It is understood that little kids are going to be calling us ‘aunty’, whatever age we may be in. But, youngsters, too? Especially, those who happen to be just a few years junior? Any woman dressed up in ‘salwar-kameez’ becomes an ‘aunty’. I, too, was given that name tag. And, although I did cringe with embarrassment, I began to accept the fact, that I was growing old. But, one day, some kids simply swept me off my feet and made my day.
One evening, couple of years back, I was relaxing in the lobby of our building after my walk with Chikoo. A few minutes later, a bunch of kids came over and sat in the seat opposite, staring at Chikoo, whispering to each other. Their nervous, yet curious, glances told me they would ask me something about Chikoo, but I did not pay much attention. Suddenly, a little boy asked me,”What is his name, aunty?” Before I could reply, his friend — another little fellow aged 11 or 12 –shushed him embarrassingly and said,”Hey, why do you call her ‘aunty’ ? Call her ‘didi’ ( elder sister)!”
Awww…he made my day! I had just celebrated my 40th birthday, but the remark from that little boy (the second boy, to be precise) told me that I still had time! Maybe, I did not look that ‘old’. Or, maybe, the jeans and Tee I was dressed in, saved my honour! Either ways, I was on cloud nine. Nowadays, it really does not bother me — the ‘name tag’. But, it does feel good when someone ‘compliments’ me by calling me ‘didi’ and not ‘aunty’. A friend of mine is now going through the same issue. A young woman she knows, calls my 40 year old friend, ‘aunty’. And, this makes her cringe! I can understand her situation. Being called aunty by kids is absolutely fine. But, by a 24 year old? NO! That is a bit too much! I mean, come on…she herself is now a new mother (my friend helped her during her pregnancy) — .and, thus, an ‘aunty’ herself!
Human nature is so funny, no? We don’t want to accept facts of life! Celebrate birthdays — we will. But, grow ‘old’…Nope! Cut birthday cakes — sure! But, blow out the ‘correct’ number of candles on our cake…No way! Demand respect from youngsters — yes, they better show some respect! But, call us ‘aunty’ — NEVER!