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"Hi aunty.  You're looking very hot!" said the young fellow talking to my son at the gate as I returned from the local market with my purchases.  I was your typical harassed housewife with a six year old clamouring loudly for attention and carrying a big polythene bag full of noodles, tomato sauce and vegetables to make the dinner.  I stopped dead in my tracks.  Did he say hot?  Or what?

I looked up at the tall young man.  He couldn't have been more than sixteen.  He was younger.

"Aunty, I'm Laksh!  Remember me?  I used to be in Neil's class," he said.  Neil is my fourteen year old son.

"Laksh!  Of course I remember you.  How are you beta (son)?  And how is your mother?"  I said, coming sharply back to reality.  One of the many kids who walks in and out of my life on a regular basis.

We exchanged the usual pleasanteries, briefly discussed the recent happenings in the family, Laksh's father had been ill and I was careful to show the requisite concern.  I also mentioned the recent death of Neil's grandfather. Then I asked the lad how his studies were going.  He had changed schools a year or so previously I remembered.  He said that they were going well.  I was glad, and sincerely hoped that they were.  His English seemed excellent anyway, barring his one, almost disastrous mistake.  Thank God he didn't say that to my mother-in-law, Neil's grandmother.  You do not call your aunty 'hot' no matter how much you think she might be.  Besides, I'm not 'hot'.  Not in the sense he sounded like he meant anyway.  I mean!  I was thirty years old when he was born, dammit!

The boy speaks English as a second language.  He was probably just trying to say I looked well.  I have known the word 'hot' to have different meanings at different stages of my life.   When I worked in airfreight, for example, 'hot' meant 'urgent' and 'red hot' meant 'very urgent'.  Nowadays, it means something else entirely.

Anyway, I wished him well and asked him to remember me to his mother.  I couldn't help smiling as I went into my house, 'though.  Hot, he said.  At forty seven, I'll accept compliments from wherever I can get them.  Even if it is from a fourteen year old who made a mistake in English.....


  1. Go Girl, Go! Enjoy the compliment. It must be all the new clothes! ;)


  2. Oh I'm all for accepting compliments too Maria...even if they aren't quite what they seem! Go on...admit must have made your day!

  3. Oh, I am sure there was no mistake.;) I bet you are one "hot" looking woman.;)

  4. Rubbish Gaelikaa. It is summer and the temperature in the Northern Indian plains is hovering around the forties. You must have been perspiring and looking "heated" up. In Hindi, he would have said, Chachi, bahut garam lag rahe ho! He simply thought in Hindi and translated it into English :-)

  5. That was a fun post. Enjoy being hot!
    Always good to get a compliment.

    Nuts in May

  6. Rummuser,
    How silly would it be to choose your interpretation when she could take it as a compliment and lift her spirits? This post reminds me of a fellow I met years ago. He said one of his favorite sayings was, "I'll take that as a compliment." He figured who cares how the other person meant it, he had a choice. It works for me too.

  7. Made me giggle! Why not just accept the compliment as meant for you!! C

  8. Cheerful Monk, by now you must know that I am rarely if ever without my tongue firmly in my cheek!

  9. @Ramana Rajgopaul: Being the red blooded male that you are, the humour in this post, which is a particularly female type, just escaped you. The ladies who read and commented on this post understood and appreciated what I was saying. I realise you were heavily medicated when you made that comment so I've decided to forgive you. Otherwise, I don't too kindly to being rubbished, that too in my own comment box.

    I am a 47 year old woman who has given birth to four children; I know I am no longer the stuff of which adolescent fantasies are made. But I do have a sense of humour. Hence the above post.

    I rest my case!

  10. Well said Maria < applause > ;-)

  11. I'm glad I found your blog. I can learn about the customs of the east.
    Thanks for sharing. I’m your newest follower. Feel free to look over my blog and become one also.

  12. I like this. Yes, it is a great compliment. I like the comment about the "smile".


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