(Names changed to protect identities)
Both designers, we fell in love in college. Two years into dating we kick-started our design firm. She created content, I did the graphic design. We were excited, driven and had the skill set to know that we would succeed, it was just a matter of time. At night my tiny one bedroom was our love nest, and during the day our workstation. When we landed our 40th client we moved out of our apartment and into a rented premises. That day I proposed to her, she said yes. We celebrated with a bottle of champagne. At office we were a team of 5 and growing.
Both Ashna and I are strong headed, so sparks flew, but we suppressed our egos for the company’s good. And both of us worked our asses off!
A normal working day was about 13-14 hours long. But we couldn’t complain. Our company was in the seventh year, our marriage in the fourth year and work poured in from all quarters. We were refusing clients every week.
We wanted to expand our team so that we could take in more work, but we couldn’t find the right skill set and synergy; this wasn’t Mumbai or Bangalore. And then Ashna started complaining, of fatigue, sleep deprivation, joint pains. I didn’t get it. We were already short-handed. Isn’t there a time and place for everything? I wanted to tell her that we really couldn’t afford it right now. Besides, I was taking the clients’ fire. I was not happy. She was even less happy, both with herself and me!