‘Happy Valentine’s Day Payel!’
It’s been two years and still she never forgets to wish me on this day particularly. Being remembered by someone who-doesn’t-need-to, hits the pink bubble of joy in my heart and I’m blushing bright tangerine (I can go crimson but it will still show bronze on my cheek bones!).
My host in Sanur was at the very early steps of middle age, a Balinese couple; the husband was a lean, medium height family man and the wife, little shorter than her husband, a tubby lady and always would have the old friend smile on her bright sunflower face. They had 5 rooms in their house, where the 3 rooms were kept for their personal use, one for the couple and two for their each growing to big teenage boys respectively, the other two rooms were kept for lodging for the tourists. Between them the bigger one with open kitchen was mine for few days.
‘What is the need for such a big room for a Solo traveller?!’ The husband had asked once jokingly.
‘Well I like light, space and blame your open air kitchen, I couldn’t stop myself from booking this room.’
The first time when I had received the message from my tubby host, it was ignored at first, as I thought it came to me by mistake, but there was a personalised message from my tubby host, which was for me, and it brought that unstoppable Sisyphean smile on my face.
The happy couple was always taking care of the tiniest of details for their guests; one of their guests fell sick during the trip, the Husband took them to the hospital, made arrangement for their medicines, kept checking on them after an interval. The tubby lady however was my favourite. She would check everything I might need and would arrange that immediately. In the evening she used to water the plants at the small garden in front of the open kitchen, when we would share a little chat.
‘Payel, do you want me to clean your room?’
‘It’s up to you, whenever you want.’
‘May be you do it tomorrow, I have a full day tour tomorrow and I will leave early in the morning, you will have a full day in hand to clean the room as per your suitable time?’
‘OK, great then, we can do one thing. You don’t have to lock the room tomorrow, leave the keys at the door inside, and once done with cleaning, I will keep the keys under the oven cover.’
‘Sounds absolutely fine to me.’
I did as I was told the next morning. Once back in the evening, I was amazed. Every single object of my daily use dumped on the table claiming some territory, were all orderly and nicely kept now. My night dress tossed on the bed like a ball, was folded with tender care and was kept at one side of the bed. The laundry I washed and left them to dry inside the bathroom, were divided into dry and still need to be dried and the later were hanging in the cloth hanger at the garden. Not only the room was squeaky clean, the room was glowing. Every single scattered belonging were in place but in their finest manner.
This simplicity and considerate touch of my tubby host gave me a little embarrassment though and lesson learnt was, afterwards wherever I go I try to keep my possessions as organised as possible. Even if I don’t follow it at home at times, it’s ok, to be a momma’s girl, but outside no one can know.
There wasn’t anything over the top about my stay at this home, or anything exceptional about this couple that may bring the glint in my eyes. But as someone had said, simplicity is the glory of expression, this people excels to this every day. And I know next year too, my tubby host won’t forget to give me her love on the 14th.