SWASAN OS – HER LETTERS FOR HIM
Heyy guys… I’m back with a one-shot after a very long time. I hope you like it..
It’s quite different than my other stories… A common topic though..
I got your letter. I’m so glad you’re alright. I can’t believe they didn’t allow you to take any electronics with you. The letters will be our only means of communication. They will also be the only thing to keep me sane. Ma has started to look for grooms for me and I think she’s chosen this one guy.
I really hope I don’t have to get married. I mean, not to someone other than you. My parents seem to like this one man, Vardaan Mehta. I don’t know why they don’t like you.
They say that you’re not, I quote, “of equal social standing and status and thus, not worthy” of me. Just because you’re in the army and your father is a hotel manager. I don’t know why they can’t see your kind nature.
I hear them talking about Vardaan and I now. They’re going on and on about how cute we look together. It just feels wrong when they talk about us like that. Oh, how I wish you could be here now.
When are you coming back home? Do take care of yourself.
Love, Swara (It’s been only one day and I’m already missing you)
I escaped as soon as I could to read your letter. I’m so happy that Ma and Papa are out for dinner and no one saw this.
I’m glad you’re safe. I understand why you can’t tell me what you’re upto and where you are, but baby, Please do take care of yourself.
Vardaan’s been busy lately with managing his trading company, so he hasn’t been stopping by as much. I’m not the one complaining though. Ma is making a huge fuss over the wedding date. I hope the hall continues to have a full schedule and no one bails at the last moment. Because I know my mother, and even if the only available date was tomorrow, she’d grab the chance and put something together quickly.
Ragini has been really sympathetic with me. She’s been encouraging me all the time, and I really feel better knowing that I can count on someone else, other than you of course.
I’ve got to make this a quick letter because I have to send it out before my parents get back from their dinner function.
You still haven’t told me when you’re returning.
Love, Swara (It’s day 5 now and I’m somewhat fine)
I hope you’re okay. The weather is getting pretty chilly here. I hope that isn’t the case for you. If it is cold there, Will you please take care of yourself and wrap up warmly?
Ma has started talking about keeping the wedding date 2 months from now. I tried protesting but Ma called me a “Childish and immature kid who has to throw tantrums everytime”.
I need you here with me now. It sucks being by myself, knowing that you won’t be popping by my window and throwing rocks against it at night. I’ll have you know that even though I complained about it every single day, I miss the sound of the rocks hitting my window panel.
I have to wrap up now, because my father’s on his way back, and who knows what he’ll do to me if he sees me handing this letter to Ragini to post.
Just when are you coming home?
Love, Swara (It’s day 7 and I’m still alright)
WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU’RE GOING TO TAKE FORTY DAYS TO COME BACK HOME?
Not much love this time, Swara ( By my calculations, this means I have to spend another 30 days without you. I’m starting to feel a little not alright. )
I’m so sorry I snapped at you that day. I just freaked out. the very thought of having to spend another 30 days without you is just depressing. Ma is already stressing me out with details about the wedding, and she’s making me go for all these fittings and making me write my guest lists (truthfully, I just chuck them under my pile of books and ignore them). I don’t even want to get married. I haven’t even gotten to know Vardaan that well.
Which reminds me, do you remember how we met?
We both wound up wanting the same book in that store, but since they had only one copy of it, We were at an impasse. But we managed to read the book, didn’t we?
Just imagine, If I had gone to the bigger shop next door where they had multiple copies, I may never have found you.
Remember our date by the lake? The one where you told you love me and I reciprocated? That lake will always remind me of you. I keep going to the lake so that I feel comforted while you aren’t here.
It was fate, wasn’t it? Fate brought us together, and I’m willing to bet fate dictates that we will stay together. Forever. If fate says otherwise, I really don’t know what I’d do without you.
Forty days. I could last ten days without you, I could last fifteen, maybe twenty. But forty is just… too long! Oh, do say that you’ll come back home early! I’m afraid I might not last forty days without you.
Love, Swara (It’s day 12, and I’m holding up, but barely)
I’m so relieved to get this letter from you. I was really worried that it took so long for it to reach me.
It’s awful here. Three days ago, my mother told me that the wedding was really soon. Now my wedding is in another twenty-three more days. So you better come back home after your forty days are up. Because, if I’m not wrong, two days after your return is the day I’m supposed to get married to Vardaan.
And I really don’t want to.
Of course, I tried arguing with my mother, but you know her too; it’s quite impossible to convince her to do something she doesn’t want to.
I miss you, Sanskaar. I really do.
What are you doing so far away? Please come back to me.
Please say you’ll come home sooner. I need you.
Love, Swara (It’s day 19 and I miss you so much)
I had a dream about you last night. We were running. You were chasing me and trying to hug me. Nothing else, just running. You, me, and the moon and stars hanging in the big black sky above.
My mother told me to go to the wedding tailor’s house again today. I couldn’t stand it. I ran up to my room. I cried. Hard.
I don’t know if I can do this anymore. Before you left, I told you I would be alright without you here. I take those words back. I need you next to me right now, to hold me, and tell me everything is going to be alright. I hate the fact that I can’t see you in person, breathe in your scent and feel your warm embrace.
Please, come back. I can’t hold it together anymore.
Love, Swara (It’s day 25, and I’m not fine)
I know you’re worried about me.
I read your last letter at least twenty times, and somehow knowing that those words came from you helped me a little. You told me that I should try to hold myself together. And I will try my best to. You’re right; behaving this way will just make you more worried and I know you don’t like to see this side of me either. For you, I’ll try to change.
On another note, Vardaan’s parents dropped by the other day to talk to my parents. They look nice, kind of. His mother is rather gentle and motherly, and his father seems like the type who cares for his kids a lot. But then again, your parents look like that too.
I love you Sanskaar! Please come back to me. But first, Take care fo yourself.
I look forward to your next letter. It’s the only thing that assures me that you’re safe.
Love, Swara (It’s day 30, and I’m fine again)
Vardaan knows that I don’t really want to marry him.
Love, Swara (It’s day 31, and I’m waiting eagerly)
I’m so sorry about the short letter. Papa had come to my room and then told me to spend some time with Vardaan.
That day, Vardaan dropped by and we well… took a walk. He wanted to go to the lake. We sat on the bench by the huge umbrUttara-shaped tree, and we were silent.
Out of the blue, he said, “So, who’s the lucky guy?”
I froze. “What?” I said.
“It’s quite obvious, at least to me. So, who is it?”
“There’s no guy,” I replied, fiddling with my fingers.
He was insistent. “I can tell from the way you behave around me,” he smiled. “Don’t deny it.”
Well, I decided to make a clean br*ast of it, so I confessed about you, and how I really didn’t want to get married to him. He told me that even though there was nothing he could do about you, he said he would give me up as long as you came back before the wedding. Which, he said, was highly unlikely. I just smiled and didn’t tell him that you were coming back the day before the wedding.
I hope you’re nervous now. See, if you don’t come back soon, I’m going to be married to another man! Doesn’t that make you feel something?
I know I told you I can last till you come back, but the forty days just seems to stretch on and on forever. I feel as though I’m going to die any minute, but right now, all I can think about is you. And that is enough to keep me alive, for now.
I wish I was brave enough to tell my parents I won’t go through with the wedding but I’m not. I think I’m not. I’m a weak-willed person, Sanskaar.
Love, Swara (It’s day 33, and I’m counting the days)
Please don’t be mad at me. I just told you what I felt. And don’t tell me that I should go through with the wedding in case you don’t come back. What does that mean? You are coming back right?
Sanskaar, Are you sure you’re alright? Please come back soon. 5 days until I can finally see you.
I can hardly wait to see your face again.
Which reminds me, I met your mother the other day. We passed each other while I was on my way to the post office. She asked if I knew where you were. Of course, I told her I only had vague details, but I said that you were writing to me. She told me to tell you that whatever you said in your last letter to her was “completely unnecessary”. Whatever that meant. She said she was sorry she couldn’t reply the letter herself; you forgot to leave her an address. I gave the address I had to her though, hope you don’t mind.
Wedding preparations are in full speed now. My father’s busy running everywhere, my mother is probably more excited than I am, and I’m just pretending to be ecstatic about the marriage when in fact, this happiness is due to the fact that I’m going to see you soon.
Hurry home to me, Sanskaar!
Love, Swara (It’s day 35, and I’m becoming ecstatic)
I hope you feel better. Don’t worry too much about the migraines; I get them too. Drink lots of water, alright? See a doctor after you come back.
My wedding saree has arrived. It’s red and gold and really heavy.
Ragini says I should take it with me when I elope with you. I’m sorry, I had to tell her. She would have guessed anyway; she was always good at these things.
Wait, that’s what we’re doing, right? Eloping?
I hate to tell you this Sanskaar, but I’m scared. I’m scared that you won’t allow me to stay with you because of some ridiculous reason. You’re a military guy. You’re too disciplined to not follow orders and rules. Or maybe, what if you get tired of me? What if something happens, and I have to last more than forty days without you? An eternity maybe?
I don’t know what I would do, but I know I wouldn’t be able to survive. I mean, I already feel as if I’m going to die, and you’re only gone for forty days. What more a lifetime?
So please, don’t tell me you’ll leave me. Say you’ll stay with me forever and ever and ever. And we’ll live happily ever after, just like the stories my teacher used to tell me when I was in school.
Because, I can’t live without you.
Sanskaar, I love you.
And I know you love me too.
Love, Swara (It’s day 39, and I’m counting the hours till I can see you. And I know I’m going to be alright)
Sanskaar Mehta stood near the window, his back facing the door. He held the letter, her letter, close to his heart and breathed in the fragrant scent of her perfume that still lingered on the paper. Looking up at the sky, he let out a sigh.
Uttara watched him from the doorway. “What are you doing, Bhai?”
Sanskaar quietly replied, “It’s been two years now.”
Uttara immediately understood. “Do you miss her?”
A nod was all she got from the man. She knew that he was already deep in thought. She walked up to him and took the letter from his hands. He let her.
2 years ago
Sanskaar watched as Swara, his Swara held Vardaan’s hand and took the seven pheras. He noticed she didn’t look at the guests at all. He was glad. If she had looked, She would have immedaitely spotted him standing near the temple entrance watching her.
He reached into his pocket for his phone, but his fingers curled around a small cold object instead. Pulling it out, he realized that it was a ring.
Strike that, it was the ring that he was supposed to propose to her with.
And standing there, he felt tears cascade down his cheeks, staining his face. Normally, he would have hastily wiped the tears away, but not today.
Because Swara was worth shedding a few tears for.
He turned around to leave but not before smiling slightly and whispering, ” I love you too.”
Uttara could still remember the day like it was yesterday. Sanskaar came into the house, half-stumbling, clutching a beer bottle in one hand. She asked what was wrong with him. He didn’t tell her the full details, only that he wasn’t going to marry Swara after all.
Which was strange, because ever since he met her, she was all that he could talk about, all that was on his mind and all that he kept in his heart.
She questioned him further. He refused to tell.
“Hey bhai, if you want advice, you have to tell me what’s wrong,” she said. He didn’t answer. He was already asleep.
When their parents came out to see what the commotion was about, they were surprised to see him lying on the porch with Uttara.
The next day, Sanskaar called her to one corner.
“I… I’m going blind.”
And it was then that Uttara understood why he was so depressed the day before, and why he said he wasn’t going to marry her.
“He… that Vardaan guy… can make her happier than I can ever make her. I don’t want to be a burden to her,” he explained, although it was unnecessary. He said it so matter-of-factly that it almost made her heart ache.
She asked him when he realized that he was losing his eyesight. He didn’t want to tell her. Just that he had gone for a check-up before going home the previous day because he had migraines the entire week. Blood clot caused by slamming into a rock, he said. Exactly how he managed to do that while on his journey, Uttara didn’t know. Although she had a hunch due to the number of cuts, burns and bruises on his body as well as the blood-stained gun he carried home.
He had ensured that Swara would never find out what had happened to him. Their parents moved to her house in the mountains, and Sanskaar made her spread the word that he had found someone new on his journey back. Word was that Swara was devastated, and although Sanskaar pretended that he was fine, Uttara could tell that her brother really wasn’t.
Uttara was angry that Swara went through with the wedding but Sanskaar wouldn’t allow her to be.
“She’s had a very hard life. Her parents control her and don’t allow her to make any choices for herself. She is very innocent, My Swara. If she didn’t go through with the wedding, She would have been miserable and retreated into a cocoon. I don’t want her to do that. Vardaan might be able to make her happy… But I know he’ll definitely let her have her freedom. Just because I can’t give her that, I won’t let it be taken away from her.”
Uttara understood the emotion slightly. But it made her look at him in a complete new light.
Because sacrificing her own happiness for her beloved’s future was something she could not see herself doing.
And even though Sanskaar’s eyesight faded and completely disappeared over the year, his love never did.
Today is my second year anniversary with Vardaan. He took me out to some fancy restaurant that just opened, and guess what his present was? It was a new house. A huge three-storey mansion overlooking the lake that I love so much. I’m writing this from the lake, and if I look up, I can see the house. It’s beautiful. I always dreamed of having a house here.
Except that the person I share it with is entirely different. It’s been two years and forty days since I’ve last saw Sanskaar. Word in the town is that he found a new girlfriend while coming back. I don’t believe it, but I don’t have any other choice. It’s the only reason I have to explain his absence. Either that, or I have to believe he’s dead. I prefer the former.
My marriage with Vardaan is pleasant enough. He’s friendly with me and we both agree that we’ll never fall in love with each other. I feel guilty that I took away his chance to get his own true love, but he says I shouldn’t. That he already had a whiff of that while in college and she was taken away from him forever.
That was the one time when I felt something akin to empathy towards him.
Our marriage is peaceful but it isn’t what you would call happy.
Vardaan can’t see it, but I’m dying inside. I break little by little every day that Sanskaar isn’t with me. It’s taking all I’ve got to hold myself together, but I’m afraid even the toughest glue doesn’t stick forever.
Oh Sanskaar, I told you I couldn’t last forty days without you, so what makes you think I can last a lifetime? I’m just living the forty days over and over again, and this time, it hurts so much more because I know that after forty days are up, you still won’t be here. I’m afraid I’m going to die. Please tell me how I am supposed to survive…
I love you, Sanskaar Mehta. I loved you then, and I will always, always, love you.
Well guys… I hope you like it. I’m not one for sad endings, but thought of writing one tonight. Do tell me how you feel about this 🙂 🙂
fan fiction April 3, 2017