Ask Auntyji: potential psychopaths and animal repellants

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There’s no issue too big or too small, whatever your problems, AUNTYJI can solve them all!

AuntyJi.Indian Link

Laugh and the world laughs with you

Dear Auntyji,

In the last issue, this poor man spoke of his niece no longer liking him after he got somewhat excited during the India-Pakistan cricket match and frightened the poor mite into a lifelong hatred of anything cricket related.

I have my own story that I need your advice on. My brother’s daughter is only six months old. Recently, we were at a family BBQ and my sister-in-law was videotaping her son and his friend skating in the backyard. As I was walking along, minding my own business, I lost my footing and went sprawling. Everyone was silenced as they watched me take a massive tumble.

The quiet of the adults was punctuated by the most startling sound of all – a deep, rambunctious belly laugh from my six-month-old niece! Auntyji, I am sure you are familiar with this particular laugh of very small babies – where they can’t speak yet, but they are just starting to laugh. So Celina laughed and laughed. I even had this whole thing on my SIL’s iPhone, because her phone pans from me falling over to Celina sitting back in her pram laughing her head off.

Now Auntyji, I am 32 years old and don’t have much to do with babies, but I want to understand why Celina laughed like she did. Everyone thought it was really cute and they all started laughing once they heard her, but I thought to myself that she might be a psychopath in the making. Do you think this might be it? Please let me know your thoughts.

Auntyji.Indian Link

Auntyji says 

Oh, you must show me a video of this, because I can assure you that I will laugh harder than Celina. This type of slapstick which involves babies is a particular favourite of mine. The hours I have wiled away on YouTube listening to babies laughing… well, let’s just say I could have learnt a new language in that time had I been more productive. So, you fell over and Celina laughed. I would think that it’s an innate response, because she certainly hasn’t lived long enough to learn anything different. If I were to speculate, I would say that when our prehistoric ancestors roamed the savannahs and one fell over, everyone laughed because when people laugh, it means everything is a-ok. They probably hoped that the fallen laughed too to indicate he was not injured – because the opposite of that would not be good. Imagine your Neanderthal ancestor foraging for grain. He fell over and everyone laughed because this meant that he hadn’t fallen into a bear pit and was about to be eaten alive. Your ancestor stood up and he laughed too. And his Neanderthal buddies all laughed with him and life went on. I reckon this is where it all came from – millions of years of evolution. Celina was simply demonstrating this ancient habit in a modern setting. She just wanted to ensue you were ok. You should be delighted by this impromptu and instinctive response devoid of any of society’s rules.

Having said that, I would monitor Celina carefully from now onwards. If she starts torturing soft furry animals or lighting fires, then you should definitely get her a psychiatrist ASAP. Let me know how Celina turns out, and don’t forget to send me the video. I am in dire need of a good belly laugh.

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 Confession: I drive animals nuts

Dear Auntyji,

I am a meek and mild person and rarely raise my voice. In fact, I pride myself on how unobtrusive I am. When I speak, it is softly. When I laugh, it is the merest titter. When I walk, it’s the lightest touch on the ground. But Auntyji, all my life, I have had a problem that haunts me wherever I have been – across five different countries (India, Australia, NZ, US and Dubai). My problem is this: Animals don’t like me. As soon as they see me, they stop and stare for the longest time. If it’s a dog, they either slink away with tail between the legs, or they yelp.

In fact, last week, I was sitting in a park and someone was throwing a ball to his dog. The ball rolled close to me and the dog came bounding over to retrieve it. But as soon as this kala kutha saw me sitting there he stopped in his tracks and stood there chup chaap, his kaali kaali ankhen just watching me. Then he started making yelping sounds. So I picked up the ball and threw it towards him, but he took off in a different direction from the ball, with his poonch between his legs and whelping loudly, as though I had just kicked him where it hurts most. Fortunately, the owner saw all this happen and knew I hadn’t done anything to his beloved pooch. The dog was a Rhodesian ridgeback and I hadn’t expected him to be such a busdil. But Auntyji, this is not an isolated incident.

When cats see me, they do a double take and occasionally, they hiss at me. WTF, Auntyji? What’s going on? How can I have this response from animals? What do you think they see when they see me? Are you able to provide guidance?

Auntyji.Indian Link

Auntyji says

Hmm, I have a couple of hypotheses I could offer. These are indeed strange reactions. And so the first thought that comes to me is that it is most likely that you are a bhoot. Clearly you have died and your aatma is walking around, light as air, thinking you are still here. Hum sub jaante hai ki animals have a sixth sense, so they see you for the bhoot that you are, and they don’t know what to do. Having said that, I haven’t met any bhoots who have written in to me, although I have received correspondences from many churails and dayans. So having discounted that argument, let’s consider alternatives.

I am pretty sure that in your pichla janam, you must have been a sher. Why else would all animals run from you? You are the king of all beasts and so when animals meet you, they see the vestiges of your former life as a sher, and they don’t want to irritate you – and have you devour them like the iblis that you were.

I think this is the most plausible reason for the particular response you generate in helpless beasts.

Of course, I would be doing myself a disservice if I did not postulate a red herring. It is likely that you are a sociopath and animals are picking this up about you. I mean, what flavour of perverted creep walks around on tip toes, speaks in a whisper and laughs as though something is going to break inside them? You really need to analyse your behaviour, because clearly, animals around you are already doing this. Oh, by the way, when you meant animals in Dubai, did you mean the camels, or the two legged variety? Who keeps dogs and cats in Dubai anyway? It’s not nice for you to refer to the locals as such. I would be looking up the definition of sociopath on Wikipedia. Sounds like the animals have called it.