Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Indian aunty detective


Last week, I went to go pick up take-out dinner at a restaurant that I go to sometimes. There is an Indian aunty cashier who always says my daughter is so cute. So, when I went in, she decided to strike up a conversation with me (...or an interrogation?)

Here are the questions that she asked me (within a 2 minute time frame):

- What is your daughters name?
- Where is your husband?
- Where is he from?
- Where is he working?
- What position is he working?
- Do you live near here?
- Have you been to India?
- How many times?
- Do you like India?
- Do you like Indian food?
- Have you taken your daughter to India?
- Is your husband a Hindu?
- What is his name?
- What caste is he?

And then....she passes me my food and says...."Okay, have a good night!"

By the end of the whole conversation interrogation, I was practically stuttering! I wonder...WHY did this Indian aunty need to know all these details about me? For example, why would she want to know the caste of my husband (whom she has never met)? Was it just curiosity...? Was she just bored? Was that her way of just trying to get to know me? Or did she just want to gossip to her friends?

I am currently reading the book Vish Puri: The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken, by Tarquin Hall - in which the character of "mummy-ji" does detective work. I started to wonder, is this lady really working here or is she a detective working undercover for CBI?

Next time I go to that place, I will surely go with husband-ji so he can handle the aunty's interrogation, while I act like a "demure" wifey....(HAHAHA!)

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What about you, dear readers? Care to share some nosy Indian aunty stories?


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32 comments

  1. Ahhh the nosy Aunties! I have been grilled too many times, and that included the awkward caste question. I usually say I
    That I don't know, which is kinda true, or rather means I could not care less about it. I think these aunties are just bored and looking for anything they could gossip about.

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    1. Especially for firangi's the caste thing is like....what the hell...who cares! I totally think it was for gossiping purposes.

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  2. Hi,

    If you have watched any Indian TV drama series, you would have already known that(detective aunty).

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    1. OMG I didn't know they were real...I thought they were TV characters! So crazy!

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  3. Ha ha - the typical Indian inquisitiveness! If only we Indians learnt to channelise it in proper direction we would be excellent scientists!

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  4. Caste and religion are dividing the country and the effects and after-effects are far-reaching - beyond India. Dealing these things is not easy; time taking... Looks like the old saying "I envy nobody, and nobody envies me" is no longer relevant these days...

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    1. It is strange to have this question asked to me in general but ESPECIALLY outside India, because these things do not matter here at all. In fact this is the first time someone has asked me a caste question outside of India!

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  5. Ha ha this is so common and can relate to you! I think the Aunty and others who ask all these questions are curious. They probably don't see a lot of Indian and non Indian marriages and want to know all the the above. Next time she will probably ask you how you met, where you got married, do you wear a saree!!

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    1. I literally thought she was going to ask "Love marriage?" but then thank god, the transaction was over!

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  6. I have become very adept at turning the tables on a Indian aunties :)
    I tag a return question at the end of my answer :) Though very often I find that they are only to eager to share their life story too :) And sometimes they take the hint and stop the interrogation.

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    1. That is a brilliant technique. I shall work on that one!!!

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  7. Haha, oh yes! So typical of the Indian aunties. I don't get too many questions in London, but people in India love to ask questions. When travelling to and around India for our wedding we had so many stares and questions. Airports were especially hilarious since we have three countries between our family and employees could not figure out what we were all doing with each other.

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    1. OMG I can only imagine the airports....!!!!

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  8. Haha, yes! So typical of Indian aunties. I don't get too many questions in the UK, but traveling to and around India for our wedding meant a million questions everywhere we went. When P and I were in one of the local Mumbai markets buying pashminas the stall owner said he knew P was my tour guide and making a cut of commission on the sale - haha! Airports were especially hilarious because we have three countries between our family and employees could not figure out what we were all doing together.

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  9. Indian aunty FBI - sometimes I am also like that ha ha but not to strangers.

    Indian aunties are always trying to source fresh gossip and place you in the system

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    1. I can get really inquisitive too, sometime hubby says I am an excellent interrogator, I always like to get the full picture! But the tables were turned on me and it was sooooo uncomfortable...
      She was totally trying to place me in the system! Hahahaha!

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    2. Next time you meet her, you shoot questions at her with no pauses before she does and then just leave. She would not interrogate you next time then. Beat them at their own game. I have tried it & it works!

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    3. @boiling - YES! That is a PLAN....plan of action!!!!

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  10. I guess I'm the only rude one here that actually says "sorry you don't know me and don't need to". And the dreaded first question "what does your husband do" was asked once. My reply "he works" :)

    Millie B

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  11. Hi Alexandra, i read your blog now and then and it just feels like reading a novel. its well written and joyful to read. To be honest, i still wonder how it would be to marry some one across seven seas, ( i think there are enough of them between India and Canada) and i feel happy that you are doing good with Mr. Madhavan (if you dint know Madhavan was a very famous actor in south india - tamilnadu). Good luck.

    On your this weeks post, its not only you, we are from India, currently in australia and the moment we meet some one new from India in the train or shop, we are flooded with questions immediately, like visa status, if we are Permanent residents, sometimes salary, and many more, which sometimes offend me. As an Indian me and my wife dont ask anything questions when we meet new people. Guess we can make a small difference.

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    1. Thanks Venkat! Thanks for reading & welcome!
      Marrying someone from a land far away definitely keeps us on our toes, keeps life continually interesting! :)
      We have met the Madhavan actor once :D
      When I first met hubby, I googled him and of course all the pictures of the actor had come up!
      I feel like Indians abroad are even more inquisitive than their Indian counterparts sometimes. The famous Indian stare is even worse...approximately minutes longer...LOL...wondering what part of India he is from, is he is American born or Indian born, how he is dressing, etc...
      I have even been stopped on the road because one lady saw my Venki ring!! Here in Canada....hahaha.
      It doesn't happen too often though, my hubby gets most of the harassing....lucky him ;) but he is probably used to it!

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  12. Oh dear, there are just too many to share!!! I once went to register for my learner's license and the girl at the counter asked me so many questions including why I didn't have kids even though I had been married for 4 years!!! Imagine, a complete stranger questioning my reproductive choices!!!

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    1. OMG that is so offensive! What the heck! I would have reported her!

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  13. It is same in Nepal as well. Nowadays with Facebook their job has been more easier :)

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    1. No kidding....all the aunties and uncles with facebook accounts, seeing what we "like" and what-not. I have probably scared the relatives shitless, with all my pro-gay, pro-feminism liles! LMAO!!

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  14. Ohh, I can picture the scene so well. I have been asked if we had a love marriage. How did I meet my husband when we r from such far flung places in india? How long have we been married and what not. I just give a tight smile and ignore such people.

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    1. OMG I can only imagine....I always feel claustrophobic when they ask such personal questions!

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  15. ha ha ha! he he he!! ho ho ho!!! hey hey hey!!!! :D

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    1. Thanks! God, she drove me crazy! These Indian aunties!

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  16. This is how I dealt with endless questions when I was living in India: I would just ask the exact same questions back. You should see how quickly the discussion comes to an abrupt end!

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