SWASAN – SHE’S NOT FOR ME
Heyy, It’s Anjali back with the next chapter!!!
Thnxx for comments and to my silent readers….
CHAPTER 5 LINK :
Swasan argue…. Sanskaar decides to leave Kolkata
4 YEARS LATER
Swara wanted a baby of her own.
She had for quite some time, but it was only in recent months that she’d been able to admit as much to herself, to finally put words to the sense of longing that seemed to accompany her wherever she went.
She wasn’t sure when the need became so intense. Maybe it was seeing her brother Adarsh and his wife’s Parineeta’s children, loud and happy. Maybe it was her other brother Sahil whose wife was expecting their first baby, all round and glowing.
She touched her flat, empty stomach and sighed. The pang had grown worse, into something more akin to an ache, when Adarsh and Parineeta visited her in the Maheshwari country house, their three children in tow. It hadn’t occurred to her just how completely a gaggle of children could transform a home. The children had altered the very essence of the country house, brought to it life and laughter that Swara realized had been sadly lacking for years.
And then they left, and all was quiet, but it wasn’t peaceful.
From that moment on, Swara was different. She saw a nursemaid pushing a pram, and her heart ached. She spied a rabbit hopping across a field and couldn’t help but think that she ought to be pointing it out to someone else, someone small.
She spent a lot of time with her family, but when night fell, and all of her nieces and nephews were tucked into bed, she felt too alone.
And all she could think was that her life was passing her by, and if she didn’t do something soon, she’d die this way.
Not unhappy—she wasn’t that. Strangely enough, she’d grown into her widowhood and found a comfortable and contented pattern to her life. It was something she never would have believed possible during the awful months immediately following Laksh’s death, but she had, a bit through trial and error, found a place for herself in the world. And with it, a small measure of peace.
Before Sanskaar left 4 years earlier to oversee the company in Paris, his instructions upon leaving the country four years earlier had been that she should manage the company here as she saw fit, and once the shock of his departure had worn off, she’d realized that that had been the most precious gift he could have bestowed upon her.
It had given her something to do, something to work toward.
A reason to stop staring at the ceiling.
She had been a businesswoman before settling down with Laksh and managed to run the company efficiently.
She had friends, and she had family, both Maheshwari and Gadodia, and she had a full life.
So she should have been happy. And she was, mostly.
She just wanted a baby.
It had taken some time to admit this to herself. It was a desire that seemed somewhat disloyal to Laksh; it wouldn’t be his baby, after all, and even now, with him gone four years, it was difficult to imagine a child without his features woven across its face.
And it meant, first and foremost, that she’d have to remarry.
It was not the 19th century. She could have a baby out of wedlock and without a father. Her family would still make the child feel loved, but Swara didn’t want that. She wanted the world for her baby and that included a respectable name for the child and 2 loving parents who would be present for him/her.
But the thought of remarrying….. well, it was just strange. She was Swara Maheshwari. She felt comfortable as Swara Maheshwari, even more than Swara Gadodia. But now,She’d have to change her name and vow to make another man first in her her loyalties, and while the thought of that no longer struck pain in her heart, it seemed… well… strange.
But she supposed there were some things a woman simply had to get past, and one cold day, as she was staring out a window at Parna, The Maheshwari country house, she realized that this was one of them.
There were a lot of things in life to be afraid of, but strangeness ought not be among them.
She usually spent the first three months of the year in Parna, managing the huge estate, but this year she would go to Kolkata early. She needed to change her wardrobe. Though she hadn’t stuck to the pristine white that widows usually wore, She stuck to pale cream or dark colours like brown and grey.
But now, It was time to wear yellow, pink, perhaps even, as she thought of it with a bit of anticipation, bright red.
Swara Maheshwari was going to get married again.
It was time to go back, Sanskaar supposed.
Oh, well! He knew. It was long overdue. He had to go back to Kolkata, but it had been one of those things that was appallingly easy to put off. According to his mother, who spoke to him with remarkable regularity, the company was thriving under Swara’s able hands. He had no dependents who might accuse him of neglect, and by all accounts, everyone he’d left behind was faring rather better in his absence than they had when he’d been around to cheer them on.
So there was nothing to feel guilty about.
But he felt isolated here in Paris. 4 years ago, when he opened a branch here, his guidance was needed and he felt useful… like he had a purpose. But for the past year, The company was running by itself like clockwork and he knew he had no reasonable explanation to stay in France.
France hadn’t made him happy. It had given him a small measure of peace, which seemed rather paradoxical, since in the past few years he’d nearly met his demise three times at the hands of a girl who he had denied to get into bed with.
Apparently, French ladies did not take well to rejection.
Life-threatening episodes aside, however, his time in Paris had brought him a certain sense of balance. He’d finally done something for himself, made something of himself.
But most of all, It had brought him peace because he didn’t have to live with the constant knowledge that Swara was just around the corner.
Life wasn’t necessarily better with thousands of miles between him and Swara, but it certainly was easier.
It was past time, however, to face up to the rigors of having her in close proximity, and so he’d packed up his belongings, informed his rather sweet employees and friends that he was going back to Kolkata, booked a first class ticket on a flight, and headed home.
He’d have to face her, of course. There was no escaping that. He would have to look into the brown eyes that had haunted him relentlessly and try to be her friend. It was the one thing she’d wanted during the dark days after Laksh’s death, and it had been the only thing he had been completely unable to do for her.
But now, with the healing amount of time and distance, maybe he could manage it. He wasn’t stupid enough to hope that she’d changed, that he’d see her and discover he no longer loved her—that, he was quite certain, would never happen.
Maybe now, with the grief no longer so raw, he could be with Swara in friendship, without feeling as if he were a thief, plotting to steal what he’d coveted for so long.
And hopefully she, too, had moved on, and wouldn’t ask him to fulfill Laksh’s duties in every way but one.
He came back one fine March morning, knowing that Swara wouldn’t be in Kolkata yet.
He knew he was brave in all matters but one. But he was an honest man, too, honest enough to admit that the prospect of facing Swara was terrifying in a way that no French woman or toothy tiger could ever be.
Maybe, if he was lucky, she’d choose not to come down to Kolkata this year.
Wouldn’t that be a boon.
Swara was soaking wet. She cursed herself as her feet cut through the hard pavement of the street. She probably should have waited for the car to get fixed. But no, she was just a half hour away from Maheshwari Mansion and she felt too impatient to wait for the puncture to get repaired.
So she decided to walk back homeand it seemed that the Universe was displeased at her for ten minutes later, it started pouring.
How the hell could it rain so heavily in March?
She immediately began shivering and cluthced herself tightly. She was too far to turn back so she plodded on resolutely when her shoe sole came off.
Swara (sarcastically) : Of course! Could anything else go wrong tonight?
She gave a huge sigh of relief as she finally spied the Mansion gate. She would be warm again. All the household staff wouldn’t be back yet but surely she could find someone to heat some soup for her while she took a hot bath? And then perhaps she would wait in the library.
That was it. It was small and cozy, and if Francesca shut the door, an electric fire would keep the room nice and toasty. Furthermore, there was a small diwan on which she could lie. It was small, but then again, so was she, and it was the only place where there was an electric fire that would heat the room in no time.
Her decision made, she walked fast and rang the bell, oblivious to the security guards or her bruised feet. Their longtime member of the staff, Deepu Kaka opened the door.
Swara (chattering a bit) : Kaka! I am back… Kaka, D…. Do you think y….y…you could find s…..somebody to make h..hot soup f….for me?
Deepu Kaka (startled) : Of course Swara bitiya! I thought you wouldn’t reach here until tomorrow morning at least. If I had known, I would have kept something steaming for you.
Swara : Koi baat nahi Kaka! My phone didn’t have enough charge to inform and I didn’t think it would start raining.
Deepu Kaka : I’ll ask someone to get you some hot tea now. And the geyser switch is also on. If you wait for fifteen minutes, you can warm yourself up nicely.
Swara (smiling gratefully) : That would be wonderful Kaka! I’ll go wait in the library until then.
Thinking of the warmth in the library, She didn’t hear Kaka’s proclaim and she ran towards the library.
Swara : Warm, cozy fire.. lalalala
She’d regain feeling in her nose, her fingertips would lose that sickly numbness and—
She pushed open the door.
A short scream hurled itself across her lips. The fire was already on and a man was standing in front of it, idly warming his hands.
Swara reached wildly for something—anything— that she might use as a weapon.
And then he turned.
Swara (shocked) : SANSKAAR?
PRECAP : Conversation
Sorry for the short chapter.. would have written more, but uk exams 🙁 🙁 🙁
Will post next soon 🙂