Friday, October 11, 2013

Dolly Aunty's First Trip

            We really wanted her gone. Dolly Aunty’s incessant phone-calls, with her latest information about Germany, have been driving us crazy. She even tried pidgin German with my mother, her elder sister. Mamma advised kindly, ‘Why don’t you learn to speak English first?’ Aunty’s a retired English teacher famous for her shy boast, ‘My students write well.’
Since September, she has been preparing for the trip. Her son and daughter-in-law now work in Berlin after losing their bank jobs in London. They need her there for the delivery in January.
‘She has had a charmed life,’ Mamma tells me. Mamma was married off soon after her parents died. Aunty was five then. She was educated well, even managing a first for her Masters in Sociology. Her brothers gave her away only at twenty eight, after they had settled down and not because of any love-shove.  Mamma says, ‘She didn’t have to step outside the district or live in the Gulf or marry at fifteen. I had nothing there. She had her husband’s house and his large family to support her. They even allowed her to work in their village primary school after her kids left for college. Still, she envied me - she never came to the airport, not once, to send me off.’
This morning, Aunty’s call came late. Her daughter-in-law lost her Berlin job too. She is coming to India. ‘It is cheaper that way,’ Aunty mumbled. Definitely cheaper, I agree, without her wasteful phone-calls. 

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