I'm sure a lot of you would remember the iconic 'Pooja Aunty' from the TV series 'Hum Paanch' which at one time featured the soon-to-be-ravishing Vidya Balan. Pooja Aunty was this character who would always detest being called aunty even though she was older than most of the people on the set. For the many non-Indian readers who come to this blog,(Google stats say I have people from South Africa, Greece, Israel,Italy and even Syria) aunty in India does not necessarily mean a blood relation or a god-parent type relation. Anyone way older than you, and on the wrong side of 22 is referred to as uncle or aunty (based on gender) by the younger crowd.
I was recently invited to lunch at my boss's house with the entire team. Never have I felt so out of place in terms of age. I seem to have found myself in that odd zone where you're not old enough to be 'old'(meaning 'married' and that side of 30 where you spend Sunday at home because you're tired) and not young enough to be 'young'(meaning you come to work on Monday with a hangover from Friday night's partying...maybe even the occasional hickey or tramp stamp which you can't account for.)
All my colleagues were present with their wives and children. The kids ran about frantically playing with stuffed toys...ah, the care-free tax-free life. I seemed to be the only out-of-place person with none of the responsibilities of my colleagues which included school-fees, child care, EMI for houses and cars. There I was with first world problems like 'Not enough gigs for the band' and 'Do I have a burger at McDonald's or the chicken from KFC' type concerns. Yet, when being introduced to the kids, yours truly is given the suffix of 'Uncle'.
Holy Crap...I'm Nikhilesh Uncle. It was bad enough I'm standing there resisting the urge to throw a tantrum and say 'Uncle matt kaho na', one of the guests even asked me why I did not bring my wife and children along? 'Chlidren'...plural... like seriously? Unfortunately, I had to just give a weak smile and inform the person concerned that I was not married. Why do people assume I am married? Is it because I don't care too much for the way I look in terms of the tummy and the rapidly greying hair, both which are beyond my control? Even at college, one of the girls asked me if I was not going home for Diwali to spend time with my wife.... and this was over 2 years ago. I'm sure she would have asked why I'm not home for the birth of my second child, had I gone in for the MBA this year. 'He must be married' is not a good reputation to have for a strapping eligible young George Clooney-esque lad like myself.
I guess this is a losing battle. I must accept the fact that irrespective of my marital status, I shall henceforth be referred to by all kids as 'uncle' or 'mama'. Sniff! Such a burden this young soul must carry. And despite the fact that everyone I know is getting hitched and making babies and do truly qualify for the 'Uncle' or 'Aunty' zone, I have no intention to rush into it all. And yet, the fact that I play in a band, drink like a fish and am almost as irresponsible as a teenager when it comes to money, still does not qualify me for the 'Bhaiya' zone. I seem to have been given some sort of honorary status with them 'married' folks in being called Uncle.
I'm sure no one calls Daniel Craig as uncle. Why? Just because he's James Bond, has six pack abs and goes around hooking up with ladies. HE"S FRICKIN 46....and I am being called Uncle. Why this Kolaveri? I just hope people wont call me 'Grandpa' after I actually do manage to get married and have a kid (not kids...no business of plural) of my own.