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     Volume 4 Issue 38 | March 18, 2005 |

   Cover Story
   News Notes
   Straight Talk
   Food for Thought
   In Retrospect
   Slice of Life
   Time Out
   Dhaka Diary
   Book Review
   Write to Mita
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Write to Mita

Dear Mita,
I am a 16-year-old girl doing my O'levels. I have fulfilled many responsibilities of an adult, including taking care of my problem-ridden family. Now I am in a trouble myself. I am in love with a 21-year-old man. He lives abroad and we've known each other for years. We expressed our love for each other a few months ago and he has done everything to make me happy. I wanted to marry him at a suitable age. He said he will wait, but due to certain circumstances. I want to do it right now. He is rich and from a good family. He will be coming to Dhaka and we have decided to secretly get married and he will again ask my hand from my family when he will be able to stand on his own feet. But I feel really bad about this. My mother trusts me a lot. I feel really guilty about the fact that I always share everything with her but now, when I am so happy, I can't share it with her. I know she won't accept it because I am young and haven't finished my studies. I want to be happy but this action will make my mother, who is the most important person in my life, feel that I am a disgrace to her. But don't I deserve a little happiness?

Dear Drowned,
Of course you are entitled to all the happiness in the world. However, you are too young to take this decision right now. You might not agree with this, but I will not advise you to get married secretly. You should definitely wait till you complete your education and both of you are matured enough to handle the responsibility of marriage. If your love is serious then it will survive all pressures and both of you will emerge stronger from this experience. It is not advisable to rush into this. Think very carefully about the consequences and wait.

Dear Mita,
I am a candidate of the upcoming SSC examinations in mid-March. I am an average student, but recently, a family problem has disrupted my studies. My father is having an affair with our maid. A few days ago, my mother caught him red-handed. Since then she has been at her parents' and refuses to come home. My younger brother and I are very lonely, and the thought of my father's disgraceful activities is very disturbing. I need my mother to be with me at this difficult time. I'm afraid my exams might be disastrous otherwise. Please tell me what I should do.

Dear Helpless,
By the time you get this response, your exams would have already started. I realise that this is a very difficult situation for you and your brother. However, you have to be strong and matured. Focus on your studies and take everything out of your mind. Keep in touch with your mother and see her as much as you can. Under no circumstances should you jeopardise your career by failing in your exams. This crisis in your family will pass someday but you have to build your career and your life and the most important thing at this moment is to do well in your SSC exams.

Dear Mita,
I live in a mess. There are many students like myself living there. I also have a good friend there. But I have noticed recently that he has changed. He has started smoking, and one day he was doing it in front of me. I told him not to, because it wasn't good for him. But he just went off saying that I wasn't his guardian and that he didn't have to listen to me. I was astonished at his response and now things are a little uncomfortable. Do you know of any way this problem can be solved amicably?

Dear M,
There is nothing much you can do if your friend is unwilling to listen. You should not push this too hard as he should take responsibility for his actions. If he wants to smoke and harm his health then let him do it, he will just learn the hard way. Some people do not listen till something terrible happens and your friend seems to be that way. If his friendship means a lot to you then just talk to him in a friendly way without appearing like a guardian. If he refuses to understand then just let it pass.

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