SWASAN – MR MAHESHWARI AND I
“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!
PRECAP : Intro of Sanskaar Maheshwari
So guys, Here is my first chapter!! How is it? Please do comment in this….And just want to tell….This is not a Ragsan or a Raglak ff!! Only a SWASAN one…..
If you don’t like it, I can stop…But it turns very interesting, I promise you…
One last thing, There will be many parties and poojas and what not, in this story, So it may be a little far-fetched…But hopefully well written!!!