Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 31, Tuesday August 12, 2008



On A Different Note

A matter of choice...

Relationships are pretty easy, when you come to think of it. But at times they can be complicated too. In fact, most of the times we find it puzzling. We seem to get lost in the never-ending maze of complex emotions and vague feelings, not knowing what to do. Is it that when a relationship becomes a burden, we can neither nourish nor can throw it off our shoulders? Or maybe it is our expectations, realistic or imaginary, that creep up in our minds from time to time reminding us whether the relationship is worthwhile.

Every kind of relationship comes with its own potentials and responsibilities. Whether it is social, economical, political, or psychological there is an interest attached to every relationship. And being a man of conscience no one can deny that. The more we are aware of the pros and cons of the relationship alley, the better we can navigate through it. But then again, it's not always easy to get hold of the facts. It requires a lot of dedication and perseverance as well as sincerity and understanding. So a relationship lacking any of these can't really make it through.

For a relationship to sustain it is essential that we set our priorities first and try to stick to them. We are often so engrossed in our own worldly affairs that we overlook the minor expectations from our partners. Well, minor issues are obviously minor when regarded individually but not anymore when they mount up with each passing day. Agreed, it is not always possible to take care of the small details in this fast paced life, but these details are the real essence of a relationship helping the bond to grow stronger.

So, when it comes to priorities, which one do we put forth? There are issues, the bigger ones like our career and commitments that involve the world… to make it a better place. And there are issues that deal with the relationship itself, the relationship with our loved ones, the ones we care for. For some of us, our world evolves around our dearest ones. The slightest smile on their face makes our day brighter and filled with heavenly bliss. But we often falter when it comes to choose between our career and relationships. The biggest blunder we make is by taking our beloved ones for granted, assuring ourselves that they will be there forever. So we hardly pay attention to their needs, the need for a little time to share their thoughts. And when confronted, we get away with the excuse that whatever we are doing is for their own good. But the reality is, we work for our own interest, for our fame and success. As a result, the relationship dries up and eventually dies even before we realise.

Therefore, it is very important that we live up to the expectations of our loved ones. And it is not easy. Some pundits said that the hardest thing in this world is to make someone smile. It is obviously appreciated when someone is successful but a special someone is also needed to celebrate that success with. If we keep on climbing the ladder of our career, we would reach the zenith for sure but the peak is always too narrow to accommodate two people. The word 'best' is always singular. So at the top we are alone leaving our nearest ones somewhere behind. And our conscience would ask if the sacrifices were worthy enough. And the answer that lies within our heart is always a no- no matter how materialistic we are.

Even after saying all these, it is not suggested that a person should not be highly ambitious and career oriented. Undoubtedly he should be, but he should also know how to balance between personal life and work, prioritizing the relationships more.

After all, we all turn to our dearest ones to be ourselves after putting off the masks at the end of the day. And that's all that counts.

By Shakhawat Imam Rajeeb


Either rule or follow

From the time we open our eyes in this world, we cry out loud to gain attention, to belong somewhere. At first we adapt ourselves to the way our parents raise us at home and then we change to fit ourselves in school and other new places we go to. We keep taming ourselves to fit the various circles of people classified in the name of culture, religion etc. The society keeps drawing lines on many individual dreams…wait a minute, but who is this society and who gave them the right?

Many of us have forgotten our own dreams to make others happy so that we are accepted by others…we make others's dreams as our own and try to live up to it. For example, many parents, right from the infant age of their children, keep drilling in their head what career paths to choose, so how will that child have a dream of his/her own when he/she has been always fantasized about that thing only? Why do parents want to make all decisions for them? They want to make their children 'acceptable' in the society.

But what is “acceptable” and who defines it? This is not only in terms of career but also when it comes to selecting life partners. Even if parents accept their child's chosen partner they try to hide the fact from their relatives and other family friend. In some cases the children, especially daughters, just give in to whoever their parents have chosen for them for the fear of being criticized or insecurity as it is less likely that they will get support from their parents if they don't follow their will; that is they are scared of being responsible of their own decisions. They are so dependent on their parents for making each and every decision for them that they are not confident enough about.

I know a lady who married the one she was in love with and got divorced and later on got married to a different man. People criticize her and make faces upon seeing her, besides; gossiping is a favorite pass time of the Bangladeshis. She just did what she felt was right for her and faces the world boldly. Because divorce is not a common practice in our Bangladeshi culture, this lady has become the scorn of the entire community. Why is it that sometimes following your own heart builds up so much of insecurity in yourself? Is it the fear of being alienated from the society? Doing something different from the norm has always been criticized.

Some people are scared to experiment with life; they just want to make the perfect decisions. Unfortunately, mistake is a Homo Sapien's trademark. It's us who make up this society….the bold ones are the ones who makes the rules and the rest just follow. It's just because some people have taken up the challenges of life, there has been changes in our culture or else it would have been just the same as our ancestors. If you believe in yourself and think you are right you should be bold enough to live your life. The struggle for belongingness will continue forever; don't live your life in the fear of others instead be a ruler!

By Zion Ara Hamid


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