Swara gives Sanskaar her approval for him to marry Ragini
Love was the enemy of the dying man. It was the only thing that could make the rest of his years intolerable—to taste bliss and know that it would all be snatched away.
And that was probably why, when Sanskaar finally reacted to her words, he didn’t yank her to him and kiss her until she was gasping, and he didn’t press his lips to her ear and burn his bream against her skin, making sure she understood that he was on fire for her, and not her sister.
Never her sister.
He had no place for love in his life and so, He did not…COULD not have place for Swara in his life.
Swara (unable to look at him) : Sanskaar? Mr Maheshwari?
Sanskaar : Yes Swara?
Swara : Why aren’t you telling anything? Aren’t you happy? You have finally achieved what you want…
Sanskaar (closing his eyes, mouth clenched in pain) : I am very happy. You have finally given me permission to wed your sister. Thanks Swara. I promise I will never let anything bad happen to her.
Swara : I know you won’t let anything happen to her, But I just want to tell you one thing.
Sanskaar : Haan! Bol!
Swara : You will not betray her. I still remember your conversation with Lekha. I don’t know if you have started loving Ragini since then, But under no circumstances will I see the heart-broken face of my sister. You are a one-woman man from now on.
Sanskaar : I promise I will never betray Ragini. I will stay true to her.
Swara finally turned to Sanskaar and smiled at him.
Swara : Thank you! I’m glad Ragini found a man like you to be her husband.
Sanskaar smiled at her in a strained sort of way. They sit there, wanting to communicate so much. But suddenly, There is this awkwardness between them. They sat there in silence, staring at each other while the other was not looking.
Finally, Swara unable to bear anymore, got up.
Swara : I think I will go inside now. I want to rest. I didn’t sleep well last night.
Sanskaar : Of Course. Thank you once again, Swara!
Swara just nodded and started moving fast, The tears in her eyes threatening to come out. She did not stop on the way to greet everyone.
She finally reached her room, locked the door and then the dam burst. In a torrent of tears, Swara cried her heart out. She cried for the man she knew she could never have. She cried for the family she could now never have. Because she couldn’t. She didn’t know if she loved Sanskaar, but she did know one thing. If she couldn’t spend her life with him, Then there was no one she could be with. No other man could possibly compare to Sanskaar Maheshwari.
She sat there for hours, hoping to mend her heart and gain courage before she ventured out again. Ragini was her sister and Swara would do anything to make sure Ragini had a wonderful life. Even if it meant her own happiness.
Sanskaar watched Swara leave from the garden and head straight to her room.
Sanskaar (thinking) : Have I made the right decision? I have. I know I have. I have no place for love in my life. I have no place for unnecessary emotions like love. It will make me weak. I cannot be weak when I leave this world. I will leave a contented, dutiful and caring man. Only if I marry Ragini is this possible.
He starts pacing about the garden.
Sanskaar (thinking) : Then why on Earth do I feel like I’m making the wrong decision? Why do I feel like I’m making a mistake that can never be undone? Why? Why? Why?
Sanskaar (loudly) : Why on Earth does life have to be so complicated?
Annapurna : Because Beta, Sometimes we have to choose between our heart and our mind and when they conflict, It makes life the hardest decision of all.
Sanskaar whirled around to see Annapurna and Sujata coming towards him and smiling.
Sanskaar : Mom! Badi Ma!
Sujata : Kya hua beta? What is so complicated in your life? (seeing Sanskaar hesitate) Jo bhi ho, Just remember one thing. Whatever you are confused about, First listen to your heart. Then remember your family. Your mind may provide you with ideas that are practical and you too would be content. But it’s your heart that will ensure you your happiness.
Sanskaar starea at her.
Annapurna : Whatever you decide, We will always be with you. Remember that, Sanskaar. You children are all that we have. We would give up the world for you.
Sujata kisses Sanskaar’s forehead and they depart, leaving him thinking.
Sanskaar sat down for sometime and thought hard. Then he shouted.
Sanskaar : Mom! Badi Ma! Wait a minute.
They turned around surprised and waited.
Sanskaar : Mom! I have made a decision.
Sujata : Haan! Bol beta!
Sanskaar : Badi Ma! Mom! If the two of you have no objection, I would like to marry Ragini Gadodia!
The two matrons stood stunned. Then they smiled delightedly, though Sujata looked a little thoughtful.
Annapurna : Are you sure? I can’t believe it. Our Sanskaar has finally decided to take the plunge.
She hugs him.
Annapurna : You don’t know how happy you’ve made us. And Ragini is a lovely girl. She will make a welcome addition to the family.
Sujata : Beta! Are you sure? Are you completely happy?
Sanskaar (smiling and hugging her, so that she wouldn’t see his uncertainty in his eyes) : Of course mom! You were the one who told me to take any decision and you would support me. I am very happy. I want Ragini to be my wife.
He hugs her tightly.
Sanskaar (thinking) : Sorry, mom! I am lying to you. But I have to take this step. And I will be happy with Ragini… We will have a very calm, peaceful contented life. All I have to do is forget about Swara. I cannot possess any more desire for her.
Sujata : If you’re completely sure, I won’t stop you. I’m really happy. Finally I am going to get my bahu. Ragini will be the Lakshmi of our house.
Sanskaar smiles and leaves, citing he had work to do. Actually, what he wanted to do was inflict pain on himself, So that he could forget the pain in his heart.
The matrons watch him leave.
Sujata : You know jiji, I always thought it was Swara he wanted. I don’t know why, But there is something about this decision that makes him uncomfortable. Call it mother’s instinct if you will, But something’s not right.
Annapurna : I thought so too, At first. But you saw na, How he was smiling. He really does want to marry Ragini. Even I felt that Swara was going to be our bahu, But Ragini is exactly like her sister. We are so lucky that our family is getting such a sanskaari bahu.
Sujata : Maybe you are right jiji! Alright! Let’s go inside and tell the news to Sumi.
Annapurna : Yes, Let’s.
Later, In Swara’s room. Swara has used up all her tears and sits down on the floor resting her head on the bed. Ragini comes knocking on the door.
Ragini : Swara! Swara!
Swara ignored her as she was not ready to face Ragini and her new found happiness yet.
Ragini : Swara! I know you’re in there. Please open the door. I have to tell you something important.
Swara (her voice breaking slightly) : Ragini! Please! Not now. I am very tired. Please let me sleep.
Ragini (concern clearly etched in her voice) : Swara! I know you. I’m your sister. I can tell when something’s wrong. Now will you please open the door or should I call someone to smash it.
Swara sighed. She went to the washroom and straightened her face as much as she could. She opened the door and saw a Ragini who was fit to explode with worry and irritation.
Ragini (entering the room and locking it) : What the hell, Swara? Idiot! How could you expect me to leave you alone when there’s something clearly wrong with you? You never fail to comfort or cheer me when I’m down. How could you expect me to turn my back?
Swara tries to speak, but is cut off by Ragini.
Ragini : I came to talk to you in the morning itself. But you were nowhere to be found. I thought you had gone out. Then I find out that you’re in your rooom and have been there for three hours. (now tearfully) What happened Swara? You know na, I can’t see you sad. Please tell me the matter. Please…
Swara (in tears seeing her sister) : Ragini! Are you stupid? Why would there be something wrong with me? i am perfectly fine. It is just that…..
She stops and closes her eyes, mentally apologising for the lie she was about to utter.
Ragini : It is just that….
Swara : Yesterday, I couldn’t sleep. So I went to the library. And then that awful storm started. I haven’t told you this, But I am still terrified of them. I hid under the table in the library. I was so panicked and terrified. I couldn’t sleep even after it stopped. That’s why I’m so tired and cranky today. And here you are thinking all sorts of things. Pagal ladki!
Ragini : Swara! You are still scared and yet you refused to tell Ma or me? Do you have to be strong all the time? Ye kya baat hai Swara? Don’t you think we would have comforted you? But it’s also my fault. I was not a good enough sister. You are able to sense my every emotion, my every desire and the one time my sister needs me, I don’t get it.
Swara (sharply) : Ragini Gadodia! Don’t you dare call yourself a bad sister. You are the sweetest, most loving, best sister I could have asked for. Ma calls us SWARAGINI for a reason. Don’t blame yourself, Ragini!
They hug each other and murmur soft comforting words.
Ragini : Come! You are tired. Rest for some time. We have the Indian themed party as well in a few hours. Come Swara, So jao!
Swara rests her aching head on Ragini’s lap and closes her eyes, thanking God for giving her such a wonderful sister.
Swara (thinking) : Please, Oh Lord, Don’t let anything wrong happen to my sister. Please give her the best life possible. And please give me the strength to stay happy for my sister’s sake. Please give me the strength.
She soon dozes off lightly as Ragini sings her to sleep. Seeing that Swara finally slept, Ragini kissed her cheek, placed her head on the pillow and left.
At the doorway, she stopped and looked back at her sister’s sleeping form.
Ragini : Swara! I wanted to tell you a happy news. But you need some rest. My news can wait.
She smiled and left.
Swara soon woke up. She felt restless for some reason.
Swara : Sanskaar? Is he alright?
She searched for him everywhere in the house but couldn’t find him. She finally learns from a servant that Sanskaar had gone to the boxing arena behind the house.
Swara went there running and entered the arena. She stood there, shocked, as Sanskaar repeatedly hit his knuckles on the boxing bag even though they were bleeding.
Swara (screaming) : SANSKAAR! What the hell are you doing? Sanskaar! Are you even listening to me?
Sanskaar continued to hit the bag even though he heard Swara’s voice.
Swara finally not knowing what to do, pushed the bag away and stood in front of him. Sanskaar almost punched Swara, when he stopped.
Sanskaar : Are you mad Swara? I could have hit you. What do you think you’re doing?
Swara : What do YOU think you’re doing? Have you seen your hands? They are bleeding. Come with me.
She leads him to a bench and sits him down. She starts wiping the blood of his fingers. Sanskaar closes his eyes. He opens his eyes suddenly as he feels something wet on his hand.
Sanskaar : Swara? Why are you crying?
Swara : Nahi! Kuch nahi! You tell me, What were you thinking, harming yourself like that? Why Sanskaar?
Sanskaar (softly) : I have obtained the wound, Yet it aches in here (pointing to Swara’s heart). Why Swara?
Swara is struck speechless. She doesn’t say anything. Instead she starts bandaging his hand.
Sanskaar (cupping her face so that she looks staright into his eyes) : Kyun Swara? Why do you feel the pain?
Swara (after a really long time) : Kyunki I am your…….friend. And I don’t let my friends hurt themselves. But why were you trying to hurt yourself? Why didn’t you wear your gloves?
Sanskaar : I don’t know. I don’t know Swara!
Swara looked at him and decided to drop the subject before he said something that might hurt him or her.
Swara : I wanted to tell you something.
Sanskaar : Bol!
Sanskaar (thinking) : Is she going to tell that she…..
Swara (in a rush before she could lose her courage, She goes and stands next to a pillar and closes her eyes) : I want you and Ragini to get married as soon as possible. Please?
Sanskaar is shattered. He never expected Swara to tell this. He goes near Swara and touches her shoulder.
Sanskaar (near Swara’s ear, whispering) : Do you really wish this?
Swara, with the last iota of strength she had left nodded.
Sanskaar straightened himself.
Sanskaar (curtly) : Ok Swara! As you wish. I will pop the question this evening.
Swara nodded and before he told her anything, ran away.
LATER THAT EVENING
Swara entered the great hall wearing a simple yet elegant ghagra. She wanted everything to be perfect for her sister’s proposal. Sanskaar was planning to surprise Ragini. All the Maheshwaris and the Gadodias knew the plan except for Ragini.
Sanskaar entered wearing a really smart blue and gold sherwani. He immediately saw Swara and couldn’t stop staring at her. He thinks of all their arguments, Their nok-jhok and all.
Sanskaar (thinking) : What is this? Why does Swara have such an effect on me? Sanskaar Maheshwari! Stop this. Swara is no more just a friend. She is going to be your sister-in-law.
Suddenly Swara disappeared from his view. His eyes searched the whole room for her. But he couldn’t find her.
Uttara (from behind, in a teasing voice) : Sanskaar! Are you searching for Ragini?
Sanskaar turned around to see a smiling Swara and Uttara.
Sanskaar : Chup Pagal! I was actually searching for Laksh!
Uttara : Ohhhh Laaksh??
He starts in front and Uttara runs away giggling, leaving Swara and Sanskaar alone.
Sanskaar (smiling) : Hey Swara! You look really gorgeous.
Swara (smiling) : Thank you Sanskaar! You look really handsome too. (Sumi calls her) Haan Ma! I am coming…..I’ll talk to you later, ok?
Swara goes to Sumi.
Sumi : Swara, You came? Ragini still doesn’t know anything, right?
Swara : Yes Ma, Chill!
Sumi : You don’t know how happy I am beta! Now next is your turn.
Swara smiles painfully, but Sumi doesn’t notice.
Sumi : Jao Swara! See if Ragini is ready.
Swara nodded and left. She reached the door and hesitated. She thought of her sister’s happy face and Sanskaar’s face and steeled herself. She entered the room.
Swara : Ragini, What the hell are you doing? Do you know, Ma has been waiting for you from that time?
Ragini : Yes Swara, I’m coming.
Swara looked at Ragini and paused. Ragini looked breath-taking in a mint green and yellow ghagra. She had accentuated it with gold jewelry.
Swara : Ragini, You look stunning!
Ragini : Thank you Swara!
Swara : Chalo ab!
Ragini : Swara, One second! I have to tell you something.
Swara : Yeah tell me.
Ragini : Swara, I have fallen in love.
Swara smiles at her and turns away to stop the tears that threatened to come out of her eyes.
Swara : Ragini! I am so glad for you.
Ragini comes and hugs Swara from behind tightly.
Ragini : I knew you’d be happy.
Swara : And Sanskaar is a lucky man to get you.
Ragini leaves Swara shocked.
Ragini : Swara! Sanskaar? Why is he lucky?
Swara looked at Ragini confused.
Swara : Isn’t he the man you love?
Ragini (still shocked) : No! I hardly know the man. I met someone else here, Karan Mehta! He is a lecturer in Kolkata University but his family stays in Darjeeling. He is such a wonderful man Swara.. I love him and he too confessed that he loves me.
She smiles thinking of him.
Swara : I am happy for you Ragini, I really am. But do you know what is going to happen today? Sanskaar is going to ask for your hand in marriage in front of everyone.
Ragini : WHAT? Swara, Now what do we do? I cannot marry Sanskaar! I love Karan.
They think for a long time.
Swara (determinedly) : We have to stop him before he asks the question. We cannot let him be embarassed in front of his guests and I will not allow you to compromise your life. I will find him and tell him.
Ragini hugs Swara.
Ragini : Thank you so much Swara!
Swara : Fool! Does one tell thank you to one’s sister? By the way, I want to hear all about this Karan tonight. How did a man catch the eye of my Ragini?
Ragini blushes and nods.
Downstairs, Swara tries to talk to Sanskaar but is unable to. He is too busy or she is too far away to talk to him.
Finally she caught him.
Swara : I have to talk to you! Urgently!
Sanskaar sees her serious face and nods. Before he could reply however, Laksh pulled him away.
Laksh : Bhai! You have to come with me right now. We soon have to announce the happy news.
Swara (protesting) : Sanskaar! Please, Listen….
But Sanskaar is too far away to hear her.
Swara looks at Ragini who is looking at her with a desperate look.
Swara (thinking) : I cannot allow this announcement to happen. But what shall I do? (she thinks for some time) Yes! This is the only way…. I cannot think of any other way.
She asks Ragini to relax.
Laksh (in the mic) : Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen! Thank you for attending the annual Maheshwari Country Party. We had so much fun this week. And today, the penultimate night is going to be special. Are you wondering why? Well I won’t keep you in much suspense. Without further ado, Here is my brother Sanskaar Maheshwari!
Sanskaar took the mic and cleared his throat. He stared at Swara, Then steeling himself, bagan to speak.
Sanskaar : Good Evening everyone! As Laksh told, Today is going to be special. Because today, I, Sanskaar Maheshwari, Universally known as a casanova and a flirt am going to ask a woman to marry me. My future wife is a really amazing woman. She is so caring, so gentle and if I announce her name, Some of you may be surprised and some of you may be shocked. But I am going to be one lucky man. I won’t take much longer…..
He takes out a rose and holds it in his hand. He gets down on one knee and begins speaking.
Sanskaar : I don’t know why, I don’t know how. All I know is that I admire you. I love the way you care for others. I don’t know what it is about you that made me take this decision. But I can say that I know you will be the perfect bahu, the perfect bhabhi and my wife. I really want to spend the rest of my life with you. So, Will you marry me, Miss R…
Swara ( interrupting) : OF COURSE I WILL MARRY YOU SANSKAAR!
Swara runs to Sanskaar and hugs him, While all the Maheshwaris and Gadodias look at them shocked. The guests stare at each other amazed.
Sanskaar stares in shock at Swara who is hugging him tightly.
PRECAP : Same precap as chapter 14
This is the ghaghra that Swara’s wearing at the party
GUYS, HOW DID YOU LIKE THIS VERSION?
I know it is not as good as the actual book. But I tried hard to write that and it didn’t work. I simply could not write that when we have become so advanced in technology and in the field of medicine.
I hopefully have not been too filmy and have tried to give a complete outlook.
If I have disappointed anyone with this chapter, Please do forgive me.
WAITING FOR COMMENTS!!
And no, It won’t become filmy. I promise you that…It might follow the book again…