I love a house filled with guests. It is one of the things that make it a home. A shift from the mundane, the constant banter, the hustle-bustle, everyone pitching in to do their bit, the kitchen running 24/7 and above all the sense of togetherness, community, love, fun and good company.
Guests come but then they depart. Leaving behind a trail of beautiful, priceless memories of their short stay- thoughts of which come alive the minute I step into the room they occupied. The commotion, open suitcases filled with clothes, accessories and new acquisitions (evidence of their shopping spree), the flurry of activities, exciting things to do, sightseeing, watching movies and late night ‘adda’ sessions.
The room that was once filled with laughter, a child’s squeals, and happy voices is now bare except for a few empty shopping bags, a discarded flight tag and a half eaten bag of chips –subtly reminding me of the bygone. I look at it with a heavy heart, reminding myself of the tedious chore of cleaning up. I feel sad and for a fleeting moment, alone, struggling to manage the mixture of emotions. I tear up and then smile as memories of the past few days criss–cross vividly in my mind reminding me of the beauty and joy of guests, family visiting. Once again, just like I have in the past on numerous occasions, I submit myself to the power of distance and time and with a tinge of hopelessness, I acknowledge the profound impact they have on ties and relationships.
As I change the sheets and fluff the pillows on the guest bed for the next set of guests visiting in a few days, I am happy, elated that they arrive soon but the thought of another departure, a goodbye looms over me.
I humbly resign to it, just like I have to many other unchangeable things life throws at me.