My mom has four sisters and at least (Am bad at math) four more cousins. If you throw in few sister-in-laws here and there, you get my point-a battalion of aunts whenever there is some function or a family get-together. I always marveled at their enthusiasm discussing the same old vegetables or bashing the same old relative (most preferable another aunt). May be that’s why, in their midst I open my mouth only to eat.
There are different kinds of aunts in this world.
1)Inbuilt advisory- These are the boring kinds, who will advice you on everything.
One aunt to me-' Why didn’t you go to America? Mrs. Sharma’s son went to US to study.'
'Simple reason-I didn’t want to', I said shrugging.
'You should have done some course and joined IT company. '
'Aunt, I am working at a reputed Bank.' I said in a nonchalant manner
'Of course, its not an IT company. They don’t send you to America.'
'Yes aunt. I am glad. Americans don’t know what they didn’t miss.'
'Did you know, Mrs.Joshi’s daughter scored a state rank in the entrance exam. You should learn something from her.'
' err... Should I go back to college?'
'No...', she said sharply. 'You should learn to work hard like her.'
'When did you EVER see me work or laze around? Last time I saw you, was some 4 yrs back.'
'Do you save money? Start doing it right now. Save at least couple of thousand rupees every month.'
'Sure. Do send me the money.'
'You roam with friends a lot. You should be responsible now and help your mom.'
'I didn’t see your son here. Where is he?' with a straight face.
'With friends...'- she replied sheepishly.
2)Jealous- These are the irritating kinds.
She said -Such a lovely Saree, my dear. Where did you buy it?
She meant -Hmpff she always buys something.
She said -Nice house. Did you have any designer do your interiors?
She meant -She doesn’t deserve it. She is just lucky to marry that man.
3)Gossip mongers- Pure entertainment. Sometimes they themselves forget whose side they are on, constantly changes sides gossiping about every person in the family from their financial status to her eye lashes.
4)Matchmakers- The most dangerous of their kind. I sometimes feel, they get some commission for playing cupid. Or else why would they take so much pain to ‘get’ a ‘good’ match for others' kids.
Getting closer, one aunt asked me- 'Adi,… When are you getting married?'
I just shrugged off.
'I know a beautiful girl just for you. '
'Oh really? Your daughter?'. I said with a huge grin.
'NOOO. I mean, you know Mrs. Sunita? My distant relative? Her daughter is perfect for you, I feel.'
'Really, she is very good.'
' Okay. What does she do?'
'IT company..' she said proudly
'I don’t know. But Good salary, I know.'
'You saw her pay slip or what?' I asked aghast at the possibility.
'Shut up! Marry her. She is a decent girl.'
'Wonderful! By ‘decent’, did you just mean, she has no boyfriend?' I asked inquiringly.
'She comes from a good family.' she replied dismissively.
'Nice logic' I said grinning.
'Come on. You see her once. You won’t be able to take your eyes off.'
'Is that why, you have your eyes on her?'
She looked at me alarmingly, and asked me the dreaded question which am SURE she doesn’t understand.
'Are you gay?
'Don’t worry aunt, I shall invite you to my marriage to prove that I am not. '
Flashing her smile again as if understanding a private joke after everyone else has laughed, she said
'Good. Leave everything else to me. I shall take care.'
'Of what? The marriage? Well my answer is no. I don’t want to marry that girl. '
'She laughed. Her laugh was hollow, more like a screech of a bird in pain.'
Now saying NO to an aunt is sacrilegious and she immediately forms an opinion about how kids now days have no respect for elder people.
5)The intruders- Another irritating types.
They want to know everything. The frequent questions I hate are about my financial status or salary. The question, how much is your salary sounds like how much is your worth and sorry, I hate being judged by how much I earn.
6) Critics - The funniest of them all. Show them The Monalisa painting and they would find mistakes which the historians have missed all these years. They have a problem with everything. May be we should admire their frankness in expressing their displeasure but when it is for salt in food or because ice cream was not served at lunch, the admiration vanishes.
All said and done, they are my relatives and they cant be blamed for my anti social sarcasm.
Well, I am back of sorts. I tried hard to think of various excuses for not writing regularly, even tried to tell myself that I am very busy. But Bloggers like Neha, Guria, pawan etc have inspired me to get back to typing my thoughts into words who have been writing regularly in spite of their busy world. My last post was in April and lot has happened since then. I changed my job and my line of career. I left sales and joined banking-operations. Earlier, I used to sell and throw the forms to the operations team for processing. Now I changed places but in a different industry. The transition has been smooth given the fact that I enjoy the AC more than the sun though the pressure remains the same.