Advice: Auntie Agni

Published May 17, 2009

Dear Auntie jaan!
A year and a half ago I dumped a girl after four years of relationship, only because I was struggling with complex family situations, financial and social. My parents had almost separated — but they did not. I was not ready to make her a part of my about-to-crash family — she was the princess of her family. So I tried every known guy tactic to push her away. I broke her trust and turned pathetic at moments, thinking it was better for her to go away than to be cursed for the rest of her life. And guess what? My 24 year long crisis was solved unexpectedly in a year, with the bonus of a vibrant career for me. A happy ending for all, but me. Now I am extremely guilty and depressed, regretting my move. I feel like committing suicide. I keep on thinking about her shattered heart since the day I did so. I think of weird ways to patch up. She isn't happy either, but hates me for what I did. Help me?

Feeling dead
Dear Alive,
This sounds eerily similar to the plot of a Shahrukh Khan movie, Auntie once saw. Actually, while your intentions were noble, the solution you picked was a tad childish, not to mention quite filmy. You shouldn't have broken up, because people who truly love us do so despite our bank accounts and the skeletons tumbling out of our family trunks.

So before you tie a rope to your bedroom fan and fashion a noose, pick up the phone and call your ladylove. If she doesn't pick up the phone, sms or email her. Use all your resources to get through to her. Once you do, have a (hopefully long) heart to heart in which you admit that you were stupid and that you are truly sorry about doing this to her, but that it hasn't been easy for you either. Make it honest and take the blame. If this woman has a heart and even a smidgen of feeling left for you, she'll give it another shot and hopefully the relationship will get further. If she doesn't, then look at the bright side thank God you didn't give your heart to someone who has nothing to give back.
Dear just Agni,
I am a 19-year-old cool boy, but whenever I see your photo in your 'so called' advice 'package,' my coolness disappears. Kindly do us a favour and change it please. Secondly the thing I want to know is what do you mean by Agni? With love

A Cool Friend...


Hey Cool,
It doesn't take much to warm you up, does it? Maybe you should change your epithet instead of my pic. On the other hand my epithet, 'Agni' meaning 'fire' couldn't be more apt.
Dear Auntie,
How are you? I am a 14-year-old boy and my problem is that I love a girl who is one year older than me. I always look at her in the van but I don't have the courage to talk to her. I really love her! More than anything in my life. Please help me! I don't want to lose her!
Hey Bashful,
You're overlooking a minor but crucial detail. You don't have her, to lose her! You might suspect that your mommy has a secret career being Auntie Agni if I tell you that you are a) far too young to be in love, and b) you don't really know the girl to know whether you love her or not. This ain't mumsy, but I still say this.

Okay the van-wali larki is cute and looks interesting. At such close proximity, why don't you strike a conversation with her? You have to find the courage inside you somewhere and then think of something you have in common with her. Are you in the same school, do you live close by, do you have any mutual friends? They can be great ice-breakers.
Hello Auntiejaan,
Auntie tell me honestly who do you think is more successful in life? A 30-year-old matric or inter-pass woman who has managed to achieve a happy marital life and also has kids, or a 30-year-old CA or MBA woman who is earning great and has great career prospects, yet leads a single life?

Dear Figured,
The more successful woman is the one who is happier and more content with her lot in life. You will find mopers in both groups and you'll also find those who have caught the happies in both categories.
Dear Auntie,
Like many others I have a problem with Maths. I am fifteen-year-old and study in Grade 9. My Maths started going down in Grade 6, and since then it has never recovered, with the exception of an occasional A or B in the past three years. Otherwise I either flunk or get a C.I just dont know what the problem is. My parents got me a tutor in grade 7, but that didn't work. I am not intelligent, but am hardworking. I also don't practice Maths everyday, but I work really hard for the exams. No matter how hard I work I get the same grades. I dropped Physics just because I was weak in Maths. All my friends are good at it. I also feel bad for my parents, who spend so much money on my tuitions and in the end I don't get satisfactory results. Even my siblings are good at Math.

Dear Helped,
I think you've developed some kind of mental block towards maths. You're not alone. Just as most of us don't love to exercise our body, similarly a lot of us avoid exercising our minds. A lot of the time it is sheer laziness as in 'why bother counting the change?' 'Why figure out how much everyone gets?' 'How much tax will they add to the price of the entrée?' These may be tiresome questions but ones that will stand you in good stead throughout life, so it's worth brushing up on Maths.

Now because Maths is the kind of subject that builds on what you have learned previously, it is important that you are regular in attending classes and ask your teacher questions whenever you get stuck. Study throughout the year and also try to read ahead of the class if you can. Every time you get homework, do some extra problems just to sharpen your skills. It maybe a little late in the year to be telling you this since you are probably about to sit for your Maths exams, but you can keep these tips in mind for next year.

For now I suggest you take an inventory of what you do know and what you don't and start studying straight away. Put yourself in a test-like situation by doing problems from the review sections at the end of chapters, and old tests. If you goof up, go back and do all the steps, starting at the very beginning and not just from where the mistake occurred. Test yourself over and over.

If you find word problems difficult, try to sort your thoughts by drawing a picture and figure out what exactly you have to find out.

If you need help, ask friends or anyone who can help — even a good tutor. But ask specific questions i.e. don't say 'I don't understand this', instead say, 'I don't understand the difference between the perimeter and the area of a square'. Make sure your helper helps you solve problems yourself by giving hints and encouragement and doesn't actually solve the problem for you.

And finally sleep early the night before a big test, Maths is easier to navigate when your head is clear.
Dear Auntie,
Why do I think you are secretly a guy?
Dear Girl,
Why do you, indeed? Auntie doesn't do secrets. And she is certainly not a man



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