“Money !! ” her thought went to this word. She looked him instantly. You gave me money so you could touch me .. like that man.. hai naa .. ” her eyes questioned Maan Singh Khurana…
” what you mean Geet ” he shouted. He felt insulted.. how could she mistook his kindness.
“you gave me money so you can do with me , anything you want.. I know.. sab asa hi karte hai. That night also, warden took money from that man and then he…h..he wanted to… ” she could not tell. She was badly sobbing, feeling so alone. Maan felt bad for her. His anger lessen down, seeing her so much in grief. “Geet ” he called .. he wanted to know , what happened to her that night.. he was curious since that night , why Geet was in his car, in poor condition.. “Geet ” he again called seeing no response from her. She looked him, hearing he called her. But her state was not better.
Maan raised her hand to hold her, helping her to sit but she moved back. She shook her head pleAding please dot touch me.. I hate it . He understood her discomfort ” Geet ..baitho ” he ordered seeing no effect of his request. She sat , at far corner of sofa. ” Geet .. if you want.. you can share with me ” he said , sitting on other sofa, opposite of her.
“kya share ” she asked slowly..
“kuch bhi Geet.. whatever you want to .. your childhood, your Orphanage.. your friends ” he replied patiently.. he wanted to hear .. it was his inner wish. He wanted to know, how her life is diff from his.. “bolo Geet .. do you remember your family your parents.. ”
” Family ?? she looked him.. warden said, my family had left me in railway station when I was only 2. .. ” she said meekly.. Maan heart pricked. He diverted her mind.. ” and your friends Geet ?? ”
Friends ?? ” she smiled in tears , seems thinking about her friend.. ” haa.. Meera.. my friend… bachpan se .. where I used to live before.. she was same as me. We were best friends.. we used to go school together.. our age was also same.. we were of eight. Then one day , a couple came and took Meera away from me.. I cried and asked .. warden said she been adopted. I dint know what was adoption. Then bari didi said Meera will be happy in her new house. I dint know where she went.. I never could see her again.. she was my best friend ” Geet spoke lost somewhere, in her past. Maan looked her. He knew she was not presence here.. she was like spellbind. ” fir kya hua Geet ?” he asked like a hypnotizer..
“fir.. fir a was at 12. I used to go school. Aapko pata hai I got scholarship.. ” saying her face glowed. “mujhe padhna bahut achha lagta tha.. fir one day principle called me and said I could not study more.. I did not get what he meant . Then I saw my warden was sitting there. I asked her. She told , I was not doing up to the mark in study.. so school wanted to throw me out.. But I know, she got money to give my seat to any other girl. My senior didi had told me.. after leaving school, I never got chance to come out of Orphanage. Warden never allowed us to go out. ” Maan seen a sorrow in her eyes.. a sadness, not to complete her dream..
but then Maan saw a smile. She smiled saying ” fir humaari new warden aayi. She was very nice. She taught me stitching, cooking and many works. I was very happy. Do mahine (months) pahle I had been shifted here.. in xyz Orphanage. I was happy here too but here also warden was very strict. She never wanted us to go around, out of Orphanage.. per mai jaanti hu kyu.. taki hum bhag na jaaye .. I dint know why she was afraid but after that night I knew.. ” she been silence..
“uus raat kya hua tha Geet ” Maan asked .. with concern. He guessed something horrible was coming, still he wanted her to tell him,, everything.. Geet looked him .. ” bolo Geet.. kya hua uss raat ko ” his brave tone gave her a security. A push to tell him everything.. she started …. she told what happened .. crying… she cried heavily.. trying to wash off every bad memory from her heart n mind. Maan did not stopped her. He let her cry and then as he thought, it worked. She felt light. She felt a heavy burden removed from her heart. Slowly her cry became sobs..and sobs turned hiccups.. and then she stopped… she felt pain in her head due to cry..
“Geet.. tea banaogi ” Maan said very softly.. Geet looked him. “tea ?? ” she asked confusedly.
“hmm .. ”
“per aap toh tea nahi peete ” she asked ..
“hmm.. but you like ..hai na ” he guessed… she smiled slightly and nodded ” adrakh wali (ginger tea). She said and went to kitchen. Maan felt guilt for his behavior. She was innocent and had been faced so much cruelty of life, that one could never even imagine. He felt bad , for what he said her in his anger. Her one question toward him , made him like wounded from inside.
She came back with two cups.. one of tea and next , of coffee for him. He took cup and offered her to sit. ” what you doing here ?? ” Maan asked sipping his coffee and remembered this new taste.. he looked her knowing she used to make coffee for him.. these days. She was sipping her tea, sitting straight, feeling conscious in front of him. ” Geet.. aaram se baitho ” he said.. ” now tell me.. what you are here .. in this night”
“wo .. mai do din se yahi soti hu ” she said, not looking him..
“kyu ??” he frowned ..
“wo kitchen me chuha (rat )hai ” she said innocently.. like it was not rat but any elephant. Maan chuckled.. she looked him smiling… she twisted her lips, hiding from him but he saw..
“hmm ” he did not say further.. he was happy her mind had distracted… after sipping their coffee n tea, dont know when… both lost in deep sleep.. on their respective sofas…