7 simple rules (or not) to impress ‘rishta aunties’
We all know for a fact that middle-aged aunties are on the lookout for prospective wives for their sons and nephews, during the wedding season. What is surprising though is that young ladies love being the centre of attention and enjoy all the looks of admiration showered on them.
And let’s be honest, what better place is there to plan the conception of your own wedding than the venue of someone else’s wedding?
However, there are rules that need to be taken into consideration if you wish to actively participate in the South-Asian game of ‘match-making’. Even if you intend to avoid the game altogether, it is important that you at least understand the rules.
1. Don’t look fat – at all
This is the time to bring out all the corsets, shape-wear, Spanx (or whatever you call them), hidden safely in your wardrobe. That little paunch may not hold much significance in day-to-day life but it can completely wipe out your game progress (if any).
‘Rishta aunties’ (matchmaking aunties) can catch the signs of a potential ‘jelly belly’ from miles away.
Needless to say, a few extra pounds can kill the deal here.
2. The perfect heels
You need to find that perfect pair of stilettos. Never go for shoes that are nice and comfortable because you’re always going to be a little ‘too short’ for their sons. While tottering in uncomfortable shoes, remember ‘no pain, no gain’.
3. Do you know how to cook?
This is the age-old but very, very important question when it comes to mothers looking for wives for their spoon-fed sons. And the answer is always a very confident ‘Yes!’ They don’t need to know that your greatest culinary achievement is munching on extra-cheese pizza without looking like an idiot… at least not yet.
In short, cooking skills and even just the claim of having them can turn rishta aunties on – (now now, don’t let your mind veer off in the wrong direction).
4. Small talk
We all know that small talk is the key to success in life. Whether you’re looking for a job or looking for a guy, this skill can take you places. Learn to conceal your disinterest and indifference and chat with the aunties about their pets, stoves, servants, furniture and every other petty thing that they hold dear. Trust me, they love that kind of attention.
5. Walk the walk and talk the talk
Do you want to be the trophy wife?
Well, you better act like one too. Watch the movie Pretty Woman countless times and rehearse your steps. Your posture should be straight and elegant and you should be able to walk like the ghost of a British aristocrat descending gracefully down the stairs of Buckingham Palace.
Now is the time to put that fake accent to good use too.
6. Smile away
Trust me when I say that a smile is a lifesaver. It can rescue you from the toughest of situations. Whenever you just don’t know what to do or when you lose track of a never-ending and dull conversation, go ahead and show off those pearly whites until your jaw starts aching.
Remember what I said before? ‘No pain, no gain’.
Of course, you have to be convincing enough to prove that you’re probably the nicest, sweetest and politest young woman these aunties have ever come across.
It’s a tough competition ladies so, fight like a man.
7. Don’t let your appetite get in the way
Yes, I know you’re probably terribly hungry and exhausted after all that talking, smiling and mindless nodding but this is the time you’ll need your will power and self-control the most to fight the war against hunger.
Eating an entire horse or drinking to your heart’s content are simply out of the question because some aunty out there is watching you, judging you, ridiculing you and maybe even striking you off the list. So, just sit tight and keep your hands tightly clasped (to keep them from reaching out for that freshly fried samosa and that enticing slice of cheesecake).
Don’t worry, the fridge is all yours once the guests leave.
So, please feel free to consult this ‘instruction manual’ before attending a wedding where you’re most likely to bump into a considerable number of eligible bachelors and their ‘oh-so-scrutinising’ mothers.
And remember, realistic acting is not an easy art to master. Therefore, rehearse your fake rishta moves and be well-prepared. Practice will make you perfect; who knows you may even get a chance to go to drama school next year!
Having said all that, if you’re one of the very few who wish to be disqualified from the ultimate game of ‘matchmaking’ and those who find this rat race to be absolutely ridiculous as I do, there’s only one tip I have – be real and imperfect.
Eat like a man, look like a woman and revel in your moments of sheer awkwardness because that’s who you are. Let’s face it, cooking is not your thing and you probably need to lose a bit of weight too!
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.