(new banner…all credits to shruthe di)
“…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.
The next day maan drove geet and her kittu to the vet for dressing. The doctor changed the bandage and said kittu would be fine soon enough. Geet was so so so happy. He smiled seeing her cuddle and kiss kittu on their way back home. It was refreshing…but still he couldn’t forget his dream… nor did he feel at peace learning the fact that anisha would have asked geet to go away! He somewhere felt angry thinking they decided everything on their own, without even thinking what he might feel…but it can’t be helped. They both loved him…he wondered if he should feel lucky! His attention invariably went towards her laughter when kittu licked her cheek. he just kept looking at her… he was in love with this woman! It was yet again a paradox…he had loved anisha too…he still loves her but geet and anisha occupy very different places in his heart and none can replace the other. Anisha tried to do so…she wanted all of him just for herself. If one was obsessed with him then the other was crazy for him. should he feel lucky when none of them got happiness at the end.
He watched her giggle, play and speak to kittu…she had become so carefree in just a few days… all because of kittu. He sat in his study with her diary again and started where he had left. He was pained to realize the equation: whole 5 years equating to hardly 4-5 entries! She was all alone… crying… fighting…
“…I miss you maan! You must be so happy… anisha di loves you a lot. She will always keep you happy. Be with her always and never hurt her!
…do you still remember me maan?”
He bit his tongue holding himself reading the last line…tears had smudged the ink. He had been madly searching for her..and this is how she lived? This entry was made somewhere in mid September, a year after she had left. He wanted to stop but he wanted to read further as well. He breathed in sharply and dared to read ahead..which broke his heart into millions of pieces…
“… jaane kyun log hume aazmate hain
Kuch pal saath rehne ke baad dur chale jaate hain!
Sach hi kehte hain log ki
Sagar se milne ke baad log bearish ko bhool jaate hain…”
[…i wonder why people test me…they stay with me for a while and then go far away. True as they say… after meeting the sea, people forget the rain!]
He caressed the entry softly… after all these entries he realized one thing—she just wanted to be loved! How true her lines were…people forget the rain after meeting the sea!!! His heart ached…she never wrote any proper entry in those 5 years…but her few lines said it all about her condition. He flipped through pages searching for further entries. He found one…the date was two years later perhaps since the last entry.
“…i still cant forget you! Should I be happy or sad? And worst of all—I cant stop myself from loving you…rather I fall for you even more each passing day…how pathetic of me!
Roothi hui aankon mein intezaar hota hain..
Na chahte hue bhi pyaar hota hain…
Kyun dekhte hain hum wo sapne…
Jinke tootne par bhi unke sach hone ka intezaar hota hain…”
He could not stop his tears…all this while she just longed for love… and he was so drowned in his miseries…taking care of little dia and namra all alone… dadima… and holding himself from falling into depression post anisha’s demise…all the souls were suffering. But what hurt him the most was the realization was this being the last entry of those 5 years…she never wrote about herself vividly but her words gave away how she felt. He was still not able to digest the fact that anisha could do something like that… but may be this she did! He felt even more pain…two of his most precious persons in his life…! he turned the page away only to see the most recent entries… just few months back when she had come back to KM. She never wrote where she stayed…or what she did… that she was engaged to Aryan…that if she was happy or not…that she came with him by compulsion or her own free will…
He was reminded of the moments when she agreed to marry him just because she didn’t want people to think bad about him. it was her love…he realized…everything she did was just because she loved him…to an extent that she was ready to give up everything that she had…even the tiniest of things. Yet anisha was another colour of love… madness… obsession…possessiveness…he was coloured in all flavours of love.
“…dur baitha koi aapka sapna bun raha hain…
Baagon se wafa ke phul chun raha hain…
Aap kya jaano uske dil ka haal..
Ek wo hai jo dur hokar bhi aapki dhadkanein sun raha hain”
He smiled yet he could not stop his tears. He remembered every single moment he had spent with her in km… and these words reminded him of the moment he had hurt his hand. She had tried so much to help him… he had ignored… he was scared he might accept someone over anisha! He was scared to think of love…if love was this painful…if love takes away your beloved..then he might never fall for anyone. But geet made a difference…she was here to change him. he turned the page to meet with yet another heartbreak for geet.
“…rashmi was so happy today…
…can I really wish anything? Am I allowed to? It hurts so much…but I am strong right? I am strong… I won’t break… I won’t break…
Chahat nahi hain unhe rulane ki..
Aur unse dil lagana bhi nahi chahte hum!
Hasrat nahi hain unhe pane ki…
Par unse dur jaana bhi nahi chahte hum…”
She was trying to convince herself… everyone thought she was strong and that she could pull it off…she could carry on their relationship…but no one realized she was a human too…and that she had a limit to her tolerance…and that she had her fears too…that she had her tears to shed…but everyone thought her so strong that they didn’t let her cry as well. He felt so suffocated within… he wanted to hold her and cry his heart out. But he couldn’t leave It like that!!
Geet was preparing lunch…maan was in his study the whole day. She just wanted to indulge herself. She had never had this much fun ever. She had never felt this happy before. She spoke to the kids and roops…she was totally normal. Probably kittu’s improvement in health had turned for the good. she even spoke to dadima and asked her about her health. People on the other side were so overjoyed to see geet back to her old self… dadima couldn’t wait to have her back home. She wanted to speak to maan but geet informed her of him being in the study the whole day. She kept the phone on the counter and checked her curry. She really wanted to do something for maan that cheers him up. She took in its aroma and looked towards the hall to see if maan was there when she saw kittu walking very slowly…as if it would fall down the next moment. She smiled thinking it be again a playful act of it…he might be drawn to her with the smell of her chicken curry. He never had lunch if geet herself didn’t fill its dish. And sir would only sleep when geet held him in her arms. Geet shook her head and concentrated on her curry.
He turned to the next page wanting to know more and more of her. he felt so timid today…like he never knew his friend. Friend!!! He was taken back to the time he was new to her place. He never spoke…he never socialized. She was wearing a cute yellow frock and came to him, running and extended her hand for a shake, “hi..am geet…tum maan ho na? Mamma said you will be my new friend… you will na?”
He smiled, being reminded of her bossing him around every time..everywhere and he just complied silently. He had cried so much the day she left for her boarding school but she never did. She had always been strong… so people just assumed she was strong. But deep within… she fought a war every moment of her life…
“… Shayad Mein ek khilauna hun..aur wo us bache ki tarah
.jise pyaar tho hai mujhse…
Magar sirf khelne ki had tak!”
[May be I am like a toy and he like a kid that loves the toy but only till he gets to play around..]
It hit him hard!!! She thought so low of herself…moreover the pain that emanated out of her lines was too much to bear. It felt as if her heart was laid bare in those few lines! Was it really like that? his heart cried to feel what she might have felt… he, for a moment, hated himself to have done something like that to her…but it was never intentional! He hated himself to have done this to her…made her so cold!
“…I love you maan… I can’t seem to stop myself from nearing you now… please..don’t do this me…it hurts..
Usne raat ke andhere mein meri hatheli par
Apni naazuk si ungli se likha tha—mujhse pyaar hai tumse!
Jaane kaisi syahi thi,
Wo lafz mit-te bhi nahi
Aur aaj tak dikhte bhi nahi…”
[in the shadows of night, he wrote tenderly on my palm—I love you
I wonder what kind of ink it was…those words are never visible to me…yet those words never seem to fade as well]
He checked the date…just last month it was!!! He recollected their togetherness…he losing himself in her love..making him break all the barriers that held him back from unleashing his love… she took in all his pain and filled him with so much of love…he could still remember her trembling voice, “do you love me?”… he wanted to scream out that yes he loved her…she was the one who had given him life that day also and even now!!! The next page seemed to be the last entry…he was scared…hurt… sad…curious..
“… do you regret our love maan? Our baby? Please come back…please…
Bichad gaye hain jo…unka saath kya maangu…
Ab tho zara si umar hain…ghum se nijaat kya maangu…
Wo saath hote tho hoti zaruratein bhi hume…
Akeli jaan ke liye ye kayanaat kya maangu!”
He felt her helplessness…her dejection…her hopelessness of finding her love…he closed the diary and kept it aside! She never told him about baby because she was scared he might regret…he had never given her scope to open up…how come he expects that now!!! She had mentioned about their baby…it brought him back to reality…baby! he lost it even before he knew of it!!! no wonder she was so cold… but kittu seemed to fill that void in her. it struck him…she saw their baby in kittu that is why she was so protective of him…she pampered him so much… cared for him like never before…she showered all her motherly love on him.
He blinked a couple of times and walked out slowly. What she might have felt…how she might have endured for this long… she was a human and she had her limits. She is so broken from within. He saw her working in the kitchen. He just went and hugged her from the back. She stilled for a moment, with that sudden feel. She felt his tears soak her shoulder. She got worried. He was really low for the past few days. He hardly spoke and spent most of the time in study. She turned to him immediately and cupped his face.
“maan… kya hua? “
He didn’t speak rather hid his face in the curve of her neck and stayed still. She could still feel those warms tears. He was disturbed about something. She didn’t like that. what could be the reason? Why didn’t he speak to her? she herself never realized how much she had opened up…but now everything felt so new to her…every feeling was new…but maan…she had known his every heartbeat since she was hardly 5 years old. What is it that bothered him so much? she felt tickled with his breath softly fanning her skin. But his silent tears made her restless. He was leaning completely on her. she leaned back oon the counter to support their weights and caressed his hair, “maan… please tell me whats wrong”
She felt him clutch her waist tightly and whispered softly, “i..i just want to be like this for a while…please…”
She left it there. His voice was coated with so much pain…it was barely audible but her heart beat was rising… what made him so morose…so reticent! Before she could think further, she felt herself being picked up in his arms. She looked at him..he looked so lost…and somewhere too much hurt. She didn’t question him seeing him in such a state. His eyes were moist and hid so many questions… so many feelings.. she just held him and let him do whatever he intended to.
He placed her gently on the bed and lowered himself beside her. for a moment she froze, wondering what he might to. But to her utter surprise, he jus slid one of his hands across her waist, pulled her closer and stayed still. Her heartbeats gave away all that she felt… she felt his touch after a long time…it probably felt like a century now. His breath fell on her neck that gave her an entire new feel…like the first touch of love. How much she had craved for him all those days…those moments of wait and longing now flashed in her mind…like she had forgotten all the feelings..and they slowly came back to her…reminding her of every single moment she had spent with him…without him…for him…she turned to look at him…was she still dreaming about all that? was that again an illusion? She found him asleep. She just kept on looking at him for sometime… could she dream again? Hope again? Expect again? What if she was proved wrong again? What if she was shattered once again?
She looked back at the ceiling…wondering what he was upset about when she felt him whisper in her ears, “I love you geet…”
Time froze for her right there!! Was she dreaming again? Her heart stopped beating… her breath got stuck in her throat. Did she hear correctly? Those words seemed too far a distant dream to come true. She looked at him who was still asleep.. she held herself, trying not to take it seriously…convincing herself not to get carried away with the feel, rather stop herself from taking it to heart. She took a deep breath in and tried to let it go…he might have spoken in his sleep out of the blue.
She guesses it was better to check on kittu rather than holding on to something that was beyond her reach. She tried to move his hands away when she felt him hug her tighter and whisper again, “It took me a long time to realize it…i don’t want to delay this anymore. I love you a lot geet… I am sorry…am so sorry geet… I know what I did cannot be undone… but I can’t see you going so far from me… I love you…please mujhe chodkar mat jao…”
Was he speaking in his dream? She was so stunned by those words… so out of words. She slowly turned towards him only to see his eyes open…looking at her so lovingly… the same love that she had craved to see every single day…every little moment of her life…and here when its coming true..she has a hard time believing it!
She looked at his tear struck eyes…they were so sincere…so honest…giving away what he felt within… it was like a knot let loose. Her heart ached to hold him…his words echoed in her ears…I love you geet…did he really say that? her aching heart found its solace…
He knew it would be hard for her to believe him now when she was too hurt…but he had to tell her. she loved him without any condition…without any bet…then why cant he?
“I know you still don’t trust me…but I really can’t live without you geet…i…”
He stopped, feeling her soft fingers gently caressing his face. She looked lost…her expressions were that of surprise…a more of trying to get on with reality, making sure whatever was now was true! Her fingers caressed his lips while he spoke… convincing herself more. Tears clouded her eyes but she fluttered her lashes to avoid it. he went closer and pulled her on himself. She didn’t push him away today…she was trying so hard to let herself break free.
He leaned forward and gently pecked her lips, “I love you a lot…” and rested back in the bed, taking her with him! she placed her head right over his chest…hearing his heartbeats…they were erratic…her body trembled with his hold…yet there was still a part in her that couldn’t stop herself from expressing her love. She looked up to see his face. He had slept off. She didn’t have it in her to resist anymore. She kissed his eyes and rested back on his chest.
They didn’t even realize how long they slept like that but geet, for the first time felt protected in his arms. She felt a peace…like she had been searching for it for such a long time. She felt his arm slide over her back, setting goose bumps on her. he caressed her ever so softly, making her feel wanted and cared for. She tried to stir a little when he pushed down and pinned her to the bed. She gasped with the sudden action and looked up to meet his gaze. They looked so deep into her eyes…she felt herself burning. She was feeling something of this intensity after such a long time…she wanted to cherish every moment. Her heart had long ago accepted his love…it was just a matter of time that the wall she created breaks. The walls had weakened already.
He kissed her cheeks lovingly…and slowly made his way down to her neck, trailing lines of feather light kisses. He didn’t want to hurry…he wanted her to open up first. He dipped his head in the crook of her neck, taking in that sweet aroma of hers. She shivered as planted a deep smooch in the hollow of her neck which instantly drew his name from her lips. He heard it and smiled and hugged her, crushing her under him. she could feel his muscles stiffening…while her hand, on their own accord, moved freely over his back.
She didn’t know how to stop herself now. All she needed was a little love and a little care and she’d melt like a candle. She hugged him tight and kissed his shoulder. She had missed him. her eyes filled with tears…she had missed him a lot. She held him close to herself, trying to take in his warmth..she missed this care…she missed his touch..she missed being under his spell. She hid herself in his embrace with his words still echoing in her ears. she smiled a bit… and held him close to her heart, never wanting to let go.
She found kittu lying on the floor, breathing heavily. She panicked. He was weak since morning..that is why he was walking slowly. She left him like that thinking he was playing with her. she picked it up, cursing herself and caressed it, “kittu..bacha..you okay? Maan…Maan…”
Her heart was filled with a sudden fear…kittu wasn’t even opening his eyes. He meowed softly when geet called him and that was it. his breath was going erratic…totally out of the normal. Maan immediately took him to the vet. Geet wrapped it in a towel and held it close to her heart. It was all of a sudden…it was so sudeen. Kittu was fine just the previous day and suddenly everything seemed so broken.
Maan was worried as well…geet had become so close to kittu…in fact he was the sole reason of resurrecting his geet..he couldn’t even think of anything happening to kittu. He had become their life in those few days. The vet checked it immediately and prescribed some medicines.
Vet: the wound seemed fine from outside but it had caused internal infection… may be the dogs were rabid thats why the infection spread so quickly and went so unnoticed.
Geet was almost at the verge of breaking down, “doctor… will kittu be okay?”
Vet thought for a while, “I cannot say anything as of now…i have prescribed some antibiotics for immediate action. Please observe him for the next 24 hours. If there is no improvement we have to resort to other measures…”
Geet’s world seemed to stop right there. She stood there numb..she couldn’t even imagine anything happening to her baby…never! maan saw her so lifeless. His heart ached to see her like that. he managed to hold her and get them back home. But geet wouldn’t rest. She immediately got some milk and added the medicine and filled it in a bottle. She brought kittu in her arms and tried to feed it. he wasn’t even opening his eyes. He took a few sips but then he moved his head away. Geet’s eyes filled up, “kittu…please..thoda sa aur…mamma is here na…please…”
Maan looked at her…his guess was correct. She did see kittu as her own baby. He felt so chocked. He didn’t know how to console her at this stage… he didn’t know how to hold himself as of now too. Everything was happening too fast…he just prayed nothing happened to kittu…he just hoped kittu was safe..he wouldn’t be able to see geet broken again. She had opened her heart to him for the very first time today…she had lowered the barrier for him today…he had seen love in her eyes today…he didn’t want it to vanish so easily. Kittu was her life…he just prayed he was fine.