Reblogging this old poem, especially for my young readers from the Indian subcontinent.
In India it is a common phenomenon to be called ‘aunty’ or ‘uncle’ by complete strangers. As soon as a young woman gets married, she is elevated to this stage. For here, it is disrespectful to call anyone older by the first name and the concept of calling someone Mr./Mrs. X has still not caught on. So you are aunty to a toddler, a teen, a college grad, a vegetable vendor, a doorstep salesman et al.
This poem is inspired by Duke of York’s speech from Richard ll.
(So here goes, with due apologies to the dear departed Shakespeare.)
Aunty me no aunty, nor behenji* me no behenji*
I am no upstart’s aunty; and that word ‘aunty’!
In a relatively unknown’s mouth, is but profane!
Why have these strangers’ mouths
Dar’d to forge a relation?
But then more ‘why?’ Why have they dar’d to
So many times address unsuspecting women,
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