She helped roops with the stuffs and then got back to her office to catch up with the work. By the end of the day…she was totally drained out. She didn’t speak to anyone…she just pretended to be fine around kids dadima and her friends and slept off even before maan back back home.
It was around 12am when she was awakened.
“geet…get up baby…we have to leave…”
“maan…please mazak nahi… am tired…”, she was in no mood to listen to anything.
He placed a soft kiss on her lips, “sweetheart please… we have to leave get up…”
She just turned away and slept. After a few seconds she felt being lifted up in his arms. She was too tired to even open her eyes but she could feel his movements.
“maan… where are we going at this time of night?”, she asked drowsily, resting her head comfortably on his shoulder.
‘shh baby… we’re eloping!!”
Her sleep just vanished and her eyes opened wide, “WHAT?? We…we are what???”
He smiled, holding her tighter, “hmm…hum bhaag rahe hain aur kya?”, he spoke as a matter-of-fact!
[we are eloping..what else]
“but maan… where? And kids? Namra…she is still upset…put me down…maan you are crazy”
“shhh…tum agar aise chillati rahogi tho sab jag jayege… just be quiet for the next 10 minutes…will you?”
[shh…if you are going to shout like this then everyone will wake up… just be quiet for the next 10 minutes will you?]
“but hum jaa kahan rahe hain?”, she whispered softly.
[but where are we going?]
He rolled his eyes…she just cant keep quiet! He gently slid her into the car, “tumhe neend aa rahi thi na… go back to sleep aur thodi der shaant raho please…”
[you were feeling sleepy right… go back to sleep and be quiet for a while..]
She made a face and looked back at the receding km from her sight. She was worried if the kids wake up in the middle of night… they are definitely going to panic. She just hoped none of them woke up before she returned. She was anyways keeping low for the past few days…and now maan was confusing her. she just rested her head back and closed her eyes. The cool breeze made her drowsy again. She yawned and made herself comfortable when they stopped. She was in no mood to do anything. He waited for her to get down and look where they had come but when she didn’t even open her eyes, he just went to her side lifted her up like a sack over his shoulder and walked in. Her eyes widened in shock with his move. Here she was dangling over his shoulder and he was walking so casually.
“maan…what are you doing… grrr put me down…”, she shouted struggling to get down. He didn’t even listen.
“maan…put me down… now…maan…”, she saw him walking up the stairs. She tried to look around but couldn’t recognize the place partly due to darkness and partly due to her sleep.
“.put me down…”, she screamed and the next moment she was standing on her feet.
“are you mad…” she screamed at him but stopped right there realizing where they were. She looked around to find herself in a small temple.. she got totally confused and she was even more confused when she saw roops, prem, Aryan, anu, rashmi and piuneet there too, who were all in smiles.
“what are you guys doing here? And whats happening yaar?”
“oyeee thand rakh..sab pata chal jayega abhi…”, rashmi pulled her cheeks.
[oyee be calm.. you’ll know everything soon..]
“ouch…”, geet caressed her cheeks, “he is not telling me anything… atleast you guys tell me..why are we here? Whats going on??”
Roops smirked and gestured her to turn back to maan. She was utterly confused with what they were planning and then everyone was just trying to hide their smiles. She was totally irritated, “now what are you upto?”
She turned back angrily and her eyes fell on maan, kneeling down in front of her. poor girl was even more confused, totally irritated to hell.
“maan…bolo na…kya ho raha hain?”
[maan tell na…whats going on?]
He sighed and held both her hands and kissed their back one by one. She just looked on…totally unsure.
“I never got a change to do it formally but I heard your talk with roops and rashmi. I know I cannot undo the hurt and pain I inflicted on you…nor can I fathom the real depth of you love but I don’t want to be alone anymore, ever again!!! Geet…will you marry me?”
She stood there numb…totally still…unable to believe her own ears. did she just hear correctly? Was she still dreaming? She had never ever expected this to happen in her life…but it did…he made it come true. Tears stung her eyes…still not able to believe te reality. She had seen so much in her life…and now happiness just feels like a dreams perhaps. She just kept on looking at him blankly, waiting for the dream to get over. Like he understood. He pressed her hand softly and stood up, “this is no dream geet…i do want to get married to you…i know this is so sudden but I wanted to make it special… you know why I chose this day?”
She just listened to him like someone narrating her the story of her dreams that she has started believing that they can never come true. All she could do was desire from afar. Every word of his just pierced her heart as she shook her head for a no in reply.
“its because…”, he leaned closer and whispered in her ear, “…happy birthday geet…”
His breath tickled her senses and it took her some time to realise that it was her birthday!!! The tears she held back flowed down her cheeks, making her realise that everything was just damn true. She looked at him lovingly as he cupped her face, “geet…you didn’t reply… will you marry me?”
She was just too overwhelmed to speak anything. She nodded a yes and hugged him tightly. He smiled and held her back. Rashmi was too emotional. She side hugged puneet, “awwwiee this is the cutest moment I have ever witnessed…”
Puneet gave her a weird look, “girls can find cuteness in anything and everything possible..”, he muttered to himself.
“did you say anything?”, rashmi looked at him, arching her brows.
“nahi tho…i was just admiring them…”
Rashmi smiled and rested her head on his shoulder but roops being too quiet made her look at her. she just stood there quietly, watching them. Prem looked at her and then at geet who looked so happy…truly happy after years!!!
Roops had seen geet live without maan… she had seen ever every tear, every cry, her heartbreaks, her pain… and seeing her this happy was just heaven. She was too happy for her friend…probably more than geet, roops was the happiest person that night.
Geet straightened herself and looked at him. he wiped her eyes and caressed her cheek, “are you happy sweetheart?”
She smiled a bit, “umm…”
Roops wiped her tears and ran to geet and pulled her away from maan, “okay now stop your PDA both of you…do you want to get married or not?”
“ohh yeah right… but I think we’ve got trouble here guys…” maan spoke thoughtfully, pointing towards the media crowd just outside the temple, who had already spotted maan.
“media…what are they doing here?”, geet asked confused. Everyone eyes maan meaningfully as it was supposed to be a secret one.
“arrey mein kya karta…i sneaked out of the conference today and they followed me all the way from the venue to home. I think they spotted our car while getting out of the house…”
Geet was totally shocked to hear his sneaking out tales. Maan singh khurana..and sneaking out of some important meeting…not bad!!! But something important caught her attention.
“but maan… dadima? Mamma? They don’t know we are here…”
He gave her a quizzical look, “agar unhe batana hota tho mein tumhe yahan bhaga kar kyun lata?”
[if I were to tell them… they why would have I eloped with you]
He thought for a while and then smirked, “its okay you don’t have to worry about them..anyways they are going to read this in the morning news tomorrow..”
He hi-fived with Aryan who seemed to agree with him. the girls took away geet for a change of clothes and prem had the responsibility of getting the pandit. He had somehow managed to convince a pandit to come to the temple at 1 in the night.
Roops shoved a red salwar kameez in geet’s hand who looked at her quizzically!
“aise ghoor mat samjhi.. wo maan had asked us to buy something for the wedding. Ab aadhi raat ko issey acha nahi mil sakta…”
[don’t stare like that okay…maan had asked us to buy something for the wedding and you wont get anything better than this in the middle of the night…]
Geet smiled and hugged roops, “thank u thank u thank u sooo much roops… I love you…”
Anu joined the hug followed by rashmi, “happy birthday geet…”
That smile was far from fading away as rashmi adjusted the dupatta over her head. Anu held her hand and led her towards the temple premise where the wedding was to take place. She was suddenly getting nervous…she was getting married… her heart fluttered and millions on butterflies danced in her tummy. He had planned all this… there was nothing grand in it.. no jewelleries, no heavy lehengas, nothing… it was simple and everything was kept to minimal…just the way she had always liked for herself. She didn’t want anything else. She saw him sit in front of the fire, wearing some sort of sherwani he had managed to get while coming. He looked at her and smiled. She just couldn’t help but blush at the thought being his…forever!!! she was made to sit beside her as the pandit chanted the holy scripts. She could hear those vows ringing in her head… she didn’t even know what to think…her every wish came true! She turned to face him when she felt him hold her hand and smile at her. tears twinkled in her eyes… everything was kept to the minimum but even that meant a lot to her.
Time stood still as she lovingly watched him follow each and every word the pandit spoke… it still all felt like a dream…she wasn’t sure what was going to happen next but his words did push her ahead. She didn’t even hear what the pandit instructed…she just lost in him…watching him earnestly, with all the love that she had for him… the way he held her hand throughout the process and never let it go…
Tears rolled down as he filled her maang with the sacred vermillion…she wanted to break down and cry…she didn’t know if it was for sadness or happiness but she was overcome with emotions. She didn’t even blink even for once… as he tied the mangalsutra round her neck…it was all a dream…just a dream perhaps which might break when she gets up. But if dreams were this beautiful then what would happen if it turns to be a reality? She felt a tug on her hands and realized they were half way through the phere…she was too lost realize anything at this moment. Puneet kept clicking pictures of everyone and their wedding. Roops stood with the others watching the most awaited moment… she knew they were meant to be together…but this damn thing called destiny has made itself so unpredictable.
The media got the cue and thronged the temple but prem and Aryan prevented them from disrupting the rituals. They did what they were supposed to. They were chasing after maan, especially after he sneaked out of the conference . they hovered around the mansion but the security checked them. They saw his car going out and followed to catch up the saucy news but what they caught was something priceless.
Geet saw his hand that held her while they took the phere. The pandit asked her to take the lead. She looked at maan a bit confused because she had heard none…he just smiled and nodded his head to assure her. he stood behind her, never letting her hand go and gestured her to move ahead. Geet did as he instructed but she felt so different now. After that night of rashmi’s wedding she had secretly craved so much for a wedding where each ritual had its meaning…each vow was as sacred as the heavens above but it was strange that she heard none of it today. It was like she was totally not in her senses… she had completely forgotten about her surroundings or whatever she was doing. It was just the matter of time and the pandit declared them man and wife. She was just too lost in the bliss of the moment to realize anything. She stood quiet as everyone wished her a happy birthday… made her stand for the photo session…and she didn’t even realize when everyone left. She felt his arm snake her waist and pull her closer. She looked at him, still lost somewhere.
“kya hua?”, he smiled, “tum itni nervous kyun ho?”
[what happened… why are you so nervous?]
“umm… n..nothing…”, she could barely speak. He held her close and walked to their car. The media immediately surrounded them, clicking photographs of the newly wed couple, throwing random questions on them. There were questions on geet being his friend, as he had stated realise. He was totally calm. He flashed a wide smile, “well then I fell in love with my friend…”
That was it! that was maan singh khurana who made everyone go gaga over his killer attitude. He didn’t even let anyone question geet and made her sit carefully. He turned to the reporters and asked them not to telecast the video clips if they had any. He wanted to keep them personal. Photographs were fine but the clips he wanted for himself. He was probably an enigma for the people around. They were so awestruck with his chivalry and poise that they agreed not to telecast any of the clips. And rest, they knew ‘the maan singh khurana…”
She walked into their room quietly and stood in front of the mirror. He had gone to change but she just couldn’t avert her gaze from her reflection. She stood there, clad in her red attire with the symbols on her that made her his and only his. She blinked a couple of times and then tried to look at his bride in the mirror. She traced her fingers over her maang and then her neck… realizing nothing was a dream. Every single thing… every phere they took.. every vow…every little thing was as real as possible. She was so so so overwhelmed with the realization…all she needed was just him by her side..thats it!
He hugged her from the back and placed a kiss on her cheeks and looked at them in the mirror.
“ab bhi yakeen nahi ho raha?”, he asked lovingly.
[you still don’t believe it…do you?]
She just looked at him through the mirror and couldn’t stop herself. She truend around and hugged him as tight as she could. She had even lost her hopes of hoping something… but he did it…he did plant a sapling of hope in her heart again…clearing all her doubts, confusion…the little bit of fear that gayathri had instilled in her.
“I love you…”, she whispered softly. He was surprised with her words because he had somewhere accepted the fact that he didn’t deserve it but she surprised him today, just like he did. He cupped her face and kissed her softly, accepting her love…as if he even needed to. His lips moulded into hers and she just gave in. She felt heart heart beat so fast…so furiously… they probably echoed in the room she thought. She opened her mouth to him and he very sweetly accepted the invitation of exploring her further. His one hand wound around her waist while the other desperately wanted to feel that soft skin of hers. She felt electrocuted with his hands cup her curves over her dress. She gasped to feel them aching under his palms. She involuntarily arched forward to give him access, completely losing her sanity just with that touch. He bit her lips roughly winning a moan out of her.
She’d probably swoon with the pleasure she felt today but suddenly she felt him back out. She opened her eyes to see him a few steps away from her, trying to hold himself. She was at first confused as to what happened but when he smiled back at her, she realized that hurt behind it…her words!!! She saw him trying to cover up his raw emotions with a fake smile as he picked her up and made her stand by the washroom.
“go and change…”, he smiled but it hurt her. she nodded softly and closed the door behind, feeling so many things altogether. She saw herself in the mirror again and she took off her dupatta and her dress. She stood only in her inner and stared at herself.
“why can I just move ahead?”, she took a closer look on her bare self, “why can I be the one who he wants…why do I hurt him so much?”
She splashed water on her face again and again, trying to reason out why she felt so when he had clearly claimed her as his in front of everyone. She splashed water once again, “whats wrong with me…”, she tried to think further but she was clueless about everything. So she decided to just go and sleep off.
She came out wearing her night suit and found him asleep. She sighed and slipped beside him, facing him. she softly caressed his head realizing how tired he must have been all through. She turned away and closed her eyes, trying to sleep. The think necklace round her neck was a new addition to her attire which made her aware of its presence. She looked at it and smiled. She turned to him, hugged him close and slept off.
Dadima’s morning was completely shocking. Her day started with the morning headlines which had nothing but the marriage of maan and geet. at first she thought it was all rumors but when she sae their pics on the tv and the papers… she wondered if it was true. She had been getting calls and calls from everyone and anyone possible. She wondered what they were up to last night. but then they were still asleep unlike usual… they hadn’t even come down for breakfast… then was it all true? It was geet’s bday and she had kept a small puja in the house to surprise her but who knew she herself would get surprised!!! But then she smiled hearing maan’s reply to the media…and relaxed immediately. She actually felt proud of him and recalled the time when geet was hardly 20. She’d always make fun saying if she were to get married, then she’d elope with her husband. Dadima just smiled and called up jasmeet.
Even she was frantic about everything happening so quickly.
“jasmeet…relax beta… jab miyan biwi raazi tho kya karga kaazi!!”
“maa… but all this.they could have told us no…”
“jasmeet…let them enjoy… we’ll make it big on their anniversary. Right now what matters the most is their being together…”
“hmm… waise wo dono hain kahan? I need to speak to them…”
[hmm..but where are they? I need to speak to them…]
“ab tho aap un dono ko akela chod hi dijiye… ab tak tho apne kamre se bahar bhi nahi aaye hain…”
[leave them alone for a while now… they still haven’t come out of their room…]
Jasmeet rolled her eyes getting dadima’s subtle naughtiness ,”ok ok… better leave them alone for a while… but I’d like to follow all the rituals now.. since these kids didn’t bother to tell us anything, they have to bear with the consequence…”
Dadima laughed hearing jasmeet’s words. She was just too happy about everything. Geet had always been her first choice because she knew she was the perfect one for maan but then its sometimes better to leave the children on their own to let them learn on their own how to value relations. But for now…she just couldn’t wait for them to come out of the room…she’d make sure geet spilled the beans and that too honestly.
next: pag phere… and geet’s craving…