To All ‘gossipy’ & ‘interfering’ Aunties & Uncles
Talk about the newest affairs
Of teenagers of our colony, and
the aunties and uncles will know it all
And this I sometimes find funny.
They hear the gossip and pass it on
Be it grades, love life or even a breakup,
And the news of their beloved teenage sons and daughters
Reaches the parents soon enough.
When a girl is eighteen
The aunties and uncles will be most bothered
About marrying her off, and will land at her house
With prospective grooms – a certain Sharma or a Shroff.
If she refuses to marry at eighteen,
They’ll say, with another boy she seems to be having a scene.
My son topped/my grandson did, he’s now got a scholarship;
They proclaim this to the world and label a non-topper the ‘black sheep’ of the herd.
Mrs. Khan, I caught your son smoking
He’s joined the bad boys gang and was seen flirting.
He’s going off the track, do something
Before your parent-son fabric goes slipping.
Their grapevines like tongues go wriggling about – he failed, she wronged.
We know aunties and uncles you are higher in the rung
But aren’t there other ‘important things’ in life that need your attention?
Like, your work, your kids, and their kids and your pension?
This is a teenager’s open plea; we know you love us
And care for our well-being, but why meddle in our lives?
Why spy on us and talk behind our backs,
Give our report to parents; get us marriage proposals and all of that?
We know our boundary and it will not be crossed.
If we are the ‘item’ of your gossip, it means you are plain bored
But even then, why find pleasure at our cost? Do pay heed to our plea,
Thus on something, at least you and us would agree.
(27 June 2006)