I know I’m thirty and something,
And to say this is, is probably a dumb thing,
But I can’t seem to get my head around,
Kids calling me ‘aunty’ and making me frown,
Even when I’m wearing jeans and a tee shirt,
Carrying a backpack, lest that dreaded name they blurt.
I mean, how in the world, do they gauge,
To call a human female an ‘aunty’ at which particular age,
How do they discern, with their eyes beady,
That this one is an ‘aunty’ and that one a ‘didi,’
Coz even if I dress up like a twenty year old,
“Aunty, zara ball pass karna,” is what I’m always told.
Its this Indian thing which makes me wrinkle,
Every woman is an aunty and every man an uncle,
Even in my thirties this is hard to digest,
To be called an ‘aunty’ or an ‘aurat’ is a sob fest,
Here I am, minding my business and walking with my jhola,
When someone calls and I pounce, “Salaa, aurat kisko bola?”
So how would you like to be addressed, my alter ego wonders aloud,
Probably a ‘lady’ or ‘Ms Neha’ may my wounds, and age, enshroud,
A ‘lady’ and an ‘aurat’ is the same thing, you might say,
But the two sound horrifically different, however you argue may !
This is an anger cloudburst and a disgruntled mutter,
And to cry “Aunty mat kaho na!” I’m dying to utter,
A new Hindi Shabdkosh, I petition, to invent and design,
To address the ladies in their thirties, some words divine,
A shabd poetic, for a young woman you just met,
No longer a ‘didi,’ and an ‘aurat’ not yet,
So let nobody, in the future, have the jurrat,
When they meet and greet, to call us an aunty or an aurat.