One of the weddings I attended was of a distant relative. It was in Bolton and the weather was miserable. As you may well have read on my blog on earlier posts that I try my upmost to stay away from Asian social gatherings – and I have my reasons.
However, I had a conversation with an Aunty Jee as follows:
Aunty Jee: “Puthar (Son), it’s been a long time, where you been hiding?”
Me: “Hello Aunty Jee, Hiding, No Aunty – I’ve been extremely busy with work and stuff – you know how it is with us young guns” I’m thinking this will be a quick Hi and Bye.
Aunty Jee: “Yes, yes, yes, in our days when we were young, we didn’t have all this technology and easy things, like bacebook (she meant facebook) or mobiles bhones (she meant mobile phones) we had to do everything the hard way”
Me: “I understand Aunty Jee, but…”
Anuty Jee: “You see, today you young generation have ebery (every) thing on plate. Cars, flats, houses and even ristay (marriage proposals)”
Aunty Jee: “What But but but, look at your 3 piece suit – I bet you have hundreds of these suits but in our time we only had two Sarees. One in the wash and one we were wearing. I tell you, there is no value in anything any more”
Aunty Jee: “What but, but. Tell me have you done shady (married) yet?”
Autny Jee: “What do you mean NO, bloody what’s the problem”
Me: “Aunty Jee, there is no problem. You daughter doesn’t answer my phone calls – what can I do”
Pause the conversation. OK this was meant to be a joke, we call it banter and a sarcastic remark, and oh boy did I ask for it or what. To be honest, I didn’t even know she had any daughters or at least I can’t recall meeting any recently. Continue conversation:
Aunty Jee: “Which daughter, is it Simren. I tell you Simren is always on Bacebook (facebook) all the time. She tell Choti (I assume Choti is the younger daughter) she likes you, and Choti tells me – I know, so why she not answer your call – I bloody phix (fix) her. Oi Simren, Ithay Ahh (Oi Simren come here)” By this point, Anunty Jee was shouting out loud across other people who were seated, “ithay ahh and tell me why you not answer this boys bhone (phone)?”
Me: “Aunty I was joking, listen Aunty I don’t even know your daughter – I was kidding”
Aunty Jee: “Puthar it’s OK. I know Simren, she bloody in her room all day and always in bacebook (facebook). She been home from Univerbasty (University) for two bloody weeks and I no seen her, she always in labtop (laptop) or listen to busic (music). I shout but she no bloody hear me”
Pause the conversation. At this point, I see her daughter called Simren walk up to join us. I was impressed by Simren’s eloquent walk, and her look (white saree and silver jewellery, with some red touch in it, and did I tell you – white is one of my favourite colours?). Her look was simply (hardly any cosmetics) but yet pretty and attractive. I could tell she has natural long hair, but for this occasion she had curled them slightly and she looked beautiful. I now recognised who Simren is – and the last time I saw her we were much younger at it must have been at least 10 years ago or more. I felt nervous and I felt my tie get tighter and tighter as Simren approached us. So as Simren joins us. Continue Conversation:
Simren: “Yes Mom, what” with a nice gentle smile towards me.
Aunty Jee: “Yes mom di batchi (daughter of), ithay ahh. Why you no take this boy phone call?”
Me: “Aunty Jee, please listen..”
Aunty Jee: “Puthar don’t burry (worry), I talk to her”
Simren: “Mon, what are you talking about, who is he and why would he call me?” I could see total confusion in Simren’s face. She too didn’t recognise me and I could feel my collars irritate with the heat expressed by my increasing nervousness.
Aunty Jee: “What, you don’t know him, hey listen don’t go far with me. I tell you at home bloody get off bacebook (facebook) and interact with family so you see the real world. I tell you now and you bloody listen, when this boy call you, you answer his phone – OK”
Simren: “Mom, are you feeling OK, who is he, and I’m totally confused?”
Aunty Jee: “Chup karr (Shut up), don’t know who he is. I don’t want no excuse.”
At this point, Simren is giving me the most serious looks I have ever had in my life. Having said that Simren is actually pretty and attractive. I try my best to avoid eye to eye contact with her during the 3-some conversation. But Aunty Jee, has taken this joke to the next level and I felt embarrassed, ashamed and numb.
Aunty Jee continues: “Tu Sadah Puthar hai (your our son) and you welcome to our home anytime. You know where we live now?”
Me: “Aunty Jee, erm No, I think you lived in South Pudsey right”
Aunty Jee: “oh no puthar (laughs) that was a long time ago. We now moved to other end of Pudsey and we have a much bigger house now – you will like. Simren – give this boy our address now. Your mom always complains you not at home and is trouble, but she is wrong – you are a good son I will tell her”
Simren: “Right, give me your number so I can text you our address” Still giving me those serious looks and with a fake smile. She managed to frown and produce a fake smile at the same time – which was sort of cute but I never felt so nervous in my life.
Me: “my number is XXXXX XXXXXX, (and at this point the Aunty Jee reaches up for my cheeks, pulls down my face towards her and gives me a sloppy fat kiss on my cheek and walks away), Simren, Serious it was meant to be a joke. You mom blew it out of proportion”.
Simren: “How dare you tell a lie? I am not impressed. You embarrassed me and this is the last thing I want. I’ll deal with you later. Thanks for your number and I’ll text you the address later. Your reputation speaks for itself and you know what – you will never change” With a punch to my arm she walked away with an angry look (in fact she looked cute).
I thought this was it but then Simren stopped, turned around and said “If you even think about coming over to your house, I’ll make sure you walk away carrying your legs”, she smiled again and walked away.
Dam, Simren from cute turned to hot. I felt energetic and safe that I got away with it – well sort of.
Around 10 minutes later, I got a text from Simren with the address and a nice little message saying “Don’t even think about it”.
Boy oh Boy, have I been challenged or what. My reply to her was this
To be continued… but the video somewhat captures the mood soon after:
Phir Mohabbat Karne Chala Hai’ [Official video song] ‘Murder 2’ Ft. ‘Emraan Hashmi’