Sumati Huber tries to make sense of our unique Thai-Indian society.
Nama-Slay! The Art of Being an Aunty
Ganga! What are you doing there in the kitchen? Where is my chai? Bring it now, you know it should be waiting for me as soon as I come out. Ganga! What is this nonsense taste, I didn’t ask for milk with a little tea. Why did you make it so hot? Now half my biscuit has broken off when I dipped it in the cup. How am I supposed to drink it with soggy biscuit pieces inside? Take it back and make a new one!
Hai hai, look at my hair today. How can I wash it myself? I need to call Kung and get an appointment immediately. I cannot be seen looking like this at the Indian bridal clothing exhibition. Yeah, of course I’m not a bride but at least I can find out who all are getting married and what weddings I’ll be invited to.
Kung! Don’t forget to use my own shampoo that I brought along. What are you doing to my head? Why is the water so cold? It’s too hot now! I should have just washed it myself before I came here.
Oh, hi beti, I didn’t know you come to this salon also. You’re looking so tired today. You know, let me tell you, I have the best remedy for that. I’ve told my Ganga to make me hot water with haldi and ginger every day. It’s a special ayurvedic recipe. Drink it in the morning as soon as you wake up. It can also help you lose some weight as you’ve gained a little bit, right? Are you going to the bridal exhibition today? You can start getting some ideas for your wedding. You should really think about meeting some nice boys. Beti, at your age I already had two kids in college. Girls these days really like to take their time, heh?
Kung, what is this blow dry? It’s so flat, make it more curly at the bottom.
Let me tell you beti, I know a nice boy for you. I don’t know his name or anything about him, but I met his mom at a prayer group once and she was very nice. Very fair also. Must be a very good family.
Hai hai, what is this Bangkok traffic, cannot go anywhere at all. Let me check my phone. Wow, so many “good morning” images in our Kitty Share group chat. Look at this motivational quote Sheela sent: “Living is life, life is living. EFIL is LIFE backwards.” Wow it sounds so deep, let me forward it to my family chat and all my wedding dance practice groups.
Finally at the bridal exhibition! Hello Dolly! Hello Rolly! Oh, this suit is so nice, you should buy it for your daughter-in-law. Are they planning to have kids soon? They’ve been married – what is it – five years already? And still no kids? Girls today, really like to take their time, heh? So worried about their jobs and friends, don’t remember the importance of family.
Did you hear about Sonu’s daughter? Engagement is broken now! So bad! I heard the families couldn’t agree on where to have the wedding. The boy’s side was being really picky. So shameful. At least Sonu’s son is doing so well. He’s working in finance in UK and will start his own company. Sonu doesn’t have to worry about him, such a good boy. He will definitely find a nice girl to take care of him.
Oh, hi Sonu, how are you doing? So nice to see you out. You know we heard everything that’s going on. But never mind you come over for tea. I found this lady who makes the best vegetarian cakes, the taste is excellent.
Ganga, I’m home now, where is my chai? Hai hai, these maids sleep the whole afternoon, what do I pay them for? Staying up all night to talk on the phone but can’t even remember to make my tea.
You’re going out with your friends again? My daughter thinks this is a hotel, only comes back to sleep. And you’re not eating dinner at home? But I already ordered bai krapow because you said you wanted that this morning. Why do I even bother asking what you want to eat all the time?
You know, it doesn’t look good for a girl to go out so much. You should start getting more serious and learn how to make some food if you want any chance of finding a good husband. See what happened to Sonu’s daughter, so bad. I met your friend Pooja today at the exhibition shopping for her wedding clothes. Such a nice sweet girl. Her mom told me she has such a good job and is already getting a promotion. And she’s marrying such a nice boy, he’s so successful. I don’t even know what to do with you, still gallivanting around with your friends with no prospects in sight.
Ganga! What is this tea?! I didn’t ask for hot water with milk! Hai hai!