The epidemic that is rishta aunties


Marriages are made in heaven – unless you are on the hook of a rishta aunty, because then you can just kiss all your chances of a happily-ever-after goodbye.

Marriages are always mainly divided into two categories – love marriages and arranged marriages. The society I live in prefers arranged marriages as the way to go, because “parents know what’s best”. Now, I’m not against arranged marriages at all, because some do work really well and end up being a match made in heaven. What I find very ironic is the factor of the rishta aunties in these marriages.

These aunties have been there for years now, working as cupid to get two people to come together. However, their main motto is to bring two families (khandaans) together in matrimony. These neighborhood aunties start doing this as a hobby or to basically put their noses in every household and know who is eligible to get married and when, and soon it turns into a full-fledged business for them.

Even if you see in dramas, there is a certain overview of how a rishta aunty looks and acts. There is paan in their mouth, all they care about is somehow getting the proposal to be fixed, and getting what they ask for as a small gift for the so-called ‘good deed’ they have done.

This hobby-turned-commercial business often attracts elderly women, especially if they have the resources – and by resources I mean if they attend too many kitty parties or just love to be bragged about.

Recently, while watching a morning shows – in despair, of course – I came across this particular aunty whom I shall not name, who thought that she has “restored people’s faith in marriages” because of how good here rishtas turned out to be. However, seeing her demeanor, I was stunned as to how people could approach such a woman. You could tell by her arrogant way of talking that she was no Mother Teresa; and if given a choice between facing the wrath of hell and spending five minutes with this aunty, I’d choose hell, as it’ll be less painful.

Rishta aunties surprise me because they think what they are doing is the perfect choice and there could be no two-ways about it. They often forget that they invade in someone else’s life and impose their choice upon them. Now many might argue with my statement above and say that people allow rishta aunties to do so. But what about people who don’t wish to opt for a matchmaker, but are forced to do so because tradition demands it? Often, these rishta aunties force their way into unsuspecting homes and plunge their talons deep enough to just get the right amount of blood they need (I apologize for the hyperbole, but this is virtually how it is).

Also, why is the matchmaker always a mohallay wali aunty? Why can’t it be the guy/girl’s best friend? How is it that parents can trust these rishta aunties, who virtually know nothing about their kid, but not trust the people who know their child in and out? This always baffles me.

Just because someone is of a senior authority with a label, does not mean that marriages could be tagged as love and arranged. Rishta aunties should be your very last option if you have no social life. Rishta aunties only care to do their part of fixing two people up and then moving on to the next couple (read: victims) to feed their inner darkness. That is their role and it should be a last resort to any eligible bachelor/bachelorette and their family.

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