Don’t get confused between the literal auntie and this auntie. Keep in mind I am an Indian and there is a lot of Indianism, move your ass and find all the references!
Ever since the first sprout of humanity germinated on this Mother Earth, the clouds have been roaring thunder and precipitating as if the God created some manufacturing defect in our civilization. As if the volcanoes knew that they will have to vanquish the Earth’s biodiversity once and for all so that our land can be protected from ‘something.’ From the past 19 years, all my eyes and ears have been involved in searching that one loophole, which might cause trouble to humanity even more than Osama Bin Laden, that ‘something’ which reaches to the very root of my hair, embracing it with strong claws and humping the deepest neurons present to mind bash all of my thoughts. My search ended at ‘Ram Bihari Pani Puri Wala,’ soon as I heard the magical words, ‘Thoda Aur paani dalna bhaiyya.’
Peacefully minding my own damn business, I sat in a corner of a DTC bus (non-reserved seat) reading my book just when I heard a thump. I took a breath and ignored it for once but it seemed to follow me. With every word I read, thumps got louder until I saw a very giant stomach flashing in front of me, tightly kept between a petticoat and a blouse just so it won’t fall to the ground due to gravity. The cracks on the reddish-brown skin suggested me of the years of experience and hard work and what not this old fighter of us have had, and now when it comes to retiring, it needs a place to plonk. Being a good citizen of Incredible India, I vacated the seat. It would generally have been a good gesture until I speculated this creature. Was this the species I saw at that ‘Pani Puri Wala?’ “Thoda aur… pani, pani, pani… bhaiyya, bhaiyya…” words constantly reverberated in my brain and shook the very foundation of my soul. Was I looking at another Wonder of World? Up until now, only great philosophers stated that this creature had been left behind in the race of paleontological evolution. I found it hard to believe but she threw a taunt regarding my headset out of nowhere and that too after giving up my seat. Flabbergasted, I decided to call this species ‘Auntie.’ And one good thing about these creatures is that they like to stay in a horde, they can never be spotted alone. So, it’s only natural that another Auntie followed her, and another, and another and naturally all the seats were vacated as if there was some kind of ‘Gangs of Auntiepur’ going on. As detailed my research about this mysterious creature is, I am entangled and can’t reach a conclusion because more and more characters and characteristics keep popping up. Evidently enough, Aunties crawl swiftly on the soil of Earth with the support of their male counterpart, also their bumbling bodyguards, the ones who remain loyal and will take on a fight with any of you without knowing or countering any good logics of yours to mark its territory. I like to call this creature, ‘Uncle Ji.’ That is a whole thesis in itself and I won’t touch that subject.
Here are some of the factors about Aunties that might help one of the brighter and curious minds to resolve the understanding about them so that our world could be benefitted from it.
- Appearance: The actual appearance of this creature still remains a deep mystery that even Mystery Inc.* couldn’t solve but most commonly it is seen wearing a Saree, braids flanked with oil, an elephantine structure with a morbidly giant pot belly, always cussing around and about every little detail they can get hands on. These are called pure breeds. Now, there are hybrids and modernized breeds of this creature as well and from all the stats that I could get my hands on, the pie charts and area charts, all show that acceptance of hybrids in this society is far high due to their moderate and trimmed structure and this secret trait that pure breeds don’t have, called ‘keeping-nose-out-of-people’s-business.’ But then again some of the pure breeds have had rebelled to achieve a cooler status in the society at ‘The great battle of Auntikshetra,’ so till date, no one claims to have the exact information about the physical appearance of this creature. Reports show that there was a man called ‘god’ distributing some free supplies of logic as well but the pure breeds being too cocky, refused it and preferred to land on Mother Earth as we see them today.
- Common Habits: Very proud and thankless creatures, Aunties are known to have a very brazenly judgmental brain. They do not think twice before judging a person from one look. Our sources suggest that now it’s in Aunties veins to judge at the first look. Some other common habits include asking for free ‘Mirchi’ with ‘Dhaniya,’ fighting with other pure breeds over some household issue like splitting money for plumber bill, cussing in a high pitched voice (almost resembling to cats screeching) until whole neighborhood doesn’t cover its ears with its own earlobes until resonating voice over a petty issue stops. For example, cussing a vegetable vendor for having rotten tomatoes in a way that taking offense is a far shot thing, he will start admiring the creativity of curses! Some other notable habits are forcefully snatching away non-reserved seats from innocent young passengers, demanding for feminine equality while being hypocrite and using feminism as a tool for their own benefit, asking for free chutney water at the end of swallowing gol gappas, accusing government of any random thing and most importantly, bitching and gossiping about neighbors and relatives with neighbors and relatives! We have been seeing an increase in the Auntie-effected patients in government hospitals a lot these days and a team of highly qualified doctors is working day and night to stop this plague of Auntiism but till now the top doctors and back end scientists have only said that this disease is spread verbally. So, you should at least keep a distance of several feets from bitching and gossiping, completely ignoring what Aunties are talking about and ‘thou shalt not get killed.’ Reports even say that smoking drags you to die 10 years sooner, and getting exposed to too much of direct Auntiism can kill you 20 years sooner!
- Places to find and how to spot: Found generally in the most commonplace of households running errands like grocery shops, laundry, hell, vegetable vendors, temples and residential areas. Aunties also tend to mark their public dominance now at railways and bus stops too. Though it’s not the place you shall care about, it’s the spotting of auntie that makes it a task. As soon as you see a woman arguing about the bus fair and how it is a right for people to question the daily accustomed bus fares, voila! You have just spotted an Auntie. Another way to spot an Auntie is to focus on the way they talk to another one of their species. There is a golden sentence to this fact that our great team has molded it in an algorithm to help common people understand the third world talks and successfully ignore aunties to not get affected by Auntiism. It goes like, “xyz di kudi nu vekhya hai? Kivein nikki nikki skirtaan payi rakhdi aa!” (Translated to: have you seen xyz’s daughter? She wears short skirts!)
Again, language can’t be a barrier for this disease.
Probably the only good thing about being an Auntie is that there is no segregation between people of different caste, religion. They are just Aunties, together being Auntie.
I hope that all my readers will imply some immediate effective changes to the society that up until now no great philosopher/ dreamer/ visionary knows about to repel this upcoming doom because if you don’t, I’ll join you on your couch as I couldn’t do anything as well. Don’t be an Auntie.
(Proud and not yet affected by aunties)
*Mystery Inc. is the name of detective company from a show called Scooby Doo.
Few Paranthas with some Desi ghee floating on top, now floating in my satisfied Punjabi stomach, cool breeze and a silent afternoon. Don’t tell me you won’t crave to sleep. Because if you don’t, I will consider you an alien! Unlike many of the readers right now, I felt damn sleepy. What harm will sleep do knowing my High School exams begin in just a week and I have my Physics class to attend at the tuition center. Big deal.
After maybe what felt like 2-3 minutes, someone poked a finger in my ear. I slapped the little finger away from my face and the friend fingers of the victim got united up against only one ambition, to punch my back and decorate the neckline of my Lucknowi Kurta with oily knuckles.
“Why do kids exist?” I snapped.
“Sorry, pleaje, thanchu, Pigeon, hahahaha!” cousin prattled.
“Yeah, I’ll have DaVinci decode this one,” I rubbed my eye and got up.
With a squint eye, I saw my cousin, only about 2 years of age, poking her nose, standing near my bed. I didn’t live in a glorious apartment. It was a 2 BHK and whenever guests came, well, to hell with privacy. What day is a day when guests are there and they don’t poke your ear in sleep, eh?
Just to avoid awkward conversations with my Aunt and Mother about my High School grades and how I had to beat my other cousin’s score to prove that my paternal family has more geniuses than maternal family(that’s what they implicitly mean), I preferred going to my tuition center instead. Indian families are generally very competitive when it comes to their kids’ scores. It’s like a relational diagram, if we want to understand. The basic layer comprises of:
A) Eating almonds
B) Switching off phones and handing them to parents before they catch you calling your girlfriend and snatch it.
C) Score better than your cousins, neighbors, themselves and nearly everyone your parents can think of. And do consider the normalization system as well.
‘Humare zamaane me to 65 bhi 95 ke baraabar tha!’
So, if you think your father scored a 60 and you get 80, ha-ha, you aren’t a champ kiddo.
D) Studying for at least 2 cervical pains, 4 fake cries and infinite mother hugs a day.
Follow these steps and you will one day become better than Sharma Ji ka beta at the Social Connections Day. Definitely.
You are not an Indian then.
The results day, I mean.
Now, that I was freshened up again, I stormed out of the building as fast as I could giving complexion to The Flash. Headed up to the bus stop and embarked upon a ‘swag wali Lamborghini’. I am not erroneous. That’s what the Jaat driver was listening to. Dude, come on, a 5.1 Ch Bose with dual woofer and Wi-Fi remote support in a shattered piece of amazing crap they call an RTV bus! That is some luxury feels! The usual distance between my home and tuition center is around 4 KM, which takes me half an hour, is easily covered listening to 2-3 Baniya aunties fighting for the bus fair daily, 2-3 Sardar Uncles fighting on which IPL team will beat Punjab this time and some fresh 467 PPM air as well.
It was sharp 4 O’clock when I ran to my Academy past the Rajput society guard with large moustache and a gun in his hand, half in sleep. It was a rich society. Just below my academy was an “Eschatological Church of the Redeemed God”.
I saw some people over there forming a proper team to play a game. There was a car just by the entrance gate to the stairs that lead to my academy on first floor, covered with balloons and flowers. I had this urge to read the name of the bride and groom. So, I leaned towards the back of the car and saw the glittery heart that said-“Chris Weds Li”. For a moment I was normal but then the other moment when I started noticing a lot of Chinese people playing some kind of game with Afro Americans or maybe Caribbean or maybe South Africans, could be Zimbabwe as well. Might be it is Uganda. OH! I stood there thinking various possible countries. I am pretty sure I must have mumbled these words loudly as I saw an old man, highly resembling Morgan Freeman, approach towards me on a wheelchair.
“Shuku shuku?” he said while holding a box in his hand in which small nuggets were there covered with coconut topping.
“I am sorry,” I woke up from my deep state of Atlas.
“Nigerian sweet, dear boy. You seem to be looking at the marriage board so long; I thought I might offer you some.” He smiled and replied.
“You seem to have a troubled mind, I assume. White hair often don’t lie, little fella. The game you might?”
“What is the game they are playing? I have never seen anything like that.”
“Oh. This game is called Dawn of Luck.”
“The Dawn of Luck?”
“Yes. It’s our family’s long believed tradition that the more paper airplanes will go flying into the wooden basket bride holds, more lucky will be the married couple. All the male members fly a single airplane each. Ha-ha, my wife got 17 in the basket. Li has already got more than 22. It will be a platinum jubilee indeed, Ha-ha…ugghh uughhh!“He coughed while he spoke in a broken voice.
“But, sir, there is a story here for sure. The bride is Chinese. Groom is Nigerian. How?”
“Funny story indeed. One day, our lad here got on a bus. He saw Li. He put his watch in pocket and asked Li for time. And here they are today, happy faces.”
“But, they both are from different castes, different religions.”
“HO-HO dear lord. You don’t see religion when you are in love. Love is spontaneous and unconditional. Either it happens or it does not. You cannot find love with a magnifier in your hand or by travelling to different places. It is all planned before you can even think. It just happens. You kids face a damn heartbreak and think that you won’t find love again. Kid, if it broke your heart it was not love at the first place. Love is a sensation, like rays of sun and air. You can feel it. It touches your stomach, touches your body and slowly and steadily touches your soul and till the time you realize that your mind, body and heart are affected by this good sensation, you have already fallen in love. Tell me boy, does air has a different behavior for white people and black people? Will the sun shine differently for a Christ and a Buddhist? Will fire be lit up in a different color for a Muslim and a Jew? Then why do people find conditions when it comes to love?”
I had a jaw drop. You see, the society we are in has taught us how to categorize people into groups based on their castes, the religion they follow, the gods they worship, the work they do and we tend to stay more with the people more like us. You will question the secularity of me and call me crazy but believe me, it is 21st century and even now we are not secular. All we have, is a mask. And the day that mask will fall, we all will realize that we actually, conscious or sub-consciously, tend to judge people based on their religion. ‘A Punjabi will marry only a Punjabi’. I don’t know about your families, but in my surroundings people still believe that. And forget people, up till now I was thinking that I am a practical and a secular fellow but you will see that nothing is secular even in these modern times. I self- realized what I have written above. Punjabis, Jaat, Baniyas, Sardars, Rajputs, these are nothing but a weak answer to the publishers of daily matrimony page in newspapers. I wait for the day when all these Marriage Bureaus will not ask whether your ‘Gotra’ is Kashyap or Khatri, but when they will ask whether you are an Indian or not. That is the day I will believe that India has changed. We have changed.
So, what needs to be done? I don’t know. I am too afraid to ask my parents. But I can ask myself. Ask yourself. I’ll go edit the story so that people don’t know about more castes and religions and turn my motto upside down.
Five, four, three, two, one…whooof. I tried to calm myself down as professor entered with a pile of answer sheets in his hands. It felt like my heart will jump out in my throat. Setting the nervousness down, I tried to remain calm and prayed for a good score, although I knew that with a constant texting and gaming a night before the exam would fetch me marks in negligible quantities, but who knows what luck has in store for you (anti-stress thoughts). Slowly and steadily he opened the bundle, slowly and steadily I visualized my mother’s slipper getting closer to my cheek (only Indians will get this!). Serial no. 1, 2, 3, 4… and so on, professor announced and students came by, took the answer sheet in hand, peeped one-eyed at the red ink on top, gave an astonished look to the class like it is the last day of their life, hid the marks by making a scroll and went back to their seats. Very soon, it was my serial number. As it was really very unexpected, I was able to survive my death by scoring in tens place. How much? Ha-ha, do you think I will tell you? *wink.*
This was all about one single subject. Don’t judge me as a topper because the next lectures were near. I became super over-confident because I was getting result above my expectation and hard work today. Looked like goddess Saraswati forgave all my sins!
I thought I will score nicely in each of the remaining subjects and visualized that slipper becoming a sweet box! The fact is, I only thought! What happened next made me visualize slipper becoming a large axe and a coffin beside it. Marks in other 6 subjects very extremely pathetic. I was merely able to complete 4 soccer teams out of the remaining 6 subject marks. This scenario was not just with me, many other very sailing in the same boat as mine but then on the other hand, there were some mean people getting 95% as well. Why don’t they understand that we have our parents to answer about the fantabulous score of ours!
That day I went back to my home continuously thinking about what life is? Is it only confined to our marks? No. our destiny will lead us to where we belong and marks do not describe our personality. After all, life is always about the next step. This is life…
Great! Got a nice sentimental dialogue for home. I am safe from that slipper now! Engineers are so talented, aren’t we?
-images are from google,no rights stolen-
Two months have passed now and we all seem to have adjusted to 4 practicals and 3 sleeps(lectures) a day system. It took me time to find buddies, but now I have many friends and I am no more a Mowgli( ref. The Jungle Book, where he had no friends in a jungle but only troubles). We have every aspect of a decent college, nice crowd and the best thing is that I have become a non-otiose man. I took part in many college and club activities, making moments to remember but the only thing we forget is studying! Every professor is giving us out assignments like we have nothing else to do, not even breathing!
Then what happens at home is this:”Bro please send tutorial 3. Please please!” LOL! We all have been having fun,mass bunking,enjoying and a little portion of maintaining files as well. 9 to 5 college is a part of life but real adventure starts at home. It is adorable and at the same time, irritating to have a caring family. Too much concern is bad for health when you are exhausted after 8 hours and you can only have a 15 minute break and again studying(on records). Monotonous schedule.
I was always a mediocre kid at the school(which is a good thing) and used to bunk a lot. That habit seems to have pampered me in college a lot. It is our exam time and we had to 0 copy many things in half a day(getting me?) and go to the exam hall again. Had the bunking been less, my condition would have been better today.
The first exam was Mathematics. The most vast, the most important, the most typical and the most frustrating Maths that sported a small, little, cute book of 1638 pages only(What? This is not sarcasm!) Expressions changed from grin to a dropped chin when invigilator distributed question papers. We were given 1.5 hour to sit idle in the hall and condole for not studying on a regular basis. 4 exams are down now, 3 more to go. I do not know how many more hours will I take to understand that “This is Engineering”.
-images are from google,no rights stolen-
15th August 2015
Okay now! I am just okay now after 2 full weeks of torture in the form of various subjects. It’s not a lie, it’s true that I am still alive, breathing, living in this beautiful world, feeling cold air touching my body, in a hope that these 4 years will soon be over, while my mind continuously says that these are not just 4 years, it is 1,460 days! It’s not that I am a complete loner and do not enjoy. In a college like this, one cannot express the emotion to play fancy games, be it is soccer or cricket or even Gully Danda. We just have a fancy Table Tennis here with 3 cushions stuck in between 2 green clothed tables( damaged dining tables possibly) that people believe is a net. We have to bring our own Ping-Pong balls and our own rackets to play on this luxurious table. The fact is that 1st years are not allowed to play even this (that monster guard said). Is there anything we can do? Yes. We Study.
I was so depressed after the first day that I wanted to quit, but; there is already no shortage of jobless wannabes and I didn’t want to increment that number so I thought let’s be on a safer side. I didn’t know that safe was just a word here. Reality is it is: Ecstatically Fatal!
Our life starts from LET and ends at Q.E.D. That’s all what we will do in 4 years. No practical knowledge. Anyways back from satire to college. Yesterday was the last day of our 2 day orientation program. We listened (on records) to many motivational speakers, discussed about leadership, entrepreneurship and many more things and even attended a ‘havan’. Everything was okay before we came to know that Dean has announced that there will be no party. That was a moment when I sensed anger, tears, duck faces, ‘awwwws’ and even abuses from the crowd. But that is how it is, the life of an engineer.
We are ready to face challenges, overcome it, ready for good and bad experiences because this is life. This is engineering!
-images are from google,no rights stolen-
The following story is a creative attempt in telling the problems of an average student who pursued engineering. I am sure that many of you will be connected to the story as everyone is not a topper, come on! So, here you go:
Let me take you to a small town of Bijwasan, New Delhi, India. Drive straight down the main road; ignore the buffaloes on the left and the pigs on the right. Completely ignore the horns and traffic police and do not pay attention to barking dogs because I am already 10 minutes late. Drive left from the Maggi Point and go straight until you see a small faded board saying that this is a college. In front of the main gate you’ll find a boy standing. Me!
It was my first day of the college and I reached 10 minutes late. Attitude problem of the cars in traffic jam, you see. I struggled a lot with my 11th and 12th school books, had a tough fight between the sexy, dulcet voice of the cell phone notifications of Facebook messenger and the monotonous baritone of Mathematics and Physics which were no less than Manuscripts which I read (partially of course), did a lot of study, with comic books underneath my Chemistry book whenever mum came inspecting in my room whether I was studying or not, but I finally ended up here after all my entrances and exams. In fact, I think that I got lot better in terms of a college given that I studied only 7 days before exams.
This was a college that shattered me from inside when I saw the infrastructure. The fact is that no one knows I recovered from an instantaneous heart attack that resulted in a jaw drop as a side effect. The gatekeeper laughed and pushed me inside. It was like he was laughing on my condition and saying, “come, and scapegoat yourself with the engineering studies, huhuhahaha (monstrous laugh)”. This was going to be a terrific adventure, I thought, in the deepest emotion of regret that I should have studied (which I always regret every year on the results day). I even thought, for a split second that I should have at least tried for IIT, but no, I didn’t want people to be jealous of me when I steal their jobs in Google and Microsoft ( a fair assumption being in IIT, LOL). It was an attitude of sensitivity towards the society that I didn’t study. We have to be responsible, man!
What I was feeling now was that college didn’t matter. Obviously it’s called deceiving the emotions, but hey, who cares? I am a writer and I’ll get many opportunities in my life from college, hope so.