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      Volume 10 |Issue 28 | July 22, 2011 |


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Write to Mita

Write to Mita

Dear Mita,
I have been friends with a group of people all my life. I've shared some of my happiest childhood memories with them. But lately, as we are growing older and entering into the real world of jobs, bills and relationships we have all started to change. We seem to have drifted apart, we think differently and we have all become very selfish. I didn't realise this until very recently, and it saddened me a great deal to think that the people I could once trust with my life have become no more than acquaintances. I see them occasionally at social gatherings. I feel very isolated and alone. I feel like I could no longer pick up my phone and call them whenever I want. I feel angry that I didn't realise what was happening until it was too late to stop it. Please tell me how I can reconnect with my old friends.

Dear Alone,
What is happening, although sad, is not unusual . It is only natural that as we grow older our values, priorities and way of life change. This is a part of growing up, a progression from youthful carefree life to one of responsibilities and competitiveness. However, this does not mean that the beautiful childhood memories of time spent together should be forgotten or rejected. Those memories will always be beautiful and precious. You have to find ways to rekindle some of those old memories which go beyond jobs, bills and competition. Your perception is they have become selfish, on the other hand they might be thinking you have become distant and cold. Remember, people don't have to be exactly alike to be friends. As long as you don't differ on some core values, it is alright to extend your hand in friendship. So go ahead , make the first move, for the sake of those beautiful childhood memories.

Dear Mita,
I have been working at this advertising firm for over a year now. One of my colleagues who happens to be on the team I'm in, has been making inappropriate remarks of a sexual nature whenever he gets a chance. Initially I was shocked to see that no one reacted to these obscene jokes and comments but after speaking to my other female colleagues I learned that they are offended but are afraid to complain to the team manager because he happens to be a favourite with him. This man does this quite openly and does not seem to realise how offensive and derogatory these comments are. I know there is an office policy against sexual harassment, which I think this clearly is. My question is, how do I complain about him without getting into my boss's bad books?

Dear Harassed,
Such colleagues survive and continue this kind of behavior because people like you and others keep silent. They should be exposed no matter what the consequences. You should bring this to the attention to your boss without delay. First, let him know in no uncertain terms that his behavior is undesirable and is tantamount to sexual harassment. If he does not stop then go as a group to the team manager, it does not matter whose favourite he is. If the team manager does not give this due importance then go to the top boss. It is your and our collective responsibility to prevent and report sexual harassment so that we may someday make the working environment safer for women and girls.

Dear Mita,
I am a 33-year-old divorcee working in an NGO. I am deeply attracted to a colleague of mine for the last two years. The problem is he is about five years younger than me and is about to get married to someone. The marriage has been arranged. I don't have any idea whether he sees me in the same way but sometimes the things he says makes me think he does. He always compliments me and kind of flirts with me. I don't know whether I should just go and tell him or whether I should suffer in silence. Please advise.
Silent Sufferer

Dear Sufferer,
There is no need to tell him or suffer in silence. You need to accept the fact that he is already committed to marry some one else. If he had any feelings towards you then he would have expressed it by now. Paying compliments and flirting is no indication of serious love or even affection. Please put this out of your mind and move ahead. I am sure you will meet someone closer to your age who will become your life partner.


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