Saturday, November 2, 2013

Ask the Expert

Inspired by Ask-the-Experts columns by Suhel Seth (for Telegraph), Pooja Bedi (for Delhi Times) and several other experts, my friend too decided to try himself on this counselling business. He started the same job long back but then no newspaper or magazine was ready to publish him, so he approached me quite saddened by his failure to launch a life-counselling career. Hence, I am helping him by lending a space in my blog to publish them.
I am 28-year old guy working in one of the trashy offices (as probably no one else would give me a job). My problem is that there is hardly any intellectual talk in the office. All the time, everyone is talking about how many houses they have bought. They discuss square foot rates of the next coming apartment that they are planning to buy. They earn four times my salary only through renting out their apartments, some from the houses they bought while some from the houses their papa bought. For that large sum of money, they really need not work hard as they already have taken post dated cheques from tenants. 
While I keep sitting spending 70 percent of my salary in my education loan, my parents are also pushing me to buy a house and save a lot of money. While I am able to change topics with my parents, my office colleagues are quite a mess. I try a lot to ignore them but then they are too loud to ignore. Please help.
                                                                                                                        - Gaurav S (Gurgaon)

My friend, I think your problem is not quite unique. Lot of young people like you (who assume that they are intellectuals) render other talks to be trashy. However, if you are an intellectual, you must be smoking pot often. If not, stop considering yourself an intellectual.So in each smoke break in office, try and find a corner where you can smoke up and after that read my columns. You will also start finding rhythm and music in the real estate talks of your friends. This will surely help.

I am a 26-year old Gujarati girl who is currently working in Mumbai. My problem was quite trivial and hence I did not ask bigger experts who are published in newspapers. My place (like all other places in Mumbai) is quite tiny. My bathroom is so small that I can't even open my arms fully under the shower. But then that is not my problem. 
I have two shelves in my room. In one of the shelves, I have kept my books. I treasure that shelf a lot. In other, my mom who visits me once a month has kept some idols of God, a coconut from Siddhi Vinayak temple, a 500 ml coke bottle containing (holy)Ganga water from Haridwar. While my mom is very religious, I am quite an agnostic. My problem is that the bookshelf has been overloaded and I have no space to keep my other books. So I am always thinking of using the religious shelf. However, my mom does not allow me this. I always tell her to take it back to the place where she spends her rest 28 days in a month. Nowadays she retorts that once Narendra Modiji comes to power, girls like me would be behind bars for denying her Gods. I really see that coming and am quite scared. Help.
                                                                                                                                 - N. Patel (Mumbai)
I think only one of the Gods can help you in this. Try sprinkling some Ganga water from that 500 ml coke bottle on you or definitely on your mother. Sense will prevail probably.

Address your issues to me at Please remember to add your name and city of address at the end of your question.
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