My title is apparently a Punjabi proverb but for the sake of argument, let’s also say it is a Hindi and Urdu on too. My aunt introduced it to me today. She phoned me with what seemed to be a guilty conscience, I should mention however that she isn’t the person the title refers to nor whom she was referring to!
She was at a charity event yesterday and bumped into my ex sister in law, Nippy Sweetie, who made a point of greeting her whilst ignoring my mother. My aunt felt guilty at having smiled and exchanged pleasantries, so much so that she felt the need to let me know. She gave me her theory as to why Nippy Sweetie behaved like this and it boiled down to ye old proverb. To me, it’s not a big deal. If someone greets you then you greet them back. Simples.
I know why she greeted this aunt in particular. Nippy Sweetie is a typical Pakistani-stereotyped “chalak” (sly) woman. My dad’s side of the family are mostly from Pakistan whereas my mum’s side are born here. During my marriage, my ex in-laws formed an affinity with my dad’s sister in laws, moaning to them about me amongst other things. In their minds, my dad’s side aren’t close to me whereas my mum’s are so they try to play upon the sympathies of one side. The reality is that my mum’s side are just a lot more no nonsense and would put them in their place which they have done (to my delight) on a number of occasions.
What bothers me more is why she felt the need to ignore and walk past my mother. If she chose to greet one family member then extend that same courtesy of “Salaam” to another. I can’t seem to get my head around what their anger is towards my family. Why take the anger of your brother’s infidelity out on me and my parents/siblings? Perhaps somebody can shed some light on this as it continues to baffle me.