You ask, Auntyji answers!
When not to interfere
I hope you are well and that 2016 will be a wonderful year for you. I have a particular query that I wouldn’t mind getting your perspective on. My family is from Fiji and my 20-year-old niece is studying nursing. Now my sister and her husband are already talking about getting her married! My niece is an innocent girl who has not seen much of the world. She is not allowed to go anywhere alone and has never even had a job. My concern is that she will be married and that all the opportunities in the world will be lost to her – because she will probably just stay at home and have babies. I have tried speaking to my niece about this, as well as her parents, but they all feel that marriage is the way to go. What do you think I should do, Auntyji? What is your view on the subject?
Hmm. This is a particular conundrum. So, here is what I see. Your niece is a young woman who is fully capable of making her own decisions. If she wants to get married and live a life of blissful domesticity, with a husband and babies, who are you to argue. Besides, who says that after marriage, all opportunities will be lost? How do you know that your niece won’t be one of those women who decide that after marriage, she will study and forge a career before babies? You never know – anything could happen. The most important thing here is that you don’t impose your views on your niece. She is old enough to make her own decisions. You can guide her, and perhaps tell her about the things she could do without being married – like travel and enjoy a career. But she could also do these things while married. So, bottom line, while I understand your perspective, I think this is one family drama you should avoid. Support your niece in every way that you can and guide her, but allow her to make her own decisions.
When not to interfere, Part 2
I have a lot of friends and recently, while I was out, I noticed that the boyfriend of one of my girlfriends was being a little too cosy with another girl. So I took a few photos of this, and the next time I saw this friend, I showed the photos to her. Now this friend of mine is someone I knew casually from a previous job, so I am not her best friend or anything, but Auntyji, you would have thought that I had showed her photos of her parents in flagrante delicto! She went nuclear on me and called me a busy body and said it was none of my business what her boyfriend was doing. Auntyji, I was gobsmacked. Here I was doing her a favour, and she shoots the messenger? What kind of girl does this? But when I told another friend of mine, she said I should have stayed out of this tamasha. She said it was all my fault that Tanisha was angry with me. Now Auntyji, I don’t know what alternate universe I have woken up in, but I am confused. Should I have kept this information to myself? Or did I do the right thing and these numbskulls are plain stupid? Tell me the honest truth, Auntyji.
Well, my kabootri, we live in strange times. All the rules we had don’t apply any more, and human beings seem to be regressing, instead of going forward and progressing to enlightened beings. Now, you thought you were doing the right thing, but that kulachini, that Tanisha, did not see your true intentions and instead of getting cranky at her lothario boyfriend, chose to get angry at you. In that case, Tanisha deserves a cad for a boyfriend. This is a crazy situation, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. I suppose you could have taken a selfie with the bewafa in the background with his behaiya girl, and then you could have innocently put up the picture on Facebook and let your friends pick up the subtle cues. Many people have been sprung doing odd things in the background. In any case, the ghoda (horse) has already bolted so there is nothing more you can do. I suggest you remain your vigilant, chugal khoti self, and each time you see people doing bad stuff, I say you call them out on their bad behaviour. Your friends will learn soon enough not to behave badly around you. Or they could decide that they no longer want to be friends with someone like you. But who cares. Friends are over-rated anyway. They impose obligations on you, and then when you try to do the right thing, they turn on you. I say get yourself a cat and let go of your human friends. They only bring you misery.