Okay okay fine fine I admit that I am old – err old enough to be called Aunty at least. Yet I hate, simply hate, being called Aunty. I just hate it.Mami, Chachi, Tai, Dadi, Nani, Biji 😉 anything but Aunty!
Why? No idea just one of those inexplicable things, I guess. And the funny thing is, the older I grow, greater the irritation and that’s putting it rather mildly. It (see I don’t even dare say/write the word) sets my teeth on edge and grates on my nerves, just like the odd piece of chalk on a blackboard.
I was all of 23 when I got married and the day I got married, I became an Aunty – never mind that till the day before I had been mistaken for a class 9 student. What is with this trend in India that regardless of age, all married girls are aunties? But there was no getting away from it – Aunty I became, and Aunty I remain, much to my disgust.
Maybe it’s time to look within, find the cause and achieve freedom from this all-consuming destructive emotion? Could the inordinate angst be rooted in a dark, horrifying, best forgotten, incident that occurred decades ago?
Early one morning I tiptoed around the darkened bedroom, trying to get ready for college without waking my two-year old son. Some sixth sense that his mum was up to no good, made him restless. I wavered. I yearned to cuddle and soothe him. But as I cast reflexive glance at the clock, I froze . Yikes! Just five minutes before the last chartered bus left for college. I gave few quick strokes to my hair, hastily pasted a bindi on the forehead, grabbed the bag of books, whispered a goodbye to my mother-in-law and dashed out. I caught the bus running. I squeezed my way in, grabbed the hand rail and attempted to catch my breath. Firmly, squelching down on guilty feelings of having abandoned my baby, I tried to savor my victory as a student.
“Aunty,” a heavy voice boomed over my head. Instantly, annoyance and irritation replaced all other emotions. I turned to the speaker – a young man, possibly older than I was. That was it! I looked at him icily and drew my lips in a thin sneer even as I gloated, it was time to cleanse my soul with the most apt retort possible, “Yes Uncleji?”
But he beat me to it. “Aunty, there’s a bindi stuck above your right eye.”
The carefully crafted icy sneer dissolved into open-mouthed consternation as waves of embarrassment flooded my cheeks. Mumbling incoherently, I turned away and surreptitiously fingered my face for the offending dot. Sheer will power, grit and determination (and the fact that the bus was jam-packed) gave me the strength to continue to stand there for the rest of the interminable ride to college.
They say confession is good for the soul and after being an Agony Aunt (which by the way is way better than an Agony Aunty) for so many years, I thought it was time I unburdened myself.
Phew! I am still shuddering as I recall the incident. How about a few comforting words? Maybe share your most embarrassing moment – make me feel I am not alone. Come on now – you couldn’t possibly be thinking of disappointing your favorite Aunty (eeks!) would you? 😉
Oops before I forget, here’s Chapter 35 and Calvin (isn’t he hilarious?) and the Blog Index
Quote for the day
You can imagine my embarrassment when I killed the wrong guy:-Joe Valachi
Have a super day all of you!