Being obsessed with the way the home looks is something which many people have become slaves to. They even fail to welcome people into their homes, with the fear that the people may bring in dirt or mess up their couches.

On the other hand there are those who love to keep their books and other things in a haphazard manner, else they cannot find what they want when something is urgently needed.

I recall a man who belonged to the second school of thought. One day when I went to his house he brought out his dusty albums to show me. There were a number of people in the photographs who were no more. Others had moved away, and still many more had failed to keep in touch with him.

Thinking of the good old days, he said to me, “How fast time passes, and in the past 8-9 years so many people whom I knew are no more. Only their memories remain in the photographs.”

As he was speaking he mentioned that he would not even bother to keep his home neat and tidy when anyone would come, and now hardly anybody even comes. “Perhaps it is on account of my untidiness,” he added.

I replied, “People do not come over to our houses to see how clean they are. They come over to meet us and talk to us. People do not come to houses, but to homes where they are welcomed. They like to hear from us as to where we had been, or what we had been doing and at the same time fill us with their news. It is rare to find a person not coming over on account of your home being dusty or untidy.”

He got the obvious message. In our lives we spend half of our free time in cleaning and dusting, arranging the vases and smoothening the cushions. But if we clean up only with the intention of showing off our houses with pride to those visiting us, then spare a thought also as to the reason why people come to visit us in the first place.

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