Part 3

Somewhere in Delhi, someone was sitting holding the same photo frame with tears in his eyes when he felt a hand on his shoulders. He turned and hugged the person breaking down in her arms. She told, “Dev, please sambhalo apne aap ko.” Dev told, “Jo meine kiya woh maafi ke layak nahi he Nandu. Mein uskeliye kabhi apne aapko maaf nahi kar payega.” He continued, “Nandu, jab usse pata chalega ki mein unhe kabhi pyaar nahi kiya tha tho woh toot jayegi.. Jab usse yeh pata chalega ki unki baaton mein, unki harkaton mein, mein tumhe doond raha tha tho, woh seh nahi payegi.. Usne mereliye apni zindagi hi badal di. Apne doston se alag rahi taki mujhe khushi ho, apne sapnon ko aur chahaton ko chod di taaki mujhe bura na lage, apne habits badal di taaki mujhe unki wajhe se koi pareshani na ho. Par mein har waqt unki galtiyan doonta raha aur bechari koshish karthi rahi mujhe khush karne ko. Par usse kya pata tha ki mein kabh uske saath khush nahi rahenge kyunki mere jaan tho kahi aur base the. In sab mein unki kya galthi thi? Meine unhe nahi bataya lekin mein uskeliye apne aapko kaise maaf kardo? Bolo Nandu. Kaise khush rahu jab meine unki zindagi barbaad kiya he.” Nandini couldn’t console him as she herself was guilty for being the reason for all these. They both sobbed in each other’s arms.

Nandini and Dev were together since college and were in love. Both their families except Nandini’s father knew about their relation. Dev’s father even though was not very pleased with the relation, couldn’t oppose his wishes. Nandini’s family was one of the well known business families in Delhi where as Dev’s family even though rich was never anywhere near Nandini’s. Nandini’s father decided her marriage with one of his business associates’ son. Nandini proclaimed her love for Dev and her father was against it. When she refused to get married to his choice, he threatened to destroy Dev and his family business. She had to agree after his constant threats. It was a hard blow to Dev and he thought that she cheated on him. Dev’s father got him married to Geet few months after Nandini’s marriage. He was forced to get married and somehow tried to be faithful to Geet until he met Nandini again after two years of his marriage. He came to know from her the reason for her marriage and was guilty for doubting her love. When Nandini told how much torture her husband has been doing to her, it added to his guilt.

But the one who was left to suffer all his frustration was Geet. He began to find faults in everything she did. Being the person Geet was she tried to change each and every aspect that irritated him not knowing the fact that she can never please him no matter whatever she did. Nandini’s husband died in a car accident and her husband’s family put the blame on her telling that she was the reason for his death. All these were taking a toll on Geet and Dev’s married life. After knowing Nandini’s whereabouts Pammi and Kamya persuaded Dev to divorce Geet and marry Nandini. In a moment of vulnerability he signed the divorce papers despite the protest of his father who liked Geet very much. The enormity of his deeds hit him when he saw Geet’s ashened face on receiving the papers. He never thought even once until then about what was her fault in all these. She never failed as a wife nor as a mother. It was always he and his wishes. She always obeyed him like a doll even though sometimes she gets irritated and shouts at him.

He knew that the damage was done. In the last six months of their marriage, not even once did he saw that old Geet, all that was left was a body with no soul. He had managed to kill her soul. Her love was pure, selfless. She gave unconditionally and lived in a misconception that he too loved her. He knew how hopeful she was everytime when something goes wrong that everything will be alright, how she let go any fights between them in a matter of seconds, how she always managed to keep herself happy inspite of anything happened, how she always bared the tantrums of his mother and sister without any complaints, how she kept track of every need of him and his family without making it obvious to anyone. But he could see that he has successfully killed all those emotions, he destroyed her hopes, her happiness. The face that was always lively and hopeful was blank, with no emotions. She didn’t ask him the reason but as always obeyed him by signing the papers with a condition to have Garv for herself. He couldn’t have denied her.

He loved Garv and never failed as a father until then but he also knew that she won’t survive without Garv. The worst blow he got was after seeing her waiting outside the court holding Garv for him after they were legally divorced. He knew she expects him to tell the reason for the divorce. But he was not strong enough to give her the real reason. He knew that she won’t be able to bear it. So he kept the blame on Pammi and Kamya but he knew that she was not satisfied with it. Even though he was happy after getting married to Nandini, the guilt never left him. Seeing her living like a zombie added to his mysery. He was reason for her miserable life, that guilt was overpowering his happiness of being with his love.

Nandini was almost in the same state of mind knowing that she is the reason for all these. If she had the courage to stand against her father once, nothing could have gone wrong. But now in the course of getting her happiness back, she had managed to destroy someone’s happiness forever. She knew unless Geet is settled in her life, both of them could never live in peace. She prayed for Geet to get someone who will fill the void in her life, who will give her all the happiness she deserved.

Geet had reached Delhi along with Garv for meeting Dev and for having a discussion with Sasha. After meeting Dev, she was disturbed as he appeared totally worn out like he didn’t have proper sleep since long. She was concerned about him but didn’t knew whether she has the right to enquire him regarding it, so haven’t asked him. She had an appointment with Sasha next day and decided to leave Garv with Brij. Sasha had informed Maan regarding Geet’s visit. She was surprised that Maan signed a deal with a lady as she knew how much he hates ladies. She was given the privilege of being his munshiji’s daughter otherwise the female staff in KI shivered at the mention of Maan Singh Khurana. She was eager to meet the lady who managed to strike a deal with MSK.

Maan too was waiting to meet her as she intrigued him somehow. He wanted to know the real Geet behind the façade. The receptionist, Pinky informed him that Mr. Mehra is there to meet him along with his son-in-law. He asked her to guide them to his cabin. Mr. Mehra came along with a handsome young man. They exchanged pleasantries and Mr. Mehra introduced his son-in-law to him, “Maan, meet Dev Malik, my son-in-law and CEO of Mehra Technologies.” The name Dev strike Maan but he shrugged it off. They had a casual talk and Mr.Mehra asked after a while, “Maan, I was waiting for your call for customizing the software for the new hospital. We need at least three months for the customization.” Maan told, “Mehra uncle, I had asked Sasha to inform you regarding that. May be she missed it out. We have given the project to HMC, a London based company. They are developing it for the new hospital.

Mr. Mehra asked little disappointed in losing the project from KI, “Maan, I too have heard of HMC, but it is a start-up firm which completed only one year. Will it be wise to give such a good project to them that too in such a short period of time.” Maan told, “Uncle, I think we should give them a chance to prove themselves. But I will always look forward for your products for our projects.” Mr. Mehra told, “It is alright Maan. I know you. Even I wanted to meet the MD of HMC, who has managed to make a mark in the field within a short span of a year.” Maan told, “She is here today to have a discussion with Sasha. I will see to it whether you can meet her.” Mr. Mehra as well as Dev wanted to meet her. Maan asked Sasha to send Geet to his cabin once they are done.

They had a casual talk meanwhile. Maan always dotted on Nandini as a sister and kind of knew the tensions in her married life and about her late husband. He asked, “Uncle, how is Nandini? Why didn’t you call us for her marriage?” Mr. Mehra told, “Maan, you know the tensions she faced till now. We wanted to have a private function so had only the family members for marriage.” He continued after a sigh, “It was my stubborn decision that ruined her life. At least now she got back her happiness.” Maan looked questioningly at him. He continued, “Dev and Nandini were in love since college. But I was against it and forced her into the marriage. Fate has again brought them together as Dev also couldn’t adjust to his marriage and got divorced.” Maan listened to everything silently but he felt some familiarity in all these.

Their talks were disturbed by a knock at the door. Geet entered the cabin and greeted Maan. He greeted her back and asked her to take a seat. He noticed Dev flinching seeing her and his doubts were confirmed. But Geet’s eyes or face didn’t give away any emotions. Maan was not sure whether Geet has heard their conversation. Mr. Mehra was pleased to meet her and talked to her for a while. He was impressed by her confidence. Not once did Geet glance at Dev except when Mr. Mehra introduced him as his son-in-law that too for a brief moment. After a while she told, “Mr. Khurana, I have discussed the details of the project with Sasha. We will start our work right when I am back to London. I have a flight to catch tomorrow morning. So if you don’t mind can I take leave now?” Maan told, “Yes, Ms. Handa. You can proceed.” Mr. Mehra took her contact details before she left, making a note to contact her soon. Dev excused himself just after Geet left in pretense of getting a call. Maan knew that he wanted to meet Geet. His curiosity got better of him and he too left behind them giving some excuse to Mr. Mehra who was busy feeding Geet’s details to his laptop.

Geet was in the corridor when she heard Dev calling her from back. She had reached Maan’s cabin just after the discussion with Sasha when he heard someone inside mentioning Nandini. She waited for a while not knowing whether to interrupt or not. But what followed let her world fall apart. She stood there shocked beyond wits. The fact that she was deceived, she lived five years in false hope, shattered her. But she knew that before she could break down she needed to face them keeping her facade. All the while during the conversation she was struggling within to keep herself composed. She wanted to run away from there. But all the pretence failed when she heard Dev calling her.

She turned around. Her eyes were red with pain and tears started flowing down. Dev knew that she heard everything. She asked before he could tell something, “Dev, ek baar mujhe keh diya hota. Mein aapki zindagi se door chali jathi. Teen saal.. Teen saal kyun mujhe yahi khwaish se jeene diya ki humara pyaar saare musibaton ko door kardenge? Kyun mujhe nahi bataya ki mein chooti umeed lekar baiti hoon? Ek baar bhi yeh nahi laga ki mein bhi ek insaan hoon, jiska ek dil he jo sab kuch mehsoos kar sakthe hain? Mein uss pyaar ki umeed lekar baiti jo kabhi meri nahi thi. Mein bewakoofon ki tarah sub kuch karthi rahi jisse aapko khushi mile lekin mujhe kaha pata tha ki aapki khushi un sab cheezon mein nahi thi. Mujhe aapse sirf ek vinthi he. Please kabhi kisike saath dobara aisa mat karna, woh toot jayegi..” She turned and left before Dev could reply. There was one more person who was left shocked hearing all these, feeling bad for a lady for the first time in his life.