It is the single most defining word to make you realise your age! You may think you are young. You may consider yourself to be belonging to the latest generation, knowing all the latest gadgets and latest slang. You may consider yourself to be young at heart, yet with knowledge of experience to give the people younger to you. But this word will hit you right out of the blue one day and all your preconceived notions about yourself will take flight and leave you feeling your age.
That word is ‘Aunty’.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind being called aunty by kids who went to school or college. I have been called ‘aunty’ by my kids’ friends. That never made me feel bad.
First time I felt that way was when a girl called me ‘Aunty’ and I was just 41. You may say ‘Oh! That is an “aunty” age. Oh! I beg to differ. I had kids who were still in school, I had no grey hair, my skin was not wrinkly. What I objected to the most was this girl was a young mother of an infant son, and she was about 26 -28 years old.
The worst part is when my daughter wanted to play with the baby, she told her son, ‘Didi ke paas jaoge?’ (will you go to your sister) and then later when we said bye, she told her son, ‘Nani ko bye bolo’ (say bye to grandma), referring to me!
That made me hopping mad! If my daughter was ‘didi’ to the boy and I was ‘Nani’, that made me ‘Nani’ to my own daughter!!!
Now, after some more years of being called ‘Aunty’ by such young ladies, I have reconciled to the fact that I no longer belong to the new gen. I have been upgraded to the generation that is neither young nor senior. These are the people who bear the responsibility to both the generations: to look after the new gen and to take care of the previous gen.
Ciao for now. Responsibilities are calling…….