Aunty Stereotype

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‘Don't Call Me Aunty'

As I devoured a novel by Tarquin Hall, I found myself deep in thought over a moniker that the author used in a sentence: "On benches arranged along the sidelines, aunties dipped their toes into cool water and ate spicy dhokla." Aunty. Who exactly is an aunty? What characteristics must you have to qualify as one? One of my earliest memories of Hindi film comedy is a supposedly stylish woman saying, "Mujhe aunty mat bolo." Many years later, aunty jokes still abound...