Abida Mian's Blog

An outlier that's living, learning and being myself…

Archive for May, 2016

Goodbye Rich X

Dear Rich,

I had a knock on my door this afternoon. I saw Meena with tears running down her cheeks. She told me, that you died last night. I was in shock, still can’t believe it.

I knew you were ill, but you didn’t tell many people how serious your condition was. That’s the sort of person you were, very few got close to you. 

The last time I heard from you was at New Year. You appeared in such good spirits, I genuinely thought you’d be back soon.

When people say ‘life’s short’, you can’t understand this unless you’ve experienced losing people that mean something to you. I count you as one of them. 

Thirteen years ago, you told my mum that everytime I walked passed reception, I’d walk as fast as I could and never acknowledge you. My mum told you to look at me and say hello, because I was an intensely shy person. You took her advice, and I reciprocated. Over time, you slowly brought me out of my shell. Soon short conversations turned into hour long ones.

I saw you more than I would my family. Seeing your face after a long day made me smile. I could tell you anything, even my battle with depression, you never once judged me. I will never forget the kindness you showed me during the dark days of the aftermath of my dad’s death. You knew how insular I was, yet you put a big bunch of flowers and chocolates outside of my door. Not only that, you sent my mum flowers and a card too. That touched me. 

When you were about to finish after a long day, you still stopped me in the corridor and chatted to me for an hour at times. Remember when we joked that you met my dad all those years ago and he reminded you of yours. Both stubborn and socially inept, yet our mothers were extroverts. We often pondered, how can such opposites attract? I still wonder how such different people work as a couple 🙂

When my self-esteem took a battering, after being cheated on, you were there to offer me advice. Telling me to stop hiding, and enjoy life. 

I was privileged to have met you, Rich. You changed me for the better. Pushed me to open up, made me more comfortable chatting to strangers. 

Meena told me that you confessed to her your strong feelings for me a longtime ago. You never told me, but I knew. 

Thank you for your friendship, kindness, support and generosity over the years. Very few people get close to my heart, you did. My mum was also devastated to hear the news.

You were too young to be taken so soon. The world needs more of you not less. 

For you, I’m going to work really hard on myself to be a better person. I promise.

I’m coming to your funeral to pay my final respects, although dreading going through all that again. Why does it hurt so much when people that matter go forever?

P.s. I spent two hours last night downstairs chatting to Sanjay & Anthony, it got really deep involving a discussion on afterlife. Not sure what to believe. I guess you’re the only one that knows the answer…

Goodbye buddy. 

Lots of Love,

Abi xxx

My two favourites. Luiza’s leaving soon, she gave me this pic of you & her as a memento.

Quora Question: How can I make my boyfriend more classy and modern?

Her: My boyfriend of 6 mth. comes from a lower middle-class family, but for the past 2 years has been earning a huge package at a big firm. Still, he has some irritating habits: making small talk with rickshaw, taxiwallas and waiters; roadside chai; no knowledge of brands and being fine with any outfit.

My answer:

“He makes small talks with rickshaw, taxi wallers, even waiters, has roadside chai, has no knowledge of brands & is fine with any outfit”

Good grief woman, when I read your predicament with your boyfriend, within a fraction of a second there was only one conclusion I made:

He’s awesome, will he marry me!

You are a very lucky woman. He has it all, I would be proud to have such a grounded boyfriend. Good manners and respect for others is priceless, no amount of money can buy you that. He’s gold dust!

Being successful does not give you the right to degrade others you feel are ‘less worthy’ of his respect. These rickshaw drivers, taxi wallers, waiters are human beings who are hard-working, their success isn’t measured by how much money they earn.

One of my neighbours is worth £50 million, he doesn’t wear labels, and chats to everyone, I must feel privileged that he takes his time to talk to ‘poor neighbour’ me, and even God forbid the cleaner. Next time I see him, I will tell him not to talk to me, because otherwise that would mean he’s not classy. He suffers from the same ‘flaw’ as your boyfriend; both being genuinely authentic.

May I ask, what is it that you do? While he’s working his way up the ladder, one day, he may decide that he wants to ‘trade’ up to a more beautiful, successful, kinder woman, befitting to his ever burgeoning ‘classy’ status. How do you feel about that?

“he comes from a ‘lower’ middle class family”: this is another problem with your attitude right here. I think he’s a credit to his family. Unless you can appreciate him for the gem of a guy he is, then do him a favour, don’t turn him into a snob. He already exudes class. I can bet your bottom dollar, he won’t be single for long! 

Quora Question: Am I ready for marriage if I didn’t succumb to temptation?

Him: I’ve been in a year and a half relationship with my girlfriend. I’m 46. A few weeks ago I met a random girl, she invited me back to hers. We passionately kissed and played with each other, but didn’t get an erection. I think that must mean my mind was telling me I love my girlfriend? Is this true?

My answer:

Good grief Anonymous, you’re 46! When I saw the A2A, I expected this dilemma to be one of a young man in his teens/20’s. By the time you’re 30 and beyond, most people have had enough relationship/life experience to have been there/done that, to have not gotten themselves in this situation.

Ok, you asked for it:

If you were at the stage of marrying your girlfriend this is what would happen:

Hot girl flirts with you, obviously you’re flattered, but you respond, ‘thanks, but I’ve got a girlfriend.’ Finished.

By accepting her invitation, you are now crossing the boundaries of your monogamous relationship. There is clear intent on your part, no one is pointing a gun to your head.

– Scenario 1: you get to her door, but freak out, and call it off.

– Scenario 2: you enter her place, but get uncomfortable before you begin to ‘play’ with her. You leave.

Those two scenarios could at the very least salvage your relationship. You were tempted, but didn’t follow through.

How people define infidelity is subjective. Some men and women would say kissing is cheating, others would be less strict, and say only applies for intercourse.

What really struck me about your A2A?

You missed integral words out. Where is ‘guilt’, ‘shame’, ‘girlfriend’s feelings’ mentioned in your comment? I pay particular attention to the way someone writes. If they can’t authentically express their emotions, then to me that speaks volumes.

Perhaps, I’m being unfair, because you may simply not be that great at articulating your emotions.

However what you did include was the word ‘passionately’. I’m presuming, you were attracted to this woman, having ‘played’ with each other (let’s not be shy, this involved the genitals?) What you failed to mention was whether your erectile dysfunction was a consequence of performance anxiety (she was hot), or you suddenly came to your senses and realised you loved your girlfriend, and couldn’t follow through?

Moving forwards:

Your actions have eroded trust and security. Your girlfriend asks, “so did you have a good evening?” You: “not really, I was working late, then had a few drinks with friends.”

You need to work on intimacy in your relationship first, that’s lacking, before you even consider being in a position to consider marriage. Not for you, but most importantly for your girlfriend’s sake.

If failing to get an erection for another woman is how you define being ready for marriage, then you sure set the bench mark low. Quite frankly, she deserves better.

Quora Question: What makes a person adorable?

It doesn’t happen often, but when I do stumble upon such a gem, I’m always taken by them.

One such person was a colleague of mine that I worked with for a few years. He was my adopted little brother, and I nicknamed him big baby. He was placid, always smiling, pleasant demeanour, thoughtful (always running across the road to get me food when I was stressed, and had no time to go out), kind, showed a willingness to help others, never judgemental, could always see two sides to an argument, appeared confident on the outside but was shy on the inside/a little insecure, never in a bad mood, family orientated, disappointed in himself when he messed up.

Everyone knows that I have a soft spot for him, and out of all those I’ve worked with in a professional capacity, he’s in a league of his own.

The most adorable thing of all was at our joint office Xmas & his leaving do. A couple of weeks after the event, my boss told me that big baby had asked him to look after me, as he could no longer given he was leaving.

If I’m ever lucky enough to have a son, then I hope he’d turn out to be as adorable as him.

Thanks for the A2A, Pradeepta.

Kind regards,


Quora Question: How can I prevent girls from hugging me without offending them?

There are already many excellent & humourous answers on alternatives to hugging on here, mine won’t go down that route:

I think most women know when a guy isn’t openly affectionate. My boss won’t hug anyone, even colleagues that worked with us for years, and were leaving!

When he knew someone was going in for a hug, he would just extend his arm for a handshake. We all criticised him for that.

Some guys are ok with a woman going in for a kiss on the cheek.

If I’m honest. Over the years, all the men that are close friends or whom I’ve dated, are big huggers. That warm feeling of affection and emotional connection is second to none. If a guy can’t hug, that’s a big turn off/deal-breaker for me.

A woman won’t necessarily get offended, she’ll just assume you’re ‘closed off’. I have two brothers. The eldest hugs me so tight, and then lifts me up off the floor when he sees me. The other won’t hug me at all. He’s a very private person. They both love me, just have different ways of being openly able to express it. However, I do feel I’m closer to my eldest brother more because of it.

I do judge people on this. More because, I like a person (man or woman) to be comfortable with affection (giving & receiving). It’s a sign they’re an emotionally open individual. I must stress, it’s not a reflection of who they are as a person. For example, both my boss and brother, I would trust with my life.

If all else fails, just be honest. My boss makes it abundantly clear he never does hugs, that way no one takes it personally. I suggest you follow suit.

Thanks for the A2A, Saloi. Sorry, for my personal assault on non-huggers. I grew up as an intensely introverted child then switched in adulthood. Best thing I ever did was learn the value of being a ‘warm’ person 🙂

Kind regards,


Quora Question: What is the difference between the right guy and true love?My bf has everything that I ever wanted in a man, personality and looks. He respects me a lot yet I don’t feel comfortable enough around him. Why is that? I can’t speak to him openly though he does. Do I not love him even though I know he is the right guy?

Honestly. I think you’re lucky. You have what most of us would love in a partner. Personality, looks, respect and openness. That’s the holy grail 🙂

Why don’t you feel comfortable being yourself with him? Are you scared of true intimacy? Letting yourself go? Letting him get close enough to know your fears and insecurities?

How do you know if it’s true love?

Do you think about him when you’re apart?

How would you feel if he cheated on you?

How would you feel if you never saw him again?

Do you make an effort in the relationship?

Does he make you happy?

Do you make him happy?

Do you want to be with anyone else?

Physical intimacy: is there chemistry, or do you feel like you’re going through the motions?

I don’t know your age, but could you imagine spending the rest of your life with him, and having a family?

Do you want the samethings?

Do you share the same values?

Could you imagine anyone better than him?

Is he more than just a good friend?

Anyone that I let into my life, those are the questions I ask myself.

Benefit of years of being scared to be open, is that I’m now the opposite. If that person wants to ask me any question, I will happily give them a truthful answer. Whether it’s fear of letting him in, or not being in love with him, that’s really only a question you can answer, and not one I would wish to influence in anyway.

I hope you figure out what it is that you want. Think about it carefully though, guys like this, particularly ones that can openly communicate are rare. Give it time before making any rash decision.

I’ll leave you with something to ponder on. Anyone can be with the ‘right guy’, but true love is unconditional. If I met him, he would be someone, I would put before myself. I’d always want the best for him…



Quora Question: How do I visit my girlfriend in long distance relationship if her parents are against it?We’ve known each other for ages and since then we’ve been talking every day, we get along so well, it breaks our heart not to see eachother that often. I’ve first met her in March in Easter vacations as I saved up enough for the plane.

Him: Thing is, she lives in another country and her parents don’t know english, and they say this relationship is a mistake doing everything they can to make our lives a living hell. As she’s still 17, we’d have to wait till next April although I’d really love if I could make her a suprise this summer, I just don’t know what they might do. They even got her a job for the whole summer so she won’t have that much free time..Help would be much appreciated!

(I’m 19, we’ve been dating for little over 8 months now, we skype, call, text everyday)

My answer:

“I know in my heart that I’ll never find someone as perfect as her, and she knows it too, everything would be perfect without them”

I’m not going to put a dampener on your relationship. Deep down, I’m a sucker for romance.

Don’t be too hard on her parents. I know it’s incredibly frustrating, but like you said, they don’t speak English, and as far as they’re concerned you’re a stranger living in a different country. That’s their daughter. They’re just being protective parents. Oh s***, just realised I’m getting old talking like this 🙂

Seriously though, long distance is a challenge, particularly at your age. However, if you really do think she’s the best thing that’s happened to you, then be smart. Don’t antagonise her parents. Play the long game. Over time, they may come to realise that you’re serious. You can’t wish for her parents to not be a part of her life, that is unlikely to happen, and is not something someone who loves her would want.

There’s not much you can do until she’s independent, living her own life. In the meantime, just keep the momentum going, continue chatting everyday. Even if her parents got her a job, still go and see her. I’m sure she could spare sometime, however short that is. When you’re crazy about someone, every second with them counts.

Thanks for the A2A.

Good luck,