SWASAN – MR MAHESHWARI AND I
Heyy, It’s Anjali back with the next chapter!!!
Thnxx for comments and to my silent readers….
THIS IS A SUPER LONG CHAPTER!!!! HAVE FUN!!!
The ball game….Swara throws Sanskaar’s ball in the lake
Swara : What happened, Mr Maheshwari? Leave me!
Sanskaar : Where do you think you’re going?
Swara : Back, where the others are.
Sanskaar : No no Miss Gadodia! It was your fault that the ball fell in the lake, and now you’re going to be the one who retrieves it.
Swara opened her mouth to protest, But then simply nodded.
Swara : Fine! Let’s go.
They set off.
Sanskaar : Miss Gadodia! Care to race?
Swara : You do like challenges, Don’t you?
Swara : Fine….Ready? One, two……
Sanskaar : Three.
He started running.
Swara : Hey! Cheater!
She bagan running too.
Swara : Mr Maheshwari, You cheated.
Sanskaar : Sab kuch jaayaz hai! Remember!!! This is a matter of pride and anyways, You are playing with a Maheshwari! Maheshwaris don’t have any sense of sportsmanship when it comes to things like this.
Swara : Whatever! I will still defeat you.
She increased her pace. She caught up to him, and sticking her tongue out, zoomed past him! He stared at her, mesmerized to see her openly happy face and her hair flying.
Swara : Bye Mr Maheshwari!
Sanskaar (laughing) : I will catch up with you! (Suddenly, his eyes grew alarmed) Hey Look out!
But it was too late.
Swara, who had been looking back, had failed to notice a branch which had fallen. She tripped on that branch and whoosh went rolling right into the lake!
Sanskaar ran and searched for her. He dived into the river and began searching in the dirty water.
Sanskaar : SWARA! Miss Gadodia!
He dived in again, but found nothing. His heart began to pound. He came up for breath when he saw Swara patiently waiting for him, completely wet with a smile on her face.
Swara : Good to see you Mr Maheshwari!
Sanskaar started coming out shocked.
Sanskaar : But…..you….
Swara : I have lived 25 years in a town where there was a beach and a lake. How could I not know swimming? Oh! And also, I found the ball!!
She held up the pink ball.
Sanskaar came up to her and said angrily.
Sanskaar : ARe you mad? Or deaf? or both? Didn’t you hear me shouting your name at the top of my voice? Agar tumhe kuch ho jata toh…
He held her by the elbows.
Sanskaar : Don’t you ever scare me like that, understand?
Swara, speechless to see Sanskaar’s concern just nodded.
Swara : I’m sorry!
Sanskaar : Are you ok? No problem right?
Swara : I’m fine….Chalo, Ghar chalte hai!
The rest of the trip to the shed was met with silence. Swara set the pink ball in its spot in the game set, noting that Laksh and Ragini had cleared the course and put everything neatly away.
She saw that he was staring at the pink ball so disgustedly that she had to smile.
They locked the shed door and set off.
Sanskaar whistled as they ambled up the path to the house, stealing glances at Swara when she wasn’t looking. She really was quite an attractive woman in her own right. He didn’t know why this always surprised him, but it did. His memory of her never quite lived up to the enchanting reality of her face. She was always in motion, always smiling or frowning or pursing her lips. She’d never master the placid, serene expression to which young ladies were meant to aspire.
He’d fallen into the same trap as had the rest of society—of thinking of her only in terms of her younger sister. And Ragini was so stunning, so amazingly, startlingly beautiful that anyone near to her couldn’t help but fade into the background. It was, Sanskaar allowed, difficult to look at anyone else when Ragini was in the room.
He frowned. And yet he’d barely spared Ragini a glance through the entire Pall Mall game. This might have been understandable simply because it was The Maheshwari Ball Game, and it brought out the worst in anyone named Maheshwari; Hell, he probably wouldn’t have spared a glance for the President of India if he’d deigned to join the game.
But that explanation wouldn’t wash, for his mind was filled with other images. Swara bending over her mallet, her face tense with concentration. Swara giggling as someone missed a shot. Swara cheering on Ragini when her ball rolled through the wicket. And, of course, Swara smiling wickedly in that last second before she’d sent his ball flying into the lake.
Clearly, Even if he hadn’t spared Ragini a glance, He had certainly spent many at Swara!
This should have worried him…But instead it just made him feel all warm and fuzzy!!!
He saw that she kept looking at the sky.
Sanskaar : Is there something wrong?
Swara : No! I was just thinking it was going to rain.
Sanskaar (looking up) : Not right now, though! It looks like it’s going to be a stormy night.
He saw Swara flinch.
Sanskaar : You don’t like rain?
Swara : I don’t mind a gentle rain. But when it starts to thunder and lightning appears, I hate it, I just hate it.
Sanskaar : I’ve always loved and enjoyed thunderstorms!
She shot him a startled look but didn’t say anything, then returned her gaze to the pebbles at her feet. She was kicking one along the path as they walked, occasionally breaking her stride or stepping to the side just so she could give it a kick and keep it flying ahead of her. There was something charming about it, something rather sweet about the way her booted foot peeked out from under the hem of her trousers at such regular intervals and connected with the pebble.
Sanskaar watched her curiously, forgetting to pull his eyes off her face when she looked back up.
Swara : Anyways, What do you……Why are you staring at me?
Sanskaar (purposely ignoring the second half of her question) : What do I what?
Swara lips’ scowled. Sanskaar felt his own quivering, wanting to smile with amusement.
Swara (suspiciously) : Are you laughing at me?
Sanskaar shook his head.
Swara : Liar!
Sanskaar : I’m not….
He stopped. If he spoke any further he knew he’d explode with laughter. And the strangest thing was—he hadn’t a clue why.
Swara : Oh God! What the hell is the matter with you?
Sanskaar had to sit down. He collapsed under a big banyan tree, his entire body shaking with barely contained mirth.
Swara looked at him with an expression that was 25% frustration, 25%anger, 25% curiosity and 25% laughter. He finally couldn’t control himself. He exploded with a loud sound.
Swara (hands on hips) : What is so funny?
Sanskaar (gasping for breath) : I….don’t…know. That expression….on your….face…….
Swara smiled. He loved that she smiled.
Swara : Have you looked at yourself?
Sanskaar : Oh! I know I’m grotesque. All wet and dirty and laughing like a maniac.
He took a few deep breaths and then, when he was satisfied that he had regained control, straightened. He caught sight of her face, still vaguely suspicious, and suddenly he realized that he had to know what she thought of him.
It couldn’t wait until the next day. It couldn’t wait until that evening.
He wasn’t sure how it had come about, but her good opinion meant a great deal to him. Of course he needed her approval in his much-neglected suit of Ragini, but there was more to it than that. She’d insulted him, she’d nearly dunked him in the lake, she’d humiliated him at HIS own game, and yet he craved her good opinion.
Sanskaar couldn’t remember the last time someone’s regard had meant so much, and frankly, it was humbling.
His mind was whirring. He needed to be clever about this. He had to know what she thought. And yet, he didn’t want her knowing how much it meant to him. Not until he understood why it meant so much to him.
Sanskaar : You need to give me a gift!
Swara : Excuse me?
Sanskaar : You yourself said that it was due to me that you were able to dunk my ball in the pond, which made you win. So, you owe me a gift.
Swara : I won! Doesn’t that mean that I should be the one getting a gift or prize?
Sanskaar : But you won because of me. Plus, all the others praised you and dissed me. So i’m the one who’s gonna get the gift.
Swara : True!
Sanskaar (his eyes wide) : Honesty? I’m impressed
Swara : One should be honest in all things in life.
Sanskaar (smiling smugly) : I am really really glad you told that!
Swara (uneasily) : Why?
Sanskaar : Because my gift, My boon, is to ask you a question—any question of my choosing—and you must answer with the utmost honesty.
He stepped forward until she was trapped by the tree trunk behind her and him in front of her. She tried to dart sideways, But his strong hands stopped her. Even without him touching her, she could feel him and his gaze all upon her.
Sanskaar : So tell me, Miss Gadodia, Will you be honest?
Swara (breathily) : What is your question?
Sanskaar leaned forward until their foreheads were almost touching.
Sanskaar : You have to be honest!
She nodded. Or at least she thought she nodded. She meant to nod. In actuality, she wasn’t entirely convinced of her ability to move.
Sanskaar : Do you…..( he moved closer) still….(and closer, Swara closed her eyes) hate me?
Swara opened her eyes utterly shocked.Whatever she’d been expecting him to ask, it hadn’t been this. She licked her lips, preparing to speak, even though she had no idea what she’d say, but not a sound emerged.
Sanskaar (smiling) : I think I’ll take that as a no!
Then with an abruptness that had become characteristic of him, his intense gaze left hers and he spun around so fast that she felt dizzy.
Sanskaar : I think it’s time we go in and get ready for the party right?
Swara just sagged under the tree, completely devoid of energy. The man was too tiresome. First, He played the game so that she would lose, then he showed his concern by jumping in the lake, And after that, he began laughing like a maniac, and now, cowering her with an intensity that was so breath-taking, he managed to go back to normal?
What kind of man was this?
Sanskaar : Do you want to stay outside for sometime? It doesn’t look like rain yet!
She just stared at him. Either he’d lost his mind or she’d forgotten how to talk. Or maybe both.
Sanskaar : Oookay! I think you want to stay here. I’m going inside though. I will see you in tonight’s party. Remember, It’s western wear!
She was surprised she even managed that.
Sanskaar : Excellent!
Sanskaar suddenly took her wrist and placed a feathery light kiss on her hand, Not knowing why!
Sanskaar (thinking) : Why the hell did I do that?
Sanskaar : Have a nice time, Miss Gadodia!
And then he strode off, leaving Swara with the oddest feeling that something rather important had just taken place.
But for the life of her, she had no idea what.
THAT SAME NIGHT! IN SWARA’S ROOM IN VENUS PARK
By 7:30 that night, Swara considered feeling extremely ill. By 8, She was almost ready to break her hand and not go downstairs to the party. But when the time finally came for her to go down for dinner, She went.
She refused to be a coward.
She wasn’t a coward.
And she could make it through the evening.
Surely Mr Maheshwari would be busy with his clients and other important friends. He wouldn’t even notice her.
This filled her up with disappointment, though she didn’t know why…
She decided not to wait for Ragini. Ragini was in a weird philosophical mood which meant that Swara would be swarmed with questions like “What is wrong with you”, Why do you look so pale” and all that.
And Swara didn’t want to answer any of those questions.
Beacause the truth was— She didn’t even know what was wrong. All she knew was that that afternoon, something had changed between her and the businessman. Something was different, and she freely admitted (to herself, at least) that it frightened her.
Which was normal, right? People always feared what they didn’t understand.
And Swara definitely didn’t understand the man.
She began descending the stairs, savouring her solitude, When one of the other doors opened and a girl emerged.
Girl : Swara! Wait up, Swara!
Swara turned to look at one of her. It was one of her dearest friends. She had met her in Kolkata just a month ago, But they had struck a firm friendship!
Swara : Rashi! I knew you were coming. But I completely forgot to ask about you. Oh My God! You look stunning in that yellow outfit!
Rashi : Thanks babe! But look at you…. You look like an angel…so ethereal.
Ande she was. Swara was wearing a shimmery white dress which though short, made her look very decent and innocent- looking. She had matched it with pearl earrings and had accentuated it with simple make up!
Swara : Thankss!! Ragini told me that if I wear this, Men would stop following her for once. As if that would ever happen.
Rashi : No, Swara! I think she is right! There is some other magic on your face today! Have you met someone? What is the reason for this glow on your face?
Swara : Pagal ho kya? Me with someone? Seriously, kuch bhi bol deti ho!
Rashi continues to tease her while Swara denies liking somebody!
They reach the great hall.
Swara : First we are to have dinner in the adjoining room. Then after that, We will be coming here for the party. Where the hell is Ragini?
IN THE DINING HALL
Sanskaar had been wondering that himself! Where the hell was she? Oh Dear! Is this how she was going to be during their marriage as wel. Always late? And what about Swara? Was the sort to be late as well? Nah, He didn’t think so!
Just then he saw her enter the dining hall. He stood still. He felt the world stand still! The only thing he could see was Swara laughing. She was wearing a white dress which made her seem so exotic looking. Her back was half bare with a zipper. She had left her hair loose with side fringes.
Sanskaar was mesmerized. He forgot about Ragini..He forgot about his himself. At that moment, all he wanted to do was stare at Swara forever.
Adarsh ( in a cross voice) : Sanskaar, Are you deaf? I have been calling you from that time…
Sanskaar returns to his senses and turns around to look at his brother.
Sanskaar : What happened? Why are you yelling?
Adarsh : Me? Yelling? Never mind! Ma wants you to dance with everyone today.
Sanskaar :What? But she knows right, That I never dance more than thrice. And now she wants me to dance 15 times? Badi Ma’s gone mad.
Annapurna (entering the conversation) : I have gone what?
Sanskaar turned red with embarassment. Annapurna pulls his ears. Adarsh quietly escapes from there. Suddenly, someone’s laughter is heard. They turn sideways and see Swara laughing at how he was being scolded.
Annapurna : Swara! Come join us! (she leaves Sanskaar’s ear)
Swara (smiling widely) : Why did you let go of his ear? You should have pulled it some more na?
Sanskaar escaped from Annapurna and stood next to Swara.
Sanskaar : Really bloodthirsty you are! I swear you are after my blood.
Swara : Only yours, Mr Maheshwari! Only yours. (turning to Annapurna) This decoration is lovely. And the food smells heavenly.
Annapurna : Thanks beta! Actually Sujata planned the whole menu. She is no doubt, Somewhere inside, seeing to arrangements. I should be going and helping her. By the way, Sanskaar? Why did you tell I was going mad?
Sanskaar : Aur kya Badi Ma? You sent Adarsh to tell me that I have to dance with all 15 girls today?
Annapurna : Beta! I’m your Badi Ma! don’t I know how you are? I never said anything like that to Adarsh. He was probably pulling your legs. Ok…Now I will go find Sujata! No Swara! You stay here and have dinner…
Sanskaar (muttering under his breath) : Adarsh should be boiled alive. Itna dara diya mujhe!
Swara : Fratricide is a crime, Mr Maheshwari!
Sanskaar : Well, He deserves it and I am willing to go to prison for that.
Sanskaar : Where is your sister? I have been looking out for her.
Swara (smile fading, But she doesn’t know why) : I don’t know. I think she is with Ma! They wanted to discuss something together.
Sanskaar : Oh! Well, I won’t dance with all 15 girls, But I hope you will dance with me.
Sanskaar : Good! I will impress you today, Not like the first day we met!
Swara : Let’s see if you are successful then.
AFTER DINNER, IN THE GREAT HALL
Swara stood talking to Ragini and Rashi when Sanskaar came to them.
Sanskaar : Miss Gadodia! (To Swara) I believe I promised you a dance.
She nodded. He held out his hand and she took it.
Sanskaar (to the other two) : Don’t worry ladies! I will dance with you as well.
Ragini and Rashi wave them off and continue talking.
Sanskaar took Swara to the middle of the dance floor.
Swara : Why do you always bring me to the middle?
Sanskaar : So that you don’t run. I have to impress you today. So, no small talk. Just dance normally.
Swara : How are you going to impress me if you don’t talk to me?
Sanskaar : Just wait and watch!
The song starts playing. Its Pashmina!!
Sanskaar : Close your eyes and just dance.
Swara did so. They began swaying to the beats. He lifted her and performed so many twists and turns effortlessly. Their chemistry made all the couples dancing to stop and watch them. Though Sanskaar had his eyes open, He forgot about the others in the room. His eyes were only on Swara.
They finally end the dance with Swara resting her back on Sanskaar, both of them with their eyes closed. They remain that way for several minutes. All the guests stood stunned at the amazing display of chemistry between them. Sparks literally flew between them.
Swara slowly opened her eyes and turned to look at Sanskaar. They stared at each other for what seemed like ages….
They hear the guests start to clap and finally regaining their senses look at the guests. They bow and act like this was all a preplanned act.
Sanskaar (in Swara’s ear) : Have I impressed you yet, Ms Gadodia?
Swara speechless, muttered an excuse and left to go to the washroom.
Swara ( looking at the mirror) : What the hell was that? Why did I feel that even though, we never spoke, I knew what he was thinking? Why do I feel that I belong in his arms? Why do I always long to listen to his voice, keep wanting to watch him? Why? Why? Why?
She leaves the washroom utterly befuddled. As she walked back to the hall, She heard a scream come from the nearby room. She went in to go investigate. She was shocked to see some man lying over a girl about to abuse her. She went in and dragged the man away from her.
Swara (shouting angrily) : How dare you? How dare you play with some woman like that? (motioning to the girl to leave) Wait! You’re an employee here right? I’ll just inform Mr Maheshwari now.
The man who was clearly drunk, ignored Swara and ran after the girl. He caught her and began his abuse again when, a sound slap was heard.
Swara looks at Sanskaar, more angry than she had ever seen him. He beats the man again and shouts at him. He calls the security people and ask them to hand him over to the police.
He turned to the girl who was his cook’s daughter. Removing his coat, He handed it to her and gently took her to her mother. Stunned at his behaviour, Swara slowly went back to the hall, where everybody was curious to know about the commotion outside.
Swara suddenly she wasn’t so certain that he was the soulless, reprehensible man she’d taken such comfort in believing him.
Ragini (pushing forward) : What the hell happened Swara? Did you see that?
Swara (stunned) : I saw the whole thing. I heard the whole thing.
Rashi : What happened?
Swara : It was….He was….
She didn’t know how to describe what had just happened. How to describe what exactly he’d done. And then she said something she’d never thought possible.
Swara : HE WAS A HERO!!
PRECAP : NIGHT IN THE RAIN!!! (but not what ur thinking… :P)
Guys…..I swear I love you all…..So much response…..
In the next three chapters, many things will change….Keep waiting… 🙂
Please don’t kill me but I won’t post another chapter today….I can upload only by tom evening or sunday!! I’m going out of town for two days…That’s why…Please be patient with me… I’ll try to upload asap…But don’t worry, From next week, No more excuse. Will upload everyday as usual!!
That’s why I sat and wrote this….So that I don’t keep you waiting for more than 2 days….Sorry….I’ll still come and comment…Just won’t be able to post…
ALSO SINCE MANY PEOPLE HAVE ASKED ME FOR THE SUMMARY OF THE CHAPTERS AND TO CLEAR SOME OF THEIR DOUBTS, I WILL BE POSTING A SHORT PROMO TO CLARIFY EVERYTHING SOON….MAYBE ALONG WITH MY NEXT CHAPTER…..
<3 YOU GUYS….
BTW Do you think I'm dragging? I'm anyway going to bring some new twists…But did you think this chapter was unnecesssary? This wasn't part of the original book…At least not completely….
SEE YOU TOMORROW (hopefully)