Part 16

Maan didn’t need to turn back to recognize the owner of the voice. Hearing his name from her after two long years, made his heart beat fast. But he never wanted her to know about it like this. He wanted to confess it himself but only after he was punished for his deeds, for leaving her alone when she needed him the most, for breaking her heart, for making her feel used, for letting her go through the pain of betrayal. Dadima and Piya had a slight smile in their faces. They knew that now they have to leave it to both of them, their talk can wait, but the two who suffered the most out of all these should sort out the things now. Piya looked at Geet feeling guilty for being the cause of her suffering, but Geet shook her head understanding her thoughts, she will never hold Piya responsible for anything. Even when she thought that Maan loved Piya, she never held a grudge for her, then how will she now? Karan knew how Geet must be feeling then, he was happy that his friend got her love, not a compromise. He gestured Piya and dadima to follow him and left them to talk.

Maan was still facing his back towards Geet. She slowly went near and stood facing him. He was looking down not knowing how to face her. Geet moved forward and closed the distance between them. She held on to his collar and asked, “Kyun nahi bataya mujhe, Maan? Kya aapko meri aankhon mein aapkeliye jo pyaar tha woh kabhi dikhayi nahi diya? Ek baar batathe tho mein apni saari zindagi us umeed lekar guzara hotha.” Maan held her hand and looked into her eyes, there were tears, pain and happiness, above all, there was love, and he knows that it was only for him. He wiped her tears and told, “Geet, please ro mat, mein in aasuon ki kabil nahi hoon. Jo meine tumhare saath kiya woh gunah maafi ke layak nahi hoon. You deserve better.

Geet cupped his face and told placing a peck in his forehead tiptoeing, “Maan, kya aapko kabhi yeh pata tha ki mein aapse nafrat kyun karthi thi? Mein yahi sochthi thi ki mein ek aise insaan se pyaar kiya tha jisne sirf mujhe apne physical needs keliye use kiya. Yahi sochkar nafrat kiya ki, mein aise insaan ke saamne kamzor pad gayi thi jisse mere feelings ka kuch kadar hi nahi thi. Tho aap hi batao mein aapse kyun nafrat karu jab mujhe yeh pata chalgaya he ki meri soch galat thi, mera pyaar humesha se hi meri thi aur rahenge bhi. Kis baat ki sazaa doon jab aap in do saalon mein utna hi tadap rahe the jitna mein tadap rahi thi. Kis baat ko leke gussa ho jab aapne apne dost ki khushi keliye apna khushi chod diya tha. How could I blame you, Maan? How could I blame you for choosing your friends’ happiness over your love which you never knew was reciprocated?

Maan felt that his heart would explode with emotions evoked in it. He cupped her face and told, “Geet, I am sorry. I know that you will never let me feel down. Nevertheless, the sin I did is unforgivable. I am so..” Before he could complete the sentence, Geet locked his lips with hers. His hands instantly went to her waist and held her closer still having a little hesitance to claim her like he did before. She held him tight feeling his reluctance. The years of separation, the longing for each other was clearly visible in the kiss. Geet’s heart was at peace. Even though, she appeared strong and determined from outside, her heart always longed for him, his love. She could never gave her heart to anyone. He had always dominated it. Now when she knew that he has always loved her the same way she did, she couldn’t hold back the emotions she suppressed for long, the longing to be cocooned in his embrace. He held her tight, he cursed himself for letting her suffer all these years without him. He could feel the urgency, the longing in her kiss. What he has done? How could he leave her to suffer like this? If once he confessed his feelings, everything could have been fine. However, his ego ruined everything. His over concern pushed five lives into misery. He vowed never to let her down anytime in their life. He knew that she needed him.

Feeling the moisture in her eyes, he slowly pulled out of the kiss. He kissed away the tears feeling miserable for having the reason for her tears. She noticed a slight red near his right hand and caught his hand to check. He tried to take it back but one angry glare from her was enough for him to stop. She pulled the sleeves of his shirt and she noticed a cut near his upper arm. Her heart pained seeing it. She made him sit on the recliner much to his protest and removed his shirt. The sight awaited her shocked her. His whole upper body had only burns and bruises. Tears started flowing out from her eyes seeing it. Maan closed his eyes knowing that his deeds have again hurt her. Why he had to be the reason for her misery always? He could not get himself to look at her. She asked for the first aid box and brought it. He moved little in recliner to make place for her, but she sat in his lap instead. She cleaned the wounds, some of those were fresh and she knew that he was doing it daily. Tears didn’t stop while she applied medicine on the wounds. She kissed every single burn and bruise feeling his pain every time she touched a wound. Maan held her waist and pulled her closer.

She looked into his eyes and asked, “Kyun Maan, kyun karthe ho aap aisa? Kyun yeh sab karthe ho? Kya aapko pata he mein kitne apne aapko rok rahi thi jab us din aapko aise dekha tha, kitna dard ho rahi thi mujhe aapko dard mein dekhkar?” He told, “Geet, jo hua mein usse sudar nahi saktha. Par mein wada kartha hoon ki aaj ke baad kabhi tumhari aankhon mein aason nahi aane denga, kabhi tumhe akele nahi chodenge, kabhi hurt nahi karenge..” Before he could finish she pulled him to another kiss. She pushed her tongue inside his mouth getting the taste and feel of him. He pulled her closer by her waist. His hands moved over her bare waist. He slowly pulled out of the kiss after some time and placed her on the recliner. He kneeled down near her and moved the saree from her stomach. He kissed her there and hugged her by her waist. He told, “I am sorry gudiya, meri wajhe se tumhe aisa janam dena pada. Tum humari pyaar ki doosri nishani he. Jo hua uskeliye mujhe maaf kardo.” Geet ran fingers in his hair knowing what he might have went through all the while.

He looked up when he felt a small hand on his hair. He looked up to see Rehan looking at him. He hugged him tight. Rehan ran his small fingers in his head and told, “Dadda.. Dadda..” Geet was surprised hearing him calling that. She asked him, “Beta, aapko kaise pata ki yeh tumhara dadda he?” Rehan smiled and kissed Maan on his cheeks. Geet looked at Maan confused as she knew that Rehan never got along with strangers but with Maan he was behaving as if they know from ages. Geet asked, “Maan, what is going on? Rehan aapko kaise jaanthe ho aur woh apko dadda kaise pukarthe ho?” Maan looked down feeling guilty to have met Rehan without her permission. He told, “Geet, I am sorry. Meine Rehan se hospital mein pehli baar mila tha, Piya ke accident ke baad, jab bhi doctor unhe check up keliye le jatha that ho mein unke saath the. I waited every week for the day when I could meet him. Amrit mera dost he aur unhone mujhe help kiya tha. I am sorry Geet, for meeting him without your knowledge. I knew that nobody would allow me near him. But I couldn’t prevent myself from meeting our son.

Geet smiled through her tears. Even though she was happy that they were back together, she was still concerned with his reaction towards Rehan. But how could her Maan keep himself away from their son. She told, “Maan, aap mujse sorry kyun bol rahe ho? Aapke bte se milne ko aapka poora haq he. Koi bhi aapko rok nahi sakthe. Mein bhi nahi. Yeh meri galthi he ki meine aapse yeh baat chupaya. Mujhe pata he agar meine aapko Rehan ke baare mein kaha hotha tho yeh sab nahi hotha. Mujhe pata he ki aap mujhe chodkar nahi jaatha. Shayad humare nazeeb mein yeh dooriyan likha tha isliye yeh sab hua.” Maan hugged Geet and Rehan close. Unknown to them, the whole family was witnessing their reunion with tears in their eyes.

When Piya and Karan returned with dadima to KM, Annie was searching for Geet. She asked, “Geet bhabhi kaha he? Aap dono unhe waha chodkar wapas kyun aagaya?” Karan told, “Annie relax. Woh thodi der mein wapas aayenge..” Piya and dadima was controlling their urges to spit out the truth due to the word they gave to Maan. Annie told, “Aap log pagal tho nahi hogaya? Bhabhi ko us insaan ke saath chodkar aaya jisne unki zindagi barbad karli..” Jai told her to bring Geet back. Piya couldn’t let them. She told, “Bas bahut hogaya.. Ab mein aur chup nahi reh sakthi.” She turned to Karan and told, “Hum dono bata nahi sakthe par aap tho bata sakthe hona. Please..” Karan knew that it is time for everyone to know and Maan has suffered enough.

Annie asked, “Ab bolne keliye kya baaki he? Karan bhai aap bhi, aapko pata hena bhabhi aaj tak kaise jee rahi thi.” Karan told, “Pata he Annie, isliye tumhe waha jaane se rok rahi hoon.” Jai asked, “Karan, kya matlab he tumhara?” Karan sighed and told everything that happened. Everyone was guilty for stranding Maan like that when he was suffering all the while without even trying to deny anything. Annie had tears in her eyes and she was about to rush to the outhouse when Neil held her and asked, “Annie, tum kaha ja rahi ho?” Annie told, “Mujhe abhi bhai se milna he. Mujhe unse maafi maangna he” and rushed out taking Rehan with her, without giving anyone time to respond. Neil hit his head knowing she had everything in extreme, whether it be anger or love. He went after her to prevent her from barging into their privacy leaving others to repent for their words.

Annie entered the outhouse only to find Geet sitting in Maan’s lap nursing his wounds. She was embarrassed and knew that she should not have been there. She heard their talk and asked Rehan to go to them. She was about to leave and turned to Neil who came looking for her. He told, “Tum kab koi kaam soch ke karenge Annie? Tumhara gussa aur pyaar humesha extremes mein kyun hotha he?” Annie smiled through her tears and hugged him hitting lightly on his chest. He smiled and watched his friend getting her life back. He saw her smile, the glow in her face that he never got to see in the past two years. He had always known that only Maan could bring it back, but never had faith in him. They were about to leave when they heard Rehan calling Maan dadda. They were shocked and turned to listen to them.

Annie was more guilty when she heard her bhai. How could she think so low about him? He was the one who always took care of her every need, she remembered how he saved her whenever she did some prank, it was he who supported her for every wish of hers. How could she forget all those? She knew that she won’t think when she is angry but this time she didn’t even wait to listen to his explanation. She cried in Neil’s embrace feeling sad. The whole family had followed them and witnessed the whole thing. Nandita was in tears seeing her son’s condition. Even though she couldn’t accept what he did earlier, she couldn’t see him in pain. Now knowing his intentions it pained her more. Dadima patted her shoulders and nodded her head negatively. She wiped her tears and looked at Jai who was in a similar state as hers. The thought that the promise he made to his friend, somehow affected their lives made him feel more guilty. Nandita held his hand with concern. He told, “Unhe kuch waqt do.. Hume wapas chalna chahiye.” Everyone left them to their privacy.