Home  -  Back Issues  -  The Team  -  Contact Us
    Volume 11 |Issue 05| February 03, 2012 |


 Cover Story
 One Off
 Human Rights
 Food for Thought
 Photo Feature
 Special Feature
 Write to Mita
 Star Diary

   SWM Home

Write to Mita

Write to Mita

Dear Mita,
I am a 25-year-old man living with my parents. I recently completed my MBA from London and have moved back to my parent's home in Bangladesh after 6 years of being away, to help my father with his business. After I moved back, I started noticing things about my father that really bother me. He has always been a very dominating person, and I guess it seemed normal to me when I lived here. I suppose being away for so long makes me look at his behaviour with fresh eyes and what I see is quite disturbing. He is extremely rude and condescending towards my mother and pretty much dictates her life. He does the same to my sister and when things don't go his way he is verbally abusive with all of us. Sometimes the things he says are so harsh, they stay with me for weeks and I can't imagine what it does to my mother. I am always afraid he will have an outburst at work and humiliate me, but outside our home, he acts like a completely different person. I really want to stand up to my father and protect my mother and sister from his vile behaviour, I just don't have the courage to do so and I feel like I'm less of a man because of it. Please tell me how I can be stronger and address this problem with him.

Dear Torn,
Unfortunately, belittling one’s wife or female members of the family is very common in our culture. I am very sad to say it, but unfortunately this is the truth. Men have a superior status in our society and believe that they can do, say or act in any way they please. This is the result of the pampering they get from family and society since their birth. Your father is the product of that same culture. He is no worse than others and does not even realise that his behavior is hurting or humiliating to others. You are an adult now and must stand up to your father. There is nothing to be afraid of and you are no longer dependent on him. However, please remember, whatever you do, always be respectful as he is your father. Start by making small protests, engage him in conversations about dignity, respect, etc. Don't try anything confrontational in the beginning. Most importantly, talk to your mother and sister and bring them in your confidence.

Dear Mita,
I've never thought of myself as a jealous person, but lately I have been having these intense irrational feelings that I can only describe as jealousy. I am jealous of every girl my boyfriend is friendly with. I am jealous of my colleague who gets more attention from others than me. I am jealous of my friend who just got married and is expecting a baby. I have tried everything from counseling, meditation and yoga to constant self-reprimand but I cannot control these feelings. I am always unhappy because of this and I just want to run away from it all and be normal again. What can I do?

Dear Invidious,
There is nothing called a jealous person. This is a result of your insecurity. For some reason you are insecure about your abilities, looks, relationships etc. This trait will disappear when you build your confidence and start to believe in your self. No amount of yoga or meditation will help if you don't have faith in your abilities. Try to analyse your feelings when you feel jealous. Think about it objectively, you will find that these are due to some made up notions that have no connection with reality. Please get out of this rut and tell yourself that you are no less beautiful, competent or capable than others.

Dear Mita,
My name is Russel and I recently came back to Dhaka after two years of studying abroad. I changed a lot during my stay there. For instance, I started drinking, smoking, going out with different girls and basically did a number of things which would seem very 'fast' or 'unconventional' to my conservative family. As a result I have to kind of hide the 'real me' a lot and I just can't be normal in front of my family friends. Most of my friends from school have gone abroad so I mostly hang around at work or dread going back home. Is this normal? Or should I just blurt everything out and get it over with?
The Only Russel in BD.

Dear Russel,
This is nothing abnormal. Most boys, also girls who go abroad for the first time indulge in activities that they would not normally do. You should not think too much about it. There is no reason to blurt it all out. This is a part of growing up. The important thing is what lessons you have taken from this experience. Life is a combination of experiences, good and bad. As one grows older, one learns to gradually shun the bad and unwanted and accept the good. If you are able to do that then your time abroad has not been wasted. Your friends will eventually learn to see the real you.

Copyright (R) thedailystar.net 2012