Meghalaya: Homestay guests ransack place before checking out; items retrieved
Homestay owners often go out of the way to assure a comfortable stay for their guests. Be it a cosy bedroom, clean restroom and healthy food or room decors such as antiques and handicrafts that serve as eye candy to the visitors, they get everything settled for the guests.
But unfortunately, sometimes the guests too go out of their way and consider these decors as free souvenirs and do not hesitate before taking them away permanently.
One such victim of theft is Farida Nongkynrih, the proprietor of Sha Ri Loum Guesthouse in Meghalaya.
On March 5, 2021, a family from Hyderabad consisting of six adults and three kids booked the entire villa and stayed there for two nights. These guests not only took beautiful memories with them but also the personalised decors that the owner had placed in the rooms.
"In my wildest dreams, I did not expect that they would ransack my guesthouse in the cruellest way possible. They took every piece of handicraft that I had collected from all over North-East India, to decorate my house. They went from room to room and took anything they could lay their hands on. They even took my paints and paintbrushes which I used for my crafts! It was a complete violation of my home and my trust," Farida said.
They checked out very early without having breakfast; so the rooms weren't immediately checked by the staff. They realised that the things were missing only after the housekeeping staff went to clean the rooms later in the day.
On March 28, 2021, the team of Sha Ri Loum posted CCTV footage of the shameful act on their social media handles. Taking to Instagram, Farida shared this bitter experience and wrote:
Sha Ri Loum is not just a guest house where people come to stay and make some happy memories. It is a feeling. It is not just a house made of bricks and mortar but in every brick, my dreams live and on every wall, I hang my heart. It is a reflection of my identity. Most of my guests have been such wonderful people and we have continued to keep in touch. But there are a few guests who have made me question whether I still want to continue hosting guests.
Sha Ri Loum team has fortunately recovered all their stolen items. "I was in communication with them all along and was trying to get my stuff back. They finally agreed to send them back and now that I have received them. I thought I should expose these people so that they don't do it again," Farida added.
Speaking to TNT-The Northeast Today, the proprietor said that her sole purpose of posting the video was to alert people, especially homestay owners.
She advised them to verify the ID cards and contact details of the guests, check the rooms before the guest checks out and most importantly, invest in a CCTV camera.