“you…you are married…”, his voice trembled as he took a step back!
Ohh well she got her answer. Who was she even fooling! He never understood. She gave him a cold smile, “yes, I am married…”
He took a step back..and another and another..her words echoing in his ears..yes I am married!! He just gaped at her with so much pain in his eyes but Geet was far away from all that. she just turned away and walked in, drinking the water herself from the kalash, leaving him heartbroken and almost dead!
He drove back home madly, unable to forget those images of Geet out of his mind. he locked himself in the gym and asked the driver to go pick them up. He puched away the blocks mercilessly..why did it had to happen this way? Why on earth he had to face something like this!! The thought that she was someone else’s…that she was married killed him within. He screamed out…the agony of a broken heart and fell on the floor. the pain of losing your first love he was experiencing perhaps… killing him like a slow yet a very painful poison.
Dadima was surprised to see the driver instead of maan. Upon asking the driver replied, “ma’am..maan sir aaye the yahan but phir waapis chale gaye aur mujhe bhej diya..”
Dadima was worried now. he came but went back..why? and then it struck..geet! she gasped and rushed to check on her and sighed in relief that she was having dinner with annie, giggling at some of her joke. May be maan was here and she did the puja with him. she wanted to ask her if maan was really there but then chucked it seeing her having her food so happily with annie.
They drove back home and Geet seemed very cheerful. Dadima was glad that she was actually happy. Geet and annie rushed to Geet’s room, chatting something and then excited to open their gifts that mrs dixit had presented to all the guests. Dadima was quite glad to see the girls enjoying and went to check on maan. She looked into his room and found it empty. she checked in his study and found it empty too. She called him on his phone getting worried and found it in his room. She sighed and waited for him, lest he was in the washroom. It was 10:30 and Geet and annie had dozed off out of tiredness. Dadima was really worried when it struck her…he might be in the gym. She quickly walked into the gym and was shocked to see him in the worst condition ever. He was slumped on the floor, with blood oozing out of his knocles. He looked so worn out. Dadima rushed and woke him up, “maan… ye sab kya hain beta…and what have you done to yourself?”
He opened his eyes to look at her painfully…his heart cried..he wanted to breakdown and question dadma why did it happen to him but nothing came out of his mouth. Dadima pulled him to his room and asked him to freshen up. He just went quietly and took a shower. His muscles ached with the warm water flowing down his body…the wound bled and he fliched. He came out in his tracks and vest. When dadima tried to apply medicine, he just knelt in front of him and placed his head on her lap.
Dadima was really worried about him, “kya baat hain maan…aap itne pareshaan kyun hain? And why did you come back when you went there?”
He just sat quietly for a while, wondering what to reply. He recalled that moment when he had held her. she had worn a blue sari…taking his breath away. He had confessed that he loved her..she was also lost in him but then it became clear why she always ran away saying it was not right!! his chest tightened with pain… she was someone’s else’s… but how will he move on?
“why did it happen with me dadima?”, he cut her in between. His voice choked with emotions, “for the first time I dared to love dadima..i love her so much… then why…”
Dadima remain quiet hearing him. there was something drastically wrong between them but Geet was very well trying to hide it, she guessed.
“its Geet right… did you see her today?”
He breathed in sharply, “yes dadima.. and..she..she is married..”
It killed him within…to say from his own mouth that she couldn’t be his!
“yes… she is married maan…and she loves her husband so much..”
He hated it..every word of dadima were like poison to his life. he looked up at her.. anger, pain, dejection everything visible in his eyes, “..you knew…you knew dadima.. “
“yes we know son…and annie does too…”
He felt so damn cheated, “then why the hell didn’t she tell me that she was married…why?”
Dadima was so broken seeing maan this distant..he still hadn’t realized who Geet was and she really felt so upset..for both maan and Geet. no wonder Geet was trying to show off that she was happy, her smile suddenly seemed so fake. She stood up, giving up. She had hoped that at least maan understood her now, but no!
“…you never told her that you were married either…” and she walked off, leaving him with the biggest shock of his life ever!! He sat on the floor…dadima’s words echoing in his ears”you never told you were married either!!!
It was then it struck him… ohh god! He had forgotten…damn he had actually forgotten everything about it… flashes of that night of marriage with a girl from hoshiyarpur…life seemed to have been sucked away from his body!! He didn’t even have a bit of energy to go to the bed! Instead, he just fell on the floor, recalling everything about that fateful day. he hadn’t even seen that girl…damn he doesn’t even kow her name in the first place. All he knew that he asked her never to interfere in his life and he never did!!!
Geet couldn’t sleep that night. she looked at annie beside her…she was fast asleep. She looked at the ceiling and a drop of tear rolled out”she wouldn’t have to hide it anymore.
His mind drifted towards Geet… damn he loved her so much. he had a wife…it was so wrong… his heart screamed in pain..crying for Geet while his brain screamed at him for not remembering his marriage. The whole night he battled with himself… but every time he reached to a conclusion that his heart beat for Geet and no one else. Not even his wife who’s name he never knew. How he wished to just run to her and hug her tightly…kiss her senseless and make her his but they were already separated even before they met each other. They were bound by some vows and a line they were forbidden to cross.
The next morning, he woke up with a heavy head and found himself on the floor. he had no mood to get up. His entire body ached but he somehow managed to wake up and take a shower. Work was abetter distraction. At least he’d have some peace there. he walked out wearing his coat and his eyes instinctively went towards the kitchen and it hurt. She wan’t hiding anything. She wore a magenta sari, let her hair down..it was wet perhaps. She wore her sindoor…her managalsutra and worked her way. She looked so beautiful to him in that attire but alas that was not for him. he sat on the dining where annie was already there.
She looked at him lost in Geet and then back at Geet. she felt really bad for her for she had seen Geet break her fast all alone. she bit her apple and just spoke out casually, “you know what bhai… Geet’s husband left her on the night of their marriage…”
He was drinking his juice and coughed it all out and looked at annie in shock. What the hell was she speaking?
Annie deliberately looked into her apple, “yep…poor soul she still yearns for him…”
He couldn’t believe something could have happened to his Geet…ohh wait, he was married too. His brain kicked him…don’t you dare forget your own wife! His heart cried for her..felt like killing that moron who did that.
She came carrying the tray full of aloo paranthe and smiled at annie weakly. He just kept on watching her… that emptiness in her eyes, he could relate to it well now! he served him paranthe and then saw his hand smeared with juice. She immediately got a wet kerchief and wiped it off his shirt. He jumped with that touch. He watched her lovingly yet painfully..she looked like a newly wed bride perhaps. But she avoided eye contact and left.
It was almost around 6 in the evening and Geet was hurrying up. She had come to a nearby temple. Annie had to go to a friend’s place. She had dropped her in the temple and went back. She was anyways disturbed the whole day so decided to just go to the temple and spend some time there. annie had called up to inform that she’d be late in picking her up. She sighed and walked towards the subway. There were a few people in that area and she hurried up. There were a few guys standing by, staring at her. she noticed that… her heart skipped beats. She hurried up with her steps and sometime later, realized they were following her.
She was totally scared as they started following her. her heart leapt in her mouth and then realized her phone was in her hands. She gave a quick thought and remembered annie had installed the SOS software, telling to how to helps by sending her location to selected contacts. She quickly pressed the button combinations sending messages to selected contacts.
Maan was driving back home when his phone flashed with a message. Thinking it to be from office he opened only to read the sos message from Geet, telling her location. Annie had saved maan’s number in the help list. He panicked wondering if something was wrong and called her immediately.
Geet screamed as they tugged on her mangalsutra, trying to steal it away. One of them held her from moving while the other tried to snatch the chain from her neck. She held her chain tightly .. no ways she was ever going to give it up.
“just give it you bitch..’, one of them screamed, slapping her but she resisted it. she felt her phone vibrate in her hands. She tried to answer seeing maan’s name but the other guy held her hand, presing the receive button accidentally.
“hello..geet…you there?? Geet say something…”
“help…ahh…maann…”, she screamed while the guy squeezed her throat.
He was dead scared. She was in trouble. He drove towards the location, calling the police and forwarding them the location.
“hang in there…am coming…”
But she heard none. Her phone fell to the ground breaking while she fought however hard she could to save the only thing that linked her with maan. Tears rolled down as she felt the corver of her lips bleeding badly. Her dupatta was thrown somewhere and the sleeve of her kurti torn.
Just a little more…help would come soon. she stopped thinking at all when an excruciating pain coursed through her body and she never realized what it was that hurt so much! just a few seconds and sirens echoed in the streets. The guys got alert and slapped her once again, making her fall on the ground. The police rushed towards her with the paramedics and simultaneously, maan got off the car, rushing towards her.
next: Maan Guilty