Trouble in paradise

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Trouble in paradise

Dear Auntyji

My wife of two years is a wonderful lady who is very beautiful, loving, charming, affectionate and very bright. In other words, she is heaven-sent. Every day I think how lucky I am to have her. She is also a very witty conversationalist and can entertain everyone and make them laugh. People genuinely enjoy her company because she is funny and light-hearted. But recently Auntyji, my wife has done something which displeases me and I am not sure how to deal with this. Now, my wife does not mince words and she can be quite forthright, but she is not a complainer. However, recently, each time we meet our friends, she has no hesitation in telling them about some of our problems. For instance, I don’t do much housework so she told our friends about that. But what was worse was that recently, I have been working long hours, consequently, there has not been much romance in our life, if you know what I mean. So last week, our good friend – who is also outrageously funny and camp, comes over and Sonia wastes no time in telling him about our ishq, or lack of it. I was stunned that she would mention this and I love her way too much to stay angry for long, but surely Auntyji, isn’t this crossing the line of good manners and decorum? Why would Sonia tell Tarquin about our love life? How shall I solve this problem? I know Sonia loves me dearly, but this behaviour is causing me grief. Please make some suggestions, Auntyji.

Auntyji says

Oh, you poor Romeo! You poor, poor chikna chamela! While there is definitely a problem with wifey airing dirty linen in public, you have a bigger issue to resolve. It would appear your wife is unhappy with her family situation, and is talking about it – either to get some shared understanding, or to alleviate her concerns. So she has an issue with your behaviour – or lack of it in some regard. I would be grateful that she is doing it to your face, rather than behind your back. So, here is how you deal with this problem. First, start helping out around the house and do your fair share of housework. It is unfair, un-Australian and I would even say un-Indian but that would be untrue – to think that your wife should have a job and still do the second shift when she gets home. You really need to get off your behind on this matter. You solve this problem, and the other issue will take care of itself. Now for the second issue about the lack of the pati patni special time. Ok, so solve this problem, and your wife won’t have anything to complain about. It’s that simple. Finally, you need to ask Sonia that she refrain from airing her grievances in public as a courtesy to you, and she should show you more respect. Of course, you are not asking her to go all Sita or Parvati on you, but at least, just a little bit of respect would be good. One more thing. All husbands should pay very close attention to what their wives say. When a wife feels like the husband does not help around the house, then it is guaranteed that that wife is not 100% happy. And you have two major concerns that your suffering wife has drawn to your attention. Now go and do something about it. And, no, don’t give me silly excuse about working long hours. That’s a rubbish excuse and you know it.

 

Tips for dealing with workplace pranks

Dear Auntyji

I am a project manager and am working with a new group of IT developers who are very bright and funny and do good work. Sometimes I am strict with them and ask them to work harder but generally, I think I have their respect. All the developers are men. Lately I have noticed a strange phenomenon. Each time I come to see the group, one of them invariably puts up some music and at first I did not think anything of it. They would look at each other and snigger but I thought it was because they hated meetings. But then, it occurred to me that each time I come around, they play The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky! This is terrible. They think of me as the nutcracker. Once I realised this, I was too embarrassed to say anything. But it’s beginning to get to me, Auntyji, what should I do? I really like the team, and they are a fun crowd and I’m certain they like me, but why The Nutcracker? Surely The Four Seasons would be better, no? What about Swan Lake? Can you make me some suggestions for how to deal with this, please?

Auntyji says

Oh, arre re – the ritual and petty humiliations of the workplace! What to do with this bunch of sharaarti lafange! Ok, the idea is simple. Before each meeting, I suggest you dedicate the meeting to the main offender and then play Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies. I am sure they will get the joke pronto, and will respect you even more for it. You have to demonstrate that you get the joke and you too can be light-hearted when the moment needs it. No point getting all politically correct about this – besides, they are IT folk, they are smarter than your average bear, so why not tit for tat? Let me know how this works out for you. By the way, make sure HR is not around when you engage in this sort of silliness. Of course, your other option is to ignore their silly behaviour and think nothing of it – but that would make a very dull workplace. And what’s a workplace without political incorrectness, inappropriate banter and petty behaviour? Good luck, and Merry Christmas!

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The original Australian sub-continental agony aunt. Email: info@indianlink.com.au