We matched on tinder. I thought I had hit a jackpot. Her profile seemed like she was an accomplished woman who had travelled and hobnobbed with important people. I am attracted to successful, strong woman types. Someone who knows the ways of the world. I feel it would cover my lack of experience and naiveté.

So we decided to meet at the local chai shop. I told her I can only afford to treat her a tea/coffee for the time being. She said she loved tea. So we met. She was wearing yellow, she looked dignified. I liked the strong character she exuded. We started talking after I ordered some tea for us. I was relieved that she didn’t ask for food and was okay with just tea. Budgets are tight. There are bills to be paid, and insurance premiums which are overdue.

She sensed my unease, she asked me “what’s was bothering you?”" I told her, “you know money matters. The pandemic has really depressed the economy so much. No one really wants to talk big money now.”" She said she knows. I chided her “come on, what do you know? You are educated abroad, have children and are also married (but not getting along). You seem to be doing quite well, your Instagram profile is you hobnobbing with celebrities which poor blokes like us only get to see from a distance.''

She said she was completely broke, she had not paid her medical insurance, had stopped paying life insurance and had to move to a smaller house far away as she had defaulted on rents and was thrown out. Her good for nothing husband was jobless since 2015. This came as a blow to me. I asked “how is it possible?'' She says the public Instagram persona doesn’t tell the truth, but she confided as she thought I was in the same boat.

She said, lately she had discovered a way to make money via tinder. She would meet married men and have sex with them and then ask them for money. I got really angry at this point. I told her why would she do such a stupid thing???? She said, we women have our bodies which men find valuable, otherwise, we cannot go out like men crushed by the locals and do jobs like blue-collar men do. Our bodies fill our stomachs and pay our children’s fees. She said she knew many women who were now trading their bodies due to pandemic induced job losses of their spouses.

I said, “but why did you agree to meet me.'' She said, well your Instagram profile said you live in Bandra and I thought you were a rich guy from the way you talked. So I thought let’s meet and check out.

My life changed after this meeting, I wished I hadn’t met her. I think about all those women who are doing this, and it is giving me sleepless nights. When men lose jobs, women sacrifice their honour. It is high time we talk about jobs and ask the governments about employment figures.

| ** Note this is a fictional story, I am yet to go on my first tinder date, my profile doesn’t scream moneybags**