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Survival strategies

I am a final year engineering student. I stay in my college hostel. I am a very shy and reserved person. My classmates tease me very often due to my nature. My roommate also misbehaves with me. To add to my agony, my roommate is gay and tries to take advantage of me while I am sleeping. I am really stressed out due to this. Please help.

Name and address withheld

Oh you poor little wimp. Why did your parents ever send you in the real world, you poor little straight darling? They should have kept you in a bubble. No one would have ever bothered you. They should have put a chip under your arms so that we all would know where you were. Oh you poor little baby. Such is your suffering. Reserved my foot. You are a pathetic little wimp who wants to be mollycoddled. Get your act together and start living a man’s life. And certainly don’t expect me to empathise with your pathetic life.

My elder brother has recently retired and spends most of his time at home. He has deve-loped this peculiar habit of looking into our neighbours’ bedrooms. He likes sitting with binoculars and staring at other people’s homes for hours. We have caught him in the act and tried to stop him as well. However, he continues with this strange habit. What should we do?

Taran, via e-mail

I think he is a genius. He is probably going to be another Satyajit Ray in the making if he ever gets into cinema. He is prying into lives that we all would love to. Aren’t you happy his binoculars are trained at neighbours’ bedrooms and not yours. I would suggest you let him be. God, at least your brother has given me one inspirational idea for my retirement years!

I have developed a strange obsession with the maid in our house. I am attracted to her and can’t get over it. The moment she steps inside the house, I start fantasising about her. This is affecting my relationship with my wife and I don’t pay much attention to my children either. Please help.

Name and address withheld

There is nothing strange about this: most men fantasise about their maids which is why their wives love sacking them. So the good news is you are not abnormal. The second piece of good news is that you do know that your wife may probably never get upset with you if she is a lazy bounder as most women married to your kind of guys are so there again you have nothing to worry about.

I am a 17-year-old boy. I have recently started chatting with strangers over the Internet. I continue doing this for hours. Subsequently, my studies are getting affected and my family members are creating a huge ruckus over this. I have tried to put a stop to my Net addiction but can’t get over it. What should I do?

Rahul, via e-mail

You can’t. You are over. You are history. You will even make virtual babies my friend. There is only one way out. Try something less dangerous than the Internet and that might help. You dolt, this is not an addiction. This is boredom. Find yourself real friends who are human beings and all of this will change.

I am a 15-year-old girl. My mother is extremely possessive about me and doesn’t allow me to go alone anywhere. She insists on accompanying me even when I go out with friends. This has made me the laughing stock of my group. Though she thinks I am mature enough to handle things like household chores, her mind changes the moment I want to step out. Please help me.

Name and address withheld

Just shrug her off or better still escape from her whenever she comes close to you and if that fails, then just routinely insult her in front of your friends. And if that fails as well, trip her, hope she breaks her hip and that way she will be laid up in bed while you can frollick all over the place. See, some simple wonderful ways to keep mummy at bay!

I am a 37-year-old man. I am facing major problems at my workplace. All my colleagues indulge in work politics. I am not very good at this which is affecting my chances of promotion. Though I am an efficient worker, I haven’t progressed much on the work front. I feel really frustrated due to this. Please help.

Krishen, via e-mail

Play politics you dolt. You can’t play a game of football with a hockey stick so use your head and play the game their way. You must also seize the moment and play their brand of politics so that they get the real picture. They must know they cannot mess around with you beyond a point. This is the only way, son.

I am a 56-year-old woman, living with my son and daughter-in-law. They do not respect me and abuse me day in and day out. They make me do all the household chores and even make me baby-sit their children. I am tired of all this, however I do not know how to retort. What should I do?

Name and address withheld

There is nothing. Just forgive them in your heart for they will also suffer. I am a great believer that those who cannot love and look after their parents are the poorer and God punishes them in this very lifetime. You must however not lose the powers of forgiveness and compassion. Imagine this is your way of helping them sin less and you will be at greater peace.

I got married recently and live with my husband. My problem is that my in-laws find out about issues which I only discuss with my husband. The surprising part is that my husband insists that he doesn’t discuss issues with them. Please help.

Lalita, via e-mail

Obviously either your husband is lying or your in-laws are psychic and have your place bugged. What other route could they adopt? And while we are on the subject, are you not ashamed of yourself by asking me such stupid questions? At times we have idiots sending out questions which is why I am not surprised at the terrible lives some of you dolts lead!

I am a 22-year-old man. I have fallen in love with the best friend’s fiancee. They are going to get married pretty soon. Though I know what I am feeling is not right, I just cannot help myself. To make things worse, she is aware of my feelings. What should I do?

Name and address withheld

Just go for it. Indulge in some fine betrayal. There is nothing more exciting. It all seems like a scene from a terrible Tamil film but then if you look like Karunanidhi, then what else would people expect from you? My submission is just pursue the woman, break their engagement and break your friendship and remember to invite me to your wedding. I love these salacious episodes in life!

HELP AT HAND

Alcoholics anonymous

10A, Nandan Road, Near Ganja Park
Calcutta 700025
Ph: 24191174
E-mail: aakolkata_ig03@rediffmail.com

For free help on alcoholism

Contact: Volunteers on line
Timings: 2.00 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Mondays through Saturdays

Lifeline Foundation

Ph: 2463 7401/ 2463 7432

Free, anonymous and confidential tele helpline service giving emotional support for people who are depressed, distressed or suicidal

Timings: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Monday through Saturdays

Society for positive atmosphere & related support to hiv/aids (sparsha)

AE-36, Rabindra Pally,
P.- Prafulla Kanan
Calcutta — 700 101
Ph: 2591 0334, 2591 3852, 6529 9856

Tele-counselling and face-to-face counselling on issues concerning relationships, sex education and free and confidential testing, counselling and information on HIV & AIDS

Contact: Counsellors on line
Timings: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Mondays through Fridays

Kornash (The lifestyle management school )

139B Rashbehari Avenue,
Calcutta — 700 029
Ph: 9830149919

Interactive sessions on personality enhancement, stress reduction, lifestyle management, behavioural modification for children, marital counselling and psychotherapy

Contact: Counsellors on line
Timings: 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.,
Mondays through Saturdays

Society for nature, education and health (sneh)

Flat — 2B, 48/1, Chakraberia
Road (North) Calcutta — 700 020
Ph: 2486 7404, 2486 1940
E-mail: sneh@cal2.vsnl.net.in

Psychotherapy for children, adolescents and adults suffering from behavioural and emotional problems
Timings: 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
Mondays through Saturdays   

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