We all have that one person in our life. The Quintessentially Annoying Aunty. Perhaps he’s an uncle in your case? An (over) involved neighbour or a benevolent relative? You can spot them from a mile away. The bling, the love handles and the crystal-encrusted saree. Any attempt to blend into the scenery or the furniture may prove futile once she is headed in your direction. Rather purposefully, if I might add.
Then, there is the voice. The spine-chilling call of the banshee summoned from the other world to spell doom. And spell doom she will, armed as she is with a barrage of questions. Imagine being in a nightmarish version of Kaun Banega Crorepati. Except there is no money to be won and you have no lifelines either. You are well and truly done for. Just one question after another annoying question. From your studies to your love life (or the lack of it), your inability to hold on to a proper job, your marriage plans, everything is up for discussion.
When I was growing up in Calcutta, the aunties wore crisp cotton sarees, had flecks of grey in their hair and disapproval written all over their faces. The questions were the same though. Ever curious about the job, the salary, marriage plans and heaven help if you were married. Then, they would demand that you come clean about when “good news” could be expected. As though your sole purpose for existing on this planet was to satiate their unending curiosity. I once had an aunty stare at my stomach during her inquisition on my reproduction plans. As though a baby would magically appear if she stared hard enough!
I may have changed cities but things haven’t changed, have they? So what does one do when faced with diabolical aunties (or uncles) such as these? Do you fret and fume as you mumble replies or do you make an excuse about needing to “pick up the dry cleaning” and disappear? Well, take it as good advice from someone who has spent half her life dealing with aunties from different geographies. The best way to thwart these creatures is to confuse the hell out of them. Once you do that, they will never trouble you again! Here are some answers for the FAQs.
Q) When are you getting married?
A) I’ve registered on the Russian matrimony website and placed an order for a Russian spouse. As soon as I find a match, I will let you know.
Q) When are you having kids?
A) We tried but we had puppies instead. Now we are going to a fertility specialist to make sure that this time, human babies come out. Do you know any good fertility doctors?
Q) How much do you earn?
A) Not enough, can you give me a loan please? Ten thousand rupees will do for now.
Q) Why have you lost so much weight?
A) Change the topic instantly. Stare at her behind (with a look of intense scrutiny) and ask, “Aunty have you lost weight? You look all pulled down!”
Q) What are your future plans?
A) Look deep into her eyes, reach for her hands and whisper “I’ve been meaning to ask this for a while. I’ve had a crush on you for the longest time. Let’s run away together!” If that doesn’t keep her nose out of your business, nothing will!
Try these, and tell me how they work for you.
The original post appeared in the Juggernaut Books blog. You can read it here