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I am restless after hearing her scream. She is continuously pleading me to help. I am trying my best to chase her but before I could catch her, she disappeared. I ran through miles on a deserted road during late hours and finally I saw her. She is beaten up badly by few members and is being dragged to car parked near by. Her eyes are red evidencing her pain. She is staring me with hope that I will help her. I tried to move forward but before that someone hit me back and I fell on the ground. Swara was made to sit in the car forcefully and I am lying down helpless.
“Swara” I screamed her name and opened my eyes. I found myself profusely sweating and looked around to assure that I was dreaming. I turn on the bed light and drank water. It is around 3am. A layer of fear came in my heart as I heard from my grand mother that the dreams that come at early hours become real. If it is true then I wish that it never becomes true.
I slowly walked to the balcony and leaned towards the railing. As it is winter, the cool breeze sent shivers to my body. This is not the first time I got this dream instead I got it every alternate day since two years…I took a deep breath and looked around. The early hours are really clam ones. The sky is slowly trying to shed the darkness and the moon is looking beautiful surrounded by stars. I saw a shooting star again. I don’t know why but this time again I wished to see swara for once. I know it doesn’t happen but if the shooting star has power then it will become true. I went inside my room and stood in front of our family photo. A smile came on my face seeing ragini in it sitting beside laksh.
After swara’s eloping, her parents didn’t risk in ragini and immediately brought a proposal of marriage with laksh in front of bade papa as they both are partners. Laksh too had a crush on ragini and hence their marriage took place. Everything is perfect in my family except me. After swara leaving to US, I tried hard to get out of her. It looks too filmy when I say that I will live my entire life with her memories but I am trying to get out of her thoughts. My family members got to know about my restlessness while I tried my best to show a smiling face to them. Everyone knew that I am worried in the matter of a girl but no one including lucky knew who the girl was. My heart broke every time when ragini or her parents cursed swara for leaving the house infact shekar papa has declared that he had only one daughter. I can understand their pain but still I don’t want them to scold swara.
Don’t think that I am thinking about swara all the time. I will remember her like this during morning hours when I get up due to night mares, at the time of lunch if someone serves me with paneer, at evenings when I inhale the Smell of pani puri and during nights before going to sleep.
I turned my head when I heard someone opening my door. Ragini came inside with a plate and sweets in it. I have then realised that it became morning and I didn’t even notice it thinking about my family.
” what are you thinking Mr. Jethji?” She asked in honey voice.
Even this remembers me swara. I think both the sisters are blessed with a melodious voice that can melt a rock even.
She again repeated the question when I came to my senses.
” call me sanskar ragini” I said smiling.
She stood there for a while and turned to leave.
” I know that we both were friends but now you are my jethji” she said in low voice.
I knew that it would be her answer because we both became friends because of swara. She introduced me in my second year and with in no time we both became good friends because of similarities between us. But after swara’s elope, she never called me by my name because she thought that I was introduced by her sister and so she will never consider me a friend. How foolish!!
She again came to me” jethji..this is the photo of meera. Everyone are waiting for your decision. Hope you will atleast bring a jetan for me this year”
I just stared her and she left the place after placing the photo on the study table. I went to washroom and came back after few minutes. I got ready in my formals cause I need to go to office. Actually papa has made me owner of one of the branches because laksh never had interest in this and so he opted computers in degree. Frankly speaking, I too love administration and business but everything reminded me my college days especially swara. I slowly went to the study table and picked up the photo. My parents are trying hard to get me marry but I never accepted. I think this is 20th photo. I just examined her features. She had small eyes, narrow thin lips and a cute smile but….her nose is not good. I just threw it away and went down
” how is she sanskar?” My badi ma asked with tons of curiosity.
I simply nodded in no and said” her nose is not good”
I saw my mom rolling eyes while badi ma sighed.
” beauty lies in heart sanskar not in body. Till date, you rejected every girl saying that her eyes are not good, her hair is too short and what not” badi ma blurted out.
Yes she is right. Beauty lies in heart and I cannot accept anyone except swara. How can I say that she is just perfect from heart and physically even. God! What am I thinking?? She is a married girl now. I must move on in my life. Yes I need to. Till now I rejected everyone as I didn’t find anyone perfect when compared to swara but not now. I must go ahead because I cannot stop my life here.
I just looked to my badi ma who is still glaring but I can even see concern in her eyes.
” look for another girl ma. I will marry her but not this meera ” I said in a determined voice. Her eyes widen in hope so as my mother. I went to kitchen and drank milk. This act surprised my family as I can read their expressions. Actually I uses to drink milk daily after knowing that swara studies in my college and again stopped when she eloped. Sometimes I laugh at my foolishness of still believing that girl’s words which she said in 12th standard.
I am about to go when bade papa called him.
” you need to go to US sanskar. Actually Mr. Mark has asked for a partnership in US. I know that I must attend it but I want you to attend so that you can gain experience” he said in one breath.
My heart ached listening US but still I nodded to him and went to office.
I came home late night and saw packed lugagges in my room. Probably bhabhi might have arranged them. Aadarsh bhai came to my room with visa.
” your flight is at early hours sanskar. So we must start at 1am itself. You have only one hour. So get ready fast.” He said in a normal voice.
I just nodded and went to washroom. After an hour, aadarsh bhai came along with me to the airport. I went inside the airport while bhai went to park the car. My eyes welled up seeing it. It remembered me swara. Yes she was standing here with him and turned back to see me for the last time. I felt like my heart is going to burst out due to stress and pain but I bet that they were involuntarily. Inspite of trying hard, I never came out of her thoughts. I wiped my tears when someone patted my shoulder.
” San..” Bhai stopped in middle seeing my eyes. I gave him my best smile as I don’t want him to see the pain in my eyes but I guess I failed. Without saying any word, he just hugged me and left the place. I went inside after taking the boarding pass and finally got into the flight but tears filled my eyes. I just went to my seat and collapsed in it. I don’t know when but I slept thinking about her. Next morning, I got up asusal but the thought of travelling for one more day annoyed me. I passed the day helplessly staring at passengers then reading magazines and if I felt bore, I slept but to my surprise my love didn’t come in my dream.
After a travel of nearly 17 hours, I landed in California airport and Mr. Jones , my assistant came to pick me. Soon we reached a restaurant and I got into my room. I just turned around and went to balcony. It is damn good. I can able to see the city from there as my room is on high floor. While I am enjoying the scenery, my assistant called me.
” get ready by 10:30am sir. I will come to pick up you” he said in a polite voice.
I said okay and disconnected the call but I am feeling sleepy. It is strange because I am not a lazy guy. May be because of the changes in the time. After few hours, Mr. Jones came as he said and we went to Mark’s office. After a lengthy day, I threw myself on the bed but surprisingly I didn’t get any sleep. Oh God! These timings are really annoying. We must never get used to anything. As it is day in India so I am unable to sleep now. I let a breath out and went into the balcony to enjoy the view of the city.
I kept walking on the streets on one pleasant evening after three days of my hectic schedule. The sky is looking so calm and damn beautiful in light shade of orange. I am feeling cold because of the winter winds….winter reminded me my home. Actually I must go by tomorrow but due to some visa problem, it got postponed to two days. I didn’t knew for what reason but felt like some force is stopping me to go to India.
It is then I heard some one calling” swara”. For a moment my body freezed but again I composed my self. How can it be she. I mean she is living in US only but this cannot happen. I moved two steps and again heard” swara”. I immediately turned back and saw a small girl shouting at someone. I tried to see her face but failed due to the crowd. My body became numb when her face revealed. I felt like I got my life back. Immediately I said thanks to that shooting star to fulfill my wish. Yes she is there…my swara..no not mine but still mine with the same charming face, rejuvenating smile and long hair..no..short hair. Oh God! She didn’t even change a bit. Our eyes met when she approached the girl. Her eyes are the same with big eye ball and so expressive with the same sparkle..wait a minute…no there is something wrong. Something is missing in her eyes..no she is trying to hide something in it…yes..she is hiding her pain and I bet that I am the only person who can read it. Her eyes are saying something opposite to her smile. It is then I observed her. She is wearing a loose trousers with a white t- shirt. She is not she. Yes and her eyes are saying that. She approached me with a smile on her face may be she is thinking that she can fool me but she doesn’t know that sanskar maheswari never allow anyone especially her to fool him. Her walk is not steady but she tried to hide it. I am sure that some thing is wrong with her.
Oh God! What has happened to her.
To be continued..