Chapter 8

Thursday morning brought with it chaos at Maheshwari Industries. Sanskar woke up in a foul mood, once
again burnt his breakfast, stormed out of his apartment and blazed into his work. He thought he
would catch up on the work left incomplete as a result of taking an early mark the day before.
Seeing Ragini’s car in the parking lot at 6.30 am brought some relief to him. Then seeing Swara’s
car parked beside Ragini’s reversed the condition again. ‘Hadn’t anyone been able to sleep last
night?’ he thought
He left his briefcase on his desk and walked over to their department. He needed to know if
Ragini was going to be in for the day. His appointments and meeting depended on her plans. As
he neared the room he heard Ragini.
“I knew this would happen. I told Sanskar to keep Galodia away from you.”
“It’s notGalo…..dia. It’s me” Swara sounded nervous

“You loved it here. Until last week; Maheshwari Industries was your life. So what has changed in this past week?” Ragini asked the question.
“Ragini you are having a baby. In less than seven months you will be gone. I can’t go through the meetings, the socialising. I hate it.”
“So what will you do? Find another job. Please talk to Sanskar. He knows your work, he can work something out.” Ragini pleaded.
“I can’t Ragini, I just can’t. This past week, instead of being a help, I have added to his problems.
Oh, I know my work is good, but the job needs someone who can carry out the public relations
as well. I can’t, we all know that.” Swara pleaded
“Swara, the same arrangement that exists between us can continue with the person that takes my
place, and I am not even sure of my plans yet. I am working through them now. It could work
Swara, just give it a try. If you leave now, we will never know.” Ragini words were her prayer as
Swara leaving! Sanskar knew he could not let that happen. That, damn Galodia! It had to be him.
Swara was fine until yesterday. He would give Galodia a piece of his mind later, but first he had
to talk to both Ragini and Swara.
Ragini and Swara took one look at Sanskar and knew that he was upset. They also knew he had
overheard their conversation, so there was no point in pretending that their conversation had not
taken place.
Sanskar spoke to Ragini first, asking about her health and then asked if she was feeling well enough
to return to work. Ragini assured him that she was and made an appointment to see him at eleven
that morning.
Next Sanskar looked at Swara. Her hands were clasped together. So tight was her grasp that the
knuckles of both hands had turned white. His eyes softened. Ragini noticed the change and

“So what’s this about wanting to leave?” He questioned.
“S…Sanskar. I am not good at meetings, and at socialising…”she started
“From what I saw last night, I don’t think you really have a problem with either” Sanskar had not
meant to sound either angry or sarcastic but that is exactly how he sounded.
Swara’s face fell and Ragini’s frown deepened. She had been away for less than a week. What the
hell had happened in that short time? They rarely spoke but whenever they had in the past, Swara
and Sanskar’s conversations had always been civil. Now there was a totally different ball game in
play, with Ragini still not sure as to who was playing what.
Looking at Swara’s face, Sanskar once again realized he had said the wrong thing.
“I am sorry. I should not have said that. It’s really none of my business.” Sanskar corrected the
situation. Ragini sensed that the moment had come when she should leave. Under the pretext of making another coffee she left them alone.

“Look Swara, I’ll be honest. I know you are not comfortable at presentations. But the few I have
seen you at, you were quite good. In fact you are getting better with each one. Give me a little time and I will work things out so that you do not have to participate in the presentations if you do not want to. Ok? Now I am asking you to be honest with me, is this the only reason for your wanting to leave?”
Swara told herself that she should feel happy that Sanskar thought so well of her and her work, that he was prepared to work around her problem. But instead she felt more miserable. For the first time in over ten years she wanted someone to look past her work and at her, but all Sanskar was seeing was a valuable employee. Yes she would love to stay and work for him forever, but it was not Ragini’s absence that was worrying her, it was Sanskar’s presence. And then there was Pari.

Much as she liked the woman, she knew she could not go through the future, seeing them
together. The pain she felt now would be nothing compared to the pain she would suffer then.
But what answer should she give? She could never tell him the truth, and lying to him was not
an option
“Sanskar if I could stay, I would, but…”Swara had just begun, when Sanskar cut her short
“In that case, I won’t stop you. When do you want to leave?” Sanskar questioned abruptly.
“As soon as you find someone else” Swara began
Just then the phone rang and Ragini ran in and answered it. Sanskar and Swara listened.
“Hi Suraj, I am very well, thanks. Did you want to speak to Sanskar? To Swara? Yes sure you can.”
With that Ragini handed the phone to Swara
Swara looked at Sanskar, held her hand over the mouthpiece. “I won’t be long” she whispered.
“Galodia better not be the cause for your resignation.” The cutting remark floated in the air even after Sanskar had left the room.
Once again Ragini frowned. And Swara spoke into the mouthpiece only to find that her voice had
died within her. It took a few sips of water for her larynx to work again.
By then Ragini had followed Sanskar out of the room.
“Sanskar, wait up, this is a pregnant woman chasing you.” she called after him
“I am sorry Ragini, what is it?” he growled
“Maybe I should ask you that, what is it Sanskar?” she returned.

“Look Ragini, maybe I should have listened to you. You asked me to watch over her. You said Galodia would scare her away. Last night they were dining together, and today she resigns. I think Suraj has had some influence over Swara’s decision to leave, wouldn’t you say that?”
“Dining with Galodia? Swara? Are you sure?” Ragini could not believe her ears. Swara did not
socialise with anyone apart from her and Laksh. Dining with anyone else would be out of the question and especially not a man she hardly knew. Sanskar had been given the wrong information.

She was sure of it.
“I saw her myself. She arrived with Galodia and believe me, he was all ears.” Sanskar could not hide his irritation
“And you think he is stealing one of your employees, is that it? But Sanskar, he is just a client. He does not run an advertising business. He is not competition. Why would he even bother to dothat?” Ragini could not see the logic behind such a move from Galodia.

“Ragini, don’t you see, he is not stealing an employee, he is dating one.” Sanskar fumed back.
Ragini burst out laughing, but Sanskar continued to smother in anger.
“Sanskar, did you hear yourself. Swara is not interested in any man, I hoped for a long time that she would find someone nice or someone nice would find her. But Swara will never get involved with any man. At least not at the moment” Ragini commented trying her hardest to be serious and without giving too much information.

“How can you be so sure Ragini? Galodia is rich, he has power, and he is also lonely. Swara is
talented. And when she chooses to be, she can be quite attractive and she is also alone. Galodia
said Swara reminded him of his dead daughter. That would explain only his motive for a
relationship. What is hers?” Sanskar babbled on
“Sanskar what are you really upset about, Swara leaving us or Swara dating Galodia?” Ragini could not understand Sanskar’s reaction.

Yes Swara was a brilliant employee, but even brilliant employees left. It was never the end of the world. But Sanskar was acting as if it was. And the way he had looked and spoken to Swara. Would she be wrong, if she said, Sanskar was interested in Swara himself. Surely he could not be jealous of Galodia? But there was definitely a jealous
undertone to his voice when he had spoken to Swara last.
“Why would I be upset if she dated Galodia? Swara is a grown woman. At any other time if she
liked Galodia that would be fine, but Swara is very fragile at the moment and vulnerable. You
yourself asked me not to let Galodia scare her away. But Galodia must be using his leverage as
a valuable client, to force Swara into going out with him” Even Sanskar realised that his argument
was sounding weak. In this day and age, that kind of intimidation did not work.
Ragini heard Sanskar but her mind was elsewhere. Suddenly she asked, “You said just now, ‘when
she chooses, she can be quite attractive’, what did you mean by that?” then before he could reply,
she fired her second question to him “Sanskar are you interested in Swara yourself? Is that what the
problem is?”

Sanskar became silent. ‘Interested in Swara? What an understatement. No Ragini, he wanted to say,
I am not interested in her, I have gone way past mere ‘interest’.
“The problem is Galodia. He is going to cost me a very valuable employee.” His phone rang and
with than Sanskar made it very clear that the conversation was over. He asked Ragini to come in
for the meeting at 11 am.
Ragini walked back to her desk. On route she popped into Laksh’s office. “Laksh, have you
noticed anything strange with Sanskar?”
“He seems to be very thoughtful lately but I would hardly call that strange. The poor guy has
been holding the fort single handedly for five years, and now with our little problem, I have been
told Sanskar has basically taken it all on himself. Swara has managed things beautifully but with
her problem, it’s Sanskar who has done all the presentations and conducted the meetings.” Laksh
hoped he had been helpful
“I don’t mean strange as in overworked. I mean strange as in, do you think he is emotionally
involved with a lady?” Ragini tried to beat around the bush in her attempt to be loyal to

“From what I heard, he met Pari last night again, that makes it twice in less than a fortnight”
He replied thinking that he had solved the puzzle
“Laksh, please pay attention. Do you think he is interested in someone at work?” Ragini decided
to pursue her chain of thoughts
“At work, come on Ragini, as long as the work is done, Sanskar is least interested in the figures or
faces around here. The only figures Sanskar is interested in are the ones on the paper, besides there
is only one beauty here as far as I am concerned, and I have already married her.” Ragini beamed
with joy at his remark but she still hadn’t heard what she came for.
“You are a sweetie, I am lucky to have bagged you” she answered.
“But ..” she started
“Ragini, who do you have in mind? You know you do, so let’s hear it” Sometimes Laksh knew
his wife better than she knew herself.
“OK since you asked and only because you asked,” Ragini began “I sense something odd
between Sanskar and Swara”
“Swara!” Laksh burst out “Oh come on Ragini, Swara hates men.”

“She does not hate men, Laksh, she is afraid of them. There is a difference.” Ragini fiercely
defended her friend. “Did you know she dined with Galodia last night?”
“Now that you mention it, I did overhear something in the lift the other day. Galodia apparently
asked Swara out for lunch. Sanskar it was said made his displeasure known. I just thought it was
because Sanskar does not like employees being involved with clients. But I still think you are
wrong Ragini. Swara is not Sanskar’s type.”
“Laksh, I noticed something today. There was softness in Sanskar’s eyes and tone when he
addressed Swara. Then Galodia rang for Swara. You should have seen Sanskar. He was blazing
mad. I have never seen him that way before. And Swara, she resigned today.” Ragini continued
“Resigned? This is getting serious whichever way we look at it. What the hell is she going to do?
How will she manage alone? Maybe Sanskar or Galodia is not the problem. Maybe Swara is
nervous about being on her own, as she will be, after our baby arrives and you are not here.”
“No, that’s not it. She knows the same arrangement could have been made with my replacement.
No it’s got to do with Sanskar. Look honey, I have to get to the bottom of this. Would you mind if I
went to Swara’s place after work? We can’t talk here, and I think a talk is urgently needed. For
my sanity, if not for any other reason.”

“Yes my little Sherlock Holmes, go solve your case. I have a sales call to make at seven
anyway.” Laksh thought Ragini’s imagination had gone way overboard this time but he also
knew telling her so, would have no effect on her enthusiasm to solve her mystery.
Once back at her desk, Ragini was lost in her work. It was 11.05 am when she remembered her
meeting with Sanskar. Picking up her folders, she raced to his office. Sanskar was not there. Ragini
took a seat and waited for almost twenty minutes before ringing Sanskar on his mobile.
“Yes.” he growled into it
“Sanskar, it’s Ragini here. I am at our 11 am meeting. Where are you? Is everything alright?” she
spoke hesitantly
“Oh hell, sorry Ragini, I am in the middle of something at the moment. We’ll have to meet later.
I will ring you when I return to work.” And with that he was gone.

“And have a nice day to you too” Ragini yelled back into the dead phone.

Credit to: JANPA

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  1. Just ammaaziiiing
    watng fr next epi..

  2. Ur ff is amazing….. a complete different swara is worth reading….

    And u have an amazing writing skill…

  3. Plz upload nxt ASAP can’t wait for the next. …. just loved ur ff…. If possible plz upload nxt today plz…

  4. superb. update next part soon



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