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Leaving hotel rooms…

By Swati Saxena
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Leaving hotel rooms…
Image: Shutterstock

Leaving a hotel room induces mild anxiety. Firstly, one is compulsively turning the thick duvets and opening the random bed side drawers (which one can swear have never been used) to check for any stuff left behind- earrings are most likely candidates but there are also chargers, and in worst cases passports and travel documents.

Secondly there is the anxiety of making it to the finish line, the check out time. One worries if one is even a minute late one will be charged for an extra night (even though that rarely happens).

Thirdly there is the slight sorrow of leaving the room itself. Of course there is that joy and relief of going home. Of finally sleeping in one’s own bed with familiarity of the electrical switches and accustomed white noise of one’s own fan. But then one has just about gotten comfortable with the new room and the kettle machine. And then there is the strange nostalgia of realising that there is really no chance one will see this room again. Even if one is a regular at the hotel, it may never be this room, with this particular slant of the sunlight ray in the morning in which one contemplated the meaning of life for that brief moment for three odd days after getting the complex hotel coffee machine to work.

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This dull melancholy is quite different from the sudden panic of entering a new hotel room. One slips in the key card and the lights come to life. Then there is the frantic taking stock of the general proportions, the lightning and the décor. Then one tentatively opens the main curtain and voila! One is either dazzled by the bright blue sea and the vacation officially begins. Or one faces another building nearby, wholly or partially blocking any scope for any view and one draws the sheer curtain again feeling a little cheated.

In any case one is leaving the hotel room soon. Dragging the suitcase, taking in that last look, tipping the bellboys, and signing at the counter while doing sudden checks on glasses, chargers, wallets in the handbags while ruminating if one did pack the toothbrush, and whether that loss is big enough to actually initiate a check again.

By the time one is in the cab and ensured that every piece of luggage has been loaded, and stolen a glance back as the cab leaves the portico to spy if one’s small attaché is not left on the steps, one finally settles in. The way back is exercise in re spotting the small cafes and the shops that one had decided to visit on the way to the hotel but completely forgotten about.

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By the time one is half way the hotel room begins to fade and merge into the various standardised rooms that one has visited over the course of this vacation or life. One struggles to even remember the colour of the carpet and the curtains, even though one can bet on it being beige.

By the time one reaches the airport the hotel room is a distant memory. One is now worrying about more immediate issues like extra baggage fees, better seats and hoping that the crying toddler one had spied at the security is not on their plane. Moreover one is conscious of weight of the laundry one is carrying, signalling the end of the vacation. The vacation one had planned for so meticulously and had passed mundane days waiting for is now over. Soon one will be back in one’s home, one’s office cubicle, eating toast and cereal in the morning kitchen and packed sandwiches on the work desk as Instagram picture of waffles with strawberries of the hotel breakfast buffet accumulates likes.

It is only in the Internet less existence of the flight that one finally visits the hotel room again on the phone pictures. This room was one’s home for short time. The immediacy of the vacation just taken, of the days spent becomes palpable. How happy the last days were. There is never any point in applying filters to these pictures. They will never make it to the social media. Putting up pictures of hotel rooms is tacky. The vacation pictures will only feature the sun kissed beaches and rides on elephants; perhaps an occasional picture of a margarita against the setting sun.

However one does send the picture of the hotel room to one’s mother/significant other/best friend in a private message. One has to share with someone. This is where one stayed. It was a gorgeous little room.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NEWSD and NEWSD does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.