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Since 1st March, 1999
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Survival strategies

Religion is the biggest hindrance in my three-year-old relationship with a guy who’s Hindu.The religious difference is hardly an issue between us. But my family is extremely conservative and wants me to sever all ties with him. I tried my level best to talk it out with them. But they aren’t willing to listen to me. I’m under constant surveillance now. However, I don’t want to lose the love of my life. Is there a way to change their attitude? Please advise.

Shaama, via e-mail

You cannot change their attitude so go ahead with that basic premise. My suggestion is if you both want each other so badly then move ahead without caring what your family thinks. But then also remember you will, at least for some time, have to sever all ties with them. Then there is the added risk of one of you being found dead on some silly railway track, holding up several commuters: if you are fine with all of this, then go ahead and get married!

I ’m a 25-year-old man working in a multinational company. A couple of months ago, I had been physical with one of my girlfriends. Recently, I came to know that she is pregnant. I proposed marriage but she turned down my offer. She is also reluctant to go in for an abortion and has threatened to go public about her pregnancy. The problem is that she is bent on defaming me. My friends have tried to make her see reason but that has only worsened the situation further. I am in a fix now and have lost all peace of mind. Please suggest a way out of this mess.

Name and address withheld

You are obviously such a dolt that you haven’t even heard of something called a condom. Any way, I think this girl is as insane as you are. I mean if there is someone proposing marriage to a pregnant girl, any pregnant girl would jump at the offer: so either there is something so deeply ingrained in her about your sanity or the lack of it, or she is completely insane herself. Either way, it has been great hearing from you: we live to learn something new every day!

I am a 28-year-old man. I have been dating a girl who is eight years younger than me.
I want to marry her but my girlfriend isn’t planning marriage soon. She just wants me to formally talk to her parents about our relationship and then wait till she finishes her college. Meanwhile, my family has started looking for a match for me. They have no clue about my affair and I don’t know how to put my point across to them. What should be my next course of action?

Suman, Calcutta

Well then talk to her parents and to my mind, she is being more mature than you are. You are scared of losing her and she is scared of not finishing college. My advice is do exactly what she says. She is more sorted out than you will ever be so it is best to listen to her and meet her parents. It just may be that after meeting her parents they may all come to the conclusion that you are horribly wrong for her which means we shall get another letter from you pretty soon.

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