“Sasha!” I screamed. Sasha came running and breathlessly answered “yeah, sir, you called me”.
“Cancel the meeting for this evening” I said.
“Cancel the meeting” I repeated. “Okay sir, one more thing sir, is Geet Madam coming to office today?” Sasha asked as I glanced at her she added “the file for Ms. Sweety’s project is with her” she continued. “I’ll get the file” I replied and stormed to my car.
I climbed the stairs as fast as I could. Dadimaa just came outside the room and I looked at her meaningfully. She sighed shaking her head and said “I’m bringing something for Geet to eat”.
Why was she making it worst?
I hesitated to enter the room. I saw Annie pacing the floor, her arm crossed with a serious look. I peered in the room and saw Geet; with a sad face, cradled to her left was Akshay stroking her cheeks and Geet’s other arm was plastered.
Annie saw me and a smile plastered her face and she walked out of the room whispering “good luck for the pacifying session” and winked.
Huh? Did I get her right? Pacifying session?
I sat at the edge of the bed, maybe with the most serious expression ever.
“Do you need a microscope to see where you’re stepping your feet?” I said sarcastically.
Geet groaned as she moved her arm and said “it’s all your fault” and groaned again.
“Accha? Meri galti? What did I do this time?” I asked raising an eyebrow.
“Neither I would be thinking of forgiving you nor I would have slipped from the stairs and I wouldn’t have a plaster right now, see, it’s all your fault” she said pouting.
A chuckle escaped. I did not know where I was laughing because of her cute scowl or thinking that she was actually forgiving me and confiding to me that she was thinking of me.
“I did not ask you to think of me while descending the stairs though” I added grimly.
“Does it hurt?” I asked glancing at her plaster.
“So when are you taking me shopping” Geet said scowling again.
“Shopping? Are you out of your mind? In this state?” I asked worriedly.
“Why? Can’t I get out of the house with a plaster?” she asked annoyed.
“Okay…” I said waving my arms in defeat.
“What did the doctor said anyway” I continued. “Nothing particular, except I am having this thing” she said and looked at the plaster then back studying my face “for one week” and she sighed.
“Good ‘ only one week” I smiled.
“One whole week which means 7 days…do you know what that is!” she said exasperated. “Don’t worry time will fly” and I winked.
“You had meeting nah?” Geet asked staring at me. “Yeah, that’s going to be in thirty minutes, I told Sasha to cancel the meeting” I said.
Geet studied me again. What was she thinking? Was it what I thought right now?
Did I care for her? Why was I so worried? What was this new grouchy feeling inside feeling a soft and caring? How’d call that? What was it? I did not know what worried me more Geet’s plastered arm or this new softy thing inside of me.
“Well, you go to the meeting then you take me shopping” Geet finally said.
“Erhmm, are you sure?” I asked.
“Absolutely Mr. Maan Singh Khurana” she said giving me a slow smile. I smiled back.
“Fine then wait for me at the Mall” I said and turned to Akshay. Akshay smiled proudly at me and said “don’t worry Daddy; I’ll take good care of Mummy”.
“That’s like my son” I praised before going out.
Whoops! I was twenty minutes late. God, first of all I am accused defenselessly of being the culprit for Geet’s fall then I am late for our date. What did I just think of date?
Well you could that a date. It was sort of a romantic appointment with Geet as we were supposed to be spending the evening shopping.
Again this new sensation deep inside of me crossed my mind. What was this? Why it kept haunting me ‘ why from some days? I never had a problem to be alone with Geet before…then…
What was all this? Damn, wasn’t it confusing?
Geet pouted as she saw me. I gave an apology look but she did not buy it, too bad for you Maan Khurana, I thought.
“Geet, I’m really sorry…I got stuck…” I started and before I could even finish my sentence she opened the front door of the precinct and slammed it on my face. I took a deep breath and thought ‘ take it cool Maan.
“I am sorry” I tried again but she scowled at me and walked in the ladies section garment. Okay, I thought, need to try a different technique of apologizing. Well, it’s sort of my fault, first I hurt her then I arrive late on my date. It sounded eerie the word D-A-T-E.
Geet selected a white churidar for her and was checking the appearance in the mirror. I smiled. She looked pretty…maybe every colour suited her. Since when I started to notice all that?
Geet turned around for my opinion and I smiled “you look pretty in that” I remarked. She smirked and said “..’course I look pretty ‘cos I’m pretty”.
Was she sarcastic?
Now you know women; when they get shopping, its as if they never realizes how time pass.
Give you this, give you that
Blow a kiss, take it back
If I looked inside your brain
I would find lots of things
Clothes, shoes, diamond rings
Stuff that’s driving me insane
You’ve got everything you need
But you want accessories
Got to hold it in your hand
If I changed the world for you
I bet you wouldn’t have a clue
Don’t you know that I can’t stand
When girls say…
I want, I want, I want,
But that’s crazy
I helped her with the shopping bags and we drove home. Her arms were still aching I could see from her face.
Akshay had already gone to sleep when we checked on him.
I followed Geet in her room; and deposited the bags on the dressing table.
“Shall I help you to put these dresses on the hanger? “I asked.
“No, just call Annie, she’ll help me with my dress” she said. Geet looked down embarrassed or shyly.
“I’ll help you” I volunteered. Geet looked at me shocked.
“Errh…just the zip” she said feeling herself blushing.
I want, I want, I want, but that’s crazy
I want, I want, I want, but that’s not me
I want, I want, I want, to be loved by you
“Bhai…I need to talk you…I mean…we need to talk to you” Annie said looking at me then at Vicky.
“Yes” I said looking at them. Annie looked uncomfortable.
Vicky tugged Annie by the arm and brought her in the room.
“Woh’we need to talk to you” Vicky said panic-stricken.
“Yeah” I said “why you both are scared” I said shaking my head.
“Woh…its some secret, that me, Bhai, Dadimaa kept from you…woh Geet Bhabhi also knows it” Vicky said.
Vicky did not call Geet ‘Bhiz’ that means it’s something really secrecy and troublesome.
“It’s about when we were kids” Annie said picking the courage when Vicky gave her a glare saying like “it’s not me who’s going to do all the talking”.
“Bhai…we…never like when you courted Riihaa…” Annie whispered. I felt as if I was hit by lightning. What?
I gasped. Annie was in tears “we wanted to tell you…but we were scared…scared that you might hate us” Vicky looked terrified as Annie cried.
“Tell me” I said softly sitting on the bed.
“We were never happy…we felt left out…you took no notice of us…” Annie said taking a deep breath.
“It was not like that” I said feeling my voice to wobble. How could they?
“We were kids” Vicky added. “Kids, bro, kids who did not know anything just pretending to be happy for their elder Bhai’s happiness” Vicky continued.
“How come I am the only know who know this last” I said feeling my temper to rise.
Annie burst “Bhai please…don’t…be angry with us…we did not comprehend anything about feeling…we wanted you to be happy…plus I wanted to pursue Chemistry in England, you know it nah, and I felt very left out when you took no care to us, I was a kid” she repeated.
“When Annie suggested about going to Britain for study…i thought it was a great idea for me; I wanted to be better and someday work like you” Vicky said.
“Dadimaa had felt it and Bhiz had heard us talking” Annie mumbled biting her lips. I was afraid that blood would ooze.
“But…we were not that heartless Bhai, when we heard about the accident…you know it…we came home directly…we were so guilty seeing you broken like that…and seeing Akshay…so cute, so tiny without a mother…we never thought bad about Riihaa” Annie sobbed.
“Just that you were too much involved together hurt us…you could say made us jealous of her” Vicky said softly.
“We never wish bad” Annie added nodding.
“We thought of telling you this before its too late or you get to know by yourself…sorry if we have hurt you…sorry…” Vicky added looking at the floor.
“Please Bhai try not to hate us” Annie added fixing the ground too. “We…we…love you very much…” she added fearfully glancing at me.
I was still in a state of shock.
“It’s okay” I managed to say. “I can’t hate you…” I added. “How can I?” my voice trailed.
“Do you forgive us?” Vicky asked.
“You never committed any mistake for me to forgive you” I added. Annie hugged me so swiftly like a hurricane and hurried outside still crying. Vicky looked so crush and left.
I felt…I don’t know how to explain…in simpler words terrible. I noticed a shadow at the door.
Geet looked at me with tears in her eyes. She hesitated to enter the room and ran and hugged me tightly.
“I was never a good bro…” I said crying on her shoulder…
The poor thing; he looked so broken. He did not deserve crying. He hugged my shoulder and cried his heart out. He was choking, his eyes puffy red. I did not know what to say except thanking Babaji for making me to land at the right moment.
“I-I-I wasn’t a good bro, Geet, I failed to keep my words to my mom” he sobbed.
It shocked me. How could he say something like that?
“Geet…I wasn’t a good big brother…I did not even cared about their little happiness” he repeated.
“No” I blurted out. “You were…you were…you’re…you’ll always be a good big brother” I remarked cupping his face, with one hand, which was wet with tears. I wiped his big tears as I talked.
“Nah” he said.
He shocked me sometimes, or always.
“You’re just saying all this to reassure me…right, nah” he said. Seeing him in this state made my heart to ache.
“No” I mumbled just right in his ears.
“I was! I am bad!” he said almost in a shout. He broke from the hug and paced the floor feeling hatred towards himself.
How was I going to explain him?
“I was so engrossed in my happiness that I did not care about my poor siblings! I just gave them a damn hell; and you say I’m not bad! It’s not you whose saying all this, it’s your love for me who’s speaking!” he said punching the wall in fury.
What was I supposed to make of that?
“Maan” I said softly “please calm down” I added nervously.
“How am I supposed to be calm” he shouted and the choked the last words.
I stood and I wrapped my hand on his shoulder.
“Look at me”, I said. He did. He got such cute and lovely brown ears. “He’s so handsome” I thought.
I almost forgot that I had a plaster on.
Damn this hand, I thought. I couldn’t even make him feel better, instead he was feeling worse seeing my hand plastered.
“Does it hurt?” he asked staring at my plaster.
“No” I fibbed.
“Look, that did not concern Annie and Vicky’s life, it was your happiness, your life, it was you who had to choose and you did the right thing”.
“And as far as the kids are concern; they were kids, and sure they would not like your involvement…plus you were always giving them 24/7 attention and now your apprehension had moved towards Riihaa…they were only children who wanted full attention, Maan” I said taking a deep breath and prepared myself for a harsh reply.
“Yes, but I could have asked them if they liked Riihaa…couldn’t I? I should have!” he said punching the door now. I shook my head. It was true that he should have paid a little more care and consideration towards Annie and Vicky but this whole Riihaa matter made me insecure. I tried not to show it.
“Maan…they were children! 13 years to 15 years; what do you expect from them” I said raising my voice a little and my hand ached. I winced. Maan looked super worried.
“Are you okay?” he asked. I nodded. Lies, lies, lie; Geet, I thought.
“Did you think why Anvesha and Vicky did not tell you before? Do you? Did you even think about it?” I asked.
“No” he mumbled. I smiled and looked at him. “They did not want you to know because they knew ‘ that when you would come to know you would take it to the wrong angle!”
“I guess so” he muttered. “Now don’t be sad” I said cupping his face with one hand. Ouch, that does hurt. Stupid hand.
“Let’s go, Dadimaa is waiting for you…”
Geet is so nice. There is something about her; which makes me think…she’s attractive and all…but one thing really bugs me. We were discussing about Riihaa for good’s sake yet for me; she tried to hide her worries. I knew she felt insecure…but one thing is really great about her ‘ she never…
I don’t have words to describe her…
She comforts me; she scolds me; she scowls at me; she takes care of my child…she’s awesome. I don’t know this new soft feeling inside… all fluffy…and all…
Arggghhh…it’s weird…so strange…so soft…so new…so weird…
We were so close…Was I a weirdo to realize that I was inches so that I could kiss her. I mean the way she was comforting me; it was so intense.
No you were…you were a good bro…and you are one and you’ll always be a good big brother…
Her words were so lovely to hear.
The way she scolded me; I think I was way too disturbed to see how much she cared for me. I closed my eyes. The warmth of our hug popped from nowhere. Her eyes glaring at me intensely, somewhere in a corner feeling my pain, her lips shivered with my broken voice…
Her lips, pink ones; so…
I was supposed to be mourning for being a bad bro but right now what could you call what I was doing? Drooling…no, I am not drooling on Geet, I am not attracted to her, and I am only praising her a little that’s all. And I am not falling in love with her…definitely not. She’s only the mother of my little child; that’s all.
But was it all? Again; what was this new soft…Shut up Maan, shut up, you’re confusing yourself…
The way she takes care of me…it was like; I don’t know…
I keep playin’ it inside my head
All that you said to me
I lie awake just to convince myself
This wasn’t just a dream
‘Cause you were right here
And I should’ve taken the chance
But I got so scared
And I lost the moment again
Wait a minute…did I say I could have kissed Geet? What’s happening to me? Why? Was I really drooling on her? Then why I could see her pain while I was being pained; hurt. Heck, what would you call this? I knew she loved me but to what extend? Why I wanted to know. I started to get scared of myself. Why was I thinking so much…what was it after all?
Is your heart taken?
Is there somebody else on your mind?
I’m so sorry, I’m so confused
Just tell me, am I out of time?
Is your heart breaking?
How do you feel about me now?
I can’t believe I let you walk away
When, when I should have kissed you
I should, I should oh, I should have kissed you
I should, I should oh, I should have kissed you
I should, I should oh, I should have kissed you
I should, I should oh, I should have kissed you
“Maan” Geet said breaking my thoughts.
“Huh” I answered bewildered. “Are you okay?” she asked worried. “Yes I’m” I replied holding her hand making sure she climbed down the stairs all right.
“I am not a baby to make me climb down stairs like this” she sulked. “I don’t care” I replied.
“I just want you to be safe and sound” I retorted. She gazed at me; she really got those dark beautiful angelic eyes. To be honest; she’s pretty.
When we finally reached the last stair; I saw Naintara pacing the floor in the living room. Something was tickling in my mind ever since Geet’s fall from the stairways. Did she deliberately push Geet? She hated her all right…but could she?
I decided to ask.
Naintara frowned when she saw Geet.
“How are you?” she asked showing lease care as she asked.
“I’m fine” Geet replied modestly. She’s way too modest.
“Naintara” I started my voice all serious. “I know you don’t like Geet being around…but did you push her from the stairs?” I asked.
Both Geet and Naintara gasped. “Maan…” Geet started “I slipped that’s all” she added looking at Naintara fearfully while she erupted “what do you mean” she almost said in a shout.
“You are accusing me of pushing Geet so that she broke her arm, huh, did you mean that” she stared accusingly at me. I did not blame her.
“You don’t like me all right!” she snapped and added her eyes filled with hatred looking at me and Geet; she replied “but I did not push her!” she said; this time she did not shout; her voice was broken in a muffle whisper.
“I did not” she repeated her eyes with tears. “Naintara…” I said “I am sorry…it’s just…that you hated Geet from the first…I…I…” I trailed. No words. Geet looked at me sadly and back to her “he did not mean it”.
Naintara was not listening, she was weeping.
“I know I am bad…” she choked “but I am not that of a horrible monster”. “How could you jiju…how could you think that of me” she stifled. “I did not mean it” I mumbled barely audible.
“You don’t like me that’s why you suspected me” she added tearfully. “I don’t even hate Geet” she added glaring at me with hateful eyes. “I don’t hate her”.
Now it was Geet’s turn to look shocked. “But…” Geet started and Naintara interrupted. “Jeez, you knew I was away when Di got married; I had given it a damn hell; enjoying my life at the fullest there…” she said wiping her tears but more came out. “And when I heard she died…i did not know what to do? I was all of a bad sibling…I rushed to India…she left me…and I had given her a damn hell…” she sobbed. Geet was almost in tears. She’s all emotional about siblings and relations.
“Pata chala that you were very broken from Di’s death and Akshay was born” she added still sniffling. “Then after some years I came to know you got married with someone else…”
“I was worried…what if Geet really treated Akshay badly…just in your presence she would cajoled him and when you’ll went away; she would torture him…it made me scared…so I came to check on you and Geet. I just wanted to make sure that Akshay was treated well…I am sorry Geet, all those rude words were just to make me satisfy thinking that my nephew is safe in this house” she added wiping her tears.
She did not cry anymore.
“I am sorry” she mumbled. “I am not a wicked murderess as you have thought” she said.
“I am sorry” I said. “I just wanted to know…so that I can be in peace” I muttered.
Geet cupped Naintara’s face and said “I don’t feel bad about it”.
“You don’t?” Naintara asked shocked.
Another specialty of Geet!
“No” Geet said shaking her head. Naintara smiled and hugged her. I smiled. “I am sure you’ll take care of Akshay very well” she said.
“And” Geet added softly “you’re not a wicked sibling…you did what you think was right…Maan did what he thought was right”.
Naintara smiled. “Thanks Geet”.
“By the way Maan Jeez” Naintara said turning to look at me. “I’ve already booked my ticket for Mumbai…tomorrow night I’m leaving” she smiled.
“So soon?” I spluttered. I could not help feeling more guilty that ever.
“Yes…now that I can rest in peace knowing Akshay is all well…I’ll be leaving soon” she smiled.
Geet looked troubled.
“No Naintara…you’ll have to spend time with him; you’re his only Massi after all…” she said.
“Geet you’re too nice’ Naintara said. I agreed with her. “But don’t worry…my wedding date has already being fixed now…” she smiled. “There’s lots to do home” She grinned.
“I won’t forget to invite you and Anniee…then you’ll have to take leave from work Jeez” she grinned cheekily.
“Of course I’ll take” I promised.
Geet looked dumbfounded. “You’re engaged?” she asked. It was rather a statement. Naintara embarrassed and shyly smiled.
“Wow” Geet said baffled but still “congratulations” she said.
Geet led Naintara upstairs chatting with her…
She’s awesome, I thought. I pushed those thoughts at the back of my mind…
Naintara…do come whenever you want…” I told Naintara. She smiled and hugged me back.
“As soon as Todd gets time, I’ll” Naintara agreed. Todd sounded like a dirty green frog. Yuck. Well maybe his looks were better. But ‘Todd’ sounded like a frog for me. Whenever she would mention of Todd I would picture her and a frog. Anjali always scolded me to have vivid imaginations. Well; maybe I do have.
1 hour later; Akshay came bouncing with excitement.
“Mama…mama…” he said excitedly.
“Yes…” I replied stroking his cheek.
“Help me to draw an elephant, will you?” he asked.
I kept pacing the room. What was this? Why was it affecting me badly? What was the reason of this sensation? What was it? Why was it affecting me? Why was it so strange?
“Maan beta, are you alright?” Dadimaa asked peeping inside my room.
“Are you fine? You must be taking a lot of tension; you so tensed are; business work, right nah” she said entering and sat on the bed fixing me.
“No” I lied. “Nothing is troubling me” I said.
“Are you sure?” Dadimaa asked raising her eyebrows.
“Yeah, positive” I replied.
“Since when you started lying, Mr. Maan Singh Khurana” Dadimaa said folding her hands on her lap.
“Err, I am not lying” I tried to sound convincing.
“Oh really, whom are you trying to convince; me or yourself” Dadimaa said smiling. “Just take a chill pill” she grinned. What’s up with Dadimaa?
“Both” I answered shrugging and sitting on the floor; near her legs.
She patted my head and asked “what’s troubling you, huh?”
“Everything” I replied in a weak voice.
“Everything?” she questioned; I mean she pressed.
“Geet” I said in a small whisper. “What?” Dadimaa said trying to hide her feeling of astonishment and excitement.
“What happened to her except her broken arm?” Dadimaa asked.
“Is the arm swelling?” she probed. “Nah, but ever since for some time I’ve been feeling strange; you know; something so soft inside of me; weird; making me feel so strange”.
“This sensation has been driving me crazy” I continued. “Do you know what it is? Why Geet’s face keep flashing in my mind?” I asked.
Dadimaa smiled at me; no; she was grinning. “Do you know what it is?” she questioned.
“No” I said shaking my head. I sure must have looked like a dweeb or a dumbo but I did not care.
“Well, I do” Dadimaa declared.
“Really” I asked eye-widened.
“Yep” she answered happily. She gave me a wide smile.
“So what is it? I keep seeing Geet’s face whenever I close my eyes” I replied. “What is it, Dadimaa, tell me, this sensation is killing me; it forces me to think so hard” I retorted massaging her legs.
“Well…I am sorry” Dadimaa said apolitically.
“Huh?” I was bewildered.
“Sorry…I can’t help you out; you have to figure it yourself…Okay…”
“But…when you know what it is; then why are you making me wait so much…just tell me straight; I will feel better; no need of keeping such intense suspense” I replied.
“Nah” she said shaking her head to answer negatively. “I can’t”.
“But why?” I asked pained. “Why you can’t? It’s not a sin!” I retorted.
“It isn’t” Dadimaa approved but continued “it’s something beautiful, something lovely; something that makes you go on cloud nine, something so soft…that it melts your heart”. Dadimaa was saying this so easily as if butter won’t melt in her mouth.
“Don’t worry” she said patting my head. “You’ll understand what it is soon…very soon…then you will accept it…” Dadimaa smiled.
“But how do I get rid of it? It’s troubling me; irritating me!” I growled like MK would usually do.
“You can’t get rid of it” Dadimaa answered. “It’s part of your life…you can’t…but you can learn what it is…why don’t you recall everything…slowly…you’ll understand…”
“But how? Do you think I am falling in love with Geet?” I asked eye-widened and mouth hanging open. Dadimaa smiled.
Her smile was a positive answer. I was in love with Geet! It’s part of you; you can’t get rid of it…
That means I have fallen for Geet…
“Pen down your thoughts, your feelings, your heart’s wishes and desires…confess…confide…it’s easier and will make you feel more relieved.”
Easier said than easier done. I paced the floor; and I thought.
Pen down your thoughts…
Ok. Pen down my thoughts; Okay, write a letter. Good idea, Maan. I ripped a page from a lying notebook and scribbled some words.
I am Maan…Maan Singh Khurana and you; Geet Singh Khurana.
As if she does not know that she’s Geet? How stupid! What do I write? Continue Maan. Continue…to write…
Well…have you ever felt soft sensation and it’s like pink fluffy thing, all soft that makes you gentle.
Maan…are you describing a newly bought night slippers for women?
Well…I don’t know what’s happening to me; when I closed my eyes; I see your face. Dadimaa says I fell in love with you.
I closed my eyes; yes, Geet’s face. Smiling and blushing in her white sari; she looked gorgeous. I snapped out of my trance.
See; I am going crazy.
I smiled at my letter. It sounded crazy; how Maan Singh Khurana could write such a thing. It’s stupid; I don’t care.
Dadimaa was right. I felt so relieved.
I closed my eyes again to see an angelic face.
Geet scowled at her friend; she said “yeah, I was camping on Mars, right?”
“Daddy…why are you smiling like this?” Akshay asked me.
He had slipped in the room; and I did not know it.
“Chalo…Akshay, you need a wash” Geet said smiling at me. She glanced at her plaster and her face lit up saying “youpie!” she exclaimed like a kid. “Tomorrow Doc is removing this!”
Her innocence; her words; her face…I am going crazy.
“Don’t ever leave me” I mumbled.
Shut the door
Turn the light off
I wanna be with you
I wanna feel your love
I wanna lay beside you
I cannot hide this
Even though I try
Heart beats harder
Time escapes me
It makes this harder
And the tears stream down my face
If we could only have this life
For one more day
If we could only turn back time
I walked in the corridor and I stopped. What was it? Why was this room closed? I examined the door. It looked good; the door had not a single dust on it? I tried to open it but it would not. It was locked. I had never notice this room before.
“Nakul” I called. Nakul came running.
“Yes, madam” he bowed respectfully. “Why is this room locked?” I asked. Nakul looked down and said “Ma’am, Maan sir ordered to close it”. Okay, take a deep breathe. I fidgeted with my plaster and asked “why did he do that?”
“Woh…after Riihaa’s Ma’am’s death; he ordered the room to be closed” Nakul replied.
“Oh…” I said. What was I about to say.
“What did this room contain anyway?” I asked.
“It was his Tai Chi Demonstration Room” Nakul answered.
“Alright” I said boldly. “Open that room and clean it” I ordered. Nakul nodded and went away. In these months I never saw Maan doing his martial arts. I know very less of marital arts; just names; karate; kung-Fu.
I wanted Maan to be like he was before. I was only trying; if he agreed; I would consider myself lucky.
Dadimaa entered Vicky’s room where Anvesha and him were fighting as usual.
“Akshay is better than you, guys” Dadimaa complained.
“Listen; I need to tell you something very important about your brother” Dadimaa said grimly.
Dadimaa grinned. “Your brother has fallen for Geet”.
Anvesha smiled while Vicky looked confused. “So what’s the big deal in this?” Vicky asked puzzled. “Even Bhiz loves brother; so what’s the great matter going on?”
“Duh, dummy…we know that Bhiz loves Brother; Brother too knows; but he wants to confess it, weirdo” Anvesha explained.
“Right” Dadimaa agreed.
“So? What do we have to do?” Vicky asked.
“If Maan asks you something related with love; just give him a complicated answer. I want him to be the old Maan again, understood”.
Why were they commotion in my room? Why the servants were trotting with buckets and wipers? I glanced around and saw the room was being cleaned.
“Nakul” I commanded.
“Yes sir” he replied meekly.
“What’s going on?” I asked.
“Geet Ma’am asked this room to be cleaned”.
“Does she know I closed that room myself?” I asked.
“Yes sir; I told her” Nakul answered. “Okay, you may go” I ordered and he left.
What was playing in Geet’s head? It had been almost 3 years I never did Tai Chi again. Something was really going on in her head. I must ask her or else I’ll accuse her of something for sure; knowing my tongue.
I shrugged and focused back on my letter. I had already written it; it was crazy but I did not care. I rather pen down my thoughts than stammering in front of someone; which I never ever did in my life.
A brilliant idea hit me. Vicky; the lover boy of his college; he was one for sure. I made my way in Vicky’s room.
I heard noises; well; sweet conversation between my baby and Vicky.
I guess Vicky was testing Akshay’s knowledge which was rather a very bad idea.
I peered in the room; I knew it was a wrong idea. Never mind.
Vicky asked Akshay “Akshay baby; do you know how many eyes a cat have?”. Akshay nodded and replied “Two eyes, Vivi Uncle” and smiled satisfied with his answer. Vicky was testing his arithmetic.
Vicky nodded proudly and continued “and how many legs?” he asked as a tricky question. Akshay stared at Vicky with a puzzled face.
“Duh, Vivi uncle; four legs of course; haven’t you seen a cat before?” Akshay asked. Vicky stared dumb founded.
Annie roared with laughter. I chuckled and entered the room. Vicky looked surprised and embarrassed.
“Sorry for eavesdropping” I apologized. “I couldn’t help it” I said stroking Akshay’s hair who still had not understood why everyone was laughing.
“It’s okay” Vicky retorted mortified.
“By the way Vicky I wanted to ask you something” I said reluctantly. Annie and Vicky raised their eyebrows.
“Well, imagine you’ve fell in love with a girl; how would you confess your feelings?” I asked.
“Oh” Vicky replied and stayed silent. Anvesha was grinning and nudged Vicky. [Maan did not notice though]
“Well, I’d sing a song; you know those mushy ones” Vicky said with a smile. Wrong idea. Sing and me? Never in a gazillion years!
“But Bhai” Annie dropped to the conclusion. “Why do you ask?” What was I supposed to say? “Nah, a friend of mine asked; so I thought to ask the lover boy” I forced a chuckle and found the nearest exit.
I made my way to Geet’s room with my letter tucked in shirt. I had decided if I couldn’t bring myself to say it; I’ll show her the letter. As the matter of fact; I didn’t want to show my crazy letter.
I took a deep breath and knocked.
Relationships are like roller coasters; they always drag you in middle of something and make you fell for someone. I could not help smiling. Akshay had drawn a cute cub and painted it blue saying he wanted the cub blue not orange or yellow.
I was pondering on Maan. He seemed to be going in a period of changes. He looked disturbed and always in a speeding mode. I guess Shakespeare was having some effects on me ‘ or maybe I was concentrating too hard on Romeo and Juliet.
I heard a knock. It was Maan. He looked nervous. He entered and fidgeted with his shirt. So I decided to lighten the atmosphere which seemed to freeze.
“What happened?” I asked.
“Nothing; just wanted to tell you something very important” Maan said.
My heart was beating furiously; okay; too quickly…
“Well, Geet” Maan cleared his throat. “I need to tell you something” he repeated. “Yes, I’m listening” I said.
“I…I…lo…I…I…” he stammered. It sounded 3 magical words that would make me go all dreamy.
He searched for something in his pockets and handed it to me. It was a neatly folded letter written in cute cursive letters; that is Maan’s handwriting. He gave it to me and turned his back to go. What did it contain?
Before going out; he added “I’m sorry for all the pains I gave you” and he left without turning back leaving me flabbergasted.
My hands trembled to open the letter. Was did he mean by “pains I gave you?” Was he going to hurt me more? I opened and took a deep breath as my eyes quickly went through it; my heart was beating more furiously.
I’m Maan, Maan Singh khurana, and you Geet Singh Khurana. I know it’s dumb; but I guess you saw how weird I was acting. In fact; it’s all because of you.
What did I do this time???
If your face wouldn’t appear every time I would close my eyes. It’ll be easier for us; I mean me. Geet; ever since I met you the first day in that park where you had scooped my child in your arms and had scolded me; I felt there was something about you. You know; like a spark or something. But I did not know anything more or else. Just that you became part of my life very soon; a brilliant and cute mother and keeper of my child. Akshay loves you very much. And I’m very happy that you made an entry that day. I apologize for every pain I gave you; for every harsh word I said to you.
As I said; there’s something about you; a spark. All the pains I gave you; all those harsh words I said; yet, you were by my sides; every time, as forgiving as ever…and made I realize and you’re everything to me…Do keep loving me and my small family as you’ve been doing…
The thoughts that keep haunting me was you ‘ I can’t bring myself to say it, so I wrote it…
I LOVE YOU very much…will you keep being with me throughout my life…
By the way; I’ve prepared something special for you; get ready by 8 pm and wear one of your saris which you look gorgeous
ears flowed from my cheek. Did he really everything he said? Did he?
Did he say he love me? Tears flowed. I was so happy, I was in cloud nine. He did say. My love did reach him. I was really so happy, immense in my joy, I cried. See Anj, he said he loved me, I am so happy.
He remembered the day we met at the park. After that day I pondered so much about him. Little did I know that his Dadimaa had seen me and had come with the proposal of marrying Maan Singh Khurana.
I remembered quite well as if it was yesterday; I was so shocked that butterflies were roaming in my stomach. Dadimaa reasoned that ever since Riihaa died 2 years ago, he was like that; lost moaning over his pain. But that day when he returned home; he was quite lively; playing with his child and laughing with him.
Dadimaa told me he talked to Maan about the wedding; Akshay needed a mother; and Maan; who had lost his mother since he was a child; knew how well, it was a pain. Maan was not personally happy with his decision; but his love for his child was so intense that I had admired his relationship.
It was so difficult to talk to Maan in the first two months; he ignored me like I was a stupid old rug in his house. Dadimaa tried to make it easy for me; so did the servants and the cutest thing ever was Akshay. He was 2 and a half, he came running to me and asked me loads questions.
Start of Flashback
“You…? You…mother?” he asked trying to use correct words, he was so innocent, Geet remarked.
Geet cuddled him and whispered “yes, I’m your mom”. Akshay smiled and cupped his face “okay! Dadimaa say…you come, tsshh…letssh, go and play!” Akshay said pumping his fist in the air.
Out of the corner of her eyes; Geet saw Dadimaa watching them with tears in her eyes.
End of Flashback
I thank Babaji millions of time. I was glad in my first meeting, I could change Maan in some ways; at least he was back. I read that letter for the 1001th time and again and again. I could not help smiling. Did I look hot in a sari? Or pretty?
I love you Maan so much. I better get ready, I thought.
“Wait a minute” I thought. “How was I going to wear a sari with a plaster?” The doctor said I had to go through this plaster; I mean bear this plaster two more days!
I went searching for Maan. All the realizations of this weird behavior hit me. Of course; didn’t he say that this new feeling of love for me was confusing him? Maybe that’s why he had been avoiding me.
Start of Flashback
“Maan, would you like some more pasta?” Geet asked playing with the spatula. Akshay giggled and commented cheekily “Daddy eats like a little girl”. Maan glared at Akshay and he shut quietly devouring his food.
“Umm, yes, Geet, some more please” Maan said eating. As Geet served the food; her hand touched against Maan’s skin, making him to jump in surprise. He did not actually jump; but felt electric current running through his veins instead of blood and his systems working vigorously. He had been getting these “attacks” merely by Geet’s touch. He wanted to stay away from these skin contacts so that he did not suffer any more from this killing thoughts and attacks.
“That’s it! Geet!” Maan suddenly shouted shocking Geet making her drop almost all pastas on Maan’s plate. “Huh?” Geet asked confused. Maan looked at Geet’s confused face and he sucked his breathe. “So much of innocence” he thought. “I can’t eat like that; it’s a giant’s food” Maan blurted rudely. Geet was hurt. “What’s happening to him?” she thought. “Why is he ignoring me like that?” she was so pained by his behaviour.
End of Flashback
I saw Maan standing at the door and looking at the room where once he was doing his martial arts. Again; my knowledge of it was extremely limited. I made a mental note to search some information on it later.
“Maan”, I called softly.
He turned and studied me; whether I read that letter or not. He looked quite surprised for me coming to find him.
“Are you angry on me for making this room being cleaned?” I asked gesturing to the servants. The room was so dirty that it smelt like puke that had never being cleaned on a cloth. I guess; this description is enough.
“No, just a little shocked” he replied stunning me as he held my hands and gazed in my eyes. Oh god; help me; because I feel all dizzy suddenly, I am surely going to faint now. He’s so handsome, my mind barely registered.
“I never wanted to hurt you Geet” Maan confessed. “I really…I really…didn’t mean to” he continued. Tears streamed down my cheeks. Oh god; that was a bad timing.
“Geet…” Maan was shocked seeing the tears. “I…I…I…am sorry, I guess I hurt you again…I didn’t want you to cry…” I wept more. He cupped my face worriedly. His wrinkles made him looked even cuter. “No…I am so happy…it’s like a dream coming true!” I whispered in his ears as I hugged him. He held back.
“So…” he trailed off.
“So…” I retorted pulling from the cuddle. “Are you coming with me tonight?” he asked eagerly. “Yeah…but…how am I supposed to be wearing a sari with a plaster?” I asked puzzled.
Maan turned red; dead embarrassed. “Well, I can help you…” Maan started and quickly added “if you want…”.
What? If I want? Wouldn’t I? Of course. Shyly I added “why not” and I winked walking away.
I did not want to hurt her; not anymore. She was a precious angel, which only needed to be well preserved; her love; her care; her affection for everyone. I made a promise to myself, no more hurting her, no more torture.
As I scanned her room; I realized that she barely bought something for herself with my money. It did hurt. It struck me that since I accepted Geet; why can’t see have my own room? Better late than never, right.
“Nakul!!!” the house echoed.
“Why are you after the poor servant since the morning?” Geet said with sympathy.
“Excuse me” I corrected “it was you who made him cleaned that big room” I smirked. Nakul arrived and I ordered “take all ma’am clothes and arranged them in my room”. Geet was shocked but blushed and said nothing. “Except for these saris” I added.”Whatever” she blushed and started to search for a sari. Wow, didn’t she have a collection; red, blue, orange, white…
White…it made me all dreamy how pretty and gorgeous she looked that day.
“Maan, should I wear this blue one or the orange one? Or this one while long sleeves?” Geet asked puzzled.
“Any which you like” I retorted. “But what do you like among them?” Geet asked. It made me blush a little; she wanted me to choose her dress. Everything could look pretty on her; the saris I mean. I debated my mind; blue, orange, pink… The orange one looked better. It was not completely orange type. It did suit her skin.
“Well…” Geet said blushing deep red.
Show me the diamonds, Show me the gold
Call me the answer
Call me anywhere
I don’t have a care, This is my world
you’re so pretty, we’re so pretty
Show me the silver
Show me the gold, you taking my name &
Don’t disappoint me, I see you smiling
Tie up my elbows
No Joke, Talking to the Devil
Talking to the Lord
Take me to Hell, Take me to heaven
For your sweet touch
[Rest upon your imagination, don’t go too FAR]
It was lethal. It was easy to see her reaction after my every action. I couldn’t help smirking. “I am going to get ready” I called as she pushed me out the room; red faced “see you downstairs”.
We left Akshay with Dadimaa and Dadimaa thought something was fishy going on. I think she did come to know when Geet blushed pinker and pinker as we bid them goodbye.
I sucked my breath. I hope everything was perfect, as far as I planned. Geet was not meeting my eyes. “Well, I’ll be waiting for you to confess” Geet said. “What didn’t I say everything in the letter?” I barked. “Nope, I want to hear from you” Geet smirked.
We reached the restaurant. I hope everything was perfect.
When I got down the car; I was breathless. I was barely breathing. It looked like an expensive restaurant. When I stepped inside, I was nearly fainting with the decorations. There were red balloons in shape of hearts and red ribbons.
Maan held my hand as my feet wobbled when we stepped closer inside. A small band was playing soft music; with violin playing and piano chords with soft acoustic guitar humming a soft tune. Three musicians were in a corner playing these instruments in a melodious tune. My heart was breathing heavily.
“I hope I am perfect enough for you…but not as perfect as you’re” Maan whispered huskily.
There was nobody else in the restaurant except us.
It had been booked. He had planned everything. I was feeling so excited about what the night held.
It was crazy as there were thousands of red roses and variety of red shade everywhere.
Maan helped me to sit on the chair, and he too sit down. He grinned seeing me in awe. “It’s so lovely…it’s so perfect” I said. His eyes glittered and he added “not as perfect and forgiving as you” he said so huskily that I went red.
“Geet” he said gently holding my palms into his. I lifted my eyes to gaze at him. “I want to mysterious secrets between us that’s why I’m taking the initiative to tell everything about me before we take this relationship to another step”.
[God! Guys what are you making me write…arggghhh]
“I…I had a love marriage when I was twenty. With Riihaa, Naintara’s sister. I knew she had a diseased but I never thought it could be so serious that I’ll lose her one year after Akshay was born. The gem of my life.”
“When she left me, I was devasted. I barely look upon Akshay…except that day when you came in my life, that day in the park, you…you made me realized what I had, a precious love, thank you Geet…” he said taking a deep breath as I smiled patting his hand.
“I never thought that we would get married though that day; but when dadimaa came with the proposal I was so angry…except she knew me too well, I too never had a mom, and I knew the pain, she said that you were the best thing for Akshay and you’re…”
“I know I had been harsh on you the first few months, but believe me, it was difficult, for two years I had lived alone, I did not have someone to care for except Akshay…but Geet, you were so patient, that you’re care and love did make me thing otherwise of this” he said holding my hand tightly. “I hope you forgive me for all my mistakes…”
“Maan…” I said softly and agitated “how can I forgive you…when you made no mistakes at all…” I continued.
Maan grinned “before we order something why don’t we have a dance?” I could see his eyes glittering.
The light shines
It’s getting hot on my shoulders
I don’t mind,
This time it doesn’t matter
Cause your friends,
They look good, but you look better
It took a minute girl to steal my heart tonight (eh eh eh eh)
With just one look, yeah
My words fall and they hit the ground
Oh life, come on head, don’t you fail me now?
I start to say,
“I think I love you”, but I make no sound
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
Maan’s held slid my waist. I closed my eyes. I never wanted this to end. His lips brushed my earlobe…
I closed my eyes sleepily. His words were ringing in my ears “I love you Geet, I love you…”
Start of Flashback
After the dinner; he slipped his hands onto Geet’s and said “I don’t want to make any promises…because last time I did, and you knew what happened, but deep inside I know, I’ll be able to keep you happy; I won’t let my past affect you…I love you Geet…”
End of Flashback
What could happen any better except Dadimaa rung thundering that Akshay did not want to sleep and wanted me back home, so we rushed home and found Akshay had fallen asleep on Dadimaa’s shoulder while waiting for us.
What could be any better? Huh?
Akshay came crashing into the room as soon as I stepped out of the washroom.
“What happened baby?” I asked worriedly. He looked pale. “Where is mama? She isn’t in her room” he asked sounded worried. “Oh baby” I said scooping him in my arms as he hugged me “look, she’s sleeping here” I said pointing to Geet sleeping on my bed. She was very tired, lazy girl.
Akshay looked confused at Geet then at me; then he poked me on the chest angrily. “I hate you” he screamed waking Geet with the word ‘hate’. Even I was surprised. He jumped out of the cuddle and sat on the bed sulking. Now Geet was so shocked seeing Akshay scowling and frowning at us. Geet patted his shoulder but he just shrugged off.
It got both of us upset with his behaviour. It was so weird for once. “Why did you leave me alone yesterday” he snapped glaring at me. “You were having a nap, so we did not think to bother you by waking you up” I answered smilingly cupping his cute face, I was on my knees.
“But you went to eat ice-cream without me!” he shouted angrily.
We couldn’t help smiling. Akshay was allergy with cold food stuffs so we would always heat ice-cream to make it liquid so that it was hot enough for him to eat.
“Okay, baby, we are sorry” Geet said giving him a cute puppy face and placed her head on his lap. Akshay stroked her hairs a little and then whined “Mama!” Geet was shocked and quickly jerked.
“You have forgotten your manners!” he added pretending to be shocked. He placed his hands on his hips and said “you did not brush your teeth!” Geet giggled and along with Akshay they went to the washroom.
I left to the gym.
Half an hour later
I felt that someone was peeping in the gym and drooling over me. I did not have to guess to know who it was. I stopped excising and pretended to sit down and saw Geet’s reflection in a glass decoration near the end of the room.
“Geet!” I called. Geet hid herself behind a pillar. I smirked. “I can see you…and your shadow” I smirked. She came out blushing red and glanced at me in my black vest before darting out.
As I wore my coat getting ready for office; I saw Akshay and Geet playing with his robots and toys. Akshay glanced at me then at Geet mentally making a note whether she was going to leave him and go away.
“Geet, Akshay, we need to go to Akshay’s nursery today, remember, your teacher wanted to do a briefing of what you learnt, and moreover you’re in vacations, so you’ll get an outing too” I added. Akshay smiled and looked at Geet “Mama, what should I wear?”
“Your son is very intelligent, Mr. Khurana” the nursery teacher said. I smiled and Geet squeezed Akshay’s hand. “He’s very neat and has a very good behaviour” the teacher went on commenting. “I am sure he’ll be a brilliant student as soon as he enter school”.
“What did your teacher say?” Vicky asked. We were going to drop him to his soccer coaching before I drop Geet and Akshay home heading to office. “He said I am good” Akshay said modestly. He got that from Geet.
“I doubt that” Vicky grinned mischievously.
“why? My son is very bright” I said proudly. Geet looked at Vicky with a questioning look.
“Akshay, can you name me 4 members that belong to the cat family?” he said giving me a challenging look. Geet groaned and defended Akshay “for goodness’ sake, Vicky, I bet you did not know about leopards and cheetahs till you were twenty!” Vicky turned beetroot.
“I know the answer!” Akshay said. It surprised us.
“What? Easy!” Akshay retorted. “Mother cat, father cat and two babies cat!”
Vicky was flabbergasted once again.
“I’ll drop you home” I told Geet and Akshay after I dropped Vicky.
“I won’t go home” Akshay declared.
” I want to go with you office.”
“But…what are you going to do there” I asked. AKshay glared at me.
“But I wan’t to go to your office TODAY!” Akshay screamed at the top of his lungs.
“But…son, what will you do there? You’ll get bored!” I explained.
“I want to go there; and that’s final” Akshay replied stubbornly.
Geet giggled and said “of course; Junior Maan Singh Khurana, you’ll go”
“Good Morning sir” Sasha told Me.
“Good Morning” Akshay replied holding my hand. Me, Geet and Sasha stood speechless while Akshay shrugged giving us an innocent look.
“Ehh, good morning” Sasha said trying to keep her smile.
I was afraid it was going to be a long day with the staffs and Mr. Junior Khurana…
Akshay was busy eating chocolates while I was busy discussing a project with my client. Akshay looked at us and saw we were busy. He cuddled on my lap and noticed I was not checking on him.
“I think this we need to…” I was saying when I felt two little hands cupping my cheeks. But Akshay was not cupping my cheeks he was wiping the chocolate that was stuck in his hands on my cheeks in front of my cilents.
I glanced at Akshay shocked. So was my client.
Akshay gave a little shrug and answered “I was searching for a hankie but you did not give me”.
Just then Sasha entered staring at me as if I was a ghost but she didn’t comment. Seeing Sasha, Akshay said “Sasha Auntie, can I get a coffee please?”
Sasha winced and answered “sure junior MSK” and left.
Geet entered the cabin and stood there catching flies with her mouth hanging open.
The client had his eyes fixed on Akshay who did not care and was playing with my pen.
The tension was so intense that the client broke into giggles. I turned red because of my little Junior MSK.
Sasha muttering something came and gave Akshay his coffee who sipped silently as if nothing happened.
Geet winked at me…
I smiled about my big family, Geet, Akshay, Dadimaa, Vicky and Anvesha. Everything was so fine now, sometimes its scary to think why everything is joyful.
I am not regretful of saying “I love you” to Geet. She deserved if after her every sacrifice for my family and my baby.
She’s like a superwoman, unable to describe this feeling that keeps making me smile everyday. What could I ask for more? Just saying I’m indeed very lucky…
Geet is just a perfect girl for everything…I am just so lucky to have her…I smiled…again
Shut the door
Turn the light off
I wanna be with you
I wanna feel your love
I wanna lay beside you
I cannot hide this
Even though I try
Heart beats harder
Time escapes me
It makes this harder
And the tears stream down my face
I know Geet loves me a lot; and I’ll try my best to give her every happiness she deserves. And she knows too I can’t live without her…she’s just awesome…
You know I’ll be
Your reason to be
Is breathing for this
I’ll find the words to say
Before you leave me today
Close the door
Throw the key
Don’t wanna be reminded
Don’t wanna be seen
Don’t wanna be without you
My judgment’s clouded
Like tonight’s sky
I love her so much, I won’t make any promises; I just don’t want to hurt her; she’s just too precious for her. Last time I promised someone; everything was destroyed; I was broken in a nonasecond, this time, no promises; maybe I’ll lead a better life…even though I am confident that Geet will never let me down…
I just love her…and I hope one day I’ll love her too much..
8 Months Later
“Daddy…will it be a baby girl or a baby boy?” Akshay asked for the 99th of time since the morning.
“I don’t know baby, the doctor will tell us later…” I said smiling.
Akshay grunted “Daddy, I am not a baby!” he complained. “I am going to be a big brother!”
I chuckled softly as we strolled in the garden. “Okay, so you’re going to be a big brother…are you happy?” I asked feeling my heart to beat faster than ever.
“Nope” he yelled and jumped. I stood rooted and stared palely.
“I mean, I don’t want smelly nappies!” Akshay said nodding. I chuckled. “But, a baby is fun, I am going to boss around” he giggled as I chuckled softly.
“Come on, Mama is waiting for us!” I said tugging his arm.
Geet sat on the bed, with her big belly and a tired face. She smiled warmly when she saw us.
Akshay removed his shoes and jumped on the bed, cuddling next to her.
“Tired?” I asked.
“Try exhausted” she said scornfully.
Akshay placed his head on her tummy and he asked “where is baby?”
Me and Geet laughed. “Shall I read you a story?” Geet asked.
“Will you?” both me and Akshay said at the same time. Geet groaned “guys, you’re talking as if the baby is born” and rolled her eyes. I chucked the copy to her and she started reading trying to sound as enthusiastic as ever.
“…So the moral of the story is we should always be honest” Geet said smiling brightly. Her feet were swollen and she felt uneasy but did not care.
“Oh” Akshay said a little surprised. Then he looked meaningfully at Geet and said “sorry…I lied”. Geet giggled and asked “what did you lie?”
“I lied that you were not fat but instead you’re very, very, very big and you look like a balloon” Akshay confessed.
Geet was wide-eyed and shocked as well; I tried to hide my astonishment.
Seeing Geet’s mouth open, Akshay quickly added “I didn’t want to hurt you”.
Geet smiled trying to recover from the shock.
“You need a nap now” Geet said and started caressing Akshay in her you-are-tired mode. Akshay got the hint and laid down snuggling closer to her. I smiled and left them alone.
Geet’s scream filled the whole clinic. I was almost chewing my lips. Dadimaa was patting my shoulder and whispering “it’s normal, have you forgotten?”
No, I had not. Yeah, right, as if I could think properly right now. I muttered something. And then I heard Akshay’s outburst.
“The Doctor is M-A-D!”
“Huh?” Dadimaa said. I tored my gaze from the ward and stared at my son.
“The doctor is supposed to stop Mama from crying…and she’s making Mama cry more!” he said thundering angrily.
I almost chuckled. How innocent you’d think a nearly four year old boy is? Try my son. I ruffled his hair and mentioned him to keep quiet.
Just then Vicky tapped me on the shoulder and gestured to the doctor. The doctor was smiling broadly and told us “Congratulation Mr. Khurana”
“So what? Girl or Boy?” Akshay said impatiently. The Doctor was busy telling Dadimaa and Annie some precautions to take for Geet. Akshay tugged the doctor’s overall and asked “the boy or girl, doccie uncle?”. He looked so innocent that the doctor chuckled.
The Doctor bent on Akshay’s level and said “why don’t you go and check”. He winked at us and we literally burst into the ward.
Akshay was on the tip of his toes to see who was ‘hiding’ in the cradle. Vicky lifted him. My gaze fell upon pink fluffy clay. Okay, not clay, but that it looked like, pink candy type.
“Pink?” Akshay asked looking at Vicky for an answer.
“Pink? Pink is so…so girly” he sputtered. Geet gave a painful chuckle. “Baby, because a girl likes the colour pink”. I grinned so did the rest of us, well, nearly apart from Akshay.
Then after some seconds he spoke “so, the baby is a girl!” he said excited and then shut quietly, tapping his chin cutely thinking. “But girls are so boring; just dolls…But anyway, I don’t care, I’ll teach her manners and I think I’ll even play dolls with her…” he said mumbling softly. Geet winked at me. I seriously started to blush then the rest went out.
I kissed Geet on the forehead and she smiled gesturing to the baby girl.
“Yuck” Akshay mouthed as he climbed on the bed. And he made kissing type noises. Seriously I was getting embarrassed by a 3 and a half year old kid. I mean; my son; after all; our blood is the same.
“So what will be the baby’s name?” Geet asked narrowing her eyebrow.
Akshay sputtered and said “I made a full list” and then went red and shut.
We tittered and said “come on, let’s here”.
“Priyanka [Ya! Call me], Hannah [Remember he got a big crush on the popstar!], Geet, Maan…Risha…Misha, Tisha, Visha, Lisha…and…and…” he trailed off with a list of names.
“Maan? Geet?” Geet said raising an eyebrow.
“Oh…That was if ‘she’ was a boy” Akshay sniggered.
“But I got a better name” Geet said. It was my turn to be surprised.
“Its going to match your name Akshay” Geet continued.
“But he can’t be called Akshay, it’s a boy’s name and it’s my name!” he said scornfully.
I laughed. “Of course not”.
Geet nodded in agreement. “Yeah, but she can be name Akshita, can’t she?”
3 days Later
“Mama, what did u name the baby?” Akshay had asked for the zillionth of time.
I chuckled; I had been doing that a lot ever since we confessed.
“It’s Akshita, love” I said grinning.
“Ak…i…what?” he fumbled embarrassed. “It’s so difficult” he snapped as me and Geet laughed our heads off!
“Akshita” I repeated.
“It’s too difficult” Akshay snapped angrily and crossed his arms to his chest.
“But…” his eyes winkled evilly “Isn’t Maahi a nice name?” he said.
We both raised an eyebrow.
“Maahi?” Geet questioned.
“Yup! Maahi…” Akshay nodded enthusiastically.
“Maahi…that’s a very pretty name…” I said ruffling Akshay and went to ruffle Akshita aka Maahi’s soft cheeks.
“Nope!” Akshay declared angrily.
“This pest name is just mine! Only I will call her Maahi”.
We laughed again annoying our little Mr. Khurana.
Well, he did not know exactly what pest and pet meant though he knew what a nickname was. Obviously when Geet started calling him “My honey sugary” in her 3 months fearing that Akshay won’t be too happy…well, he was happy…but that’s Geet, as usual…
Akshay was so angry to be called “girly names”…
“Waaahhh” Akshita howled. She must have been hungry.
“I think she wants to join in the conversation” Geet added sheepishly.
Akshay and I changed a desperate look. Akshita cried tons; she was a great crier, and I broke the record for waking up just to nurse her for two days. Now I wanted to let Geet handle the baby…it was too much to cope with the howls and cries of Akshita. Geet understood and scoped Akshita in her arms to feed her.
“Yuck” Akshay mouthed and jumped out of the room.
“I’ll check on Akshay” I said leaving Geet handling Akshita.
“Hmmm” I replied.
“Was I a crier too?” Akshay asked innocently.
“Nope, you were a good baby…” I smiled.
“I think we need to take Maahi to the dentist” he retorted.
“She doesn’t have any teeth dad, and that’s bad!”
I chuckled. “No babies have teeth at birth”.
“Really?” he asked eye-widened.
“Did I wet the bed?”
“Yes, love, you did”.
“You are lying” Akshay said embarrassed.
“Every baby did, love.”
“Really?” he asked making a goo-goo type eyes.
“Yes” I said ruffling his cheeks.
“So you used to wet the bed too!” he declared happily!
What…you doing?” Akshita asked innocently. Akshay lowered his copybook and showed her. “Its difficult arithmetic questions, multiplications and additions” Akshay said highly important.
“Oh” Akshita said mouth-opened.
“What is that?” Akshita asked frowning cutely.
Akshay looked at her. “You’re a baby, you won’t understand”.
Akshita pouted and said indignantly “I am not a baby”.
“Yes, you’re, you’re only four years old!” Akshay said trying not to laugh at her sister. She was so cute, so innocent.
“No! I’m not! One day, you’ll see, I am going to be elder than you!” Akshita said scornfully. This time Akshay couldn’t help laughing and burst out loudly.
Geet entered the room.
“What’s happening, loves” Geet said placing her hands on Akshay and Akshita’s head and kissing their forehead respectively.
“I hate kisses Mama, I am grown-up now!” Akshay complained.
Geet chuckled and said “whatever, you’re still my baby…”
“I am not a baby” Akshay frowned. “Maahi is the baby here” he added. Akshita aka Maahi followed Geet-Akshay’s gaze.
Akshita couldn’t understand their arguments; they were too intellectual for her.
“Bhai is doing remitaal works” Akshita said as proudly and as importantly as Akshay had told her.
“What?” both Akshay and Geet said at the same time…
Akshita turned red.
“Arithmetical questions, Maahi” Akshay said proudly. Geet stroked his cheeks smilingly.
“Aiii” Akshita shrieked. It was dark, so dark in her room. She was sure that the Alfy Alien would eat her up, engulf her in his green dark fluid. It was so scary. She was so confident that after watching that movie, she would be able to sleep.
“I should have listened to brother” she thought.
She changed her position and kept shifting here and there on the bed but could not get any sleep.
She frowned. She could not sleep.
She walked and walked. For once, her parents’ room was so far that she was tired.
“Oh no” she gasped.
The door was closed.
She was too short to reach the handle. She hugged Bubbles closely. Bubbles was her pink pig teddy and she loved him a lot but not more than Mummy, nor Daddy or Brother.
She did a U-turn and reached her brother’s room. He did not like his door to be close. He once told Maan that in case his room catches fire, he could easily get out, or he can scream if someone could attack him. But Maan had explained him that this would never happen in their whole life but Akshay, being Maan’s shadow; was as adamant as him.
“Brother…brother…” she squeaked.
“2 multiplies by 2 is equal to 4, Ms. Owl…I mean Ms. Howlson” he repeated mumbling softly.
Maahi/Akshita couldn’t understand anything of what he was mumbling but she shook him hard.
Akshay stood straight squawking “Daddy’O thief…” and then
“Maahi…you…at midnight?” Akshay said trying to guess the time.
“I am having nightmares…” Akshita said softly. Akshay rolled her eyes and said “I told you not to watch that movie…”
“I hate when you tell me ‘ I told you…” Akshita whispered and snuggled to her brother.
“Daddy…I want to go downstairs” Akshita howled.
“No” Maan said firmly.
“Yes” Akshita said stubbornly.
“No and it’s no” Maan said adamantly.
“Yes and…” Akshita started buf forgot what else to say and went red.
Akshay was going bananas with Maan-Akshita’s every day argument. Geet, she was so fed up that she left the room.
“Daddy…” Akshay started.
“Tell her Akshay that I mean a ‘no’ and it’s my final decision” Maan said furiously.
Akshita glared innocently at her father.
“Daddy you’re so stubborn like trees” she sputtered.
“What?” Maan asked confused.
“Trees are hard, and your brain is hard too” she said crossing her arms over her chest and glared angrily at her father. Her eyes were brimming with tears. She could cry but she knew that her tears would not affect her father.
“Daddy…” Akshay said again. Both Akshita and Maan looked at him.
“Why are you even trying to win the argument when you know that you’ll give in” Akshay said grinning.
Maan’s mouth drop.
“Are you siding Akshita?” he asked slowly.
“Well…” Akshay cleared his throat “you will never refuse us” he said reasonably. Maan shook his head then Akshita added “Maaan…will you get me downstairs” she screeched.
Maan’s mouth dropped again.
“What?” he said slowly.
Akshay raised his eyebrow. “How do you know Dad’s name? I mean, I know it’s a nonsense question but how did you come to know dad’s name? Nobody ever calls him that” Akshay said.
“Akshay, do you always have to use such long logical question?” Maan asked. “For goodness’ sake, you’re just eight years old”.
“Like father…” Geet popped in.
She brought coffee for Maan and milk for the kids.
“Why do we have to drink milk?” Akshita asked frowning as Geet gave her the glass.
Before Maan or Geet could open their mouth, Akshay replied importantly “by drinking milk, we have strong teeth and strong bones”.
“Daddy…Daddy…this sock is for which leg…the right one or the left one?” Akshita asked.
Maan couldn’t help grinning; his daughter was innocent, so innocent.
“The left leg” Maan answered stroking his daughter’s cheek.
“Which one is the left leg? This one or that one?” Akshita asked.
Maan and Akshay snorted.
“Mother taught you that yesterday, Maahi” Akshay said shaking his head in disbelief.
“Daddy…where is Bhai and Momma?” Akshita asked.
“They’ve gone shopping, love” Maan answered glancing at her and focused back on his work.
“Why they didn’t bring me with them?” Akshita asked hurt.
“Because last time you went to Paradise, you cried so much that the shopkeeper had given you a free balloon before you could burst all the buyers’ eardrums” Maan smirked.
“It was not so!” Akshita grumbled angrily.
“I am working, love, don’t disturb me…” Maan said. Just then Adi entered.
“G-Gu-Good Morning, Sir” Adi said.
“Good Morning, but call me Ms. Maahi like my brother do when he’s furious” Maahi answered. Adi went red and Maan coughed.
“I mean your father Akshita” Adi cleared.
“Adi uncle play Giddy-up horse with me!” Akshita shouted jumping and stalking at Adi.
Maan thought for a moment “if Akshita plays with Adi, I’ll manage to finish this work…”
“Yes, Adi, play with her…”
“Go horsey…go horsey!” Akshita shouted in the living room.
“I…did…209 round Ak..shi…ta” Adi gasped for his breathe.
“So do 1 more then more and more till we reach 300!”
Adi flopped on the floor, exhausted.
Akshita was on his back, her legs kicking his stomach, he was her horse; Rogers!
“You guys stay quietly doing your work, I’ll just get a file and come” Maan instructed. Geet had gone to check on Meera’s triplets.
Akshay was doing some division and Maan corrected some.
He was brilliant.
Maahi was colouring some carrots and rabbits and she was doing them out of the picture.
A client entered the cabin.
“I want to meet Mr. Khurana” he said raising his eyebrow.
“Yes” Akshay answered. After all he thought, I, too, am a Khurana.
“I mean Mr. Khurana” the client cleared his throat.
Akshita glared at the client and screeched “Bhai is right, he’s always right! He’s Mr. Khurana” she said furiously.
The client was shock and stood rooted. Akshay thumbed up his sister. The client was still staring widely at Akshita then at Akshay…
Destined to live like this;
I do really miss;
All those times, we spent together;
Let’s live those memories forever;
You give me all precious treasures;
Which kinda make my heart always going on;
Everytime I see you, you give me dreams;
Dreams, to live and make them come true;
You’re a sweet little touch in my life;
Which make it kinda nice;
You’re my sweet wife Geet…
I am really becoming a poet; now…and girly too, writing in a diary…
Signing off; Maan Singh Khurana. 19/07/2012
“xyz’Arghh, I can even write my name with these alphabets, I still don’t understand why we need to use alpha in mathematics” Akshita muttered.
“Find the value of ‘y’ of that stupid object there; if the value ‘x’ is 49?. As if it’s my fault that the one who wrote this book was a fool” she continued to grumble under her breath.
“Why torture poor students” she said pitifully. “Plus, not everyone is a genius” she added complained.
“You are a serious weirdo!” someone else exclaimed laughingly.
Akshita scowled. “Wow, I just needed a big lecture from my super lame brother” she rolled her eyes. Ignoring her sarcasm, Akshay went inside; chucking her Mathematics workbook.
“Is it really necessary for you do talk to yourself?” Akshay asked chuckling softly.
Akshita glared at her. “That one question was enough to put me off my dinner”, she said. “And spare me your reflections!”
Akshay shook his head.
“Why are you so angry? And so desperate for this question’?” Akshay asked. Akshita did not dare to look at her brother.
Akshay grinned. “So it’s the stress nah, you’re scared for tomorrow’right, as if the new school would eat you up’right…” he said.
Akshita groaned. “Tell me do you have some supernatural powers…or else you are really abnormal” she said giggling.
“Nah, it’s just I’m wise enough to understand you” he chuckled and chucked her pillow to her.
“See, that’s it, it’s easy to make you laugh” he said sticking his tongue at her. “Bhai, stop being a small girl” she said mimicking him and sticking her tongue out.
Akshay rolled her eyes “as if I was like that”.
“Believe me, I’ll kill you if I came to know that you were roaming around with a boy in the school” he said. Akshita gave him a bored look.
“Do you really have to start this topic, last night you told me that about a hundrend millonth time” she retorted.
“As if Chaavi was looking…whoops I mean drooling at you when I accompanied you with your bananas type of friends to the coffee-shop, huh” Akshita said her eyes gleaming.
“I can smell something burning in the air, and I can see sparks too” Akshita added grinning. Akshay turned red. Whenever Akshita would talk about that girl with long black hair, he would avoid that conversation, inventing a lame excuse.
“Shut up, and if you smell something burning, it’s maybe your brain, fried in your head with your super dumb ideas” Akshay replied walking off the room quickly.
“By the way, Mom and Dad called you downstairs, told me to call you but you were so ‘concentrated’ on your workbook that I forgot to tell you” he said.
“Maan, you’re having these white hair'” Geet said playing with Maan’s hair.
“You know you’re getting old'” Geet added squeezing herself next to her.
Maan stared at her and said “duh, we’re getting old Geet” and sniffed.
Geet laughed and kissed his cheek and Maan turned red.
“Yeuccchhh” Akshay and Akshita made sick noises. “Is it really necessary to give visual demonstration” Akshay said in a grouchy voice and remarked “disgusting”.
“We just saw under 12 show” Akshita remarked
Meanwhile Akshita stuck her nose in the air.
Geet laughed while Maan coughed feeling embarrassed. Akshita noticed Geet smiling at Maan and groaned.
“So why did you exactly call us?” Akshay asked.
“Well” Maan cleared his throat. “Tomorrow is Akshita’s first day in her new High School” Maan started and continued “well, could you just look after her a little bit the first day”.
“Wow…” Akshay let out “I would have done that without you asking it, Dad” he grinned and winked at Akshita.
Akshita went upstairs all nervous while Akshay went around the gym for some practice.
“We’ve the best children of the world” Geet remarked.
“Every parent say that, trust me” Maan smirked.
“I had a terrifying nightmare” Maan confided. Geet giggled and said “the great Maan Singh Khurana had a nightmare” and she laughed.
“No, seriously it was horrible, I imagine Akshay and Maahi hating me” he said.
Geet looked at him perplexed. “You know about…about ‘that’, it occurred to me that Akshay loves Maahi a lot, then what if…you know…what I mean”
Geet’s cheery face turned in solemn. “I know” she said comforting Maan. “It will pass away'”
“Did I mention I had it for 3 weeks consecutive” Maan added. “That’s trouble” Geet added holding his palm.
“I think we should tell Akshay about it…” Geet said.
“No” Maan said startled. “Have you loss it?”
“Nah, but Akshay is growing up, I think he’s strong enough to take it, and its better that we tell him about it before he learnt it by someone else, and you know, if you watched soaps, you’d see youngsters’ reactions…” Geet said softly.
“Let’s just wait for some more days then, Akshita shouldn’t know about it though…” Maan said.
“You call the police if I don’t reach home at 4 o’clock, okay” Akshita told her brother; her eyes widened with fear.
“What?” Akshay asked.
“Have you seen how the place is huge?” Akshita said. “I bet I won’t even find my way home out of this compound”.
“You’re dramatizing everything, Maahi, calm down, it’s going to be fun” Akshay assured her.
“You bet” she mumbled nervously.
“See, there’s your Chicken Club of Friends; Fiona and whatever their names are!” Akshay pointed them to Maahi.
Akshita laughed. “Yeah, hey, that’s Chaavi there, right!” Maahi remarked. “Your guurrrlfriend” she hissed.
“What!” Akshay said horrified.
Akshita giggled and went off.
Akshay turned red.
“Dude, she’s right, that Chaavi is really having a thing for you” one of Akshay’s friends; a big guy laughed at Akshay who glared at him.
“Wow, this place is huge” Akshita said looking up and down.
Fiona and Chandni laughed. “Stop being nervous!”
“You know my mom always have a fit, she says how she used to wear her salwar kameesz going to school and now I wear jeans and all…Dad always come in between and Mom was furious!” Akshita laughed.
From the canteen, Akshay watched her sister laughing with her friends. “Hmm, she’s Okay…we can go to the hamburger stand” Akshay said smiling.
“Wow…I thought you would never say it” another guy, looking like a geek.
“I don’t want to do this” Maan murmured. “Is it really necessary” he asked.
“Yes, it is” Geet said coming closer and squeezed his shoulder.
“It’s now or never” Geet mumbled in his ears and hugged him “it’s going to be okay, you see”.
“I hope so”.
“You called me” Akshay said entering and dumped his bag on the floor.
“Akshay” Geet said a bit angry “how many times will I tell you not to dump your backpack here”. Akshay scratched his head and smiled.
“What are those albums” Akshay said staring confusingly at them. Maan and Geet stayed mum and Akshay looked at them even more perplexed.
“I hate this, you are hiding something from me” Akshay said. He moved to take the album. It was a bit dusty.
“I’ve never seen that before…have you…?”
Maan and Geet did not answer. “Am I talking to myself?”
He flipped some photos and his face turned white. “Who’s this biii…”
“Watch your words, young man” Geet snapped angry.
Akshay looked at Geet.
“What’s that mom? Why this woman…whoops, I mean lady is with Dad…the whole album contains her photos, who’s she?”
The tension was so intense that it could be cut with a knife, no pull intended.
“Who is she? Can’t I know…? Well, I’m grown-up enough…I’ve never seen these photos anywhere in the house…Anybody hearing me? Am I talking to myself” he said angrily.
“Akshita shouldn’t know about this…” Maan said softly.
“Why?” Akshay said irritated. “Tell me before I think of something gruesome, ‘cos lots of thoughts are coming in my mind”.
Maan winced in pain.
“Shut it up, Akshay” Geet snapped angrily. “Akshita is still small, it would affect her small babyish mind, plus she loves you too much…”
“Why? It concerns me then…” Akshay said perplexed.
“Well…” Maan cleared his throat feeling more scared.
“I can’t understand…what do you mean?” Akshay said. Maan and Geet stayed silent.
“She…the woman in the photo…is your…is…” Maan said and stammered.
“My aunt, my grandma, my…what?!”
“Your mother…” Geet said softly.
“Ahahah…WHAT” Akshay said.
“Maan’s first wife…your mother…Akshay, Riihaa, she died in an accident, after some years, your dad got married again, not accepting me as someone who loves him; just a mere caretaker who loves you a lots…and then…then…” Geet said softly stroking Akshay’s cheek who looked devasted.
“Do you hate me?” Maan asked.
“Or me?” Geet answered.
“No…of course not, how can I? Except my brain is trying to add these puzzles…and this mean I’m not your biological son, Mom?” he asked seriously.
Geet hugged him and didn’t reply.
“We thought it was time to tell you that because you are grown up enough now to understand, we didn’t mean to hurt you, we really love you, Akshay…” Maan said.
“I know…but still…it’s hard to believe” he muttered.
“I don’t exactly know what does ‘biological’ mean but I guess I came at the wrong time, I hate this, this confession” someone else said.
They were shocked to see Akshita standing there, full of tears.
“What are you doing here?” Maan asked scared, angry.
Akshita shrugged and stood there rooted.
“Do you hate me?” Akshita asked to Akshay who was lying on the bed.
“Why? Nah, of course not, because you’re my little sister…” Akshay said. Maahi smiled and snuggled next to him.
“Remember when I was a kid I used to snuggle next to you when I felt scared and alone” Akshita said.
“See I wrote an essay, barely 3 weeks since we are in school and loads of homework…”
“Give me I read it…”
“That’s why Rome is a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, city” Akshay raised an eyebrow.
“I was having trouble making it 550 words, now it’s exactly 550!” Akshita smiled.
There was another knock.
“Oh, you’re here…I came to give you this photo…”
Akshay stared at the photo so did Akshita.
“I know” Geet answered.
Akshay nodded and gave Geet back. “I don’t need it, I have you that’s it”.
“We have the best children in the world…”
“I know” Maan said.
“Life will continue like this, with new chapters, new stories, new events, and our love…our children and their future, I can’t wait to have a daughter-in-law and a son-in-law…”
“Geet…you’re going too far…”