THE ABOMINABLE AUNTY

The “Good Girl” “Bad Girl” syndrome, although dated and archaic as they may sound in the current uproar of Women Empowerment; still lurks stealthily in the hidden alleys of gender disparity of the Indian society, especially among the New Age woman of the previous century. They have suffered the maximal brunt of this transitional phase; propounding the trending maxim of “40 being the new 20” with the reinvigorated zeal of a well worked out body, enviable fitness levels and the miracle of Botox. Matching pace with the millennials at work or play, these fab at 40 women battle demons of their own. Be it derision from family and friends about acting their age or shunned by their offspring for the choices they make. Relentless, though they are in their endeavors to make a mark in this bustling world of fast paced change, breathless though they get at the supersonic speed that this generation demands, their voices screech to be heard amidst the cacophony of the youthful burst of clamor.

Fishing from the numerous tales untold, the muffled voice of freedom of choice makes a feeble attempt to be heard on venuw.

Have you ever wondered as to why is it that in the so called urbane culture of a metro like Mumbai, a young woman smoking by the roadside is stimulus enough to turn a dozen heads; while the men can enjoy their puffs in anonymity? And if perchance you encounter an “auntie” smoking, it becomes downright scandalous. You might as well be stripping in public. The teen aged roadside romeos snicker and adorn you with their catcalls; which were hitherto reserved for the pretty young chicks. The auto-rickshaw drivers take it upon themselves as their moral obligation and good Samaritan deed of the day, to sermonize and educate you about the evils of this habit ; ironically interspersing it with intermittent bouts of spitting out their gutka. Your son lovingly asks you to huddle into a corner, to inform you that his classmates had spied upon you red handed in the compromising act. But he has managed to hush things up to protect your reputation. 20 years ago, the younger “rebel with a cause” version would have balked at the audacity and rebutted these unwarranted advice. But the matured “been there, done that” woman takes it in her stride. Pursing her lips into a sardonic smile, thwarting the contemptuous scowl that threatens to paint her face red; she chooses to let the young brigade wage her war while she patiently waits for the tide to turn some day.

 

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