MY FAM­ILY, MY FRIENDS AND ME...

Q& A

Woman's Era - - Contents -

I AM THE FOURTH OF THE FOUR CHIL­DREN MY PAR­ENTS HAVE AND

am their only son. Since my par­ents had waited a long time for me, they pam­pered and spoilt me and so did my sis­ters. While I en­joyed this I also en­joyed do­ing what­ever my sis­ters did and this was per­haps why I learnt cook­ing with them from my mother. I was good at it and my mother soon be­gan to taunt my sis­ters that I was bet­ter at cook­ing than they were!

I con­tin­ued to like cook­ing and be­gan to ex­per­i­ment with new dishes and soon I be­gan to be the one who cooked when we had guests. And when visi­tors oohed and aa­hed over the food, my mother and sis­ters would laugh and proudly tell them that I had done the cook­ing.

My fa­ther was the only fam­ily mem­ber who did not praise my cook­ing. He would frown at my sis­ters and tell them to learn to cook as well as I did and also scold my mother, but my sis­ters would only tell him that the woman I mar­ried would be a lucky woman. I ig­nored both the ac­co­lades and went on pur­su­ing my hobby.

Soon cook­ing was more than a hobby for me! It be­came a pas­sion! In fact, it was, I de­cided, what I wanted to do the rest of my life! So, with­out telling my fam­ily, I ap­plied for ad­mis­sion to the most fa­mous cook­ing in­sti­tute in the city

To my re­lief, I was called for an in­ter­view and told that I would be asked to cook some­thing and to come pre­pared. I went pre­pared and to my great joy, I was on the se­lected list when it was dis­played a week later.

I went home feel­ing that I was walk­ing on air, imag­in­ing how my fam­ily would and proud be happy when I told them about my achieve­ment. But when I tole them. My fa­ther was the first one to be­gin to ber­ate me and then he re­minded me that he had given me a form to fill up for ad­mis­sion to en­gi­neer­ing col­lege. He then scolded my mother and sis­ters for hav­ing en­cour­aged me to cook. Then they too be­gan to scold me!

Now I do not know what to do. I know that I will never be happy as an en­gi­neer – and that I will only be happy as a chef. I also know that cer­tainly my sis­ters and that even my mother would have no ob­jec­tion to my be­com­ing a chef if my fa­ther dropped his de­mand. But I also know that he is a nar­row-minded man who re­ally knows lit­tle about what is go­ing on in the world. I will never be­come any­thing but a chef and if nec­es­sary will leave home and go away. I have money that my grand­fa­ther left me and I could do this. But I do not want to do such a thing. Please ad­vise. Do not think of do­ing any­thing dras­tic like leav­ing home be­cause you should in­stead fight for what you want. Start by first get­ting your sis­ters on your side. As young peo­ple be­long­ing to your gen­er­a­tion, they are likely to un­der­stand your feel­ings best. Tell them about your deep de­sire to be­come a chef and, if they find that strange, ask them find out about this ca­reer and about males tak­ing it up. Once they are con­vinced, ask them to help you by talk­ing to your mother and fa­ther.

Stand firm in your in­tent and you will cer­tainly get your par­ents on your side.

I GOT MAR­RIED FIVE YEARS AGO TO A MAN WHO HAD LOVED ME

and whom I had loved since we had both been in class four. We were both the same age but he was bet­ter than me at stud­ies and was also stronger and bolder than I was. So I did not feel as if we were the same age but in­stead felt that he was older than I was. So I did not un­der­stand why my par­ents fret­ted over the fact that I wasn’t mar­ry­ing a man who was more ma­ture than I was and who was set­tled in life.

But I un­der­stood their worry by the time I had been mar­ried a year and had a child. A child is, af­ter all, a big re­spon­si­bil­ity and I dis­cov­ered that, while. I was ready for this re­spon­si­bil­ity, my hus­band was not. He had a good job and was mak­ing good money and he wanted to go out and have fun – not to come home to an ex­hausted wife and a cry­ing baby!

Now I feel that my mar­riage was a mis­take and that I should have mar­ried an older and more ma­ture man – in fact I have even found the per­fect man whom I should have mar­ried! This man is a neigh­bour and is 15 years older than I am. He doesn’t keep in very good health and so works from home and I came to know him when some months ago, he heard my daugh­ter scream­ing non-stop and came and knocked on my door and asked me if any­thing was wrong and if he could help. From that day he has been my friend, philoso­pher and guide and we have be­gun to love each other. My hus­band does not know about him and I do not feel guilty about this be­cause he had not been be­hav­ing well to­wards me.

Now the man I love wants to have sex with me and to marry me. I too want to do this. Should I go ahead?

Surely you know that though you can have sex with this older man, you can­not marry him till you di­vorce your hus­band! And to do that is a long and ex­pen­sive process. You will need a lawyer and will need to have a rea­son to di­vorce your hus­band and the rea­son can­not be that you want to have sex with an­other man.

You should also ask your­self if you re­ally love this older man or if you are at­tracted to him be­cause you are lonely and feel­ing help­less and he is of­fer­ing to look af­ter you. Both you and your hus­band were too young when you got mar­ried and you had a baby when you were too im­ma­ture. But that can­not be changed now and what you both need to do is to grow up and face the re­al­i­ties of life.

You should now have a frank and hon­est talk with your hus­band (you need not tell him about the older man) and dis­cuss how you will deal with the prob­lems you are fac­ing. You should also take the help of your par­ents in look­ing af­ter your child.

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