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DEAR AUNTY D: SEPTEMBER 2021

by Aiden

Aunty D advises you on matters of love and life.

HEMMING OVER HEMLINES

Dear Aunty D,

My dadi is way too old fashioned. It’s the 21st Century and she still makes me go back and change when I’m wearing short shorts or strappy tank tops. It’s not like I’ve been out of the house in weeks, so who’ll see my clothes except the family? She won’t stop nagging me about how ‘indecent’ I look, but has no problem with me showing my midriff when I’m wearing a sari. How do I get her to back down? I refuse to just roll over and show her my belly…literally.

Dear Hemming Over Hemlines,

Please bear with dadi-ji who loves you and is just being protective of the gaehina, the jewel that is the female physique, which unluckily bears the brunt of a judgmental society while men literally get away with ‘murder.’ Dadi-ma doubtlessly would also frown on the trending sari blouses that are little more than fancy brassieres, but to her, the western shorter-than-short shorts, or the hot-pants and tank-tops, insinuate a khulumm- khulaa, an ultra-brazen attitude which she fears will reflect in your thoughts and actions. So, while being a step ahead of the latest trends, bear in mind the enduring virtue of modesty, and the dignity in, or of, womanhood!

MUMMY POPPINS

Dear Aunty D,

My husband and I moved from Thailand to the U.S. a few years back. Living abroad, we don’t have the luxury of nannies, or nani, dadi, and masi to help us out, and while that was fine, lockdown has brought things to a head. I’m struggling with working from home, keeping our twin boys occupied, sitting in on their online classes, and doing the cooking and cleaning while hubby dear’s attempts to help just end with him being underfoot. I don’t want to be the sole mummy, nanny, cook, and cleaner all rolled into one!

Dear Mummy Poppins,

It might sound ludicrous right now, but believe me, you’ll look back at these very years as the best ones of your life. In another ten years, there’ll be no one banging or screaming outside your bathroom door or crawling into your bed just when you thought you were done for the day. Not having third party assistance has its boon. Do nudge the dad to take a more active role, and your family unit will reap the priceless dividends from the bond the twins will form with each other, and with the two of you! Meanwhile, enjoy the chaos and the din before they become too cool to hang around you, and hubby dear rediscovers the TV remote!

THE BAA NANA SPLIT 

Dear Aunty D,page17image55357056page17image55346880

My granny has just told me that her friend, an old aunty whom we’ve known forever, wants to divorce her husband. While I understand people my age wanting to divorce, I think it’s kind of crazy for grandparents. Here’s the thing – I don’t think it’s that aunty at all. I think granny has been pretty unhappy for years, and she’s finally had enough and wants to know what I think before making the announcement. I know the rest of the family won’t take it well and honestly, she’s 70 years old. Can’t she and granddad just…ignore each other for a few more years?

Dear The Baa Nana Split

Indian marriages, now and then, aren’t about the couple, but about whom the grandparents, uncles, aunts, and neighbours find suitable in terms of reputation; status; and to some extent the boy’s looks; while the girl should be fair, passably pretty, and heir-bearing robust. It was the ‘early bird gets the worm’ era and the match-fixing happened as soon as one passed the gangly, ugly duckling age. Dates were chaperoned and land-line calls were with parents lurking within earshot. But alas Kamaraja doesn’t just shoot his arrows into the hearts of the newlyweds, while the wine of love forever blinds them towards each other’s flaws for life. Granny has remained sober though committed to her duties, which are now done and over with. Allow her some ‘me time’ to live and do as she pleases!

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

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