Of being an aunty and other lifeshattering tragedies…

Depression hovering like an irritant helicopter buzzing incessantly over my head. Occasioned by the indiscriminate use of the word aunty. The occasion:Standing at the takeway line outside McDonalds with the brat, who insisted on pulling the ganji of the himbo teen in front of him. The teens were all standing in a gangly group, gawking at the girls, preening a little down the line, and pretending to be studly, by flexing out chicken arms for the scrawny ones, and beefed up biceps for the gymaniacs. When the brat had just about pulled the strap of the vested one for the umpteenth time, I gently admonished him to the tune of him getting a tight one on the butt, and the pain of no burger should he continue in the same mode, when himbo turns to me and smiles, with the wonderful wrinkle free face that only youth and no fear of where the next buck is going to come from brings. “No problem aunty.” I died. In the way only a woman who has been slathering on antiwrinkle cream by the gallon can.

Yes, I was hoping I could do a Draupadi and have the earth open up and swallow me whole, only burping to spit out some indigestible fat deposits. Aunty. Here was I in very hip Max Mara cargos and a green and lime striped lycra enhanced tee and feeling like I wandered there straight from a fashion shoot. I would give myself a well preserved 32 on a good day. But then, had I probably conceived and had a kid in my teens, the himbo could have been mine own. Welcome to dotagism. Welcome being all the more bitter considering the birthday arrives next week, and one will have officially turned 36. All the pretence of being on the median line between youth and middle age has now been rendered redundant, and one is officially an aunty. But aunty is such a loosely used word in
India. I have had shopkeepers with white whiskers and no teeth in their mouth call me aunty, to which one’s natural response has been to clout them on the head with whatever weapon is closest at hand, whether the stiletto on my foot or the make up laden handbag, which on a good insecure day can clout the daylights out of a football team.

Went home from McDonalds and examined myself closely in the magnifying mirror, yes, auntyism is here to stay. Faint stray grey roots around the hairline, from where the highlights have been dyed out to brown. The smile forgets to fade, and has morphed into a perma smile. The crinkle under the eyes is now a spiderweb of forgotten tears and dust in the contact lenses pulling. And the teeth have grown rather long, the result being me looking like a rabid rodent when I smile wholeheartedly, with the result that one only smiles delicately like a Victorian maiden, unwilling to risk being labeled a loose woman and laugh with all teeth and cavities and exposed roots on display to inflict on an unsuspecting world. Alas and alack. Anyway, will take heart in the new fact that forty is the new thirty and will be therefore thirty in four years, so will therefore still have a pretence at being in the prime of my life four years hence.

The scary part is that the biological clock has ticked away and if one wants to go in for brat part 2, am over the hill now. The get up and go has also got up and gone. Therefore I shall now cheer myself up with a wishlist of most hoped for birthday gifts.

The Fendi Spy Bag. Actually any nice new bag. Been a while since I bag shopped and am getting withdrawal symptoms. Have realized that all my good bags are cloth based and therefore need to be packed away in mothballs for the next few months along with the leather variety on the pain of damp fungoid stink. The nice silver mirror finish huge tote at In Touch would be nice too, I can fit the entire contents of my dressingtable in there and a cap and a umbrella (the monsoons are upon us) and be blessed. And it is only for Rs 580. So perhaps, I will buy it for myself.

A solitaire ring. Just so I can have a solitaire. But considering, the actual cost of the pulverized carbon, might just about settle for cubic zircon in rhodium plated silver and flaunt it around happily. It looks as pretty and no one except a jeweller can actually tell the difference.

A new house. One with umpteen bedrooms, efficient maids and cooks and umpteen bathrooms for all our infinite guests to use rather than queue up at the one we have. (We live in a two bedroom hall kitchen flat which through some weird fluke and bad planning has two closets masquerading as wcs which a really tall and broad person could get stuck in).While we are at it, a new island would also be nice. And a jet plane to get to it.

Maybe if the island weren’t possible, a trip to the
Maldives would also be nice. To Soneva Fushi or alternatively, the One and Only Reethi Rah. Ah, for a villa on the sea, with the glass floor to see the baby sharks swimming underneath, and the sumptuous sea food fresh from the ocean, grilled on the beach. To walk on an emerging island which is nothing but a heap of pure white sand surrounded by sea. And to snorkel under clear blue waters, through the corals and schools of fish darting through. Okay. Would settle for a holiday only with husband in
Goa. Yes, without the brat. If that makes me a bad mother so be it. Want to hunt high and low for our passion factor. Its gone the way of the dodo. Soon will have to send out an arrest on sight warrant for it.

And finally, a top to toe makeover, with an arsenal of plastic surgeons and make up artists at my beck and call. And a cover shoot with Vogue. Ahh!!!! Lets be practical. Just someone to fund my lasik surgery will see me groveling in gratitude. To be able to open my eyes in the morning and see clearly without having to put on my glasses. Heaven.

Happy Birthday to me.




About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published eight books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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3 Responses to Of being an aunty and other lifeshattering tragedies…

  1. utbtkids says:

    Ignore the bozo who auntied you. I thought you look great! Thanks for dropping by at my blog.


  2. Gigi says:

    I’m enjoying reading the archives. Great observations.
    I stopped liking the word Aunty and prefer the American way of saying Mrs. X or Ms. X or M’am instead of Aunty.

    Gigi, think I like that better too!


  3. When I returned from US, I was shocked when a 16 year old called me ‘aunty’ at the local market. I am 29.


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