Dear Acaricia May
I am a 23-year-old woman from a traditional Indian family. I respect my family very much and try to do my best not to upset them. The problem is I don’t feel very traditional myself, abortion and none of my friends are traditional. On weekends, salve we like to go out and have fun. I’ve started keeping some clothes I bought without my parents’ knowledge at one of my girlfriends’ houses. You know, more modern clothes like jeans and blouses. I wear my saris and my shalwar kameezes when I’m with the family, and usually change out of them when I’m with my friends. I even bought a bikini, which I have worn at the beach and at pool parties. The problems started a few months back when someone at the beach who my parents know saw me at the beach in my bikini. They called my mother and told her about it. When my mother asked me about it, I just laughed and said they must have mistaken me for someone else. She was very relieved. But then someone else saw me in tight jeans just the other day, and again mentioned it to my parents. Again, I pretended not to know what they were talking about hoping all this would just go away. My father went into a big long speech about the need for girls to be modest and the evils of jean wearing. Now I’m feeling I don’t want to live this double life any more. But I think if I told them the whole truth they would just die. What do you think I should do?
Anandi – Panjim
This is an age-old problem that is common in every society that straddles the netherworld between modernity and tradition. The character Jesminder in ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ handled it memorably, respecting her family’s traditions while at the same time working to gradually bring them to her side. It seems to me you have three goals: 1) To live freely on your own terms, 2) to live honestly without lies and, 3) not to upset your family. If you do No. 1 and No. 2, then perhaps No. 3 is not possible. And if you do No. 3, perhaps No. 1, living freely, and No. 2, living honestly, won’t be possible. Anandi dear, this is a tough one. But here is my advice: Do all three, but do it with sensitivity, like Jesminder did, and hope your family will come to accept your choices. Let them know that you appreciate their warm embrace, that you love them. And that you are also an adult with views of your own in a changing world. It might be a rocky road. But I think it’s worth a try. Good luck to you.
Dear Acaricia May,
I m 27yrs n i m havin a problem of pimple on my face n it luks horrible. I used many ointment but it does nt wrk. It luks very bad when every1 ask 2much of pimple u got. Is dis cuz of shaving? Ther is any way 2 cure it? Pls suggest me d cure 4 my pimple.
I d sex colmnst, not d drmtolgst.