The Competition

I know most evil geniuses are allowed long and fascinatingly magnificent monologues of extremely frightening proportions just before they are thwacked out of their skulls by the goody two shoes in red over underweyar. Most showcase cunning and eveeeil. Some give a vivid display of hitherto unimagined dexterity of careful fore-planning. Some are repetitive yet captivating, in the same manner as how all John Mayer’s songs sound the same but you still go back to them because the sound is still pleasing to the ear and have the power to surprise you. Owing to this fact and my own inherently villainous nature, I had decided to christen my blog what it is named now. Even the dreariest of days and experiences journaled might be of some interest to someone somewhere, or at least chanced upon by a click-happy hapless blog surfer. *cue in evil as a weevil laughter*

But, I am no longer so confident of my monologuing ways and days. Sadly disillusioned, I know now that the domain is not just mine. I share the space with a more frightening and practiced species. The Delhi Aunty.

Now on a short trip to Delhi, I realize aunties of the capital enjoy unparalleled repertoire of verbal prowess and paltform. It’s neither an opening monologue nor one that marks the closing of a rare meeting or conversation. It’s neither educational nor of much consequence in the larger scheme or things. It is instructional and epic but that is more one sided than the monologuer perceives but perhaps a life lesson on pain avoidance to the listener. It’s spectacular to behold though and imprisoning. I don’t mean topically captivating. I mean you cannot move until it’s over because your hands are in a vice clawgrip. Without a break in character, intent or tone, these episodes of well meaning and frightening emission of words can go on for hours.

Overheard on a plane, a monologue imparted by a Delhi Aunty to a 23 year old on the flight into the city. I barely escaped by feigning sleep at the correct time (pre eye-contact).

Disclaimer: extensive transliteration and phonetic spelling ahead to retain essence of conversation.

Aunty: Achcha beta, can I sit in your window waala seat? Dum ghut raha hai mera. You know kloshtophobia is there.

Beta: Sure, aunty, sure… no problem. (I know what sacrifice this is after making sure you get a window seat in the front of the plane.)

Aunty: So sweet, hainh. Thanks ya. Then are you professunal in Dilli city? My son is toh injiniyer in Banglorr. I came to visit him only. He is earning 2.5 lakhs a month but not getting married only. I am telling him that ke now if you don’t marry at 26 when will I get grandchildren. Waise how old are you? Are you from Dilli only? Very sweet, so fair. Nice your hair also. What shampoo you use? My toh Pamela, you know my beauty parlour waali, she is telling me, by God, Mrs Bhola, you have what beautiful hair. You in fact have a hair of a 25 year old ladki. How old are you, beta? You didn’t tell na? My skin is also touchwood. Soft.

Beta: 23, Aunty. I am working in Bangalore…

Aunty: Wow, beta, wow. Lovely age na. Ek dum enjoying waala age. No college. Only khud ke paise. You should get married. Bilkul correct time is this. Your husband will also enjoy… (At this point I almost unfeigned my slumber to ask pertinent questions, but recently someone had told me to not be too confrontational, especially with drunk people, and this I reasoned was the same thing, or close enough.) …But you girls also na, I know. All earn big salary and like to buy Vero Moda ke bags and shoes and take pictures in hotel bathroom mirrors. My niece na, Simran, she is always partying only. All her money is going in Mango and Accessorijs. But her fiancé gifted her 4 karrat dimund ring. So big. He is in Kanehda for 6 years now. Earning in dollars. Waise my Rahul also studied in the Jewkay. MS in Injiniyering. Very cold Jewkay is, patah hai? I went for graduation ceremony in Junwary just in 2010. Hai, my bones were only baraf.

Beta: (frantically looking for her iPod earphones) Yeah. Err, aunty…

Aunty: Oh, nice iPhone case ya. Look, my Rahul bought me crystal case from Flipkart. Cool, na? Your phone is old model, na? Mine toh bilkul new only. Rahul is very good with technulogy. Everything he knows ek dum in market iPhone, iPad sab. Dell ka laptop also he is using like jinn. Wah what what he shows on laptop. He bought SARI also on the online for me. Abhi toh it’s in my sootcase. I will show you in the airport. What soft material yaar. Kitni pyaari colour it is. He has such good choice. So lucky his wife will be, I keep telling my husband, Mr Bhola. Learn something from your son, ji. But he tells me, who has he learnt from, you tell me that first. Hahahaha. My husband is very good humour. Touchwood 28 years marriage is still nu only. He has never eaten my haath ke parathe jaise anywhere. He goes for conference all over India but likes my food ony.

Beta: (not as forthcoming as before) Aunty, it’s an iPod. You should switch off your phone now.

Aunty: Oh, ho. Yes, yes. Now beta, no more talking okay. Watch the air hostess. Important this is.

Beta: Yes, aunty. (and promptly stuffs in earphones and feigns sleep)

That’s right. I may not be champion monolguer at large, but I know when to pick moments to feign sleep. Hmph. Naive 23 year olds. *smirk*


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