Ever wondered, what is that makes us feel welcome at some place? When visiting friends or relatives or even strangers is it a nice, spacious and lavishly furnished house, or a place with a nice view of the city or the mountains?
My experience with people has made me come to an understanding that for me, one and only one thing matters – warmth in the hearts. Place or resources seldom matters. What matters is how much you are loved and made to feel welcome.
To date, I often recollect the best food I have had in my entire life. When we were young, my parents, me and my brother had gone to a small village named ‘Koba’ near my hometown, Ahmedabad. We 4 drove to Koba on my dad’s scooter to visit my mom’s ‘Fai Maharaj’ (my mom’s relative, she had taken ‘deeksha’ and was living as a monk). My brother and I played during the day and when it was evening, we were all set to leave as we had a long drive on our scooter to reach home. Fai maharaj insisted that we have dinner and then leave as it would be quite late till the time we would be home and we would be hungry too. She asked a lady who worked at the upashray to make dinner for us. That aunty went to her home in the village close by and fetched a small cup with oil, chilly powder, salt, flour, and a cabbage (grown in her backyard). What we were served half an hour later, has been the most delicious food I have eaten till date – ‘Bajri no rotlo and kobi nu shaak’.
The love she put in when she made the meal for us – made it the sweetest and the most delicious food. My mom and I recollect this incident to date and remember this as the most magical meal we have ever had.
It is very much possible to feel out of place at a home filled with luxury where you’re not loved and enjoy the most with people who hardly have anything, but are so full of love for you. We have a saying for this in Gujarati which says:
આવ નહિ ,
આદર નહિ ,
નહિ નયન માં નેહ …
એવા ઘરે કદી ના જઇયે
કંચન વર્ષે મેહ …
The above roughly translates to the fact that the home where you’re not welcome, the home where you’re not respected, the home where there’s no love for you in their eyes – never to go to such homes, even if it rains gold there…
What really prompted me to write this post was the stark contrast I noticed about how I felt when I recently visited a friend’s home which was filled with all the luxury you can ask for, where I simply felt unwelcome v/s a tiny place where one of my best friend (a family of 3) lives and I spent the weekend with her family. My friend’s daughter and I snuggled to sleep on a little bed and her family and I chatted all day. Those memories are priceless! Never for a moment, did I feel out of place or not a part of her family. She made sure I felt included and loved.
What matters the most is the love, warmth and how people around us make us feel ❤