|Image courtesy - Colors Channel|
If you Google ‘aunty’, your search results will throw up astounding findings about her sexual appetite for neighbourhood boys on her charpai. The real life aunty is as different from the virtual as mathri is from crostini. She bears no resemblance to the hormone-fuelled fantasy of the Indian male searching furiously for her underarm pics in sleeveless blouses.
In India more so in Delhi, the term aunty is more a state of mind of the one who bequeaths her with this title and less of a relation. She’s the thirty kilos later version of the Behenjee who’ll elbow you out of her way and try her best to throw you into the ‘mind the gap’ as you try to board the Metro.
Being an Aunty is a lot like stupidity – everybody other than you is aware of it. No Aunty even in her wildest dream thinks of herself as one until she gets auntyzoned by Sunny whose backyard she uses to dump the remnants of chholey and chawal that she cooked lovingly for her family. When he dares to protest, she anoints him and his ancestors dating back to the days when they still hung around on trees, with choicest expletives. As he beats a hasty retreat, his face a beetroot red, he spits ‘aunty’ once he’s out of her hearing range. The last time, his best friend, Bunny, dared call her Aunty on her face, he was felled like an emaciated tree by her ‘dhai kilo kaa haath’
If you still don’t have any idea about what I am talking about, I suggest you board the Delhi Metro. You are most likely to spot her in the ladies coach. If you are unfortunate enough to find an empty seat for yourself, you’ll find her hovering over you like a pollen thirsty bee, ordering you to ‘thoda adjust kar lo’ as if it’s her birthright. 'Thoda adjust' simply means, you better seat yourself on one butt-cheek so that I can seat me, my big ass handbag and many shopping bags comfortably. God forbid if you’re seated between two such specimens, your pelvis will get pulverised by their bump and grind routine.
As you inhale her body odour, you get to hear interesting snippets of her life, political views, Kumar Vishwas's peccadilloes, as she talks to her friend 15 seats away. By the end of the ride you are ready to dispense gyaan on where to procure freshest and cheapest veggies and write a thesis on her husband’s severe gastric problem.
If she’s in a genial mood, she might even try to engage with you. She’ll ask you if you are married, how much you and your husband earn, the number of bedrooms your apartment has. Once you surrender to her entreaties of how much your purse cost, she’ll inform you with a smug smile that you could have bought it at a much cheaper price in her neighbourhood market. Yes, the same market you can buy the cheapest and freshest veggies.
Don’t be misled by her portly frame. She’ll shoot like an arrow just out of its bow, the moment she spots a just-vacated seated. It doesn’t matter how far she is from the seat, she’ll be the first one to reach it, like an out of control hurricane, her dupatta flapping like an angry bird.
The cunning ones don’t wait for a seat to get vacated, they simply walk into the general compartment and seek out the meekest. All they need to do is stand in front of him and stare meaningfully and voila the hapless creature gets up without a murmur of protest. If that doesn’t work, she will resort to histrionics that’ll put even Nirupa Roy to shame. Traumatised by loud sighs, shuffling of her feet and soulful eyes, her victim will not only get up from his seat but get off three stops earlier.
Mission accomplished, she’ll proceed to have a meaningful conversation with the block of air in front of her, bemoaning the ways of the current generation and their lack of respect for elders.
You don’t mess with a Metro-wali Aunty. Ask Harami Pandey who tried to act brave and refused to budge from his seat! She looked at him like as if he’d gotten her daughter pregnant and then abandoned their child. On her way out she knocked him so hard with her bag that his past life came flashing in front of his eyes.
The only way you can survive her is by surrendering. If you enquire about Rolly and Polly, the apples of her eyes and compliment the pretty colours of her salwar kameez, she might even reward you with a smile and ask in her sweetest voice ‘ beta, tum itne duble-patle kyon ho, ghar mein khana nahin milta hai kya?’ (why are you so thin, don’t you get enough to eat at home)