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Aunty Math Kaho Naa!!!!!!! ( Known In Its Earlier Incarnation As Uncle Me No Uncle)

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Balajee, Nov 5, 2020.

  1. Balajee

    Balajee IL Hall of Fame

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    Recently a 40-year-old woman in UP assaulted a younger woman for addressing her as "aunty", Words can work as powerful weapons that boomerang upon you. In these days when lynching and beheading are the flavours of the season, one can't be too careful
    According to a survey that was never conducted, 99% of people bristle q when they are addressed as "Uncle" or "Aunty" by anyone over three., The incident reminded me of an old post that I am recycling here. I love recycling, it is good for environment, even social media environment.
    One of the most misused English words in India is “Uncle”. Some would even say Uncle (pronounced often as uncal, unkel and according to unsubstantiated claims even as ankle) is THE most misused word in the English language for over the years. it has broken free from the kinship it is supposed to denote and is running amok.
    Originally, only the offspring of your friends or relations addressed you as uncle Many prefer to be called uncle only by minor children of kin and pals and opt to be the bhaiyya- brother- of older kids. A friend of mine in fact complained that being called “uncle” by anyone older than five made him feel like an eighty-year-old though he was just forty.
    This pal of mine suffers from an ailment that no psychiatrist has so far bothered to diagnose-unclephobia or fear of being addressed as uncle. This should not be misconstrued as fear of visits by unwanted uncles, who show no inclination to will their property to you and leave for the Happy Other World to meet their dear departed uncles.. My unclephobic friend welcomes visits by uncles, because, he says, it makes him feel like a nephew, or a lot younger than his actual years.
    But even people a lot saner than my friend blanch when the U-word is hurled at them, not only because the pretty young things they have been ogling at make them crumble into dust with a “Hi uncle”. Shakespeare’s Duke of York in King Richard II probably belonged to this category. He quipped “Uncle me no uncle” when his adult nephew addressed him as uncle. (Yes, it is Uncle me no uncle and not Uncle?. Me no uncle!!!!. Devotees of Fowler’s English Usage may protest that only non-whites in comic books who addressed their fellow beings as Bwana or Effendi would have used such expressions both of which are incorrect, but well, I suppose it is too late to complain to Shakespeare).
    Forget the Bard of Avon and let us return to 21st century. India, which badly needs a draconian law to curb the criminal misuse of the U-word. Say, how about 10 years in prison with at least half of each day devoted to copying down the meanings of “ Uncle” found in the dictionary?
    Do I sound too angry? Well, what can you expect when “Uncle” has become a widely-(mis)used substitute for “Sir” and “Mr. So-and-so”? How would you react when the people of your own age address you as uncle?
    Take the case of this guy I ran into few days ago in my apartment complex. He looked as if he was on a vacation from an old age home.. “Uncle., where is flat number 141” he asked as soon as he saw me. “Go straight and turn left, aunty” I quipped partly in amusement and half in anger.
    “ Bechara, paagal ya andha hai. Mujhe aunty kehta hai”(Poor chap..He is either crazy or blind, He is calling me aunty) he muttered and went away.
    And there was this pizzawallah .who tried to rope me in as a customer for his restaurant with a phone call.(The way he wooed me , he might have been bribed by a rival pizza delivery chain to ruin the place where he worked).
    “Unkel, you like pijja?” he asked as soon as I took his call.
    “It is pizza and I am not your uncle” I responded angrily.
    “You’re right unkel, it is pijja, not pijja” I banged down the receiver. God knows how many customers he had lost for his chain with his misuse of uncle and mispronunciation of pijja, sorry, pizza.
    But the unkindest cut of them all came when I was spending a month at our vacation home in Tamil Nadu. A lady in the neighborhood had the habit of making my wife squirm in her seat by addressing her as “anti” (what she meant was aunty). though she was much older than both of us.. For a long, I was lucky to be ignored by her.
    But earlier this year, my jinx caught up with me. This time I had gone alone on vacation and as I was sitting in the portico one day, reading a book, the lady’s head popped up behind the gate.
    “ Is anti there?” she asked me.
    “Anti? We are all pro here” I said making a go at a silly joke.
    “What did you say…..UNCLE?”
    Visions of being hauled up before a court for throttling an innocent, unsuspecting woman flashed in my mind. I gave up the homicidal idea because of the sheer impossibility of executing it. You see the woman’s neck was half the size of a banyan tree’s trunk. It was not for nothing that we had nicknamed her Badagala (big neck)..
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2020
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  2. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Balaji,An amusing snippet on Uncle/unkel.extremely nice.Some 30 years back in Tamilnadu all men/women above 18/20 were called mamas and mamis and I remember to have addressed many men and women as mamas and mamis and they gladly accepted it.Rarely some used to say "call me as anna or Akka".In Madras even today ,all married men and women are called uncle and auntie and there seems to be no objection over this.Every brother or sister is likely to become uncles/aunts one day and to feel depressed or psyhologically upset over being addressed so,seems to me as ridiculous.we can set aside those addresses and walk away.
    When I came to Chennai I was just 20 and I was married.The house owner lady around 40 addressed me as 'mami' only.

    Jayasala 42
     
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  3. Srama

    Srama Finest Post Winner

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    Ha ha Balajee that aunty who called you uncle is the ultimate! I often have to explain to others here as to why we are all aunties and uncles to all Indian kids and people are usually surprised! Addressing as a Mr or a Ms sounds so much better. As versatile a language English, sometimes it does fall short especially with the relationships! Have missed your sense of humor, glad to see you back!
     
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  4. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan Finest Post Winner

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    :hello:Kudos to your hilarious AUNTY write up covering from beginning of Stafford Avon author to present times. I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Indus No-aunties - Indus-ladies would naturally enjoy reading this for its humour content too.

    While waiting to pick up my daughter from her school, a boy was shouting to a stout tall girl in uniform riding away “ aunty bye- bye”.

    Out of respect, a young wife being called “ mamee ” by aged senior maid, the former got agitated. The old maid so began calling her “papa” (baby)

    In another place, from reception hall my friend called “ papa” :
    from behind curtains, a very old lady with dangling diamond ear studs appeared. My friend said she “ is my grandma”.

    Old lady suffering from astigmatism, walking toward us addressed me “ Ambi” & then queried my friend “ who is this- kuzhandhai- baby?”.

    Even in their sixties for some, the person would remain a baby and accosted always so.

    Thanks and Regards.
     
  5. HariLakhera

    HariLakhera Platinum IL'ite

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    Moral of the story:
    If young girls in your neighborhood start addressing you as Uncle/Unkal/ Unkol, it is a sign of you getting old.
     
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  6. Balajee

    Balajee IL Hall of Fame

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    I am sure being called "mama" or "mami" was considered a proud thing in those days. Peoiple wore the title like a bravery medal. It showed that they had entered the portals of adulthood and were no longer kozhandais. But now call even a lady above 50 mami and she will either fall into depression or scratch out your eyes. When she was a child , my daughter called a friend's grandma "patti". The lady's face fell and she muttered, "EWven my grandson doesn't call me 'patti".
     
  7. Balajee

    Balajee IL Hall of Fame

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    Sabitha, not only in India but in some European countries too , older people are addressed as uncle. In Germany, male family friends are "Onkel" (uncle) too, though women don't like being addressed as "Tante" (aunt). Compare this to Italy, where senior ladies are proud to be addressed as "Nonna" (Grandma). I think sir or ma'am is even better than Mr. or Mrs.
     
  8. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra Finest Post Winner

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    Dear Balajee ("Uncle"),

    Take a deep breath. What is in a name or how people address you? Many here in IL call me uncle and I gracefully accept it as I am 66 years old. Many ILites below 40 address me as "Uncle". I am clearly two decades plus away in age when compared to them. I take moral classes for the children every week here in the US. Many parents of the children call me "Uncle". I am glad my students call me "Sir" as otherwise both parents and children calling me "Uncle" will be misleading. I generally don't like to be addressed as "Sir" but I would take it from my students.
     
  9. Balajee

    Balajee IL Hall of Fame

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    Vishwa. O IT IS GOOD THAT THEY DON'T KNOW MY AGE!
    ANYWAY, 66 IS NO LONGER OLD AGE. IT HAS BECOME THE THRESHOLD OF MIDDLE AGE.
     
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  10. Balajee

    Balajee IL Hall of Fame

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    MY MOM HAD NEICES OLDER THAN HER AND WAS ADDRESSED WITHOUT RESPECT BY THEM AS ENDI CHITHTHI.SHE NEVER REVALED WHAT SHE FELT ABOUT THAT.
     

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