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Dear Aunty D: August 2022

by Shradha Aswani

Aunty D comes to the rescue for all sorts of issues, from under-confidence to gender stereotypes.


Dear Aunty D,
I’ve had a farang boyfriend for a little over six months, but we only recently told everyone. My parents were not entirely pleased, as I’m only 19 and we’re both still in uni, and they would rather I keep it on the downlow, because “what would people think?” I don’t really care what society thinks, but as I’m shy, I too would like to keep things private. However, since we became ‘official,’ my boyfriend has been openly flirting with me, not only in front of our friends, but my family too! How do I tell him it’s sweet but too much?

Dear When Shameless Meets Shy,
You are two persons in love and if the people that matter most are already in on the ‘secret,’ then what ‘others’ think is already behind you; they’ll always think the worst. So, get on the rooftop and shout it out to the universe, and let FB and Instagram do the rest! Dear girl, your beau’s gusto will soon deflate like helium birthday balloons, so while it lasts, enjoy the attention you are getting from the flush of newfound love;
otherwise, you’ll later regret that you didn’t flaunt it even more.


Dear Aunty D,
I’m an only child, and my parents are now too old to have another one. Unfortunately, from what I’ve heard from my nanis and dadis, both my parents would have preferred to have a son, and were sorely disappointed when I turned out to be a girl. Of course, they’ve never said this to me, but I can’t help but feel like they’re always looking at me with disappointment. What do I do?

Dear (G)one Girl,
Dear girl, you didn’t choose your gender, it was your father’s ‘input.’ It’s sad that we Indians still think only sons are dependable for financial stability and care in old age, when daughters are equally capable of the same, if not even more so. Either way, don’t harbour any misgivings about them; they are the product of our society’s askew notions. Rather hold your head up high and go about becoming the best person you can become; not to prove anything to them or anyone, but so that you are proud of the person you are, whatever your gender.


Dear Aunty D,
I’m 45 years old and I’m tired. Every time I go to meet my share group, or entertain guests for dinner, or visit the extended family, everyone always asks me how I am, and I tell them “I’m fine.” But why do we as a society keep subsuming our troubles in “fi ne”? Why can’t I tell them that actually, I’m not ok. We’ve got financial troubles, and our children are causing problems, and I have anxiety about everything, and yet we smile and say, “can’t complain.” Why is it not ok to not be ok?

Dear Is it Ok to Not Be Ok?
“I’m Ok” is the most frequently told lie on the planet and regrettably, the person is rarely interested in listening to what you are dying to tell. To trigger a response, give a flirty, “thanks for asking, I could do with a listening ear.” And if the person asking is someone you’d gladly bare your soul to, then it’s perfectly ok to say, I feel like ****; then if you get a listening ear, pour away. Otherwise, to remain true to your inner state and yet not do a tell-all, then a cheerful, “not much!” or “nothing much!” is fi ne, and still leaves the door open for further chatting.

Have an etiquette question? Send your dilemmas to and write “Dear Aunty D” in the subject line.

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