Kitu- as a child:
“Why can I not have my room all to myself? I wish we were not living in Bombay and get this unseasonable rain of guests.” This was a justified lament that had her late for school, punishments, missed rest periods, adding to her woes.
“I have a crush on Kip. Wish he would return my glances sometimes. I would love to go out with him for movies etc.” Body changes, hormonal rages were playing havoc with Kitu’s mind and body along with a never ending stream of guests, more on than off.
“This Kip, friend of coz Arun is really cute! I wonder what made him join the army. I would not mind going out with him. Hopefully mom and dad will let me accompany him to sightsee Bombay!” One evening Kitu was alone and Kip returned home early. They were together alone and after evening tea they sat chit-chatting.
Kitu’s heart was beating very fast. Suddenly Kip came and sat close to her. He gave her a hug. Her heart leapt in her mouth with fear and excitement. She was aware of the birds and bees and was game for some experimentation as well. They kissed and hugged each other tight. Kitu was over the moon. She had puppy love.
“This kid Kitu is sweet but I better stay away or else Arun and her parents will have my hide! Luckily I will be posted out of here soon. However, she is cute as a button. I must control myself around her.”
Kitu: 50 plus:
“I wish the train comes on time. This waiting room is so dingy and dismal. Wish I’d brought a novel along to pass the time. The people here are not very interesting.”
Suddenly a man enters the waiting room and as he sits down on the bench next to her, his book falls on the ground. Kitu picks it up and sees the name Ranjit Singh Tanwar. Involuntarily she blurts out “Are you Kip?” The stranger is startled and looks at Kitu closely but does not recognize her. She tells him that she is Kitu and that he had stayed as a guest in their house decades ago. Kip recalls the young girl he had fooled around with and suddenly he remembers it all. They have an animated catch up on news of each other’s families and then Kitu asks him where he was headed? He says, Bombay. She invites him over. Kip agrees.
Kitu is a widow and an empty nester. Her son and daughter are settled in USA and she is alone. She is a famous writer under another name. She likes this anonymity. She has moved back into the compact flat of her parents that she had rented out. She is home.
Kip is a nature photographer and has published many travel books and writes articles for National Geographic Magazine. He was divorced by his wife who got tired of living alone for months. His only son is married and has a son of his own.
Two lonely souls finally connect, mingle, co-habit after retying the knot. Life comes full circle. This one guest moved in for good and All Is well in their world.
** ** **
Do you know what you call those who use towels and never wash them, eat meals and never do the dishes, sit in rooms they never clean, and are entertained till they drop? If you have just answered, “A house guest,” you’re wrong because I have just described my kids.
picture from internet