Aishwarya Rao

“Any good news?” enquired my sixty something neighbour aunty, as I stepped out of the taxi. This year, my summer holidays in India began on that note of interest. A deep interest displayed by a variety of people in our society – the neighbourhood shopkeeper, a friend’s would-be-mother-in-law, the Secretary of the ‘Colony Association’ as they bump into twenty something married girls they hardly know.
Earlier that day, I had invested about two hours of flight time mentally preparing clever remarks that I would come back with to tackle the profound curiosity of acquaintances and fifty something maamis, about the success stories of my sex life. Yet, as I stood in front of the familiar building in good old T.Nagar, no witty response came to my mind. Instead, I found myself mumbling something like “Not this time aunty” and hastily walking away, realizing that no amount of preparation can train you for the missile

Any good news?

The bad news is that it is launched infinite times, restrained and otherwise by a number of ‘relatives and friends’ and by the end of my holidays, I had heard it all - from the delicate
Are you and your husband happy?
the implied
Hasn't it been three years since your wedding?
the ingenious
Your classmate Lavanya has named her second daughter Diya
and the candid
When is your father going to have a grandchild to play with?

This time there was even an order

By this time next year you should be in the family way!
No kidding – by this time next year. Clearly adding a branch to the family tree is that straightforward.
Don’t misunderstand me. I am neither against the idea of breeding nor do the incessant and obnoxious family quizzes fluster me. I only find it tedious to explain my life’s plan to random folks I bump into. Every time a person so innocently picks my brain I find myself questioning their logic and motive – and in most cases I am unsuccessful in discovering a reasonable answer.
Since pretending not to have heard the question never works with maamis who are adamant to hear your story, I often try the “My husband and I are living together in the same city. Isnt that great news in itself maami?” Mostly it works. Other times I surrender and listen to the scientific explanations and strong recommendations of these self-made family counselors – “When I was twenty six, I had my fourth child” (Clearly your recreation options were rather limited!), silently counting my blessings. After all, the REAL good news is that these nosy neighbours are an exclusive summer holiday special.
As for my own parents and immediate family - they say,

Leave it to God. He will make it happen when the time is right

Easy. Isn't it?
Oh wait – Why is God a ‘He’? Well that calls for an entirely different post, doesn't it?