Why a woman needs nieces…

Me at Jaageshwar

Am back from the trip to the pahadland, refreshed and rejuvenated. Literally and figuratively. The nose is clearer. The two weeks went by without a single migraine attack which by itself is incentive enough for me to want to pack up all my shoes and bags, and shift out to a log cabin in Binsar, with central heating of course. I cannot, cannot, cannot bear the cold. Anything below 10 degrees Celsius had me pulling on multiple layers of clothing, and Binsar, where we were at 5 degrees I think, saw me moving around shrouded in the hotel room blanket much like a spectre from an other world.

The funnest part of the trip, was not the places we visited, the sights we saw or the food we ate (which undoubtedly, in my books always ranks high up on the scales, and also explains why the scales have gone high post the trip), but was the fact that we had three teenaged girls with us on the trip. My three nieces. All of 18, 17 and 14. And of course, I suddenly found myself feeling officially over the hill. Of course, I am. I know it. But there is a difference between knowing it and accepting it, isnt there?

So here were these girls squealing about crushes, and girly things and I suddenly found my stomach twisting because I would never know this. I have a son. He will become shuttered and distant when he hits adolescence undoubtedly, as most sons generally do. He will never understand why his mother needs to pack in three outfits for a probable stay for a day. He will never get why I am horrified if I don’t have coordinated shoes, and feel like I’m slumming it out if I wear silver sandals with a top which has gold embroidery. Them girls, they are on my side.

He will never convince me to paint my fingernails with glitter polish in a brilliance so ridiculous for an almost forty year old that it actually looks good. They did. And they not only did, they sat down and carefully painted them nails for me, and squealed in delight over the finished effect so gleefully that I actually found myself agreeing with them. And thanks to them I figured out, (yes, I am that much of a dinosaur), that ankle socks are the way to go. The kind I wear that reach the knee are warmer though, and I might just stick with them in colder climes.

Thanks to my obsession with social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, I was accoladed as ‘cool’. Or whatever the term for cool is these days. These children speak a completely different language from what we do. I learnt a new term from them too. “Crushing on”. In my day, I used to “Have a Crush On”. Now you “Crush On” someone. Whoever snickered that I would definitely “Crush” someone, kindly leave the room now.

They also introduced me to someone I could happily crush on, without the spouse getting all worked up. Edward Cullen. Yup. The stone cold vampire with the Greek God looks and the sparkling body suit when out in the sun. Seeing the entire series with two nieces, curiousity got the better of me and I began reading the first one. I read through it and barfed and scoffed a bit. Cullen was like the ideal boyfriend. Rich, goodlooking, obsessed with Bella, saving her from all the baddies and accidents and constantly with her, even while she slept. “He’s a stalker,” I squawked in disgust to the girls. “Is this the kind of guy you girls like?” Strong, independent girls like you? Tch Tch, I said, until it hit me with a sledgehammer that I had gone and married an Edward Cullen. No, the spouse doesnt drink blood, but has quite a healthy appetite, thank you very much, but he was the Greek God gorgeous kind who fell for mousey little me, and was omnipresent in the early days. Outside my lecture room, outside my balcony, on the railway platform. Getting me safe back home on days when the city got flooded in, bashing up baddies who dared eve tease me. I began liking the Cullen. I saw the boy I fell in love with in him. I began “crushing on” the Cullen. And now I’m Β totally sold on the series. Even though I think Pattinson could tone down the chalk and the red lipstick and liner look. I patented it. Its mine.

And then the shopping. For this one, I adored having nieces. They squealed in delight with me at little shacks in Nainital’s Bhutiya Market where we found colourful lacy little nothings for unbelievable prices. Of course, we promptly bought up the entire shop between us. They buying the pretty little numbers in pastels and florals and such like while I stuck to pretty little numbers in practical skin and black. We squealed together through shops of cute little candles, we guzzled Pepsi by the bottles to the frowns of their mothers, and I could almost believe I was on a college trip, if it hadnt been for the brat still needing me for bum washing duty.

Thank you girls, for making the holiday funner than it already was.


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published nine 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), psychological thriller with Missing, Presumed Dead (2018) 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. In 2018, she was awarded the International Women's Day award for literary excellence by ICUNR and Ministry of Women and Children, Government of India. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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29 Responses to Why a woman needs nieces…

  1. Rohini says:

    What fun! I can’t wait for T to grow up!

    Just finished Twilight. Somewhat juvenile but racy and fun. But Cullen didn’t do anything for me. I don’t go for the brooding, intense type. And I don’t do damsel-in-distress πŸ™‚


    • Kiran Manral says:

      Ro: I’m not liking Cullen the husband. Now I know why heroes dont like to declare their marital status.


  2. Sue says:

    We need pictures of the nail polish.

    The sheer, unadulterated misery of being the only girl in this household is what I was whining about to Dipali and Evie, the other day. I’m glad V and R bond but god, I need some feminine company too. 😦


  3. Aathira says:

    Awe… now I am waiting for my nieces to grow up πŸ™‚

    They are only 10 and 7 now, but they still love nail polish πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€


  4. aneela z says:

    well your “daughter” could have been like me..no fashion sense, and socially awkward. Im realising Arhaan might be a fashionista and convince me to put on the shiny nail enamel one day in the future…so fikr not, our sons might surprise us yet.


    • Kiran Manral says:

      Aneela: Do you think any daughter of mine would be able to resist the evil influence I am? Or maybe, she would go to the other extreme right? Hmmmm….


  5. sraikh says:

    They sound fun. I guess I am blessed(?) I have 2 of each..:)
    You want to hear something though, the girls, my 11 yr old(good god, I cannot get over the fact that I have a child whose has 2 digits in her age) she has so much drama in her class. The boys at this age, are alll very clueless and play together. The girls, can be mean and catty and you need to figure out how to protect your child from that. And then you realise that no you cannot and she needs to figure it out and all you can do is a give a hug?


  6. dipali says:

    I’m with you 100% on this! Being a ‘maami’ is great fun. Not only did I have two nieces staying about a kilometer away from us, we were jagat maama-maami to their entire colony! We all had a wonderful time together. Even though we can’t meet too often now, we still share a wonderful bond.
    And the SRE’s eldest niece used to be my student, she’d thought I’d be a good match for her maama.
    Biggest problem was detaching myself from the youngsters and spending time with the SILs, who are all much older than I am.


  7. aarabik says:

    Okay, now that you’ve totally sold me on the Twilight series, of which I’ve so far only heard sad things, I’m off to go watch it for the alpha male Cullen. Thank you, wonderful lady, for ruining my fragile plans for working this day πŸ™‚ And also screwing with my idea of what to look for in a guy.
    Oh that’s a great idea for a post. What with all this arranged marriage crap, I have no clue how to go about getting to know the strange men I’m introduced to.
    Great post πŸ™‚ Missed you. Was haunting this space while you were gone. Welcome home!


    • Kiran Manral says:

      Aarabik: Cullen as in the book. Not Cullen as played by Pattinson who comes nowhere close to the Cullen of my imagination…


  8. anna says:

    welcome back! nice photo.


  9. Sukhdeepak says:

    Yes, i fully agree with you that on a long trip accompany of nieces is a great fun and helpful. It would be very memorable event of your life. Very nice blog.


  10. DewdropDream says:

    Yeah we do need a picture of the nailpolish!

    I met my thirty-something aunts recently and between us I think we managed to make each other feel older (me) and younger (them) respectively. Pretty good on the whole, methinks πŸ˜€


  11. Bhavna says:

    Lovely. Girls are something na? I bet they enjoyed having a cool aunt around. They will be gushing about it back home


  12. blinkandmiss says:

    I adored my maami, who gifted me my first lipstick and some cool junk jewellery (my mom didn’t wear any makeup and didn’t approve of us wearing it either and only got me gold/silver stuff). So it feels nice to get the exact same vibe back from one’s nieces. πŸ™‚

    And all your posts about the hills is making me crave a vacation real baddd!!!


  13. Rachna says:

    Yes, I do that for my Mom- make her wear lipstick and nailpolish, when she keeps saying she is too old to do so!


  14. My 10 year old niece has been commenting on my clothes, hairstyle, accessories and shoes since she was about 7-8 years old.And she has even tried borrowing some of my clothes( completely disapproved by my sister).And now that I have an almost 2 year old son whose first word when he wakes up is car/bike/jeep/plane etc etc, I appreciate the niece and our girl talk bonding even more.
    BTW I don’t know if somebody else has told you this, but you resemble Tisca Chopra a lot.For a minute I thought this was you πŸ™‚



  15. aneela z says:

    nahee kiran…there are many a times I have stopped to look again at a pic of Ms Chopra. The resemblance is uncanny…I would say you should revisit all the melas you attended as a kid, you are definitely missing a twin.

    LOL. No Aneela, its just a superficial resemblance, she’s really very pretty pretty….


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