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Part 3

Next morning, they were all set to go. Meera had come to bid bye to her best friend. They both shared a very strong bond. There was not a single day that they haven’t met after they became friends. After Pinky left to Delhi, most of the time they used to spend together. Both had got their admission in the same university as well. Meera was supposed to go with Geet but she had to wait for a week to get her certificates. Even that one week separation was painful for both.

Darji and Brij were glad that finally Geet is going away from their lives. They din’t want her to come back to HP even Geet too had no plans to be come back after all that she had suffered. Darji was little apprehensive about her stay inDelhi. But Arjun and Meera convinced him. He din’t want her to stay in Handa Mansion in Delhi and was adamant on that decision. Arjun couldn’t do much on that as none else was supporting him and finally agreed for her to stay with Pinky. Thayaji and thayiji were happy that Geet will be free from this hell and lead a happy life and sad that she is going away from them. But all that mattered was her happiness which they could never give her in the past 18 years.

And finally it was time for Geet to say Good Bye to HP. She was sad that she was leaving her thayiji who cared her like a mother. Geet knew she will definitely miss her. She took blessings from Thayaji and Thayiji. Darji couldn’t snap when she touched his feet as Maan was there, so he unwillingly put his hand on her head. Brij gave her a deathly glare warning her to never come back. She hugged Meera and both couldn’t stop their tears.

Arjun tried to lighten the mood “You both are impossible. You are going to meet in a week and still crying. Jab tum dono ki shaadi hogi tab kya hoga? ek hi ghar mein chaloge kya? usse bhi acha idea he, ek hi aadmi se shaadi karlo” Thayiji hit his hand. All others smiled. Meera told “Mein yeh soch rahi dhi ki ek hafta is chatter box ke bager mein kaise rahoongi. Inki bak bak sunne ka aadat pad gayi he.” Geet got irritated “Mein bak bak karti hoon. Ha? Abhi dikhathi hoon tujhe mein aur kya kar sakthi hoon.” and started smacking Meera. Meera started running and Geet chasing behind her. Darji and Brij was fuming but couldn’t tell anything.

Maan was all confused seeing the bond Geet shared with Arjun and Thayiji. Maan self thought “If she is just a distant relative, why they care for her so much? Why Arjun had to come all the way fromDelhijust to take her. I need to find out why?” He being Maan Singh Khurana couldn’t digest the fact presented to him so easily. He decided he will clear it out once Geet is alone with him. He was now curious to know more about her.

Geet hugged Meera and Thayiji and bid Good Bye to all. Glancing over the haveli, which was her home for the past 18 years, she entered the car with Arjun. The past memories flashed over her mind and she felt the pain which she has been hiding from others. Even Arjun couldn’t recognize her unshed tears. Maan followed them in his car. Arjun left Geet with Maan once they were at a safe distance from the haveli.

Geet was quiet through out the journey. Maan was stealing glances at her but noticed that she was lost in her thoughts. His ego din’t permit to start a conversation. Maan self thought “Yeh itna chup kyun he? Sab usse chatter box bulathe he aur isko mujse baat karne mein kya problem he. Shayad un sabse door jaane ka gham he. Yeh thayiji aur Arjun se itna attached he par Arjun ki shaadi mein nahi dhi aur Arjun ne iske bare mein kabhi bataya bhi nahi. Ab yeh tho kuch bol bhi nahi rahi he tho mein kaise ise poochonga?

Geet was in an emotional turmoil. The pain she has been hiding for many years started taking over. She couldn’t figure out whether she needs to be happy or sad. Her dream will be fulfilled in next 6 months. But was it her dream. No. Her dream was to be with her family, to be part of their good and bad times, to love, to be loved. She wanted to once hug her papa and tell how much she love him, how much she wished to be with him. She never blamed her papa or her siblings for what they have done. She believed it is her fate. She is not going to come back once she left for her studies. She wanted to be away from them. She knew Arjun will definitely won’t approve that. But it will be more painful to bear their hatred than going away from them. Immersed in her thoughts she even forgot that she was in car with Maan.

Maan finally got impatient and decided to break the silence. “hmm.. ” Geet was still lost in her thoughts. He slightly shook her and she came out of the reverie. She turned and saw him staring at her. For a moment she thought she is dreaming but then realized she is traveling with him from past one hour and haven’t uttered a single word. Geet: “Ji“. Maan was lost in those hazel eyes. She repeated, this time little louder. Maan came back to senses. “Ha.. Tumhe kuch chahiye.” He blurted out. Geet was surprised “Ji??” Maan self thought “yeh mein kya pooch raha hoon.“and told “mera matlab pani chahiye?” Geet smiled “Ji nahi.” Maan was stunned by the beautiful smile. Maan asked “Why are you calling me Ji? I have a name.. Maan.” Geet self thought. “Oh.. How will I call him by name? woh Arjun bhai ka dost he. bhai bula doon? nahi Geet. Tum usse bhai kyun banana chahthi ho? lekin woh kya sochega? chaddo.. I will call him bhai.” “Ji.. Maan bhai.

Color drained out of Maan’s face hearing that. Maan self thought “Maan.. woh tumhe bhai bulaya. Oh no. Kuch tho karna padega.” “Geet tum mujhe bhai kyun bula rahi ho? I am not your brother. Aur isse pehle ki tum mujhe uncle bulavoo mein tumhe batatha hoon mein itna bhi budda nahi hoon. Call me by my name.” Geet sighed “Oh tho yeh bhi nahi chahthe ki mein unhe bhai bulavu. Acha he.” and told “Ji Maan.” Both smiled.

Maan asked “Geet, tumhare ghar mein aur kaun he? Mene kisi aur ko yaha aate hue nahi dekha.” Geet was caught of guard by his question. She didn’t know it coming. Geet hide her nervousness and told “Mera un sab ke alawa aur koi nahi he. Wohi mera parivaar he.” Maan thought her parents might have died, so she is here with them. “Oh I am sorry. But how come we never met before. I mean you were not there on Arjun’s and Naintara’s marriage and I have never seen you here whenever I came here.” Geet thought  “Babaji. Mein kaise inke sawal ka jawab do? Yeh mujhe kaha phasa diya.” and told “mein apne ek aunti ke saath rehti dhi. Naintara di ke shaadi mein me aayi dhi. Shayad aapne mujhe dekha nahi hoga. Aur Arjun bhai ke shaadi tho Dilli mein dha na. Isliye nahi aayi.” Maan seemed satisfied with her reasoning and Geet took a sigh relief.

Maan was really interested in knowing her more. To be precise for the first time in his life he was talking to an young lady so nicely. He felt she was different from all those who were after him to impress him with their charms. He liked her simplicity and innocence. He developed an instant liking to this girl from their first meeting itself. He was trying to deny it as Maan Singh Khurana’s ego was something which never lets him accept this fact.

Geet too was not having a different thought. She was never a type of girl who gets attracted to someone so easily. But something about him attracted her like moth is attracted towards flame. She liked the way he conversed. She din’t see any signs of pity on his face when she told she has no family instead there was concern.  But she couldn’t take it. She shrugged off those thoughts. “Geet tum yeh sab kaise soch sakthi hoon. Yeh tho Annie di ki bhai he. Mujhe inse door rehna he. Me bhi zyaada jhoot nahi bol sakthi. Chup rehna hi acha he.” She became silent and starred outside.

Maan thought “Yeh tho phir se silent ho gayi. I tried to start a conversation, Maan Singh Khurana pehli baar kisi ladki se baat karna shuru kar diya aur woh mujhe attitude dikha rahi he. Tho yahi sahi. Mujhe bhi unse baat nahi karna he.” He was back to his sadu self. Rest of the journey to Amritsar was quiet.

They reached Amritsar and signed the documents. The land was legally transferred to Maan and he handed over the cheque to her. He told “So you are rich now. ” She smiled. He continued “Darji told you are going for higher studies. Are you going to join any college in Delhi?” Maan couldn’t hide his curiosity. Geet replied “I have got admission for BA Tripos course in Architecture in Cambridge Universityand I will be leaving in next 6 months. Till that I’m going to stay with my friend.

Maan was impressed. He thought  “This girl is an enigma. There is more about her that I have to know. She is different.” He smiled at his own thoughts. Geet saw him smile and thought he might be making fun of her. Maan looked at her and saw her questioning eyes. He understood she has taken his smile in the wrong sense. He immediately told  “In my family all the women except my dadi was never interested in Architecture field. I really wished my sister to select this path. But she was never interested. I found it really great to have chosen this course and in such a prestigious university. ” and smiled. Geet was really glad hearing that. “Thanks Maan.” She replied and smiled.

Maan was again lost in her smile. He thought  “My name sounds so sweet when she calls me. Her beautiful smile.. Her hazel eyes.. Her rosy lips..” Maan was admitting slowly that he was falling for her. Geet noticed that he was starring at her. She couldn’t stop a blush from creeping her cheeks. He instantly noticed that and smiled as he knew she was also getting affected by his presence. Both were brought out of the reverie when the registrar called to handle the papers to Maan. With the new realization they headed towards Delhi.

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