In our miserable little lives, there are some people that have a profound impact on you and then there are some who vaguely exist in your memory and yet, has a hold over somethings you still do in life. For me, one such person was Rosy aunty.
In a house with two working parents and one baby sister, Rosy aunty was the second babysitter that I had to bear with for almost two years of my life. There are people who you learn to fear and then there are some who you know you should fear. It wouldn’t take a genius to figure out where Rosy Kuriakose fit in.
From the very hazy memories I have from those years, the only two things I distinctly remember about Rosy aunty was that she always smelled of ripe bananas and how she had a thin wooden stick that looked it could stab someone dead.
The schedule was simple. I was to be deposited in Apartment 1B at precisely 7:30am with my lunch, evening snack and all the necessary entertainment in my Echolac school bag to keep me occupied for the next 10 hours. But here’s the thing about Apartment 1B. It wasn’t big. It had a small living room, two bedrooms we were absolutely not allowed into and a kitchen (which somehow always smelled like bananas and strawberry oats). However, that tiny living room had the best thing in the apartment and that was Rosy aunty’s old TV which always crackled loud enough to make us think it could explode any minute.
Initially, we were never allowed to play with it. She’d switch it on in the morning for some show she thought was nice. I think it was ‘Art Attack’. I probably would have liked that show better if the TV had not made so much noise, but we got through it. Then one day, Rose aunty had an exciting announcement. We could bring our own CD’s from home and after a thorough approval process, we were allowed to play it on her TV.
And that’s how I experienced the thrill of binge watching for the first time. We had George of the Jungle 1 and 2 on Mondays, all the Barbie movies on Tuesdays and I bought Spiderman 1, 2 and 3 on Wednesdays. The days could be mixed up and I’m pretty sure all the movies were covered over the summer holidays rather than the week. But you get the idea. Cool movies, an old TV and one consistently annoyed Rosy aunty made most of my summer vacation and I think I loved it.
I was actually talking to my mother about how strict Rosy aunty got when she told me how much of a blessing she was for her. She was always prepared to take care of kids regardless of how late or early it got. Keep in mind, this was a babysitter with 10-15 kids so at any given moment, you could always find someone crying, screaming or worse. Nevertheless, she was always willing to take in children and looking back, I realize she must have not been as scary as I thought. Personally I was convinced, one day with Rosy aunty was enough to straighten out even the most annoying of children, but that’s not important here.
I wish I could remember more about her. I know I’ve searched Facebook long enough. The truth is, Rosy aunty played a pretty important part in my life whether I liked it or not. Sure she was strict with the stick that she’d use to constantly scare us into finishing our lunch but in the eyes of all the parents that trusted her with their children including my mother, she was an angel. And I guess in the end, that was what mattered the most.
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