SWASAN – CAPTIVATED FOREVER!
Heyy, It’s Anjali back with the next chapter!!!
Thnxx for comments and to my silent readers….
Sanskaar realises he loves Swara
After everyone had left for their excursion, Swara and Sanskaar set out to the beach and the cave. The walk was very peaceful and cheery. Sanskaar was happy to carry Swara’s painting materials and watched her as she skipped along the path in front of him.
She looked really pretty wearing a blue tank top with a white shrug and denim capris.. A light blue hat covered her head and was holding an apron in her hand to wear while she painted.
The path to the beach was lovely— Filled with shady trees and a gravelly path, it made for a smooth sojourn. There were small flowering plants along the sides and benches to rest if anyone needed any.
They finally reached the caves and the two sighed– Swara with delight and Sanskaar with nostalgia and pleasure.
The cave was really beautiful. Hundred of years ago, the water had eroded away some of the rock in a small hill adjoining the beach creating a natural and not too deep cave. There was even a sort of chimney on top that allowed light to enter and so it was not damp or musty.
Sanskaar had loved coming here when he was a kid and so, his father had built a sort of garden on the outside so that it could be Sanskaar’s own haven. But over the years, the water line had receded and now the cave wasn’t easily seen from the beach. So it was the perfect area for Swara to paint. Solitude and beauty– all in one place.
Sanskaar looked around and was pleased to see the garden weeded and the cave dry and clean. He took out a rock which showed a hidden shelf underneath. He removed a blanket and smiled. That had been recently cleaned too.
He had not been here since his return. He was glad to see that it was still carefully tended here.
Swara (pleased) : This is lovely.
He smiled at her as he put down his burdens and set up her easel. He had known she would appreciate it.
She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply.
Swara : Oh, the smell of the sea breeze, the rustle of the leaves, the sound of the water, the sight of water meeting land…. This place is perfect. It’s so serene, Sanskaar. But there is more here besides just beauty. It… It strikes a chord with you. I can feel it here. Can you?
She touched one hand to her heart.
Sanskaar : This was my private haven. I always came here when I was down or sad.
Swara (smiling) : There are very few places like that, Aren’t there? Places where you get comfort, solace. Places where you feel closer to the world… to yourself.. to God.
Sanskaar smiled and nodded. He kept the paints in front of her and pulled out another blanket which he spread a few feet away from the easel.
Sanskaar : I promised to stay quiet while you painted. Why don’t you get started? I shall lie down here and may even go off to sleep.
She nodded and put on her apron and gave her hat to him. He donned it on immediately, ignoring the amused look she gave him. After all, it shielded him from the light.
In addition, he looked away from her, towards the other side, so that she would not feel self-conscious. She was not merely fooling about, she had told him, and he believed her. He was beginning to realize that there were enormous depths to the character of his betrothed, young as she was.
She did not immediately paint, he noticed. She set out everything in readiness and then she sat on the blanket and clasped her arms about her knees. As soon as he realized she had become unaware of his presence he watched her. Anyone coming upon them at that moment might have supposed she was idle, seduced away from her intended painting by the heat of the day. He knew differently. He knew that she was not merely looking for a pretty subject for her painting but was waiting for her surroundings to speak to her artistic soul.
Before they had left, Laksh had told Sanskaar not to worry about Swara’s need for solitude.
Laksh : When I married into this family, I noticed each Oberoi was different in their own way. Swara… She was the youngest and the most protected but she is very perceptive. She’s not like you or me, needing activity or company every moment of every day. She’s different.
Sanskaar thought back to his words and agreed with Laksh’s estimation of Swara.
She doesn’t need company or activity every moment of every day.
That described him exactly, Sanskaar thought, or the person he had made himself into during the past five years anyway.
Once he had understood the enormity of his predicament, he had been afraid to stay in one place too long, afraid to be alone, afraid to stay away from places where there were crowds, afraid not to flirt with every pretty woman he saw and to spend the night with as many of them as could be persuaded to fill his nights with as much activity as he filled his days.
He had certainly been cavalier with his relationships if one could call them that. But none of them had ever meant much to him, nothing made his heart beat like Swara did. He was no longer afraid like he once was.
What exactly had he been afraid of? Himself? The silence?
It was silent now. Oh, it was not without sound, as she had just pointed out. If he concentrated, he could hear that the silence was loud with the sounds of nature. But it was a silence in which his soul could rest.
His soul had not rested for years and years.
He had busily buried it deep, deep so that he would not recognize the emptiness of his existence.
She got to her feet then and arranged a canvas on the easel, whose direction she adjusted. She prepared her brushes and paints and palette and proceeded to paint with as much absorption as she had displayed while sitting. He guessed that she truly had forgotten his presence and was very careful not to move in any way that would distract her.
A picturesque setting with a gorgeous female artist and her faithful, lovelorn sweetheart.
Would she punish him to the bitter end? She was strong-minded enough to do it.
How the devil could he talk her out of it?
As Swara painted, she couldn’t help but notice the analogy between nature and human life.
The waves crashing onto the land, the rustle of the leaves, the colour of the sand– Each of them could depict human emotions at their worst, at their best.
Each moment, the scenery changed just like a person’s mood and that was why Swara loved to paint. She loved to catch a moment as time flew by.
Wasn’t that the challenge of life as well?
People could never be fully understood. They were ever changing, different people at different times and under different circumstances and influences. And always growing, always creating themselves anew.
How impossible it was to know another human being.
How impossible to know even yourself.
Finally her painting was done, and Swara stood back and looked at it, almost as if she were seeing it for the first time.
She remembered suddenly that Sanskaar was with her and turned her head to see that he was still sitting with his back to the cave wall, her hat tipped forward over his eye, his squinting yet smiling eyes looking at her. He looked relaxed and contented.
Swara : How long have we been here?
Sanskaar : One hour perhaps. Two? I’m not really sure. I don’t think it matters, Shona. Did I snore too loudly?
Swara narrowed her eyes but chuckled.
Swara : It was like a pig grunting. However, I don’t think you were truly sleeping.
Sanskaar smiled enigmatically, however said nothing.
Sanskaar : May I see the painting?
Swara (surprised) : Do you want to?
Sanskaar : Of course.
Still dubious, Swara moved to the side to allow him to see the painting.
Swara : So?
Sanskaar stared at the painting, astonished.
Sanskaar : Shona, This is wonderful. Why do I feel like I’m in the painting?
Swara looked at him delighted. No one had ever understood. Her siblings were all tolerant of her need to paint and proud of her strange, eccentric style, but none of them understood.
Swara : You can feel it? I’m in the painting too. You and me and nature and we’re all connected.
Sanskaar looked at her lovely face lit with pleasure and surprised ecstacy and he couldn’t resist. Swara couldn’t either.
She moved forward and placed her arms around his shoulders as her lips met his in a warm kiss.
She felt herself being lowered on the ground as Sanskaar removed her shrug. She knew what they were about to do, but she couldn’t find the words to say no.
Did she even want to?
Sanskaar stopped kissing her long enough to look at her intensely and ask a question.
Sanskaar : Shona?
Swara knew he wanted her permission to continue. He would not touch her unless she wished it. And boy, Did she wish it.
And so, She pulled him close for another kiss. He licked her lips with his tongue. She did the same to him. His tongue slid into her mouth and curled up to stroke the sensitive roof.
Their lovemaking was passionate, full of unbridled desire as both of them reached the apex of their release together.
All through it, She was very aware that he was Sanskaar, that she had loved him almost from the first moment. He was aware—he was surely aware—that she was Swara. He lifted his head while he worked in her and while she answered his rhythm with her own and watched her for a while, his eyes heavy-lidded with passion. He murmured soothing words that she couldn’t make out.
They were a man and a woman making love.
Finally, he rested his arms on the side so as to not put his complete weight on her. They smiled and he bent down to kiss her gently.
She must have fallen asleep, she realized some time later. He had moved to her side, one of his arms beneath her head. His shirt was covering them both and her hat was on one side of her head to protect her from the sun.
She turned to look at him. He was gazing back.
Sanskaar : I’m so sorry, Shona.
Swara : Sorry? For what? I wanted it just as much as you did. Don’t be sorry.
Sanskaar smiled and got up. He turned to the other side while she dressed quickly.
Sanskaar : Do we talk about marriage now?
Swara froze and willed her trembling hands to still and her nerves to calm down.
Swara : For what joy?
Sanskaar turned around, his shirt half unbuttoned looking befuddingly cute. It was all Swara could do to stop herself from going and jumping his bones once more.
Sanskaar : So you’re not going to pretend what we just did was….
Swara (smirking) : Wonderful. Ofcourse it was. I enjoyed myself a lot the same way you did. But this will not change my original plan, Mr Maheshwari.
Sanskaar : I admit defeat, My Shona. I am yours. I will always be yours. Why can’t you say that you want me too?
She picked up all her painting supplies except the easel and newly painted canvas and with her chin elevated scrambled up onto the path.
She had won that battle, she thought, by the skin of her teeth. But the war was not over yet. She had come here to Chandipur intending to tease and torment him before showing her disdain for him by ending their betrothal and thus embarrassing him before all his family and friends and neighbors. But she certainly had not intended that to happen.
Her legs felt slightly unsteady. Her insides were a bit sore and she was completely aware of every little response that Sanskaar had taken from her.
But she certainly could not accuse him of seducing or ravishing her, could she?
She was rather surprised—and perhaps a little disappointed—when he did not come along behind her. When she looked back towards the direction of the cave across the path after reaching the house, he was nowhere in sight.
He was probably sleeping in the cave.
Probably SMUGLY sleeping, not caring about her churning emotions.
It was a good thing he was not within reach. She would have been tempted to slap his head right off his shoulders.
PRECAP : Swara visits Tia