Dear Diana,
My mother has been battling cancer for the last six years. The doctors have now told us that the prognosis is not looking good and to be prepared for the inevitable. As I am the only child they want me to marry in my mother's presence. I am 25 and in no hurry to wed. How do I explain that I care a lot for her and want to be with her  in her last moments. But marriage is not what I am looking for to make her happy. Am I being selfish telling her that I am not interested in tying the knot for now?
- Babu

Illustration/ Satish Acharya

Dear Babu,
You find yourself in an extremely precarious position. Considering the situation at your place, very few people will understand it. Marrying to make other people happy is what a lot of people out there do. As you are the only child, there is the pressure that your mom should see her son well-settled in her life time. You don't have a girl in sight and your folks are looking for a suitable alliance for you. I can understand your anxieties that  marry in haste and then repent for the rest of your life. May be you should gently explain that you are open to the idea, and if there is someone on the horizon you gel with, you don't mind. But don't put a time limit or unnecessary pressure. If it happens good, if it does not, it's okay too.