‘You’re looking beautiful, Aunty.’
The teenage girl with braces had to repeat this line thrice before I realized her compliment was directed at me.
These were my thoughts when I was first called by the term every woman hates being addressed by, ‘Aunty‘.
Then I told myself that being newly married probably gives one a leg up in the respect department, whether you like it or not, and consoled myself at being called ‘Aunty’.
I have been a universal ‘Didi’ ever since my sister was born when I was 3 and a half years old, and have never given being addressed as thus much thought. Until Mamta Didi came along, but then that is the matter for another blog post.
An Aunt is a close and intimate relationship, denoting a sister of either of your parents. I still marvel at the ease at which we slip into addressing anyone and everyone thus. Yes, even I call people ‘Aunty’ and ‘Uncle’.
But then our
hypocritical Indian Society and upbringing dictate it.
‘Don’t address elders by their name’. * why do they have names then? *
‘Show respect to elders. * whether they deserve it or not *
This is why, ‘Aunty’ and ‘Uncle’ seem to be the safest terms to address anyone you are introduced to or know remotely, or even not at all.Why does being addressed as ‘Aunty’ rile women up? Click To Tweet
For one, we do not want to be anyone’s ‘Aunty’ unless we are related to them. Even the ones we are related to addressing us with various variants of it, ‘Maasi’, ‘Bua, ‘Chachi’ and the like.
So when unknowns and unrelated call us Aunty, we wonder, if we don’t know you from Adam’s how are we your Aunt? Got it?!
Then there is this, ummmmm, image we have in mind that an Aunty is someone who is elderly. No idea where that thought came from, but that is the general thought behind the dreaded A word.
If you thought Didi and Aunty were the only terms that rile me up, let me tell you that ‘Madam’ is another word I abhor! ‘Madam’ is a School Principal. ‘Madam’ is a Teacher. ‘Madam’ is Sonia Gandhi.
Madam is not me! Don’t Madam me, please!
So which is the safest way to address me? I have simplified it to a single alphabet.
Just call me ‘M’.
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