In our world of The Great Big Fat Indian Family, most have us have an assortment of aunties including on an average about 4 chachis, 6 maamis, 3 buas, and one too many maasis. Now add on the first cousins of your parents. Then add on the second cousins too, since “your papa and I went on family summer holiday together 2 years in a row so that makes us as good as immediate family”, then add on your mums college besties. And her kitty party/rummi ‘frrands’. Plus all the neighbourhood ladies who regularly send ladoos home and yearly invitations to Ganpati puja. If your total count is anything under a 103, consider yourself blessed!
Statutory warning: The descriptions below are entirely a figment of this very dysfunctional writer’s mind. Any resemblance to people living or dead is definitely not incidental. The writer understands and accepts that this article may cause to stop receiving above mentioned ladoos and/or Ganpati invitations.
1. ‘OOOOh my Beta’ Aunty
Of all the aunties, we like this one the best. They pamper you, make excuses for you, make you Sindhi Kadhion Wednesdays when you ask, even though everyone knows its an only Sunday lunch meal! This is the house you to go when you are slightly broke, in need of a loan, or have had a massive temper tantrum and are hiding out from your parents. Their own progeny is possibly much much older than you are and they are glad of the chance to baby someone else.
2. ‘My Daughters So Fair/ My Sons A Genius’ Aunty
When you see one of these, don’t forget to mentally switch off. This aunty genuinely believes that her kids are the cat’s whiskers. Her daughter is the epitome of grace and elegance and good manners and intelligence. And her son already has a sea-facing flat in Worli and works with Sachin Tendulkar as his lawyer. And they both have just travelled to Greece and their kids just got into the exclusive private school. Yada, yada, yada. What she doesn’t know is, her daughter’s kitty is the most hated in their locality and her son is involved in an online gambling racket. Touche!
3. The Always-in-Pain Aunty
This poor lady is about 45 years old yet complains of aches and pains that the medical community has yet to discover. It’s either her arthritis (imaginary), a knee cap that needs to be replaced (eerrm, Moov should do the trick, its a sprain most likely), Osteoportitatis (Osteoporosis but the poor lady just can’t pronounce it). She’s always pain, every single time you see her, and she makes no bones about complaining to everyone she sees. Hypochondriac alert!
4. The Tight-Fisted Aunty
No reference to boxing here. Just terribly stingy. She recycles EVERYTHING. Curtains turn into bedspreads which later turn into a kurta and then a handkerchief. We’ve seen fruit sellers run for dear life when they see her. She’ll insist that mangoes cannot cost 600 per dozen. She’ll pay 150 and thats that. Ok, maybe there is a reference to boxing here, after all, if that fruit seller argues, he’ll get boxed in the ears for sure. Invite her to a celebration and be sure to receive a old envelope (with a label stuck over the previous receivers name) and a crisp 50 rupee note inside with a one rupee coin for good luck.
5. The God-Fearing/God-Loving Aunty
This lady has a rosary beads/mala permanently attached to her hand. You’ve literally never seen her without them. Expect her to start her mala jhappo-ing in the middle of a conversation. Every flat surface of her home has a figurine or frame with her favourite deity on it. Start a conversation about Sajid Khans Humshakkals(really, are you mad, you watched it? Why would you??) or the latest twist in Balika Vadhu and watch how artfully she veers the subject to the Bhagvad Gita or the Ramayana or passages from the Gospel.
6. Still lives in the 1960’s – Nostalgia Queen Aunty
In clinical depression since Dev Anand and Rajesh Khanna’s passing, this aunty will regale you with tales on how channa cost 5 paisa and bus fare was a couple of annas and picnics meant spending the day at Chowpatty beach and going out of town meant visiting Juhu beach. She still views life in black and white Sayajit Ray cinematic style.
7. Talcum Powder Aunty
Aaaah! You are giggling now, aren’t you?? Everyone knows one of these!!! These sweet ladies cover themselves in old school Ponds talcum powder (SRK’s thanda thanda cool cool is definitely not working here). You’ll always see how powder stuck in the folds of their neck. Coming from someone with asthmatic tendencies, I can tell you, they are a certified health hazard! With every step they take, they leave a tiny, sweet smelling little cloud of white in their wake.
8. The Lift One Bum Up and Let Go Aunty
Ok, picture this. You are visiting your Dad’s grand aunt. You are sitting on a brown and orange absolutely hideous floral printed sofa. Aunty ji is going on and on about how the nurse hired to help her is plotting to kill her. She’s very anti Modi, though she’s got him slightly confused with Advani. She’s very anti Tulsi. How could she leave poor Baa and go off to Delhi like this? Now in the middle of all this very mixed up melodrama, she’ll very matter of factly lift one bum and let go, not pausing her monologue for one second and with clearly no comprehension that we are wishing that nurse just kills us instead.
9. Doting Grandmaa Aunty
“Did u know Chimpoos potty was green today because he ate spinach for lunch?” Er no, and thanks, I’m off spinach for life now.
“My chutki si Babli is so clever. She got 6 on 10 in school”. Hmmm, Genius really.
Yes, we realise that your grandchildren are the centre of your world, and while thats cute, we’d rather focus on the centre of our world. Shoes and chocolate.
10. Rockstar Aunty
This aunty flatly refuses to grow up. Her kids are off to college or possible married and she’s caught the second wind of youth. She’s dyed her hair brown with gold highlights, got herself a hottie personal trainer (thats the clever front! She’s definitely had a variety of work done), insists on wearing age inappropriate clothes, takes selfies at all the happening night clubs. Who are we to judge! She’s great fun to hang out with, will take you shopping and partying and she’s a hoot to be with!
11. Matchmaker Aunty
Aaah, how we dread bumping into one of these! She’s got a database embedded in her brain with lists of all the eligible youngsters in the community. Her aim in life is to see a couple she’s paired off married happily. She’s a regular fixture at all weddings and social gatherings, with eyes like a hawk, theres no singleton that can escape her radar.
12. The Fabulous Cook Aunty
While there’s very little to beat maa ke haat ka khaana, this aunty’s cooking makes us want to bite our fingers off. You’d be a fool to turn down an invitation to her house. Her kids stayed skinny through school and while everyone wondered how that was even possible, we know that their tiffin boxes were always stolen by the bullies.
13. The Professional Aunty
With a job in a bank, insurance firm or multinational company, this aunty has always been someone you’ve looked up to. She worked hard not just to supplement the family income, but because she believed she had the right to a career and future too. She’s always immaculately dressed, in starched saris or crisp kurtas and smartly cut shirts and trousers with her super stylish salt and pepper hair in short bob or neat chignon. Role model to most, she’s the go to when you’ve been undecided on which course to take or which college to apply to.
14. The Socially Inept ( Read ‘The Always Inappropriate’) Aunty
This lady has a heart of gold but no idea on what is appropriate table conversation and what’s not. Expect inappropriate sex jokes, constant nudging and winking while she asks when you are making your next baby. And she’ll do this in front of your grandparents, in the middle of a puja. She makes you wish the ground beneath you parts and swallows you up.
15. The Hit-Where-it Hurts-The-Most Aunty
She’s graduated from looking at you when you were in your early teens and saying “ittu-si thi jab maine dekha tha, itni badi ho gayi hai” and patting your head till the pins holding your hairdo in place get embedded in your skull. As if that wasn’t painful enough, every time she sees you now, in your thirties, she’ll say “kuch zyada healthy ho gayi hai, na? Exercise-vexercise nahi karti?” Ooooouch.
Gif courtesy: Giphy.com and bollywood gifs