P.S. LMN had 2 more parts to go!
She checked the time…4:30am and the flight took off. She closed her eyes and silently recited the poem,
“Touch me Love, Hold me close
Make me yours, But Love Me Not!”
“geet??? Geettt…”, meet cried looking for her. she wheeled herself with most difficulty while Maan was utterly shocked. Meet had woken up late and when she looked around, she saw Maan, getting ready for office. She went to check on geet but found her room empty. Even the washroom door was wide open and there was no sign of geet. If Maan was around, geet usually stayed back within the confines of her room but she wasn’t here anymore.
“maaann…”, she screamed in agony and broke down crying. Maan was just in the hall way when he heard her and rushed towards her. he saw her breaking down and held her close. She clutched his shirt at his shoulders and sobbed, “geet is gone… she went away… Maan she is gone.”
It had taken Maan some time to comprehend those words”geet was gone! He looked at a crying meet and then around the empty room that suddenly felt like a graveyard…it screamed out the agony of losing its soul and he felt that.
“its all my fault…its all because of me…”, meet mumbled between her incessant hiccups and looked at Maan, “Maan its all my fault…”
He couldn’t have seen her cry like this. He cupped her face and made her look at him, “shh..shhh its okay meet… she couldn’t have gone far. I am sure she will be back soon…”
But meet was frantic, “no..you don’t know geet! You don’t know…”, and she suddenly grabbed Maan’s suit and took out his phone and dialled geet’s number demanding for an answer.
Maan was too shocked…she was gone? Yeah…it was better she was gone. She had hurt him immensely. But where the hell could she go? his reverie was broken when he heard geet’s phone crying in the same room as they were in. He was too numd now, to react…
Meet dragged herself with utmost difficulty to her desk near the bed and watched the phone crying mercilessly and when no one picked up the phone, geet’s recorded voice played in the silent room- hey this is geet. Pls leave a message!
Her cheerful voice echoed again and again until meet finally disconnected the call. Maan could barely register anything. He took a broken meet back to her room and meet just kept checking geet’s phone for any hint. It seemed as if for the past few days geet never answered her phone. There were almost 100+ missed calls from her friends and her university. Meet felt terrible… whatever was happening, perhaps she had been the reason behind it all.
Maan just called the nurse to take care of meet for the day and went back to office. But he was too restless to even concentrate on anything. His brain was jammed with only two words- she left!!!
He screwed up the meeting shocking everyone, which was so unlike him and then retired to his cabin, closing the blinds and asking Adi not to let anyone disturb him unless he asks for. He sat on his chair, lost in his thoughts. She was gone because she had to…its been hours now that she was gone… but why did it disturb him so much? He was supposed to be glad that she was gone…she deceived him, conned him, broke his heart, insulted his love and sadly, he was anything but glad. She had made him stoop in his own eyes… she made him lose his mind…she let him feel guilty of cheating on meet then why in the world was he not glad?
He didn’t want to think of her…meet was the one who needed him now. He wound up his work and went back to meet. He watched her sit by her window and stare into oblivion. He could have gone and hugged her but he didn’t. He just went to the guest bedroom and fell on the bed and in no time, he had dozed off.
Geet entered her university with a heavy heart. She has to forget Maan… and everything that had transpired between them. Tears threatened to fall but she held them back, “No geet…you mustn’t fall weak. You don’t deserve to even cry…”
Her friends called her, she faked a smile and things went on. She went to her hostel and when she slept off and when she wandered off with her friends for the evening…she didn’t know. It was as if something powerful…depressingly powerful force was guiding her actions.
Maan was too lost in the memories…he had dreamed of how she had laughed when he had tickled her back in their hotel room in shimla..she had been upset about something… and then she had refused to take money from him. he woke up with his phone ringing and realized it was dark already. He disconnected the call and went to check on meet. She was still sitting by the window. He sighed and went back to kitchen to make something for dinner and later call meet.
He chopped the vegetables mechanically and something played at the back of his head… he heard some faint voices…
“aah.. maan ye kya kar rahe ho?”
“since our movie was spoiled, lets do something productive.”
“maan.. dadima!! Put me down please…wo kya sochengi…please put me down..”
“dadima yahi sochengi ke mein apni biwi ko utha raha hoon aur kisi ko nahi..plus she is out for some kitty party”
, “we have all the time to make up for the movie”
“achha ji… tho hum abhi kya karenge?”
“hmm…umm”aaj …hum meri biwi ki pasand ka khana banayenge!!”
She laughed, “aur ye naya shauk kabse palne lage tum?”
“since the time you slapped that guy. Boy, you need to regain your energy.”
“maan…”, she said, getting bored, just sitting on the counter while he worked his way.
“am bored. Its you who is working…and am just bored here.”
“theek hain… tum bhi kuch banalo apni pasand ka..”,
, “let me make iced hot chocolate…”
He snapped out of his thoughts… this kitchen even seemed to remind him of her but why? He recalled how she used to jump with his closeness initially…how stupid was he to not even once think she couldn’t be his meet!!!
He shook his head and went to get meet who was still sitting by the window. He bend down and slowly picked her up in his arms, making her startle. She got scared at first but then relaxed!
“she went back to her University Maan…“, her broken voice but he seemed to have heard none of it. Meet noticed him and sighed.
But this was suddenly so difficult for him…he had lifted meet…no no geet countless number of times and this was so different! Indeed meet was lighter but something didn’t settle in him tonight. He felt claustrophobic. Something choked him… and this was just the beginning.
Meet noticed Maan each passing day and each day he seemed more distant. She had tried to speak to geet, calling her university but she wouldn’t take the call. And Maan’s behaviour scared her. it felt as of the two most important people in her life were distancing themselves from her. as days passed…she felt more and more lonely. Maan hardly stayed home now and if he did, he would be very restless, irritated, distanced! He just came back during dinner and left early for office.
Its been 5 days now…and Maan couldn’t find the reason of his own restlessness. Meet suddenly seemed so alien to him. he dreaded going back to her, listing her, working in the kitchen, speaking to her or even sleeping. Dadima was worried sick about him and he said he wanted to be with meet as she wasn’t well. Dadima had insisted on visiting her but Maan, unable to lie to her, had told her all the truth. She was very heart broken at the beginning but now, she was angry… with geet and with meet. And she out rightly refused to even see their faces. And Maan felt for the time being this was better.
He decided to go back to KM as meet informed that her parents will be back today. He wanted sometime alone. The moment he got back home, he rushed to the gym to calm himself. As he worked out, every damn thing with her’ flashed in his mind…and it made him even angrier that she left just like that. And it didn’t dawn upon him that his days and nights were filled with nothing but geet today.
He increased the speed of the treadmill and ran faster…how could she do that to him? why the hell did she have to come in his life and why then hell did she go??!!! he had felt claustrophobic when he was back at her’ place… his body had rejected her touch…didn’t acknowledge meet’s presence around him when he was supposed to be in love with her!
His brain didn’t find any logic. He was mad…frustrated… angry at something he didn’t know! He had called her a bitch…how low could he stoop now? How could he? Why did he ignore that pain in her eyes? Wait…his meet was in pain too…
It was so frustrating… he rushed to his room so that he could shower and clear his mind but he couldn’t. He threw every damn thing that came to his view and ruined everything. he needed to calm down… his bod rejected everything but “her” essence was etched into his mind and body.
Rano and Mohinder were flabbergasted when they realized geet was gone! Rano was mad at geet but never could she let her child go. meet watched her parents tensed…she had been calling Maan for the past few days but he rejected every damned call of hers. Things were falling apart and meet knew it was time to get things to normal. Geet was hurting…so was Maan and this was all because of her. she had started this game and she must end it as well.
She weighed upon her options of what has happened and what could be done! it was two weeks now since geet was gone and she by now knew what might be wrong with Maan. That evening she texted Maan to reach her as soon as possible.
And Maan did…he was frantic. He hugged her, asked her if she was alright but his body didn’t recognise her. it repulsed her and he felt angry at his own self. He had to fight with himself a battle to keep his sanity intact.
“what is wrong meet?”, he asked her, concerned.
Meet smiled weakly, “everything is wrong Maan… I am wrong.”
“I called you today because i wanted to talk to you…”, she spoke meekly.
Maan wondered what was there to talk now! Everything felt so useless now… so colorless.
And she continued, “you know what happened to me when i was in the US that made me like this?”
He stared at her for a long time as silence prevailed…she was telling him? did it matter now? These days she’ had been on his mind 24/7 that he had no time to think of meet. But then he let her speak.
Meet hesitated but then held his hand in hers and gently placed a kiss on the back of his palm, “Maan…please promise that you will listen to everything with a clear mind and then give your verdict…please.”
Though his body rejected her kiss ruthlessly, he was overwhelmed with the warmth he always had for this woman. He knelt down in front of her and placed his hands on her lap, which now held her firmly, “yes… tell me.”
Meet knew this was the end but this was what truth is. She took a deep breath in and spoke up, “it was one month since i was in the US for my thesis…and that evening geet and I went to watch a movie. Geet had been asking me to give her time and that evening i finally agreed.”
Maan watched her expressions… forlorn and so distant. She seemed as if she was in some kind of a trance!
“…and i enjoyed with geet. It was 9 at night and we were walking down the streets back to our hostel when i insisted on buying some flowers for our room. Geet was clicking pictures of me, while i walked across the road waving at her so that she could take a good picture…i wanted to show it to you Maan…”
Her lips trembled while Maan just watched he expressions change into a painful one. She was having difficulty to even breathe.
“meet…please stop… i can’t hear it if it hurts you so much…”
But meet didn’t listen and she continued…
“i heard a loud honk in front of me and i didn’t know what happened then… and the next i woke up was in a hospital and geet was the first person i saw! she smiled and said i was alright but i knew something was wrong…it was much later that the doctor told me i had injured my spinal cord in the accident”
Maan gasped hearing that!!! He just realized how life turned upside down in the wink of an eye…one moment you are happy and in the next,you are into darkness.
“they conducted tests after tests… but i knew there was no hope. I am a paraplegic now and will remain so forever. But there are moments when my motor nerves wont work… at time i wouldn’t be able to lift my hands…or at times i forgot i even had hands…”
Tears rolled down her eyes and so was his…he never knew all this! But she could have told him right? He was just a call away!
“then why didn’t you call me meet? You knew i would always be with you. Then why?”
“geet took care of me like a mother there… we moved into a small apartment that her friend agreed to give us until i was back in india… i had lost hope but she never did!
She kept on saying that i would get back on my feet again… she nursed me like no other… even when maa and papa came, she wouldn’t leave my side. And Maan..she actually dropped one semester for me!
She is a very bright student but she dropped her sem…and she has to repeat it all over again! when i was better…they got me back to India and geet came with me!”
“you knew i would search for you like a crazy…then why did you not call me meet? Why did geet come to me insted of you? Why did she play such a trick on me?”, he let his heart out, demanding an answer that he hasn’t been able to find till date!!!
Meet wiped her tears and dropped her lashes down in shame, “geet is nowhere at fault Maan…it was me who sent geet to you… pretending to be me!”
“what???”, Maan was shocked…but his meet would never do that to him!
“no… you are lying! You would never do this to me meet…i know.. you wouldn’t!!”
“no… no you didn’t! Stop lying to save geet… stop taking the blame on yourself…stop playing with me meet…“
“Maan.. Maan.. pls listen to me. You promised you would…please…”, meet begged.
He turned his head away in displeasure but waited for her to continue!
“I am wrong Maan.. i didn’t trust you enough. I was scared..i believed that am no longer worthy of you…”, she cupped his face, making him look at her, “you are an angel Maan…you deserve someone much much better… i couldn’t show myself to you… because i was sure you would never move on from me… who had nothing in her. my disability paints a dark future for me…i don’t even know if i will live the next 6 months.. so i made geet promise to help me. To pretend to be you…show that i have changed and that i am no longer your meet so that you move on…forget me..”
Maan couldn’t believe his ears… she didn’t trust him enough…she didn’t trust his love enough, “you,…you hurt me meet…”
“i know Maan but please don’t hate me. I saw no light in the path i am heading to. Geet ki koi galti nahi that she fell in love with you.. and i was weak enough that i couldn’t forget you. At one point of time, i hated geet for being so close to you…taking you far away from me but she was doing just what i had asked her to.
She took you away from me… but in her own sweet way… making you realize that your heart is with her…and not me, since the very beginning!”
next: Maan’s Decision.