Aunty

Reblogging this old poem, especially for my young readers from the Indian subcontinent.

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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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27 thoughts on “Aunty

  1. I probably have to think twice before I address my mom’s friend as Aunty. I really hate when someone calls maa ‘aunty’, it sounds weird. She doesn’t bother it but it’s not the case with everyone I believe.

    That poem was brilliant, ma’am!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I laughed like an idiot 🤣 Going to read this out to my mom!
    Simply amazing!!!

    The fact that you used Shakespeare English is very…. Not aunty-ish (Evil Sarcasm implied 😈)

    On a serious note, such an enjoyable read. A feeling we can all empathise with.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hahaha, this was enjoyable! Yes, here we all address most elders as “aunty” or “uncle”, but in tamil nadu, I’ve found that youngsters are more inclined towards addressing complete strangers as “Anna”(male) or “Akka”(female), preferring to be as informal as possible 😂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, it’s the whole eastern/southern world. They do it on the Balkans, in Asia, Africa. And it’s a huge no-no thing in the west. I heard it “happen” multiple times. Boy, were they offended.

        Liked by 1 person

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