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    Volume 9 Issue 32| August 6, 2010|

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Write to Mita

Dear Mita,
I work in a place where everyone smokes. I have never been a smoker but lately, when I watch everyone step out for a smoke when we take breaks from work, for tea and a smoke, I feel left out and want to be a part of the group. I never had anything against smoking and am wondering if I'll be able to relate better to my colleagues if I take up the habit now. Do you think this a good enough reason to start smoking?

Dear Non-Smoker,
This is not a good reason at all to start smoking. Don't even think about it, leave alone do it. On the other hand you should persuade your colleagues to quit smoking. There is a lot of information available on the negative impacts of smoking, share it with them and tell them it is not only a bad habit, it is suicidal!

Dear Mita,
I have a colleague who is always making inappropriate jokes in the workplace. Everyone else takes his comments lightly and laughs them off but I find myself feeling uncomfortable around him. I don't want to ask him to stop because that would make me seem like a spoilsport but I do wish there was a way I could make it clear I don't want his comments directed at me. Please tell me how I can do this.

Dear Uncomfortable,
Have you discussed this with any other colleague? Who knows, they might also be feeling uncomfortable but are not showing their displeasure for some reason. Speaking up against inappropriate jokes or behaviour is not being a spoil-sport. You have a right to choose what kind of conversation you want to be a party to. You should talk to some colleagues discreetly and then confront him privately. Tell him frankly and truthfully that you don't appreciate such behaviour.

Dear Mita,
I am housewife who loves Hindi serials. I watch almost every show on Star Plus and Zee TV. Recently, my family has been complaining that I don't have enough time for them because I am always in front of the TV. I have been neglecting my housework, my children and my friends and I did not even notice until it was pointed out to me. I think the serials have become somewhat of an addiction but I am hooked. I cannot sleep well at night unless I am up to date on my shows. Please tell me how I can get over this.

Dear Addicted,
We all enjoy some serial or the other at certain time. There is nothing wrong with it, actually they can become rather additive. But this does not last very long if you start to use your brain and think how archaic, old fashioned, traditional and unrealistic the characters are. Most of them are demeaning to women as they are always expected to be self sacrificing , timid, dependent, silent, scared with no guts. Some of the serials are good but only for a certain time, as soon as they get extended for too long, the story starts to become ridiculous.

You should distract yourself with other interests. Visit friends and family during serial time, watch a good movie with the family, go shopping. Anything to take you away. As soon as you miss some shows the addiction will weaken. Most importantly, think rationally whether this is worth spending your precious time on.


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