Please talk to him Kittu, Vikram is a very good boy. They are such great family friends, you know uncle and aunty since childhood, and he is so handsome too! This is as good as you will get!

Maa!! Don’t keep telling me about my worth all the time! I will speak to you later! Bye!

This was the 10th eligible groom Kritika’s mother was advocating for, with the discussion ending the same way. Kritika felt like she was in a pressure cooker, her mother demanding her to meet eligible boys, her boss demanding her to meet deadlines and the calendar running a race to her 28th birthday.

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She was all for marriage, she was in fact eagerly waiting for it, but on her own terms. Was it such a ridiculous demand to want a guy who matched her wavelength? Was she turning into a fire brand feminist like her mother was insinuating?

Her phone buzzed with a notification as she broke her reverie. It was her whatsapp, she winced as she saw it was a message from an unknown sender.

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“Hey Kritika! Vikram here, I hope I am not disturbing you, I got your number from Kavita aunty”. Rolling her eyes she wanted to reply, “Sure, you think I am sitting here jobless, sewing a sweater for my future husband at 3PM on a Monday, don’t you?”

But instead she sent, “Hey! Just here at work”.

“I wanted to speak to you regarding this whole marriage thing our parents have brought up”. She clicked on his display picture, she felt he had a genuine smile and he was with a girl in the picture, who she knew wasn’t his sister for sure!

“Sure, do you want to discuss this over the phone?”

“I would like to do this in person, but before that I want to get certain things out of the way. I don’t want to take this forward without letting you know about my situation”.

“Umm okay, what kind of situation is this?”

“I currently work as a consultant with ABC, you must have been told how I draw a salary package of 25 lakhs pa.”

She rolled her eyes, she had met enough of these braggers! She couldn’t believe Vikram was one of them. He came from a academic family where his IIM degree held more value than his salary package, so she was a bit surprised to hear this coming.

“Yes, I am was made quite well aware of it by mum”

“Right, thought so! Okay, so the deal is this, it’s all going to change!”

Curiosity took over disgust, her mind wandered all over the place.

“How so?”

“I plan to quit! I have been working alongside on a startup plan with a couple of my friends from IIM and we have reached a stage where we need to do this fulltime. And I have decided to take the plunge but I haven’t told my parents yet”.

That was a clean bowl there! She didn’t expect this at all.

“Whoa! Okay! Tell me more”.

“So, I have some money saved up but it’s going to startup and I am not going to be earning for a while atleast. Marriage isn’t what I am looking for currently but I really thought we could have something going on here. It’s going to be a tough ride, tell me if you want to still discuss marriage”.

Stable. Well earning. IIM Graduate. All those adjectives went for a toss. Her feminism was truly up for a test, would she be ready to support him, financially, emotionally? All that in an arranged marriage? Was it even worth it? Wasn’t this type of stuff reserved only for love marriages? She had to make a decision.

“Hmm, this is completely new to me. But let’s meet up. I love challenges!”

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