“Swara, what if I say, you are wrong on all three counts.” he repeated himself “ I am in not
marrying Pari, I am not going to let you leave, and yes I am in love with you.”
Swara could feel the room spinning. She was sure her eyes were playing tricks on her and that her
ears were being deceived. Then she felt his hands take hers. And the next minute the tears were
once again rolling down her cheeks. She seemed to have been crying a lot this past week. This
time she took off her glasses to wipe away the tears. Oh God, she thought, the room is spinning.
“Sanskar, I ..” she began

Sanskar had seen the symptoms before. This time, he held the glass of water to her mouth.
“Drink it Swara.” He said. Her breathing was not affected and Sanskar decided a paper bag was not
A couple of minutes later, when Swara seemed calmer he said “Let’s go Swara. Let me take you
home.” Supporting her with one hand he led her towards the entrance. Stopping at the reception
to pay the bill, he found Laksh was by his side.
“I’ll take care of it Sanskar. You go.” Laksh said. They shook hands and Swara and Sanskar walked

They drove the whole way in silence. Every few minutes Sanskar would look at Swara seated
beside him. He was still not sure of her feelings but he did notice one positive sign. Swara no
longer had her glasses on. Instead of going to her place, he drove straight to his. He lived in a
Penthouse at the city’s edge, and the moment Swara saw the view, she knew why. The Mumbai
Harbour Bridge was dead straight ahead. Every room in the apartment had a water-view. And the
vision was breathtaking from each of them, but none so lovely as that from the balcony. So much
so that Swara refused to leave it, so they sat and talked there. During the course of the night they
told each other everything about their lives, they cleared all the misconceptions, and finally at 4
am they finally said the three magical words, I love you. The first thing Sanskar did after that was

to release her hair from the hair band. He never wanted to see it tied that way again. At 4.15 am
Sanskar took out a small box from the pocket in his jacket and asked Swara to be his wife. And his
beautiful Swara with her flyaway hair and shining cobalt blue eyes, said yes, without any
hesitation. And this time when their lips met, Swara knew, things were as they were meant to be.
Her breath seemed to stop, her heart thumped, and the world spun around her, but for the first
time, she was glad for all of them.
At 6 in the morning they decided it was too late to sleep. Instead Sanskar offered to cook the
“I can see why you bought this place. The view is worth dying for.” she said
“Well we can keep this place for our private getaway, but once we have kids, I don’t think it will
be a safe environment to bring them up in.” he said casually.
‘Kids’ oh hell, she had forgotten. He wanted kids. Suddenly the shine went out of morning. No,
she told herself. ‘You can’t do this to Sanskar. Not your Sanskar. Even if he stands by you,
somewhere a part of him will feel let down. Feel cheated. Swara, what were you thinking when
you said yes’ she told herself. She had to move fast. She had to think fast. They had talked about
everything, but not kids. She should have told him everything before saying yes. How could she
have forgotten such a major issue.

“Do you want to eat it on the balcony” Sanskar asked. He repeated it a minute later but when she
still had not heard him, he went and knelt down beside her.
“Swara, what’s wrong?” Sanskar asked
Swara looked at him. He was so good looking. He would have such beautiful children. She
reached out and hugged him.
“I am sorry, I just realized that I have to go home to feed the dogs.” she said
“Is that all? Phew, I was worried. I’ll drive you home after breakfast, and then if you are up to it,
we can go to work. Otherwise I will let you rest and come back for you after my meeting.”
“I feel guilty now. You should have slept.” She said
“Not on your beautiful life, I can catch up on sleep any time.” he pinched her nose
“In that case, I will do as you say and have a bit of rest at home. Would it be alright if I take the
morning off?” She asked trying to sound official.
“Since the boss is very happy today, let’s give everyone the afternoon off.” At first Swara thought
he was joking, then saw that he meant it.

“Sanskar, don’t say anything at work. I just want a few days to get comfortable with everything
myself. Then you can tell everyone.” she pleaded
“You are happy about it, aren’t you Swara?” he asked
“Sometimes I think I am going to wake up from my little fairyland and find myself alone again.
This time the loneliness is going to hurt.” she replied
“In that case, I will never let you wake up. And to demonstrate the point.” with that he lifted her
up in his arm and carried her towards the bedroom. He looked at her face, and instantly knew he
had done the wrong thing. He could see the fear written on her face. He could feel her tremble.
“Swara, it’s ok, hell I should have known better”. With that, he set her down, but held her hand as
they walked to the table.

But for Swara her little utopia was gone. Kids, marriage, s*x, she may never be able to give him
any of these. Sanskar deserved better, he deserved the lot.

She ate in silence. Sanskar tried to joke about his cooking to break the ice. And while she smiled a
lot, she said comparatively little. She insisted on washing up while he had a shower. When he
returned she was once again on the balcony. The balcony she knew she was never going to see
again. For finally, she had made the decision, that was truly right.
She was extra lively on the drive home. She told herself, that she must be careful, so that Sanskar
did not guess anything. Once he had seen her safely inside, he took her in his arm. This was
going to be her last kiss and she did not want to let him go. It would be so easy for her to be
selfish, surely after losing so much in life she had the right to have Sanskar. But even in those self absorbed

moment she knew, she could never do that to Sanskar. That would not be love. When
Sanskar left, her eyes lingered on his retreating figure. This would be her last memory of him. He
had said he would be back at 11 so they could have lunch together. That meant she had no time
to lose.
She waited until the car drove out of sight. And then she raced around. First she packed her
suitcase. Then she got the dogs into the car. She also put in her laptop, artwork set, and other
essentials. Then she locked the front door. She popped over to the florist and gave Sara a
letter to give Sanskar when he came at 11am. She was going to leave it beside the door, but then
feared it falling into the wrong hands. She told Sara an emergency had come up and she had
to go out of town. She did not know when she would be back and asked her to ring Ragini if
there was a problem with the house. She also left her email address with Sara. She asked
Sara to feed the birds and the fish.

By 9.30 am Swara had left her suburb well and truly behind. She took the freeway and headed
north. At last she tried to check into a motel, only to find that no one would let her keep the
dogs with her. Where could she go now? Ragini and Laksh would alert Sanskar. She had no
family. How she missed one now! Then she told herself, Swara, you do have a friend. She
stopped at a phone booth and rang Suraj’s number.
“Swara, my child, I just got a call from Ragini. I hear congratulations are due. I am really happy
for..” again he was cut short.
“Suraj, I am not marrying Sanskar. I need your help. Can you put me up for a few days? Just until I
can sort myself out.”
“Does that mean you want me to ask you to move in?” Suraj asked with a laugh “I’ll meet you at
home. The address is 15 Bellamy Close, Bellevue Hill”
By 10 am Ragini became frantic. She had been trying Swara’s phone for over half an hour and
constantly got the answering machine. Finally she walked into Sanskar’s office. She called him out
of the meeting that was in progress.
“Sanskar, did Swara say if she was going out. It’s just that she won’t answer the phone.
She could be sleeping, but I am just not getting a good feeling.” Ragini whispered. Sanskar tried
ringing and met with the same fate. “Look I’ll just rap up this meeting, and drive over to her
place. I was meeting her at 11 anyway.”
Once again, Sanskar found his concentration was lost. Somehow he got through the meeting. As
soon as the last person walked out, he grabbed the car keys and left. Ragini was standing by the
lift, “I am coming too.”

“Ragini I need you here. I need Laksh and you to hold the fort.” He said
“Ring me as soon as you are there. Here take these keys. I look after a spare set for her.” She
pushed him into the lift
“Thanks, you know my mobile number. Keep me informed.” the lift doors shut on Sanskar’s
Sanskar drove quickly but safely to Swara’s place, thinking all the while that she must have fallen
off to sleep. He himself had found his eyes shutting until he had about six cups of black coffee. .
Then he thought of his engagement and a smile broke through. He could not believe his luck at
the turn of events. He had been carrying the ring ever since the night he had spent at her place.
Then their relationship went on a roller coaster ride, but the ending was worth everything. There
was only one small problem, the fear that came into her eye on seeing the bed. Thank God, for
Ragini. Knowing what was causing the fear, meant he knew how to act when that fear arose.
Swara was going to share his life and home. He was prepared to wait for everything else. He had
been a celibate for over four years now, what are a few years more.
Swara looked at the house from where she stood at the gate. The long driveway was edged by
blue gums. She was sure a koala balanced on one of the branches.
“Who is that?” a lady spoke into the intercom

“It’s Swara. I have come to see, Suraj Galodia.” Swara could feel herself getting nervous.
“Come in Swara. Just drive up to the front steps.” the lady said in a friendly voice.
“The gates opened and she drove in. The driveway must have been a good five hundred meters
and ended in a circle around the fountain. She parked the car and got out, glad so glad to see
Suraj’s smiling face and his outstretched hands.
“Parvati, this is Swara” then addressing the dogs “yes yes I hear you both.” Then he turned to Parvati
and said,” and her dogs.” They laughed
“Swara this is Parvati Galodia, my wife.” He was beaming
“I am so glad to meet you. I am sorry I misunderstood. I thought Suraj lived alone. I hope I am
not intruding.” Swara felt embarrassed.
“Not at all, my child, Suraj has spoken so much about you that I feel I already know you. And we
would love the company.” Parvati spoke, looking intently at Swara.
Suraj had gone and let the dogs out and they ran wildly about on the lawn. A butler appeared and
took the suitcases. Suraj opened the back gate and let the dogs into the yard. He then shut the
gate again. “They’ll be safe there.” he told Swara.
“Why don’t we take you to your room first and then we can have some morning tea.”
Parvati directed Swara up the steps.
“It’s the first room to the right. Yes the purple one.” Parvati and Suraj followed closely
Swara entered the room and let out a small gasp. It was the loveliest room she had ever seen. It
was as though Parvati had recreated another era. The furniture had to be antique. “It’s just
beautiful. I think the most beautiful room that I have ever seen.”
Swara said with sincerity.

“This was our daughter’s room.” Suraj added
“Your daughter, are you sure it’s alright for me to use it. I mean the memories.”
“Swara, that’s our daughter, there on that wall.” Parvati pointed out
The next moment, Swara swayed. Suraj and Parvati rushed to her.
“Mum, th..hats my m.u.um.” Swara stuttered Then she looked at Suraj “ You are Grandpa? And
Grandee? You are not dead? When did you know? Why didn’t you tell me?”
“The first time I saw you gasping for breath. Your mother had that problem too. Every time I
saw you, another piece fit into the puzzle. After leaving your home that evening I went over to
Ragini’s place. The stories matched up. Swara, apart from your eyes and hair, you have inherited
another trait from your mother – the desire to run. I had to ensure I did not make you do that too.

I came back and rang Parvati.” Suraj said
“And I flew down straight away. Swara, there is so much we need to say, to hear, but first
won’t you tell us about today. What made you ring Suraj?”
Swara related everything, to the very last detail.
“You should have trusted Sanskar. Not every man wants everything. And Sanskar loves you dearly. I
saw that in him at the restaurant.” seeing Swara’s raised eyebrows “yes it was all a set up. Ragini
and Laksh were to bring Sanskar there. Suraj had already told them where you both were dining,
and I had been told, ‘if you want to see your grandchild, come to the restaurant and a table would
be reserved’ She smiled at her husband “At sixty four my husband was quite a match maker.”
Then she became serious “Swara, we lost a lifetime with Sumi and you, because she ran. Don’t
lose a lifetime with Sanskar, doing the same thing.”

“But I will be half a wife, is that fair to him. I am not much help to him at work. And I will be
even less at home. That’s not what I want for Sanskar.” Swara tried to make them understand how
she felt.
“He must be sick with worry. At least let him know that you are safe.” Suraj said
“I will let Ragini know. Pete..Grandpa, no more match making. Don’t tell them where I am.” She
again pleaded
“OK I promise,” he said
Sanskar looked at the house and knew something was wrong. He rang the bell, but Swara did not
open the door. Neither did the dogs bark. He hesitated a moment. If he opened the door and the
dogs were there, they could very likely pounce on him. Yet if Swara had fallen and needed help,
he did not have a moment to lose. He turned the key and the door swung open. Before he could
step in, Sara came running across
“Mr. Maheshwari. Swara left this note for you. I am sorry but I have left a room full of customers. I
better rush back. It was nice seeing you. I am Sara, by the way.”
Before he could utter a word, Sara was gone.
Sanskar stood at the door and ripped open the envelope. Swara’s note unfolded in his hands.
‘Sanskar, I should never have said yes. I got carried away with the moment and all that talk of love,

that I forgot the two most important things. You deserve your own children. I may never be able
to have them. I don’t know if Ragini told you, that the two stab wounds were both in my
abdomen. I took one in the uterus and the other in my left ovary. Only a miracle can see your
dream coming true with me.
Secondly, even you saw me freeze this morning. I have been like that since the attack. A platonic
love affair is no basis for a marriage. I won’t do that to you. I won’t let myself, be that selfish.

I am leaving Mumbai. I don’t know when I will return, if I ever do. I have taken the last of the
files I had to complete, with me, and I will courier them to you when they are ready.
Takecare of yourself. I am sorry for running away. It’s a family trait. When the going gets
tough, we keep going.
I don’t know how else to say how sorry I am nor do I know how else to end this letter.
While Sanskar was reading her letter, Ragini had opened her email.
‘Ragini, I am fine. Tell Sanskar I have left a letter with the florist. He will know which one. I don’t
know when I will be back. Take care of yourselves and that little baby. I would have rung but
that detective in you would have traced the call back to me. I could not risk that.
Love Swara
After that she had sent Sanskar an email too. It basically repeated what she had said in the letter,

just in case he did not get it.

Credit to: JANPA

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