Saturday, January 16, 2021

Ask Auntyji

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Dear Auntyji
Aunty, I was hoping you could help me with a problem. I have three grown up children, two of who are divorced, sadly. But all my children are very nice people. But each time I go to a family function, some of my husband’s relatives go out of their way to come to me and talk about how sad it is that my kids are divorced and how my children can’t make a success of marriage. But Auntyji, the relatives who talk about these things to my face are the very people whose own children have been in and out of relationships, as well as jobs and aren’t doing half as well as my children, who all are very well educated and are quite successful (despite the divorces). I am not an assertive person, and I find it difficult to point out the hypocrisy of their observations. But it grates on me so much that I often don’t want to go to these events. I do so in order to keep my husband happy, who loves me dearly. My husband tells me to ignore these people, and that they must be jealous of us and our lifestyle. But I find it so hard. Each time I tell my sister about some of the things people have said to my face, my sister gets angry and tells me off for not saying anything. Further, my sister is so quick that she has a response for all the allegations. Yet she does it in such a polite, calm manner that people are left speechless. Also  my Didi is not scared of anyone. But what to do Auntyji, I am a shy person. I can’t say a word to these people who upset me all the time.

Auntyji says

Yes, my chupi chuhi, I can totally sympathise with you. It would be pointless of me to try to tell you to learn to be assertive – having lived this long being that shy and introverted, I doubt I could convince you to change your behaviour all of a sudden. But not to worry, I have another solution for you. Next time you go to one of these functions, take your sister with you. She comes across as a bit of a firecracker who won’t put up with rubbish from anyone. So let her loose among your husband’s relatives, and give her freedom to speak her mind, as long as you can deal with the consequences afterwards. I am quite certain the event will be very entertaining, and an eye opener for all. Let your sister give everyone tit for tat. Very soon, everyone will know to leave you alone. That’s what big sisters are for.
Good luck, and keep me updated with the events. Better still, let me know when the next get-together is so I can come by and witness this tamasha first hand.

Dear Auntyji

Oh I have a problem and I was hoping you could help me. My beloved brother, who was the most fun loving brother ever, and who has been married for 15 years, has now found religion in his old age. No longer is he fun to be around – but he is serious and so … wise. He speaks of the way of the prophet, and advises us to live a good, simple life and to help others. Auntyji, I don’t have problems with anything or anyone, but my bhaiya and religion? His only religion used to be jokes and sport – now it’s simple living and good deeds! I have a good mind to spike his nimbu paani with some vodka, just to see what happens. Do you have some advice for me?

Auntyji says
Arre, shaitaan! Waala hawal waala kuat! What for do you want to take panga with a decent man who is advocating a good life? Has he imposed his rules on you, such as not to eat fish, not to talk to gair mard, or to be in purdah? Tho what business is it of yours to be bothered by the accessing of wisdom in his middle twilight? Leave your bhaiya alone – from what I can see, you zaleel bhahen, you behaya besharam, you need to take some advice from your brother. Why would you even think of spiking his nimbu paani with vodka, you churail?  Just be glad that your brother is acquiring wisdom. Life is not all hahahehe, so look towards your bade bhaiya for some akal, and listen to his words. What he speaks is the truth, and is providing good counsel. Of course, if he goes all pirbaba on you and says you need to be in purdah, then write back to me – because that is taking things too far.

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

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  1. I love these Kochuris! Our bengali tantnes used to make them when I lived in Orissa and that was my introduction to all things Bengali 🙂 And they were exactly the kind of friendly tantnes/neighbours you now miss… everything was shared, no one ever ran out of things and recipes were always exchanged… sigh! our Mumbai is as bad as your alien city, Pree… have no clue who our neighbours are! But hey, do let us know if you broke the ice with some aloor dum and kochuris 😉


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