SWARAGINI: THE PATH TO HAPPINESS
Here is my next chapter!!! Thnx for comments and to my silent readers…
Pulomi gives birth to a girl….
ONE WEEK LATER
Swara (irritated) : Sanskar! Ragini! Bas….I cannot have any more soup or porridge or such bland food. Mujhe maggi chahiye! You know I haven’t had maggi in 5 weeks…Ragini, Please make maggi for me na? And you people are not letting me see my darling girl as well. Har waqt aaram karo! This is not fair. It has been 5 days since I came home. C’mon…I am alright now……
Ragini (amused) : Bas, Meri MA! Take a breath…How long will you talk? Yes I know you have been having this bland food for a week now, But doctor’s orders….You can have oats, porridge,soup and dal chaval only for the next fortnight…Uske baad I will make maggi…Seriously Swara! You have become a mother still you behave like a child.
Swara : I am not even allowed to be with her the whole day Ragini…You don’t let me stay downstairs for more than an hour. And Sanskar! Forget it. He wants to lock me up in here until I am fine…and the whole time, he’s downstairs playing with the baby. It is soooo not fair.
Sanskar : Achcha! Sorry darling…I will go bring her now. You spend as much time you want with her. Ok? But then you will have to rest. Now finish your soup. C’mon Swara. Otherwise I may not bring the baby.
Swara, finally happy, gulps down the soup hastily. Ragini and Sanskar smile amused. Sanskar leaves to get his daughter.
Ragini :Yesterday, After you slept, Papaji told us that he spoke to the Pandit and there is an excellent Muhurat a week from today…So we are going to keep the baby’s name ceremony that day. By that time, you too will be fine. I swear Swara, Everytime we talk about our little angel, Your face lights up.
Swara ( smiling) : My angel’s name ceremony. Ragini! What wonderful news. Obviously Ragini! I never ever imagined that I would be one of those mothers who would always want to be with their children, But I am. Two and a half more months, And then even you will be like me.
Ragini (patting her stomach) : I know. I can’t wait Swara! (suddenly in tears)
Swara( shocked) : Ragini! What’s wrong? You were alright all this while…
Ragini : I know Swara! But everytime I think of what all has led to this moment, I think of how I am to blame….Because of me, You suffered so much. Because of me, You and Sanskar got divorced. Because of me, Kavita came back and you had to leave. Because of me, You suffered in Parna without your family……
Swara : Because of you, Sanskar and I understood our love for each other. Because of you, I got the courage to never accept any injustice. Because of you, I have another sister. And most of all, Because of you, I am a mother and have my lovely little angel. Sure, You did many mistakes and was insecure. But now, you are my Ragini. My Ragini, who fought with the world for our parents. My Ragini, with whom I used to talk late in the nights and with whom I used to play pranks on people. My Ragini, To who I told all my secrets. Ragini, Because of you, I am not alone…I will never be alone…BECAUSE WE ARE SWARAGINI!!!
Ragini ( now crying) : Swara! But….
Swara ( also in tears) : What but Ragini? Bata diya na meine? Now no more crying over this…Everyone has accepted you. Laksh, For whom you had done all this, accepted you in front of everyone and loves you to infinity. Ma-Baba, Dadi-Dadaji, Badi Ma-Bade Papa, Mom- Papa, Bhaiya- Bhabhi, Ansh, Sanskar, Laksh, Rasika, Uttara and I all love you. So you should not be sad. We should be happy that we have such an amazing close-knit family Ragini. And soon our family is going to be even bigger. So stop crying.
They both wipe each other’s tears and sit hugging each other…Sanskar enters with the baby. He sees them and exclaims loudly.
Sanskar (to the baby) : Sweetie pie, look at those women. They are your Mumma and Chachi, But they are crying like little kids. Look…
Swaragini look up to see a smiling Sanskar holding an angel in his hand. They laugh along with him. Swara’s eyes lights up and her hands automatically reach up for the baby. She soon has her in her arms and starts cuddling her. Sanskar sits next to Swara and holds them both in his arms. Ragini looks at the three and smiles. She quietly gives the baby a kiss, and a hug to Swasan.
Ragini leaves. In the corridor she sees a mirror and looks at herself. She frowns. She goes to her room where Laksh is busy with office papers and doesnt see her. She goes to the mirror and starts twirling around and staring at herself. Laksh finally looks up and is amazed to see his wife randomly looking at the mirror and twirling around.
Laksh : Ragini! Honey! What are you doing?
Ragini : Laksh! Not now. Wait…
She starts adjusting her sari and tying it in many ways. Laksh, now convinced that no one could understand women shakes his head and comes to her. He stops her and makes her look at him.
Laksh : Ragini, Are you mad? What were you doing?
Ragini : Laksh! Look at me (pointing to the mirror). Look. Look how fat I’ve become. Dekho na Laksh! I look like a pumpkin. I won’t come out from now on….
Laksh looks at her face and starts laughing.
Ragini (fuming) : Laksh! Here I am sharing my woes and you are laughing at me? Jao aap, I won’t talk to you.
She makes a move to leave but Laksh stops her and gently turns her towards the mirror. She looks at the mirror with wonder.
Laksh : Look in the mirror, Ragini. (pointing) Can you see that face? That is the face that I fell in love with. Do you see this sari? This is the way I like you. No, Love you. These earrings, these bangles, sab…..Your mangalsutra and your sindoor…Everything….People don’t think you are fat when they look at you. They see that you are carrying our love and proud to show it. My sweetheart! You are not fat….This baby is the reason we stayed together. This baby is the reason for our love…So how can you call this being fat? I love every inch of you. No one can change that fact…Not even you! So Don’t you dare tell things like that again. Ok?
Ragini ( Still looking at the mirror ) : Laksh! I just looked at the mirror and saw my weight. But you showed me the true reason for this. You showed me that this is love. I am sorry Laksh.
Laksh makes Ragini face him and kisses the top of her forehead. They hug each other. Laksh kneels down and kisses her stomach.
Laksh : Baby! I love you…Please come out soon….And tell your mumma that I love her too…
Ragini smiles and tousles his head. He gets up and hugs her again.
Ragini : Laksh! Now you’re leaving right? Will you please take the box I have kept in the fridge and give it to Pulomi. She is okay now but that is a herbal cream that I made. It will help her gain her strength. She won’t be coming here until a week later as Choti Ma wants her there. So please go and give it to her.
Laksh : Ok Honey! Take rest and be safe…
Ragini : Always!
1 WEEK LATER
Swara and Pulomi are perfectly fine now…
MAHESHWARI HOUSE 09:00am
The house is in a frenzy…Everyone’s busy with preparations…
Sanskar : Are Bhaisaab! Take care of those flowers..Do the decorations well.
Laksh (in another corner) : Suniye…Do it fast. All the guests will arrive in an hour. Today is my angel’s name ceremony. Everything should be alright. (noticing Ragini) Ragini! Why are you moving again. I told you to sit down right? You have not sat down for ten minutes since 6 in the morning. Now will you sit or should I take you to your room?
Ragini (in tears) : Laksh! Why are you always scolding me? All I wanted to do was help…I’m going now. I won’t talk to you. Bye..
Laksh is befuddled to see her cry. Annapurna comes there and smiles at his confusion.
Annapurna : Beta! This is not normal Ragini! Her hormones are making her this way. So you have to be gentle and calm with her. Go now.
Laksh nods and runs after Ragini. He asks her to stop but she doesn’t. He comes in front of her but she turns away. She sits in a chair in the corridor, not looking at him. Suddenly a rose appears in front of her eyes. She looks at him and takes the rose, but turns away once again. He then hands her a teddy bear. She takes that too and still doesn’t look at him. He finally hold his ears and kneels down giving Ragini a puppy dog face…Ragini looks at him and starts laughing. She gives him a peck on the cheek.
Ragini : Ok, I will go and take rest now Laksh! But when the ceremony is going on, You won’t say anything to me…understand?
Laksh : Okay baba!
AN HOUR LATER
Everyone is gathered around and names are thrown out from all corners..
Dadi : Mandakini
Dadaji : Sarojini
Ansh : What old fashioned names Dadaji and Dadi….Choose something nice and lovely.
Rasika : Toh tum batao Ansh!
Ansh : How about Kriya?
Ragini : No no no! Keep Tanu..
Laksh : No way Ragini! Bhai, Keep Natasha..
Uttara : No! Keep Smita, Bhabhi!
Pulomi : Nahi Swara Di! Keep Chhavi….
Pragya : No..Keep Pragya!
All laugh listening to her.
Sanskar : Oh my God! How will we ever choose a name?
Sujata : Swara! Why are you so quiet? Do you want to say something? Have you thought of a name?
Swara : Er….I had thought of one..But I don’t know if you’ll like it. It is sort of an old fashioned name but it can be made into a modern name.
Sanskar : You had an idea? But you never mentioned anything…Chalo…Ab bata do!
Swara : I thought of naming the baby after you, Sanskar! Sanskar’s daughter Sanskriti…to be called Kriti in short…
She waits apprehensively for the response. Everyone stare at her silently.
Swara : Don’t you like the name? Sanskar?
Sanskar looks at her stunned.
Sanskar : Swara! I love the name. I am speechless. Sanskriti! My daughter Kriti!
Rasika : Swara di! That’s an awesome name. And I don’t think Sanskriti is old fashioned. It is certainly a unique name.
The elders also agree to this. Bade papa picks up the baby and rocks her.
Durgaprasad : From today, You are Sanskriti Maheshwari…Our Kriti…Apple of our eye!
Everyone clap and congratulate Swasan..
Ansh : Now come on! Let’s dance…
Everyone start dancing and singing. Swara and Sanskar sit on the steps with their daughter.
Sanskar : Sanskriti Maheshwari! Swara, You have no idea how happy I am today.
Swara : I do Sanskar! Remember, I know you more than I know me. Just as you know me more than you do you.
She rests her head on his shoulder and they admire their choti si, nanhi si family.
2 MONTHS LATER
IN A PARK NEAR MAHESHWARI HOUSE
Swaragini have come to a park near their house to enjoy the fresh air. Swara is holding Kriti in her hands and helping Ragini walk, who is now 8 and a half months pregnant.
Swara : Ragini! This is the last time I’m bringing you here. You should not even be outdoors. You should be resting. But now that I brought you, You have to listen to me. I will take you to that bench and you have to sit there. No telling I want to walk and all that.
Ragini : Ok, Meri Ma! Now let us go over there. I love this air Swara! I feel very fresh now. What is Kriti doing?
Swara : Kriti is sleeping. (they reach the bench) Now sit, Ragini, And eat this salad. Bhabhi told it is good for you. Eat it now!
Just then a woman wearing a light blue salwar joins them. She is wearing a mangalsutra and has sindoor in her maang!
Ragini (smiling) : Rasika! When did you get back from your honeymoon? You were suppsed to come back tomorrow. How are you? Ansh troubled you and so you came back? Honeymoon enjoy kiya tumne? (winking, Rasika blushing)
Swara : Ragini! Enough! Why are you teasing the poor girl? C’mon Rasika! Sit here with us and tell us all the details…How was Shimla?
Rasika tells them about her honeymoon(not the private parts ofc) and they have a fun time together.
Rasika : Swara Di! Just look how big Kriti has grown. Wow! She looks amazing…
A voice is heard making all the three jump.
Voice : Obviously she had to be magnificent. After all, she is my daughter….
The three turn back to see Abhay smiling at them evilly pointing a revolver at them………
PRECAP : SORRY FOLKS! WAIT FOR THE NEXT EPI