I was raised in a fairly religious household, and am aware that Man is merely mortal, but recently my mortality has been weighing heavily on my soul, particularly when I look at my parents and realize that my time with them is limited. I have trouble sleeping and sometimes wake up with a start in the middle of the night, panicking that my parents will probably not be around very soon, and that I, too must face the inevitable. It's getting to the point where it's hindering my work and daily life. Please help.
Dear Merely Mortal,
Tis true that life is fleeting and that we must live every moment to the fullest. Ergo, it seems to me a startling waste of time to sit around pondering its end when instead you should be celebrating its existence. It is woefully bourgeois of you to squander this so-called precious life of yours in meaningless existential agony when you could be massaging your aged parents feet and slurping down murgi rezala in the comfort of the familial abode. These actions would probably spare you much hand-wringing in the future, wherein you will wake with a start to realize that you could have enjoyed those last moments with your wizened folks instead of spending them worried about their passing. Lighten up, live a little, enjoy what you have before it is well and truly gone, and for God’s sake, stop boring everyone senseless with your angst.
I was one of those people who start planning their wedding as soon as they could walk and talk. Sadly, I never got the wedding of my dreams, and half a decade later, it still bothers me. All it takes is for my mother-in-law to mention the word wedding and it's enough to send me into a depressive spiral that can last for weeks. Will I ever be able to move on?
Dear Wedding woes,
It seems to be you really don’t have much going on in your life if you can spend weeks being depressed about something that never happened. And anyway, what difference does it really make, when all weddings eventually blur into one long trajectory of greasy biryani, expensive flowers and clichéd photos no one will ever look at again? Very few weddings in Dhaka are truly memorable, unless you have a crore or two at your disposal to spend on live animals and acrobatics to really set it apart from the rest.
Now, the real question is why are you focusing on a fleeting moment, the point of which was to signify the life to come with your beloved jamaii? Are you sad because your wedding was not the stuff of dreams, or are you despondent because your marriage is a nightmare? Perhaps you should focus on fixing the latter because the former is but a distant unpleasant memory. The better your marriage, the less it will matter that the wedding was not the three-ring circus that most celebrations are these days. Kindly leave the past where it belongs and start concentrating on how to make your marriage Instagram-worthy, so you can go to bed at night resplendent with the knowledge that everyone envies your life and not the ephemeral evening that most marriages don’t live up to in the end.
Dina Sobhan is a freelance writer, and cautions readers not to take her “advice” here too seriously!