I will be keeping busy for the next few days. so either slow or no updates.
Pls bear with me.
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 him… how will he face her now?
It took him some time to recover from the shock. He wanted to see her once, talk to her.. her hurtful eyes when he had asked her why she did’t let go of her mangalsutra haunted him like anything. She had cherished this relation so much… and he didn’t even respect it. dadima came to check on him and found him sitting still on the couch. She sat beside him and placed her hand on his shoulder, “what is the matter maan?”
He looked at her painfully, “its Geet dadima.. my…my wife…”
Dadima was at first surprised but then smiled, “at last she made you realize…eh son!! Its time you reaped what you sowed.”
She walked away hearing the doorbell ring. It was the doctor. Dadima took him in while maan had difficulty in getting up. He felt so heavy in his heart…ll these days she yearned for him. that emptiness in her eyes…ohh god, her struggles her pain.. . it was so damn hurtful. He didn’t know how to face her with so much of guilt in him. it took every ounce of his strength to stand by the door and watch the doctor treat her lifeless body. He kept on watching her pale face that he didn’t even hear what the doc said. Once the doc was gone dadima noticed maan looking at his jaan so lost. She got up to leave.
“annie chalo…let her rest..”
“but dadima.. I want to stay with Geet…”
“annie..come. your bhai and bhabhi need to be alone..”
Annie looked at maan accusingly hearing what dadima said. She could never think her bro could do like this. She walked past maan not even sparing him a look. He held her hand, “annie.. listen…”
She pulled away her hand, “bhai.. its Geet whom you need to explain. Not me.”
She walked away leaving him all alone with his life burning in fever. He walked closer with heavy steps and sat beside her. with trembling hands, he checked her temperature…she was burning. He changed the wet cloth from her forehead and leaned close to her face. His warm breath fell on her hot skin as he caressed her hair, “am sorry love… please jaldi se theek ho jao..”
He pressed a soft peck on her forehead and sat right beside her, holding her hand. She woke up feeling heavy in her head. It was warm, she noticed. She had been tucked in a duvet and the room heater was probably on. she tried to move when her hand felt heavy. She looked beside her only to see him sleeping. He was sitting on the chair while his head rested on the bed, in an uncomfortable position. His hand held hers tightly not letting her move. She wanted to go to the washroom and freshen up. Her neck was still hurting a bit she gently tried to move away her hand but he wouldn’t let go. She tried a few times and he was asleep.
“maan..’, she could merely whisper out, “maan…”
Her voice so sweet and gentle reached his ears, making him smile. he was dreaming perhaps…geet calling him like this..umm definitely it was a dream.
“maan…uthiye…”, she called again. her other hand tried to move his head a little away and even that felt like a gentle caress to him.
“maan..ahhh..”, her neck hurt. He immediately snapped open his eyes and cupped her face, startled, “Geet..kya hua…tum theek ho? Oh god… kuch chahiye tumhe? Pata nahi how I dozed off…”
She was a little unsure seeing his reaction, “maan… wo.. washroom…am okay..”
He checked her temperature. Her fever had gone down a bit. He sighed in relief and caresses her face, tucking away the strand of hair behind her neck.
She felt a bit uncomfortable with all this new things, “err..maan…”
“umm Geet…”, he looked at her lovingly. Ohh how she wished this look was ever real.
“wo..washroom…”, she pointed towards the door.
“ohh…sorry. here let me help.”, he helped her sit up. She felt tickled as his hand slid across her waist, supporting her. he helped her stand but she stumbled as she took a step ahead. She was still feeling weak. And the next moment, she gasped, realized he had just lifted her up in his arms and walked towards tje washroom. My my…she felt light headed seeing him like this.
“maan…ye kya kar rahe hain aap? Nichey utariye mujhe…”, she spoke meekly, “koi aa jayega..”
She was feeling so conscious with this new face of his. She didn’t know why he was doing this. It would only hurt later.
“maan..please…”, she pleaded and was rewarded by his cold glare, “Geet…shut up for a while and let me do my job..”
She was stunned seeing this new avatar. Had he hit his head somewhere or what? As he gently lowered her, she tip toed a bit and checked his forehead. He held her hand immediately, “ye kya kar rahi ho?”
She immediately withdrew her hand and looked down, “nahi.. I was just checking if you hit your head..”
Before he could actually understand, she closed the washroom door, wondering what was actually wrong. He stood there like a fool, caressing his head where she had touched him, “pagli…”
But he knew he had hurt her immensely and he has to make sure he apologised to her. Geet stood in front of the mirror and checked her wound. She was feeling ticklish in her tummy with maan’s behaviour but then her neck reminded her of the question he had asked her last night”why didn’t she let go of that sacred thread!! Her face fell.. he probably doesn’t care anymore. It was better she went back instead of hurting herself again and again and being an unnecessary burden.
She walked out changing into a fresh pair of clothes and found everyone in the hall. she slowly walked into the hall and was shocked to see maan and annie fighting over something in the kitchen! Dadima was sitting on the couch, holding her head in stress. She quietly went and sat beside dadima.
“kya baat hain dadima?”
Dadima was glad to see Geet so much better. She kissed her forehead, “thank god you are okay…”
Geet smiled and pointed towards the kitchen, “ye sab kya ho raha hain dadima?”
Ust then she heard annie scream, “ahh bhai… what the hell are you doing? You will spoil it…”
“annie shut up… and let me work. I know it better than you. Just get lost.”
Annie walked out exasperated and smiled instantly seeing Geet. she ran to her and hugged her tightly, “ohh Geet… am soo happy to see you all fine…”
“ouch ouch annie…dheere.. my neck..”, Geet smiled.
“ohh sorry… “
“waise kitchen mein kya chal raha tha?”, Geet asked worried.
Annie leaned closer and whispered naughtily, “his esteemed highness is trying his best to cook for his wifey darling..so he kicked me out” and winked at Geet!!
Geet gasped hearing that coming from annie. Like she understood.
“he knows baby…he had been with you the whole time yesterday..”
Geet looked at kitchen painfully”he knows! Wow..so thats why this special treatment. She didn’t know what to do or say especially in front of annie and dadima. His gaze locked with hers from the kitchen. His eyes were hopeful but hers were pained! She tore away her gaze, giving him a cold shoulder. He sighed…he understood. She is so hurt…he has to undo the damage now.
The next two days, it went on like this with maan trying to do something for her… like cooking the breakfast for her before leaving for office, dropping her and annie to college, trying to make conversation and even taking her to the doctor to change her bandages.
They were driving back from the hospital when he stopped at the same ice cream parlour and looked at her, “ice cream?”
She have had enough. She had tried to ignore him…ignore the hurt. But he was making things difficult for them. she was not used to all his attention or care. It all seemed overly.
“maan…please. bas kijiye. Ye sab karne ki zarurat nahin aapko..”
“but Geet… “
She put her hand forward, gesturing him to stop, “mujhe pata hain aap iss rishtey se khush nahi. Azad kar dijiye mujhe..”
He was so hurt with her words…so damn hurt. How could she even think of parting ways when she clearly knows he loves her so much!! his voice choked..how can she ask for something he can’t give?? He had every damn thing in this world…except what she was asking for.
He leaned closer and cupped her face, “I love you Geet…i really do. I am sorry for every thing. I meant it when I said I love you… trust me..”
She just looked away unable to bear that gaze and those words. Did he even think once what would his wife feel seeing him falling in love with some random girl!
“how do I make you understand, love?”, he almost cried. She still didn’t look at him.
“mujhe ghar jaana hain. Am tired.“
He sighed in defeat and drove back home. They got the biggest shock when they reached home. Dadima and annie were packing.
“aap log kahin jaa rahe hain?”, Geet asked worried, “dadima..sab theek tho hain?”
Dadima looked at both of them and smiled, “jis wajah se hum yahan aaye they, its fulfilled. We want both of you to be together, sort out things and decide on your future. Annie and I are leaving for India tomorrow.”
Geet was shocked and so was maan.
“but dadima… annie’c college?”, maan was worried. Annie just went and hugged him.
She whispered naughtily in his ears, “manaofy her in just one month. I will be coming back then.. then don’t blame me for poking my nose in.”
He smiled and hugged his baby sister who seemed to understand him and Geet more than anything else. He has to make her realize what she means to him and that he was truly sorry for whatever he did. He’d accept any punishment from her happily…it was just a matter of time.
He couldn’t sleep that night either. He walked to her room and watched her sleep peacefully. The curtains were pulled apart. The moonlight from the glass wall fell on her face making her look all the more prettier. He leaned forward and placed a peck on her lips, “sleep well love…”, he whispered against her lips and walked away, closing the door.
next: It takes Two..