Have you ever wondered about people (with names like Agony Aunt, Girl Shrink, Dr. Love and Bejan Daruwalla) who write relationship advice columns in newspapers? I always thought it was a miserable excuse for a career until I saw the fun part of it: stupid people get themselves into stupid situations, then write about it to major newspapers hoping for a solution in 200 words or less, thereby making their embarrassment public to millions of amused readers everyday. Come to think of it, it’s funnier than any comic strip that the newspaper might run anyway.
This is my attempt at recreating some of the typical letters and typical replies.
Dear Dr. Ill-Advised,
My boyfriend is hopelessly perverted. His complete moral corruption is just plain scary. Just the other evening, we were out on a romantic stroll on the beach when… when the bastard tried to hold my hand! Thankfully, I was well equipped to deal with this situation. I twisted his arm, dug my heel into his solar plexus, and then delivered a powerful roundhouse kick to his temple. When he collapsed to the ground, I took out my stun-gun and immobilized him. I might have overreacted, but the freaking pervert had it coming didn’t he? I was later arrested for attempted murder, but I feel the police force is full of biased male chauvinist pigs that turn a blind eye towards such potential crimes against women. The legal proceedings begin next week. What do you suggest I should do? – Chun Li.
(P.S.: Sorry, forgot to mention that I shot him twice with a sawed off shotgun that I carry in my purse too.)
Dear Chun Li,
All men are bastards, yes, and so what you did was totally called for. I’m no legal expert, but I think his being alive doesn’t help your case. You go ahead and slash his jugular vein right away because it’s the only way out. Look at Kasab: he’s killed people but he’s still chilling, isn’t he? I suggest you should hire his lawyer and do the same. All the best!
Hiiieee Dr. Ill-Advised,
So this is about my close friend whom I’ve known for 20 years. Of late I’ve been getting this feeling that he is interested in me. Like he keeps dropping these subtle hints, you know? I mean like he turned down a seat in IIT-B and instead took up commerce in Ruthumbara college just to be in the same class as me. Then like he turned down an offer to work for Google just to join Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri Jewelers where I work as a receptionist. Then like he comes over to my home every weekend with flowers and stuffs and gifts, you know? He’s also turned down marriage offers from many beautiful, intelligent girls from respected families for years now. I mean it’s crazy! I don’t know what to make of it! Then on my birthday this year, like he got down on one knee and was about to say something when my phone rang and I HAD to take it because it was my bestest girlfriend Dipshita calling me literally like after AGES, yeah? And like by the time I hung up, he had left. Well that was a bit rude of him, but I’ve forgiven him because he had left a diamond ring on the couch. So anyways, do you think he likes me or something? – Needs A Clue.
Dear Needs A Slap,
This could easily be the most predictable Sherlock Holmes mystery ever written.
Dear Dr. Ill-Advised,
My boyfriend tends to lie about things, or exaggerate them. This year, he forgot our anniversary, my birthday, and my dog’s funeral citing the following reasons:
1. “I was abducted by a mysterious inter-planetary intelligence that held me in a spacecraft and interrogated me through the weekend and dropped me back to Earth on Monday morning.”
2. ”The weather department has predicted a violent cyclone to sweep across the city and has instructed everyone to take shelter in the nearest sports bar.”
3. “I was suffering from a strange high grade fever that made me go out and watch a comedy movie with my friends completely against my will. And then it made me go to the nearest sports bar against my will too.”
Do you think he’s just making it up? – Truth Seeker.
Dear Truth Sucker,
It’s just horrible of you to doubt your innocent boyfriend like that. How could you? The poor lad is going through a disastrous phase and the least you could do is be a bit supportive, you get me? Here are the facts, in your face:
1. Alien abduction is a well-known, widely acknowledged fact that has been conclusively documented by credible sources such as Aaj Tak, India TV and Scientology. Haven’t you watched the X-Files series? Do you think Scully and Mulder, FBI agents no less, are lying about the aliens and the obvious government conspiracies? The truth is out there. (whistles the X-Files tune)
2. And again, are you out to question the Meteorological Department? Your boyfriend’s life was at risk there. He was only following the Met department’s storm-safety protocol by hiding in a sports bar. You should be proud of him for being such a law abiding citizen.
3. Yes, a certain strain of the fever virus is indeed known to make people go out and enjoy themselves against their will and remember nothing about it later. It’s basic patho-biology, for Alexander Fleming’s sake. I bet you don’t know who Mr. Fleming is. He was the one who discovered the famous antibiotic penis in 1928.
Dear Dr. Ill-Advised,
My girlfriend is an extremely loving and caring lady. She pays close attention to all of my needs. For instance, she picks out my clothes, decides what I should wear and when, instructs me how to behave in front of her friends, suggests what topics I should and should not speak on in public. She always makes sure that nobody harms me. She has helped me in choosing a career, advised me to stay away from my dad as he is a “negative energy in my life force” and also prepared a schedule for bi-weekly telephonic conversations with my mother. We never fight. Whenever I make a mistake, she gently points it out by shaking her head and patting me on the head and saying, “No! Bad boy! Bad boy! That’s not what a good boy does!” That makes me realize my mistake and I don’t do it again.
Despite such a perfect relationship, some of my friends have been hinting that something might be very wrong here. They used mean terms like “dominatrix”, “dictatorbitch”,“Taliban”, “Robert Mugabe” and “Kim Jong-Il” to describe my girlfriend and extremely negative terms like “pussy”, “fucking coward”, “pushover”, “monkey on a leash” etc to describe me. Thankfully, my girlfriend had already warned me that they were a bunch of jealous, cynical losers who couldn’t accept my happiness. How do I make my friends understand this? – Lucky Dude
Hello Fucked Up Dude,
Before proceeding with the attempt to resolve your problem, I would request you to take this simple test:
1. Move both hands behind your back.
2. Touch the center of your back with your fingers.
3. Move your fingers slowly up and down your back and check for a bony structure.
All creatures belonging to Kingdom: Animalia, Phylum: Chordata, Sub-phylum : Vertebrata possess a vertebral column or a “backbone” that distinguishes them from the invertebrates. Invertebrates are those creatures that lack a spine and are hence forced to crawl on the ground, often getting trampled upon in the process.
If your test results indicate the presence of such a vertebral column, then you must abide by the rules of evolution and learn to stand up for yourself instead of mimicking a fucking invertebrate earthworm that wriggles throughout its life before getting crushed under someone’s shoe. If not, then you are doing a great job of being a spineless earthworm and you must continue doing so.
Tired of being an invertebrate? Then eat calcium-rich foods and grow a backbone.
Hello Dr. Love,
I have been married for 12 years now. Back then, we were madly in love, fiercely inseparable and had committed lifelong loyalty towards each other. 12 years later, everything has fallen apart. We no longer love the same things that we did, have lost the mutual respect and trust that was once the foundation of our relationship, we hardly speak anymore. I can’t remember the last time we laughed together or enjoyed the other’s company. I knew my marriage was going downhill when we were having frequent fights, but now we don’t even bother with that. Apathy and silence have replaced anger and arguments. We live under the same roof as strangers, barely acknowledging the other’s presence. When I look at my wedding photos, I cannot believe that I was once that person: laughing, loving, happily married. I don’t know where things went wrong. I feel like I’m sinking deep within the waters and desperately gasping for breath every minute. Please help. – Depressed.
Oh God, that is the saddest thing I’ve read all morning. Well, the second saddest. The first being my stock portfolio. Man am I losing money like a bitch. Maybe I should sue the BSE for Sensex-ual harassment. Bwahahahahaha.
Erm, sorry, this column isn’t about my clever wordplay, but about your problem. So we’ll get right down to it.
As I see it, there are 3 things that have gone missing in your relationship:
-Initiative/attempt to change
Let me illustrate to you how these 3 points hold a relationship together with a real life example: Barcelona FC.
Just look at the magic quartet of Messi-Xavi-Busquets-Iniesta. Communication isn’t necessarily all about talking – what sets them apart is the surreal telepathic awareness of one another. Xavi doesn’t need to shout “hey Messi dude I’m going to put the ball over there, so you run and get it ok?” before passing. He just spots a gap and knows that Messi would make a run, and weigh his pass accordingly. Likewise, Messi times his run to perfection, beating the offside trap. Busquets, on the hand, stays back and holds fort, and occasionally runs and dives inside the penalty box with the grace of an Olympic swimmer. This kind of unspoken bonding takes months of patient understanding and acceptance of each other’s game.
Apart from this, Barca place a lot of trust in their youth system, much like Manchester United, delivering fresh crops of talented youngsters who understand the club philosophy and carry forward the same passion and love for the game as their predecessors.
And of course, most of all, it’s the initiative taken up by individual players that makes them world class, formidable, nearly invincible. No matter what the situation, it’s the desire that drives them to come back from seemingly impossible positions to trounce the opposition. Now that is something that Russian or Middle Eastern oil giants can’t buy or infuse in their multi-million plastic squads.
Unfortunately, the time to revive your relationship is long gone. It looks a bit like this now:
What the fuck do you know about relationships to play the armchair love-expert? Have you any clue what it’s like to love somebody? Do you know what being in love means? Do you even have a girlfriend? – Gotcha There.
Dear Gotcha Where?,
Ah, the age old “do-you-know-what-it’s-like” argument. Great work.
Did Eratosthenes go into space to accurately prove that the Earth is round?
Did Copernicus leave the solar system to predict that the sun is at the center of the solar system?
Has anyone actually been to the core of the sun or seen atoms to understand nuclear fusion?
Do you need to be Jewish to abhor the despicable acts of the Nazis?
Does anyone ever need to sit through a Shahrukh Khan/Salman Khan movie to know that it’s a pile of shit?
Sometimes, observation and intuition are enough to reach approximately accurate conclusions.
If you feel that you are a part of some mystifying, magical, exclusivist movement then it’s time to come out of your delusion. Sorry for bursting your cozy bubble. Good luck with your love life though!