Part 15

Piya stood rooted in the spot. Did she hear it right?? Or was it just an illusion? No Maan can’t do that… She won’t be able to forgive herself if he did so.. But alas, she was wrong, it was not an illusion. It was the truth, the truth that was hidden from them; their talks followed confirmed it, Dadima and Maan. But the shock was not just for Piya, the two who followed her were more shocked by the revelations. The first thought in Geet’s mind was how lucky Piya was to get a friend like Maan and Karan envied to have someone who cares for Piya more than anyone could think of. However, once the initial thoughts were over, Geet’s heart was filled with happiness knowing that her love was reciprocated with equal intensity and it was meant only for her, while both were in an illusion or fear that their love will not find its destiny.

Her thoughts were broken when she heard Piya talk. Then only she noticed that Piya was inside and Maan and dadima looked stunned seeing her there. Karan was about to go inside when Geet held his hand. She wanted to know everything and she was sure that Maan would have no choice other than to tell to Piya. Piya went near Maan and looked at him for a while. Dadima and Maan were not sure about how much she heard, but could tell from her face that she heard something for sure. Before Maan could tell anything Piya hugged him tight sobbing. Maan understood that she might have heard everything and closed his eyes feeling miserable. He wanted her to be happy not guilty of anything that for now seemed impossible. He was ready to bear any pain, any humiliation, any loss, if it meant a smile in her face. Nevertheless, he cannot see her in tears; she is his best friend, his only friend who he treasured with his life, for whom he sacrificed his love without knowing that instead of happiness, he gave her pain.

He slowly pulled her out of the hug and wiped her tears and told, “Piya, Jab tumhe pata he ki mujhe tumhari aankhon mein aasu acha nahi lagtha he tho tum rothi kyun ho?” Piya told, “Isliye aap meri khushi keliye apne pyaar ko choda? Meri khushi keliye? Sab meri galthi he, mein hi itni kamzor thi. Aur apne sochliya ki agar aapne is rishte keliye mana karu tho mein yehi sochenge ki mein kisi ke pyaar ki kabil nahi ho. Yehi sochegi ki mein aapke pyaar ki kabil nahi hoon.” Maan was about to deny her when she stopped him by placing a hand on his mouth.

She continued, “Aaj mujhe bolne do Maan. Aapne yeh socha ki agar aap yuhi shaadi keliye ha kehdu tho mein yehi sochoongi ki aapne kisi ke kehne par shaadi kar raha he, isliye aapne mujhe propose kiya aur kaha ki mein wohi he jiske saath aap apne saari zindagi guzarna chahtha he. Kyun kiya Maan aisa, kyun kartha hoon mujse itna pyaar. Kyun itna zyaada samajtha hoon mujhe. Aap ne sahi socha tha, agar Karan mere zindagi mein nahi hotha tho shayad mein yahi sochtha. Par aap yeh kaise sochliya ki aapko apne pyaar se alag karke mujhe khushi milegi? Kya aapko ab tak pata nahi he ki mujhe tabse yeh samaj mein aayi thi jab pehli baar meine Geet ko dekha tha, ki aap usse pyaar kartha he, aur humesha se karke aaya hoon. Meine aapke aankhon mein Geet keliye pyaar dekha tha. Aur mujhe pata he ki aap Geet se isliye gussa the kyunki woh Neil ke saath the, aapko usse kisi aur ke saath dekhna pasand nahi tha. Mein bhi aapki dost hoon, kya mein yeh sab samaj nahi sakthi?”

Maan stood shocked as she blurted out everything like reading his mind. She turned to dadima and told, “Dadima, aap hi bolo. Mein sahi keh rahi ho na?” Dadima sighed seeing Maan shaking his head for a no and told, “Bahut hogaya Maan, ab mein chup nahi rahegi. Kisi aur ne aapko har din tadapthe hue dekha nahi, par meine dekhi he. Piya beti, tum sahi keh rahi he. Maan ne tumhareliye apne pyaar ko kurbaan kiya tha aur usme mera bhi haath he. I made him stick on to the decision he made for you, telling about the promise made by Jai and Dhanraj. I made him think that may be Geet didn’t love him back as she never confessed it.”

Piya was about to tell something when Maan shouted, “Stop it.. Just stop blaming yourselves when I am the one at fault. Meine hi sab keliye faisla liya, sab rishton ka faisla meine liya tha, meri galthi thi ki meine decide kiya ki agar meine Piya se shaadi nahi ki tho woh khush nahi reh payegi, par ek baar bhi unse poocha nahi, meine decide kiya ki Geet mujse pyaar nahi karthi, par ek baar bhi usse poocha nahi. In sab mein galthi meri he, tum dono tho mere galath faisle ka shikar bangaya.” Piya told, “Maan, jo apne dost keliye apna pyaar chod saktha he, woh kaise kisi ka bhala nahi chahega? Jo bhi hua anjaane mein hua tha.” Maan interrupted her and told, “Nahi Piya, jo meine Geet ke saath kiya, woh meine poore hosh ke saath kiya tha. Meine unse sab kuch cheen ke usko akele chod diya tha. Uss gunah keliye mein apne aapko kabhi maaf nahi kar payenge.” Piya and dadima noticed the pained expression in his face and knew how much he loves Geet.

Piya herself was in a turmoil but she couldn’t see him suffering like this, that too because of her. She decided to lighten the mood and asked, “Waise Maan, mujhe pata he ki aapka mystery girl Geet he. Par aapko yaad he uss din aapne bola tha ki Maan Singh Khurana kabhi kisi se pyaar nahi karenge. Mujhe ache se maloom tha ki aap unse pyaar kartha tha. Magar aapko yeh kab pata chal gaya tha?” The memory of the past brought a smile in his face. She looked at them and both nodded to tell.

He started, “Geet.. Woh humesha se sabse alag thi. Shayad isliye kyunki woh apne umar ke ladkiyon se zyaada samjdar thi, strong thi. She always held a strong aura around her unlike other girls. From the day I noticed her she was like a craze for me. I thought always that it was the yearning for the forbidden fruit as I always had a battalion of girls waiting to throw themselves on me. She always walked away whenever she saw me, not caring to spare an extra glance. I have seen her turning her face in disgust whenever she saw me with any of my so-called girlfriends. That is when I came to know about Prem and her relationship. I was actually jealous of Prem, may be for the first time in my life. I knew that Prem loved her but later came to know from him that she was not interested in any serious relationships. I was relieved but did not know that I was getting possessive about her; I was starting to love her. When Prem got along with Pari, the first thing I did was to propose her, as I never wanted her to be with anyone else. I felt like I owned her, but my ego always reminded me that it was just a casual relationship.

My male ego was bruised when she denied my proposal to become my girlfriend. So I decided to get her by hook or nook. However, she did not let me wait for long. The days that followed were pure bliss. My eyes always searched for her, my heart longed for her. Her eyes, her crazy eyes.. They always made me feel things that I have never felt before. Every time I looked into her eyes, I felt like drowning into them. Prem’s comment one day about falling in love through eyes made me hold back. I always avoided her eyes telling that they were crazy, but failed to notice the emotions behind those. I could never control myself when she was around. I always had a feeling of possession like she belonged only to me and she added to my feeling by being with me every single minute. I tried to keep my feelings in check but one day I couldn’t hold back and we ended up getting physically close. I woke up with her in my arms and felt myself falling for her. I was not ready to accept it and ended up hurting her, telling it a mistake. My big fat ego played its role there. I failed to keep my control in check and we kept getting close often until that fateful day.

When I was called back, I was thrilled to tell you about her, but was not sure about whether my feelings are love or something else. I had started missing her from the very moment I got inside the flight to India. Then came the decision of our marriage, I was shocked. That night, I realized that I love Geet. No other feeling can force me to go against dad’s wish. But I could never take a decision when it comes to you and when dadima reminded me of dad’s promise I could do nothing. I decided to talk to Geet once I reached there. Next morning seeing your gloomy face, I decided to let go everything else if it means your happiness. I can never compromise your happiness for anything. I did not know how to face Geet after that. On the way back, I was contemplating on what to tell Geet.

The moment she opened the door, the longing, the separation everything came to my mind. I hugged her tight forgetting everything else. I was finally at home having her in my arms, but reality hit me hard when I thought of you. I wanted to know her reaction and told her that I found the love of my life in you, Piya. I felt her stiffen and I expected an outburst from her. However, what she told after that shook me. I could not believe that our relation meant only so much for her. Once the initial shock got over, I was overcome with rage. I accused her with everything that came in my mind and left feeling shattered for even having loved someone like her. Little did I know that she was suppressing her feelings just for the sake of not breaking down in front of me? I decided that love was never meant to be, I started hating love, the feeling. I went to our apartment and met Prem. He was shocked to learn about Geet and wanted to meet her hearing her reaction. I too wanted to meet her as my mind somehow felt that she could not do it. However, the sight of her entering with Neil burned me and I left from there not able to bear seeing her with someone.

I decided to take her off from my mind, my thoughts but was never successful. There was not a single moment in those years that I was not with her. How much ever I tried, I could never forget her, and neither could I move on in my life with you. I tried to be a good husband in all the possible ways but could never let myself close to you. Every time I tried, those memories haunted me. And when I saw her again with Neil, my blood boiled seeing how comfortable she was with Neil and the gossips about their relation added to it.

The revelation that Neil and Annie loved each other was a shock for me. The doubts I had started to come true, I wanted to meet Geet talk to her. I was determined to talk to her on the party at the farmhouse when Karan came. But Rehan, his presence confirmed all my doubts. I knew that he is my son. The guilt over powered me and I went out of the farmhouse in a dazzed state which ended you in hospital. There Annie confirmed my worst fears, how much Geet and our son, Rehan suffered because of me. However, the worst shock was you Piya, for whose happiness I did it all, had compromised her happiness for this. The enormity of the damage of my deeds hit me and I could do nothing.

Rehan’s doctor is one of my friends and he contacted me after witnessing the hospital scene. Rehan’s illness devastated me and how could I forgive myself after committing all the sins. I could never be a good friend, a good lover, a good husband or a good father. I failed Piya, I failed in every aspect of my life. I do not deserve any happiness. I want Rehan to be cured as soon as possible. I cannot let Geet suffer anymore. Nevertheless, she was again bonded by my cursed life; I really don’t know what to do Piya. My son, my love.. I could never do justice to both of them.. I couldn’t even face my son, how could I after what I did? I can’t Piya.. Please do not let anyone know about this. I took promise from dadi, I want the same from you. I deserve the hatred, the loneliness..” Piya’s heart wept seeing him in such a condition. But instead of Piya, it was someone else who spoke, “But we don’t deserve the loneliness, Maan..