Posts Tagged ‘respect’

Every day heroism

June 13, 2019

In the past week, I have spent time with: someone bravely going through a painful divorce, someone recovering from a stroke, that someone’s daughter who’s taken the load on her shoulders, someone who’s taken care of his father and family through the father’s severe illness, and struggled to get ahead in academics (and succeeded in both), someone who’s been swindled by family members, and is trying to bounce back, someone whose children may lose their vision, someone who is dealing with a spouse’s cancer..and perhaps others whose secret trials and burdens I will never know.

Heroes? I walk among them.They are everywhere, my every single day heroes and heroines. Everyday bravery, that is silent, is the toughest bravery of all.


Explanation of my LJ name

September 27, 2006


Ha, TOO many people are wondering about my LJ name….

I have posted about this before; I detest the word “Aunty”. I know it is a nice innocuous and respectful term here in Bangalore, much like “madam” elsewhere…but…to me it has VERY negative associations. It conjures up, in my mind, a picture of this out-of-shape,malicious, prying gossip-monger, who wears a nightie throughout the day, and whose world is limited to her children, jewellery, sarees, and other forms of shopping, grocery or otherwise,..and the servants, let’s not forget that! So I do dislike being called Aunty. ( I also dislike the Tamizh appellation of Mami, for very much the same reason.)

This dislike is further reinforced by the fact that all younger people, when they use the word, use it in this same,  definitely negative, sense. (“Oh, look at that aunty over there!” — with reference to a young girl who is not well-groomed or dressed or who is too hidebound in her ideas.) One might as well be dead as be an aunty-fossil!

Of course I cannot get away from it altogether. To my child’s friends and to my friends’ children, the appellation has to–er– apply. But I got around this by asking my child’s friends to address me, not by my name plus aunty, but to use  the much more glamorous-sounding Italian name of de Ponti! (as in Sophia Loren’s husband, hee, hee, hee!)

And a few other things happened…my neighbour’s child, who grew up with us, always has called my spouse and me by our names; and it has become customary for his friends (he is now nearly 8) to do the same. So in our apartment building, too, I am used to the young children calling me by name, and I feel so comfortable with it because I know the affection with which they address me. Also, I have several neighbours/friends, ranging from 15 years younger than I am, to just a couple of years older than my daughter, who also address me by name.

And then, when I met amoghavarsha and sanathreddy at the tiger census, they, too, resolutely refused to call us Aunty or Uncle, claiming  that we were not fossilized enough! I also joined the LJ community where people are more American about calling each other by name without having the Indian cultural feeling of disrespect if the name is used without a respect-tag like “aunty” or “akka” or something at the end. People like kalyan and fatmuttony were undecided what to do for some time and then decided to go with my preference.

sunson asked me once whether I wanted to perceive myself as young. The answer was a resounding NO. I am perfectly happy as I am, a nearly 52-year old, who has enjoyed every stage of her life and has no wish to be young again. (except, maybe,  for that lovely 23 inch waist I *used* to have?) But I suppose I am a little “American”  or “western” in feeling comfortable being called by name, that’s all!

So now, when some youngsters who have been calling me “aunty” for many years continue to do so, it doesn’t grate on my ears; but for newcomers, I just say, call me Deponti. ( my brother’s wife calls me this, too!)

So all of you…you have the choice of calling me by name, or calling me Deponti….and any time you want to get my goat, just call me Aunty! I have a horrible feeling that there are going to be a spate of comments saying “Hello Aunty” after this! Must think up some return-compliments quickly…