The children residing in my building, with their innocent smiles and perky faces, are an extremely adorable lot that make my heart leap with joy every time I look at them. They resemble tiny, carefree rabbits that romp about in the building, enjoying the golden days of their lives to the fullest. Of course, the above statements hold true only as long as their hands are tied and lips are glued because in the absence of these binding agents the wild and untamed monstrosity that resides within in their tiny structures is unleashed, making the lives of all the adults in our neighbourhood miserable. The moment these young imps decide to scream in unison our entire building begins to vibrate. The doors and windows of my house have succumbed to their persistent yelling and their calliopean cries often enter my room giving rise to tiny tsunamis in my head. However, when quiet, these children look like angels and are an absolute delight to watch.
The other day, when I was walking towards my flat, these young angels were engaged in their evening games. A million assorted toys were scattered on the floor of our corridor. As I was tiptoeing from one island of free space to the other like a dainty ballerina, a ball flew out of nowhere and landed right in front of me. I would have kicked the ball aside and continued to make my way towards my flat had it not been for one of those tiny brats who called me from behind and made my ear drums explode. Well, it was not the decibel level of his voice that gave me a shock; it was what he had said.
“Aunty, ball please.”
Aunty! For a moment, a stood there in a state of utter shock, trying to assimilate the information which I had just received and when the realization, that I had joined the prestigious league of the aunties of the building, dawned upon me I cried out in disbelief. The image of a Bollywood actress, with her face tilted at an angle of forty-five degrees above the horizontal and hands pressed against her ears, yelling “Nahi! Ye nahi ho sakta” (No! This can’t be happening) three times, flashed across my mind. I know it sounds a bit melodramatic but it never hurts to spice things up a wee bit to overcome the banality of our day-to-day life. 😉
It was totally uncalled for. I am just twenty-three years old, a little over five feet tall and I look like a young teenager going to college (that’s what I used to think before this incident took place). I don’t even possess the basic attributes that qualifies others to call me “aunty” leave aside a marriage certificate which I still maintain is a prerequisite to enter auntihood. This was not supposed to happen to me. Not so soon. He could have called me didi (elder sister). I am perfectly OK with that. Peeved by his audacity I decided to ignore his request. However, on second thought, I stepped into his shoes and tried to analyze the entire situation from his perspective. I recalled my childhood days when I had faced the similar aunty-didi dilemma on several occasions. I was never quite sure of addressing a lady who was older than me and did not form a part of my gigantic family tree.“Aunty” had always been my first choice. Little did I know that roughly a decade and a half down the line the same title would be conferred upon me in such a brutal fashion.
Anyway, after gaining an unsolicited passport to auntihood, the last thing that I wanted to do was joining the ranks of evil and spiteful aunties who refuse to return toys and are boycotted by all the members of the tween club. I picked up the ball and threw it in his direction ensuring that all this while a beautiful smile was adorning my face. “Thank you, Aunty” came the reply.
Now I have become an aunty and a rather cool and friendly one at that. So, what does that make me? The “new aunty on the block”?
(This post has been written as a sequel to one of my previous posts “It Happened To Me“. )