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.
“Geet…”, he ran and hugged her tightly. She had fallen on the ground, holding something tight over her chest. She looked blank. Her lips and forehead were bleeding. The polie rushed behind the goons while some of them stayed to take Geet’s statement. The paramedics rushed towards her quickly wiped the blood from her face and mouth.
“Geet…tum theek tho ho… ohh god..“, he was so damn scared to see her looking so blank. She wasn’t even reacting to anything. He held her while the paramedics did their job.
“ma’am.. can you please leave this thing… your neck is bleeding..”
Maan’s attention stuck there.. he moved her face to see one side of her neck having a deep cut and bleeding badly. She was totally blank, she wasn’t even blinking. He patted her cheeks, “Geet..geet..its okay..let go..let them attend to your wound..”
She just looked blankly at him and held her chain tightly. He sighed and tried to free her hand that held something. the paramedics helped him with it, while another person tried to get her back to her senses. She was in shock. Maan slowly uncurled her fingers from what she was holding and was left stunned…she was tightly clutching her mangalsutra. His heart ached but then things suddenly seemed clearer. She might had been attacked for this!! He covered her with his coat and tried to get her back to her senses, “Geet…its okay dear..you are safe.. leave it. its me…see..look at me…”
He patted her cheeks a couple of times until she snapped and looked at him. tears welled up in her eyes as she cried, “maan..” and passed out in his arms.
The paramedics cleaned up her wound and rushed her to the hospital for a proper check up. Maan was shaken up by the events. he had never seen her this vulnerable. It was almost post dinner that he carried her home. Dadima and annie rushed to her, checking on her. maan settled her carefully on her bed, making sure her neck wasn’t hurting.
“bhai…what happened to her? I got her message..”
Dadima sat beside Geet and kissed her forehead, “aur kitna sahengi meri bachi…”
Maan came out to the living room and narrated the entire story, shocking dadima and annie.
she is in sedatives…she needs rest now.”
Dadima called him for dinner but his mind was stuck somewhere else. He sat beside get, watching her lovingly. Annie went to call him for dinner but dadima stopped her and asked her to leave them alone for a while.
She flinched a bit feeling the pain and maan immediately caressed her head, making her relax. He was so pained to see her this pale and lifeless. He fell back on the chair beside her bed and looked at her. she had probably made him realize something deep today. He fished his pocket and took out her mangalsutra. He watched her ever so lovingly and placed it on the table beside her. she didn’t let go of it… she was bruised badly, her neck had bandages but she never let it go. How much she loved that man who left her…and what did he do?
It was like around 3am when she opened her eyes, groaning in pain. The effect of pain killer was wearing out and her neck burned. She blinked a couple of times wondering where she was. She couldn’t even move her neck. Maan was just dozing off when her voice woke him up. He quickly supported her head, not letting her move, “shh…don’t move…it will hurt..”
She watched him so close…yet so far. He came for her.. and he was right beside but does he even know who she was. She quietly followed whatever he said as he gave her the medicines.
He sat beside her and held her hands, “bahut dard ho raha hain?”, his heart cried seeing her in pain.
His voice was so sincere and she just couldn’t help but nod softly. He kissed her palm, “am so sorry Geet..am sorry…”
She didn’t know what he was being sorry about. Her hand reached her neck to find her most priced possession and maan held her hand, “its safe Geet… right on the table beside..”
She realized immediately. He held both her hands,“why Geet?? how can you love him so much…why didn’t you let it go…it hurt you damn it…”
She looked at him shocked…what was he even thinking! He still doesn’t know. She sighed and looked at him accusingly..with so much pain in her eyes, “kaise jaane deti usey… maan, kaise jaane deti?”
Her lips trembled while her eyes let down her tears. She just turned away from him and tried to sleep. She just can’t take this indifference anymore. He sat numb with her accusing glare yet her broken heart that he suddenly seemed to recognise. Unfathomable silence followed…leaving his restless. She loved her husband so much…that man left her but she still she kept karwachauth for him.. and then suddenly dadimas words rung in his ears”you are married.
What has he done? He vaguely remembered that night of his wedding to that girl…their conversation. He had asked her not to interfere in his life and she just never did! It struck him hard”he did the same to that girl what Geet’s husband did to her! a sudden wave of guilt hit him…with a force that was earth shattering! He looked at his angel sleeping in front him so much in pain. He felt pathetic..who the hell he was to judge her husband when he did the same with this wife!! She has rolled and now slept flat on the bed, facing the ceiling. They were forbidden to be with each other! As much as he felt guilty for doing something like this to that girl, he just couldn’t bring himself to tear himself away from her, knowing it was forbidden.
The night had been so restless for him. guilt and the pain of losing her just took away every damn peace he had been left with. With the strike of the first rays of the sun, he decided to call his so called wife and talk to her once. Geet was so much in pain..he had never thought in his life that whatever he did could have hurt someone.
May be he could just talk to her get this guilt off his head. It hurt to see Geet like this..dying every moment. He went to his room and freshened up. He didn’t speak to dadima or annie and straightaway went to Geet to check on her. she was running fever now. ohh he felt pathetic. He tried to wake her up but she couldn’t. She opened her eyes for a while and then closed them. he immediately called dadima and annie to check on her. dadima put a wet cloth on her forehead and asked maan to call the doctor.
He went to the living room to call the doctor when his eyes fell on dadima’s phone on the table. He hoped dadima had her’ number..at least he could get over this guilt. He called the doctor first asking him to drop by asap and then immediately checked dadima’s phone. With trembling hand, he copied the number . it was saved as “hoshiyarpur” so he could guess it was her home number. His heart was beating so fast..what would he say to her when she questions him… he had put a mangalsutra on her neck…just like Geet’s… what has he actually done!!! He heard the voice of a woman on the other side and his heart skipped a beat.
He guessed it could be her…or may be her mother or anyone. It took all his courage to speak…knowing very well th accusations coming his way.
“hello…ji mein maan…wo..”
Before he could continue, there were squeals of joy on the other side. He could hear the woman clling her husband saying it was maan on the other side. He was confuse.d..they were her parents and they definitely didn’t seem mad at him!!
arrey maan beta..kaise hain aap? Wahan London mein sab kaisa chal raha hain?”
He felt even guiltier”they didn’t complain, rather asked for his well being.
“ji mein theek hoon..wo kya mein…mein..”, he didn’t know how to ask about her..damn he didn’ even remember her name!
“maan beta…geet kaisi hai?”, her mother asked.
He was shocked…they knew Geet? how come? It was all so confusing for him.
“ji Geet?”, he asked all confused.
“han..wo kal uska pehla karwachauth tha aapne saath.. pata nahin theek se kiya bhi hoga ya nahin. Jabse aapke saath London gayi hain, ghar pe kabhi phone bhi nahi karti…hume laga ghar ke kaamon mein busy hogi…”
Rajji snatched the phone from him, “hiee jeeju, kaise ho? Aur Geet di kaisi hain? Aap log tho loondon jaakar hume bhool hi gaye… aur kal Geet di ko kya gift diya aapne?”
He stood dumbstruck… it was Geet’s parents on the line! It was her first karwachauth with him…she never called her parents after shifting to London… it was her??? all this time, it was her? he tried to recall their marriage… how innocently she had followed all the rituals..and how brutally he had asked her to go away from his life on the night they were supposed to start a new life!!! her soft voice form that night trying to understand him echoed in his ears…and suddenly it became so familiar to him!! she was his wife… his Geet… she had always been with him, every moment! He disconnected the phone and fell on the couch… tears rolled down his eyes and he didn’t know whether it was of happiness or sadness. He recalled how he had flown back t London being mad at dadima and not even seeing her face… and then him falling for her like this… ohh god! What had he gone and done!! She was in this condition today just because of hime… how will he face her now?
next: maan taking care of his wife.