Part 7

Everything was going in a smooth pace in her life after her son was born. She had managed to convince her father about her stay inLondonand very less people knew about her son. She immersed herself fully in work except when she was with her son, Rehan. But fate never stopped playing games with her. On his first birthday, she came to know that Rehan was suffering from Leukemia. Her whole world came crashing down to her. He was her only ray of hope, the reason she breathe. She couldn’t bear it. Neil and Simran were devastated. They supported her but they knew that she won’t be able to bear it. The doctors suggested the name of Dr. Amrit Arora practicing in Sanjeevani, as 99% of his patients have got the disease cured. They had started Chemotherapy and it was getting difficult for Geet to see her life, her son in such a condition. Doctors assured that it has not got acute and can be cured, but who will console the mother’s heart paining for her son? She hated the thought of returning toIndiabut nothing will come between her son’s well being. They returned toIndiaalong with Simran.

Geet’s thoughts were broken when she felt Rehan stirring in sleep murmuring something. She leaned forward to listen to him when she heard, “mamma, mamma.” Geet had tears listening to her son. She hugged him close and thought, “Why babaji? Why out of all the people, you chose us to suffer? Why you never allowed me to experience love? You took ma even before I could hold her love. I thought I have my son for myself to love and be loved. But you are trying to take him away from me. Why babaji? What I did wrong? I suffered everything silently, without complaining. I took the blame on me for everything that I never did. Then why me?” She had only one wish to get Rehan cured. She closed her eyes praying for his well being.

Next day went good for Geet as Dr. Arora was positive about Rehan’s case. He assured her that it is not acute and can be cured very soon. They had an easier way if Rehan could have siblings. As she told him that she was a single mother, he told that they will start the treatment soon.MeanwhileKhuranaMansionwas also beaming in happiness as the youngest Khurana, Annie had returned home after completing her studies fromLondon. Maan was really happy to welcome his sister even though he had a restless night as Geet’s thoughts plagued him. Night at the dinner table Annie told that she had something to discuss with them. Jai nodded giving her permission while her siblings, Piya, Nandita and dadima eyed at her curiously. Annie told mustering courage, “Aap sabko pata he ki aaj tak meine jo bhi decision liya he sab kuch dekhke hi kiya he. I hope you will agree to this decision too.” She paused for a while and told, “I love Neil.” Maan was the first to react, “What??” Others also looked shocked while she continued, “Yes, I love Neil Oberoi, we have been in love from the past five years, but it was not known to anyone except few. I want to know your opinion. I won’t do anything that displeases you. But for me Neil will always remain my only choice for a life partner. Neil had agreed to talk with dad but I wanted to talk to you before that.”

Maan shouted getting up from his seat, “Annie, are you not in sense? What do you know about Neil? He was a playboy since college and is still in a live-in relation will Geet Handa. And you say you are in love.” Annie looked at his brother in pure contempt, which didn’t go unnoticed by Piya. She told, “Sometimes, people are not what they appear to be. Looks can always be deceiving and sometimes it is hard to know that our loved ones are not what they appear to be.” She paused and turned to her family. She told, “Geet is Neil’s best friend and have always been. We were in a relation even before he met Geet. I know what relation they share and I trust them. Media and people have always woven their own tales. And about living together, I think you don’t know that they live with Simran aunty, Neil’s mother. If you trust me enough with Neil then I will ask him to come and talk to you.”

Maan wanted to protest but Jai started talking, “We trust you beta. I know if you selected someone he will definitely be good. I am sure that my daughter’s choice will always be the best.” Nandita and dadima smiled showing their consent. Dev was pleased with her decision and happy to know about Geet, as he knew about her from Nandini who never believed that Geet share any wrong relationship with Neil. Vicky also hugged her giving his consent. Maan left the dinner table frustrated and Annie didn’t pay much attention to him unlike every single instance in the past which definitely caught Piya’s attention. She was too shocked to react. Geet and Neil are friends. That was really a shock for her. So Pari was implying the same, Geet is not what she appears to be. She could sense something wrong with Annie’s behavior towards Maan. She definitely needs to get into the depth of it. She can’t let this go like the past two years of their life.

Annie told, “Dad, this Sunday they have arranged a party on the occasion of Geet’s birthday. Neil asked whether he can invite you all for the party. Neil’s dad will also be there.” Jai patted her cheeks and told, “Meri beti itni badi hogayi ki apne zindagi ka faisla lena shuru kiya.” Annie hugged him and told, “Dad, aisa nahi he. Mujhe nahi pata tha yeh kaise aapke samne kehna he. Pehle tho himmat nahi tha. Par mein aap logon se kuch chupa nahi sakthi thi. Aur party keliye sirf teen din bakki he tho meine socha abhi bol dethe hain.” Jai told, “I know beta. Tumne aaj tak jo bhi kiya sirf apne mom, dad ko garv hi mehsoos hone diya. Tho yeh faisla bhi tumne soch samajkar hi liya hoga. Mujhe tumpe poora bharosa he.” Annie smiled and others joined them in sharing her happiness. Nandita and dadima was little apprehensive about Maan’s walk out but Piya assured that she will take care of him. Before leaving for bed, Annie came to Piya and hugged her tight. Piya could feel something unsaid is bothering her but didn’t know what. She smiled and left to her room before Piya could ask something.

Piya reached their room and found that Maan was missing. She knew that he will be in Gym. But today she can’t let it go, she was now sure that the relation Geet and Neil shared was friendship. So she can’t let Annie suffer due to his misunderstanding. And there is something more that she needs to clear out. But she was not sure whether she has the courage to do it. She went and saw Maan with a fire wand in hand. She shouted, “Maan..” and he instantly dropped it. She came near him and asked, “Maan, what is all these? Why every time you hear something related to Geet, you forget everything else? Why can’t you see through the truth in Annie’s eyes? Why can’t you see her love for Neil? Why don’t you accept the facts?” Maan tried to be calm and told, “Piya, please thodi der keliye mujhe akela chod do. Hum baad mein baat karenge.” Piya was no where to give up and told, “Maan, aaj tak meine apki sab baat mani he lekin aaj yeh Annie ke zindagi ka sawal he. Mein peeche nahi hatoongi.” He told, “Piya, I am telling you to leave now, we can discuss this later.

She told, “Abhi kyun nahi bata saktha? Aisi kya baat hua he jo har baar Geet ke naam sunne se aap upset ho jatha he? Agar aap batana nahi chahthe tho tik he par please Annie ke khusiyon ke beech yeh sab aane mat dena.” She left frustrated by his behavior. She turned back once and saw him breaking the ice slabs. She thought with a tear in her eyes, “Maan, agar aap apna pyaar pehle pehchana hota to aaj char zindagiyan barbaad nahi hote. How long will you live in an illusion that you love me? When will you understand that our relation was never based on love, it is just because you think I’m perfect as your wife? When will you learn to follow your heart? For everyone else we may be the perfect couple who are in love, just as you think. But why don’t you understand that your heart beats for Geet, even when you proclaims to love me? I can only pray that by the time you realize it won’t be too late.”