Start of Flashback
Dadimaa: Maan you’re coming and that’s it!
Maan: Nope, Dadi, you’re wrong, I am not coming…
Dadimaa: When I’ll fall ill, and bed-ridden you’ll know, I will be so sick that I would die…
Maan smirked: Dadi, this sentence is getting so old; you’ve been using it for years.
Dadimaa glaring at Maan: Shut up, I will really fall ill, and it’s my final decision and you’re coming!
End of Flashback
Cool or what? Great, isn’t it? Maan Singh Khurana is powerless in front of his grandmother.
“Err…Geet, tonight Dadi organized a party here” I said. She looked at me confused and I shrugged saying “just got the news”. “Oh” she replied studying me carefully. She must have been trying to figure why I was not questioning her. When I asked her how was her camping trip on Mars, she was looking at me, her mouth enough wide-opened to catch flies. You’d laugh. I had smirked and told her to close her mouth, leaving her bewildered, I left for my room. I was dying to ask her how was the weather on Mars or if she saw some of her relatives or perhaps some aliens? Maybe then no…
Dadimaa called us; me, Geet, Akshay, Vicky, Annie and the whole crew of servants. She was briefing us how there was not a party at home for the longest period of life, I guess, till the death of a family member. She was looking very happy. But I wonder what was up with Geet and Annie. After Dadimaa left, I had gone to call Adi to cancel all my meetings and appointments and when I returned –
Annie said “Bhiz, do you know today’s Friday the 13th” Geet gasped and looked at the ceiling, I figured she was praying, “hey Babaji, you know what had happened the last Friday 13th, please help me to avoid committing such mistakes” Geet said still looking up without blinking. Annie stared at her confused, she also looked up and the back at Geet. “Hey babaji, help me, okay” and then Geet looked at Annie and said “why are you staring at me so strangely?” Annie turned red and mumbled “nothing”. Wasn’t she strange? She kept surprising me every time.
Fine, the party, whoops, I mean Dadimaa’s party was in the front year, a party in summer could not be better than outside the four walls, it’s Vicky the Viking’s thoughts. That’s what he calls himself. Dadimaa was off welcoming the guests, I am sure she might be gossiping there completely forgetting how irritated I’m.
Vicky and I were waiting for the ladies. Generally ladies take a out of time to dress up, now they’ll tie their hair this way or that way, this hairstyle or that shoe or they might fuss because of their gloss or lipsticks or their eyeliners. They stand at least 5 hours in front of the mirror. I sighed. “What are they doing?” I grumbled. “Bro, I bet they are trying the next heels” he said flopping on the couch. “Enough waiting, we are waiting since 30 minutes” I complained. “Actually” Vicky added helpfully “it’s been 25 minutes” I glared at him.
“ANNIE! GEET! Come down NOW” I screamed at the top of my lungs. “Now” Vicky repeated shouting too. I gave him one of my looks to shut him up. “Coming!” Annie said but till the next two minutes no one showed up. My patience was running out just then Akshay came behind me saying “Boo” We giggled and I admired him in his black jeans and clean white branded shirt. “How do I look Daddy?” he asked. I thumbed up at him. “Mama said I looked like a prince” he gushed. “You sure do”. He smiled and went to sit on Vicky’s lap. “Vivi uncle, you look good…”
Just then I saw Annie, in a blue party dress and blue heels coming down, I am very bad at fashion, never mind. I sucked my breathe when I saw Geet. Vicky gave a low whistle, I could not check his or Akshay’s expressions because I was too busy staring at Geet. She was draped in a white sari perfectly, white heels, white necklace or jewelries you add it, I never thought her hair was that long…
Annie and Bhiz were coming downstairs. Annie was as usual Princess Kate and Bhiz looked splendid. She was simply awesome. I just turned to check on Bhai and he was staring at Bhiz as if Angelina Jolie or Katrina Kaif just appeared in front of him, or worst. Even if Angelina or Katrina would appear, Bhai would behave normal not like me, freaking or worst.
Bhiz carefully climbed the stairs.
I had asked Annie about 99th time if I looked beautiful in this white sari. I checked my figure and powered my face. I applied my pale shade of pink lipsticks and brushed my hair. The white sari was excellent but did I look like a widow? Nope, because the jewelries were okay, not heavy at all and the heels too. But something was amiss?
Annie groaned when I mentioned what was amiss and she grunted saying “Sati Savitri symbol, how did I forgot? Vermillion and the…” Maan must have been angry as he had shouted our names while we were getting ready. I climbed downstairs carefully and saw Maan checking me out. Omigosh, I felt special.
Annie climbed quickly winking secretly to Vicky which I had accidentally seen. “Bhai, wait for Bhiz, till then me and Vicky will go, Zoe will be waiting for me!” and both of them hurried outside leaving me, Maan and Akshay alone. It must have been their plan! I turned pink when I saw Maan still looking at me when I climbed the last stair.
“Do I look that bad?” I asked softly as I approached them. Maan was taken aback as if he was in another planet before I asked him this question.”Eh? Woh…” he looked confused. “Do I look that bad?” I repeated. He shook his head and said “you look gorgeous Geet” I beamed like a Christmas tree at him. He looked surprised at his words and said “let’s go”
At the Party
Akshay baby had already gone to sleep. He was tired as it was 5 hours since his bed time. I had been around answering reporters’ questions and meeting the guests along with Maan. I moved next to Maan who was standing alone with a drink. He sipped his drink slowly. “Tired?” he asked. I gave a slight nod. “Get use to it, Mrs. Khurana” he smirked. I smiled brightly and said “maybe I might get use to it, or maybe not” He looked at me as if I was speaking Spanish or something. “What happened to you?” he asked. “I am just way to excited that you complimented on my dress” I said blushing “at least, ever since I am here” He snorted and I grimaced “wah, it was a really funny joke Mr. Khurana” I said. He shook his head in amazement. “Waise Maan, agar mein tumhe kuch kahoon toh you won’t take it bad, will you?” I asked. “Depends” he said. “Well, I am saying it because of my experience, not because that I want you, it’s because I experienced it too and it did not work – don’t try to let your past to come in your present and concentrate your future” I said. He looked shocked. I nodded and said “just try to do it”
I walked away, leaving him bewildered.
Start of Flashback
“Geet”, Anjali asked looking down below her bunk. Geet looked at the upper bunk. “Yes” Geet raised an eyebrow. “How long have you been collecting clippings on Maan Singh Khurana” she asked. “BT? Well, remember I was scrolling through the site of India’s newspaper – I noticed his photo and I was mesmerized for the longest moment, ever since I collect his photo, clippings and everything…See, I collect all his pictures and clippings from newspapers in this file” Geet said pointing to her drawer. Anjali took a deep breath and said “Geet, are you serious about him?” Geet giggled and said “yes, I am”. Anjali thought for a moment and said “Geet, he’s getting married…”. “I know, I wish him all the happiness of his life but that does not mean I can’t collect his pictures, it is not a crime” Geet laughed. “Maybe…not good night, we have Gary’s class tomorrow”
End of Flashback
I smiled but I felt my heart pierced by another horrible past. I knew why Anjali was behaving weirdly lately and I even saw her medical report but my step-sis had called me back, I did not get time to confront her and it was too late, just too late. I know how it is to feel that you’re a burden on every one.
I did not realize that one of the guest called me and I had smiled at them, they gave me a drink and I took…I remember I was looking for Maan. Oh right, I saw him chatting with a couple of guests, I went near him and said “Ma-a-a-a-n” and I smiled at the guests. I felt weird. The guests left and Maan looked at me shocked. I placed my hand on his shoulder and came closer and poked his chest “Maan, you look so handsome today-y-ay, did I-I s-s-s-ay that to…to you” I hissed in his eyes. “Geet” he said his eyes widening.
I was so surprised when Geet came next to me and telling me that she had experienced how it was in living a sad life. Her eyes were yearning for something…yearning for love…maybe I thought. She went away, leaving me amazed…Sometimes I wonder how many time she will keep changing herself from a caring mother to a funny bubbly girl to a broken and rejected girl to a house-wife…I wonder how many more forms I would see…
I was chatting with Mr. Black when Geet arrived bumping in me. She put her hand on my right shoulder and started to hiss “Maan, you look so handsome today, did I say that to you” It was so weird…so strange, the way she was bragging with the words…she looked like she was drunk! Yes, she was drunk as she was staring at me dreamily. “Geet, what did you drink?” I asked. She giggled, she looked really pretty “Every day I drink” she hissed coming closer. I pushed her a little…she was not in her sense. “Every day I drink poison of sadness…every day I d-d-d-rink, by the way Ma-a-a-n, did I tell you that I love you very much, ever since I was eighteen back in L-L-London” she hissed. She was just one inch from my face. First, there was sadness in her voice, her eyes were filled with terror then her eyes changed into affection…affection and care for me, when she said those words, it took me aback. Since she was 18? For goodness sake Maan, she’s drunk and she’s talking nonsense, right now, I needed to bring her in her room. I left holding her closely but she was drunk. She was going to chase a bat when I had to pull her by her waist. How is it difficult to control her? A bat, for hell’s sake! She hit against my chest and she gazed at me so lovingly. I was afraid, afraid of her looks. She smiled and pulled my hand and sat on the floor. “I am tired, I want to s-s-sit” she jeered. “Geet, it’s not the appropriate time!” I said. “I want to sit!” she said stubbornly. I tried to pull her but she was not listening so I dragged her and took her into my arms. She was gazing at me with those affectionate looks that made me scared. “I love you, Maan” she said and buried her head on my chest, shocking me to the core. She’s drunk for heaven’s sake. “Maan?” she asked gazing back at me with pleading innocent eyes. “Yes” I said looking at her as I shifted her weight and climbed the stairs, nearly reaching her bedroom. “Hmm” I replied annoyed. “Why are you like this?” she asked like an innocent baby. Huh.
I dropped her on the bed and she said angrily “can’t you be gentle with me for one time…for me? Look – I know you love Akshay and Riihaa but I am too a human, am I?” she asked absent-mindedly and pulled my arm, she dragged me so hard that I fell on the bed. She giggled and said “I love you Maan Singh Khurana” she giggled again like a teenager. I sighed and thought when she will get back to sense! She held my arm tightly and sat on her bed. “I want to tell you something”
“Asking won’t make any differences” I grumbled. “Right” she said burying her face on my shoulders. “I want to tell you a s-s-s-story” she hissed in my eyes. Huh. She was so close, her breathe was fanning my neck. She then started to pat her belly; her eyes were a bit red. “What happen?” I asked. “I am hungry” she said crinkling her nose. “Shut up” I said shaking my head and tucked her behind. She was sticking on me like glue. “So where was I?”
“You were going to sleep”
“Yeah, right” she said. I sighed in relief. “There was a girl, very, very simple, innocent but yet tangled in the complications of life” she started her story. Great, I thought she had forgotten about it. “Her name was…was…” she stopped and stared at me and smiled. “She lost her daddy when she was three, her family made her mother settled down…got married to another guy having 2 daughters”. I stared at her as her eyes were filled with tears and she almost choked her words. Maybe she was imagining herself as that girl in the story. Maybe she was wrong and just too drunk… “My mom tried to make everything peaceful, but the elder daughter did not like me, Geet, she managed to convince my mommy to let me go to study to England, London when I was 17. Mommy agreed” she said sadly. “She stole my mommy from me…I hate her…Maan, I was there, in London College, all alone, sad, when I even tried to be friend with my step-sisters. But the elder one always had a problem with me” she choked and shook my hand “why was it like this? Why? What did I do?” I stared speechless and let her place her head on my shoulders.
“I was so lonely in London, my younger step-sister was so kind that she lend me some jeans…I felt so weird, so strange, so lonely, I missed my home…then I met Anjali, my best friend, she was also from India but from Mumbai. We were soon so close to each other. Best friend” she said as a smile spread on her face. “But she left me too…like everyone…dad, mom, and even Anjali left me…we made friends with other foreign people, we were like a group, teasing, leg-pulling and all…”
“But one day, after 2 years, there was a phone-call, from Vijay, my step-dad, saying that Mom had passed away…see, she left me…alone…here…and Vijay got a heart-attack not lately and died too…I was all alone, in my old house, trying to survive…I had return from England…My step-sisters had gone to live with their mothers, leaving me all alone to live…”
I took a deep breath.
“Tell me what would I do? I knew you from newspapers clippings, and I came to know you…and…and…that you had a baby boy…he was so lovely and you know what, it was my Akshay, my baby…my…my…”
She dozed off…leaving me bewildered…with all what was happening…I closed my eyes…all I could see was…was…G-E-E-T
I managed to pull free from her grip. I did some research of how many percentages a person speak the truth being in a drunken state. Whatever. I will find it the next morning.
The first ray hit me. I quickly got up, showered and went to Geet’s room. She was not awake yet. So I paced her room waiting impatiently.
She woke up yawning up like a little baby. She stretched her arm and when she saw me she blushed red and looked down. She was quiet, I was quiet. The room was silent. Great, I am becoming a poet! Hey that rhymes! Whatever. “Maan” she mumbled embarrassed “I am very sorry…I don’t know, I just took a drink…I did not know it was alcoholic one…Maan, everything I blabbered, just ignore it…I was drunk, I was not in my sense” she finished looking extremely guilty.
“Right, even the one “I love you Maan Singh Khurana, do you deny it, Geet” I said coldly. She stared at me so shocked. She did not breathe. She kept staring at me as if I was a ghost. “I am waiting” I said. She closed her eyes deeply hurt. Her face was saying the answer. “Geet” I said quietly, “do you remember a little of what you said, please tell the truth, for Akshay’s sake at least”. I knew she would not deny it. I know she loves Akshay a lot. I don’t know much about Geet, except what she said if it was truth…but I know she loves Akshay very much even if he does not have a blood relation. I know I sound like those boring daily soaps but it’s the truth of my life.
Geet nodded. “I remember that I told you a story about myself…till I was left all alone…” she mumbled tears gathering in her eyes. The tears become blur and slipped down her cheeks. “Geet” I said hurt. I sat down next to her. She was trying to drape her body well with that white sari. She was trembling. I placed my hand onto hers. “Geet, please talk to me…was you left all alone on your own?” I asked. “Geet, trust me, I won’t hurt you…” she bit her lips, she cried silently and abruptly hugged me. I patted her back and I felt as if current ran into my body. Her skin was so soft…fair…creamy…”Yes, Maan it’s the truth…I was all alone” she mumbled. “Geet…try to forget it…remember you yourself told me that never live in the past, it always hurt…” she nodded.
“Ahem…ahem…” came a voice that shook me and Geet, broke our hug.
The first ray of the sunshine hit my eyes. I groaned and moaned. I flinched. I did not want to wake up. It’s so early. I groaned as I feel my duvet slipping down the bed. I sat on the bed and yawned and stretched. Amazing morning. My head feels so heavy as if there is a big stone of rock on it. Oh no! I drank something last night! I drank vodka? Beer? Whisky? Rum? Gin? I don’t know but It was an alcoholic drink. Maan carried me to my room alright…wait ‘ did I tell him something? Some rubbish?
The something turned out to be part of my life, the painful moments of my life. My eyes watered. I know I will cry. Babaji, why do you do this to me only? I know Babaji that you love me very much but I am not the only person who needs all troubles and problems in my life, do I? When I woke up, I saw a figure moving, I saw it blurry. I blinked for a couple of times and saw it was my Maan whom I said I-L-U last night. It was so embarrassing. He was pacing the floor waiting for me to wake up. I knew I was going to have an earful of the nonsense I had spoken and a lecture about my health and all. I mumbled embarrassed that I was sorry. Nope, he ignored it completely and asks if he does not hear it. He asks me if all I said was true including my confession in my drunken state. I did not answer but I know that it was well written on my face. He gave me Akshay’s sake. You know, Akshay is not my son, at least we don’t have any blood relation but I love him more than my life. Maybe it’s because I know that I cannot have my own child…I guess so, but anyway, I love this little boy not because he’s my Maan’s son but because he’s a child so lovely and I am so fond of him. I reckon that I started to love Akshay since the day I saw his photo printed on the newspapers headlined “Khurana Heir Born”.
Maan kept looking at me. I feel my cheeks going red and warn. I notice my belly part sticking out, my drape slightly going over my shoulders. More embarrassed that before, I pull it well. I know I was trembling…I don’t know what happened next except I fell in his arm like a hurricane crying helplessly. The hug was so warm, so comfortable. I could hear my heart beating 1 million times per second. You do the math. I wonder if he could hear my heart beat as it was so loud. I ignore this and hug him more tightly. I push my head on his shoulder slightly brushing my tears with his sleeve. Yuck, I wonder where my manners went!
“Ahem…ahem” broke us all apart. It was…Akshay clearing his throat seeing us in such a hug. I was so embarrassed. We pull apart, shy and I tried to cover myself more. Maan looked at me amazed, staring fixed. I blushed looking down. But Akshay did not notice.
“Mama! Guess what? Guess what!” he said breathlessly! He had already dress up and I was still in the same sari. “Wait a minute son” Maan cut him off. Akshay looked crushed. I pulled him on my lap and kissed his cheek. “Let you mama go and brush her teeth and take a bath…” he told Akshay. Akshay looked at me and beamed “Eww…Mama has not brush her teeth…smell…smell…smell…” he chanted and Maan glared at him. In my whole life, I think it was the quickest shower of all. Of course, Maan and Akshay were waiting for me. I smiled at them and Akshay jumped on my lap. “Mama…Papa…guess what?” he said. “What?’ Maan asked. “I told you to guess!” he said indignantly. Then he saw our confused face and blurted out “I know how to sing Twinkie Twinkie!”
“Huh?” was Maan’s reaction. “I mean Twinkle Twinkle” Akshay said rolling his eyes. “Sing” I asked him. Maan was smiling at his childish face. “Twinkle, Twinkle, little star…” he began breathlessly. After he finished, Maan and I clapped our hands. Maan gave me a big chocolate and I pulled him again kissing his head. “Miss thought us” he said proudly. Then he added cheekily “Twinkling twinling mummy’s nose, she looks like a ghost!” Maan gave Akshay a five and they both laughed out of their head. I poked Maan on his shoulder. “Wah…” I said sarcastically. “Mama’s a ghost!” Akshay chanted and repeated. “Fine!” I said indignantly “I won’t talk to you…both” I added and turned my back to them. Akshay whispered to Maan “don’t worry, I know how to pacify Mama, but what will you do?”
I did not talk to them…5 minutes passed. Akshay had gone downstairs. Maan also had gone. I stayed in my room sulking. Akshay entered the room holding a bunch of red roses. I smiled. Maan was standing next to him with a bouquet of red roses and white lilies. My throat went dry. Maan remembered my likes.
Akshay gave me the flowers and said “sorry Mama…but I joked” I kissed him again and he said stubbornly “I am grown up now don’t smooch all over me”. We giggled. Maan gave me the bouquet, his eyes shining. “Now, come on, talk” he ordered. “Because we need to go to work now”
I groaned. “Oh right” I rolled my eyes. “Bouquets for work” I sulked. “Nope” he said and added in a serious tone “Bouquets for you to talk to me, share to me”. My heart almost stopped. I looked shocked. “Geet” he said gently taking my hand in his “I want to know…but only if you…tell” he said huskily. My heart skipped a beat. I closed my eyes and nodded. “Geet, you know everything on me…and I want to share your pain…and I want to try my best not to hurt you again…” I nodded again. He leaned and squeezed my arm. Akshay got bored of this and left screaming “Ann aunt” at the top of his lungs.
How was I going to tell Maan? That Anjali died…I was left all alone…how I found him in the park…
Start of Flashback
“Look at the mess of this room” Geet grumbled. “Wonder why Anj is now! Argghh” she complained removing her bag and throwing it on the bed. Geet started to clean their dorm. Everything was up and down. She kept grumbling. She noticed a crumbled paper under Anjali’s bed. “Huh? What’s this?” she asked opening it. It was a report…a medical report…belonging to Anjali’s. She looked at it even though she knew she did not had the right. She was cheating on her best friend. But Anjali never told her of going to the doctor? So why was she hiding? Geet heart’s almost stopped when she saw the report…She wished she never read it…”FINAL STAGE OF CANCER” it was written!
I gasped. She sniffled trying to hide that she had already started crying. “Geet”, I said touching her shoulders; she was trembling, her eyes filled with tears, she bit her lips looking at me. I knew she was going to break down in some minutes. How could I have misunderstood her when I first met her? How could I be so heartless? She grabbed my hand for support. She closed her eyes remembering those painful incidents, like they were flashing in her eyes. “I did not know how to live alone, I got an email that mom was terribly ill…Vi told me that he had already booked tickets for me and I was coming to India by the next available flight…when I reached home I came to knew it was not a horrible illness…it was an disease which had no remedy…mom was safe, sound, away from all illness and sadness…away from this world” she said choking her words breathing heavily. “I felt so empty…” she mumbled continued. I made her sat on the bed, she was already weak. “And some months later Vi turned out to have diabetes and also left, my step-sisters, the elder one named Mansha and the younger and nice one was Meera, their mom called them to live with her and they left. Although Meera protested that she was not going to leave me alone, I told her to go…I was so scary to live alone…I never experienced it…I never got a chance to talk to Anj nor the others. I would usually get calls from my friends and yeah, Anj never survive…she left me too like others did…it was so horrible” she finished. I knew how it was to be left all alone…when Riihaa left me; it was like I was a living corpse. I wonder if I ever realized that I had a son to look after until Dadimaa scolded me enough and made me fill guilty and I took a decision to marry Geet. I hugged her and whispered “don’t worry…you’re not alone…even I felt that void in my life”. She snuggled closer, I let her, she was too tired to fight and lie, she needed to tell someone all this problem and it was me. “I…” she was continued but I shushed her up mumbling “I went through it”. She held me tighter… “I know, I saw you…” she said. “Huh?” I asked puzzled and she answered “the other day…you were in –…” she started when we heard a knock at the door. We broke up quickly.
“Bhai? Are you in Bhiz’s room?” someone asked. It was Vicky. “Yes…” I called. He opened the door and stepped in eyeing us suspiciously. “What were you doing behind a closed door” he sang. “What?” I cried and glanced at Geet who went deep red. “Nothing…” she fibbed “just talking…” she said and I nodded in agreement. Vicky bought the story and said “okay someone is waiting for you” he said and put on his headset and went away without telling anything who was waiting outside.
I saw a woman’s back talking excitedly to Dadimaa who was grinning, her smile million kilometers wide.
“Theek hein, tum Maan aur Akshay se bath karo, if they agree only then Geet will come with you” Dadimaa answered. The woman smiled still very excited. Geet looked like she knew the person. She smiled at me and I smiled back. She was happy, maybe the person was someone that Geet knew, but whoever it was it definitely brought Geet’s smile back.
“Dekho, woh aah gaye” Dadimaa said pointing to us. The woman turned and Geet grinned so did the lady. “Geeet!” she said excitedly, her eyes glittering with her excitement but Geet ignored her and scowled “I am sure you came to the wrong address – this is Khurana Mansion” she said looking away. Was she arrogant about it? Nope, she was pretending she did not know the girl but the girl looked hurt and then she smiled. “Kyun Geet, you forgot me” she said as sarcastic as Geet had replied her. “Yes, I forgot you…nahi, it’s you who forgot me anyway” she scowled again folding her arms to her chest. “Let me introduce myself then” the girl said cheekily “mein – Sania, the one whose brother had stolen your shoes and you had locked him outside the house in his underwear!” Sania finished. What? Underwear – Geet? Since I came to know her, she keeps surprising me. She blushed red and glanced at me uneasily. I also came to know one thing – Geet loves playing pranks! Then Sania seemed to notice me and came to greet me “hi, I am Sania, Geet’s neighbour and friend, I am getting married day after tomorrow, can Geet come to the wedding?” she asked. “Hmm, yeah” I replied shrugging “I guess she can come”. “Loh, mera matlab tha…that you too come! I mean, you’re my friend’s husband, right?” she said briskly. I was shocked –Geet was shocked too. She gave me a scared look. “Woh…kya hein nah Sani…” Geet butted in knowing that I did not like these things when I interrupted “fine then”. Sania beamed at me. Geet looked at me, her eyes shining with gratitude. “Okay, since you already became my jija now, then you should let Geet come to stay till the wedding – 1 night only…and she will come today itself” Sania said giggling. What? Hey man, what was this – no way, what about Akshay and me? I mean, office! “No” Geet said shyly “I can’t” she mumbled. “Kyun?” she asked suspiciously “you don’t have to cook, wash dishes…at my place, we will have loads of fun…even Meera will be there, she’s dying to meet you, Pinky too and lots of our friends” Sania said sadly. Geet looked happy for a moment and then said crestfallen “no, yaar, I got to go to office and mera beta, he can’t live without me for even a second” Geet replied. Geet was eager to meet Meera and her other friends but for my son’s sake, she would stay home without enjoying at her friend’s wedding…
I close my eyes, I sigh…my heart; broken…
I don’t know how long I’ll be like this…
I lost everything…nothing is mine…nobody I could call mine…
I lie all alone…afraid of this cold…I shivered…I cried…
Nobody heard…I hurdled in my cold corner…
Waiting to scream for help me…[first page]
We hugged. Tightly. I snuggled closer. I felt broken, tired…of fighting…I couldn’t take it…he patted my back whispering in my ears, his breathe fanning my neck. It was the second time we were so close…I knew it…I had saw how broken he was with Riihaa’s death. He couldn’t even look after Akshay. I had seen him…in the park…the other day…I snuggled closer hitting his hard chest. I felt safe, away from all worries…he was there for me…I knew it!
A knock! I hate this knock! We broke apart uneasily. I blushed and he took my hand on his, I blushed. Vicky entered and said that someone was waiting for us. We went; at once I knew who she was – Sania, my neighbour. She was there for me when Meera and Mansha left. She was able to make me smile in all the problems of my life. She abruptly asked Maan to let me go with her tonight. I guessed even Maan was startled with her straight-forwardness. I didn’t know how to tell Sania that I could not come over for 1 night. What would Akshay do without me? And who will take care of Maan at the office? How was I going to explain this to Sania. Even though I desperately wanted to go, I wanted to meet Meera and Pinky, have fun, play those dirty little pranks as if I was young again.
I gave Maan a sad look and denied to Sania but what Maan said next shocked me to the core and made me felt very special. “I assume that you can go” Maan said. I gasped looking at her. He gave me a goo-goo eyes, I met his gaze, staring at him without blinking. I knew I looked liked an owl with those big round eyes of mine. Scratch this. “But Akshay?” I managed to say it in a husky whisper still staring at him. Maan whispered to me “I know I am handsome no need to stare like that, your friend there is thinking you’re crazy”. That startled me more. And grinned whispering back “I know, I am crazy…in some ways…but I love staring at you” and I giggled silently. “Well, I can look after Akshay very well” Maan said defensively. I did not argue at this point. “See, scary cat…now pack up your bags, meeting at six at my house, see ya, thank you” she said waving to Maan and turned to Dadimaa adding “thanks Dadiji” and left.
Maan went upstairs to his room and I followed him. “By the way, Geet, I start getting scared to stay around you” he confessed. “Kyun? Do I look like an owl?” I asked hurt sitting on his bed but when he glared at me, I quickly stood up. “No, you play a lot of pranks” he smirked “you don’t look like an owl; instead you’re a very beautiful angel”. I blushed looking down. “By the way are you sure you’ll be able to handle my son” I said raising an eyebrow. “Koi shaq” he smirked again. “Nope…but over confidence kills” I grinned. “Abb jao…warna your friend will come and stalk at me for not having sent you to your girly parties” he smirked again. He was so smug! I was shocked! I mean, come on, I never saw Maan like that; I am talking about the angry Maan Singh Khurana here! I came closer and I pinched me, it was sort of a silly trick that I and my friends used to do. “Oh god, was The Maan Singh Khurana that smug?” I said puffing. Maan smirked again. I could not take it. “By the way, Maan, if you can’t handle Akshay…” I grinned challenging him. I love to play this new game with my Maan. “Then? Then you can do anything you opt for” he retorted. “Oh really, if I win that is if you can’t handle Akshay who will be missing me badly, I’ll kiss you on the cheek” I joked. Maan face darkened. I couldn’t take it, I stifled my laugh, then I started to laugh very loudly on Maan’s face. I covered my mouth and said still giggling “you’re face…for the first time, Geet Khurana made The Maan Singh Khurana scared!”. I continued to giggle. He did not go mad when I addressed myself as a Khurana…remember he told me I was his wife now…Maan was still in a state of shock after my abrupt laughter. He grabbed my hand and dragged me even closer. This closeness can kill…I started to lose my sense…”Theek hein, if you win…you will kiss me twice…if I win – I’ll…” he said. Twice a kiss was like a piece of cake for me! Maan, did you ever know how much I love you…? “Did you get such a big shock” I smiled. He smirked. My heart pounded. I waited. “I’ll…no…you’ll…umm…what shall you do? I’ll go shopping with you after the wedding” he smiled. What a bet! I hugged him and smiled and whispered just near his ears “done!”. Third Time! Party Time! I realized what I was doing, I broke apart, he was still shocked, I went pale…and closed my eyes in fear “I am sorry…I am sorry” I kept chanting in a mumble, I backed. Thank Babaji…he saved me from facing Maan. “Bhiz! Are you in here? Bhiz? Do you need help with your packing, accessories and clothing?” Annie called. I quickly answered rushing out of the room not facing Maan “yes!”
Annie sorted me with the dresses. Just then Maan came in and signaled to Annie with her eyes to go. She left; I was so scared that I did not dare to look in his eyes. “Why are you frightened?” Maan asked. I glowered and lowered my gaze fixing his chest. “I…” I mumbled. “Geet” he said shaking his head “I won’t throw you out of the house…” he continued. I did not dare to look at his face. “I would think twice before doing this…” he grinned. I looked in his eyes, he was smirking…I opened my mouth to apologize and he said my words “I am sorry – I did not intend to hug you, sorry” he imitated my voice. I gave a small smile. Just then Akshay came running in the room and looked at us. He said breathlessly “Mama…I’ll miss you” and he grinned. He gave me a big cuddle. I kissed his earlobe. “Are you sure you’ll be able to sleep?” I asked. He glared at me and frowned. “I will read you a bedtime story” Maan offered. He scowled. Maan and I exchanged looks. “I can live without you for a month” he said. “What?” I cried looking hurt. “Okay for two days…” Akshay smirked just like Maan did. “I will be able to look after myself” he confided “I am not scared…I am sure its Daddy who’ll come to sneak in your room at night to meet you”. Maan was so shocked so was I. Maan shook his head disbelieving it was Akshay who was rattling on. “Come on, it’s time” Maan said and offered me a help. I waved at Akshay and Maan. Akshay was on attached on Maan’s right leg pretending to be brave.
I entered the house, it was decorated very beautifully. Before I could even think of anything else, somebody grabbed me and hugged me. “Geet! I am so happy to see you again…hey bhagawan…look how you are the same? Do you eat? How thin you’re?” Meera said. I smiled and said “you sure changed”. “Yeah” Meera added sadly “I am becoming fatter and fatter” and she patted her belly. I was startled! “Meera…am I becoming an aunt?” I asked excitedly. She blushed and we hugged again. “I thought your son will come with you” Meera added. “Nope, he’s with his Daddy and he said that Maan will come at night to sneak in my room as if…” I giggled. She touched my hand gently and said “are you happy?” I smiled and asked “do I look?” she grinned and retorted “definitely!” We talked and talked, hours passed. I started to miss Akshay. It was the time I would get him ready for bed or sometimes I would read him a story. I glanced at the clock. Meera, Pinky and Sania were seated on the bed. “Yaar” Sania complained “it has not even being some hours and you’re already missing them”. I blushed. Meera and Pinky laughed like crazy, I chucked a cushion at them.
My phone started to ring. It was Maan. “Hello…” I greeted “aren’t you getting any sleep…no wait…you can’t get Akshay to bed” I smirked. Glancing at my friends, I left the room for privacy. “Worst” Maan said in a serious tone. My heart started to beat faster. “Maan…what happened?” I asked. “Nothing…” he replied. “Just come downstairs” he instructed. “What?” I asked confused. “Just come, nah”. “Alright” I answered.
When I reached outside, I saw Maan and Akshay leaning against Maan’s car. Akshay was fussing and Maan had his arms to his chest looking cross. I ran like a little girl and hugged Akshay kissing his earlobe again. “I told you” I said to him angrily. “Nooo” he said smugly “Akshay just wanted to see if you were sleeping well in this new environment” he said sarcastically. He was so sarcastic. Akshay frowned sulkily and said “yes” and turned to me. “Papa was missing you so I suggested to come here” he said proudly and hugged me. “Were you sleeping?” he asked. I shook my head for a no. “So Maan, where you missing me?” I asked. He looked surprised as I teased him.
“Time to go now” I told Akshay. “Alright, Papa had a nice time talking to you…bye”
What will you say? Maan was missing me or Akshay was throwing all the guilt on Maan!
What was I going to do when Akshay had been repeating: Daddy can’t we just go to see Mummy? I mean…if she’s fine and all that…
“Do you think she ate?”
“Do you think she remembered me?”
“Do you think she realized it’s my milk time?”
“Is she sleeping now?”
“Can I call her? Please Daddy?”
I had refused her inventing some excuses but he started to sob and I couldn’t bear my baby to cry…that is why I went to Sania’s place. I rang Geet on her cell and told her to come downstairs. Now if she ever do something without questioning me would be good. Geet came outside and was shocked to see us. As usual all the hugging‘s and kissing‘s went on and Geet smirked at me. “I told you that you wouldn’t be able to do it” she said. Yeah right…if only Akshay would have been more “cooperative”. In return Akshay blamed that it was me who was missing Geet to death. Geet giggled knowing he was lying and I added sarcastically:
“Yeah right, it was me who said – Daddy, can I call her now? Daddy is she sleeping, Daddy, did she eat? Daddy…did mummy…” I said and Geet smacked me lightly on the arm. Akshay had turned bright red and mumbled “see Mama, how he lies…he’s just a good liar” and I shook my head. Geet stroked his hair and smiled at me. “Yes” she said her eyes twinkling “he’s a liar”. What? Both of them are conspiring against me, that for sure. I scowled and Geet giggled, Akshay started to giggle and I smiled. We were like a happy family. I smiled and I looked at Geet. She was an angel. Akshay yawned. “Daddy…now I want to sleep” he confessed. “Do you want me to go home with you?” Geet asked Akshay and glanced at me. I was not going to bring him here in the morning! “Nope” Akshay said “I told you I can live but this Daddy, nah, he just like you too much” Akshay said. We were quite shocked but Geet blushed even though he was speaking anything to get attention. “Women” I muttered enough loud for Geet to hear “they always know how to turn red“. Geet glared at me and I shut up and looked as if I was scared. “Oh my god, save me, I am scared…” I grinned and Geet hit my arm again. “Can we go Daddy?” Akshay asked. I grinned again and we went home.
Not to be pushy, the wedding was okay. It turned out that Geet came wearing a blue sari with golden glitters or whatever you call that – borders! She looked so pretty…I felt bad…all those promise…I made…Geet caught me…again…
“What happened?” she asked as she dragged me in a quiet corner.
“Nothing” I replied. She closed her eyes and replied softly “Akshay was right you’re liar”. “I am not a liar” I snapped coldly. She didn’t look scare. “I saw you drooling over me” she laughed. “What?” I cried. She giggled. “Stop it” I said looking away. “No!” she said earnestly “I saw you checking me since the ceremony started…I know I look beautiful thank you” she blushed. I rolled my eyes “do you think you’re an angel?”. Okay, I admitted it that she looked like one. She looked hurt. Riihaa is dead, dead, dead, Maan, Dadimaa’s voice rang.
“All those promises you’d made to her are now over…life does not stop here…she’s dead…I know right now you’re angry for me telling you all this…but when she’s not here in this world – those vows…those promises do not have a meaning…yet – they have another meaning…you’re marrying Geet…all those vows…you’re going to do it again…you knew Riihaa did not die because of the accident…you knew she was ill…she had told you before your marriage…but you thought to spend her days with her…it had to go like this one day…Geet is your future…you had accepted the fact that one day she was going to go away from you…Geet is your future…you have to live with her…”
She had told me all that a few hours before my marriage to Geet. “Does it hurt that much?” Geet asked her eyes boring mine. She was closer. I snapped out of my thoughts. “Does it hurt?” she asked. “Yes…” I mumbled “a lot…” She read my mind and said “I am happy Maan…i know you felt bad about it…i did not mean to make you remember these things…” she said.
I smiled. “You know what’s better than that?” I asked and answered “you!” She smiled and patted my cheek “dadimaa told me…” I was confused “she did not want me to break after the…” she trailed. “She was right…” I said and returned her pat. She smiled. “Do you think we can work it out?” I asked. She smiled “I have my whole life…Maan for waiting…I’ll wait for you.” I smiled. “Than –”I started and Geet interrupted “don’t thank me – thank our destiny”.
I love it. Everything. The whole wedding was excellent. Maan, I’ll keep waiting for you…forever…
When we were back…everything was smooth. Vicky and Annie were still fighting forever. Akshay was still trying to learn “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and Dadimaa was still the “mistress” of the house ordering Maan.
I was busy fussing over the flower vase which Vicky had “accidentally” broken by teasing Annie and had tossed his elastic ball which had hit against the vase. It was a Japanese one which was so pretty. Annie was grinning evilly at Vicky and he was so crushed that his face was worth to watch. Maan was annoyed as he climbed down the stairs. He glanced at us and shook his head. I smiled. Dadimaa and Akshay came whispering about something and giggling loud. Just then someone entered the mansion. She pushed the door and trotted in a stylish way. She wore high heels and pants with a blouse that seem to be too tight for her and the colour did not match.
“The evil queen is back” Vicky whispered to Annie. “Yeah” Annie moaned “why has she come for?” Annie continued “I don’t like her”. I sucked my breath and thought “who was she?” Her face broke into a smile as she saw Maan, Maan did not stir and had a serious face. I glanced at Dadimaa, her face was twitched in pain and Akshay did not know why the house drew into silence. Vicky looked annoyed and tapped his feet. The woman’s eyes fell on Akshay and her smile grew wider. I could recognise her eyes but I could not remember who she was? Her gaze met mine and her smile changed to a straight line. She was not happy to see me, I could tell you. She saw my confused face and smirked “I am Naintara” she said. Naintara who, I wanted to ask. Why they called you evil queen? Why Dadimaa did not like you. I was still confused and she added “I am Akshay’s aunty”.
I was shocked. I never knew Riihaa had a sister. They never told me. I wanted to ask:
Maan still did not smile. “I am here for Akshay” she added as if it was not a big deal. “Can I stay jiju…I mean Mr. Khurana, I have that much right, don’t I?” she said smugly. Maan did not react “I guess you can” without throwing even a glance at me. She went and hugged Akshay. She signaled a servant to carry her bags and she went directly to the guestroom dragging Akshay with her leaving me staring in shock. Maan went away storming in a rage; Dadimaa went silently in her room avoiding my gaze. Only Vicky and Annie stared uneasily at me. “Err…” I started feeling nervous “I guess she has that much right” I mumbled. “I don’t think so” Annie snapped coldly. “Look, I know you had problems adjusting yourself when you were 13 but now you’re grown up, Annie” I explained. “It’s not about this” she argued “it’s about I never liked her…I don’t know why she’s here…” she mumbled. “It’s okay with me…” I whispered and thought if I had confidence in what I was saying. Get a life Geet, I told myself, she’s Akshay Masi and she has much right on Akshay than you do. She’s her real auntie, Akshay’s mom’s sister. “Bhiz…I don’t trust her intentions at all…just beware…I’ll be keeping an eye on her…no worry” Vicky said seriously. I thought that they knew more than they were telling me right now. It was all a mystery…a secret that they were hiding from me. I shrugged and said “I hope we – you are not making this as a big deal” I said. “If only…” Vicky muttered.
“Akshay…” I shouted “it’s your lunch time” I said bringing his sandwiches in his room. Akshay was drawing with Naintara…I did not mind, I did not mind…yes I do…I do mind, he would only draw with me! Naintara got up and came closer to me. Her eyes were filled with anger and hatred for me as if I killed her sister – yes as if I killed her sister… “I’ll make him eat” she said. “Huh?” I did not want her to feed him! “I said I will feed him!” she repeated. “Oh…Okay” I found myself saying in a small voice. She looked at me from head to toe “you’re beautiful…that must be what Maan jiju saw in you” she smirked. My heart sank. What did she mean? I did not bother to explain. I felt she knew a lot about me. And I knew nothing. I wanted to snap but I decided to ignore.
“By the way” She continued guessing my insecurity “I have more right on Akshay than you…” she smirked. “Of course” I said in a small voice “you’re his auntie”. She smirked again.
“Hmm…Geet, that’s what you’re name…you’re very different from Sis” she continued. ‘Sis’ must stood for ‘Riihaa’. I did not need to be told to know that I was the opposite of Riihaa for god’s sake. She checked me up and down again.
And she sneered “you’ll have a nice time…with me around” and I was baffled.
What did she mean? What was she going to do? Was she the Evil Queen? She chuckled and took Akshay’s hand dragging him downstairs leaving me speechless…
kshay barged into the room with his face white. He looked like he had choked. He coughed. He coughed badly, his nose was running, his eyes were watering, and his nose was red so was his cheeks. He hugged me and started to cry.
“What did you eat?” I asked.
“Daddy…” he said and coughed badly and continued “ice-cream”.
“What?” I was shocked. He had been warned by the doctor not to eat ice-cream then why did he eat? Why did Geet give him ice-cream? His lungs seemed to be blocked, I mean his respiratory system. I held his hand and dragged him to Geet’s room. Geet was fussing over the colours of her salwar kameez.
“Red…where is my red churidar…? Babaji…yesterday I saw it here and now…where did it vanish?” she cried. I grunted. Akshay coughed and Geet turned in shock. My eyes were burning with anger. “What happened?” Geet asked staring at me, her eyes widened with shock and then at Akshay. He coughed again holding his chest.
“What happened?” I remarked sarcastically. “That’s what exactly I was going to ask you!”
“Huh” she said confused. “Stop being all innocent” I snapped. “You knew he can’t eat cold food stuffs then why did you give him ice-cream!” I screamed. I clenched my fists. Geet looked scared but she did not back behind. “I did not give him ice-cream!” she protested. I did not take any notice.
“Oh really” I said drily. “Of course, why would you care ‘ he isn’t your child after all” I snapped icily. Geet stared at me mouth-opened. It just came into my mouth and I rambled. She made me angry. “Finally you showed your true nature” I screamed. “Shut up, just shut up” she raised her voice. “Akshay wasn’t with me all the day” she claimed. “Oh really…tell me then with whom he was” I rolled my eyes. Akshay started to cry and said between his sobs “I ‘ was…with ‘”and he sniffed “with…Naintara Masi” and coughed. He clutched my pants and buried his face. I looked at Geet but she looked away disgusted. I found myself yelling to a servant to call Naintara.
She looked dazed and asked “what happened?” and looked at a messed-up Akshay.”Did you give Akshay ice-cream?” I asked seriously. “Oh ‘ yeah, didn’t you tell your mother, we went to the ice-cream parlor”. “Naintara!” I gritted “Akshay doesn’t eat cold stuffs” and “he now has a cold”. “Oh” she said and looked miserably at Akshay “I am really sorry…Geet did not tell me that!”
“What?” Geet said startled. “Did you even tell me where you were going and where you were taking Akshay” she snapped hotly. “Why would I tell you?” Naintara said warily with a heavy sarcasm “who are you to me…?”
“Right” Geet muttered rolling her eyes and took Akshay by the hand who looked fearfully at Geet. “Come on, you need to clean up” she said and left. Okay, okay, so sue me for talking to Geet like that. I mean, when you’re angry, you don’t have control over your mouth, especially me! “Couldn’t you tell Geet before going?” I asked bitterly. “Why would I tell her?” she asked annoyingly. “Because she’s Akshay’s mom, she knows what he’s allergy of” I retorted. “As far as I know Geet was never Akshay’s mother” she snapped glaring at me. “But my sister was!”. “Stop it Naintara! Don’t you get it ‘ Akshay loves Geet and I love Akshay!” I snapped. “Oh really ‘ don’t tell me you don’t have a feeling for that girl!” she laughed coldly. I glared at her “what do you mean?”
“I mean that you do like her ‘ and sometimes I think ‘ you like her more than my sister!” she said her voice going high pitch. “Shut up” I glared at her and spat “don’t you say this”. She chuckled and looked away “see…you even forgot Riihaa Di” and glared at me miserably. “Don’t you see what this girl want ‘ your money Mr. Maan Singh Khurana, she wants fame and name! Loving Akshay is just a pretense to be closer to you ‘ for you to trust her…” she snorted “alas you are lost in her beauty to think all of that…”
“Naintara, stop it” Maan said in a calm but firm voice. Naintara shook her head in hatred and walked huffily away.
Don’t you see what this girl wants ‘ your money…she wants fame and name…loving Akshay is just a pretense… pretense…a pretense…
This voice inside of me kept ringing louder and louder every second.
Ignore, I reminded myself.
I stood gaping at Maan. How could he say that? I thought he understood me, but he never did. Slash, I thought we were going pretty good together but heck it wasn’t…
Was he just playing with me? I doubted so. I hated what he said but I could not reply back, not in front of a coughing sick Akshay.
Thank Babaji that he was too busy coughing and sneezing that he had not remarked Maan saying that “of course, he isn’t your child” damn thing. I hate you Maan, I hate you…I wonder why I thought he was like way too cool when I saw him on the television news ‘ I wonder why I liked him so much over his interview ‘ why I used to drool over his clippings … How I could thought he was mega intelligent intellectual when he was rambling nonsense!
I felt a shiver running through my body. It wasn’t a cold feeling, it was hatred. Why was I hating him all a sudden…because, whatever he said was right? Was it right that I was purposely pampering Akshay just to be closer to him? Was he?
Damn it Geet, he’s making you crazy. Nope, he may never be yours but that doesn’t have any connections between you and Akshay…hey babaji, why did you bring this man in my life.
Start of Flashback
Geet walked on the green grass. She heard a laughter. Children’s were laughing and smiling. She kept looking down and thought “whatever happened with me was destined? But what happened to MSK was horrible…for goodness’s sake Babaji, Maan Khurana had a son and you took away the mother of that child, what was his fault in that?” Geet thought as she walked silently.
She walked and walked in the park going in rounds. She saw a small baby who had just learned how to crawl. The baby was crawling on the grass. He was playing with the soil and had nearly eaten the soil. Nobody was taking care of him. The baby was a boy; he had on blue overalls and did not have any hair which was so cute. Geet was angry; she looked at the guardian and her heart skipped a beat ‘ Maan Khurana.
“Maan Khurana?” she whispered. Yes, it was MSK, he was too busy in his thoughts that he did not think about the child. She was still angry but she felt sad too, Maan looked lost obviously thinking about the lost of his wife. She went over and cradled the baby in her arms. She poked the baby and smiled. The baby laughed and put his finger in her mouth and Geet removed it shaking her head still smiling. Maan was still lost in his thoughts when his eyes widened and heard his son laughing. He glared at Geet and quickly stood up and demanded in an angry voice “who are you?”
Geet tried to answer but Maan snatched the baby from her. “How dare you touch my child? Who are you? Were you trying to attempt on kidnapping my child? Do you even know who am I? Don’t dare to mess with me! Do you know whose son’s you were holding? Don’t you…” he continued in an angry tone when Geet rolled her eyes and said “Maan Singh Khurana, hein nah, that’s your name and the baby must be Junior Singh Khurana” Geet said calmly.
“Who are you?” Maan demanded furiously, his eyes went red with anger. He held Akshay tighter. Geet spoke softly “I did not intend to hurt”. Maan’s anger was beyond control and said “don’t you dare, you are in deep trouble now, Miss, you should not have mess with me”. Geet lost her calm and snapped “yeah right, as if you were taking great care of the baby, nope, you were just morning on your loss”.
Maan was shocked.
“You know what ‘ instead of blaming others; try to find your own mistake Mr. MSK, you’ve lost someone precious in your life, alright, you can’t change the truth, but that person did leave a memory that cannot be wiped, your child, he’s a gem and yet, you are crying over spilt milk, just take care of your son instead” Geet said the last words more calmly. Maan was staring at her shocked. Geet herself was shocked. Tears formed and slipped down her cheeks. “I am sorry…sorry…s-s-orry” she muttered. She clapped her hand over her mouth and backed behind and ran away before Maan could say anything.
End of Flashback
“You misunderstood me at the first meeting and now you’re still misunderstanding me” I thought. Akshay looked at me, his eyes filled with terror. “Mama, I did not want Papa to scream at you” he weeped. “I was scared, I was a scary cat, I should have protested, I am bad, nah? I should have protested…Mama do you hate me?” he wiped.
I shook my head and kissed his cheeks. “Sshh, your Dad has a terrible anger” I mumbled. Hey ho, who was I persuading ‘ Akshay or myself. Maan peered in the room and entered sheepishly looking at me, I shrugged and looked away.
gave Akshay some medicine and made him go to sleep. He was tired, sort of tired of coughing. I slipped in my bed, covered myself with my blanket and started to cry. I could not help it.
Why was I crying anyway? All he said was true. I sighed and struggled with my pillow. I heard a knock. I did not answer or you’d say I did not want to. I was too tired for that. It was too much. How much could I take? To tell you the truth I did not know. I was broken. I knew, I sensed it was Maan. Yeah, he came to apologize. First he commited the mistake and then he came to apologize.
“Geet” Maan whispered. I did not move, I did not reply. “I know you’re pretending that you’re sleeping but it’s not a good tactic to avoid Maan Singh Khurana” he said. “Good guess” I muttered.
“Geet” he said louder. “You aren’t that dumb Mr. Khurana” I said turning to face him. My tears had not dried yet. “Huh?” he asked confused. I rolled my eyes and cleared my throat saying “didn’t you get the hint ‘ I want you to leave” I said eying the door.
“Oh” he replied sitting down next to me. He was really irritating me. “But I want to talk to you” he answered softly. So softly that…oh no, I won’t think about that. “And I don’t want to” I snapped back at him. He held my hand and I struggled for not seeing his face. I closed my eyes. “Come on Geet, you claim that you love me, and by shutting your eyes you won’t forget my face” he chuckled.
Under the lights tonight
You turned around, and you stole my heart
With just one look, when I saw your face
I fell in love
It took a minute girl to steal my heart tonight (eh eh eh eh)
With just one look, yeah (eh eh eh eh)
Been waiting for a girl like you
I glared at him. “Wow, I am scared” he giggled holding his hands up. “Shut up Maan, why don’t you even try to joke when you don’t know what is called humour” I snapped back. Maan bent closer to me and said huskily “are you still angry?” I turned my back to him and did not answer. Closeness…this closeness, it kills. Shut up Geet, you’re angry…angry…
“Alright, Geet, I did not mean to hurt you” Maan replied.
“Oh really, so you said all that for entertaining me, eh?” I asked. “Woh…” he stammered. “Nahi… Geet…” he mumbled.
“I am sorry, I should not have said all this, but in anger…I’ll…” he trailed off.
“I wish you would control your tongue, Mr. Khurana” I replied glancing at his broken and sad face. “Why are you calling me Mr. Khurana, it’s Maan for you understood!”
“Pata hein Geet, when I was in college, a lot of girls would drool on me” Maan started. Huh? “And I used to flirt with them all, one word and they all would fall on my charm…it would be that difficult for you to forgive me” and he winked.
I looked at him in shock. What did he mean by that!
“Oh really Maan, time will see that” I giggled. “By the way, I still can’t register you ‘flirting’ as you’ve said” I giggled. “Oh really” he said raising an eyebrow and bent down closer till our nose brushed each other.
I was sure my heart missed a beat! No more than one beat for sure! Then he quickly pulled back when he realized what he was actually doing and I shifted uncomfortably where the conversation was going.
“I was not supposed to talk to you!” I glared at him. “I am really sorry Geet” he said fixing his shoes. He looked sorry.
“I am not that forgiving, Maan” I replied. He gave a small slow smile and retorted “I know, that’s why tomorrow we’re going shopping to cheer your mood!”
“Oh really, you’re taking me shopping because I won that bet!” I grinned. He smiled.
With just one look, yeah (eh eh eh)
Been waitin’ for a girl like you
Been waitin’ for a girl like you
He smiled, a wide one. “You’ve got a beautiful smile” he complimented. I blushed and I realized that this man was just trying to hit the jackpot. “Keep your skills for yourself” I growled angrily. “I mean it Geet” he gave a soft chuckle.
Just then the door opened ajar…and Akshay entered sheepishly looking at us. By the time we were both smiling like fools. Then it hit me.
“You are not feeling sleepy…?” I asked.
He shook his head for a no and sat on the bed with the remote control. He and I are great serial watches.
“Papa which button, the red one or the black one?” he asked. Maan smiled and pressed the button to switch the television on. A show was going on. In that show there was a woman who fell in love with a pickpocket and so on.
Akshay stared at the screen and yelled in delight “maa, check, the Snake-Face is running away from the police and Cry-Baby is crying as usual! You had predicted what will happen! Maa…”
Maan looked shocked. He never knew Akshay used to watch serials with me. I shrugged at his gaze…
“What do you think will happen now? Snake-faced will be saved?” Akshay continued without realization that Maan was staring at him mouth opened.
“Mrs. Geet Khurana!” Maan exclaimed “what have you been teaching my son?” he continued horrified. I was trying to search for a proper excuse as my mind drew blan and as I was going pinker and pinker when Akshay interrupted urgently.
“Who…Papa…in this show it teaches us a moral” Akshay started. “Oh certainly it did” he agreed sarcastically. “What moral, son?”
“Well…” Akshay started and did not know how to continue.
“Well…Akshay is right” I added hastily thinking.
“Yes! Mummy is right!” Akshay grinned back at me. We are going to confuse Maan now.
“As I said Akshay is 100% right!” I continued trying not to grin.
“Perfectly, Mama” Akshay agreed.
“Okay! I understood that both of you did comprehend something…can I know the moral?” Maan asked exasperated.
“We should never steal and lie” Akshay added quickly looking proudly at Maan. Maan shook his head disbelieving that this was the future Akshay Singh Khurana who was going to rule over his whole empire.
“It’s bed time now” I said. Maan looked at me, a sad one and moved quietly holding Akshay by the arm.
Hah, Maan, if you would know I can never stay agree with you for a long time!
Morning! I hate waking up earlier. First thing that came into my mind. Tell Maan that I’ve forgiven him. I glanced in my room and found a note;
Dear Geet, I don’t know if you have forgiven me yet, but I still want to say sorry…Lazy bone!
I was late. It was 9.30 a.m. He could have woken me up, right nah…but he did not! How cruel.
Heck. Maan was in office. Oh god. I made a mental note to phone him and said. I started to climb down the stairs.
Okay. Geet. Take a deep breath, what will you say.
“Dear Maan, I accepted your apology since last night but I wanted to trouble you…but more like I wanted to know your real feelings for me -…
Aiii” I shrieked. I had missed a stair. No. I was falling down, down, down…
I screamed loud “MAAN”
I heard my cell ringing’
First Geet doesn’t talk to me, second, I don’t see her in the whole morning…
“Hello” I growled.
“Papa” says a soft voice.
“Akshay?” I replied perplexed. He never phoned me! I mean, he doesn’t know my number!
“Papa” he repeated breathlessly.
“Yes, baby, daddy is listening” I replied grinning. It was good to hear his voice.
“Mama had an accident!”
I felt as if I had been hit hard on the head. No please! Tell me I am dreaming!
“Beta, its not good to joke, it’s a serious matter” I replied angrily.
I heard a sob and Akshay continued sniffling “daddy I am not lying…mummy has a plaster on!”
“alright” I said hanging down. Shit, what did I do? Geet had an accident. Another accident…another nightmare of my life…
This could not be, it can’t happen…I can’t lose her…wait Akshay said she had a plaster on…
I called Sasha…