September 27, 2009

Happy birthday, Google!

I did a double-take when I dropped by the Google site today. Something was not quite right. And then I saw it!
Somebody had not done the proofreading right, I thought. And giggled a little to think of such a massive mistake... one tiny mis-spelling, one huge red face for someone.

Then I moved the mouse over it and found out that I should be laughing at myself instead. Someone at Google is very clever. That's their way of announcing that Google is 11!

Happy birthday, Google. Thanks for being around and saving the day on too many occasions to count.
Especially when my children have a project to submit on some topic I have no clue about and don't want to admit it !

September 12, 2009

Ji, Aunty-ji !

Aunt : the sister of one's father or mother. Or the wife of one's uncle.
(Origin - Old French ante )

Unless, of course, one lives in India. When every girl goes through a weird metamorphosis the minute she ties the knot and even before she steps out of the marriage hall. She is now Aunty to every one under 20.
Hey, so what if the addressor is all of 19 ? Our glowing bride is now a very respectable Aunty... even if she was thought to be the hottest babe in town just yesterday!

The silk saris dripping zari and that new tag of Mrs. before her name brings with it heavy burdens. Not the least of them being this Aunty-fication!
Not 'Aunt X' or 'Aunt Y', but a very universal Aunty to the young.
To the others, she is a stop-gap bhabhi (sister-in-law). No matter that she may have never seen them before nor likely to ever again, and irrespective of a decided lack of any family connections either by blood or marriage. She is still their bhabhi; her mangalsutra/ sindoor/ wedding-band has seen to that!

Then the first heir to the family genes appears. Now our Aunty-to-the-young takes on wider responsibilities in more ways than one. She is now Aunty to the world in general, age no bar. Even 40-somethings take the liberty of "aunty"-ing her. The young newly marrieds call her Aunty. So does the balding man in the provision store . As do all the children in her building, road and city. How very respectful!
And demoralising.
Not to mention, restricting!

Of late my son has taken to this new form of repressal :"Mama, don't be such an Aunty!"
Aunties, apparently, aren't fun people. Gulp!