They don’t have time for me at all

My parents are over-protective. This has affected me so badly that my confidence to deal with society has not developed at all. I am not able to mix in society. Also my dad has a bad habit of drinking. This frequently results in fights with my mom. They both quarrel so much that I don’t remember them ever sitting near me and talking a few kind words with me. They don’t have time for me at all. This has affected me and I have had to drop out from college. I have no urge to study. Please help me.

Your letter makes for painful reading. An alcoholic father is a terrible burden on the family. Your mother is the first to bear the consequences of an abusive and drunken husband and this affects her relationship with you. You feel helpless and lonely in a moment when you need the support and love of your parents in order to concentrate on your studies and plan your future. The consequence for you is “depression” and loss of interest in your studies. The only hope is that someone whom your father respects may get involved in this situation and help him come out of the alcohol addiction. This person could be a religious leader, an elder in the community or a close relation. If you know any such person, talk to him of your family problem (maybe along with your mother) and try to get help. Last, but not the least, turn to God in prayer asking for the gift of healing your father from that harmful addiction.


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I’m in love with my dance teacher

Last year I went to a dance class and my dance teacher became my friend. I took his mobile number and after leaving my class I began talking to him. I know him very well and now I’ve fallen in love with him. I share all my secrets with him and he does, too. But when I told him that I love him he told me that I might get someone better than him and ignored me. After that I never told him so, thinking about our friendship. He is my best friend. What can I do?

I believe you went to a dance class because you wanted to learn to dance, but soon you forget about dancing and rather concentrated on the dance teacher! From making him your “friend” you ended up falling “in love with him”. At the age of 16 you are not yet in control of your emotions and feelings and got infatuated with him. Fortunately, that man did not take you seriously and did not take advantage of you. The best thing you can do now is to leave the dance class in order to put an end to this hopeless situation. I am sure that your dance teacher will be happy if you do that.


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She’s ruining her image

My close friend is dating many boys at a time. She believes that having an affair is common. She says she’s not emotionally attached to any of her boyfriends. But in reality she’s over-possessive of each of them. She thinks she’s just being practical to have a short-term relationship with any guy while actually she is ruining her time and image in society. How do I bring my friend on the right track?

Your friend who “is dating many boys at a time” is playing with fire the fire of her own and those boys’ emotions. You are right in believing that “she is ruining her time and image in society”. Her reputation among her friends will get spoiled and, sooner or later, also her parents may come to know, with painful consequences. I appreciate your desire to bring your friend “on the right track” but no one can change someone who does not want to change. I suggest you could speak about this situation to a school counsellor (if available) or to a good teacher who could open a dialogue with her and give guidance.


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We’re from different communities

I’m in a relationship with a guy since a year. I’m just 18 now and it could be just an infatuation and this is not the time people fall in true love which is all about trust, sacrifice, commitment and maturity and selfless care. We belong to different communities and it’s clear what might happen in the future. He’s the same age as I am and has given up drinking and smoking just for me. We really do care about each other a lot. We understand each other’s problems and make each other feel good at bad times. We fight like kids and get back together like nothing happened. We scold each other about studies and health stuff. We respect each other and feel like life is so much happier when we have each other. I don’t know if its love but I’m very confused. Should I continue being with him or just let him go thinking about future consequences?

As you don’t know if the relationship with this boy is real “love” or “just an infatuation” I suggest that both of you keep it as a good and enriching friendship, without binding yourselves in love commitments which you may not be able to keep. The fact that you belong to different communities should make you careful and responsible as you do not live in isolation but in the context of a multi-religious, multi-cultural country like India. Did you discuss this problem seriously with each other? Try to build a common approach to this problem and adjust your relationship accordingly. You may “really feel like this is love” but your families and society may think differently and react negatively.


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I am really interested in computers and programming

I am a Std X. I am really interested in computers and programming. I want to know more about career options in this field. What’s the difference between a BCA and B.Tech, computer science? Which are the colleges or universities for this line?

Although BCA and B.Tech. are graduate programmes, both are entirely different streams of study. Bachelor of Computer Application is concerned with software designing, data base management and operational functions with the help of multifaceted data within a computer. However, B.Tech. is a professional degree course which incorporates technical subjects along with computer applications. The duration of the BCA course is three years whereas the duration of the B.Tech. course is four years.

B.Tech. has reasonably good employment opportunities. But after having a BCA, aspirants can only expect entry-level jobs in the IT sector. Most of them pursue the 2 years MCA program after their BCA. So it takes total 5 years while B.Tech. takes only 4 years.

All good institutes like IITs and NITs offer B.Tech. in Computer Science. BCA is also offered by many universities and institutes all over India.


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I want to pursue a career in engineering

I am Std XI student. I have taken PCM and want to pursue a career in engineering. I’m a bit confused between Mechanics and Architecture. I had thought about Architecture since I was 10 years old but I’ve been interested in mechanics since a few months. Please help me with the right choice.

Engineering courses require mainly maths and science skills. But for becoming an architect, aptitude is important. This job requires not only a creative mind (it takes more than just drawing pictures), but also good communication skills as you will interact with many clients. The initial earnings of an architect are not very high, because this is a field where a student has to learn a lot even after finishing the course. They may start with a salary of Rs.40, 000-50,000 a month. But after gaining experience of few years, architects with the right aptitude can earn quite a high income.


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I would like to pursue a career in Natural Photography

I’m a student of Std IX and would like to pursue a career in Natural Photography. What are the courses involved? Please suggest some good institutes in India. Is this a bright career option or not?

There are no formal educational requirements to enter this field, except for photojournalism and scientific or technical photography. But a proper training teaches broad technical understanding of this field and offers much needed practical experience with variety of cameras.

A good course my cover the following topics: Fundamentals of photography, Camera formats and applications (small, medium and large formats), Films and applications, Lights and Lighting (natural & artificial), Black & White photography and Zone System, Colour Photography and film processing, Digital photography and Post-production, Animation, Photojournalism, Small Business Management, Television Production, Typography.

Photography is a part of the course in mass communication and is also offered as a branch of specialization in most art colleges in their Applied Art/Commercial Art degree programmes. Certificate and diploma courses in photography are available at polytechnics, universities and colleges.

Admission is usually only through interview. Different institutes have different criterion for admission. Some of the institutes are National Academy of Photography, Kolkata; National Institute of Photography, Mumbai;

Film and Television Institute of India, Pune; Fergusson College, Pune; Academy for Photographic Excellence, New Delhi, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi; Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Centres; Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.

Photography, particularly commercial photography and photojournalism, is a highly competitive field. Modern life education, communication, entertainment, marketing, and research and development all use visuals in so many aspects that there is a good demand for experienced, creative photographers.


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I’m interested in geology

I am a student of F.Y.B.Sc. with microbiology, biochemistry and nutrition. But I’m interested in geology. Is it possible to do any M.Sc. in Geology? If not, should I go for a double degree with geology? Or is it better to waste this year and again start my degree with geology?

Generally, eligibility for M.Sc. Geology is B.Sc. (Hons. Geology)/ B.Sc. with Geology as a subject along with any two science subjects like Physics/Chemistry/Botany/Zoology/Environmental Science/Mathematics.

However, the rules for admission vary from university to university/institutes. Some institutes even require maths in 10+2 level. The percentage of mark requirement also varies from different universities. Most of these universities carry out their own entrance exam to select candidates. So it is better to check the entry requirements for the institutes where you want to apply.

If a dual degree is available in your college, then you may go for it. But make sure that this degree satisfies eligibility requirement for a higher education in Geology.


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I am keen on pursuing journalism

I am in Std XI and currently studying arts. I am keen on pursuing journalism. What are the best colleges for journalism in India? Which entrance exams do I have to give? At the post-graduate level what are some good colleges in USA and UK? And what are the perquisites and the entrance exams?

Journalism is all about gathering and disseminating news and information. It is often seen as glamorous and exciting but, as with any occupation, success is only achieved after much hard work and routine activity.

Courses are available for those with 10+2 (any stream). Generally, institutes conduct their own entrance test followed by interview for the selection of suitable candidates. The objective of these tests is to judge awareness of current events and the essential skills required for a conscientious journalist. Personal qualities, rather than training, are more important for becoming a good journalist.

A good course in journalism gives you the chance to do an internship with some of the best names in business, besides teaching the basic skills. Some of good institutes are Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media, Bangalore; Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), New Delhi; Mudra Institute of Communications (MICA), Ahmedabad; Times School of Journalism, New Delhi. To study abroad, please contact the respective embassies.


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I am interested in a career in design and visual communication

I am in Std XI (Science) and interested in a career in design and visual communication. What courses should I take after Std XII and which are the preferred institutes for this?

Visual communication design is a creative field that includes graphic design, digital media and environmental graphics. Designers work to create design layouts, web pages and multimedia designs. But this field has a highly competitive market, so you are required to learn continuously and keep your technical skills current and your awareness of consumer and design trends up-to-date.

After XII, you can join National Institute of Design, Paldi, Ahmedabad for a 4-year professional course in Industrial Design. Selection is through a two-level entrance test. IIT Mumbai offers a 4-year B. Design.

Other institutes are ZED Institute of Creative Arts, Hyderabad; Symbiosis Centre of Design, Pune; Apeejay Institute of Design, New Delhi.


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He’s scared because of the age gap

I am a teenager and I love a guy who is five years older than me. He wanted to be in a relationship with me but is confused and scared because of the age gap. I don’t want a relationship at present but in the future if I want to, does a five-year age difference matter? Could it work out?

A five-year age difference does not really matter as long as there is a good understanding between two persons, mutual respect and common goals to achieve together. If you “don’t want a relationship present” tell him clearly so and ask him if he is ready to wait for you “in future” if you “want to”. It is possible that he may not be ready to wait for a long time and decide to find someone else.


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He thinks my love for him is fake

I am a 17-year-old girl and my boyfriend is 21. I am more focused towards my studies and my career and so at times I get so busy with all these that I cannot talk to him or send him any message. I tried to make him understand and he is very adamant and thinks that my love towards him is fake. Moreover, being older than me his level of thinking is a bit higher. Sometimes I feel very uncomfortable while chatting with him. He belongs to a well-to-do family but still he behaves like this. I love him but I love myself, too. I am confused whether I should continue with him or break our relationship? If breaking up is the solution then please suggest a good way of breaking up without creating any more fuss.

The problem is that your boyfriend seems unable to compromise, to find a middle way between your relationship and your personal life. He thinks that you already belong to him and should be in constant contact with him, neglecting your duties as a student. A possessive man can make you a slave after marriage. The fact that “he is very adamant” makes this danger very serious. If, after sharing with him your desire to be allowed to focus on your studies and career, he does not accept it and insists on you focusing on him alone, then it is better for you to choose freedom and break up this relationship. If your parents know about this relationship, they can also talk to him and make him aware of his mistake.


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He proposed to me; I rejected him

I collapsed into deep trauma when my boyfriend expired about three years ago. In course of time I managed to drive myself out of this terrible situation. I met a guy a year ago and we are best friends now. He understands me, supports me in need and we are good study-mates too. A few days ago he proposed to me but I rejected him saying I am happy and satisfied with our friendship. And we are still the same crazy friends. Was my decision right in rejecting him as a boyfriend or does he really deserves when he asked for?

The experience of the death of a dear one is certainly one of the most painful in human life and you went through this experience three years ago. In the course of time you managed to drive yourself “out of this terrible situation”. Life goes on and luckily one year ago you found a new best friend, who understands you, supports you in need and is also good study-mate. Instead of rejecting his proposal it would be better to ask him for some more time for you to enjoy his friendship and know each other better. If all goes well you can finally accept his proposal together for the rest of your lives.


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She takes silly matters seriously

Last year, I didn’t tell my best friend about my friendship with a friend with whom I had broken my friendship before. I didn’t tell her because of some reason, but I couldn’t help telling her in the end. But that made her cries a lot and has affected our friendship. The friend about whom I didn’t tell her turned out to be a total jerk. We are no more friends now. My best friend says she has forgiven me, but I can’t forgive myself. I can’t face her like I used to. Moreover, she isn’t what she was before. She has become girly, unlike before, which makes it even harder for me to understand her. Please help! (P.S my best friend takes little matters very seriously).

There seems to be little understanding between you and your best friend. She is very possessive as if you belong to her and cannot be anything without telling her. Friendship is a free relationship built on trust and mutual respect, in which people are free to share their experiences and problems if and when necessary. Your friend now “isn’t what she was before” and it has become “harder to understand her”. Your friendship is going in the wrong direction; instead of bringing joy and peace it is bringing misunderstanding and sadness. Correct your approach or you will go on suffering.


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What innovations did Flipkart bring to the field of e-commerce?

           Flipkart is accredited for innovations that served as a model for other retailers that made online purchases simpler. Flipkart was the first to introduce the system of ‘Cash on Delivery’. This payment method allowed the customer to pay the bill when the shipment was delivered and was later adopted by many other e-retailers.

           Flipkart did understand the possibility of a customer not liking the product he purchased. So, they offered a 30-day return policy. This allowed the customer to return the purchase in case of damage or lack of satisfaction. Flipkart continued innovations with the delivery systems by introducing novelties like same day delivery and scheduled delivery.

           In 2012, Flipkart shook the markets with the introduction of its mobile shopping app. Within four years of introduction, it became the first Indian mobile app with more than 100 million registered users.

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