A smile touched her lips. Anisha was surprised at her own realization. Mann was none other than she, herself.. and whatever mann did was what she had always secretly dreamed of..imagined herself at her place countless number of times…to shout out when you are happy… to dance in the rain.. to laugh freely..no worries about being the princess..no worries about what people might think of your family.. and the most important part—she knew what she wanted—Maan!
It was a week since then. Aryan had become an indispensable part of their gang. Prem made a point to stay away when Aryan was around. Roops was enjoying a lot. Geet, Roops and Aryan were enjoying their break in the cafeteria.
Geet: kya keh rahe ho Aryan…you mean you knew about Roops and prem?
Aryan looked here and there and leaned towards geet making sure no one hears them. Roops had gone to get some eatables for the trio.
Aryan: yes..roops-prem ki chemistry se pata chalta hain geet.. waise bhi Roops had told me about prem and his countless gfs and I was confirmed that day itself ke she is in love with him!
Geet; ohh teri… then why can’t they confess? Ek Maan aur Anisha di hain tho dusri taraf Roops and prem…crazy in love but scared of confession. Yaar unki problem kya hain?
Aryan; umm…unki problem love hi hain geet..but they are scared!!
Geet: ehh lo… pyaar bhi karte ho aur darte bhi ho?
Aryan: geet…its not that they coose to get scared…darr bhi lagta hain pyaar mein..
Geet got irritated, “agar itna hi darr lagta hain tho pyaar kyun karte hain log?”
Aryan sensed she was not very happy. He held her hands, “geet…geet…relax…! Am sorry if I my words hurted you..mera wo matlab nahi tha! I meant to say ki this sort of things happen when people are in love…“
Geet made a face, “bol tho aise rahe ho jaise bahut knowledge hai tummhe iss topic par…“
Aryan laughed, ” bol tho tum bhi aise rahi ho jaise ye sab tumne khud experience kiya hain!“
Geet kept quiet and looked away. She didn’t want to think about this anymore. Roops joined them.
Roops: kya bataein chal rahi hain?
Aryan: umm kuch khaas nahi… tum batao.. where is that romeo prem?
Geet’s own questions kept lingering in her mind and she excused herself.
Roops: issey kya hua?
Aryan shrugged and kept looking at her retreating figure. Roops giggled and nidged him, “ho gaya… jaane do usey..”
He snapped and turned to her, “na..nahi tum kya keh rahi ho Roops?“
Roops: rehne do! Sab samajhti hoon mein… you like her, don’t you?”
Aryan blushed a bit, never thought to get caught like that, “nahi.. its not like that..“
Roops: kab bata rahe ho ussey?
Aryan smirked, “jis din tum prem se apne dil ki baat keh dogi..uss din!”
Roops was surprised see that coming from Aryan! It was true ke they were never together..just a fake couple…actually just time pass. Roops had met him in her department lab and they had become gud friends. There was nothing serious between them. She had done all that only to irritate prem and answer the challenge. She was amazed big time when she had told everything to Aryan and he actually agreed to it without further question.
Geet sat under the same tree, near the basketball court, lost in her thoughts…pluching the grass out and throwing it away. She wished if mom hadn’t loved that man so much… then she’d have never seen so much in life. Arrgh..she hated tht man…he never reciprocated her love… he never loved them!!!
Somebody tapped her shoulder. She looked upto see Anisha with a worried face. Anisha had seen geet walk all alone and sit under the tree, their usual meeting place. And by this time she had come to know a lot of things about geet—one of them being—she loved staying with people all around her. Anisha had always seen her with her friends, doing masti..smiling! but today she wasn’t smiling…and she was alone. Definitely she was upset about something. She sat beside her.
Anisha: kya baat hain geet? You look upset..
Geet looked away, “kuch nahi di..“
Anisha was very fond of geet…more as a sister. She held her chin and turned her face to her.
Anisha: arrey wah… hume di kehti hain aur chupati bhi hain? Chaliye bataiye…
Geet sighed and looked down, “di aap Maan se apne dil ki baat keh kyun nahi deti?“
Anisha wondered if she was really worried about her not speaking to Maan or something else.
Anisha: baat ko badliye mat.. hume bataiye kya baat hain!!
Geet sighed, ‘I don’t understand ke log pyaar karte kyun hain!!“
Anisha: matlab? Hum samjhe nahi?
Geet: love hurts di…and it scared you… phir kyun karte ho pyaar?
Anisha smiled, “aapko kisne bataya ki love hurts?“
Geet kept quiet.
Anisha: geet…love is the most beautiful emotion in this world, “her mind drifted towards Maan, “…..ek hipal mein poori duniya kya se kya ho jati hain…. Aur log pyaar nahi karte geet.. wo tho apne aap ho jata hain..”
Geet: its stupid di…
Anisha held her hand, “its not stupid geet.. it’s the truth. Pyaar tho kabhi bhi…kahin bhi..kisi se bhi ho sakta hain.. it happens in the most unexpected way…and you won’t even realize when and how you have fallen in love..“
Geet looked at Anisha in awe..she seemed lost in her own thoughts.
Geet: aap Maan se bahut pyaar karti hain na?
Anisha: bahut se bhi zyada…. Pata hain..ek din unhe nahi dekhte tho hum bechain ho jaate hain..aisa lagta hain maano sadiya beet gayi ho unhe dekhe hue…
Geet had always seen her mom cry day in and day out because she loved that man, madly and today she is witnessing something really different..a new shade of love that she was unaware of!!!
Anisha: when you are in love geet… aapki zindagi ka eke k lamha uss khaas insaan ke naam hone lagta hain.. uski hansi..uski baatein..uska gussa…uski sharartein… dil ko maano pyaari lagne lagti hain.. uski ek jhalak aapke jeene ki wajah ban jati hain…
Geet was realizing how much Anisha loved Maan. Whatever she had witnessed in her childhood had made her believe that if you are in love, then it is mandatory for the other person to love you back. Otherwise your relationship fails…just like her mother’s did!!! She hated that thought.
Anisha: aur ye zaruri nahi ki app jisse pyaar karte ho..wo bhi aapko waapis pyaar kare… its just the expectation that hurts you geet…not the indifference!
Geet wondered if Anisha really read her mind. She just countered her thoughts so beautifully that actually touched her heart.. Anisha paused and looked at geet, “ab please smile kijiye geet…apka udasi chehra bilkul acha nahi lagta hume…“
Geet gave a weak smile, “so you don’t expect Maan to love you back..?“
Anisha, “no geet..we don’t! humara bpyaar kisi ke liye majboori nahi!
Geet: aapko bura nahi lagta?
Anisha: as we said geet… its the expectation that hurts..not the indifference!! Ab please smile kijiye..
Geet smiled..feeling lighter…unaware of how Anisha’s words were getting imprinted on her heart. Anisha always makes her feel better.
The whole night went sleepless gor geet again…pondering over Anisha’s words—its just the expectation that hurts…not the indifference.
Did mom expect a bit too much? Her heart fought back—NO! it was natural on her part to expect something from the man who had married her going against family. That’s why mom trusted him and he just broke her. she hated him all the more… she’d probably kiss him if he ever showed up in front of her..even by mistake!!!
Geet waited for Anisha by the stairs. Roops and Aryan had classes. Prem was busy copying her assignmengt on his record. She got bored and decided to go to Anisha. Anisha slowly made her way down the stairs…her face looked pale and she seemd lost. She hadn’t noticed greet.
Maan came and smacked geet’s shoulder, “you are bunking classes, aren’t you?“
Geet rolled her eyes, “wo tho mein humesha karti hun.. isme nahi baat kya hai?“
Maan knew it wasn’t a good idea to argue back, “yahan kya kar rhai hai?“
Geet; Anisha di se milne aayi thi.. abhi ek class free hain na… tub hi chgal humare saath..
She saw Anisha getting closer to them, lost somewhere. Geet screamed excitedly, “hieee diii….”
Anisha snapped and her ankle twisted while getting down the stairs.
“aaahhh…” she screamed and sat down, holding her ankle. Maan shot a glare to geet and both ran to help.
Geet: di… aap theek tho hain na?
By that time Anisha’s eyes had started watering seeing Maan.
Anisha: hmm… but its hurting a lot.
Maan looed at Anisha;s pale face… their eyes met for a moment and he knew instantly that her eyes were watering for some different reason and not the pain in her ankle. Anisha looked down realizing his gaze. He bent down and lifted her up in his arms and walked towards the college sickroom. She instinctively put her hands around his shoulder, looking down. Her ankle was hurting a lot. Maan not even for once averted his gaze from her face and walked throught he corridor, not caring about who looked or who murmured.
Geet just looked at them… blank…. She was worried for Anisha but there was something else too… like she felt something crack within her…hmm..now what was that? she was glad to see them together… she quietly followed them, looking at them…then why did she feel that?
Anisha’s words hit her again, “humara pyaar kisi ke liye majboori nahi…” and she could see the love and care for her on Maan’s face. She hit her head and smiled…finally they are at least moving a step ahead. Maan gently lowered her on the chair and called for the nurse on duty./ she checked on her and bandaged up her ankle and gave some pain killers. Geet just stood quietly looking at the duo… lost in a new world that was opening up in front of her.
The nurse left asking her no to move around much. Maan immediately sat in front of her and held her hands.
Maan: kya hua…bataogi nahi???
Anisha looked up to meet his gaze…wondering how the hell he read the emotions on her face so easily. He waited for an answer and she dipped her head.
Anisha: hum..hum ek hafte baad London jaa rahe hain….
Maan thought for a while, “hmm..next week se humare summer break hain..
Anisha: hmm… humare cousin ke yahan 1 month ke liye jaa rahe hain…
Maan squeezed her hand, “to isme rone wali kya baat hain? Its good na that you’ll be meting up with your family..“
Anisha: aap samajh nahi rahe hain Maan…hum nahi jaana chahte hain..
Maan smiled, ” theek hain… phir samjhao mujhe kyun nahi jaaana chahti..”
Anisha looked away fighting her tears, “wo..hum..nahi..wo hum nahi jaana chahte….”
Maan: go on..am listening…
Anisha wondered how is she going to tell him. It was hurting a lot…tears rolled down her eyes. Maan was irritated to see her crying. He never liked her cry… it burned him within. He cupped her face and made her look at him and wiped her teas with his thumbs.
Maan: tummhe pata hain na.. mujhe tumhare aansu pasand nahi….
She held his hands over her cheeks looking down.
Maan (sternly): phir batao mujhe…
Anisha closed her eyes tighter, “hum aapse dur nahi jaana chahte…“
Geet stood there like a statue… hearing her confession.. and the ability of Maan to read through her tears…. She had never seenthis shade of love. She was surprised..amazed… and felt the little crack in her, pain a bit! She ignored and smiled. Probably these two never needed her help. She smirked and quietly walked out giving them some privacy.
“khushkismati ya dildari dastoor ke naam…
Pyaar ek kayanaat hain ho dastoor ke haath na bikein…
Ishq mohabbat se kuch kadam dur rehna kyunki..
Kehte hain—jitna pyaara lage ye ehsaas…
utna hi dard de jata hai ye ehsaas..“
by hermoso (anu di)
she smiled as she walked through the corridor…jumping around… like she finally got what she wanted!