The other day, there was a call for Ma from her elderly acquaintance Mrs. S.
Ma wasn’t around, so I took the call and spoke to this lady (who I meet @once in five years) after a fairly LONG time. So after exchanging the preliminary hello, how are yous, the next question was immediately *giggle giggle* "Do you have any news"
So I baldly said no and hung up.
Sometime later, my Ma returned the call and again this lady repeats the same question to get the same answer from Ma.
Then Mrs. S tells Ma "What do you mean there is no news. Tell her to MAKE news"
Ma, went promptly on the counter-offensive and started asking very pointed questions about HER son (in his mid-late thirties who is not married) and ended the conversation by kindly telling the lady that her son probably has some utterly ineligible girlfriend tucked away somewhere. (I LOVE my ma)
But seriously, "MAKE news?" WTF?
Wonder whether justifiable bumping-of effing nosy ladies would qualify as news in her lexicon.
I suppose after two and a half years of marriage, coy questions of 'news' are inevitable from random aunties. But one can get away with acquiring temporary deafness most of the times.
I am sure Ma gets attacked more than I do. I am notorious for turning into a short-fused virago and snubbing people quite ruthlessly if asked not-anybody’s-business kind of questions. So Ma usually doesn’t let them trickle down to me and to her credit, has forborne to ask, imply, hint or suggest anything to me.Ever. This also explains why my extended and normally inquisitive family has been so utterly circumspect about this.
Wonder HOW it of any possible concern of people WHAT happens is or does not happen in my life (or for that matter anyone else’s life).
That subtle and not so subtle once-over when you meet any married femme. Those elliptical innuendos. Questions about “Kuch hai” or the atrocious “Kuch gadbad hai” (Gadbad always brings to mind Jungle mein Mangal for some reason) or even worse, that absolutely preposterous, embarrassingly well-meaning advice on how to generate the said gadbad (A friend of mine was inflicted a spiel on ..ahem..best positions for a ghar-ka-chirag.She told me she wanted to take a bath in Gangajal and/or kill herself after hearing such graphic descriptions)
P.S. Before the dear reader has any smart ideas about asking questions on presence or absence of news, you might pause a minute to consider the following. Such inquires will elicit the wrath of the powerful head of House-de-Cynics and MIGHT result in the dispensation of that, infallible curse. Viz “May you have news twice a year for the next fifteen years”