The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Survival strategies

My father works as a branch manager for the State Bank of India. Nowadays he has become a workaholic and has no time to deal with household problems. He is indifferent to whatever is happening in the house. He insists that we solve problems on our own. He does not even bother to take care of his health. He also refused to take me to Bangalore to get admitted to a college of my choice. When I confronted him, he said that he doesn’t get leave since the branch in which he is working is in a rural area and is manned by him single-handedly. I am very worried about the entire situation. Please help.

S.S. Roy, Bongaigaon

There is nothing to worry. He will be given the Bharat Ratna one day by the woman who lives there. I never knew anyone who worked in the State Bank of India. My memories of SBI were when they were either on strike or only having tea. Obviously SBI has changed and all thanks to the culture of hard-work professed by your very hard- working father. Why don’t you write to me with his CV? I believe there will soon be a vacancy for the finance minister’s job and I would like your father to become the next FM. That way he will be spared of all hard work!

I am a 17-year-old boy. I had been going steady with a girl for some time. But recently, my mother told my girlfriend that I am dating another girl, which is totally untrue. Though I have tried making my girlfriend see reason, she refuses to believe me and is considering my mom’s words as the gospel truth. I am totally confused as to what my next step should be. What should I do now?

Sagnik, via e-mail

What a silly girl to listen to your mother, and what’s more, to even believe her. But forget your girlfriend for a while. What a goddamn conniving mother you have? Does she write the script for Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi? My friend, you are in deep trouble: you are between two women: one extremely gullible and the other extremely manipulative. I don’t think you have too many choices: you, my man, are destined to be the ultimate loser in life. E-mail me your photograph so that I can share it with Google: my Labrador. He loves an underdog.

I am 29-years-old and my boyfriend is six years younger than me. We live in two different cities. Of late, I have been feeling very insecure about the relationship. He is surrounded by younger women at work and in his friends circle too. And the distance doesn’t help either! We have been having a lot of arguments and fights lately. I don’t want to ruin this relationship. Please help.

Asmita, Jamshedpur

So don’t fight. Aren’t you happy he is with younger women rather than with Medha Patkar or for that matter Mamata Banerjee? You should be thrilled that those women too surround him all the time: at least he is not queer. Look, this is life. If you both have chosen to live in two different cities, you have to trust each other, which again would be a stupid thing to do at 29. Aren’t there some good-looking men left in Jamshedpur? I always thought there were. Am I missing something?        

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