February 10, 2007
Unclehood is the mashup of bachelorhood and adulthood.
What defines that a person is an uncle? Age? or Maturity? or both? or is it the society that dictates?
A 11-yr. old girl who used to call me anna, now calls me “uncle” as I have successfully completed a quarter century. But, what she doesnt realise is that she too has grown and hence the age diff. is constant and not a variable (unless she was travelling at speed of light and relativity kept her younger.. blah blah) . So, it isnt age as I aint an uncle (yet).
In my childhood, I had my share of “abey saale, dont call me uncle” moments. In the younger days, I went by hair color. I had one simple rule: black hair=anna, salt-pepper hair=uncle, white-hair=thatha, no-hair=alien. But then I discovered hair dye, which was solely there to fool kids like me. So I set another paramenter: “marriage“. Till the mangalsutram was tied, the person was just anna (eventhough he was in late thirties), and soon-after, the crown of unclehood was bestowed upon him. Then, equations shifted and made me more confused, with 22 year old married people and 30+ year old unmarried people around me, I had to devise a new formula.
From what it seems (as I see things around), you are an uncle when
(*) you ask the pani-poori walla “How much trans-fat does a Masala Kachori have?”. You take lesser amount of salts and avoid oily food for “health-resasons” but prefer driving to the grocery store 2-blocks-away.
(*) you prefer the BestBuy store that is 25 miles away than the one that is just 5 miles away, because you have a $5 coupon (off a $1000 purchase!) and you get 22 points with which you can utmost claim a BestBuy stamped keychain.
(*) a telephonic conversation with a friend revolves around how much his consultant pays him, how much Ramu’s consultant pays, and wonder why Ramu still didnt buy a car, then wonder thus he must atleast have $XXX k in his a/c. Then exclaim “OMG”, and remind yourself to look for a working wife (dowry preferable, 2 wives still better).
(*) compare your car’s insurance plan to your friend’s plan (when you both have met after 4 long years). But how different is this from how we compared the pencil lengths in 2nd standard? So it must not be maturity either, as these people ARE uncles.
(*) weekend means Saturday afternoon at temple, an evening movie, Sunday morning Walmart+laundry, and afternoon buffet at Indian restaurant. This is an infinite for-loop. Doesnt change much after marriage either, except that there is an addition: a trip to Niagra falls is now called a special “treat”.
I have this to say: The world doesnt revolve around you, your wife and your phone plan which T-mobile screwed up bigtime as they overcharged you for 2 SMSs. I am least interested in how you saved 15% by switching to GEICO, unless I get some cut out of it.
If these parameters are symptoms of this dreadful disease, then I am happy in my diaper-wetting days, i.e., I am not an uncle yet (or atleast I believe so).