Circa 2004. Forever on the move as a professional journalist, I decided to leave Mumbai and take up an offer with a newspaper in Pune. I had visited Pune earlier, but I had never lived there. During my brief visits to the city, however, what I had loved was the weather – and the relative absence of traffic on the streets.
During my decade-long stay in Pune, I came across individuals who were in relationships that were a step short of marriage. Several of them matured into marriages, while others ended in breakups.
Among those who had broken up were ones who had dated people outside their caste and community – but chose to follow traditional norms while getting married. Eventually, I was convinced that not every Puneite was comfortable with the idea of marrying someone who didn’t come from the section of society he or she was from.