Ask Auntyji: On sinning and on fake compliments

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Dear Auntyji

I need your advice post haste, please. I work in corporate Australia, and because of the nature of work and COVID, we have all moved to work from home.  I don’t mind working from home because I can water my garden in the middle of the day if I wanted.  Now Auntyji, working from home means I am mostly on Zoom calls all day long. I have a colleague – let’s call her Natasha for that is her name – and each time I am on a Zoom call with her, I notice that she has a picture of herself in the background, wearing a striking white swimsuit while on holiday in the Maldives. I only ever saw Natasha as just a colleague, until we all started Zooming, and then I saw all her charms on display, right there in front of my face at each meeting.

Auntyji, as a middle-aged man, I want to say something but I don’t, for fear of making a mountain out of a molehill. But you understand how distracting it is to be staring at twin peaks during meetings, nah? What to do Auntyji, what to do? The worse thing is that Natasha knows that I know that she knows that I stare at the picture. Please help me.

Auntyji says

What?  What is this I-know-she-knows-I-know nonsense? Saaf saaf kyu nahi kehta, ki tere maan me paap hai, you shaitaan ka bhiaya. Listen up harjaaee, your job is to remain focused on what your colleagues are saying, and to remain professional during Zoom calls.  You should be actively listening, and not let your dhyan (attention) wander away to twin peaks or Khajuraho or Ajanta or wherever your paapi mind takes you.

Let me guess, even if Natasha was in a chador, you would probably be thinking about a glimpse of her finely tuned ankle, nah? Arre paapi, you say you are middle-aged, but you are no sanyasi. It is not your place to make comments on what people keep in their homes, or what photos they have.

And I am most surprised because Zoom calls are not of such good quality that you can make out what’s in the background to that degree. Please don’t tell me you have a monitor that allows you to perve on your colleagues in such high definition, you goonda.

READ ALSO: Ask Auntyji: Should I turn vegetarian after all?

Wife is indifferent to her husband's compliments
Wife is indifferent to her husband’s compliments. Source: Canva

Dear Auntyji 

Since COVID happened, my talented and hard-working wife has taken our life up a notch, where she has become like a superstar. But I have one little problem with her, Auntyji.

So she has been working very hard at work, but at home, she works even harder. We work from home 4 days a week – and due to her exceptional planning skills, we all have the most delicious dinner at 6.30 each day, as a family. She keeps the house looking spotless, and she is always looking for ways to help our boys. Neila is like a highly efficient machine that makes everything look effortless.

But Auntyji, whenever I say thank you to her for everything she does around the house, and when I compliment her for all her effort, she just smiles and says little. But when I tell her how beautiful she looks, or how smart she sounded during a work meeting, she usually asks me to explain and wants to know details. But when I praise her for her efficiency at home, she just smiles and says nothing. She remains chup chaap. Khamosh.Like a pathar ka sanam.

Auntyji, I want my wife to be more gracious in how she receives compliments from me. I want her to say thank you or use some words and to acknowledge my recognition of her efforts. Do you have guidance for me?

Auntyji says 

You are the lowest of lows, you rakshas. I have wise words for a useless man like you. Of all the things, you actually want your hardworking, talented, efficient, and beautiful wife to acknowledge your recognition of her effort in a way that pleases you. Are you that stupid that you really want this one thing from your wife – even after all that she does for you and your family? Let me point out a few home truths to you, you sukada hua purple baingan.

Your wife sees your insincere, inauthentic, and superficial compliments for what they are – pointless ravings of a bekaar aadmi who highly likely does little around the house, and who sees how much his wife does, and so he offers fuzool platitudes in an attempt to make himself feel like he is adding value. You are adding zero value, and you know it and your wife knows it. That’s why she does not even acknowledge your redundant compliments. Let’s be honest here – how much do you actually contribute around the house? Or does Neila do everything – which is why you feel compelled to say something? So instead of saying nothing of any use to anyone, why don’t you start helping around the house? Instead of sitting around like a plate of day-old khichidi wanting to be acknowledged for your compliments, how about making yourself worthy of compliments?

Is this what you want – your wife to acknowledge your most meaningless, most trivial, most inane contribution?  Why would she acknowledge your one tiny dana(grain) of effort when she moves mountains every day? How you manage to hold on to Neila is a mystery to us all. Perhaps her silence at your dishonest tareef is because she is wondering the same thing as the rest of us.

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