It was during my final year of studying law in Delhi, that I met Jai. During my term break, I decided to skip our annual family vacation, and instead use that time by taking up an internship. For one, an internship during the final year would’ve looked great on my CV, and two, given my commendable academic performance during all three years of college, it wouldn’t be too difficult to get an internship at a reputed law firm. So I applied and soon got an acceptance for a 6-week internship at one of the most reputed law firms in Delhi for corporate law.
My internship started at their swanky office in Nizamuddin. I was to assist the lawyers in their cases, conduct research and coordinate and communicate with clients as well. The first case was with this client named Jai. I had been communicating with him over phone calls for the first week and finally arranged a meeting to discuss details of the case. I expected a middle-aged man, but to my surprise, it was this seriously sexy man in chinos, loafers and navy blue blazer. His look in a stubble was to die-for, and it looked like in his late 20s.
It was like a Christian Grey moment for me. I maintained a professional front and went about the work just as I had been directed to do. Over the 6 weeks, I worked on Jai’s extensive case and received a great recommendation from the law firm at the end of my internship. However, in those 6 weeks, apart from the case study, I had learnt so much about Jai. That he was a 29-year-old guy, who was an engineer by education but had joined his family business right after he completed his studies. He was once in a long-term relationship which lasted 4 years, after which he had purely focused on work and thrown love out of his life. But more importantly, I realized that he was as attracted to me as I was to him, and speaking to him daily had become a habit for me. Soon after my term began, he asked me out and I said yes.
He was a great guy to be with - mature, with a strong personality and highly driven. At the same time, he was quite sensitive too, and all of this was a pleasant change from my past boyfriends. We both had one thing in common – the ambition to work hard and make it big in life. Our relationship carried on smoothly for the next two years, that is, my final year of college and first year of my job at the law firm I had interned at (yes, they offered me a permanent job!).
Then came a major speed breaker in our relationship. Jai proposed marriage to me. Honestly, I was not ready for marriage. At 24, I had just started my career and there was a long, long way for me to go. The “M” word scared me to death and I was far from ready for marital responsibilities that came with being a wife and that too, in a joint family. And no, it didn’t mean that I loved Jai any less or that I didn’t see a future with him. But the fact was that I could not sacrifice my career (as it would require a lot of commitment and crazy work hours from me during the initial years), for love. As cold-hearted and calculative as it seems, I was not planning to marry till I was 28 at least. And as for Jai, he was well established, and 31 by then, the love for me along family pressure to get married, made him take the next big step and propose to me. I said a subtle no and told him that I deeply loved him.
I tried to explain to him my reasons and urged him to give me two more years to get more settled into my job. Jai questioned my intentions of choosing work over love and in his opinion, both could co-exist. At that moment I realized that as much as he loved me he did not truly understand my ambitions and how important they were to me.
Heartbroken, he just kissed me on the forehead and left. And I never saw him again. I had to break my boyfriend’s heart, because I was not ready for marriage. As painful as this break up was for me, I’m glad that I was honest with Jai, as a future based on such a great compromise from my end, would’ve been devastating for us both.
* Names changed to protect privacy
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