swasan ff loving each other chapter 1 and 2
I love sr, especially swasan. i saw this story on wattpad and wanted to share it here
“Please don’t tell me,” Swara Gadodia said to the room at large, “that she is writing about Sanskaar Maheshwari again.”
Ragini, her half sister, younger to her by a year, looked up from the gossip sheet and giggled.
Ragini : How could you tell?
Swara (in an obvious voice) : Because you are giggling like a mad woman. Ever since we moved to Kolkata and subscribed for that gossip sheet, You have been obsessed with that God-awful man.
Ragini giggled, shaking the blue sofa on which they both sat.
Swara : See? ( giving her a little poke in the arm) You always giggle when she writes about some notorious rogue.
But Swara grinned. There was little she liked better than teasing her sister. In a good-natured manner, of course.
Sumi, Ragini’s mother and Swara’s stepmother for almost 22 years now, looked up from her book and saw them laughing.
Sumi : What are you laughing about now?
Ragini : Ma! Swara is in a mood because Deepa of The Social(name of the gossip rag) has written about Mr Sanskaar Maheshwari again.
Swara : I’m not in a mood.
But nobody’s listening to her.
Ragini : I think Deepa just likes writing about notorious flirts who are successful businessman.
Swara (retorting) : Obviously, Ragini! Do you think people will read about boring old people?
Sumi : You know that’s not true, Swara! She wrote about us last week. I was really surprised when I saw that. But then I realised, poor we may be, But our social standing here in Kolkata is still high. No wonder Deepa wrote about us.
Ragini : And God knows we are not the most interesting people in this world.
Swara and Sumi smiled at Ragini’s innocence. They had come from their town only about 3 months ago and were accepted by the society. They had received many party invitations, invitations for brunches, lunches, poojas and it was widely accepted that Ragini was the society’s incomparable. Swara was considered pretty but it was Ragini that people saw immediately. She was usually known as Ragini’s older sister.
But Ragini had never realised that. She was always polite and humble and never thought of herself as beautiful. Her world was her sister and mother.
Sumi : Ok! I am going to lie down for a while. Don’t forget, Today we have Mrs Sharma’s London style ball to attend. So don’t forget to wear dresses.
Swaragini nodded. Swara sighed. She didn’t even want to go to these parties. She loved her life when they lived in town. With her father, Shekar Gadodia. The Gadodias had never been immensely wealthy, but they had managed to live comfortably over the years. But after Shekar had passed away almost a year ago, their finances were severely strained. So they had come to the city, Kolkata where Swara had obtained a job, due to start in 3 months. Until then, They were enjoying Kolkata and their social life.
At least Ragini was. Swara missed her quiet life back home. But Sumi had an extra ulterior motive to bring them both here. Marriage. Sumi wanted them to marry well and have a happy life, Like how she and Shekar had. Sumi was her step mother but had never made her think like that. She had always given equal love to both her daughters.
Swara smiled wryly. She didn’t even want to marry. She knew that she would never obtain the interest of the rich aristocrats in Kolkata. She didn’t possess any of the lady like qualities, didn’t know the proper norms to follow in society. Even Ragini, who didn’t have a single devious bone in her, somehow knew exactly how to be charming and act helpless such that men swooned after her.
She told Sumi all these reasons. But Sumi wouldn’t hear of it. She told her how she had promised Shekar she would treat both her daughters equally. She had made a promise to Swara’s dead mother and she was going to fulfil her responsibilty. So Swara had reluctantly agreed.
And so here she was—sitting in a somewhat faded drawing room in a rented house in a section of Kolkata that was almost fashionable, and…..
She looked about mischievously. … and she was about to snatch a newspaper from her sister’s grasp.
Ragini (squealing) : Swara! ( her eyes bugging out at the tiny triangle of newsprint that remained between her right thumb and forefinger) I wasn’t done yet!
Swara (with a cheeky grin) : You’ve been reading it forever. Besides, I want to see what she has to say about Mr Maheshwari today.
Ragini’s eyes glinted devilishly.
Ragini : You’re awfully interested in the man, Swara. Is there something you’re not telling me?
Swara : Don’t be silly. I don’t even know the man. And if I did, I would probably run in the opposite direction. He is exactly the sort of man the two of us should avoid at all costs. He could probably seduce an iceberg. I hear he has had more girlfriends than I have had birthdays. Ragini, You are not allowed to go after him, You understand.
Just then Sumi entered again.
Sumi : Swara! Even you are searching for a husband. Remember that..
Swara looked at Sumi with a sarcastic glare. There was no way a handsome man like Sanskaar Maheshwari will marry her. Ragini was the more obvious Gadodia he would choose.
Ragini : Anyways, I don’t think he is going to marry now. At least that’s what Deepa says.
Swara : For a gossip columnist, she displays remarkable good sense. She certainly has been accurate about everybody’s character. Her assessment is similar to mine.
Sumi : You should make your own judgments, Swara. Not believe a gossip column.
Swara knew her stepmother was right, but she didn’t want to admit it, and so she just let out a “Hmmph” and turned back to the paper in her hands.
Ragini : Do you know what type of man I want?
Swara (waiting, expecting to hear handsome or kind) : Yeah, Tell!
Ragini : A scholar…
Swara ( surprised) : Scholar? I don’t think you’ll find them in the parties we go to. There, you’ll find only businessmen.
Ragini : I would be happy with an amateur scholar, Swara! Don’t worry.
Swara smiled. Surely Ragini could find someone who loved to read.
Swara : Anyways, Since you made that comment in Mrs Rudra’s party, Your admirers have been swarming me with compliments and gifts.
Sumi : Comment? What comment?
Ragini : I told them I would marry a man my sister finds the best. The one she thinks will suit me, I will marry him only.
Swara : Now, those men are coming after me and trying to make me like those half-wits. Don’t worry Ragini! We will surely find a man for you. I don’t know if what the gossip column says is true or no. But I still won’t risk it. You will marry someone of your choice. Just not that Sanskaar Maheshwari!
MAHESHWARI MANSION 6:00am (The same morning that Swaragini had their discussion)
Sanskaar stood at the edge of the balcony thinking.
Sanskaar Maheshwari had always known he would die young. No, He had never thought that as a child. He had had a happy childhood which was tarnished by only one thing. The death of his father Ram Prasad Maheshwari when he was 7.
He had felt angry and sad, but not particularly grief-stricken. It was never his dad he was close to, But his Bade Papa, Durga Prasad Maheshwari. He felt he had a special relationship with DP. Not because DP treated him more special due to the death of his own dad. Not beacuse he loved Laksh, Adarsh or Uttara less. DP had always loved his children equally.
Sanskaar simply felt that he had a special relationship with Bade Papa due to the fact that he knew him longest. After all, He would always have a year’s experience over Adarsh and a whole three years over Laksh. And Uttara! A full four years….
Durga Prasad Maheshwari was, quite simply, the very center of Sanskaar’s world. He taught him how to write, how to ride a horse, how to handle business and how to treat people. Instead of sending him to school with the driver like all the other kids, DP had gone personally with him and gave him a heart-heart talk where he reassured Sanskaar that everything would be alright.
And it was, as Sanskaar knew it would be. DP never lied. Sanskaar loved his mom and Badi Ma! But it was for DP, that he did everything. Right from getting good grades to every other accomplishment in his life.
And then 8 years ago, when Sanskaar was 20 and in Harvard Business School, His world had come crashing down. His mentor, his life inspiration, his Bade Papa was dead. Everything had changed.
It is funny how one’s life could alter in an instant, how one minute everything could be a certain way, and the next it’s simply … not. Sanskaar remembered coming back to MM and looking at his Bade Papa lying lifeless and still. He saw his crying family. Badi Ma, Mom, Adarsh, Laksh and Uttara. He had looked at DP and looked at him, staring at him for hours, barely blinking.
And when he had left the room, he had left with a new vision of his own life, and new knowledge about his own mortality.
Durga Prasad Maheshwari had died at the age of forty two. And Sanskaar simply couldn’t imagine ever surpassing his mentor in any way, even in years.
Shaking himself out of these thoughts, Sanskaar went to go get ready for the day, handling his huge conglomerate business.
LATER – About 1pm
At that very same moment Swaragini were discussing Mr Maheshwari, the subject of their discussion was relaxing at White’s, The exclusive Gentlemen’s club with his two younger brothers, enjoying a late afternoon drink.
Sanskaar ( leaned back in his leather chair, regarded his scotch with a thoughtful expression ) : I’m thinking about getting married.
Adarsh, who had been indulging in tipping his chair drunkenly on the back two legs—fell over.
Laksh started to choke.
Luckily for Laksh, Adarsh managed to regain his seat fast enough to smack him on the back, sending a piece of fruit sailing across the table.
It narrowly missed Sanskaar’s ear.
Sanskaar let the indignity pass without comment. He was all too aware that his sudden declaration had come as a bit of a surprise. Well, perhaps more than a bit. “Complete,” “total,” and “utter” were words that came to mind.
Laksh : You? Getting married?
Sanskaar could well understand their surprise. He knew that he did not fit the image of a man who had settling down on his mind. He’d spent the past 8 years as the worst sort of flirt, taking pleasure where he may. For as he well knew, life was short and certainly meant to be enjoyed.
He had had many girlfriends, too many to count. HE had lived with a sense of honour. He had not dallied with proper young women. After all, he did have a sister. He knew how to respect women. But he did go with the not so serious ones and had immense fun with them, all the while expanding his business.
The Maheshwari name had become a household name now. The three brothers, all devilishly handsome, all famous in their own right, were well known by all. Adarsh, the quiet one, an artist…..Laksh, the naughty and charming one, an author who loved to travel. He was the society’s charming boy. Their laadla! And finally Sanskaar! The sole owner of the Maheshwari Business. The man who had turned a modest company into a MNC worldwide. He was the most mysterious, most dangerous brother. Girls who surrounded his brothers like mosquitos smelling blood, didn’t know whether they should go near him and impress him or stay away from him due to his reputation. And Sanskaar was fine with that.
In all the parties he attended, The society mothers were torn between introducing their daughters to him in the hope that he will marry them or driving away their daughters from him as he might ruin them.
It had been like that since he was 18, since their family was influential to the extreme. DP’s death had been both sudden and unexpected; he’d not had a chance to make any final requests of his eldest son before he perished. But if he had, Sanskaar was certain that he would have asked him to care for his mother and siblings with the same diligence and affection DP had displayed.
And so in between Sanskaar’s rounds of parties and horse races, he’d sent his brothers to exceptional colleges, and kept a close and watchful eye on the family finances. With two brothers and a sister, he saw it as his duty to make sure there was enough money to secure all of their futures.
As he grew closer to thirty, he’d realized that he was spending more and more time tending to his heritage and family and less and less in his old pursuit of decadence and pleasure. And he’d realized that he liked it that way. He still had a on-off girlfriendat times and he discovered that he no longer felt the need to enter every horse race or stay late at a party just to win that last hand of cards.
His reputation, of course, stayed with him. He didn’t mind that, actually. There were certain benefits to being thought
Kolkata’s most reprehensible rogue. He was nearly universally feared, for example. That was always a good thing.
But now it was time for marriage. He ought to settle down and give his mothers a rest. He had to take care of them in their old age. And his mother desperately wanted a grandchild. So he had decided to get married.
But he didn’t want love. He knew he wouldn’t live beyond 42 and love would only complicate matters. So he had decided to settle down and marry a girl of a good reputation who understood family values and to whom he would be a friend. They would be husband and wife. But he didn’t want love. His wife would be smart as he wanted smart children.
Children! HE felt a twinge of regret at the thought. He would not be alive to watch his children grow up. He frowned.
Adarsh : Sanskaar! What the hell is bothering you? You are not talking at all..
Sanskaar : Nothing at all.
He had obviously not shared his idea of his mortality to anyone. It was not the sort of thing one wanted to advertise. Hell, if someone had come up to him and said the same thing, he probably would have laughed him right out the door.
But no one else could understand the depth of the bond he’d felt with DP. And no one could possibly understand the way Sanskaar felt it in his bones, how he simply knew that he could not live longer than his mentor had done. DP had been everything to him. He’d always aspired to be as great a man as DP, knowing that that was unlikely, yet trying all the same. To actually achieve more than DP had—in any way—that was nothing short of impossible.
Sanskaar’s Bade Papa was, quite simply, the greatest man he’d ever known, possibly the greatest man who’d ever lived. To think that he might be more than that seemed conceited in the extreme.
Something had happened to him the night his uncle had died, when he’d remained in the hall with the body, just sitting there for hours, watching his Bade Papa and trying desperately to remember every moment they’d shared. It would be so easy to forget the little things—how DP would squeeze Sanskaar’s upper arm when he needed encouragement. Or how he would recite some funny poems and limericks, not because he thought it particularly meaningful but just because he liked it.
And when Sanskaar finally emerged from the room, the first streaks of dawn pinking the sky, he somehow knew that his days were numbered, and numbered in the same way DP’s had been.
Adarsh ( with exaggerated patience) : Spit it out, Sanskaar! What the hell are you think about?
Sanskaar ( coming into his senses) : You two are always attending these society parties. Who is the recent star among the flock?
Laksh and Adarsh both thought about it. Finally,
Laksh : Ragini Gadodia! You would have surely seen her. Very beautiful. There are usually atleast 5 men following her throughout the party. The Gadodias moved to Kolkata about three months ago. I think they are not as well off as the others.
Sanskaar nodded his head in satisfaction. A poorer match would make it easier for him to marry.
Sanskaar : Does she have a brain?
Laksh (blinking) : Er…Yes! She seemed to be having an intense discussion in Indian politics with Mr Malik.
Sanskaar (placing his empty glass ont he table) : Perfect! Then I will marry Ragini Gadodia!