The Ghobi, The Aloo and the Masala – By The British Asian Blog
As a British Asian, born bred and living in the UK – I thought Asian culture (and all that comes with it) would have stayed in (South) Asia – and living in the UK as a British Asian (or an Asian living anywhere outside of Asia) I also thought I would be shielded from Asian Culture giving exception to some culture practices. The very least I imagine(d) the strength of British Culture (or what’s left of it) would have hit Asian Culture for a six over the stadium, across the car park and right into the river thames.
But instead what we have is a fusion between the two cultures which in return has created a MONSTER never seen before.
Disclaimer: Before I continue, in my ‘About’ page I expressed my wish to keep my identity hidden. I have a really good reason for this – which is not to be assassinated by the Ghobi’s, the Aloo’s or the Masala’s. I will explain further what these are. In advance I want to apologise to those Aunties and Uncles who I will deliberately (and with pleasure) make a mockery of.
In life we categorise people we engaged with, whether they are family or friends, colleagues or just strangers we meet daily – they all fit into a category. Much the same way – I have devised a set of categories for Aunties and Uncles who in fact are not all blood related but out of respect award them the title of either Aunty Jee or Uncle Jee.
On Saturday – I was dragged along to a barbecue. Here I expect(ed) people to be chilled and relaxed, in summer clothing holding drinks. Breathing air filled with laughter, jokes, reunions and grilled chicken and burgers. But boy was I wrong or what and did I mention this was an ‘Asian’ barbecue?
For years now – I have dodged going to any type of friends and family get together – whether it’s a wedding of someone who I don’t know (but yet my family were unfortunate to receive a glittered wedding invitation – ripe with misspelled words, colour coded in maroon and red, displaying footer “Raj Store and clothing world” printed and imported directly from India ), some engagement party or a birthday. All such events mixed with Asian culture are like having to sit a 3 hour long exam at University for a module you hate and for which you have barely revised. On Saturday, my luck ran out and along with family I was forced to attend a barbecue at an Aunty Jee’s house – which as a matter of fact is not even blood related but once was just a neighbour.
When we got there, the barbecue was latterly size of a wedding, decorated with glitter and even had a photographer snapping away . I swear I thought I’d walked into a wedding reception. I guess we were invited to attend the wedding of the Chicken Tikka with the Meat Seekh Kebab. Everyone we had ever known was there and arriving. All the Uncles were in three piece suits (either light grey or cream with worn out shoes) and all Aunties in their wedding outfits – simply a walking Christmas tree ready to be plugged in.
Some of these Aunties, Uncles, and their siblings hadn’t seen me for years, and now I had grown several inches taller, got a hair style and a good dress sense – for them I am still a kid.
It is here where you find Aunties and Uncles who are either a Ghobi, a Aloo or a Masala – allow me to enlighten you with more description:
The Ghobi are those Aunties who simply refuse to accept that I am no longer a toddler. Pinching my bum in public when my back is turned is seriously embarrassing. Scanning me up and down then giggling in groups of no less than 3 is seriously not cool but worrying. No matter how much I try telling them “I am not a kid any more” these Ghobi Aunties will treat me like one. Stroking and messing up my hair style, pulling my cheeks till they turn red and slopping all over me in groups is seriously cramping my style. These Ghobi Aunties are hell bent on introducing me to their daughters (or vice versa) or nieces in the hope of producing more babies for them to give the same treatment to. These Ghobi’s simply do not understood the concept of Data Protection and any girl (who is of approx my age) they come across without fail my name and number is passed to them – accompanied by stories of my baby days. Other than food they embarrass the younger generation by openly talking about or question their sexuality. But in reality these Ghobi Aunties are simply harmless and always on the high and buzzing – they look after you and wish you well in all stages. They genuinely have loads of respect for people and have a very good memory.
Here is an example of two Aunty Jee’s embarrassing the younger generation, an example if you rather of what happens at Asian events:
This then brings me nicely on to the Aloo Uncles and Aunties – These are those Uncles and Aunties who simply think this world is not up to their standard. Their corner shop is just as big as Asda and try promoting the cheep cost of their tomatoes and onions – they are always cheaper than anyone else. They have this weird understanding that their sons and daughters are super heroes who wear their under pants underneath their pants and Hollywood got it wrong in Superman. The degrees their sons or daughters are doing have never been attempted by mankind. It’s either a degree to become a Dacterr (Doctor), Ennginear (Engineering) or a degree in bijinus (Business) that matter and the rest is simply rubbish and waste of time. Bless them if only they really knew what their sons and daughters were really upto they’d go into hibernation for the rest of the century.
Despite my best attempts to explain “Aunty Jee – I have got two degrees, and now I am working full time in the healthcare profession and also doing my post-doctrine PhD research at University part time” their response is “Beta (Son) – PhD what nonsense is this, what is PhD – do a degree like my son/daughter and become big” – only if they knew that a PhD is only possible after getting a first in your degree (well in my case in two degrees). These Aloo’s have never heard of a PhD research and neither has anyone in their families got a doctrine – for them a degree is the highest point of the education pyramid – the rest is “what rubbish”. No matter how many facts I give them – I am always wrong and they are always Right. Take a look at the video below to get a little idea of what I mean:
And finally the Masala – these are those Aunties and Uncles who simply refuse to accept people have their own lives, live and pay their own way. These Masala category enjoy rumours and spend hours and hours bringing back old stories, and exaggerating new ones. They like to point fingers at others but the reality is that their own (personal/family) issues are worse than anyone else’s. They have no control of their own kids or their future and hence enjoy ripping to shreds other families. They continuously brag about their children all the time. One son is the original person who created the iPhone, the other son has opened a new business and Bill Gates has applied for the receptionist position and their daughter is the Queen’s best friend and chat’s to her endlessly every evening without fail. They are always comparing themselves to other families, trying to make themselves look more advance, posh and wealthier in every way possible. The truth is these Masala’s are simply in debt to their eyeballs, they ration their food between them at home but when it comes to these events they are first to hang about the food area, they drive an estate Volvo which is about 300 year old and portray the image that no other car is more reliable then the one they have – but the reality is they simply can’t afford to buy a slightly better one. Their children disrespect them and never ask how they are or about their well-being – but for the world everyone else’s sons and daughters are really bad but theirs are angels. These Masala’s are usually seen in events arguing with their other half, or shouting down at their siblings and at the same time forcing a smiling – pretending everything is just PERFECT. Below is an example of how the Masala try to be something they’re not:
These events are simply a cooking pot, slowly stewing away with the Ghobi, Aloo and Masala, to produce a Monster Dish. Each one depends on the other, and if one is missing the dish is never complete.
Truth be told – I don’t think this Monster dish will ever go away. One of the most side splitting conversations I have had recently was with a Aloo Aunty about her new iPhone. She was convinced the inventor was Indian. When I asked what gave her that impression – she said the “i” in front of the Phone really stood for India. In her world the iPhone was simply indiaPhone. If you think I am kidding then have a look at the example below:
If you are reading this post at work, home or while your travelling, lets grab the nearest glass, cup or anything that looks like one and raise a toast to the Ghobi’s, Aloo’s and Masala’s – for giving us such a Monster Dish – Cheers.
Next time you go to a Asian event, see if you can spot who is a Ghobi, a Aloo or a Masala.