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After three months, one of the cop informed me that I am releasing today. I don’t know who did it but I am grateful to them. I came out after changing my clothes and saw Jones talking with the head. Akash is beside him with red marks on his face. I guess Jones exposed him.
” sorry Mr. Maheswari to trouble you. You are free now even swara is” he said shaking hand with me.
” its okay sir ” I said with a wide smile that extended till my ears. Before coming out, I glared akash. if looks can kill then he must be dead now.
” thank-you Jones. I know this is very small word for what you have done and please never hesitate to ask anything” i said while hugging him.
” its okay sir. All I need is your friendship” he winked at me.
I hugged him again but this time tightly and said” you have returned me my life ”
Later I collected my passport from him and boarded into the first flight for India. This time, every second passed like a year. I am eagerly waiting to my family. I am sure that by this time, everyone got to know about me and swara and I seriously wish that her parents apologize and accept her.
As expected, my family gave me a warm welcome. My dad was almost in tears while my mom and badi ma are weeping badly. Even I had waters in my eyes. Laksh hugged me tightly and I melted .
That night, I threw myself on the bed. Seriously I missed it a lot and fell asleep as I was unable to sleep in that jail. Next morning, as usual ragini came to my room greeting me with a wide smile.
” good morning” I said in an energetic voice.
“Good morning sanskar” she said.
I am shocked listening to her. Did she just say sanskar?
” sanskar..I think it is new to you but from now I will call you like this only”
“Oh! So everyone at your house accepted her”
” I almost had tears listening her sanskar and” she came near to me “you are really a true friend”
I just smiled at her and came down. Again my mother encountered me with glass of milk and this time I didn’t object her but trust me I don’t know why.
The same night, I slept on my bed thinking about swara. I know that I am smiling right now and seriously I don’t have any regrets now. All I knew is she is now happy with her life and mainly she is out of that hell.
I went down after brushing my hair and stopped for a minute seeing her again in my house. Oh God! Before one month, I slept without any regret but again she came into my life. Destiny never wanted me to be happy. I slowly went to her and smiled. It is then I observed her. Her face is charming but her eyes still had something in them . she is just pretending to be happy but not exactly. I want my friend swara back and I will bring her at any cost. Immediately I turned to lucky.
” shall we plan for a week day trip to forest?”
“Sure bhai..but who will come with us?”
I looked at swara and said” swara along with my gang”
He showed me thumbs up.
I turned to swara” okay then be ready by day after tomorrow. We will leave at early hours and yeah this is my order” I said the last words because I knew she won’t disobey my order.
She simply smiled nodding yes to me.
Next morning, I went to her house along with a big boquet and knocked her door. After few seconds, she opened the door and my mouth opened wide seeing her in blue color suit.
” swara! Surprise” exclaimed ragini.
Both sisters hugged each other and all other family members deeply involved in chatting. I slowly sent to swara and wishpered ” will you come out with me?”
Her eyes widened but after a while she agreed.
” where are we going sanskar?” She asked as I blind folded her.
” shh” I wishpered at her ear.” Please stay quiet ” I added.
Soon we got into the car and reached our destination. All the way of the journey, she kept blabbering and I felt like my swara is coming back slowly. We both walked to a restaurant and her eyes widened seeing the arrangements after removing the cloth from her eyes. Yes I have called our gang members and arranged a surprise party for her. She turned to me in surprise.
” happy birthday swara” I said in a loving voice.
She sighed as of she remembered now that it is her birthday but I know that her family wished her in the morning. Soon she cut the cake and we really had a great time. She gave a piece of cake to everyone. I slowly approached her staring at her. Her eyes smiled at me.
” would you like to have a piece?” I said pointing at the cake. She nodded and closed her eyes while opening her mouth wide as I cut a piece from it. My hand went near her mouth and I laughed myself seeing her expressions. How sure she is that I will feed her with her favourite pastery? She closed her eyes with great confidence just like a cat does when it drinks milk. Her forehead frowned as she didn’t feel any cream on her tongue and I neared her with a naughty smile.
” I am sorry swara” I said as I applied the cake on her face.
” awww..sanskar” she shouted. Seeing my act, everyone applied the cake and now her face became brown as it is a chocolate flavour.
She is looking too cute in it.
” you are going to pay for it Mr. Maheswari” she said while smriking.
Before I could picture anything, I felt her soft fingers touching my face then cheeks and nose even. Oh God! She applied cream on my face.
” swara!” I exclaimed.
” mission accomplished ” she said while running. I too ran back of her.
” guys! Stop fighting” Priya said. I turned to her.
” you no need to stop them dear wifey” said pratik. I can smell his jealousy. How insecure he is!
After having a long day with lots of fun, we both started our journey to our home.
” swara!” I wishpered look straight on the road.
” I think you forgot something”
” what” she asked in surprise.
” birthday gift..I didn’t give you any birthday gift”
She placed her hand in my shoulder and turned to me.
” you already gave sanskar ”
“What? I mean when ”
She smiled listening my confused voice.
” life..life sanskar. You have gifted me my life. World’s best gift”
I gulped the lump that got stuck in my throat but it kept creeping till stomach and exploded into butterflies. Did she just praise me? Or am I hallucinating?
” seriously sanskar. You are the best person”
“Thank-you ” I said trying to hide my emotions.
” okay then be ready by 8:00am tomorrow. “We should leave right”
She nodded in yes before stepping out of the car.
I gulped hard when seeing the series of steps infront of my eyes. My jaw literally touched ground.
” can’t you do this? ” swara asked me while giggling. I simply glared at her.
From the day we started our journey for camp, I felt like my swara is coming back slowly. her naughtiness increased day by day. in these four days, our gang has enjoyed a lot. Swara and i did many adventures.I loved the trecking most because I was by her side all the time as she was one of my group member. When we felt bore during nights, all members gathered and danced around bonfire. Best days of my life but today I am here because of my foolishness. Yesterday evening, lucky said that all girls are so scared and weak people and hence they need the support of boys. This one really irritated swara while ragini fumed in anger. Swara challenged with him that he would make a round in the deep forest during night to prove his braveness. It is then I spoke out. I wish I wouldn’t have but had done that. I opposed her because it is dangerous. Swara nodded her head in no and asked to accept that boys are loosers. It irritated me after all I am man and I too have ego. So I challenged her that we both will have a competition of climbing the steps of the temple nearby and whoever reaches the first is strong.
” scared of loosing, Mr. Maheswari?” She taunted.
” why will I?” I said in harsh and arrogant voice.
We both looked at each other and started climbing steps. She climbed fast as she skipped each step in the attempt.
After few minutes, we stopped at one of the step to take breath. I turned back to check the progress of my gang. Everyone are leisurely climbing the steps. a smile came on my seeing seeing Priya being carried in pratik’s arms.
” do you want to carry me like that?” She asked me pointing them.
” hell no” I screamed.
” but why?”
” look swara..Priya is on diet and pratik has good biceps. I don’t say that I am not strong but just look at you..you look so heavy” I said rasing my hands as if I am not approving it.
” oh! Seriously?” She said narrowing her eyes. She gave a blow on my back and started climbing the steps. Oh shit! I forgot our challenge. I have increased the speed in my steps and with in no time, I crossed her and reached the destination .
” you did it bro” lucky shouted from down with great excitement but poor fellow, he is still unaware of the punishment given to him by his lovely wife.. Swara glared at me and our eyes met for few seconds then we both bursted out laughing.
That night, I just came out of my tent to take a round of all other tents. Everyone are sleeping peacefully but I found my brother missing along with his wife. I made a friendly trip but it became honey moon trip for my brother as he was married six months ago. I always found them missing during nights but seriously I dont know where they are roaming. I let a sigh out and again started inspecting the tents. My legs stopped at swara’s tent and I peeped inside but to my surprise, she is not inside. I looked around and found her sitting on the banks of a small stream that was passing by, enjoying the beauty of the moon. I slowly walked towards her and sat beside her.
” hi” I wished but she didn’t respond
” swara” I raised my voice and she smiled to me after coming out of trance.
” akash!” I asked.
” you always read my mind” she smiled. “even we made a trip like this before our eloping with my school mates” her voice is wet.
” swara!” I said in affectionate voice.
” it’s okay sanskar. I am fine” she smiled but as I said earlier, she can never fool me, sanskar maheswari.
” he is your past”
“But he affected my future”
I sighed ” future…swara future is in our hands. We still have time to mould it but past doesn’t ”
” I agree with you sanskar but what always pulls anyone from reaching their future goals is past itself. The fear it left in us will never give any courage to move on” she said while plucking some of the grass from ground.
” fear..I guess you read GITA”
She nodded in yes. I smiled at her.
” the whole essence of it is ‘be fearless’ and you are unable to follow it. Then what’s the use of reading it” I said confidently as I have a point.
” I agree..but it’s difficult to apply. The torture, the pain that I experienced is not allowing me to trust anyone.” Her voice is filled with irritation now.
” swara..akash is only one ..but just look at your surroundings. There are lots of men who are different from him.” I pointed to ragini and Lakshya who were coming to us from some where. Ragini is continuously laughing while laksh is staring at her with a smile ” look at them..do you feel that he is not different from akash?” I said in a low and soft voice. My eyes kept staring at her to read her face.
” it takes time” she said finally after a long silence .
” I heard that your parents are searching matches for you. I will be really happy if you choose one of them.” I said fighting back with my tears.
” what!” She exclamied. I can feel the heat in her voice which is enough to burn me alive.
” marriage..no way” she said again. I gulped looking at her face. She quickly smiled at me seeing my face.
” I said I need time sanskar” she said in a low voice
” how many years” I taunted her after gathering some courage. I really want her to move on in.
” I don’t know ” she murmurmed. I stood up and walked to the stream, I kneel down and took a coin from my pocket and wrapped it with wet soil then I filled an empty bottle with water that was lying near the bank. I came back and sat beside her.
” this is you swara” I said placing the coin in her hand. She looked at me in confusion.
” yes, this is your life. Now it is in your hands. Whether you want to live a priceless life with your past memories or ”
I slowly poured the water on the coin and the mud surrounding it departed exposing the coin
” or show your shine to this world by cleaning up your memories”
She looked at me in amusement. I Continued” I know it’s difficult to apply but it is not impossible. We are living in a society where we find may faces. Everyone has a past but they are not giving up their life just like you. If our freedom fighters have given up seeing the deaths during various movements, we would never had enjoyed this freedom. One should always feel happy remembering past but shouldn’t regret. If you are going to regret then never think about it.”
She stared at me with full concentration.
” now its upto you swara whether you want to ruin your 75years of life by living with this past or you will erase those two years to brighten up 98 years of your life.”
By this time, she is lost in deep thoughts but I know that her heart is working on my words. It is signalling brain to decide. Finally I stood up and turned to her.
” choice is yours!”
I started walking towards my tent.I know it is difficult for me because I , myself has asked her to marry someone. I know that I am not in her list but all I want now is her happiness. She must get out akash. I wish..no pray God to give her such a partner in her life who has the power to replace her scars and wounds with his love. As a lover, I wish her well being and I will never force or let her know my feelings towards because she may again feel cheated and this time, she won’t be able to believe anyone. Deep inside, my heart is paining but love is the one which always seeks others happiness. It is not selfish as we humans are. For the first time in case of swara, I wanted to listen to my brain because my heart is already sobbing. When I reached my tent, I turned back to see her and a smile came in my face.
To be continued…