Part 15

Friday morning – Handa haveli, HP

Darji and Brij were in a serious discussion regarding Sameera’s marriage. Darji told, “Brij mujhe lagtha he ab hame Mohinder  se baat karni chahiye. Sameera ki umar bad raha he aur Mohinder ko uski shaadi ki bilkul bhi chintha nahi. woh hamari ladli he iska matlab yeh nahi hua ki hum unki har baat mane.” Brij agreed with him, “Ha Darji, Aap bilkul sahi keh raha he. Hame unhe samjana he ki yeh modelling sab chodke ab maan se shaadi karna chahiye.” Darji: “Ha, Maan jaisa ladka milna bahut muskil he. Aaj waise hi panditji milne aayenge. Unse hi poochlete hain.” Balwinder also joined them but he was least interested in the discussion as he knew Sameera well and that Maan deserved someone better. Both Balvinder and Pammi secretely wished Maan to marry Geet but couldn’t voice it fearing Darji.

Meanwhile panditji came and they gave Sameera’s kundali to look for the auspicious time for marriage. Panditji learned it and mentioned that it is better to get her married after 8 months as the time is not favorable to her until then. After discussing for sometime Darji and Brij thanked him and while leaving he stopped remembering something and asked, “Geet betiya kaha he? Aaj dikhayi nahi diya.” Darji and Brij flinched at the mention of Geet. Balvinder told, “Panditji, Geet dilli gayi he aur panch mahine baad woh sidheLondonjayegi apne padayi keliye.” Panditji was happy for her and told, “Yeh tho bahut achi baat he. Mein unhe dene keliye ek taveez laya tha. Woh dargah mein baba ne uskeliye diya tha. Ab mein usse kaise do?” Balvinder took it from him and assured him that he will give to Arjun when he comes. Darji told, “Unhe in sab ki kya zaroorat he? Unki wajhe se hi hamara parivaar ka itna nuksaan hua he. Agar woh paida nahi hota tho aaj Rano betiya zinda hota. Rano hamari ghar ki lakshmi thi. Jo bhi hamne hasil ki he unke yaha aane ke baad hi kiya he. Aur yeh ladki ne sab kuch khatam karne keliye paida hua he.”

Panditji was surprised by the outburst and asked, “In sab mein Geet betiya ki kyagalatihe. Jo bhi hamare nazeeb mein he woh hame miljatha he. In sab mein us bechari ko dosh mat do.” Darji replied, “Aap hi ne tho kaha tha ki Geet ke janam ke baad bahut sare musibat aayenge is parivaar mein.” Panditji told, “woh meine kaha tha lekin yeh nahi kaha ki in sab ki wajha Geet betiya he. Aap log unko zimmedaar kyun manthe ho?” Brij was angered and told, “Panditji, Aapko pata nahi tab Rano chachi ki maut hui, chachu ka business mein itna bada loss hua aur Arjun ka accident bhi. Yeh kya kam ishara he. Jo khuli aankhon se dekh saktha he usse kyun na mano? Sab us ladki ki wajhe se hua he.” Panditji understood there is no use talking to them. So he left asking Balvinder to convey his regards to Geet. Darji told, “Yeh ladki hamesha khushi ki mauke par dakal dethi he. Jald- se jald wohLondonchali jaye ussi mein hamari parivaar ki achayi he.” Brij agreed with him while Balvinder left from there not able to stand all those cruel words against Geet.

Geet woke up in the morning with a call from Annie. Annie mentioned that they are coming for the party in the evening and they will pick her up in the evening. Geet was little apprehensive about this as she really didn’t want anyone to know that she is related to them. But Annie brushed off her apprehensions and finalized it. Geet sighed after cutting the call. She got ready and left for office with Pinky. Geet entered her cabin only to find Maan has arrived early. She quickly went and prepared coffee for him and took the meeting schedule and went to his cabin. Maan had come early than usual and was impatiently waiting for the arrival of his mishti. He saw her entering her cabin through the blinds and continued to work knowing she will come with his schedule and coffee soon. Geet knocked at the door and went inside the cabin to find Maan staring intently at the laptop. She went near the table and neatly placed his coffee and schedule. She waited for a minute to know if he needs something and decided to leave when he kept mum.

The moment she turned to leave he pulled her towards him and she landed straight on his lap spilling the coffee all over his shirt. She immediately straightened herself in his lap while wiping his shirt with her dupatta. She was too much engrossed in wiping the stains off and chanting “Sorry” countless number of times that she haven’t noticed the emotions she was evoking in him or that she is in his lap. Even though the hot coffee seemed to burn his skin but the contact of her hand through the wet shirt was creating havoc in his senses. He knew she was just concerned about his shirt being wet and also that he won’t be able to control himself if she continued. He caught her hand. She looked at him in concern, but what she saw in her eyes took her breath away.

The way he was looking at her expressed everything untold. She blushed and immediately got up from his lap. She was still concerned of the shirt as he had a lunch meeting with Mr.Singhania. He calmed himself and looked at her and a smile crept his face when he saw her fiddling with her dupatta. She nervously asked, “Woh, aapke kapde.. woh lunch meeting.” Maan stood up and went near her. She was still looking down. He smiled and told, “No need to worry about me. Tumhare kapde bhi kharab hogaya he. Koi baat nahi. Come with me.” Only then she noticed the coffee spilled over her dress. She saw him opening the door and he jestured her to follow him. She silently went after him.

He went to the elevator and pressed the top floor button. Geet went along confused as to what he is doing. The lift opened in the top floor. She could only find a door in front of them. Maan took the keys and opened it. Geet was too shocked to react. It was an elegantly furnished apartment. She looked at him surprised. He smiled and ushered her inside. Once she got in he closed the door and leaned against the door and watched her looking curiously around the whole apartment. He went near her and told, “Acha laga? Yeh mera private apartment he. Nobody is allowed inside except.. ” He kissed her ear without completing his statement. She blushed and tried to move away but he was too fast for her. He pulled her towards him and embraced her in his arms. She didn’t resist and relaxed in his arms. They stayed like that until Maan’s phone rang. They pulled out of the hug and Maan went to talk seeing Adi calling not before winking at Geet who was blushing to a dark shade of red.

While Maan was talking Geet went around the apartment mesmerized by the perfection in the design. There was a fully fledged kitchen, a master bedroom, one study and a very spacious living cum dining. Everything was just perfect and in a combination of white and black shades. Geet explored the rooms while he talked. She went to the bed room. She checked the cupboard and found his clothes arranged neatly. She smiled and whispered, “Perfectionist Maan Khurana..” Maan who had finished the call was just behind her and smiled. He came close to her putting his arms around her waist. She was startled by his sudden appearance. Maan placed his chin on her shoulder and asked, “Kya hua Geet, kyu apne aapse baat kar rahi ho? Mujhe bataona.. ” She smiled. Maan turned her to face him and asked, “Toh tumhe kaisa laga my den?” Geet raised her eyebrows at his mention of den. Maan told, “Geet tumhe abhi bhi nahi pata ki tum abhi Lion’s den me khadi ho. Dar nahi lag raha he? Agar meine kuch kiya tho?

Geet smiled and told, “Mujhe aap par pura bharosa he. I trust you.” Maan was touched by her words and he hugged her closer. After sometime he pulled back and asked, “so you decided which shirt should I wear?” Geet smiled and turned to check his shirts. She selected one and checked the time and saw it was 10.30. It reminded her of the meeting. She gave the shirt to Maan and told, “Jaldi kijiye.. Aapko meeting keliye der ho jayegq.” Maan smiled looking at her. She was tensed and he was smiling without making a move to change the dress. She got irritated and told, “Aap aise kyun khade ho? Aapko change karne mein help chahiye kya?” Just when the words left her mouth she turned back in embarassment. He came near her and told, “Geet, agar tum help kar sakthi he tho..” and came before her. He removed his vest coat and tie. He started unbuttoning his shirt and Geet closed her eyes in embarassement. Maan smiled and held her hands covering her face. He smiled seeing her eyes still closed. He told, “Geet tum aankhen khol sakthi ho…” Geet slowly opened her eyes still worrying. She saw him smiling.

He told, “Geet, see the next cupboard and select a dress for you. I will change and come.” She nodded without thinking. He smiled and left with his clothes. When he left Geet remembered him telling about the next cupboard. She was reluctant but went and opened it. She was shocked seeing the cupboard full of salwar suits and sarees. From the looks itself they seemed to be specially designed. And it seemed familiar but she shrugged off thinking it is Annie’s collection but couldn’t link to why her clothes are here. She was lost in her thoughts that she didn’t notice when Maan came and stood beside her. Maan smiled and went near her. He waved his hand before her who was lost looking in the cupboard and asked, “Geet, tum abhi tak change nahi kiya? Kya soch rahi ho? Kya tumhe change karne mein madat chahiye?” Maan’s words brought her back from her thoughts and she was too embarassed to answer him back. She turned and fumbled with her words, “Woh mein.. woh.. yeh mein kaise.. mera matlab.. yeh tho..

Maan hushed her, “Chup.. Mujhe pata he tum kya soch rahi he. Meine tumhe pehle bhi kaha tha yeh mera den he. Aur koi yaha aata nahi.. ” He paused and went near her. She was facing her back to him. He put his hands around her waist and pulled her closer. Her back collided to his chest. He placed his chin on her shoulder and whispered in Geet’s ear who was blushing hard, “Yeh tho meine tumhare liye rakha he. Jis din tum Annie ke saath shopping keliye gayi thi us din Annie ghar mein aake dadi se keh rahe the ki tumhe koi designer ke kapde pasand aa gayi thi lekin price tag dekhkar waha chodke aayi. So I asked the designer to get me all the latest designs of the suits for the measurements you gave in the shop. Aur meine tumhe aaj tak saari pehnte hue nahi dekha. I really want to see you in saree. So I asked for sarees also. Ab tum batao tumhe kaisa laga?” Geet all the while was holding back the tears that were ready to spill from her eyes. She couldn’t control anymore and she came out from his embrace and rushed to the bathroom.

Maan was surprised by her sudden reaction. He thought that she didn’t like his idea of keeping dresses for her like that. He waited impatiently outside for her to open the door. Geet was pouring her tears out inside. The first time in her life someone has done something so special like this to her. Does she deserve this? How can she accept this? She never even dreamt that something like this. She always made herself believe that her life is never prone to happiness. She had made herself strong to face every adversity in life. But seeing so much love in his words and gestures is making her weak. What should she do? She was bought out of the thoughts when she heard him knocking the door. Maan couldn’t control himself from knocking when he heard sobs from the bathroom. He knocked the door a couple of times and Geet opened the door. From her eyes it was clear that she cried. Geet washed her face and opened the door and saw him staring at him with concern written all over his face.

He came near her and cupped her face and asked, “Geet, I never knew that doing all these will hurt you. I know I took your silence for granted. I never meant to upset you. I will remove all these if you don’t like” Before he could continue Geet put her hand on his mouth and told, “Please aap aisa mat kahiye. Aap ne jo kiya woh aaj tak kisine mere liye nahi kiya. Mujhe bura nahi laga balki bahut acha laga ki aapne mere liye itna kuch kiya. Par mujhe nahi lagtha ki mein in sab ki kabil hoon.” Now it was time for Maan to stop her. He understood her concern and was deeply touched. He told, “Geet, tum aisa kyun soch rahi hoon ki yeh sab meine tumhare liye kiya.” Geet raised her eyebrows and looked at him. He smiled and continued, “Yeh sab meine apne liye kiya he. I want to see you in all the dresses I selected. I need you all for myself Geet. I am selfish. So don’t think much.” She smiled through her tears. He wiped her tears and looked at her. Her eyes and nose were pink and her lips were trembling. He wanted to drink all the tears and sorrow from her life and keep her smiling. He hugged her tight. When he felt Geet calming down he slowly pulled back and told, “Geet change karlo. I will select one for you.” He selected a simple but elegant white suit and gave her. He went to study to call and check with Adi about the details of the meeting.

Maan was mesmerized by her beauty when Geet came out wearing the suit. It depicted her innocence and purity. He walked towards her in a trance..