Geet woke up next day feeling her eyelids heavy. She remembered the past day events and her eyes got watery again. She know the only dream she had in her life will always remain a dream, a dream of her only love. She understood the difference between dream and reality. How could she forget the fact that she was bullied by his friends and.. She being a scholarship student was always a reason for them to find her faults, besides the fact of her being an orphan added to the taunts. Only few were there who were friendly with her, but none could really help her from everything. How could she even dream of something like that when she knows her fate? The realization was a heavy blow to her feelings and she had left the party abruptly leaving a message to Mr. Chopra on being unwell. She composed herself and assured herself not to fall weak again. She saw a couple of missed calls from Mr. Chopra and her secretary Hetal. She called Mr. Chopra, he was worried about her abrupt missing from the party. She assured that nothing is there to worry. He told that he was able to initiate the talks for a big deal and she has to come early. She promised and cut the call.
She freshened up and came out. Her face again had the blank expression that has always been there since past few years, the best way to hide herself in the mask. She got ready in her formals and left to office. When she reached, she found that everyone was in a hussle- bussle. She was surprised and left for her cabin as she knew Hetal will have the details. She reached her cabin that was in a corner as she liked privacy and wanted to be away from everyone. She noticed that Hetal was looking nervous and was constantly checking herself out. She found it odd and went to sit in her chair obvious to Hetal who was lost in herself. Geet checked her for some time and slowly called her, “Hetal, if you are done with admiring your beauty can we start with today’s schedule.” Hetal was startled and mumbled a few apologies before starting to read out her schedule. She had one meeting by Mr. Chopra for the business deal he mentioned and two meetings post lunch. She knew Mr. Chopra will take care of everything for the morning deal as he personally takes care of all the big deals. She will have to give her input only after the first meeting. Soon she got engrossed with her work. Hetal informed by 11.15 that the business partner has arrived and the meeting will start at 11.30.
Geet took her laptop and asked Hetal to follow her to take the notes. When she was nearing the conference room, her heartbeats started increasing. She took a minute to compose reminding herself about the events of the previous day and entered the conference room. She greeted Mr. Chopra in a deep discussion with the business partner who was facing away from her, before taking her usual seat. She connected her laptop and waited for their discussion to finish while going through some of the unfinished tasks. Soon their head staff too joined along with few from the client side. Yash, their delivery head was supposed to give the presentation. He appeared nervous which was uncommon. She shook her head and returned to what she was doing. After a while, Mr. Chopra stood up to address everyone. As Geet was sitting in an end, she couldn’t see the client and she didn’t bother much. Mr. Chopra started with a big smile, “Let me start off with thanking Mr. Khurana for agreeing for our proposal.”
Geet’s heart stopped beating at the very mention of his name. She blinked couple of times looking at Mr. Chopra who seemed really happy. She turned her face to look at the client who was now facing everyone with a calm face with no expressions. She looked down immediately, there he was, Maan Singh Khurana at an arms distance from her. She pinched herself below the conference table to check if it is reality. The pain in her hand confirmed that he was really there. It also brought back the memories of the previous day. She held her hands tight together and composed herself. She started to concentrate on Mr. Chopra’s words neglecting the pain in her heart, the need to look at him. The blank expression was back in her face as she concentrated on the presentation given by Yash. She understood that in her absence they worked hard for this, the previous day. She felt bad that she couldn’t help him as she could feel him nervous. Normally her help will always give him enough confidence to carry out the presentation, but she could notice few faults in it today. She knew that they would never disturb her if she needs space, as they knew how she works. When the presentation was finished, everyone was looking for the feedback from him. He was silent for a while and she knew that he would definitely point out those. So she just stood up and told, “Hello everyone, I am Geet Handa, I would like to add a few points along with Yash’s presentation.”
Everyone’s eyes went to her. Mr. Chopra and their head staff smiled knowing that she is going to cover up any mistakes, which was there in the presentation. Mr. Chopra introduced her before she proceeded, “Mr. Khurana, meet Ms. Geet Handa, CEO of Chopra Industries.” He had a look of a little surprise in his face which he covered up soon and asked her to continue. She elegantly added the few points covering up the mistakes and making few more additions. When she finished her staff and Mr. Chopra seemed to be in a great relief as they knew it was perfect. Everyone from the client end including him seemed impressed. She thanked them and went to sit. Finally he spoke up, “Mr. Chopra, it seems to be a good proposition and I would like to go with it.” His staff nodded positively and Mr. Chopra’s happiness knew no bounds. After further discussions, the staff was asked to leave and only Mr. Chopra and Geet remained with him. Geet was concentrating more on her laptop and answering the occasional questions while Mr. Chopra discussed about the further proceedings with him. In between Mr. Chopra got a call and excused them. It was only both of them in the room. It was difficult for Geet to be in the same room with him and being alone made her more nervous, but she could hide it efficiently. He cleared his throat and asked, “Ms. Handa, your name sounds familiar. Have you studied in **** school? I remember Sam and Rahul mentioning your name.” Geet could sense a mockery in the voice and those names evoked an unknown rage in her mind. She answered looking straight into his eyes without any emotion, “Yes Mr. Khurana. I am the same scholarship student whom your friends used to bully there.” She answered and got back to her work.
Maan was taken aback by her response and the coldness in her eyes. It was like the eyes were dead, opaque to the whole world. From the time she started the presentation, he felt a familiarity but couldn’t figure out where he met her. She had covered up every mistake in the presentation and her suggestions were just brilliant. He remembered someone whose speech resembled hers. Geet, she was the same person, the person he hated during his school days. She managed to win the hearts of the teachers in a short period of time, due to her excellent performance, which he never liked. He never wanted someone who can compete with him. So he indirectly supported the dislike his friends had for her who used to taunt and bully her in every possible way. Nevertheless, what he never saw was the silent tears she used to shed all those days and the admiration in her eyes for him. However, he felt that he is seeing a very different person today. She was cold and composed; something very different from that old Geet, who was innocent, nave and sensitive. Nothing around her seems to affect her. His thoughts were broken when Mr. Chopra entered the room. As soon as he entered, Geet excused herself and left the cabin after telling Thanks to him.
Mr. Chopra told, “Hope you haven’t got bored.” He told no while Mr. Chopra continued, “Geet talks very less and that too only if required. But ever since she started working here, our company has seen only success. She can be told as the backbone of Chopra Industries.” Maan told, “I could see that.” Soon they started discussing other formalities but her blank face never left his thoughts. On the way back home, she was the only thought in his mind. He has seen her cheerful, lively and talkative. But, he couldn’t understand how she changed like this. It was like, the Geet he knew is dead and it is someone else in that place. The ringing of his mobile brought him back from the reverie. He checked and saw that it is Yash. He took the call and asked, “Hello Mr. Yash Malhotra, aaj mein tumhara band bajne wala tha. Acha hua kisi ne tumhe bachaya.” Yash shouted from the other end, “Saale, mujhe patha tha kuch aisa hi hoga. Par jab tak Geet ka support he aisa kuch nahi honewala.”
They both were buddies from childhood as Yash’s father was the most trusted employee of Maan’s father. None of the differences in wealth ever stood against their friendship. Maan had offered him to join KC, but Yash wanted to do everything on his own and he always supported his spirit. Maan asked, “Yash, woh humare junior thi na. Ab woh tumhare company ka CEO aur tum delivery head. Very bad. Yash Malhotra kahan fas gaya.” Yash’s tone got little serious and told, “Maan, don’t make fun of that. She deserves it more than anyone else does. Why don’t you stop your taunts to her? Can’t you see that she is not the person whom she was?” Maan told hearing the change in his voice, “Yaar, mein tho mazak kar raha tha. Par tumne seriously liya. Waise tum sahi keh rahe the. She is very different now. What happened?” Yash signed and told, “Pata nahi yaar. Jabse mein uske saath kaam karna suru kiya tha tabse woh aise hi he. Baat tho bahut kam karthi he, meine unke chehre pe kabhi hassi nahi dekhi he. Sabse bahut detached he. If you ask something to her, she never lets you continue it. You know, she has even worked continuously for a week without sleep. Finally, Mr. Chopra had to forcefully send her home. Shayad uss hadse ke baad woh aisa hi he.” Everything he told was a shock as well as surprise for Maan. He asked, “Hadsa, kaun si hadsa?”
Yash continued, “Tab tum London chale gaye the. Rahut tried to force himself on her. Dev and Sam had supported him in that. Acha hua Meera ne uski aawaz sunli. Nahi tho pata nahi kya hotha. Par poore college ne usse aisi halat mein dekh liya tha. Aur uske baad tho sab usse hi dosh de rahe the. Koi bhi Rahul ke khilaf kuch bolne keliye tayyar nahi the. Woh akeli kya karthi, mein aur Meera uske saath the, par hum bhi zyaada kuch nahi kar paya. Par hume sabse bade tension iss baat ka tha ki woh royi nahi, she just turned cold and emotionless like there is no life inside her. We tried our best to bring her out, but she never reacted to anything. After school, she left leaving no trace of her to anyone. We couldn’t get any information as she was living in an orphanage and was told that her sponsor took her with him. After coming here, I came to know that she had completed her studies in Germany. But still no change is there except that she works like a robot. The only time I have seen her happy was during the award function held yesterday but don’t know why she left so soon from there. I simply can’t understand her now.”
Maan couldn’t get himself to speak for a while. He cannot even think of what she might have gone through with no one beside her. He felt his anger rising as he thought of what his friends did. He told, “Par un logon mujhe kuch bhi nahi bataya.” Yash laughed and told, “Maan, tumhe lagtha he woh Maan Singh Khurana ke bad books mein aana chahthe hain? Nahi na? Sameera tho kabse tumhe impress karne ki koshish kar rahi thi, tho woh yeh kyun bataye tujhe jab sab ko pata he tum kaisa he. You don’t even know Rahul’s numerous attempts over female students in our college. Only with Geet, he failed to fulfill his intentions. Dev and Sameera have always been silent partners in all his doings. They were so enraged when Geet denied Dev’s proposal to become his girl friend.”
Maan felt ashamed of his brother to have done something like that. Moreover, he too added to their rage. He could see what all these have done to the bubbly, innocent girl who always had a smile in her face. He talked some more time to Yash and cut the call. He reached his office but her thoughts didn’t leave him. He couldn’t understand why he was getting so involved in her when all he had for her earlier was hatred, now? May be sympathy, he consoled himself.
Dreams may not come true.. But destiny always pave way for a new hope..