THANKS FOR YOUR WONDERFUL COMMENTS…..AND HERE ARE MY LINKS OF PREVIOUS EPISODES…..
SO GUYS LET’S BEGIN……
Swara had got used to waking up with her nightmares and then spending hours calming herself
back to slumber. It was always the same. She could see their faces, smell the alcohol, and feel the
pain as they punched her again and again. She could see blood ooze out of her cuts. She could
feel the boots kicking into her, the knife slashing. Could hear their vulgar comments and could
feel groping hands. She could never go beyond that point. Each time she would wake up
drenched in perspiration and shaking like a leaf. Each time it would take her hours to get back to
sleep. Only her precious dogs could make her feel secure again.
But last night had been different. The nightmare had been the same, but for the first time she had
found comfort and security in a man’s arms. She had never allowed any man to touch her since
that fateful night. After years of terror, she had for the first time, felt safe and secure with a man.
Instead of hours, she had fallen back to sleep within minutes. And from a nightmare she had
gone straight into paradise where she was in Sanskar’s arms. Where Sanskar was holding her; kissing
her. She even felt herself respond. This was one dream she had not wanted to wake up from, and
she hadn’t. That is, at least not until 7 am in the morning. So wonderful had been her dream, that
on waking she still felt Sanskar’s arms around her. It was only when she tried to move, that she
realised that it had not been a dream. That Sanskar was still beside her. And his protective arms
were still around her. Her paradise had indeed been real!
Gently she moved his arm away and slid out of the bed. For a spit second she felt terror. Then
she remembered her nightmare and Sanskar coming into the room. Her next emotion was
embarrassment. Finally she was overcome with guilt. Poor Sanskar. He looked so uncomfortable
lying on the edge of the bed, without even a cover. She slept in a single bed, two people would
always have been uncomfortable, but a tall man like him, must have suffered real discomfort.
She took her blanket and covered him. He did not wake.
She left the room. She could hear the dogs whimpering to be let out. She released them, gave
them huge cuddles and let them out into the back yard. She filled their bowls with milk and
Then she went and had a shower. When she came out, Sanskar was still sleeping. She got dressed
and organised breakfast. Laying everything on the table, apart from the eggs, she went to wake
Sanskar. It was 7.30 in the morning. He would need time to go home and change. She entered the
room to wake him.
Sanskar could hear Swara’s voice. Then he felt a gentle push. His eyes flew open as he remembered
where he was. There was no sign of the youthful looking vulnerable woman he saw the night
before, so traumatised that she had gladly accepted his arms. Now she stood in front of him,
distant as before. Her hair was tied harshly back, her hideous glasses were back on, and her plain
dress echoed how she looked. Sanskar remembered her eyes, the eyes he had seen last night. Why
was she hiding such beautiful eyes?
“It’s 7.30 Sanskar, I thought you might need to go home and ch..change before work. Breakfast is
ready when you are.” Swara rushed through her sentence and left the room.
Sanskar got out of bed and looked around the room. Unlike the image Swara had created for
herself, her room was feminine and pretty. Yellow dominated the decor. On the corner table, in a
matching vase, was his bouquet of roses. He has especially chosen the yellow blossoms,
remembering Ragini had once mentioned that it was Swara’s favourite colour. It was company
policy to give every female staff a bouquet of flowers on her birthday. On Swara’s last birthday
he had asked Ragini to choose the flowers. She had returned with yellow carnations, saying ‘I
could not get roses but as long as they are yellow, she’ll love them”. Sanskar had been surprised
that he had remembered the conversation when he ordered the roses at the florist. He was even
more surprised that she had kept the flowers. Just knowing that she had placed them in her
bedroom gladdened his heart. Whistling he walked out.
Swara had put the kettle on and it had begun to whistle too. She looked up as he entered the room
saying. “I’ll wait till you freshen up before I make your coffee and eggs.” Sanskar proceeded to the
bathroom. Swara had placed a new toothbrush, soap and towel for him. He returned to the table
“I am sorry ab..bout last night. You should have gone home. It must have been very
uncomfortable for you lying in that position all night.” she felt the need to apologise. He had
been exhausted last night and to have to sleep in that awkward position was the last thing his
body needed but Sanskar was strangely surprised that he had actually felt no discomfort at all.
Rather, he felt relaxed. He missed his king sized bed and his pillow all right, but he never the less
had enjoyed a deep sleep. An exhausted body can sleep anywhere, his father used to say. He had
“How are you this morning?” he asked, instead of answering her question.
“Fine thanks.” she answered.
“Do you get them often?” he continued.
“No, not often” she lied. She knew he was referring to her nightmares.
“How long have you been getting them?” he questioned further
“About ten years. It’s really not that bad now” she replied
Sanskar looked at her face. If the terror he saw last night was ‘not that bad’ then how bad had they
once been? And what had caused them? He looked at her hands. The wedding band and the
diamond solitaire were still there. Maybe losing the children had something to do with it. Maybe
she had gone through a violent abusive marriage. That would explain the distance she maintained
with that man. It would also explain the scar on her arm.
“How did that happen?” he asked, pointing to her arm.
“I got a bit carried away with the garden saw.” she once again hoped the she would get away
with her lie.
Sanskar looked at her arm again. “Yes the garden saw can be a lethal weapon” he joked.
‘So she was lying again’, he thought. What was she hiding? And more importantly, who was she hiding from?
They finished their breakfast and went back to a more comfortable topic. Work!
“Sanskar I know I am letting you down. You did not need my problems added to all the other
things happening at the moment. I wish I could take some of the load of you, but I know I will
mess things up if I try.” Swara expressed her regret.
“Swara, just keep producing the work you have been. That is all I need. Once Ragini is back, and
we have a bit of time to spare, I will get down to finding extra staff. If business comes in at the
rate it is, we might even look at adding a fourth position before Ragini goes on maternity leave. ”
Sanskar relieved her anxiety.
After breakfast, instead of leaving, he asked if he could take a shower at her place. He always
carried a spare set of clothes in the car. In fact an overnight bag was always ready for an
emergency. He went to the car and returned with it. Then she heard the water running.
All of a sudden Swara felt a stabbing pain in her heart. Sanskar had an overnight bag ready in the
car. She had overheard that the model was expected in Sydney sometime soon. That meant one
of two things. He was going to spend the night with her. Or that he made it a regular habit of
staying the night with his women. This time her heart did not thump, it actually ached. Her
dreams were taking her onto a dangerous path where only one person would get hurt. That
person would be her.
She heard the shower stop and rushed around collecting her things. She would not let him see the
effect this knowledge was having on her.
But Sanskar was no fool. A minute back into the room and he could tell that the atmosphere had
changed. Just minutes before he had thought they had been heading towards friendship. No,
heading towards more than friendship but now the indifference had returned. He wondered what
had caused the drastic change in her mood, but he said nothing. Fifteen minutes later, they both
sat in their respective cars and drove out. Half an hour after that they had parked their cars and
were seated at their own desks.
The day was again a busy one and both were grateful for that. During the course of the day he
needed Swara to fill into Ragini ’s shoes during the two meetings they had. And once again she
left the clients in total awe of her work and him, even prouder of the outcome. The afternoon
gave them even less time with their thoughts. The first Swara saw of Sanskar was when he popped
his head in at 6 p.m. to say that he was leaving and that Ragini would be coming in to work the
next day. It was news that they both secretly welcomed. He suggested she call it a day too.
“I am nearly finished. See you to.mm.morrow” she turned away trying to make it sound very
She did not tell him that Ragini had rung her to let her know the news as well. Ten minutes later
she took the lift down. As she started her car, she saw a taxi drive in and head towards the main
entrance. There, Sanskar stood beside his car. The taxi stopped behind his Ferrari and he went and
opened the passenger’s door. She could see him smile and then they were enfolded in each
other’s embrace. Swara had to look away. The pain was too much to bear. As she drove away,
she told herself, ‘It’s time to leave Maheshwari Industries’. She must start her own business. Be on her own, away from everyone, especially away from Sanskar and more importantly from the pain that now came with him.
Credit to: JANPA