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Nama-Slay! Shopping with Aunties

by Aiden

It’s wedding season, so Sumati Huber gives you a rundown of what to expect.

Hello, beti! Thank you for joining my exhibition also! You must be needing new outfits for your cousin’s wedding coming up, right? So delighted to hear she finally found someone, her parents were having so much tension. She was really taking her time for marriage. Girls today, at her age I was already raising my own children. 

What kind of clothes are you looking for? You have to see this new piece we just got, it’s too good. The work is all hand-stitched, you will never find anything the same here. If you like it we will have to order it quickly because we must get a bigger size for you. You’ve gained quite a bit since I last saw you! We definitely can’t open up this blouse, there isn’t enough margin. You should try to eat less before a family wedding, it won’t look nice in the pictures. 

Oh, by the way, we have some tea and snacks set up over there. You’re looking hungry, so please eat something. 

Are you ready to try anything on? Come, come the fitting room is here only. Why did you choose such a simple outfit? There’s hardly any detail on it at all. This you can wear to a luncheon, it’s not appropriate for a wedding. OK, come, try it on and we can see.

How is it, beti? Come out and show us. Wow, it’s looking so plain. This colour is doing nothing for you. Why don’t you choose a brighter shade? Your features are not standing out at all. It’s better if you wear the dupatta over your shoulder, it can help to cover the arm also. 

You know Reena already came by this morning and bought the most stunning piece. She was looking so lovely. How shameful will it be if someone from the same family is wearing heavier than you and you’re dressed so simply? No one will even know you’re related to the bride. Reena’s Mummyji is also taking all the orders from me for clothes and jewellery, I have the top quality only. 

Auntyji, come see what she has tried. She’s looking very dull in this colour, right? Beti, you should put a little something on your face also, some nice lipstick, you are looking very tired. 

Here, I think this one will look excellent on you. Such a nice bright purple and so many sequins, people will see and think it’s fantastic. Hai, it’s not too gaudy at all, you must buy heavy for a family function. How can you wear something that people have seen before, you need to get all new!

How is it fitting? Pooja, why are you just standing there, go inside and help her zip up the top. Hai, don’t be shy beti, we can’t see behind the curtain. Come out, show us! Hurry, why is it taking so long? 

Wow, that purple is just great on you, look at how it’s making your face look so much fairer. Masterji, come take her measurements to see if we have enough material to open up the sides for her, it looks like it’s about to pop! OK, yes, sometimes these zippers made in India are always getting stuck, we can replace it for you. 

Great choice, I’ll write up the invoice for you. But don’t worry, you still have some time to lose a little before the wedding. Don’t forget to help yourself to some snacks also before you leave.

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.

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