If you thought ‘didi’ denoted a filial relationship, think again. One of the first lessons you learn is that any female acquaintance of the previous generation is ‘aunty’, and anyone not old enough to be one is ‘didi’. The lines often blur- even a very young mother will invariably be addressed as ‘aunty’, but an older woman might remain a ‘didi’ till she gets married.
Outside the social circle, ‘didi’ indicates perceived age. Vegetable-vendors, plumbers, cab-drivers; they will all address you as ‘didi’ even if they are several years older. Revel. Because the day they stop, you become an ‘aunty’.
There are words, and there are words. Some words can be easily translated, others need to be described. In April, I’ll attempt to capture the Soul of 26 'Indian' words in a drabble of exactly 100 words.