THANKS FOR YOUR WONDERFUL COMMENTS…..AND HERE ARE MY LINKS OF PREVIOUS EPISODES…..
SO GUYS LET’S BEGIN……
As Ragini drove away from Swara’s home she noticed a car follow her. Then it sped up into the
lane beside her and drove along side. Ragini looked sideways. It was Galodia. He motioned for
her to roll down her window. At the next set of lights she did just that.
“Ragini, I need to speak to you.” Galodia pleaded
Ragini began to wind up the window, when he said, “Please Ragini, let me explain my actions
back there. It was all an act”
Ragini thought a second then said, “Follow me Suraj, I am heading home. We can talk there.”
When the lights changed, Ragini drove on and Galodia maneuvered his car behind hers. She rang
Laksh on the mobile and warned him that Galodia was coming back with her. When they
reached home, Laksh was waiting at the door.
The two men shook hands. Laksh looking confused.
“Laksh I am terribly sorry, but I had to speak to Ragini urgently. I did not want Swara to see me
talking to her, hence the dramatics.” Galodia explained then turning to Ragini “I hope I did not
“A little at first, but I have to admit, I am very curious to hear what you have to say. I will make
one thing clear, hurting Swara or Sanskar is not an option you have.” Ragini was still on guard.
“And, if I was meaning everything I was saying about Sanskar, I would not blame you for feeling
that way. Ragini the truth is that I have great respect and admiration for the man. But I was
playing a part for a reason.” Galodia explained.
“In that case, you better come in Suraj. We can talk there.” Laksh invited him in
Five minutes later they were seated at the kitchen table, coffee mugs in their hands.
“OK Suraj, so what was all that about?” Ragini started
“Ragini you are a good friend to both Swara and Sanskar. Almost from the very first moment that I
saw them together, I have believed, that Sanskar did not look upon Swara as just another employee.
I am ashamed to say that the first time I saw them; I thought this was another sleazy little office
affair. Then I saw Swara. The truth is, she was not the kind of woman Sanskar would just have an
affair with. And I also saw the way Sanskar looked at her, protected her. The irritation he showed
at my lunch invitation to her, his anger at seeing us having dinner together. These were all signs
of a man who feared losing someone who was very special to him. Again, at first I thought it was
because she was a valued employee. But his behavior today, cleared up any doubts that I may
have had. I believe he is in love with her himself.”
“Suraj, even if he is, which I personally do not believe, it is really none of our business. His
personal life is his to lead as he wishes.” Laksh said
“That is very true. But if we can see two people love each other, and also see that they are
drifting apart because they are misreading each other’s clues should we not put them back onto
the right path?” Suraj asked.
“And what if we put two people on the right path, but they really don’t want to travel together,
what happens then Suraj?” It was Laksh again who did the asking.
“Then I’ll stand by the wayside and befriend the one that wants to leave” Suraj said soberly.
Laksh and Ragini exchanged glances. ‘Wasn’t this the very thing, I told you this morning, her
eyes said.’ But it was too early to express their sentiments to Suraj. They had to know more
about his intentions.
“Suraj I work with them. Their relationship is purely on business terms. In fact until my recent
bout of morning sickness, they barely spoke to each other. They have never met socially, they
don’t know the first thing about each other. Believe me, there can be no romance there.” Ragini
uttered words that were contrary to her thoughts
“Then why does he drive by her place at 10 pm at night?”
“Suraj that is a public road, anyone can drive through it” Laksh said
“True, but why would a man drive through a ‘No through road’, park, then seeing me with her,
drive off in a mad rush?” Suraj added
“What were you doing there?” Ragini asked
“Soon after Sanskar and Pari left, Swara complained of a headache and wanted to leave. I drove
her home. So sure was I that he would come there after dropping Pari,that I hung around until
he did.” Suraj sounded as proud as a sleuth would have sounded when he had solved his cases.
“Since you have studied him so closely, do you think Swara feels likewise?” Ragini asked
“Oh she is in love with him. Whether she is aware of the knowledge herself or not, I am not
certain. You see, at the restaurant, she saw Sanskar dining with Pari. I could feel the pain she felt
at that moment. Sanskar told me she resigned this morning. Now I told myself, what an odd thing
for a girl to do who less than 24 hours earlier had told me of her love for her work and the
company. So I asked myself, if she was not running to something, what was she running from?
It was definitely not Sanskar himself because she was happy to work for him. So it must be her
feelings for Sanskar” Suraj saw he had Ragini and Laksh’s full attention. “Believe me, if I did not
feel that Sanskar is in the same boat, I would never try to bring them together. One sided loveaffairs
are the most painful and damaging relationships.”
“Suraj, you are forgetting one thing. If Sanskar loves Swara, then why is he engaged to Pari?
Your meddling will mean at least one person will get hurt, if not all of them” Ragini added
“Engaged? Who said that to you? He did not introduce her as his fiancée. In fact just this
morning he said that Pari was an old friend. You don’t call the person you are marrying as an
‘old friend”. Things have changed a lot from when I was young, but surely not that much. There
was no mention of romance between them. Did he tell you himself?” Galodia was bemused by
this piece of information
“Swara saw them holding hands, saw her engagement ring. And they have been seeing each other
regularly” Ragini continued, while Laksh merely listened.
“Now how did I miss all that? Guess I was concentrating on Swara reactions, though that in itself
is a hard job when she never takes those glasses off.”
“She has sensitive eyes.” Ragini defended her friend
“Did you say Swara saw them?” Suraj said reflecting back “Don’t you see that proves my theory.
Why would she mention that to you about someone who was a mere “boss”? Hang on Ragini,
you know more that you are telling me. In fact, I’d say, you already knew what I have just
concluded, didn’t you Ragini?” Suraj had once again judged correctly.
“Suraj, I have a question. Why are you concerned? Sanskared you have known Sanskar for a long
time and are very fond of him. But Swara is a very new acquaintance. If you really want them to
become an item, then why are you giving the wrong impression at every step? My feelings were
that you liked her yourself.” Ragini said avoiding his question.
“I don’t just like her Ragini, I love her.” Galodia addressed them, then after a moment’s silence,
continued, “I need an assurance from both of you that this conversation will be kept in total
confidence. It is of paramount importance.” Galodia waited for their response.
“Will such a promise, hurt either Sanskar of Swara?” Ragini was the first to ask.
“No, but breaking that promise will” Galodia finished
Ragini and Laksh were now more than intrigued. Galodia’s actions and comments this past week
had been very strange. His attack of Sanskar’s morals and work was slanderous. Yet now he was
sitting with them, wanting them to believe that all he felt was concern for Sanskar and Swara’s
feelings for each other.
“You have our word.” Ragini said, confirming it with Laksh
“Suraj, I don’t understand one thing, if you love Swara yourself, then why are you pushing her
towards Sanskar?” Laksh was the one to ask
“Yes I love Swara, but I am not in love with her, he is. There is a difference in the kind of love
we both feel for her.” Galodia replied promptly.
“Answer this then Suraj, why have you taken on the task of becoming their match-maker. What
do you gain from it? And who are you really trying to help, Swara or Sanskar?”
“It does not matter who I am trying to help. If my deductions are correct, then they belong
“Then let’s go back to what I asked earlier. What do you gain by it?” You are practically a
“No Ragini, I am not a stranger. Far from it! You see, I am Swara’s grandfather.” Suraj’s words
stunned Laksh and Ragini. Ragini’s mug fell from her hands. Laksh merely stared at Galodia’s face.
“You are what?” Laksh exclaimed
“My wife Parvati, and I shared one child. A daughter named Sumi. Though we loved her very
dearly, we got caught up in ensuring that our business was a success. Parvati and I worked long
hours and we established a thriving company. Sumi went to the best of schools and lacked
nothing that money could buy. We did not realise that the one thing that she wanted from us was
the only thing we could not give at that stage. That was our time. We grew apart. Then when she
was seventeen, she announced that she was pregnant. Twenty-eight years ago, society was not so
accepting of unwed mothers. We gave her an ultimatum; it was either marriage or an abortion.
The next day she left home. For a week Parvati and I searched every nook and corner and met with
all her friends. But there was no trace of her. From her friends, we learnt that her baby’s father
was married. A week later we received a letter from Sumi. She told us she never wanted to see
us again. She wrote that we had let her down at a time when she needed us the most. That she
would not abort the child and that she could not marry the father. She said she would bring up
her child herself and that as long as we did not try to find her, she would send us a photo of the
baby every year on its birthday, for old times’ sake. But if we made any attempt to find her then
she would break all contact with us. Parvati and I decided that some news of our daughter was
better than none, so we agreed. Sumi had a baby girl twenty-eight years ago. Every birthday
after that, she sent us a photo. Seeing our grandchild grow year by year and finding that we were
missing our child too, Parvati and I began fighting and blaming each other for what happened. In
the end, the pressure was too much for our marriage. We first separated, and later divorced
fifteen years ago. Sumi wrote of her disappointment is us. She sent one last photograph of our
granddaughter. Our granddaughter was 12 years old in it. We never heard from Sumi again for
the next five years. Then suddenly I received a letter from her. She told us that she was dying.
That finally she came to realise how hard parenthood was. That she had promised to always be
there for her daughter. But when Swara’s father died she was unable to cope with his loss and had
taken to drinking. Her daughter began keeping very late hours, dancing away till the early hours
of the morning. Then one night Swara was brutally attacked. Had it not been for a couple of
men who had come out of the dance hall to have a cigarette, she would have been raped, maybe
even killed. When Sumi learnt of it, drunk as she was, she accused her of ‘asking’ for it with
the way she dressed, and the hours that she kept. Swara left home that night, taking all the
money in her personal bank account. Her father it seems had made large deposits on a regular
basis. I guess it was his way of making up for not being there for Swara. Sumi was sure
Swara would be able to cope on her own and at twenty-one would inherit not only a home but
also a substantial amount of money from her father’s estate. She said she did have one regret,
that in her anger at our divorce, she had told Swara that her grandparents had died in an
accident. That was our last communication from her. We searched everywhere for Swara. The
letter was postmarked Broome, but no one in Broome had heard of either of them. We lived in
dread for a couple of years. Dreading every phone calls in case it was the police with the bad
news. Dreading the papers, in case we read her name. In her letter the only clue that I had about
my grandchild was that her name was Swara. I didn’t know if my daughter lived under an alias.
And I didn’t know what surname she had given her daughter.” Suraj saw Laksh and Ragini listen
with rapt attention.
“I am sorry to hear all this Suraj, I really am, but how can you be sure that, Swara is Swara.”
“Sumi had the same breathing problem. I think Swara is about the same age as what Swara
would be now. I am sure of it. Her features resemble her mothers.” Then looking at Ragini he
said “And I think Ragini is sure of it too.”
“Swara has not told me much of her past. But I do know she was attacked once. And that she left
home as a result of that attack. And that she was disappointed that her mother had not stood up
for her.” Ragini said “but the two incidents could be totally unrelated and mere coincidences.”
Suraj reached into his back pocket and took out a wallet. From it he produced a photo. In it a
twelve-year-old child was smiling back. Her brown hair fell in gentle curls around her shoulder.
You could call her a pretty child, but what made her look truly beautiful, were her eyes.
“I have never seen Swara without her glasses, but I can bet anything, that her eyes are cobalt
blue. Ragini, am I right?” Suraj asked. Laksh too looked at Ragini questioningly.
“The deepest cobalt blue: the clearest cobalt blue. God! Can it really be true? Why haven’t you
said anything to Swara?”
“Both Swara and her mother have this habit of disappearing on us. I wanted to make sure that
Swara had reached a point when she could trust me enough to stay when I told her about us.
Don’t forget that she has been told that her grandparents are dead. I was hoping to befriend her,
and once she trusted me enough, I would have told her my side of things. But then the two of
them had to go and fall in love. And I could see that Swara was going to run anyway, unless I did
something about it. The girl had already resigned. I thought if I could get her to admit her
feelings or to stay on at T & G Mallaby a bit longer as a result of my so-called dislike of Sanskar, I
could buy more time. I need that time, Ragini.”
“Suraj even if we are sure of Swara’s feeling, Sanskar has not confirmed our suspicions. What if he
is just being nice? Sanskar has always taken care of his employees. And since his brother’s death,
he has been extra careful of any employee who has a disability.” Laksh put in
“Sanskars parting words this morning were ‘Let’s put it this way, Galodia, if Swara goes, as far as I
am concerned, so do you’. Now why would a man jeopardise an annual quarter of a million
dollar account, for a mere employee?” Suraj finished
“So what do we do now? There is Pari to think about, Swara’s resignation, and Sanskar’s feelings
too.” Ragini started.
“You are going to concentrate on the little baby within you, and leave the rest to both of us. You
haven’t been well lately anyway.” Laksh clarified.
“I agree with Laksh, though I will ask you to keep an eye on Swara for me. I know I hurt and
upset her today. Until I get a chance to explain, please put in a good word for me every now and
then. I don’t want my only grandchild hating me too.” Suraj said
“Look I will take care of myself, but Sanskar is a very good friend of mine. I think I should be the
one to talk to him.” Ragini argued
“Don’t tell him anything about our conversation. That all can wait till later. By the way, what’s
this about Swara having children? The times I have been there, she has been alone and she has
never spoken of them.” Suraj asked
“Who told you she has children?” Ragini asked
“Sanskar, I think he thought the news would act as a deterrent to me.” Galodia smiled
“They are not her children. Swara does voluntary work at a cancer hospital. Their mother has
cancer. Swara gets the children every alternate weekend, to give the parents time to rest and be by
themselves. The mother is at her worst after her chemotherapy on Fridays and her husband likes
to give his full attention to her needs. It’s a regular arrangement at the moment. So I just hope,
it’s not going to be Sanskar who is going to be deterred by their presence.” Yes, thought Ragini,
she needed to have that talk with Sanskar.
“And the wedding ring? I noticed she wears one.” Suraj questioned
“Even though Swara has pretty much recovered from that attack in physical terms, she is still
emotionally scarred. She has done a lot to herself, in order to protect herself from anything like
that happening again in the future. Trying to make herself look ugly and inconspicuous was one
of her defenses. She had built a fortress around her against all men, but I guess she must have a
guardian angel somewhere out there. In less than a week, she has two men fighting for her love.
I used to pray that someone nice would come along for her. Now I hope that ‘the someone nice’, will want to stay.” Ragini became pensive. A lot of relationships could be irrevocably damaged if things did not turn out as they hoped. Their little game could back fire really badly on all of them.
Laksh and Suraj were thinking the same. Ragini’s meeting with Sanskar, was going to decide if they, the ‘three match makers’ were going to get involved.
Credit to: JANPA