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!!!
Swasan meet each other….Sanskaar decides to marry Ragini
Swara realised with dismay that there was nothing she could do….The man was powerful and influential, and she was a mere nobody compared to him. Also, They were now in the middle of the dance floor completely surrounded by people. There really was no choice. It didn’t matter if she’d disliked him on sight. She had to dance with him.
Swara ( hissing) : You don’t have to drag me!
Sanskaar exaggeratingly loosened his grip.
Swara ground her teeth together and swore to herself that this man would never take her sister as his bride. His manner was too cold, too superior. He was, she thought a touch unfairly, too handsome as well, with velvety eyes that matched his hair to perfection. He was tall, and his lips, while classically beautiful were tight at the corners, as if he did not know how to smile.
The sound for a waltz began. Sanskaar place one hand on her waist and held her hand with the other. She placed her other hand on his shoulder. They began swaying to the music.
Sanskaar : Now, Why don’t you tell me why you hate me?
Swara, so taken aback, Stepped hard on his foot with her heeled shoes. He let out a grunt.
Sanskaar : Miss Gadodia! There is no need to cripple me.
Swara : It was an accident!
Sanskaar (coming forward and whispering in her ear, which gave her tingles) : Why do I have trouble believing you?
Swara (ignoring the tingling feeling) : Because if I really wanted to hurt you, I would have done it ages ago.
Sanskaar looked at her stunned at her daring, then started laughing. Swara looked at him surprised. It was very unexpected to see him laughing.
Swara : Will you stop? People are staring!
Sanskaar : Obviously they will do that. People like me usually am not seen dancing…that too with someone like you.
Swara should have felt bad but instead gave him a smile.
Swara : Not true Mr Maheshwari! All sorts of men have been dancing with me. To get favours. The idiots want me to recommend them to Ragini.
Sanskaar (interestedly) : Idiots? Not suitors?
Swara looked up at him but found only interest and amusement in his eyes.
Swara : Did you just offer me a bait to insult you?
Sanskaar : I did! But yet, You did not take it.
He looked at her superiorly.
Swara looked down to see if she could somehow stamp his foot again.
Sanskaar : I wouldn’t try that if I were you. I am wearing thick boots.
Swara surprised, looked up and saw him looking at her with a hint of a mocking smile.
Sanskaar : I have sharp eyes too Swara Gadodia.
Swara feels a rush of happiness when she hears her name. But she doesn’t know what it means.
Swara : Too bad! I shall have to be careful around you then.
Sanskaar : Did you just offer me a compliment??
Swara : If you wish to take it as one, you do so. You won’t receive any more.
Sanskaar : You are hurting me
Swara (her eyes filled with mirth ) : So your skin is not as thick as your boots?
Sanskaar( woebegone) : No! Sadly!
Swara just about managed to stop herself from laughing. She realised she was enjoying her talk with Mr Maheshwari…
Sanskaar : You still haven’t told me why you hate me.
Swara (not looking at him) : I don’t hate you!
Sanskaar : I didn’t take you to be a coward….Liar!
A flash of anger appeared in Swara’s eyes. She held silent for a full minute. It was true, she had not been predisposed to like the man. She certainly wasn’t about to give her blessing to his courtship of Ragini. She didn’t believe for one second that a man who went around with so many girls would give it all up for one woman.
But he might have been able to overcome her preconceptions. He could have been charming and sincere and straightforward, might have convinced her that he was a man of principles and honesty … If he hadn’t gone and compared her to Ragini. Ragini was truly really beautiful, and Swara could never be more than cute and pretty.
And if this man was saying otherwise, then he had some ulterior motive, because it was obvious he wasn’t blind.
He could have offered her any other empty compliment and she would have accepted it as a gentleman’s polite conversation. She might have even been flattered if his words had struck anywhere close to the truth. But to compare her to Ragini…
Swara adored her sister. She truly did. And she knew better than anyone that Ragini’s heart was as beautiful and radiant as her face. She didn’t like to think herself jealous, but still… somehow his comparison stung right to the core.,
Swara : I am going to quite frank! I don’t hate you, Mr Maheshwari! I don’t know you. But I do know that I will never like you.
She looked at him and saw that he appreciated her honesty in his eyes. They sparkled with interest and curiosity.
Sanskaar (softly) : Why is that?
Swara : I am being frank, understand! You are dancing with me now, Only so that you can start taking Ragini out. Many of her suitors have done this. So I am not bothered.
Sanskaar guided her through the dance so that he wouldn’t get hurt by her clumsy dancing again. He nodded.
Sanskaar : Continue!
Swara (looking straight at him with her intelligent confident eyes) : I don’t want my Ragini to marry a man like you! You are a lady’s man. You have had many girlfriends, at times 2 together. How can I trust you with her? In fact, I don’t want her to come within ten feet of you.
Sanskaar (with a wicked smile) : But she did dance with me earlier in the evening.
Swara : That will never happen again.
Sanskaar : So you decide how Ragini will live her life?
Swara : Ragini trusts my judgement.
He admired the girls’ bond, but stayed firm.
Sanskaar : You are what, barely a year older than her. What makes you an expert on men, and husbands in particular. Especially since you’re already married, right?
Swara (hissing) : You know that I am not married.
Sanskaar let out a smile. It was fun troubling the elder Miss Gadodia!
Sanskaar : Are you the one who’s been managing Ragini’s suitors and throwing them outthe door?
Swara didn’t answer but her stony look gave him his answer.
Sanskaar : I thought so. You seem like that sort.
She glared at him with such intensity that it was all he could do to keep from laughing. If he weren’t dancing, he probably would have stroked his chin in an expression of deep thought. But since his hands were otherwise engaged, he had to settle for a ponderous tilt of his head, combined with an arch raise of his eyebrows.
Sanskaar ( with a wicked smile again) : But I think you’re going to make a grevious mistake if you think you can “MANAGE” me.
Swara ( hostile) : I don’t want to mange you, Mr Maheshwari! I only want you to stay away from my sister.
Sanskaar : See, This shows how less you know of men like me. Rogues to the extreme.
He leaned in closer, ending the sentence with a hot breath brushing against her cheek. Swara shivered. HE smiled. He knew she would shiver.
Sanskaar (wicked smile once more) : We don’t back off from a challenge.
They finished their dance and go to the edge of the dance floor, Sanskaar behind Swara. He whispers in her ear.
Sanskaar : And you, Miss Gadodia have offered me a very fun and delicious challenge.
Swara turned back to look at him. He waited expecting her to say something. Suddenly, Her foot was on his boot, pressing hard and firm, enough to make him give an unmanly squeak.
He glared at her.
Swara (shrugging) : It was my only defense and means of escape.
Sanskaar : Miss Gadodia, You are a menace.
She turned away. His grip tightened on her arm, and pulled her closer to him.
Sanskaar (in a dangerous voice) : I am going to court your sister. And if I like her, and see that she will be a good wife and daughter-in-law, I will marry her.
Swara (with fire in her eyes) : So, Now, You think it is your place to decide Ragini’s fate. Do not forget, my lord, that even if you decide she will make a suitable ( she sneered the word) Mrs Maheshwari, she might not want you.
Sanskaar (confidently) : She will not say no to me….
Swara : Has no woman ever told no to you?
Sanskaar, with a over-confident and knowing smile, did not say anything. He drew up one brow and let her think whatever she wanted to.
Swara wrenched her arm free and strode back to her stepmother, shaking with fury, resentment, and not a little bit of fear. Because she had an awful feeling that he did not lie. And if he really did turn out to be irresistible …
Swara shuddered. She and Ragini were going to be in big, big trouble….
THE NEXT DAY, SWARAGINI’S HOUSE
The next afternoon, as Swara roamed through the hall, she thought about her conversation with Mr Maheshwari.
Swara ( muttering) : What the hell is wrong with the man? Annoying devil!
A man’s voice (amused) : Do you always talk to yourself?
Swara whirled around at the sound of the deep male voice. Good heavens, it was Mr Maheshwari, looking sinfully handsome in a blue coat and white shirt. What the blo*dy hell was he doing here?
No sense in not asking.
Swara : What the hell are you doing here?
He raised a brow as he adjusted the huge bouquet of flowers he had tucked under his arm. Pink roses, she noted. Perfect buds. They were lovely. Simple and elegant. Exactly the sort of thing she’d choose for herself.
Sanskaar : I did tell you I was going to court Ragini right? I decided to go the old fashioned way and got flowers.
Swara (growling) : But how did you get in?
Sanskaar : Obviously, through the door. Your servant opened the door.
Swara : If the servant opened the door, He should have come here first and asked to let you in.
Sanskaar : I gave him my card. HE saw it and let me in. Maybe someone gave him specific instructions about me.
Swara (frustrated) : Who would do that? Not me, And certainly not Ragini!
Sanskaar : Maybe your mother!
Swara ( in an accusatory tone) : Sumi!! ( She had a tendency to call her mother that way when she was frustrated )
Sanskaar (politely) : You call her by her given name?
Swara shook her head.
Swara : No, I call her Ma! Except for when I’m frustrated. She is actually my stepmother. My mother dies when I was little. But I love Ma as my own mom.
His eyes remained fixed on her face. Swara realised that this man, her nemesis had just learnt a personal fact about her without him even asking. It was too easy to talk to him. His eyes looked like they could read her soul.
Swara : Anyways, Ragini has gone out, So your trip has been of no use.
Sanskaar : Not really!
He brought out the huge bouquet of flowers. Swara saw that it was not actually one huge bouquet, but rather 3 medium sized bouquets.
Sanskaar (keeping one on the table) : This is for Ragini! (placing another down) This is for your mother. And this, (holding it out to her) is for you.
Swara took the flowers speechless, unable to take her eyes from the lovely pink blooms. She understood that the man had done it only to impress her, He wanted her to recommend him to Ragini, but Damn it, She had never received flowers before, And until now, she didn’t know how much she wanted someone to do so.
Swara ( finally, in a hesitant yet pleased voice) : Thank you! They’re lovely flowers. They’ve been grown very well. And it was very nice and thoughtful of you to think of Ma and me.
Sanskaar nodded graciously.
Sanskaar : Mom grows all sorts of flowers in her garden. After Dad died, These plants became her solace. She is an excellent gardener.
Swara : Oh! I love to garden as well. These are really pretty. Thank you…I do appreciate it.
He leaned forward slightly, his dark eyes positively melting.
Sanskaar : Wow! A kind sentence, that too to me. That wasn’t really hard, was it?
Swara, who was still admiring the flowers stiffened immediately and glared at him.
Swara : You always say the wrong thing. You seem to have a knack for it.
Sanskaar : Only where you’re concerned Miss Gadodia! Every other woman hangs on my every word. Believe whatever I say…
Swara (muttering) : I know. I’ve read about it.
Sanskaar hears her and shakes his head.
Sanskaar : So that’s where you’ve been forming your opinion about me. Deepa’s articles? The famous Deepa. I would love to strangle her one day.
Swara (firmly) : I like her and think she’s quite intelligent!
Sanskaar : YOU would.
Swara : Mr Maheshwari! I really don’t think you came to insult me. Do you want me to take a message for Ragini?
Sanskaar : Will it reach her unaltered?
Swara (fuming) : How dare you? I do not alter messages no matter how annoying the damn person may be.
She really felt like she could strangle him at that moment.
Sanskaar( annoyingly calm) : Miss Gadodia! I don’t know you that well. And you’ve certainly been eloquent enough for me to realise that you dislike me too. You yourself tell me, Would you feel confident to leave a note with me?
Swara : You do know that if you’re trying to impress me, it is not working?
Sanskaar : I am aware of that. I really shouldn’t be antagonising you. But I just can’t help myself. You do something to me, Miss Gadodia!
And then he let loose his most lethal weapon. His smile. A true one. He looked so handsome and adorable as he smiled in a helpless manner. Devastatingly handsome!!
Swara suddenly felt faint, looking at him. She needed…a? She needed to sit down.
Swara (motioning to a seat) : Please take a seat.
She took a seat herself. If Sanskaar found her sudden politeness weird, he did not comment. Instead he nodded and sar down. After all, Swara couldn’t sit down herself and not offer him a seat, especially if he was not going to leave.
After what seemed like an eternity,
Sanskaar : When will Ragini return?
Swara : I am not sure.. She has gone out with Mr Ajit Das.
Sanskaar choked or coughed. Swara didn’t know which.
Sanskaar : Ajit Das, Son of Prithvi Das? (Swara nods) That guy is so intelligent he wouldn’t know a bee from a fly. And you let Ragini go with him?
Sanskaar : He tried to go out with my sister Uttara last year. She tried so much to dissuade him, but the fool wouldn’t listen. But he’s a nice and decent fellow. Just not one with a brain!!
Swara : Where is Ma? She would surely have shown up by now.
Sanskaar : You were waiting for her?
Swara : Not particularly. But she would have shown up by now to grreet you.
Then she understood. Her mom was playing matchmaker. Oh God! She was trying to get both the daughters to impress this boor.
Swara :(aloud) I’ll just go and call her. (thinks) And maybe kill her on the way
Sanskaar : Good idea! She can give us company while I wait for Ragini.
Swara : You’re planning to wait for Ragini?
Sanskaar : I have nowhere else to be today. So might as well wait.
Swara nodded mutely. She didn’t know what to say. She saw the maid and asked her to call Sumi.
Many minutes passed.
Swara (unable to bear the silence) : Ma will be here any minute now….Don’t worry.
Suddenly,a small commotion broke out in the corridor—a few decidedly canine barks, followed by a high-pitched shriek of, Zozo! Zozo! Stop that at once! Swara, He is again coming at my toes. Swara!!!
Sanskaar : Zozo?
Swara : My dog ( Sighing and rising to her feet). Ma and him don’t get along most of the time.
Another round of barks made both of them wince. Sanskaar who had also got up looked at Swara.
Sanskaar : What dog do you have? A pitbull?
Swara (running to her mom) : No, Zozo is a…..
Sanskaar couldn’t hear her. But it didn’t matter. Because a moment later, a most benign looking corgi entered, with caramel coloured fur and a big belly that almost dragged along the ground.
Sanskaar opened his mouth in surprise. This was the fearsome creature which had let out the barks?
Sanskaar ( in a firm voice to Zozo, who was still barking) : Sit down Zozo!
Zozo sensing authority sat down at once.
Swara froze at the doorway with surprise. She walked in with Ma where Zozo was looking adoringly at Sanskaar.
Sumi : Sanskaar, Welcome! (in an accusing tone) I think Zozo likes you.
Swara : He likes you too Ma! You’re the one who doesn’t like him.
Sumi : If he didn’t try to eat my toes, I would like him a lot better.
Sanskaar takes blessings from Sumi.
Sanskaar (utterly confused) : I thought you said your mom doesn’t like dogs?
Swara (helplessly) : They have a love-hate relationship. Zozo loves Ma but MA hates Zozo. Zozo loves a challenge. And when he sees Ma trying to escape, he simply loves her more
Sumi : I would love him more if he hated me a bit. Anyways, Swara, You have to take Zozo for a walk. It’s been 2 days since you took him.
Swara : I know Ma! I was planning to wait for Ragini, But now I guess I’ll go now.
Sumi : Great. And you can go to the park near the lake. I think Ragini is there. You can meet her and come back with her. Oh Beta Sanskaar, You should also accompany them.
Swara looks at her mom horrified whereas Sanskaar beams. This was his moment to go find Ragini and impress her.
Sanskaar : Sure Aunty! Coming Swara? (smiles wickedly and triumphantly at her)
Swara. knowing she had no other option, glared at the two of them, took Zozo’s leash and followed Sanskaar outside the door.
PRECAP : Someone falls inside the lake…..Swasan bite each other’s head off!!!
So what do you think??? Good chapter? An awesome one? As I said, this is purely a Swasan ff…So now Raglak scenes… And they themselves are here only as supporting characters…