On a warm summers day, in the early hours of the morning,
my non-Indian friend told me
‘Priyanka, you’re giving me Indian aunt vibes today’.
I was worried.
Because my friend is non-Indian,
this could mean one of two things:
- Her observation wasn’t correct because she wasn’t affliated with Indian culture OR
- Her observation was totally correct because she wasn’t affiliated with Indian culture!
But when I looked down, I realised
I am more like an Indian aunty than I thought.
My flip-flops have their own mouth,
speak for themselves and tell the world I do not give an eff
about ‘proper footwear’. Ghar ka chappal is just as good outside the ghar as in it.
My earrings have their own body,
dragging my ears down so far that the next day I am in pain. And like an Aunty I remind myself – beauty is pain, and it is painful that I am this beautiful.
My tongue has its own will
slicing the English air with its Hindi – arre kuthe, saale, benchod , vo kya kar rahe yaar? Only Hindi can bend itself to accommodate the lack of effs Aunties give.
My voice has its own power,
despite my small stature it is not difficult to place me in a crowd,
I can picture the shouts of my aunties before I can picture their faces.
I believe in God.
In the mornings just like that one, warm and early,
with the smell of incense inviting me in to the mandhir,
my tongue has its own will,
makes its body light for heavy Sanskrit prayers that
I know have unburdened the hearts of
so many Aunties
for so many generations,
and it is then too that I realise,
I am more like an Indian aunty than I once thought.