GUEST POST BY FAIRY DHARAWAT
Being an aunt makes you feel old.
When you were the youngest in the family for almost 25 years, and now behold, there’s someone younger, yes it does! You also feel vulnerable as you get a front row seat to a show that could be you in the future.
But it’s not you, and you keep reminding yourself that over and over again.
For a few days when the sister comes over, there is a wave of toys spread around the house. Strangely the room smells too. The house doesn’t seem like it belongs to us. But there he comes, my nephew, reminding us that the amazing elder sister has become a mother. It’s still hard to believe that. Also equally hard is when the sister says I have mellowed down. Is it because of this little tyrant who keeps plucking flowers and leaves to our mild annoyance? Maybe. But the family lights up when the nephew is over and the in laws whine about having to part with their grandson.
But with our family, there is calmness, patience and tolerance. Or the lack of sleep zaps all our energy to muster courage for just about anything.
My nephew is one and a half year old, and his mum says he likes me. He grins when I come over. I don’t think he will remember anything as he’s really young. But it feels good. I never thought I would be good around children. But then the last conversation that I enjoyed was with a five year old where we talked for 25 minutes on why we both preferred reds and purples. I hope to do something like that with my nephew too.
There’s a lack of literature and movies exploring the relationship between aunts and nephews. There are movies about uncles and nephews but not much is written or shown about aunts and nephews. Indian movies tend to show aunt’s regressive attitude towards nephew’s unconventional choices and they generally take solace in the mother. However, if you rummage through the classics, Miss Marple, a character from an Agatha Christie novel, demonstrates a delightful camaraderie with her nephew, Raymond. She’s understanding, wise, fun, and surrounded by welcoming and caring people. Also, she solves a murder here and there. I’ll say I want to be like that. Though finding murders might not be difficult, my crime solving abilities are questionable.
While the blog world is cluttered with dedicated websites on how to be an awesome aunt, I don’t know if I want to be his friend which it all boils down to. He will get friends when he grows up. I want to be special and the one and only. Now being eccentric sounds not all that uninteresting. I am not sure what will be there in the future as my choices and perspectives are changing and unsure to see where it all will lead to.
But an aunt with a guitar who writes stories, tells those stories, writes poetry, reads them on open mics, enjoys Asterix and Obelix, and who wants to bungee jump and survive to tell the tale, you kind of feel from inside, that it will turn out to be wonderful.
About the author
Mumbai-based Fairy Dharawat is a wide eyed dame who wants to be everything all at once. While writing grants her monthly pay cheque, this cat loving lass is a curious creature who goes out of her way to remind everyone that, Fairy is indeed her real name (she’s got an ID to prove that).