These are some of the pearls of wisdom my mom gleaned from ‘uncles’ in her office. These men, who must be well in their fifties are bothered that our culture is not being respected by modern girls. At one of their ‘meetings’ the agenda is how to make the modern girls ‘respect’ tradition:
- Ammayilu asalu bottu petkotam ledu – girls these days aren’t wearing a bindi(it is a BIG deal in South India). So the whole world is going to end because some girls don’t like wearing a bindi. So the solution? (according to them) – right from they are kids tell them that it is our culture, if they still don’t want to wear it then teach them a lesson(read: slap etc)! My solution – because it is SO important to YOU, as soon as the girl is born tattoo the bindi on her forehead forever! Prablem salved saar.
- As soon as girls are done with their education marry them off, don’t wait till they start working etc. Why? Ammayilu andaru – girls go beyond your reach, meaning we cannot control them anymore. They get modern ideas. Their suggestion to mom – get your younger daughter married or she will get ‘ideas’!(maybe like her older sister)
- One such ‘uncle’ was heard lamenting that he has 3 ‘complaints’ from his DIL – she wears jeans, she doesn’t wear a bindi(she doesn’t? Shiva Shiva!!!) and she doesn’t wear the taali(mangalsutra. She says it is uncomfortable…hehe) and he is worried and stressed about that. When he complained to her mom, the mom replied saying she herself doesn’t wear the taali! Now the poor man is stumped how he didn’t know that before his son married the girl! How did this happen saar? After taking all the care to ‘choose’ a ‘good’ family for his son?
- Another ‘uncle’ had a female trainee reporting to him. She used to wear a chinna bottu(small bindi) and he suggested to her that she should increase her bindi size. Her answer – Sir andaru nannu appallamma antaru(everyone will call me a villager!)
My suggestion to mom the next time the ‘uncles’ complain to her – tell them that they should set an example to these ‘modern’ girls about our culture by shedding their ‘modern’ pants and shirts and move to dhoti etc! Afterall they are the wise men.
PS: uncle = any man(age no bar) who thinks a good 30 years more than his actual age, and thinks he is the best thing since, well, Manu!