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Arranged Marriage – Short Story – Swaragini (Part 2)

Hey Guys… I guess you didn’t like the concept or may be because you don’t know about the female lead (which you will get to know in this part). But this is adapted from a south movie. Hope you will be happy reading this part. And thank you for the likes.


Part 2

Gadodia House, Kolkata 

The alarm clock rang shrilly once again, as Swara kept her hand on the contraption and pulled the pillow over her head, hoping to catch a few winks. 

Di…Di…Wake up…Papa is looking for you. Di…get up, for god sake.’ As Swara mumbled something sleepily, Rachna pulled the duvet from Swara and shakes her up in good measure, as Ragini came hopping in and laughed at the scene which she was used to seeing everyday! ‘Give up Rachna. Di is hopeless. Till Ma comes and pours cold water over her, our Kumbhkaran is not going to wake up.’ 

Who called me Kumbhkaran?’ Swara woke up groggily, her long hair falling untidily all over her face, shoulders and going all the way to her waist. Rachna and Ragini giggled as they saw Swara half conscious with a comical expression on her face as she sleepily made her way to the Bathroom. Rachna and Ragini had already bathed and changed for the day.

As Swara lazily brushed her teeth, she could hear the sound of bells chiming and then suddenly, her eyes widened and with break-neck speed, she finished her morning ablutions and almost stumbled into the ‘Pooja Room’, just in time for the morning prayers, presided over by her Father. 

Rachna and Ragini chuckled as their Mother gave a sneering look at Swara, who smiled back sheepishly while their Brother, Sahil tried to look indifferent to his sister’s antics, though he had an urge to grin. His wife, Kiran looked at Swara as if to reprimand her silently, but a wink from Swara had her trying hard to suppress her own smiles. Swara closed her eyes and folded her hands reverentially trying to look extremely devotional and pious, as her Father finished the Pooja and gave the Aarti ki Thaali to his wife to be touched by everyone. As Shekar looked up at his eldest daughter, the second of his four children, Swara quickly darted her eyes away from him as she took the blessing and squealed to her Mother to put a small tikka on her forehead. 

Shekar Gadodia headed a traditional, middle-class but extremely close-knit and happy family along with his wife Sharmishta and their four children, the eldest Sahil who was married to Kiran and had a 3 year old son, Rohan. Shekar’s second born was the 20 year old Swara followed by the 18 year old Rachna and the 17 year old Ragini. Sahil stayed in Delhi along with his family, as he worked with a Multinational Company there but visited his hometown in frequent intervals along with his wife and son. Shekar and the rest of the family were settled in their home-town of Kolkata since his early retirement a few years ago due to a severe heart stroke. They managed reasonably well since Shekar worked independently on government related projects which fetched good money and Sharmishta was a school teacher in a local school. Swara was in the final year of her College and her exams were due in a few days, while the younger two were still studying. 

Though as a Father, Shekar had lavished affection on all his four children, it was without doubt, Swara who was the apple of his eyes. And even though there wasn’t a single day when Sharmishta was not at odds with her daughter, she prided herself immensely on her. Rachna and Ragini completely idolized their elder sibling and while Sahil was pretty strict with Swara, he nevertheless dotted on his kid sister. But it was Kiran with whom Swara got along like a house on fire, even though they were quite apart in age. 

Swara gulped her paratha, making a wry comment on the falling quality of her Mother’s cooking, much to Rachna and Kiran’s amusement and before Sharmishta could make a comment back, she gave a warm peck on her Mother’s cheeks and touching her Father’s feet, rushed out, yelling that she will be late for College again. 

It was difficult to describe Swara to anyone. How does one capture the beauty of a wild flower growing in the midst of a jungle in words? One has to see it to feel it and know it and understand it. Though Swara wasn’t blessed with her younger sister Rachna’s flawless peaches and cream complexion, her own wheatish tone glowed like gold against the Sun. Though she hadn’t inherited her Mother’s luminous black hair, which still confused people on her actual age, Swara’s own silky black hair, fell in wild abandon down to her waist, curling incorrigibly at the ends. Though Swara did not have Ragini’s lithe built and tall frame, which always made her stand out, her own seductive curves did little to help the scores of admirers from her Neighborhood and the ones who loitered around the Girls College in which she studied. Though she did not have her brother Sahil’s attractive green-brown eyes, passed on from her Mother’s side of the family, her own dark brown, deep-set eyes expressed a million emotions in them. And last but not, she had inherited at least one thing from her family, her Father’s keen wisdom and understanding, though all those who claim to know Swara could never believe it.

Swara could be extremely talkative with people whom she knew well and completely reticent and withdrawn with strangers. Her moods changed like the hues of the day and her temper could be as cool as ice and then flare up like a fire in the forest. She could be sweet, kind and loving and suddenly snub anyone whom came in her way with her sarcastic tongue and bitter coldness. Though she was very popular in her college and was known to have a large circle of friends, very few if any could claim to know her really as a person.  

She indulged in Rachna and Ragini like a Mother, but could slap them hard on their face without remorse if they even as much as touched something that belonged to her without permission. Swara adored her Mother, but not a day went, when the Mother-daughter duo were not at odds, fighting on everything from her choice in clothes to what was for Dinner. Though she completely venerated Sahil, only Swara was known in the family, who could start or end a fight with him and win it every time. Everyone feared his temper, except Swara, who just couldn’t care less and almost always got away with her cheekiness, partly because Sahil adored her too much to say anything much to her. Swara worshiped her Father like God, but was also the only person in the family who could defy him openly, without flickering an eye-lid. The only person who could actually rein in Swara a little bit was her sister-in-law, Kiran who was the closest that came to a best friend for Swara and she almost, always fell in sync with whatever Kiran told her to do. 

Swara was like an undulating river, young, fierce and full of restless energy, running through its unknown course in a fierce abandon, pulling everything along with it in its course or just ignoring the rest and flowing on. 

As Kiran helped her Mother-in-law to clear the breakfast table, she could not hold back her surprise when told that there was a ‘very good’ alliance for Swara and that the boy and the family were expected in a day or two. 

Kiran looked up and exclaimed, ‘Ma…but Swara is so young. And…have you talked to her on this?’

Sharmishta smiled at her daughter-in-law and said, ‘Girls are best married young, aren’t they? It’s easier for them to adjust.’  

Kiran rolled her eyes and decided to not comment on the archaic thoughts, as Sharmishta continued, now a little annoyed. ‘And what is the need to ask Swara? Did your Father ask you before we came with Sahil’s proposal?’ 

Kiran tried to stifle a grin as she remembered the two full year of courtship she had enjoyed with her then boyfriend who had later become her husband, before they both planned out the entire thing and presented the whole case as a suitable one for an arranged marriage through one of their common family friends. 

Kiran, beta, you know how Swara’s temperament is. Please speak to her when she is back from College and tell her to behave properly when the guests come tomorrow evening’, finished Sharmishta as Kiran was left gaping open-mouthed. Making Swara understand and comply with something was not a job to be envied and as again, it had fallen on her shoulders.


What do you think will happen next?

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