Every person who has ever had a startup will relate to this, ‘My startup is my life and not part of my life.’ It’s the same for my co-founder Bhavyassh and me, we would do anything and everything to make our venture succeed. And this sudden exhibition opportunity in Gujarat turned out to be one such chance. So, like all dedicated company owners, we immediately began preparations for the exhibition, but I would have never imagined that this would cause a drift in my marriage!
To host the exhibition we needed manpower, and being from the beauty and wellness sector we thought it would be appropriate if we had a girl be a part of the team at the stall. But this wasn’t all, we had to steer towards hiring someone from Gujarat, Ahmadabad itself for reasons such as our female employees not willing to travel on such short notice, Gujarati being the preferred language and it would be more economical to hire someone in Ahmadabad rather than get someone to travel from Mumbai.
After we made a call to hire someone locally for the exhibition I got in touch with Jignesh Bhai (name changed) who was an event promoter. He had a list of young female employees looking for aspiring jobs. He was kind enough to share the list with me over a WhatsApp chat.
From there the chat went on something like this:
Normally, anyone reading this chat initially would have suspicious thoughts and that is what I realized while chatting with him. For example, he obviously meant to discuss the “rate” for the 8 hours that the girl would be working for our startup at the exhibition stall. Since he’s been doing this for such a long time, it must be a regular conversation for him that doesn’t look wrong. However, to someone else it looks… well, terrible! I felt a little odd with these messages and got a little paranoid since nobody knows what the future holds, this man could frame me for some random shit for all I know! I know, I sound really paranoid but I steered the chat in such a way that it clearly looked like I was hiring one of these girls for the exhibition for 8 hours. I told Bhavyassh about the chat and we laughed over it!
We were flying out that same night so I was packing my bag and my wife was just going through my phone helping me with a to-do list whilst I was busy stressing & making a mess of my bag. Amidst all this, she must’ve decided to casually scroll through my gallery when she stumbled upon pictures of the girls Jignesh Bhai had sent. You can obviously imagine her distress when she saw 21 young and pretty girls’ pictures auto saved on my phone. She asked me what these pictures were doing on my phone. I blanked out for a second for I was getting late to go to the airport and was already stressed out so I had already forgotten about the girls and the pictures. I’m sure those milliseconds were terrifying for her since she doesn’t really like the industry a lot and is a little emotional. I knew if I didn’t act fast she’d have an emotional breakdown and I’m pretty sure in a parallel universe she already did! I quickly then registered what was happening and immediately said, “It’s from a chat with Jignesh Bhai; one of these girls will be helping us at the exhibition! Here’s the chat!”
She looked at me with the scariest look I’ve ever witnessed, opened my WhatsApp and began reading the chat. I could see the relief on her face, and you can only imagine the relief on mine!
If I hadn’t replied to Jignesh Bhai the way I did and hadn’t reacted faster to my wife, I’m pretty sure I would’ve been divorced and not writing this article but sobbing somewhere on the side!
P.S: I obviously love my wife & my start up as well!