Originally posted by CogitoErgoSumNynu my dear...
This " No Thank you" rule between us pals us sometimes confoundedly difficult. You make me feel literally on top of the world, both with your comments on my fics, as well your replies to my comments on yours.
I am truly humbled if you feel my heartfelt comments make you fall in love with your lovely gems of writing. Truly a pleasure and privilege to hear that, my dear.
You are so right - this no "thank you" rule is quite a big hurdle but then here is something to make for that:
Coming to this very evocative, dramatic chapter, which had, of course, a lot of events unfolding after Lakshya/ Bipul's revelation at the end of the previous chapter. What struck me the most, was the deft, intricate detailing of each characters' responses and feelings even amidst the taut and gripping pace of the events described.
To start off: The title--Sour Candy. Aaooow Gaawwddd, yes, Mr Bipul Kumar is sour candy indeed. More like kachcha neembu. No candy involved.
No candy - hmmm sounds right - but it was hard, a little like rock candy
I'll take each character's responses one by one: Firstly, Swara. What a sudden, heavy blow of utter shock that must have been. No wonder she raced off to have some privacy , peace and time to reflect. She had been holding on to the pain of this memory for so long, of having left home in such a precipitate manner, and having the baggage of considerable guilt, too, at her estrangement from her family. And in a sense, for having Ragini take that step of standing by herself (though that choice was ultimately Ragini's). Though Swara had come to see that her infatuation for Lakshya was really just love with the idea of being in love, more of an anticipation of escape from her draconian Dadi and the stifling, controlled atmosphere of home; still, the fact of being so callously stood up, being cast off almost, must have still stung all this time later.
Poor Swara, she had just about come to the conclusion that she could be falling in love with Sanskaar, asked him not to kiss her till she made up her mind, which was almost like an admission that she did love him and they were eager to meet the man who had stolen Ragini's heart. She had given up all hopes of going back home and was just finding that life has given her a second chance to be happy. And the fates bring her face to face with the one person she never ever wanted to see again. Though as you said, she knew that it was only an infatuation, it did bring back memories of that painful day- I am sure the words ''wrong number' which was how he had cut the call must have been ringing in her ears.
I would venture a guess, that Sanskaar's gentle yet firm and steady affirmation of his love, the pure adoration pouring from his eyes for her, the determined and calm way he goes about everything in his life, must have reassured Swara (though she hasn't yet conclusively acknowledged her own feelings for him), that this is the genuine kind of love. What elevates, burnishes, and fills with a calm elation.
That is for sure, which is why Swara was so forceful in her answer that she never loved Lakshya. She compares what she did feel for Lakshya and though she has not admitted her own feelings for Sanskaar, she is aware of one thing, whatever she felt for Lakshya falls far short of even what little she does acknowledge she feels for Sanskaar.
I loved the way you explored Swara's thoughts here---she was shocked and aghast, and her immediate next thought was, overwhelming concern for her sister. What if Laksya's affections for her were a similar juvenile infatuation? A callow calf love, which would not stand the first hurdle put in its path? That protective instinct, and the almost maternally ferocious way she confronted Lakshya in the end, were awesome.
That was the logical next step, Ragini had stated that she would listen to what her family said, which means that Swara and Sanskaar would have to approve of him. The first thing that struck her was 'what if Lakshya was not serious this time round' She was also aware of the step she took in the haze of infatuation, and Ragini appeared a bit more serious with her affections. Guess she was quite apprehensive about Ragini getting hurt by him and that was her way of saying that she would be the judge of whether he had matured and was actually serious about Ragini
Sanskaar, my God, this man's reactions and perspective on things---I just admire and adore him more and more every day. He was so furious at the weak kneed and callous way he cousin had reacted, and, true to his extremely protective instincts towards Swara, must have wanted to deck Lakshya with an almight left hook or an uppercut, the minute the revelation happened! But he calmly restrained himself, wanting to hear the complete truth from his cousin. His reactions during the time when Lakshya was telling his sordid, sorry tale, were so well narrated. That disgust, revulsion almost, at his cousin's new low in immature, callous, spineless behavior.
Considering how his imagination ran amok as to what he wanted to do the the person of Bipul Kumar, he did have to exercise a lot of restraint. Partly because it was an initial disbelief that it was his cousin who was the one responsible and who had never appeared to show any remorse.
I was waiting to see if Sunny boy would give a solid, lights out punch to the man (cousin he might be, but still!!) who had hurt Swara so badly. And oh yes, he did!! I was literally dancing across the room when Lakshya got punched in the jaw...I was wondering if a tooth came out? I initially wondered casually about a jaw fracture, but I am not that sadistic...or maybe I am, after all.
I so wanted to write a few more blows too, but then I wanted to show that Sanskaar has also matured (remember he had an altercation with Kavita's brother and fractured his hand, losing both his ability to play the guitar and his friend). Further, even before he could hit Lakshya again, Ragini jumped in
I loved Sanskaar's perspective, maturity and sense of balance here. He never tried to rush after Swara and try to comfort her, or to impose himself on her. Just let her have her time and space, and let Ragini go to her. That was a time the siblings needed in privacy, considering the extremely tangled skeins of emotion that callous Bipul/ Lakshya had spun around them!
He did not - he knew that at that time the sisters would need each other more than anyone else. Further, it was also the best time to give Lakshya a chance to tell his version, before Sanskaar began the task of taking him apart.
And I so loved the way Sanskaar stood calmly aside while Ragini joined the fray and furiously hit Lakshya; but immediately restrained her when she seemed to be furiously ready even to stab him! I dare say she might not have gone through with it...but one never quite knows. Crimes of passion could happen in the blink of an eye, especially here when Ragini had two extremely good grounds for being in a deathly rage at Lakshya----for having consigned her sister to this agony for 5 years; as well as now dallying with her, a relationship she used to be sure of but now was bound to have doubts over.
Ragini might have stabbed him, too though with a pastry knife there would have been no serious damage. But there was no need to take that risk, as Sanskaar calmly said there is no point in her paying the price for Lakshya's mistakes.
Which brings me to Ragini. I just LOVED the way you described her emotions here. So realistic and accurate, in the exploration of the ranges of emotion she must have been feeling. Anger at Bipul/Lakshya's perfidy, a heartrending concern for her sister, who had been brought rudely face to face with a past she had wanted to get over; and yes, despite it all, a sliver of jealousy. One might think that jealousy reflects some lack in Ragini's character---but I don't think so. It is a very realistic portrayal of a stab of emotion which arises illogically, without conscious thought or desire. I'm sure Ragini felt very upset and ashamed of feeling jealous---but it was natural. Lakshya was a man she had fallen in love with, without knowing of his weak kneed, spineless act as Bipul. She considered him the man of her dreams, built beautiful dreams of a future with him. At the moment when she learned this was the guy her sister had been seeing, had supposedly fallen in love with, she must have felt that keen stab of jealousy, amid all the other stronger emotions of concern for Swara which she did feel.
LOVED the way she both comforted Swara, as well was (in a sense) comforted by her. Like I said above, that moment between Swara and Ragini, was one of the most lovely things about this chapter. The way Ragini asked Swara if she still loved Lakshya/ Bipul, and the instantaneous, heartfelt way Swara responded, was
Ragini - you are quite right, jealousy is a normal reaction in certain cases, it is how we chose to act on that emotion that determines who we are. Unfortunately, in most cases what comes to fore are the actions based on such an emotion and we associate everything evil and negative with this feeling. Ragini was a normal human being, prone to normal human emotions - so feeling a tinge of jealousy was a normal reaction. And when Swara did not appear to respond to her, she just could not help give in to the fear that maybe, Swara still had some feelings for Lakshya. But then Swara is so much in love with Sanskaar (even if she has not admitted it to herself) and now realises what love is that she knows that she never did love Lakshya even then.
Lastly, Lakshya...well. I will reserve further judgement about him (about future trajectory, that is), till I read what you have in mind for him in the next chapters, about the depth of his feelings for Ragini. I am curious if he has matured at all, learned anything from his past sins of omission and commission?
But as for his actions of the past----I just feel so much disdain and contempt for the man. Easy go lucky and fun loving is fine. Being a tad immature is also excusable, not everyone grows up emotionally and becomes aware of their responsibilities at the same pace, after all. But to make a flippant remark like "Let's run away", when he already knew that Swara was a far more earnest and serious person than he was; was almost criminally negligent! And then, to not do anything at all to dissuade her from that crazy plan; shutting his eyes and hoping the problem would just vanish----I wanted to punch him!! Such an ostrich burying his head in the sand approach!! And SO much like the Lakshya of old!
Like Sanskaar said, it was just awful that he in a way, suggested the plan, did nothing to stop it being set in motion (despite having no intentions of going through with it), in a shocking and cavalier display of callousness, never showed up for the planned rendezvous, and then never made any attempt to find out if Swara was OK, what had happened to her! He really is such a weak kneed knave!
Lakshya is still impulsive, but his feelings for Ragini are genuine, how he goes about convincing everyone and whether he is successful, is for the next chapters. His actions actually do not leave much room for forgiveness, but time and perseverance do pay off.
Am very eagerly awaiting the next chapter, darling. Want to see how the RagLak story progresses of course...and even more so, how this revelation affects SwaSan. I want to expect and hope that it will draw them ever closer, but I am scared that Swara might think her past shadows are now cast too close to Sanskaar's home? Would she think that "Bipul" being Sanskaar's cousin, might complicate their equation? I devoutly hope and pray not! No way is Swara and Sanskaar's story going to be affected - it is too firmly etched in the sands of time. Ragini and Lakshya - that is yet to be seen the next chapter might give you some idea.
Loads of Love,