Blog Posts by Rummana Ahmed

  • Are you faking it?

    Are you wearing a mask?Meg Ryan had said in 'When Harry Met Sally', most women at one time or another have faked it and I guess that's alright, we don't want to hurt the people we care about  and so we sometimes pretend that we are having a good time. But some people take 'faking it' to a completely different level. Here are some instances:

    My childhood friend had a very difficult pregnancy, where her movements were completely restricted for nine months. Now, her little boy is over a year old and she desperately wants a break, to go for a short trip and have some fun. But her husband just refuses to facilitate the process where he will take some time off to look after the child. What surprised me was the fact that though my friend sounded desperate for a break, she kept saying that because she is the mother, the onus is completely hers to make sacrifices for her little one. Which book on motherhood stipulates that a child is not as much a father's responsibility as hers?

    Another friend of mine used to love

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  • How to positively deal with a break-up

    An end of a relationship is always painful irrespective of the fact that whether it was your decision to call it quits or it was the other person who decided to move on. No matter how old we are, a break-up hurts as much as it did the first time; probably the only thing that changes is that we get better at coping with a heart break.

    If you type "dealing with a break up" on your search engine, it will throw up 49,300,000 results in less than 30 seconds. We are desperate to find a way to mend our broken hearts. We might binge on chocolates, get drunk every night and spend a bizarre amount of money on shopping but does that dull the pain? Momentarily, may be, but at the end of the day when you curl up in bed alone, do the tears still trickle down?

    Someone had once told me that when you really love someone, you never really get over the person, what happens is after a while you get used to their absence. Post break-up you think about the person all the time, a week later you probably

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  • How Open Are Our Marriages?

    In today's world where gender dynamics change everyday, relationships are being redefined. There was a time when the only man/men a married woman knew outside of her husband were her brother-in-law/s but all that has changed. Men and women are increasingly meeting new people at their workplace, in social circles and at other informal interactions. How does this impact the man-woman relationship and more specifically, marriages?

    For a very long time I thought that open marriages were a totally western concept. So one lazy Sunday afternoon, I sift through this lifestyle magazine during my pedicure session and stumble upon this article on open marriages in India. Surprise, surprise! So-called taboo topics like open marriages and swingers clubs seemed to be the buzz word among urban young couples.

    View: Couples in open marriages justify their choice as a more pragmatic approach to deal with infidelityand the shock and trauma that the significant other goes through.

    Gone are the days when

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  • Are you insecure in your relationship?

    Insecure about your partner's friend?My friend Irra from school called last evening; she was in tears, her very loving husband of the past one year has asked her to give up her childhood friend of the last 20 years. Why you ask? Her friend is a guy and her husband is just not comfortable with the rapport the both of them share.

    Needless to say, I was outraged and thought of many improper things to say to her husband. That would have just added fuel to the fire, so I spoke to her for a little while and told her that I am sure she can explain and allay his insecurity. She told me she had tried explaining to her husband that had she actually been in love with her friend she would have married him instead. That discussion obviously did not go down well.

    To get a different perspective on the issue I asked another friend of mine who is a modern-day Gandhari when it comes to making sacrifices in relationships. Her take was very different from mine, according to her, compromises were integral in every marriage and if your spouse

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  • We are always ready with our labels

    The wild girl gets nothingWhile our opinion about the cinematic merits and demerits of the film 'Cocktail' might differ, there's no doubt about the fact that the subtext of the film was as regressive as it can get. The 'adarsh bharatiya nari' (good Indian girl) always gets the guy is the most clichéd premise in Hindi cinema but the fact that a film made by Imtiaz Ali and Homi Adajania actually conforms to such stereotypes is irksome.

    My colleague, Sayoni Sinha says in her blog, "Women in Hindi films are portraits of what Indian filmgoers expect women to be. The images confirm their belief in the weakness and pliability of Indian women." Like Rajyasree Sen says in her blog on Firspost, "You can be independent, self-sufficient, a really good friend — but hey, if you drink and wear small clothes, you ain't worth shit."

    We in India love putting labels on people. A girl who drinks and smokes is bound to be "loose" (read, a slut), a girl who openly talks about sex is bound to be promiscuous (you know, the

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  • When do relationships need an exit strategy?

    Time to say goodbye?My latest blog post is inspired by a status update that my friend put up; he says, "If you want to have a happy ending, you got to know when to end the story...." No matter how precious your relationship is, an exit strategy is imperative.

    I am not a big fan of sharing relationship advice and quotations on Facebook but this one aptly explains my point, "At some point you will realize that you have done too much for someone, that the only next possible step to do is to stop. Leave them alone. Walk away. It's not like you're giving up, and it's not like you shouldn't try. It's just that you have to draw the line of determination from desperation. What is truly yours will eventually be yours, and what is not, no matter how hard you try, will never be."

    Often I have heard friends complain about how badly they have been treated in relationships, how they always attract the wrong kind of people and how people just exploit their naiveté. The truth is that some of us allow others complete

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  • Every special relationship needs time and care

    Why friends are importantWhen I wrote my last post on how some important relationships become irrelevant, a lot of users were of the opinion that a good friend should be accepting of all the follies of the other. I don't think that logic really works. We are selfish beings and if we say that we expect nothing in return for the time, energy and emotions we invest in relationships, I don't think we are being completely honest.

    Special relationships may not be a rational investment and we do not expect tangible returns but we definitely expect companionship and our friends to be with us when we need them the most. Why else would quotes/ideals on friendship always have "forever" as a prefix/suffix? Yes, it's true that there are friends that you can talk to after years and still pick up exactly from where you had left it. There are other friends that you might never need to meet at all, one long chat and you can re-establish the connect. But then there are others: who tell you how terrible their day at work has

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  • Why do some important friendships become dispensable?

    Ever wondered how some relationships that you hold so close to your heart suddenly seem completely irrelevant, how you just can't relate to someone who was once your soul sister, how there's a complete disconnect with friends who you once shared an almost telepathic connection with?

    My colleague was just telling me the other day, how she can no longer have a normal conversation with her childhood friend. Every time she tried having a coherent conversation, all her friend could talk about was the latest trick her three-year-old was up to.  She had so much to tell that she had no time to listen to my colleague. You might say, "Oh c'mmon, there's nothing wrong with being an indulgent mother." No, there's nothing wrong with being indulgent about the apple of your eyes but are we so busy obsessing about our little wonders that we have no time to listen to a friend who probably just needs a patient ear?

    My cousin had a friend who was so indispensable that after a point he too became family.

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  • How to prepare for motherhood

    If you think it's time for you to start a family and you are
    prepared for the responsibility of a new member in your life, there are a few
    other things that you should consider before you start expanding your family:

    - Before you start trying for the baby, it's always a good idea
    to go for preconception
    . Your gynaecologist is the first person you should see before
    you start planning a child. It's always a good idea to get a physical
    examination done before you start panicking if it takes time for you to

    Also, fertility
    among men and women seem to be on a rise and it's always advisable
    to get a complete health check done before you lose time wondering what's going
    wrong every month. Sometimes, small problems can be cured by simple medication.

    Read: Pregnancy
    against all odds

    Diet and nutrition - A
    is essential while trying to conceive. Green leafy vegetables, like
    spinach, rich in iron and calcium should be a part of your

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  • After You Say ‘I Do’

    My brother-in-law who loves initiating debates on contentious issues sent a mail last week and suggested this as a blog post. If you haven't clicked on the link, it talks about how women nag husbands and the 'alarming statistics' that reveal wives actually nag husbands 8,000 minutes a year.

    Whether what they nag about is justified or not is for a later post; today, let's find out why married couples fight. And how we can avoid these sometimes nasty outbursts.

    My colleague Khristina wrote this interesting post about the things you should ask before tying the knot. While I completely agree that it is important to know what you are getting into, nothing prepares you for the shocks/surprises of married life. No matter how many questions you ask, you are never prepared enough for the roller-coaster ride called marriage.

    So here's my take on this 'wonderful' institution and all that comes with it!

    Expectations: At the risk of sounding like a pessimist, keep your expectations to the

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