It was a hectic day; I had to travel more than usual to reach my target. It was as if the economic downturn was hitting my work as well. People were less reactive as if they had lost their feelings altogether. My work was at times very very challenging, stiff competition, the economic downturn, pressure of keeping up to the life style and the commitments I had were making me go crazy. I believed in work life balance and so never told or discussed about work with my wife Shreya. We got married after falling in love 3 years ago; we loved each other even more as days passed. Shreya was a home maker, though she didn’t like being at home, I preferred that because I did not want her to find out how hard I was working. I made sure that I fulfilled all her wishes. She was happy, but at times she got upset because I hardly accompanied her to public functions. It was a bright sunny morning of early November, November 7th 1999 to be very precise and the Y2K problem was at its peak and many software companies were worried about their future as to what will happen on 1st Jan 2000 , since many software firms were pessimistic about their future, retrenchment was at its peak. Many would lose their jobs and few their lives as well because they won’t be able to fund their commitments, but I was definitely not among them, job loss had not let me down. I was 25, when I got into this new business and was at work when I saw Shreya. She was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. At that point of time I was so busy with work that I couldn’t keep track of her for long. I decided that I would take a day off to follow her tracks. I was bold enough to take steps immediately, what may come. I believed in myself and never regretted my decisions and finally I approached her, let her know about my inclination to her. She was shocked because no one had ever spoken to her so politely even after knowing her past. She was also a victim of the society factor; I was too, so I ignored that part. We started spending more time together and after getting to know each other better we decided to get married, she understood enough and promised not to ask about my business after I promised her that I was not doing anything illegal. After marriage, like a typical married guy I had more commitments than before, I had to work even harder. A few months later, from the savings from my earlier job and help from my friends I bought a new flat and moved in. I was very punctual with my work timings. I made sure that I reached home 8pm dot and spent the rest of the evening with my love. Usually I started at 6am, reached my first changing point before office. It was a small room which I had taken for rent which I used as a meeting place with friends and business partners. My work was such that I had to plan a lot. The environment in which I was working was very stringent, for instance no mobile phones were allowed. One incident to prove the strictness of rules is, when I was on duty, my mobile phone rang, I had forgotten to switch it off, the moment it rang, people around me were so shocked and they looked at their mobile phones and I guess they were thinking either mobile phones were a pain these days or were thinking how much technology has become affordable. I couldn’t afford taking it out, I just started looking around as if to find whose mobile was it, but guess they were not interested and I lost business during that trip. Technology was an important part in my life, I had to keep track of my business, stay in touch with my partners and more important keep my business a secret. Another important aspect of my business was to present myself. I had to do it in the best possible way in order to get business. People did react to my looks, in fact only for my looks and nothing else was I paid, like peahens that got attracted to peacocks, but the only difference here was that both men and women were equally attracted. My job as such had many constraints; another one to add is the co-existence with the fellow workers and the authorities. At times the authorities acted up to their name and did not let allow me do my business in their area. Despite so many problems there were a few good things about my business, one of them being free travel. I had the right to travel for free in buses and trains, even in the first class and I got paid extra for that. Patience was another important aspect in my business. There were situations when the outcome of my work was not that very fruitful, but I never got dejected, I worked even harder. It was worth the money, It was as equal as working for the World Bank, no income tax “what you earn is what you take”, I was really happy about this part. I was also planning to diversify my business from the usual work area. I was planning to venture into new locations. I was even planning to bring in few partners, partners who had good reach in their area and also utilize their talent and techniques for the development of the business in my area. After 45 mins of travel I reached my room, changed myself, thought a little bit about how to develop my business and then headed back home in my bike which I usually kept at the rented place. I reached home in another 15mins. Shreya was waiting for me at the dinner table and welcomed me with a wide smile, her smile was the thing which made me work harder and harder. We ate our dinner and discussed a little about our future. Shreya was asking me if the downturn was affecting my business as well. I kissed her forehead and reassured her that everything was fine. She fell asleep after a while and after thinking for a while I forced myself to sleep. I got up a little late next morning. Timing was very important because I would lose customers after the peak hour, so I hurried up, reached my room, prepared myself for work and started from there. In 15 mins I reached my work place. After praying to God I started my work “ Amma, thaaye dharmam pannunga……aaiya..dharmam pannunga …” another hard day to go!!!!!!!!!