IMPT: the font in pink are the thoughts of Geet handa. She doesn’t exist in the present but her thoughts post her realization do!
“chalein?”, he asked with a smile.
[shall we move?]
“umm…”, she nodded delightfully.
They drove towards the main road with her in awe of the night lights decorating the city. The whole time she did nothing but look out of the window like a small kid looking at the huge world for the first time. He occasionally stole glances at her from time to time and he was rewarded with that sweet smile on her face throughout.
He shook his head smiling when she gaped wide at the huge gates of the park. It was for the first time she had been on her own. He saw her quite stunned with the opulence from the outside…he wondered what she will do when she gets in. He moved forward and gently slid his hand into hers, holding it tight. She turned to him in awe…and he just smiled, “lets go…”
He took a step forward and led her inside. it was a little darker by now and there were still a few people around. Geet never noticed them at all. Maan walked ahead holding her hand and she walked behind looking here and there…trying to capture all the beauty with her eyes. She had never been to this place ever… it was just too big and too beautiful for her. she looked around as they slowly walked towards a secluded area near the lake and that fascinated her. she never knew such beautiful place existed around her.
“wowww…this is so beautiful…”, she awed as she walked towards the lake and watched the reflection of the moon in it.
“do you like it??”, he asked her cutely.
She turned to him with big wide eyes, “I love it… this place is so beautiful…”
“yes it is…”
Silence lingered for a while as both of them looked at the moon reflecting on the lake. When he thought none of them were going to speak, she broke the silence, “maan…”
“ummm…”, he spoke without looking at her, taking in that serene beauty.
“how do you know me?”
Time stood still for him…silence seemed to scream her presence…people around suddenly felt like going away and the breeze dropped to dead! He turned to watch her expressions… she looked so much in awe of the nature and still looked at the lake. How does he know her… he didn’t know how to answer this question. Wasn’t she the one who was a kid just a few minutes back? Wasn’t she the one who was crying to get away from Sasha? Wasn’t she the one stubborn kid who didn’t want to do her homework? Wasn’t she that excited child who was seeing the world for the first time?
He looked at her with concentration…her face had a very calm look like that of a very thoughtful understanding person…someone lost in a deep thought. he realized…she was someone very differ
ent from the Geet he knew…she was a kid yet she was a person with a great thought process.
Upon hearing no reply, she turned to look at him with a question in her eyes but what could he tell her now? It would be difficult to make her understand what relationship they shared…or the very fact that would she even believe that she had made love to the very stranger standing in front of her…or would she even be able to digest the fact that she had broken it off…
Have I caught thee, my heavenly jewel? Why, now let
me die, for I have lived long enough.
(The Merry Wives of Windsor, William Shakespeare)
Let me die…for I have lived Long enough!
Geet looked at his face…so confused and so pale. Did she ask a question that she was not supposed to ask?
“i..ahh…well actually I don’t remember much”, she tried to clarify her act seeing him so numb, “Chachi said I had met with an accident and thats why I am suffering from such a problem but doctor says I will remember things if I try…”
He still couldn’t believe she was actually speaking so maturely today. Its like she is not the person he actually knew or has come to know in those two days. She had changed… her entire personality has changed drastically!! How he wished he could tell her everything truthfully that she was his jaan… his princess…his soul.. but he knew he can’t..not at least now!
His saviour his phone rang breaking their eye contact. He sighed and thanked adi mentally for saving him in the nick of time.
“Geet… walk around. I have got this important call to take. Don’t go off very far okay. Its already dark…”
“umm..Ok…“, she nooded in understanding and walked around the lake with small steps at a time.
He settled on a nearby bench, sighing with relief. The phone was really a saviour.
“yes adi…tell me…”, he spoke as he looked for Geet who seemed to squeal happily seeing a family of ducks paddling in the water. He smiled seeing her happy…suddenly turning into a kid that he had seen at her place and got engrossed in his call.
“sir… you have got to attend this conference anyhow. Its important for the company…” and Adi just went on and on and on telling him about the details of the conference to be held in Mumbai a day after tomorrow and so on. Maan just got lost in his work completely forgetting Geet until his eyes fell on that beautiful lady sitting by the water, trying to count the number of ducks.
She sat by a small rock with her feet just a few inches away from the water looking at the ducks, quacking occasionally. She was so happy to see them…she had seen them in her picture books. How many are there? she looked at the mamma duck and counted her finger, “1… and 2…”, she had curled her fingers into a fist and opened little finger first when she counted one…and then the ring finger at 2…the middle finger at 3… the index finger at 4…the thumb at 5. She scratched her head a bit because she had to use the fingers of the other hand.
Any would look at her and say her cute…but it was maan who was realizing what nisha meant by forgetting basic cognitive skills. It was even difficult for her to count numbers! He noticed post 7 she was trying to remember what came after 7. She was not okay… she wasn’t okay at all! He listened to Adi robotically while his heart cried for her. she was by now trying to walk towards the ducks by walking along the perimeter of the ducks. The ducks recognised movements and rushed to hide. She hurried up after them as well, trying to hold one little duck.
He just sat like that… trying to digest what he learned today. He knew it was difficult… but he had refused to accept this could be so worse. His jaan would have hated this disability!! The person here was someone so different… he never knew.
“hello? Sir… are you there? hello…”, adi’s voice echoed in his ears as he snapped back to reality.
“ya…yes go on…”
He heard Adi while his eyes were on his jaan still trying to go after the ducks. He smiled and then looked down at his tab he was holding to check his mails. it was so calm at this time.. the occasional chirrup of the crickets and then the quacking of ducks and he just lost himself in his work.
It was almost 30 minutes later when he finished with his call and put his phone in the pocket. He finished with his tab and kept it aside. This was tiresome. He stood up and stretched himself looking around for her.
“Geet…”, he called out, lest she was around but not a reply came. Where could she go?
“Geet…jaan where are you?”, he looked around the lake and around him to see if she was there…but there was no sign of hers. He panicked! Where could she go? She was new here and he did tell her not to wander off. He walked a few steps ahead looking for her. he shouldn’t have taken the call in the first place itself. Ohh she knew nothing around her. he looked around calling out to her when a cute shriek caught his attention, which seemed to come nearer each passing minute.
He turned towards that voice and saw her running towards him with baby steps. Her face her constricted with fear and her eyes shut closed. She was just blindly running somewhere she knew not of.
“ahh ahh..bachao bachao…”, she squeaked.
“Geet… come here…”, he was scared seeing her in such panic.
She just heard the voice and ran towards him…she was just too scared to even realise who was calling her and hugged him tightly the moment she hit him. he was warm… and thats what she liked it. she snuggled closer, hiding her face into his chest.
She did it because of her reflex…but what went through maan was something more than earth shattering. He stilled with the touch of her body against his..every inch of her body clinging to him like a broken leaf, trembling in fear. Millions of times he had dreamed of this moment…his jaan just came back safely to him and he’d hide her from the world. Seeing her like this, made his heart muster up all that courage to make his dreams a reality. She was right here…in his arms and he need to protect her. his eyes welled up…he didn’t know if it was out of happiness or sadness..but they did and unknown to him, a tear drop slid down his cheek. he instinctively wrapped his arms around her petite form protectively…authoratively… and pulled her closer to him, if that was ever possible. His dream had come true… he blinked his eyes a couple of times and kissed her head, making to oblivious for her and rested his head above hers.
Cry Not my Love…for I am here.. though never in front of you.. but I am in every beat of your heart…Or Am I really?
They stayed like that for how long…god knows! But he never wanted to let go. He was at peace right now.. something he had been craving for all this time…so many months..days..hours…and seconds had ticked by… and he found that happiness today!
Geet felt her heart beats calm down as his warmth engulfed her completely. She felt nice.. quite soothing. She slowly opened her eyes only to realize she was in Maan’s arms.. hugging him tight with her hands wrapped around his neck. Realization struck hard… she was never this close to any guy before… and maan…ohh god what he might be thinking?? This was not right.. she breathed in sharply only to take in that deep masculine scent of his… a mix of his perspiration and cologne. Her entire body tingled… its not even more than just 3 days for their knowing each other… and here they were… her face flushed with embarrassment! What would he think of her now? She tried to straighten herself but her effort seemed futile in front of his mighty self. She sighed…she didn’t know how to just tell him. mustering up all her courage, she tried again this time, a little more strength and she stood in his arms, looking up at him.
Their faces were too close…almost less than a few inches apart… his warm breath fell on her lips, making them quiver and this time, it was her who couldn’t take her eyes off him. he looked into her eyes…straight and deep…almost touching her soul. She could see that question on his face…why she tried to pull away… yet there seemed to be a longing in his eyes. Their breath mingled as his hand wrapped her tighter around her waist. She, in turn, wrapped her fingers tighter around his neck as a reflex, letting out a gasp with the sudden jerk she felt with his hold.
She had never felt something like this in her entire life.. or at least the life she remembered now. This was something so different…his hold, his look…his loving gaze on her..suddenly seemed to burn her cheeks evidently. Her breath became uneven and unable to take the intensity of those eyes, her lashes dropped down…out of embarrassement…out of shyness…none knew.
“tum aise kyun bhaag rahi thi?”, his deep husky voice reached her ears, making her toes curl.
[why were you running like that?]
She looked further down…looking here and there when his grip became even tighter, “Geet…”
“umm…”, she squeaked, unable to understand what was actually happening.
“look at me…”, he demanded, not even letting her breath properly with his grip.
She had never heard a voice so demanding…so authorative yet with much of love. she gulped hard and slowly raised her head to look up at him when her eyes fell on her own hands that held him tight round his neck. She was getting so conscious of it right now. Her breathing was still ragged with his closeness… she immediately untangled her fingers and slipped them down to his shoulder, totally not understanding what it was doing to him.
He shivered as her hands slowly and sensuously slid down his shoulder. He watched her expressions which gave away the effect of his closeness to her. but he was not letting her off the hook this easily. She was getting uncomfortable because she was so close to him that she had no way to get her hands off him. she looked here and there trying to free herself.
“where were you lost? And why were you running like that?”
“uhh…”, she lost her voice!! Gosh… this was sonot happening. She cleared her throat and tried again, “umm..wo…wo…”, she pointed towards the bushes with her thumb, “wahan…”
He noticed her trying hard not to keep her hands on his shoulder. He arched her brows on her, “You can keep it there…”, he commanded.
And she just couldn’t do anything. Feeling that intensity of his voice, she hesitatingly, kept her hand back on his shoulder and breathed out.
“now..tell me what happened…”
She made a baby face, “that doggy…”, and then she cried, “he was barking at me…”
He didn’t know what to react at this incredulous thing!!! He muffled his laughter as he arched one of his brows, “doggy??”
She felt so shy with that look at those eyes. She shut her eyes tightly and looked down, “umm.. I got so scared…”
He shook his head…this was impossible! He left her waist and took a step back, letting her breathe and burst out laughing. She gaped at him and he just fell on the grass laughing his head off.
She made a face and waited for him to stop, “maan…sachi…mein bahut darr gayi thi. Bahut bhayanak tha wo doggy…”, she spoke wideing her eyes to create the horror.
[maan…honestly… I was so scared. That doggy was too scary..]
He watched her complain and kept on laughing. This was just too cute…actually too damn funny. But her facial expressions made him shut up. She puffed up her cheeks in anger and glared at him. he instantly shut up and stood up, “ok ok..don’t get angry. Now where is the doggy that scared you?”
She pointed towards the bushes just a few feet away. He sighed and held her hand, “chalo..lets see your doggy!”
She glared at him as he dragged her towards the bush.
“maan…he is scary… “
He was already searching the bush for the scary doggy.
“maan no…”, she got scared and took a step back.
He pushed away the bushes and looked at her smirking, “iss doggy se darr gayi??”
[you got scared of this doggy?]
She shook her head for a no.
“arrey nahi dekho tho..see he’s so cute…”
[arrey no..see… see he’s so cute…]
She was still hesitating. Maan held her hand and pulled her closer, “have a look at it…”
She dared to peek at the cute poodle sit in the bush, looking scared. She was shocked to hell.
“dekho…kitna cute hain…aur tum issey darr gayi?”
[see…he’s so cute… and you got scared of this?]
She didn’t know what was happening..but this was the doggy who barked at her when she had gone searching for the ducks. She made a face and tunred away from maan who had a teasing look on his face.
Just then a kid came running by, “Johnny…excuse me sir…have you seen a small poodle around here?”
Maan smiled, eying Geet and turned to the boy, “are you searching for him?”, he pointed towards the poodle.
The child’s face brightened up, “yes..thats my Johnny…thank you..”
He carried the dog and walked away. Maan sighed and checked the time.
“its late…lets get you home baby…”, he laughed.
“huh… making fun of me!“, she muttered under her breath.
He held her hand and walked out just like they had walked in but this time, she was lost in her own thoughts!! He was to travel to India in the next two days… sigh he wont be meeting her for the next one week.
They were just about to reach their car when he felt a tug in his hand. He stopped and turned to see Geet who had been quiet throughout. He saw her quiet lost and stand still for a moment. He panicked and went closer to her, “jaan..you okay??”
She was still for a while and then looked up at him. this time, a bright smile adored her lips and her eyes twinkling in joy!!
“maan… did you see?“, she squealed in happiness!
He didn’t understand what she was hinting at, “what??”
But her happiness was visible on her expressions. She laughed openly, “I ran today… I ran…I didn’t fall… “
Her excitement… her happiness in realizing that she could run was something that made him realize that her problems were not limited to her cognitive skills only.
She had almost started jumping, “ohh god… I ran without falling… I did… yiipiieee I did…”
She held his hands and started jumping happily. He just smiled looking at her this excited. But Geet was far from thinking about him. she wa improving..no wonder she didn’t falter a step. She just watched him smile all through which made her evening all the more bright because this was the best evening she ever had and she ran without a fall.
They drove back with a smile still adoring her lips. He brought her an ice cream while coming back…he just couldn’t be happier!
I can see you happy… just smile like that forever and I need nothing. Let me die…for I have lived long enough! Just let me go Maan… Let me go!
next; Meeting After A Week.