timely post. Summer vacations are round the corner. Many of your readers may land up as guests soon. This should serve as a tutorial for them. Guests are always welcome. We too have guests very often but luckily never faced .’post guest irritants’

  8. I too suffer from an obsession for cleanliness. I also get irritated when they place their suitcases on the bed and comb the hair everywhere. The hair falls allaround the house. I like dry wash rooms and they make the whole place wet. So true, some are nice and some are truly a pain. Well written, Shilpa.

    • I guess, we women who have this OCD for cleanliness are hit the most! But wet floors and imagine going bare feet and then sitting on the bed/sofa with feet up… Gosh.. so eeky! Thanks for your feedback, Asha 🙂

  9. Superb post!
    I get irritated if the guests come in exactly at lunch time unannounced and expect to be served a grand lunch. I am most happy to welcome them if they inform us ahead or come at least by 11 or 12 and not at 01.00-01.30.

    • Oh yes, that’s another sore point! But we are clear, if there’s an advance notice… we can have an elaborate meal, if just on time then it has to be what is cooked! Thanks Seena 🙂

  10. Can I take a print out and stick in on my kitchen door ! We have an irritating guest who will come into the kitchen and keep saying “let me help you, let me help you” without moving a finger !

    • LOL 😀 How irritating that can be!! We have another one, who’d keep saying “how comfortable I am at your place”, and this he says only when he takes out ice from the freezer for his drink! 😐

  11. I like my guests to be comfortable and always want them to feel at home as they won’t be staying forever. But as I’m staying with my in laws that’s not always possible. I feel there are certain rules guests should follow especially, the Hygiene part as you may never know what standards of Hygiene the hosts maintain. This was hilarious and I enjoyed reading it Shilpa :).

  12. This is a wonderful post, Shilpa! Luckily, most of our guests are very courteous, especially since they know that it is husband and I who have to clean up after! We do have one or two who just leave their dishes wherever they were sitting (coffee table, bedside, floor), but most people even try to wash their plates, which I absolutely do not want them to do!

    • How blessed are you to have such wonderful guests, Roshni!! It depends on the culture as well, I guess. Abroad, everybody knows that there are no maids and hosts have to do everything so everybody pitches in and are generally ‘well behaved’ guests. But here the wives, the mothers, the maids have spoilt our men and hence we have issues like these!

  13. Good one girl!! I will keep them in mind if I happen to be your guest in future 😛 The only weakness out of all you have mentioned is the books 🙂 Even I am possessive about my books 😀

    • LOL 😀 Come over anytime, Latha!! Look forward to meet you! Books…aah! Dont ask me… have lost so many books to people who love to take books, but never read, never return or return back after several reminders or in tattered conditions… so have put an end to all this lending and borrowing business! Lessons learnt!

  14. Very apt rules for the guest! I would want to print this post and place it in my living room so that guests can read it. But then who reads these days! :sigh:

    • Glad you enjoyed reading this Rachna!! Agree, we cant say anything, but when we are trying to say something let’s say pushing the slippers write in front of them again and again… still they don’t get it!! 😐

  15. Hilarious Shilpa. On a serious note habits differ from home to home esp with regards to hygeine and thats where trouble starts! There are homes for instance where wearing slippers inside is considered unhygienic(u need a lot of energy to explain that the slippers are for indoor use only).

    • True, systems and customs vary. Yeah, some people leave their footwear outside their homes and for us, taking a step without slippers in unthinkable! 😀

  16. Wish your guests don’t see this 😛 And always some guests make us peevish by their activities. We give them space and they take advantage of it. Good going on A-Z posts 🙂

  17. Amusing and at the same time forthright. The last two paragraphs in particular is to my liking.
    The books and CDs that have been lost to insensitive guests is very painful.

    • Thanks Anil. I am so glad that you found this amusing!! Aah! You have lost books and CDs too!!?? We have lost so many good books over the years that I am not ashamed of putting this notice on our cupboard now! The smart ones get the message and just eye the books hungrily without saying a word and then there are people who are dense and don’t get it all! *SIGH*

  18. OMG this is spot on..sarcastic yet funny. I hate when people keep their dirty suitcases on the bed/ dining table…

    Have people actually wiped their shoes with a face napkin? Good lord….

    I will remember these tips when I come visiting you 😛

    • Thanks Vinita. 🙂
      I fail to understand that how come they dont have some basic common sense… who would keep a dirty bag which has traveled the world on a bed… 😐
      Yes, it has happened!
      LOL 😀 Pls dont say that 😛