He heard her speak to Maria showing how her kittu walking cutely. Her voice just made him drown further into his pain… she still managed to withstand all that!! he slowly walked out and saw her playing with her kittu…she got so attached to it so quickly!! She indeed have no limits to her love! She lifted kitu up in the air and twirled around…poor baby got scared and tucked itself closer in her arms. Geet laughed seeing it like that, “oyeee kittu is scared baby… chalo no more twirling..”, she caressed its nose with her index finger.
He saw her so happy after so many days…speaking to everyone…like how she was. He went back to his study and sat on his chair, holding the diary close to his heart! Could anisha had asked her to stay away from him? he saw her smiling face on the day of his wedding… he remembered she didn’t stay at km. Rather she was staying with anisha… her funda was simple—she wanted to be from the girl’s side! She hadn’t even spoken to him properly and he assumed she was busy! He assumed! Well everyone was busy with the preparations… but how could he fail to read geet? it had never happened like that…he was the one who knew everything about her…every single thing…then where did he go wrong?
He stood by the window, watching the rain pouring outside. It was dark…and it had been raining heavily the whole day. He looked at the time…umm around 8pm it was. He heard the door creak open and she walked in, making sure little dia was fast asleep. She went quietly went and changed into her night suit and sat on the bed. None spoke…which was hated by him! what had gone wrong between them? It never happened that they stayed away from each other…but things are really not smooth now.
She looked at him sadly wondering why he looked so lost. No matter how hard she tried to keep every memory of geet away from them, she failed miserably every time. She could still remember the moment when geet had accepted her love for maan. She had slapped her instantly…how could she do that to her? she missed geet but she was scared…scared if maan might get drawn to geet. somewhere she had come in terms with the fact that no matter how close she is to maan, there is something more in their friendship that could never vanish even after geet was gone. But she couldn’t accept that truth… she knew someday she’d be left all alone. She had seen their friendship..their care for each other…that love between them..that they were still unaware of… she was scared she might lose her love.
“mumma is in Chandigarh…”, she heard him speak out of no where. She snapped back to reality and looked at him. he still stood by the window facing away from her. she kept gaping at him for a while…mumma…as in jasmeet aunty? Her heart skipped a beat.
“am going there tomorrow… I might find geet…”
Tears made their way out of her beautiful eyes… she is losing. Her fears are coming true. If they come together…she might just be left all alone in life! She ran and hugged him from the back, “no…please don’t go…”
He didn’t like it! doesn’t she know how much geet means to him? she was the one who gave him a new life after his par5ent’s death and she is asking him not to go for her!!! he recalled the previous times whenever he tried to talk about geet, anisha always got hyper or avoided the topic…to an extent that her desperate efforts to keep him with her had turned into heartbreaking arguments and her breaking down. He could never see her so much broken… and hence let it go. But how can he today when e was so close to his goal? And whatever happened to that girl who loved geet more than her own sister? Why does she not want her back? Everything was so frustrating. He knew this was going to end up in an argument…but his patience was giving up! He pushed her hands away and turned to look at her, “am not going to let go this time!!”
“maan…please…humare liye… geet aapko chodkar jaa chuki hain…”
[maan..please..for us…geet has already left you..]
He knew geet would never leave him alone no matter what. He had that much trust on her. he just knew it! hearing the same thing once again from anisha actually made him mad. He held her shoulder and shook her violently, “tumhare liye…tumhare liye hi we have come so far anisha… its already 3 years just for you that am not able to find her…”
[for you… just for you we have come so far anisha… its already 3 years for you that am not able to find her.]
She looked down, thinking something. This was again going to end in a bitter argument. He left her and walked a step ahead when he heard her speak coldly, “you are not going anywhere…we wont let you go!”
He turned back amazed to hear that coldness filling her. he hated it…just hated it too much.
“whats wrong with you anisha…how come you have started disliking geet so much? I can’t believe you are the same anisha whom I once knew…”
She raised her head to face him, looking directly into his eyes which intimidated him.
“yes… we dislike her… we hate her… we don’t want you to go to her ever…”
If this was the last chance, she might use all her weapons as well. But somewhere… somewhere deep inside she knew she had already lost the war. But she’d never let her love walk out on her. never ever she’d let that happen!
He was shocked to hear something like this. All these years she was like this because she hated geet? why? She was definitely out of her mind.
“are you out of your mind?”, he raised his voice a bit!
She laughed, “ohh yes we are maan… we hate her! she snatched away everything from us…every little peace that we had… every little happiness that we had expected… she left but she didn’t spare our heart…left us to die every single moment of our life with you…you belong to us and only us maan…”
“what are you saying anisha? Whats wrong with you? Why would geet do that?”, he knew she was possessive about him but today what he saw was her obsession for him.
“who knows why she would…”, she refrained from telling him the real reason but she continued, “we have never seen such a disgusting characterless girl like her in our entire life… using us as a stepping stone to get to the top…”
And the next moment she felt a sharp sting on her cheek…she stumbled backwards in shock! Maan had never raised his voice on her… and today… she just couldn’t take it. she stood there like a statue and saw him seething in anger!
“how dare you? HOW DARE YOU say something like that? I will find her no matter what… and do you even know what she means to me? Dare you say a word against her anisha…I…I will…”
He stopped seeing tears in her eyes. Her skin had turned red with his slap and she just looked right into his eyes, questioning him so many things! He realised what he had done…which itself was a shock for him. how could he? How dare he raise his hand on anisha? He looked at his hands and then back at her.
She didn’t even let him speak. She walked out angrily, wiping her tears. He ran after her, “anisha wait…am sorry honey please…stop…”
Her tears didn’t stop. She had lost the battle. Geet won… she left yet she was still very much there with them. She had lost her love… she lost completely! She couldn’t even hear out his call. She was so lost in her thoughts…so lost and dejected!
“anisha stop…where are you going? Anisha…”
She walked even faster. Maan tried to maintain calm as dadima was still awake and was in her room. One year old dia was sleeping with namra. He didn’t want to disturb anyone. He looked here and there and towards her. she had already walked out of the door. What has he gone and done? He ran out and was horrified to see her drive out the car. The rain was no where neat stopping. He panicked. Where could she go like this? He tried to call her…but then it was of no use he knew. He ran to another car and drove right after her.
The lanes were deserted…the rain blurred the vision. He was getting scared. She was driving too fast. He hated himself for doing something like this to her. true he hated her speaking ill about geet but he shouldn’t have raised his hand on her. he saw her take a sharp turn towards the highway. He got even more scared because he had expected her to at least drive towards thakur haveli or some place where she liked.
Her mind was occupied with so many things. Rain and tears made it impossible for her to see a thing but still she drove like a maniac. Why did she lose? Why couldn’t she keep maan only for her? no matter how hard she tried…she failed to save her love. Her efforts were wasted…she couldn’t keep him away from geet. she lost…she couldn’t do anything!
She wiped her tears but the light in front was too strong for her to see. She didn’t even know what happened…but she felt her entire body ache badly. Unbearable pain it was… just like that in her heart. She tried hard to look around and smiled feeling the wet road beneath her. she didn’t even know what happened with her but it hurt so much. she smiled and looked up at the sky..the rain was subsiding. She was completely blank by now but only one thing lingered in her mind, “you win geet… but we wont lose either. If not in this… we will have maan only for us in our next life…”
She heard horns and sirens but it was getting difficult for her to even open her eyes. She was reminded of dia and namra… her princesses…her dreams…and a lone tear escaped her eyes, “be happy my…princesses…”
Before closing her eyes she smiled hearing a voice… a voice that was so dear to her life… a voice that encompassed her entire world… a voice that she loved more than anything else…a voice that she longed to hear before giving into the darkness that started surrounding her. she smiled again…may be just a fragment of her imagination!!
he snapped open his eyes, panting furiously. Was that a dream? He blinked a couple of times to make sure it was just a dream. It was just a dream…but the events had completely changed his entire life! He felt something very close to him. he looked up only to see geet’s face, mere inches away from her and her hand on his forehead.
She had come to call him and show him improvements in her kittu when she saw him sleeping on the chair, holding something very tightly in his arms. She inched closer and saw tears at the corner of his eyes. His forehead was wrinkled in agony…how could she even move away? Her heart didn’t let her go away from him. she wondered why he looked so tensed… but she felt restless. What was it that could have hurt him? she leaned closer and wiped his tears but he still looked so much in pain. She placed her hand over his forehead, caressing him. she didn’t know why but she wanted him to wake up. If dreams hurt this much…then he must not dream at all!
He looked into her eyes that looked so worried…yet she never showed it on her face. He had relived those moments again… his eyes filled up and he hugged her tightly. He didn’t even realise when he had pulled her on to his lap but he just wanted to remain like that for a while. he was scared.. seeing anisha go..seeing geet drifting away from him…he had even found geet lying in the rain that night… he held her even tighter, squeezing her close and closer.
She felt chocked with his hold. She wanted to push a bit but sat numb, feeling wet over her shoulder. Was he crying? She didn’t know what to say or do now… she had never seen him this emotional ever. She felt her heart beat after such a long time… like she had forgotten that she had a heart that could beat too. She had shut herself so tightly..but seeing him like that… she couldn’t stop herself. She wrapped her arms around him and gently caressed his back, “its just a dream maan… just a dream…”, she whispered in his ears.
He held her close for how long he never knew. She was turning numb with his tight hold but she never let him go. There was complete silence… and the only sound that echoed in the room was their breaths. He didn’t want to part away from her. only the person who had lost his most precious thing once and then found it would really understand how it feels.
Maria came to call them for lunch and went in, seeing the door open, “ma’am lunch…am sorry”
She immediately walked out seeing then like that. ohh she should have knocked…she cursed herself. But then she smiled seeing the love between them. She saw kittu come to her and meow. She smiled and lifted it up, “leave your mamma papa alone for a while and come take a round in the kitchen with me..”
She had seen geet..how unresponsive and aloof she was when she was here for the first time and then the slow change in her behaviour after kittu’s arrival. She had even become open with Maria which Maria really liked. She never treated her like a maid but rather like a friend.
Maan heard Maria and saw her walking out. He was calmer now. He liked the warmth he felt… and yet again everything had to end on her. she was like his personal heaven…where things started on her and ended on her as well. He felt her still and immediately loosened his grip. He cupped her face, “am sorry… it must have hurt…”
She felt better seeing him calm. She gave a faint smile, and shook her head slightly. He caressed her face, “lets go for lunch…your kittu must be waiting for his mamma to feed him…”
“ahh…kittu… I forgot…”, she bit her lips and ran out. She had completely forgotten about everything else seeing maan like that.
He saw her run and smiled. No matter how hard she tries, she can’t shut herself from him completely. Its just the matter of time that she unleashes all her emotions. He looked at the diary he was still holding. She hasn’t seen it perhaps! He sighed and kept it safely between his files. He knew geet never fiddled with his office stuffs. She is very careful about them.
Geet noticed him very quiet and low all through the day. Her day went haywire. Though she spent her entire time playing with her kittu, doing random stuffs around the house but her mind was still with him. could the impact of the dream remain so long? For some reasons she didn’t like it. and by the end of it..she was really thoughtful. She wanted to see him smile..she wanted him to speak to her like he tries all the time. He was totally lost in something that she hated to the core. He was not after her for having her medicines, he was not after her for running around the house searching for kittu… he was not after her for tiniest of things. She wanted him to at least smile. And she just didn’t even think why this was so. She just gave into her feelings.
For maan, it was really difficult to concentrate on anything. Everything he did or saw reminded him of that very night..making him miserable and restless. He kept himself busy with some random calls to his office or some clients or anyone for that matter. He just wanted some time alone. But geet’s heart was restless. Even in the evening he just sat in the lawn quietly sipping his tea. She had t do something.
She went to him and stood beside him quietly, hesitating to speak. He felt that and looked at her, “geet…if you have to say something..please speak it out..”, he said lovingly.
She took a deep breath in..she wanted to distract him badly from all those negative thoughts. She played with her fingers waiting for him to look at her but he never did. She had to do something. She closed her eyes and blurted out, “I want to go shopping…”
He chocked his tea…shopping? goodness…was she asking for shopping? He looked at her in amusement…wondering if it was really her. she had not stepped out of the house since the day they have come… he had even not expected something like that out of the blue…but somewhere he was glad that she was slowly getting back to normal. Though he was not very much interested but this was the first time she had asked anything…how could he even deny!! He agreed and went to change.
She sighed, “geez..the way he looked at me..it felt as if I was from outer space…”
She rolled her eyes wondering why he was looking at her like that and went to get ready. But when the moment came to leave, she was totally in tears, leaving her kittu and going away. Maria laughed seeing her kissing her kittu again and again.
“ma’am… please enjoy your shopping…i will take care of kittu…”
Maan rolled his eyes…nautanki-panti is back!
“geet… Maria is there..and you yourself wanted to go shopping! You really don’t want to..then we can drop the plan…”
“NO…”, came her curt reply. She didn’t want him to go back to his melancholy for again.
“we are going…”, she made a brave face, “Maria…you better take care of my kittu in the best possible way…”
“yes ma’am…rest assured…”
The drive was silent with geet still worried about her kittu, though not showing it to maan. It was like she had left her life behind. Maan saw her restlessness and shook his head.
“geet…if you really wanna go back…then we can…don’t think so much…”
“nahi… we will go shopping…”
She tried her best to distract hi and herself picking up everything on her way. Maan was amused to see her like that but it was okay… he had missed that. he smiled and followed her. she brought gifts for kids, dadima, roops, mamma, nakul kaka, maria and of course a whole range of products for kittu. She was distracted…while he just kept on watching over her. she was enjoying after a long time…he might not disturb her. she picked up a few cute dresses for herself that she liked… and the bill looked like a huge mountain. He took out his wallet when she held his hand, “you didn’t buy anything for yourself?”
“nah…am not in need of anything as of now…”, he smiled and paid the bill. They stopped at a restaurant and had their dinner. Geet was really enjoying after a long time. She was excited to check out her dresses…like she had missed being herself…doing lots of fun…and her ‘nautanki…’ and adding cherry on top was maan’s pampering to each and everything she wanted or ordered.
She waited for him in the car. He was taking more time. She sighed and looked out only to see him thrust a huge cup of Belgian dark chocolate on her hands. She was delighted…her favourite!!! She looked at him with wide eyes… he did nothing but gestured her to eat and drove home.
Kittu was asleep by the time she reached home. She kissed its head and thanked Maria for taking care. She gave Maria her gift and asked her to retire. Maria was really touched with her gesture…no mistress would do something so personal for a maid. Her respect for geet increased even more. Geet carefully placed kittu’s basket beside her side of the bed and went to change. She looked into her bags and found the shirt she had randomly picked up for maan. She just liked its color and thought it would suit so just picked it up without even checking the size. She looked around and found maan come out wearing his vest and tracks. He was keeping his clothes in the cupboard when he felt something slide over his back…caressing his exposed skin, followed by brushing of her hands. He stilled for a while…what was she doing?
Geet wanted to check if it fit him or not. So she ran holding it and placing it on his back, checking the kitting. It looked a bit small. Maan waited for her to move…she was really making his head spin.
“geet…what are you doing?”
“umm…don’t you think its a little short?”, she spoke, lost.
“what is short?”, he rolled his eyes.
“wo..i bought this t-shirt for you randomly… but now it seems its short…”, she spoke sadly, still trying to get her guess correct about the size.
It was like a dream coming true for him…she was opening up, slowly but surely. But the fact that she brought this for him was a feeling too overwhelming..a ray of hope in the dark… a small gift for his persistence… and a little boost to express himself. He turned around and jerked her close, holding her elbow. She collided with his hard chest, totally unaware.
“ouch…maan...”, she looked up in to his eyes!! They were looking directly into hers…like he was trying to read her. she felt so vulnerable to that piercing gaze…she had never felt this intensity ever in his proximity. They were close…real close. His breath fell over her lips making them go dry. She heard her heart beat…once again and this time picking up speed. She was allowing the cracks in the walls to widen. Instinctively, her tongue rolled over her lips to battle the dryness…his eyes were instantly drawn towards them. He eyes her lips and then looked back into her eyes. She felt so vulnerable.
“maan…“, she whispered, trying to stop what she was feeling now…trying to stop her heart from beating so loud…
“so you like to play with fire..eh??”, he bored into her soul with his gaze. When she felt she’d just give up, he left her hand and moved away, “sleep geet…its late…”
She sighed and placed her hand over her heart..it was beating so fast. She just didn’t want to think anything. She kept away all her stuffs and went to sleep.
He was again back in his study holding her diary!! He had made a wild guess that anisha might have asked her to stay away… she was scared… she was insecure!!! He felt miserable…anisha could do this to geet…but was she wrong? She was not perhaps in some way!!!
He turned to the next page where he had left last…but it was shocking. There were hardly any entries made. He flipped pages over pages… she had written maximum 4-5 entries in those 5 years!!! the entries were small…just one liners! Why?? He turned to see the first entry and the date!
“… landed in Mumbai today… I don’t even know where to go next!”
She was here?? He turned the pages further to know more on what she did and what not. But there were no entries made. He panicked…why did she not? There he found another entry… he was curious to know how she survived!!
“…Maan…i got my first job here…i feel so happy…yet I feel so empty. I can’t even share this with you…”
He felt his heart fill with that pain once again! She was all alone…all by herself… she had no one to even share her happiness with!!! He caressed the writing… and kissed at the place where she put her signature. He went back to their room and saw her asleep. He went closer to her and kissed her forehead softly. He watched her for a while under the sifting moonlight…and slept off beside her.