SWASAN – SHE’S NOT FOR ME
Heyy, It’s Anjali back with the next chapter!!!
Thnxx for comments and to my silent readers….
CHAPTER 3 LINK : here
Swalak discuss about their anniversary… Sanskaar’s intro
Swara was sitting on the sofa when she heard her mother-in-law’s voice.
Annapurna : Swara beti!
Swara : Ji Ma?
Annapurna : It’s been 3 days now. Shall we go to the doctor now? You still haven’t had a checkup yet!
Swara sighed. It had been two days since she has told Sanskaar that she was pregnant and a day since Annapurna and Sujata had returned from the country. She had taken a pregnancy test the day that Laksh had passed away and when it was positive, She had been ecstatic.
But she had never had a chance to tell Laksh.
Annapurna : So, Swara! Shall we go?
Swara : Yes Ma! Let’s go.
Annapurna : You really do look very healthy. I’m so glad that even if Laksh isn’t here, We’ll still have someone to remind us of him.
Overnight, it seemed, Maheshwari Mansion had become a household of women. It was a house full of Maheshwari females, or at least those who had acquired the name in marriage.
And it all felt so different.
It was strange. She would have thought that she’d sense Laksh’s presence, feel him in the air, see him in the surroundings they’d shared for two years. But instead, he was simply gone, and the influx of women had changed the tone of the house entirely. Swara supposed that was a good thing; she needed the support of women right now.
But it was odd, living among women. There were more flowers now—vases everywhere, it seemed. And there was no longer any lingering smell of Laksh’s cologne, or the sandalwood soap he’d favoured.
And that broke her heart.
Even Sanskaar was distant. He still had come everyday to talk and stayed for a while, it wasn’t like before.
But he wasn’t there, not in the way he had been before Laksh’s death. He wasn’t the same, and she supposed she ought not to castigate him for that, even if only in her mind.
He was hurting, too.
She knew that. She reminded herself of it when she saw him, and his eyes were distant. She reminded herself of it when she didn’t know what to say to him, and when he didn’t tease her.
And she reminded herself of it when they sat together in the drawing room and had nothing to say.
She’d lost Laksh, and now it seemed she’d lost Sanskaar, too. And even with two mother hens fussing over her— three, if she counted her own, who came to call every single day—she was so lonely.
No one had ever told her how sad she’d be. Who would have thought to tell her? And even if someone had, even if her mother, who had also been widowed young, had explained the pain, how could she have understood?
It was one of those things that had to be experienced to be understood. And oh, how Swara wished she didn’t belong to this melancholy club.
And where was Sanskaar? Why couldn’t he comfort her? Why didn’t he realize how very much she needed him? Him, not his mother. Not anyone’s mother.
She needed Sanskaar, the one person who had known Laksh the way she had, the only person who had loved him as fully. Sanskaar was her one link to the husband she had lost, and she hated him for staying away.
Even when he was here at Maheshwari Mansion, in the same dashed room as her, it wasn’t the same. They didn’t joke, and they didn’t tease. They just sat there and looked sad and grief stricken, and when they spoke, there was an awkwardness that had never been there before.
Couldn’t anything remain as it was before Laksh had died? It had never occurred to her that her friendship with Sanskaar might be killed off as well.
Annapurna : Do you feel any different, Dear?
Swara looked at her, realizing that she was asking a question.
Swara : Not really. But it’s only been three days since I found out. Maybe a little tired, But that could be because…
She trailed off, not being able to talk about Laksh’s death. She really didn’t feel any different. In fact, If the pregnancy test had not showed positive and the fact that her menses had not yet come, She would never have known she was pregnant.
But she sure wished she had a baby bump or an ultrasound where she could see her kid. It was paranoid, She knew but she did want some sign that the baby was there. It was the only thing linking her to Laksh.
Swara (thinking) : Well, No matter. After today, I’ll have some thing of my baby’s. No…. Of OUR baby, Laksh.
She spoke out loud.
Swara : Ma! (Annapurna turned) I’ll get ready now. After that, We can go.
Annapurna smiled and nodded. Swara smiled back in response and went upstairs. Soon, both of them were on their way to the gynaecologist.
LATER THAT DAY
Swara and her mother-in-law entered the house, completely quiet.
Annapurna (worried) : Swara? Swara beta! Don’t think too much into it. Swara, Please…. Are you listening to me?
Swara walked on, not seeming to listen to anything. Her mind was back in the doctor’s room when she heard the dreadful words.
Doctor : Swara! I’m so sorry… But you’re not pregnant.
She was shocked. How could she not be? She had taken two pregnancy tests just to be sure. But, the doctor had said it was just a false positive, probably due to excess hormones.
Annapurna : Swara! Where are you going?
Swara finally turned and looked at her. Annapurna saw her devastated expression and her eyes filled wih empathy.
Annapurna : Oh My Darling! I’m so sorry…
Swara ( her eyes filling with tears) : Why me, Ma? Why me?
She collapsed to her knees and clutching them began crying with earnest.
Annapurna (sitting beside her and holding her) : Swara! Swara…
It was all she could tell. How else was she supposed to console someone whose hopes had been destroyed?
Life would have been easier if Sanskaar was an alcoholic. Or so he felt. But no, He had a remarkable constitution and a marvelous ability to hold his liquor with dignity and flair. Which meant that if he wanted to reach any sort of mind-numbing oblivion, he’d have to down the entire bottle of whisky sitting on his desk, and maybe even then, it wouldn’t work.
He stared out the window. It wasn’t dark yet and even though he really wanted to lose his mind to drink, He couldn’t bring himself to do so before dark. He sat in his chair and tapped the desk lost in thought. it had been three days since Laksh had died, but it felt more like six weeks or six months. Time was creeping by, so slowly, and Sanskaar didn’t know what to do.
According to Mr Luthra, who Sanskaar had been forced to listen to, The company was to go to an interim head until Swara delivered. And then, if it was a girl, Sanskaar would take over the company unless she decided to run the company when she grew up. If it was a boy, Sanskaar would be interim CEO until the boy was ready to take over.
So he could technically live in Maheshwari Mansion but he didn’t want to. He’d have been reticent to move into Maheshwari Mansion even if Swara hadn’t been pregnant.
SHE WAS STILL THERE.
She was still there and she was still Mrs Maheshwari but not his Mrs Maheshwari and he didn’t know if he could take the irony of it.
He’d thought that his grief might finally overtake his longing for her, that he might finally be with her and not want her, but no, his breath still caught every time she walked into the room, and his body tightened when she brushed past him, and his heart still ached with the pain of loving her.
Except now it was all wrapped in an extra layer of guilt—as if he hadn’t had enough of that while Laksh was alive. She was in pain, and she was grieving, and he ought to be comforting her, not lusting after her. Good God, It hadn’t been even three days. What kind of monster would lust after his wife?
His pregnant wife.
He was already stepping into Laksh’s shoes in so many ways. He would not complete the betrayal by taking his place with Swara as well.
And so he stayed away. Not completely; that would have been too obvious, and besides, he couldn’t do that, not with his Mom and Badi Ma in residence there. He also was in charge of their financial conditions for now and so he had to visit
So he did it. He didn’t mind the details, didn’t care that he was spending several hours per day looking after a fortune that might go to another. It was the least he could do for Laksh.
And for FSwara. He couldn’t bring himself to be a friend to her, not the way he ought, but he could make sure that her financial affairs were in order.
But he knew she didn’t understand. She often came to visit him while he was working in Laksh’s study at Maheshwari Mansion, poring over business reports from various solicitors. And he could tell that she was looking for their old camaraderie, but he just couldn’t do it.
Call him weak, call him shallow. But he just couldn’t be her friend. Not just yet, anyway.
Just then his phone rang.
Sanskaar : Hello? (voice growing worried) Mom, what happened? What’s wrong?
Sujata : Beta! Come quickly. Swara….
His heart trembled with terror. What had happened to Swara?
Sanskaar (urgently) : Mom, What happened to Swara? Is she okay? Oh God, Is the baby ok?
His mother’s voice grew sad as she exclaimed tearfully.
Sujata : The poor girl was not pregnant. It was a false positive. She has completely broken down. Come fast Sanskaar!
Sanskaar nearly killed himself trying to come to Maheshwari Mansion at breakneck speed in Kolkata traffic.
But now that he was here, standing in the hall, he had no idea what to do with himself.
The false pregnancy? What comfort could he give her about that? A woman would be better at that sort of stuff.
It was a tragedy, and he felt horrible for Swara, but what did they think he could say? Why did they want him here?
And then it hit him.
They had called him here because he was now the sole owner of Maheshwari Insustries, in charge of all decisions for the company and the family.
Sujata (entering the hall) : Sanskaar! Oh Beta! I’m so happy you’re here.
He hugged her awkwardly and murmured some comforting words but mostly he stood there, feeling out of place.
He finally asked.
Sanskaar : How is she?
Sujata : Completely shocked. She’s been crying.
Sanskaar : Well…. That is… natural.
He was filled with conflicting emotions. He didn’t know what to do but he wanted Swara to be alright. He just wanted her to feel…. happy?
Sujata (disturbing his thoughts) : She’s not able to stop.
Sanskaar : Crying?
Sujata : We don’t know what to do.
He measured his breaths. Even. Slow. In and out. His mother was looking up to him for a response. Maybe for guidance.
As if HE would know what to do.
Sujata : Sharmishta Ji came by earlier. She wants to take Swara back to Baadi.
Sanskaar : Does Swara want to?
Sujata (shrugging) : I don’t think she can think about anything right now. Everything is sort of hitting her at once.
Sujata : So naturally, We called for you.
Naturally? There was nothing natural about it. He’d never felt so out of place, so completely at a loss for words or action.
Sujata (quietly) : Beta! You’re in charge of everything now. You’re responsible.
He nodded again. Just once. It was as much of an acknowledgment as he could muster.
Sujata ( her eyes filling with tears) : Any mother wants everything for their children. But to get this way… I don’t know if that is…
Sanskaar (hoarsely) : Mom! Don’t say it.
He closed his eyes. He wasn’t ready for anyone to say this was a good thing. And he swore to God, if anyone offered his congratulations…
Well, he wouldn’t be responsible for the violence.
Sujata : Swara wants to meet you.
He opened his eyes surprised.
Sanskaar : She does?
Sujata (nodded) : She said so.
Sanskaar (his panic making his voice too rough) : No, I can’t.
Sujata (shocked) : You have to. You can’t leave her.
Sanskaar ( A touch bitterly) : She was not mine to abandon.
Sujata : Sanskaar! How can you ever say that?
Sanskaar (Slightly apologetic tone) : What could I possibly tell her? She needs a woman right now, Mom. What can I do there?
Sujata (gently admonishing) : You can be her friend.
He felt 8 again at the tone scolded for a thoughtless transgression. Abashed, he walked upstairs to Swara’s room. He stood at the doorway looking at her petite form on the floor huddled up next to Badi Ma. Never had he seen someone more vulnerable and broken apart. He just stood there, unable to walk in or move away, his soul ripping apart with guilt, worry and grief.
Annapurna ( noticing him) : Sanskaar!
Swara looked up at that and saw him. Sanskaar was hit by the emptiness in her eyes. She got up unsteadily.
Annapurna (protesting) : Swara beta! Don’t….
Swara : It’s fine, Ma!
She walked slowly to him, Her steps faltering all the time. He moed forward to steady her. He held her elbows as she gripped his.
Swara (looking straight into his eyes and whispering) : I have lost everything. Laksh, My child, My happiness… Everything.
With that, she collapsed in a dead faint. Sanskaar’s hands moved in quick reflex to stop her from falling. He carried her and placed her gently on the bed, while Badi Ma contacted the doctor.
But Sanskaar had no idea what was going on. Swara’s words were echoing in his mind. She had lost everything…. And he?
He had gained what was rightfully Laksh’s. He had gained so much. But at what cost?
Annapurna : You should be here when she wakes up.
Sanskaar : No.
His voice horrified him. He sounded like a wounded animal, pained and confused. But there was one thing he knew for certain. He couldn’t see her. Not now. Not yet.
Sujata (who had entered the room) : Sanskaar!
Sanskaar : No Mom. Not today…. Tell her… Tell her.. i’ll come by later. Tomorrow…or later.
He looked one last time at his lost love then fled, coward that he was.
PRECAP : A new decision
Sorry for the late update. Will post sooner from now on.
I’m also sorry for making this chapter so sad and boring. Will not be the same after this.
Hope you like it anyways.