Just the word brought shudders all the way from the nape of my neck to the end of my spine. (Below that I guess, no shudder would find it easy to pass thanks to my well endowed bottom! 😉 ). But yes, it was very real. And the horror even more so.
My first remembrance of ‘the aunty’ is when I was in 4th standard. All of a sudden coming back tired from school, opening the door I expected my mom to be standing as usual, ready to take off my burden of a bag. But out of nowhere, someone swooped down on me , crushed the innards out of me with her massive chest square planted on my face and screaming “Oh Sheeja, Is this your son? He is sooooooo adorable and soooooo chubby.. Oh my poochie cutie poooo!” , and trailing her large protruding lips all over my face smacking the bejesus out of me. I was emotionally scarred for the rest of my life. I still remember with horror the nights following, when I screamed and woke up , drenched in sweat, dreaming ‘the aunty’ chasing me to clamp my face with her lips. SHUDDER!
Over the time ‘the aunty’ assumed and conquered her place in the family, especially on my upbringing. She was full of advices, gossips, study techniques and healthy foods. Blech! I remember once on a weekend, mom had to go to the market, and she came upto me and said
“Vinu mone, I’m going out. ‘The aunty’ will take care of you. I’ve told her and she will be coming soon.” Me , who was contently playing the very first sega version of playstation, jumped out of the couch and started begging her to take me out too. Alas, since I was very famous for my hyper active character , my mom said she cant . I started wailing out loud and fell on her feet trying to drag her down with me. Finally my mom said “If you sit here, I’ll get you ‘hobby’ chocolate.” I ought to slap myself, but the young blooming glutton in me , made me shut up, pick up myself and continue playing game. Mom left, ‘the aunty’ came. She came in with her swarthy eyes looking all over the room, picking up few magazines and plunked down on the couch next to me. I just smiled and did not dare to open my mouth. “Don’t you study in your weekends?” You shouldn’t play games like this , as they will ruin your future. Plus you should soon decide on your career and life and be serious!.” “For the love of christ , I’m in fricking 5th standard”, I wanted to scream at her snoopy , loathsome and i-don’t- know-fill-it-up face. But I just smiled and kept mum. I was thinking of the ‘hobby’ chocolate that I was gonna gulp down later and controlled my tongue and its energy. But she wasn’t letting up so easily. After reading through a couple of pages, she then got up, walked to my study table (courtesy my dad, who wanted the whole wide world to know how studious his son is and had placed it right near the main corridor), picked up a couple of note books and was glancing through. I was watching her through the corner of my eyes and was the least concerned. Suddenly a loud “WHATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT” , knocked the controller out of my hand, and I fell of the couch. She turned to face me with a note-book in hand and was staring as if she had caught me peeping in on her bath! “What is this,Vinu?!” I dropped my eyes down to the book in question, and realised in deathly despair that it was the unit test note-book, and the page was open to the last one in which I had got just 22/50. “What has happened to you!? Have you stopped studying. You’re so distracted these days” , and on top of it she eyed the play station and screamed ” On top of that, you are happily playing games!! ” as if I had just been caught killing a man and eating him! Such was the disgust on her face. I can’t , for the sake of christ, even now get it why on earth was she so damn concerned about a 5th std child’s unit test mark and create such a ruckus. As my luck would have it , mom came just in time to witness this situation. She was lectured and put to drastic shame, by ‘the aunty’ and she left. My mom came over and threw my beloved controller to bits and lead me by my ear to the isolation ward. Oh sorry, I meant my study table. And she shouted, “Unless you get better marks next time, no more games, no more tinkle, and no more chips!!” I mean I could handle the games and tinkle part, but how on earth could she take away my beloved pofok chips , that I devotedly ate every single day in the morning and evening , and all the time in between! 😦 That was the moment when I passionately started hating to the core , ‘the aunty’ and swore to never again meet her.
But , since when god was manufacturing me, he for fun thought, ” Lets put him in such weird and drastic embarrassing situations throughout his life in front of ‘the aunty’, and lets all have a laugh at his expense”. Likewise over the years , I’ve been so humiliated throughout in front of her , in the most weirdest of all situations that mentioning them all here would put a serious dent to whatever’s left of my manly pride. Till now , at times in public functions, ‘the aunty’ still mentions “fondly”, the day when she came to wake me up in the morning and found me to be a bedwetter. Or of the time, when she crashed into my room to find me in a compromising position. Or that one time, when she caught me walking hand in hand with my crush of those times in my neighbourhood. All in all, she has stacked up quite a collection of memories that is ready to be served garama garam with chai or coffee.
Nowadays I am looking over my head all the time, expecting ‘the aunty’ to fly out of somewhere and pull my knickers in a knot again. For now, all is calm. Guess she is busy taking care of her daughters’ kids. I truly, with every part of my heart feel sad and empathetic to those children who were just spawned to be scared the crap out of, by her! I hope they grow up in an environment away from ‘the aunty’, or else, they are just as emotionally raped as myself. And I say this , because I still dreamt of her yesterday, and jumped a mile through my room, landing all sweating and scared. SHUDDER!