N is a normal guy who is the perfect host. Regularly seen running around with his phone in hand. He has his bag of books, a huge power bank and unnecessary stationary items. Often seen in the company of few friends, he is satisfied with the fact that he faces his daily challenges and tasks with ease.
But then there are days he traps himself in being a punching bag. A and his cousin P would sneak in, with their acclaimed stealth mode, they will throw a spanner in his plans. Their impromptu visits are like a powerful blow on his daily routine. Walking in with their hefty baggage in form of questions. It becomes a horrendous task to move and shift along. A and P are known experts on making an entrance. They don’t act as showstoppers but the punch from them could push you towards the spotlight, for all the wrong reasons. To put into how powerful the punch usually is, it is how Chris Evans hits a boxing bag and it just flies.
A and P are infamous for the emotions they bring along. They have found opportunities to infiltrate other’s lives as well and no one has been ecstatic on their arrival. They usually carry ample amounts of fear, worrying and leads you on a chase for solutions. N is just one of the many they have access to. They come in all intensities and emotions, could be while writing or travelling or even when pooping.
They are known to stay either in small bouts or for longer durations. The after-effects following their visit would always be dreadful, it usually leads to a trail of awful memories. Unlike other hotels where we have a complimentary breakfast, they make your favourite supper look devilish and disgusting.
Conversations become more mundane and monotonous, many people like N would be asked on how they are feeling. They would find it incredibly hard to control the rage deep in their hearts, the strength to throw away every single object bought and everything built away. The feeling to pack the bags and run away from all troubles and thoughts. But all they could mutter is that they are fine and continue on treating their guests. The visitors find a way to gulp the remaining peace they have, leaving them gasping for air and makes them run towards solace.
After they leave, N is responsible in settling the bills for the emotional damage they cause. He also has to clean up for the mess and continue stumbling on more issues. No matter the scrubbing that goes through, the traces continue to remain. He also has to mentally prepare himself on their next visit.
The anger you feel after this is basically an exhausted and a confused version. Who does the host deflect his anger at? At the guest? At the host? The environment which allowed the guest to drop in?
Just like N, many other people in India have been grown up to treat their guests like gods. But, is it mandatory to follow for each and every one who are visiting. Do we have to treat them despite the ill-treatment and discomfort they cause you? Sometimes, it’s ok to take the fight or flight approach. Because, these scenarios are worth in avoiding or better defeating their point. Of course, A and P would try sneaking in. Those guys are always lurking around to leech your happiness and resolve to fight. But pretty sure, just like N, many others would realise that it is time to be selfish.
Screw Atithi Devo Bhava.