My agony aunt..!


EVERY newspaper, magazine I open nowadays has an agony aunt dishing out advice to sobbing youngsters, housewives and middle aged men who have no business to be doing what they are doing. “Dear Aunty” cries the letter writer, or is it Dear Diana or Dear Aunt Agony!
Today however the ‘dear aunty column’ had me interested and smiling: “Dear Aunty,” cried school boy, “I’ve fallen for my teacher..!” I unfortunately didn’t have an agony aunt to confide in when I fell for my class teacher. I was all of four and my teacher an Irish nun.
Sister Gertrude was her name. But me a little country boy with tongue that could not pronounce such intricate sound, could only manage saying Sister ‘Beetroot.’
Sister Gertrude, bless her heart smiled every time I called her such and me little four year old was smitten. Not just with her saintly, patient smile but by the most beautiful pair of blue eyes I had ever seen.
“Sister Beetroot!” I would shout in class, and the lovely sister would leave desk to come by and ask what I wanted. It generally wasn’t anything, but an excuse to have her stand by my side and smell her sweet Irish fragrance, which to my little nose was heavenly. She was the reason I loved school; studies I hated.
One evening dad announced at dinner that the Queen of England was visiting the city and that we could all go and watch her go by. It was quite a crowd that gathered to see the then young and pretty queen, and my father eager I should have my first glimpse of royalty, placed me on his shoulders and faced me to the road.
I searched for the Queen and my little heart beat all the faster when I saw a little ahead of me also craning her lovely neck to see her beloved majesty, who else but my Sister Gertrude. A shiver of happiness ran through my little body. Suddenly the crowd cheered as the Queen’s car was seen, but my eyes were on my queen, and taking deep breath I shouted at the top of my voice, “Sister Beetroot! Sister Beetroot!” It must have been quite a shout or maybe there was only one person in a nun’s habit; as people turned, giggled and smiled at the sister who had grown deep startling crimson red.
The Queen passed by at the same time. I was happy to see my Irish sister the next day, but she wasn’t too happy to be seen near me, “Robert,” she said, and I noted it wasn’t ‘Bob’ anymore, “did you have to call me ‘Beetroot’ in front of my queen?”
I never smelt the sweet Irish smells again, as dear sister kept far away from me. “Dear Aunty” I write, “what do I do to get back my teachers love? She must be back in Ireland or above with her God!” “Dear Broken Heart,” writes crafty editor, “tell her you can now say ‘Gertrude’ “Dear Aunty” I write, “its Beetroot! Beetroot..!”

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