By Amna Nadeem
These days you’ll find us drowning in desi goodness of ghee ke parathay, sewaiyaan and our personal favourite: EIDI! But that’s not what Eid is all about, it’s also about meeting the relatives you’ve done your best to dodge for the remaining eleven months. If you’re of South Asian descent then you know precisely what we mean when we say ‘annoying relatives’. These characters are a parcel of our extended families and have a special place in our heart.
We’re sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but we think it’s time to brace yourselves for the heavy onslaught of some loving and not-so-loving relatives.
Let’s meet the squad that manages to drive us nuts every year, without fail!
This uncle has his own private jet and owns a business that sells platinum socks from Russia to Malta. So, you’d expect that his Eid lifafa will be a heavy one. But guess what? The Rs. 100 note inside isn’t even enough for a cup of coffee at Espresso.
The worst conversation starter in Pakistani history has to be: ‘Beta, shaadi nai hui? Ab tak tou ho jani chahiyay!’ The Matchmaker aunty is an expert at diverting any and every conversation to your shaadi. If you dress down, they’re quick to suggest, “shaadi hogay hoti tou aise na ghoomti”. If you dress to your fullest, they’ll exclaim, “Lagta ha shaadi ki bohat jaldi hai!” Where do we go hide?
In short, this setter-upper is probably the most intrusive relative. They suggest some good matches, present a list of reasons to have children by 15, and wonder out loud if you’re perhaps infertile.
Meanwhile, we sit back and fantasized about some violent options of revenge.
The One Who Hibernates
Everyone’s got that one cousin who sleeps through Eid and wakes up at 5pm. If you see a particularly large boulder slumbering in the corner, don’t fret or call the ambulance, it’s usually them.
They’re usually rudely woken up by their frazzled amma jaan right at lunch and spend the rest of the day bumping sleepily into walls.
This aunty’s first reaction after setting her eyes on you is dumping thirty kilos of rasgullay on your plate.
‘Arey beta kitni kamzor hogayi ho,’ they exclaim and sadly you can’t say the same about them.
You just cringe and think, “Uhh, aunty, I’ve grown two additional double chins since we last met, Mashaa Allah. It required some dedicated bingeing and wasn’t as easy as you might think. I worked on this cellulite, you know?”
The Big Talker AKA ‘The Donald’
This uncle boasts about his amazing skills at ‘negotiating the best deals’ for his successful business and offshore banking empire, as he finishes his twelfth bestselling novel, while building Dubai’s Burj Khalifa Part two.
And yet you find him failing miserable at ‘negotiating’ a decent conversation with any other person in the room.
The One You’ve Never Met
There’s always bound to be a new face from our parents past, who pulled a disappearing act fifty years before you were born. But now they’re back with a bang. They’ll share hilarious stories about our parents that we’ve never heard before (and probably neither have our parents).
But hey, that means extra Eidi, right?
All relatives – all at once – might be too much for one little human, so hang in there and remember to keep a stack of DVDs near you in case you need to cool off.