Bhagavad Gita and Management

Dear Asha,

I am 25 years old and just finished my graduate studies. I have been dating my boyfriend for about 5 years now and I recently told my parents about him. The reason I waited to tell them was because they always said I needed to finish my education before I ‘settled’ down, plus like many Indian parents they don’t believe in dating. My mother likes him a lot but my father won’t give him a chance. My father is upset because he didn’t find my boyfriend and insists that I meet boys that he thinks are suitable. How can I show my father that I have already found the person I want to spend the rest of my life with? I want to be respectful to his wishes but I feel like he is being unfair.
– Lost

Dear Lost,

Choosing a life partner is a difficult choice but it’s a choice that you must be comfortable with. It’s great that your mother is being supportive, and perhaps, she would be willing to help you explain why you feel this person belongs in your life. Your father is trying to do what he thinks is best for you, but you need to explain/show that you have thought about this choice and are aware of alternatives out there. You should be patient but firm with him. Hopefully, he will come around with time and open-mindedness. Everyone deserves a chance.

– Asha

Dear Asha,

I’m a recent immigrant from South Asia. I have come to the United States for work, and I cherish the opportunity to thrive in the community. However, being what they like to call “FOB,” I am sometimes unaware of social etiquette and appropriate behavior. For example, I was at the mall yesterday with my male friend, and I tried to hold his hand. He responded by telling me “No, that is not acceptable in this society.” How was I supposed to know? Also, I was recently told by a co-worker of mine to use deodorant. In my home country, using deodorant is not used daily. How would you suggest that I proactively learn about the social norms of America?


Dear FOB,

I appreciate your desire to succeed not only in the workplace but also in Western society. There is no one place to find all of the information, and so, each situation must be dealt with case by case. I would enlist a colleague or close friend you feel comfortable with and simply ask them to give you a crash course in some of the Western ways of life. For example, one of the first things I tell all of my relatives or friends that come from abroad about deodorant. Also, you can pay close attention to your surroundings as well as the behavior of your peers. By being observant and eager to become part of your new surroundings, you are taking a step in the right direction. I wish you the best of luck, and while it may not be easy, many generations have faced the same problem. Be patient.

– Asha

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