In the era when sources of entertainment were restricted to doordarshan, playing cricket and trying out grandma's recipes, guests coming home would be like a blockbuster entertainer, especially for the kids at home.
But more than the actual story of guest-meets-host and the coffee intervals, the most interesting part used to be the process of bidding adieu. It would first start with one person of the leaving party getting up, fingering the car or bike keys out of his pocket. But the rest of his family would suddenly pretend that he were invisible and continue with their banter. Then after a feeble protest, the rest of the family scattered in the kitchen, terrace and mangrove in the order of decreasing age would assemble and exchange last minute gossips and jokes. Soon, the key bearer would again make a pretext of looking at his watch. Then the topic would steer to promises of calling up, keeping in touch and giving kumkum. Then slowly everyone would amble towards the gate richer by a huge bag of home made goodies. After another round of farewells, the guests would finally leave after a huge gust of wind. If you are wondering what the wind was, it would be the collective sigh of the hosts with -' Why leave in such a hurry?'
But in recent times, I can't help grinning to myself when most of the guests come home and leave before I can even say 'mississipi'!