Sumati Huber’s comical take on the resolutions she wishes Indians would make.
1. Don’t ask when someone is getting married
We get it, weddings are joyous occasions complete with a free buffet and well-stocked bar. Who wouldn’t want to know when they will be receiving an invitation to celebrate and give their maid a night off from cooking dinner? But could it be possible that there are some people — god forbid it’s not your son or daughter — who may not have any intention of getting married?
Maybe they have experienced terrible heartbreak, maybe they want to wait until they are older and more financially stable, maybe they sleep diagonally and don’t want to share their bed, maybe they realise that marriage cannot survive when a man and woman have to share the same bathroom. Whatever the reason, the decision is theirs alone and perhaps not yours to question.
2. Don’t ask when someone is going to have a baby
Similar to the “when are you getting married?” line of questioning, it would be great if Indians could resolve to not pry into someone’s family plan. The request for grandchildren often comes the minute after your wedding ceremony before you’ve even had a chance to unpack your trousseau or decide if you like your mother-in-law. Obviously we don’t know how to make babies considering we were never allowed to be in relationships or see the world before marriage so we would need some time to learn.
3. Stop staring so much
Seriously, what are you looking at? It seems that when some people reach “aunty” or “uncle” status, they develop an eye condition that causes them to have an uncontrollable urge to look at any other Indian whether they know them or not. Perhaps they could be eyeing the white boyfriend walking alongside you, your super short miniskirt or the mere fact that you exist. Nothing can break the all-powerful gaze that is set upon you. We’re not sure what these aunties or uncles gain by staring other than a reputation for being rude and making us feel uncomfortable.
4. Refrain from giving unsolicited advice about someone’s appearance
“It’s not good to be so dark.”
“Put some yoghurt on your face to whiten your skin.” “You’ve gained a lot of weight.”
“Your face is full of spots, eat less heaty things.”
Please just stop for this year and all the years to come!
5. Try not to compare us to other kids
Respected parents, we know that you only want the best for your children. Instead of believing in us or giving us hugs, you tend to emotionally blackmail us and point out how everyone else’s kids are much better. But did you consider you only know what others want you to know?
Yes, we may be bad and go out at night but that’s how we can guarantee that precious Parvati has a penchant for vodka shots and lower back tattoos. Sure, Sonia may sasrikaal you to your face but believe us when we say she does other things with her hands too. We may have some traits that you don’t like or agree with but trust that we’re not as bad as you think we are.
An unreformed party girl and mother of two, writer, editor and observer Sumati Huber tries to make sense of our unique Thai-Indian society and the aunties that she will one day become.