Sometimes, aunties give the best life advice. Here's proof
I’m standing (barely) in a crowded Delhi metro trying to make my way to college. Whoever said the Ladies Compartment is a civil safe space has never travelled in one. A lady nearby clearly saw me struggling as I was squished up against the door, struggling to breathe. As people finally started to clear out, she shuffled over with a smile on her face. “Stand with your arms crossed and your legs a little more than hip-length apart. You’ll create some personal space for yourself,” she told me. Useful life advice before she hopped off at the station.
It sounded absurd to me at first, but since I first tried it nine years ago, that’s how I stand pretty much everywhere now. In line to pay my electricity bill, at a crowded cinema hall, when I’m going solo to a concert and on the Mumbai local. Not only does the sight of someone standing in such a standoffish manner make people wary enough to stay away, it actually did manage to create a safe zone around me. That stranger auntie’s words of wisdom became life advice to live by.
Aunties have a reputation of giving out unsolicited advice like it’s prasad at a langar. Comments about your appearance kill your self-esteem and snide remarks about how your eggs are drying up and no one will want to marry you make you question the point of your existence if not to procreate.
But it’s not always bad. I learnt a great life hack from Metro auntie and many others I’ve met.
“Even when you’ve messed up, always appear confident doing it. No one will know any better.” These gems pop up like Yoda when we need them the most. I couldn’t be the only one, so I asked the Tweak India family (online and IRL) about the best life advice they’ve received from strange aunties over the years.
Learn to say ‘no’, keep a pen handy, and other useful life advice from the aunties in our lives
1. Always cook a little extra, you should never run short – Ubarita Nathan
2. Never get involved in a family (in-laws) fight. They eventually make up and you end up being the villain – Yasmeen Hussain
3. Your happiness depends on you and you only. No one else controls it – Keya Parasha
4. If something fits you well and looks good, buy two of them – Ishita Dhupia
5. You will never be able to do everything on your list. So don’t feel guilty about incomplete to-do lists – Zalak Trivedi
6. Sometimes in life, ek kaan se suno, duje se nikalo – Ruchi P
7. Not everyone deserves your kindness – Sana Hirani
8. Fake it till you make it. Helps when I have to smile at an awkward social gathering –Supriya Bohra
9. Get the hell out of your in-laws’ house – Tanvi Karnik Mehta
11. Never trust someone who says “believe me” a lot – Ritika Menon
12. To listen to my heart and brain when making a decision – Samie
13. Always be kind. Everyone is going through something – Jyotsna Dixit
14. Say no when you want to, even if it makes others upset – Vaishali Raj Pratap