Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 3, Issue 47, Tuesday July 11, 2006



Handy hints


In this our age, the high and mighty 21st century, so much stands for man to be proud of. It has leapt forward, yes it has mankind, with people making people (cloning), the discovery of very shy weapons of mass-destruction that expose themselves only to the nationals of one country, mobile phone companies coming up with package after package of convenience and most strikingly, the ability of human beings to commit themselves fast into relationships and flutter out of them at an even swifter rate. Now as desirable as the aspect of speed may be for browsers and space ships, in this particular scenario, it gives birth to alcoholic Romeos and wrist-slashing Juliets- to whom I address this article.

Act I: So what if some Tom, Dick or Harry suddenly decided that they did not want to 'spend the rest of their lives' with you, even though things were going so well wedding attires and children's names had been decided by the end of two weeks? This is but one part of life, one person who feels this way and only one entity that has closed its avenues for you. One of the most important steps is to understand that hurt as it may or however true it might have seemed, this is really how insignificant one single relationship is (only pronounce it so when it has gone bad of course). Realising that your happiness is the only one in your world that cannot be sacrificed is the foremost and most crucial step to moving on. Unfortunately most people go into sulk hoping someone somehow will thrust joy unto them but the only real way to be happy is to want to be happy, and to want it bad enough to try and physically achieve this state of mind.

Act II: You've lost your significant other and the last thing on your mind is discussing it. Wrong! As hackneyed as the saying may be, talking does help. When something as unpleasant as this occurs, people spend days bickering over whose fault it is, trying to justify one's own actions and point fingers at the other's, crying and lastly chalking out the terms and conditions of the 'break up'. The only good this does is exhaust the poor brain cells (that warned the heart not to get into it in the first place) and clog your mind. Confiding in someone or perhaps penning down feelings in a journal or the likes for some, is not only a means of letting out bottled up feelings; it also helps to make matters clearer. With many a reason leading to the lapse and days of continuous arguments, the whole issue tends to get a bit hazy and messy even to the persons directly involved. Give yourself a breather and don't allow related thoughts to torture you for a day or two. With a fresh and relaxed mind, seek someone out thereafter and pour your heart out. You'll be amazed to find that once the conversation gets rolling, your own narration of the events that took place will make you realise things that you didn't before and present everything to you in a more organised and easier-to-discern manner. Moreover, you are allowed the opportunity to step out of the story and listen to it being told as if it was someone else's and once you understand exactly what happened, how it happened and why it happened, reasoning makes it all more acceptable.

Act III: Well done! Now that you have decided it really isn't worth it to put your life on hold and brood over someone that cared enough to leave you in your miserable state, the next pressing concern is what exactly must be done. Although the most common practice is completely shying away from everything and everyone sensible, seclusion is in fact the biggest no no. Keeping busy and diverting yourself is the most effective way to forgive and forget so try and engage in as many activities as possible with as much company as is available. Even though it seems impossible that anything else will reign supreme in the priority list of your thinking process, once you throw yourself into something constructive and time-consuming, the brain is left with little choice but to oblige. For instance, allow yourself to be dragged to the movies with a group of friends and once plots unfold, good looking men (or women for that matter) brace the silver screen and popcorn is aimed from the top rows to unsuspecting spectators below, having a good time is not optional.

Act IV: Although this is the ideal way in which heartache should be dealt with, it is not a cure-all magic potion. With all the above being done, only patience is left to be resorted to because there is no wound great enough for time not to heal.

Like Rachel once said in a Friends' episode, 'This my friend, is what they call closure!”

By Subhi Shama Reehu

The Ideal Marriage

What is an ideal marriage? Is there really such a concept? For years now, people all over the world have been contemplating how to make this concept a reality. Love marriages, arranged marriages and recently even marriages between the same gender have all been tried -but none have been able to reach the desired objective. Maybe we are just searching for the wrong things. Instead of searching for the ideal marriage we should be searching for what makes us happy.

An ideal marriage can never be reached through strict, rigid rules and regulations- it depends more on the level of understanding and compatibility between the partners and also to what degree the partners can understand each others' needs.

In the case of arranged or love marriages, the wedding should take place on more balanced grounds rather than based on a spur of the moment decision. Many of the teens of today may not need this advice, as they are well aware of bank balances even when in love.

A primary hindrance in the path of a happy marriage is third person interference. It should only be allowed when the situation is beyond control. Couples should try to solve their problems between themselves, within closed doors as much as possible. The more people that know about your problems, the more they will try to counsel you and it's less likely that there will be anyone taking a neutral perspective on the situation. As no one knows your spouse like you do, you are most suitable to judge the situation yourself.

A marriage should always be more about giving and sacrificing without any selfish motivations, but then again this should never be one-sided. Men have to be equal contributors in making a marriage succeed. The women in our country are expected to sacrifice everything and men tend to take it for granted. Only recently has it been established that the male gender too has to share in the sufferings of being a homemaker and lend a hand in home chores from time to time. People are finally realizing that maintaining a home is no easy task.

Another vital problem that instigates family quarrels is when both partners tend to take advantage of the each other. Just because you are married does not mean you should not stay fit and polished for your partner's eyes. Many spouses let go of their weight and looks once they are married, but that should never be the case. You should meet each others' needs in all matters, so that neither has to look elsewhere for happiness. It is not only in terms of looks, just because you live together doesn't mean all your time has to be spent together. You have your whole life together (365 x ?)- give each other some space! You can have your own private time to spend with friends, relatives or even alone- at least once a week. This will make the time you spend together even more precious and there won't be any need to lie to meet up with friends. Come up with a mutual arrangement and it will make both partners feel better.

Communication between the partners is essential. If you feel uncomfortable with anything your partner is doing or saying then just talk it out! Tell him or her what you dislike and what you would prefer them to do. Harsh words of truth may hurt at the beginning but if each partner is willing to work at their faults, think of what a happy marriage it would be. Silently fretting and not talking to each other, going away to stay with your parents will only make it worse. Never walk out of the house after a fight. Stay separate sometimes after mutual agreement as a little refreshment but never for more than a week. In most cases women leave the house to intimidate the partner and do not want to come back until they are cajoled, but it would be wise for them to remember it's their house too, and they can come and go any time they like.

Actually there is no such thing as an ideal marriage. Ideals are always things we hope to achieve but rarely meet. What is most important for you is for you to know how to find contentment in your relationship. Think less of what he or she does not have and more about what others don't have and you do. Learn to forgive some faults and patiently teach new traits that would please you. Nobody is perfect and this is the person you have chosen to be your life partner. It is up to you both to create a life worth all the struggles and hardships, a life worth living.

By Aziza Choudhury

Random thoughts

One heart with two pieces

One summer afternoon, I was playing with my little pots and pans, pretending to cook some delicious meal with green leaves and red flowers. My Baba called me, and took me in his lap. He told me how he had one heart, but two pieces in them. I looked at him with confusion. He told me they were my brother and I. These were the two pieces he had in his heart. He hugged me and kissed me, and let me carry on with my cooking. His eyes were watery and I did not know why.

I was only five then and could not understand what he meant. As I grew older, I knew exactly what that conversation was about. That summer afternoon was the most precious moment any girl could ask from her father.

I have cut a piece of my heart. This piece belongs to my daughter. She is so much to me that I cannot explain it. There is nothing to say, but that she is a piece of my heart.

By Iffat Zia



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