The Telegraph
| Sunday, November 2, 2014 |


Survival Strategies

Suhel Seth has an unconventional take on personal problems — and their solutions

I am a 17-year-old boy now in the 12th standard. I was in love with a girl since I was in the 8th standard. I proposed to her, but she didn't accept because she is a year older to me. She is not even ready to be a friend. At this point, I got into some bad habits like chewing tobacco and drinking. Now I am so depressed that I cannot study. I am helpless now. Please help me since I cannot concentrate at all.

Name and address withheld

Listen son you are insane. I wouldn't even trust you to take my dog Google for a walk. I am not surprised that this girl has bailed on you. She has done herself a huge favour. You are the kind of dolt who will grow up to be a classic lout and I am hoping to see your photographs plastered in national police stations for your errant ways. You are in Class 12. This is the time to study son and not to propose. You seem to be the kind of bloke whom God has forgotten to gift a brain to. I suggest you concentrate on your studies and as for chewing tobacco and drinking: there are easier ways to feel depressed. Join the Congress Party.

I am a 25-year-old liberal woman and a child of a set of conservative and overprotective parents living in north-east India. I have tried to get them to change their attitude as far as I am concerned, but I end up getting beaten up. They try to control every step of my life. They made me resign from my job and now I am here, stuck in my parents' house. In short, I am not dead here, but for sure I am not living my life. I don't know what to do.

Name and address withheld

Call the police. Or Times Now. Or some women activists. No one has the right to do this to you and certainly not the folk who are supposed to be your parents. There is an interesting alternative too: just leave home and elope with some fine lad.


Alcoholics anonymous

10A, Nandan Road, Near Ganja Park, Calcutta - 25,
Ph: 2419 1174
For free help on alcoholism
(2p.m. to 6p.m. Mondays through Saturdays)

Al-Anon (for families and friends of alcoholics)

Ph : 8420738682
(2p.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays)

Narcotics anonymous (Kolkata area helpline)

Ph: 9836223071;
Self-help group of recovering addicts

HelpAge India

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 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturdays)


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