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Sunday 11 October 2015

# 17 - Becoming an Uncle - A lighter take (Part 2 of 2)

"Once you become an uncle, there's no going back."
Sharma Uncle (2003)

Anti Aging Cream - Check
Gym Membership - Check
Home cooked tiffin services - Check
Saying no to Domino's/McDonalds/KFC during weekdays - Check
Saying no to fizzy drinks/hard drinks/cigarettes etc. - Ummm

The journey to healthy living had well and truly commenced, 
For safe measure, I also started reading what I thought teenagers were reading, 

I switched over from The Twilight Zone to The Twilight Saga faster than you could name the members of the ever increasing Cullen family. 

Yet, something was amiss. 

I couldn't really associate myself with the things that were trendy and in. 
No matter how many times I listened to Taylor Swift or tried embracing EDM, just wasn't me.

I had grown up listening to Backstreet Boys (that's right), Indipop, Bryan Adams and Lucky Ali; and no sixteen year old could baby me into liking his shit.  

I was okay with that bit, what does looking young have to do with thinking young, I had thought. 

But after that first Sardar kid-Uncle episode (refer previous post) it seemed more and more people were referring to and treating me as an uncleji

"Call me bhaiya, not uncle" I said to a colleague's 10 year old daughter, She giggled in response, "Aap toh uncle ho...pata hai. uncle..Uncle...UNCLE...UNCLLLEEEEEE".


I went home for dusshera. Instead of career plans, the relatives were asking about marriage plans.

@%#$%#^$    *%^&$@#$%  

Me and my father were crossing a street side by side, someone called out "o uncle"....and both of us turned around in reflex. 

@%#$%#^$   *%^&$@#$%    #@$@#%@

But by far, the most embarrassing incident happened a few months later.

The lift in my housing society wasn't working, I had to use the stairs. There were a couple of kids who gathered around in the evenings to play some weird game sitting on the stairs (parks are soo yesterday) and as soon as they heard my footsteps, one particular kid complained "yaaaar, aunty aa rahi hai, uthna padhega..."

Then I entered their field of vision, and child no.. 2 (a snitch, there's always one in a group) came running to me, dragging child no. 1 along with him.

"Uncle, Uncle, issne aapko aunty bola! Maariye isse..zor se maariye

Child no. 1 protested weakly, I gave him a gentle pat. The not so gentle slap on the back was reserved for Child No. 2 - The Snitch, who looked back at me in astonishment, instead of being rewarded, he had been given a mild rebuke. I explained the reason, "Yeh toh mujhe aunty bola bina dekhke, par tu toh mujhe dekhke uncle bula raha hai. Uska kya karu?

I gave up. 

My quest for staying young had ended. Though hard to digest, I learnt to live with the fact that no amount of exercising and healthy eating could turn the clock back. Accordingly my health and fitness regime were abandoned without further ado.

Anti Aging Cream - Given away to housemaid.  
Gym Membership - Expired.
Home cooked tiffin services - Cancelled.
Saying no to Domino's/McDonalds/KFC during weekdays - Ban Revoked
Saying no to fizzy drinks/hard drinks/cigarettes etc. - Ummm

 It's been 4-5 years since then. Being called 'uncle' has become the rule and not the exception (except for those Pretty Young Things in office, who for some reason insist on calling me Bhaiya, as if to prove a point, I don't really know what).

I no longer mind being called an uncle anymore, in my head I am not a teenager. I see myself more as a man in early 20s.
There's a thought that occurs to me from time to time though, and I can't help but chuckle at the wonderful possibility.

That sardar boy.

By my calculations, he is just at that age when he is about to make that transition. 
One of these days, some kid will come up to him and call him 'uncle'.

Too bad I won't be able to see the look on his face then.