Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Management of Brutal Aunties

Years of attending numerous weddings, betrothals, naming ceremonies, anniversaries and other such random traditional occasions have taught me little. And I felt least qualified in the area of managing the ‘nosey aunties’. This particular area needs special talent, because there are multiple dynamics affecting the situation. One needs to be polite, quick, smart, diplomatic and highly slimy to get out of the situation untouched. I have countered such challenges on so many occasions that I can describe a typical scene effortlessly.

Usually this happens when the festive mood in a big bright function hall is at its peak. I'd generally be sulking in the corner, cursing the day, having had to get up early and get involved in the decked-upness. I'd be looking forward to lunch, but waiting for all the oldies to finish first. Just when I'd consider calling a friend/playing the snake game, a small group of aunties (referred to as 'The Aunties', from now on) turn up out of nowhere. Typically, The Aunties are middle-aged, slightly rotund (being very polite here), jobless and gossipy. And all they want is to have a conversation with an innocent youngster, like me. I'd try a quick getaway after shooting a fake 100-watt smile. But one can never underestimate The Aunties. They'll always get a firm grip on my hand/shoulder and say, “Oho! You are (My mom)’s daughter no!”. After confirming my lineage, The Aunties would proceed to ask a set of highly irritating questions. Of course, these questions have changed in proportion to my age.

“How did you grow so tall without anyone noticing? Why don’t you ever come home? What sorts of clothes are you wearing? Why didn’t you do engineering? Why don't you ever wear a bindi?” and such others. More recently it has been, “Ah! Marriageable age, huh? So.. so.. when are you planning to… eh?” I have always reacted to such interviews by giving ridiculously unthought-of answers, bordering on being rude and offensive. When enough and more is-this-how-you-raise-your-daughter complaints reached my mom, she forbade me from attending any more functions with her, which worked to my benefit too.

But The Aunties still get a way to reach you and desperate to save face, Mom finally let me in on her secret of managing The Aunties. It is simple and effective – "Smile, be irrelevant and smile again”.

And today I tried it out for the first time. I came out on the balcony this morning and neighbour aunty was waiting for me.

“Ey! Waiting for office cab?”
“Yes, Aunty.”
“You never gave me sweets after you got a job? Forgot about me, heh?”
(Smile) “What is this Aunty? So many people have diabetes now.” (Smile)
(Awkward pause)
“So, when are you getting married, eh? Ready to settle down now?”
(Smile) “Everybody reaches this age someday. It all depends. Am I not right?” (Smile)
“Errm. Yes, yes! So, where is this office?”
“Airport Road”
“Ah! Very far.. You can’t possibly work for very long there. Family life is more important. Have you started cooking?”
(Smile) “But the Airport shifted and anyway, the weather is so nice nowadays. It will rain today, no?” (Big-ass smile)
“Yes, yes. Ok, you go to office. Bye.”

And, that’s that. I got rid of the Aunty. Mission accomplished, I can now be called a champ in Aunty-handling. The art has been mastered. Throw me bunch of Aunties, I say!


Unknown said...

An MBA post by an MBA student! True rarity :p

So much arbit advice I've given you. You could've just asked me about this: I'd have told you this ages back. And it'd have made me feel good about dispensing useful gyaan too!

Sharanya said... yet to master this aunty management thing. And such arbitness, it would seem like their primary purpose in life is to see one married...
btw dude, u mind giving any gyan sessions on this?? i think i need it more as i reach 'marriageable age' ;-)

Nikhil Menon said...

cool..looks like u have managed it finally..these aunties are a wee bit nosey..and even men fall prey to such useless stuff... :)

Anonymous said...

One day in the distant future (very, very distant), when thou art an Aunty thyself, thou shalt read this post and regret the iniquities of thy youth!

- Curse of Po, the Dragon Warrior (yes, yes, we were exposed to Panda awesomeness yesterday!! :D )

SuperMus said...

Shrik - You got the 'MBA'ness! Yay!

Sharanya - Being your senior, why would I every shy away from giving gyaan?

Multi Menon - Really? Guys too?

Anonymous - JoJo?? Is that you?

Nikhil Menon said...

hehe..ya...Its not as troublesum as u ppl get into,but sucks!!

Anonymous said...

LOL! That was educative!

JC said...

whew! u facing all this @ 22 itself lol!! The ride has just begun, just w8 for the auties to find ways 2 strike back :p

Anonymous said...

You seem to be having some real fun..!! Enjoy.. But I too seriously wonder how you would react when you are an aunty :D!! rofl..

- Ajay

Tigress said...

you rock gal.. i've been there oh so many times but i guess after reading this post i'll be able to give some wise ass answers along with the eeee's :)

The Lonely Backpacker said...


where are you super girl ... ? keep posting

Ravali said...

Hey sumana,
A first time reader here, and wow...what a post :)
Excellent solution amma! waiting for more gyaaan on the topic..hehe