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June 16, 2017
By US Desk

I am a 17-year-old and I have recently completed my matriculation. I am from a well-off family. Guru, my problem is my parents are from old school of thought.

My parents are so strict

Salaam Guru,

I am a 17-year-old and I have recently completed my matriculation. I am from a well-off family. Guru, my problem is my parents are from old school of thought. In this age where even school-going children have mobile phones, I’m not allowed one because my parents believe that I am not ready for it. They intend to give me a phone when I turn 25. Guru, my parents have put me in a very uncomfortable situation. I feel embarrassed going out with my cousins and friends as I am the odd one out. It’s not that my parents cannot afford to give me a mobile; it’s just that they are way too conservative. My parents keep a vigilant eye on my activities. I have an old laptop but I am only allowed to use it for one hour daily! I will turn 18 in six months but I still have to ask for my parents’ permission before opening the browser. I don’t want to be disrespectful to my parents but it’s becoming hard for me to live in a restricted environment. Tell me what I can do.

Needy One

Dear Needy One,

I think your parents are being over protective in your case. Their concern is natural but they cannot control your life forever. Well, I am also not in favour of giving expensive mobile phones to kid.  However, your parents need to understand you are not a kid anymore and soon you will be 18. You get your identity card and driving licence; you can even get married at 18, if you want to.

I suggest you talk to your parents on one-on-one basis and ask them politely why they think you should not have a personal mobile phone. What are their apprehensions? Tell them how awkward you feel in front of your peers. Unless you tell them, they will never realize what they are doing with their child in the name of ‘parental check’. You need to persuade them, give them surety that you will not ‘misuse’ your mobile phone and will only use it when required. It’s better to speak your mind than take extreme measures. You don’t need to be rude to your parents as they deserve due respect. And just relax; you will get your share of freedom with the passage of time. Till then be patient. Good luck!

I don’t want to lose my cats

Dear Guru,

I am a 14-year-old and study in grade nine in one of the prestigious schools of Karachi.  I am an ardent fan of your column and I wait impatiently every Friday to read Us. Guru, these days I am going through a situation. Actually, I love cats and I have three cats who are very dear to me. Now, the problem is my father, a banker by profession, has been transferred to Bahrain; it’s a good career move and we all are moving to Bahrain in two months, but I cannot take my cats along. There is a long tedious process and there are legal issues involved, too. Moreover, we are going to live in a small apartment and we cannot keep cats there; right now my father cannot afford a big apartment. Now, my parents have decided to give the cats away. For this purpose, they have already talked to few pet lovers who are willing to keep my cats. Guru, you have no idea how hard it is for me to let my cats go. I am very upset. I want to stay back with my cats at my khala’s house but my parents are insisting I should go with them. I don’t know what to do. Please help me.

Cat Lover

Dear Cat Lover,

I can understand your feelings for your cats but dear you have to think practically. You know it’s not possible for you to keep your cats with you in Bahrain, so it’s better to let them go. I know it won’t be easy for you, but then sometimes one has to take harsh steps against one’s will for better prospectives.

And, I think living with your khala in Pakistan is not a good idea. Right now, you are being emotional but later you will face problems. I think you should listen to your parents and go with them. Consider it as an excellent opportunity to experience a different lifestyle. So, get out of your sombre mood and say hello to new land with a smile. Good luck!