Sunday morning, the sun woke everyone up with eager anticipation. More than five hundred
people wanted 10 am to arrive soon. And no one wanted that more that Sanskar and Swara
Parvati had transformed her home into a floral garden. The lawn had been broken up into
segments. The wedding was taking place in the central lawn, with the aisle, in line with the back
door of the house. Ten seats had been placed on either side of the aisle, going back into twenty five
rows. A gazebo had been set up on a raised platform. The pillars were covered with yellow
garlands that wound themselves up to the top. On the left of the wedding area, an open air dining
area had been organised with each table holding a central floral decoration of yellow roses. The
area on the right had seats scattered all around, a sort of waiting room for those that came in too
early. At 9.30 the guests that had been waiting in that area were asked to move into the central
The guest room downstairs had been opened up for Sanskar and his best man. Swara got ready in
her own room and Ragini was given the room next to her. The make-up artist and the hairdresser
had already completed their jobs and Swara now stood in her wedding dress in front of the
mirror. Even she was astounded by her reflection. She prayed she would not let Sanskar down.
A knock on the door brought her out of her reverie, as Suraj and Parvati came in. She need not have
worried. The look in their eyes, told Swara that Sanskar would be just as astounded.
Parvati opened the box in her hand. Set amidst the blue velvet was a diamond and pearl set.
Hanging from the center of the necklace was a large teardrop shaped blue sapphire pendant.
Swara found herself gaping at the magnificent jewellery.
“Swara, this was Suraj’s gift to me at your mother’s birth and we want you to have it.” Parvati tried
to place the box in Swara’s hand.
“Grandee it’s truly beautiful, but I can’t. It is …” Swara replied.
“Swara, it will give us so much happiness. When Sumi was a little girl she always wanted to
wear this. I never let her. It is something I have never forgiven myself for. Let me make amends
today.” Parvati said tearfully.
“Grandee don’t you start crying. It’s taken over an hour to get me looking like this. If I start
crying now….” Swara said
“Oh no you don’t child. Sanskar wants the wedding to start at 10, not a minute later. Honey you are
everything we have now. Don’t disappoint your Grandee, she has waited a long time for this
moment.” Suraj said
Swara looked at both of them then turned so that Parvati could clasp on the necklace. The matching
earrings completed the picture. Not wanting to ruin the dress and makeup, Parvati gave her a
gentle hug and then left the room in a hurry. The tears in her eyes were just as threatening as the
one in Swara’s.
Suraj looked at his grand-daughter. ‘Thank you Lord, for the miracle that you have performed in our lives’. With that prayer he placed Swara’s hands on his left elbow and walked out of the door, beaming with happiness and pride.
Ragini met them at the top of the stairs. She openly gaped at Swara, and then blew a soft wolf
whistle. No words were needed. They walked down together. At the base of the stairs, they
stopped and took their places. Swara froze.
“Grandpa, I can’t,” she whispered.
“If you run now child, you will give up one who is truly the best person in your life. Don’t do
that Swara.” then with a twinkle in his eyes he removed what looked like a brown paper packet
from his pocket “Sanskar sent me prepared.”
Swara looked towards Sanskar. He was looking ahead, with Laksh standing beside him.
The bridal march began and the first of the wedding guests turned to look towards her. Just then
Sanskar turned and found that this time the breath had truly been knocked out of him. He could not
look away even when the kids began their march.
First Karunsa walked up, keeping in step with the music. Her while organza dress had little yellow
roses embroidered in it. She also carried a basket of yellow roses. Then her brother Kasish
followed in a navy suite, white shirt and a yellow rose in his lapel. Behind them Ragini carefully
edged forward. Her lemon chiffon dress blew lightly in the breeze. And then there was Swara. In
her chiffon and silk gown beautifully offset by the sapphire, Swara carried a trailing bouquet of
white and yellow roses. Sara had insisted on gifting that and had made it herself. Now it lay
gently against Swara’s dress, moving softly as the wind blew.
Swara moved forward. As she stepped out into the open pin drop silence fell over the crowd. All
eyes were now focused on the bride. Ragini could not help the smile that escaped her controlled
features. Lisha was standing there her mouth agape and eyes bulging out of their sockets.
‘something old, something gray indeed, that will teach you’ thought Ragini.
Swara refused to look at anyone, keeping her eyes focused on the ground ahead. “Look up Swara,
not down. Look at him. There is the man who loves you the most in this world, who fell in love
with the old Swara and is taking away the new.” Suraj whispered, knowing that unless she did
that, there was still a chance Swara would turn back. Swara did as he said and looked into the eyes
of the man she had waited for, for a whole lifetime.
Sanskar was still too stunned to react. He could not wait for her to reach his side. She looked like
an angel floating towards him. The only woman he had ever truly loved was now just minutes
away from becoming his wife. To have and to hold from this day forward, in sickness and in
health, for richer for poorer, for all eternity. Soon she would be his wife, and he could finally let
go of all his fears. Never again would he be parted from those cobalt blue eyes.
And then he saw Swara freeze, unable to move forward nor retreat back. Sanskar saw the terror in
her eyes. He knew he had to do something himself. Leaving his position, he walked slowly
towards her. Then as he reached her he took her free hand in his.
“Just hold my hand. I am here now, forever by your side. Just keep looking at me. And
remember there are only you and me here. Everyone else is just in our imagination.” he
Suraj placed Swara’s other hand in Sanskar’s free one and moved back. After that everything was
like a dream. Sanskar walked back with Swara and five paces later they were standing at the dais.
The ceremony began, the vows made and the wedding bands sealed their fates. Swara stuttered,
she teared up, she clenched onto the Sanskars arm. but none of it mattered. not to them, nor to the
guests that had come to witness their marriage. When they next faced the crowd, they did so as
husband and wife, Mr and Mrs Sanskar and Swara Maheshwari.
The reception and lunch followed. The speeches were said, leaving a lot of people in tears, or
hiding it. The video and the cameras captured every moment of that precious day. When it came
to their turn, Swara refused to speak forcing Sanskar to do the honours on their behalf. Then they
cut the wedding cake. Simultaneously several white doves were released from the four corners
off the garden.
At the very first table Sanskar reintroduced her to Pari, who gave her a big hug and said “Swara,
Aadarsh had always wanted Sanskar to find love. I am so glad he has found it with you and I truly
believe Aadarsh had a hand in your marriage.”
“I don’t understand.” Swara said.
“Sanskar, don’t you find it strange that Swara’s initials are the same as Aadarsh’s? Now the company
name will always remain the same as Aadarsh wished.”
“I wish I had met him. From all that I have heard, he seemed to have been a wonderful person.”
Swara replied not wanting to sound too complimentary as Rohit stood beside Pari.
“He was ‘the’ most wonderful person. That is why it took me so long to find someone who is
equally wonderful and not in the least bit intimidated by Aadarsh’s memory” Pari replied, giving
Rohit a gentle push.
Rohit had met Sanskar and the two had liked each other instantly, and were now busy in
conversation. Sanskar was saying “I will ring you once we are back in Mumbai.”
They then went to each table and thanked everyone.
Sanskar faced Greg at the second table. Beside him, his wife Marcia still feeling weak remained seated in her wheelchair and her two kids Karunsa
and Kasish sat beside her.
“Sanskar, Swara came like an angel in our lives. We are so glad she found someone equally worthy.
Take care of her” Marcia spoke faintly.
“I will. You just concentrate on getting better yourself. You have a lot of people counting on
your doing just that.” Sanskar spoke gently
“I’ll do that.” Marcia smiled.
After that, Sanskar and Swara continued from table to table greeting every guest personally. Sanskar
had the satisfaction of seeing several people look a bit ashamed when Swara spoke to them. He
remembered one of them clearly. She was the woman who has passed the remark the day Swara
had given him a lift. Now she gaped at Swara with open admiration. Lisha, seated at the same
table murmured her congratulations, never taking her eyes of Swara.
At one o’clock that afternoon they left in Sanskar’s car and drove straight to the airport. Soon after
their arrival they commenced their journey that consisted of a flight and a launch to Hayman
Island. They docked at Hayman Island just before five that evening. The sun was setting and the
striking orange was a stark contrast to the deep blue sea.
So beautiful was the view that Sanskar insisted they watch the sunset before going to their room.
Sanskar had his arm casually about Swara’s shoulder, but when he felt her move closer to him, he
tightened his hold. They sat on a ledge by the pool until the sun disappeared and then walked
hand in hand in the direction of their room.
Once inside a strange awkwardness fell, neither wanting to take the wrong step, neither wanting
to say the wrong thing. Finally Sanskar suggested that she use the bathroom first to freshen up and
then they could proceed to the restaurant for dinner.
Dinner was wonderful, but again Swara could not eat anything. Noticing her nervousness, Sanskar
asked her to dance. But this made things worse for Swara. At a distance she could at least pretend
that her heart was not thumping. Now, in his arms, she knew he would hear it as well. But it
wasn’t Swara’s heart that Sanskar was worried about but his own. Holding her in his arm, yet not
being able to express his love, was the hardest thing he ever had to do. Before the dance finished,
he took her back to their table. At an arms distance he still had a chance of fulfilling his promise.
or did he? Especially, when she looked up at him with those hypnotic eyes. They drank their
coffee in silence and then left the dining room.
Instead of going to their room, they walked along the beach for a while still holding hands like Lovesick teenagers. Then when it got a bit chilly and he felt her shiver, they returned to their room with neither had spoken much.
“S Sanskar, are you upset” Swara asked
“Upset? Why would I be upset on the most wonderful day of my life?” he asked
“It’s just that you have been very quiet. You even left the dance floor abruptly.” Swara said
“Swara, how can I explain what I am feeling without scaring you again?”
“Sanskar, I am not scared, not of you.” Swara replied
“I gave you a promise, but you are making it very difficult for me. Every time I look at you, all I want to do is take you in my arms.” Sanskar began
“Then do that Sanskar. I don’t want you to keep that promise either” Swara whispered.
“Swara, are you sure?” Sanskar asked unbelievingly
“Very sure. When you kissed me at the wedding I knew that very moment that I wanted to be your wife in every sense of the word.” she said in a low voice.
“And you kept that to yourself all this time. Swara?” he raised an eyebrow.
Swara looked into Sanskar’s eyes and then suddenly overcome with shyness she hid her face in his
shoulder. With his hands on either side of her face, he gently pushed her head back. Then, as he
had done for the past few nights he lifted her chin and kissed her. But this time the kiss did not
end. Instead, lifting her gently in his arms, Sanskar carried his bride to their bed…….
Eighteen months after their marriage, Sanskar and Swara, once again stood together in front of
family and friends. This time all eyes were on a little bundle cradled in Swara’s arm, all ears
listening as she was christened, Samiksha Aarti Maheshwari. She had inherited every
feature from her father except two. Those cobalt blue eyes and the brown tresses had made it
through to one more generation.
Once the rites were over, Samiksha was back in her father’s arms. It could be confidently said, that
when she was not feeding, she could always be found in the crook of her dad’s arms. Swara had
the luxury of holding her baby only when Sanskar was at work. She had even given up asking for
her turn, for all it meant was Sanskar’s turn always followed a second after hers began.
At Samiksha’s birth, Sanskar had introduced flexi-time for all staff. On becoming a parent he knew
the anguish and problems parents faced, and he made many more changes to accommodate those
parental needs. A long day care centre was set up at the premises………
Job share and part-time work
was encouraged. Paternity leave was offered to all fathers with Sanskar being the first to avail of
Samiksha’s birth brought about another couple of changes. A new home was the first. Straight from
the hospital, Sanskar had driven them to their new address. A five-bedroom mansion just seven
houses down from Suraj and Parvati. How he had managed to organise everything and keep it a
secret from Swara, amazed everyone especially Swara herself. They then rented out the
penthouse. Ragini and Laksh had already bought Swara’s home from her. Working three days
from home, it was now Ragini who had converted the room upstairs into her studio.
Sanskar and Swara had set up the internet business with Swara heading that division. She worked
mainly from home, going into work the same two days as Ragini. Despite all these changes, the
company expanded both in profit and in workload. Sanskar ended up recruiting four more staff in
the department, among whom was a husband and wife team who they considered absolutely
brilliant. The only file Swara held onto was that of Suraj Galodia. The rest of her clientele was
from the net. She was not able to avoid meeting the clients totally however it no longer
traumatised her as it once would have done.
Through their marriage Sanskar had shown time and time again, what a perfect husband he was,
but never more than when he took Swara, Suraj and Parvati for a drive one evening and stopped in
front of a huge white building set amidst sprawling lawns. It was named, ‘Samiksha’s world”. It was
to be a safe haven for unwed mothers. It was Sanskar’s tribute to the mother-in-law he never met.
Sanskar had set up a trust, which would fund the center’s financial needs. It offered free and
temporary lodging until the single mothers could establish themselves in their own homes.
And as for Sanskar, he still could not believe the happiness that had come his way. The fulfillment
of his brother’s dream, the love of a very special woman, and the joy of his own child! He had
watched with pride as Swara blossomed on a daily basis. After a year of speech therapy she had
even begun giving her own presentations. It would take longer for her to feel totally confident
but she had made the start on her own and of her own free will.
Now outside the little temple, he stood and looked from mother to child. He watched with pride
and took credit for creating the two most beautiful women in the world. What he did not know,
yet, was that his third creation was already on her way! It was therefore a good thing for Sanskar
and Swara that his parents too had decided to move to Mumbai as well. Their grandchild, they
said, had become too strong a magnet for them.
THANKS to all the silent readers for their support and a special thanks to Sujatha,Kumu,from Nepal,crystal,amilu ruhi ddepiti Vamwolf amd many others..
Don’t be disappointed I would be back with a new ff soon…
Once again thanks for all the support…