“Handle difficult situations with calmness” 17 April 2011



Q. I saw the letter in last week’s ‘Emotions’ column from the girl with troublesome grandparents- I just want to reach out to her, and tell her she isn’t alone. There are others in her plight too, not that it makes any difference. My own grandparents are 85+ and 95+, and they are such trouble. They hate each other, so my mum is a permanent referee. My dad works 12 hours a day, so even when he’s at home he’s too tired to even talk, much less intervene. My grandfather has a persecution complex, and is suspicious of everyone and everything- he insists on my mum serving food in front of him to all of us from one dish because he’s afraid she’ll poison him. He constantly reads her mail, eavesdrops on her phone calls, and watches her even when she talks to the neighbors- he says she may be having affairs with anybody. My grandmother isn’t like him but she’s almost senile, she’ll watch CID and ask me why Amitabh Bachchan didn’t come this time. She keeps telling me to study, even if it’s 9 pm and I’m eating dinner. I feel sorry for my mum, she’s well educated, but cant stir out because of these people, and sometimes she’s so frustrated, she gets depressed. At these times, she does scream at me, but almost at once, she talks to me, and tells me, sorry darling, I’m just so uptight, and I took it out on you unfairly. Well, my own strategies to deal with these things – I read a lot, books are a great escape. I have a vivid imagination, so when it gets too tough, I go into my own dream world, and stay there for a while. I work out the hardest math problems I can find, it takes all my attention, so I temporarily forget things. I’m learning yoga, it helps. I listen to music, and recordings of ‘shloks’. These may work for you too, of course, they are only escapist strategies, but while we can’t leave the environment we’re in, escapism is the only option. All the best, and remember, nothing is permanent, this too will pass.
Ans. That is very good advice indeed! Thank you. It will certainly help other young girls to be more tolerant about their family members and especially old grandparents. Your mother seems to be a very mature person since she can understand that she is displacing her anger on you at times when she feels tired of the entire situation. That’s what makes you a mature little girl too! God bless you.


Q. I have just given exam of 10th Std. I now wish to have my career in genetic engineering. My parents even don’t oppose me for this. But now the real problem is that I have very little idea about this career. Have no back ground or information about this line. I have googled this but found no good information and so now I am very confused about this. I did decide to go for this line because this line offers maths, biology and chemistry and no physics! I have got good interest for maths and biology but no interest in physics. So what do you think-should I go for this or continue with simple engineering?

Ans. You can certainly choose a career you love. If genetic engineering appeals to you please go for it. You will have to choose maths, chemistry and biology for your 11th and 12th Std. It means that you can get rid of physics which you do not like. After that you need to appear for competitive exams for admission to colleges which offer the course of genetic engineering such as the IIT’s and many other colleges which conduct their own entrance exams. This information you can get on the net or from coaching centres. There are B.Tech and M.Tech courses as well B.Sc and M.Sc courses in genetic engineering. One important point to consider is that it is mostly a research oriented laboratory work and you should have the temperament for it too.


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