This article needed to be written. Because if you were to Google Malayali Ammayi or Mallu Aunty, the results that come up have got absolutely nothing to do with the actual Ammayis we’ve all grown up knowing. So I’ve decided to break the delusion and list out the ten most common types of Ammayis. I’m sorry but the truth had to be put out there.
The one with all the paradhooshanam
You cannot have a conversation with this aunty. No, all they want is someone to whom they can unload all the latest paradhooshanams about everyone they know. With absolutely no dearth in topics, you’d be lucky if you get the chance to utter a word or two in between. I once had the ill-fortune of being seated next to one such ammayi during a bus ride. By the end of the ride, I was almost dizzy with the overload of “information” that she gave me of her daughter-in-law and her “insufferable” family.
The one who loves to feed you
For this ammayi, the way to everyone’s heart is through the tummy. Her house will always have a delicious aroma of some dish which will most likely be cooked to perfection. She’s the one to call when you have a cooking emergency. My sisters and I used to spend our summer holidays at an ammayi’s house who used to cook the most amazing stuff. My favourites were her melt-in-your-mouth cakes and brownies. We’d always go back home chubbier than we used to be.
The one with the endless questions
Inquisitive is just a nicer word for nosy. With her nose firmly planted in your business, Inquisitive Ammayi will begin bombarding you with questions every opportunity she gets. Kalyanam onnum nokunnile? Joli onum aayile? Kutti aayile? Randamathe kutti aayile? Kuttike kutti aayile? It’s a never-ending cycle. Boundaries are a concept that they are unfamiliar with. About a week after my wedding, I met this random aunty who wanted to know all about my menstrual cycle and then proceeded to dole out advice about the optimum methods of achieving pregnancy effectively.
The one who is like an older sister
Your absolute favourite, this ammayi is oodles of fun and really young at heart. She’s the one whose house you’re always hanging out at, the one you call when you need help draping your saree, or want help breaking the news about your boyfriend to your parents. The fun ammayi is an utter delight to be around and makes dreary family functions a lot more fun.
The one with a problem with everything
Where is your duppatta? Why aren’t you wearing a mala? How can you wear black to a wedding? Why is your hair loose? Why is your dress tight? Everything, just everything is problematic for this ammayi, whose sole purpose in life is to point out every little thing that she finds wrong with the people around her. These are the kind of aunties that makes you start an alternate Facebook account away from her prying eyes.
The one who wants to get you hitched
The only person more anxious about your unmarried status than your parents is this ammayi. Stocked with information about prospective grooms that no one asked for, this aunt’s sole purpose in life is to save the world from single-dom. When I was still single, a matchmaker ammayi caught me checking out a guy at a wedding function. Within minutes, she approached me with the boy’s name, background, family status, parent’s name, address, occupation and horoscope details.
The one who compares
To be fair, these ammayis are just moms who are immensely proud of their children and super enthusiastic about sharing it with everyone. But in the process, she may make you, your life and achievements look futile and outright miniscule. Be it salary, cooking skills, parenting skills or just merely existing, her kids do it better. Can someone please put a ban on exposing people’s salary figures amongst family members? No aunty, I did not need to know how many zeros there are in your green-card holder son’s salary. Because it always end up with me spending the weekend miserably googling “Jobs abroad for people with little to no skills.”
The one who is uber-rich
There is always a sophisticated aura about her that makes you nervous. Your mother will insist that you shower and wear your best clothes whenever you visit their house. Decked with the latest technology, their house will always be so ridiculously spick and span that you worry that your mere presence will dirty the place. If she’s the generous kind, you may go back home with a bunch of goodies. Otherwise, you will just be subject to a lot of bored expressions while she silently wills you to go away so that she can get back to their super-rich people activities.
The one who is super strict
Even your mom and dad are afraid of her. The house has to be extra clean before she comes to visit. And you have to make sure your wrists and neck are appropriately bejewelled because God knows what wrath a bare neck can bring on. There will be no sass with this one. No sleeveless, no crossed legs, no inappropriate jokes, no sudden movements. Just bowed head reverence and a lot of nodding.
The one who is the life of the party
She’s the loudest one in any room, the only one from the older generation who you’ll find shaking a leg at weddings. Young at heart, she always up for a good time and can provide enough entertainment quotient to energize an entire room of people.
Whether you love them or you hate them, you’ve got admit that Malayali Ammayis are a force to be reckoned with. Don’t forget to comment below and tell us about the Ammayis in your family!