Anita and Me

by

Meera Syal

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Auntie Shaila Character Analysis

Auntie Shaila is the closest Auntie to Meena’s family, and is present at most family gatherings. Meena describes Auntie Shaila as “the fattest, noisiest, and most fun of all the Aunties.” Auntie Shaila behaves spontaneously and exuberantly, occasionally expressing secret opinions—such as the fact that Meena has a Birmingham accent when she speaks Punjabi—in too loud a manner.
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Auntie Shaila Character Timeline in Anita and Me

The timeline below shows where the character Auntie Shaila appears in Anita and Me. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
Racism and Violence Theme Icon
Truth vs. Lies Theme Icon
...the name of humanity. Meena, though, wishes her family had an elegant shrine, like her Auntie Shaila ’s. Auntie Shaila, the most boisterous of all the Aunties, once told Meena that people’s... (full context)
Family Discipline and Guidance Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Truth vs. Lies Theme Icon
...mother would not be bothered to know she borrowed it. When Meena opens the door, Auntie Shaila reproves Meena for her make-up, accusing her of trying to look older, and Meena finally... (full context)
Family Discipline and Guidance Theme Icon
Culture and Belonging Theme Icon
...forced to sing. As Meena sings in Punjabi, though, she notices people giggling and hears Auntie Shaila say that she sings in Punjabi with a Birmingham accent. Embarrassed and confused, Meena interrupts... (full context)
Family Discipline and Guidance Theme Icon
Culture and Belonging Theme Icon
Truth vs. Lies Theme Icon
...expecting for their water to be refilled, but she then overhears her mother talking to Auntie Shaila about her. Her mother complains about Meena’s frequent bad behavior, and Auntie Shaila says that... (full context)
Family Discipline and Guidance Theme Icon
Truth vs. Lies Theme Icon
...much attention to her and notices that the adults look scared and sad for her. Auntie Shaila drags her into the kitchen and, as Meena tries to decipher people’s expressions, she hears... (full context)
Chapter 6
Family Discipline and Guidance Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Culture and Belonging Theme Icon
...her father asks her why she spends so much time with Anita Rutter instead of Auntie Shaila ’s daughters Pinky and Baby, whom Meena used to enjoy. Meena replies that they are... (full context)
Friendship Theme Icon
That evening, Auntie Shaila brings her two daughters to Meena’s birthday party. Although Meena used to enjoy Pinky and... (full context)
Family Discipline and Guidance Theme Icon
Truth vs. Lies Theme Icon
After convincing Meena’s father to talk, Auntie Shaila discovers what has happened and decides to leave the house at once. Meena watches as... (full context)
Chapter 7
Family Discipline and Guidance Theme Icon
...to mama, who in turn assents to his every desire, leading even relatives such as Auntie Shaila to suggest that Sunil should learn to be more independent. (full context)
Chapter 8
Family Discipline and Guidance Theme Icon
Culture and Belonging Theme Icon
When Nanima arrives in Tollington, welcomed at Meena’s house by her family as well as Auntie Shaila ’s, everyone in the village notices the old woman’s arrival. After Nanima greets Pinky and... (full context)
Chapter 13
Family Discipline and Guidance Theme Icon
Culture and Belonging Theme Icon
...also allow them to move out of Tollington. When the telephone rings, mama learns that Auntie Shaila ’s husband Uncle Amman has just had a heart attack. Meena’s parents are very worried... (full context)
Family Discipline and Guidance Theme Icon
Culture and Belonging Theme Icon
From Tollington, the Kumars invite only Mrs. Worrall to their farewell party. Auntie Shaila gives them a metal “OM” to hang on their door, saying that they are now... (full context)