Have you ever noticed how Indian aunties give compliments? They mean well (or I sure hope they do), but it does not really sound like a compliment even though its intended as one.
Here are my few favorites:
Situation: Lift Lobby
Attire: Jeans and singlet
Aunty: "OMG! Kitni patli ho gayi hain (OMG! You have become so thin!)
Me: Thank you auntyji (in my politest tone- and yes I do have one)
Aunty: Really....bahut jyada patli ho gayi hai (Really you have become very thin)
My Dad: Don't say so much, she will start eating a lot again (Thanks dad!)
Aunty: Nahin pehlein bahut bahut bahut moti thi na (No, earlier she was really very very very fat)
Me: Thank you auntyji (this time feigning my politeness)
Attire: Awesome lehenga with hairdo and make-up
Aunty (looking at me lovingly): Kitni sundar ho gayi hai (You have become so pretty now)
Me: Toh pehlein nahin thi? (You mean I was not pretty before?)
Aunty (too stunned to reply)
Attire: Gorgeous sari
Aunty (to my cousin): You were looking so beautiful at the Sangeet ceremony yesterday…..(after looking closely)…actually that was not you, it was your sister.
Here is a tip aunties, say something nice and then stop. Don’t explain or elaborate. And yes, being little more tactful would go down well too.