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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Survival Strategies

I’m 16. My parents fight all the time. If they hate each other should they get divorced? But I’m scared I’ll be all alone. Help.

Name and address withheld

Don’t worry my child. These are signs of a happy and robust Indian marriage. They’ll never get divorced because of your relatives and the social pressures that’ll follow. Besides, I’m sure one of them needs the other for security reasons: so they’ll continue to fight. What I suggest is go to any nearby market and buy yourself some ear plugs and smile through their fights and remember this is the way most husbands and wives carry on a healthy relationship: this is the way of the world. If things become very bad, you’ll be the first to know because one of them would’ve left the house. So in a nutshell, you’ll be never alone logically: you’ll always have one of these beasts next to you. That at least is the good news.

I’m 21. I love a 15-year-old girl. I want to talk to her but she seems serious. Help.

Name and address withheld

For sissies like you, we have invented web applications to help you fall and remain in love. Look son, she is a 15-year-old girl. You should be discussing embroidery and cinema stars with her and not clouding her mind with love. And what do you mean by ‘seems serious’: what do you want her to be like? Like some bumbling fool who trips over her own heels to fall in love with a dolt who can barely open his mouth and that too when he is eligible to vote? It is you, who has a problem. Not she. So get down and start talking to her. That just may help.

I’m 22. My boyfriend of three years dumped me again. And now he wants me back.

Name and address withheld

Avoid him like Mayawati avoids being honest. He is unstable, unreliable and almost behaves like a closet communist who kept coming back for more power. You must tell him quite clearly that you have had enough of him and you want to move on: without him. I would go so far to even write this down on a piece of paper unless that dolt forgets. Post which, just carry on with your life till you are seduced by love in about three days.       

HELP AT HAND

Alcoholics anonymous
10A, Nandan Road, Near Ganja Park, Calcutta - 25, Ph: 2419 1174
For free help on alcoholism
E-mail: akolkata_ig03@rediffmail.com
(2 pm to 6 pm, Mondays through
Saturdays)

Al-Anon (for families and friends of alcoholics)
Ph : 8420738682
(2 pm to 6 pm, Mondays
through Saturdays)
www.india.al-anon.alateen.org

Narcotics anonymous
(Kolkata area helpline)
Ph: 9836223071; www.nakolkata.org
Email: info@nakolkata.org
Self-help group of recovering addicts

HelpAge India
1800-345-1253
Free helpline for the elderly for social, legal, economical, financial counselling and also access to government schemes and policies

Lifeline Foundation
Ph: 2463 7401/ 2463 7432
Free helpline for the depressed or suicidal (10 am to 6 pm, Monday through Saturdays)

Sparsha
AE-36, Rabindra Pally,
PO: Prafulla Kanan, Calcutta - 01
Ph: 2591 0334, 2591 3852, 6529, 9856
Free tele-counselling and one-on-one counselling on personal relationships
and HIV/ AIDS (10 am to 6 pm, Mondays through Fridays)

Pronam
38/1, Beltala Road, Calcutta - 19
Senior Citizen’s Emergency
Co-ordination Control Room
Ph: 2419 0740