“Happy Birthday Beta!!!” Mohan took Geet in his arms and blessed her by kissing her forehead.
“Is today my birthday Baba??” She asked curiously, opening her big brown eyes in surprise. Mohan nodded.
“Yieee!!” Geet clapped in excitement. She jumped out from his lap and ran.
“Geet where are you going??” Mohand shouted.
“Neer di room!!!” She shouted back and walked in to Neer room and jumped up to her bed and started shouting,
“Get up Didi get up jaldiii!!!!”
Neer opened his eyes in shock hearing Geet shout. She sat up abruptly and started this child in surprise as what happened to her suddenly.
“Di give me my gift. You had told me you will bring that on my birthday!!!!” She was pulling a blanket away from Neer and shouting. Suddenly Neer remembered it’s her birthday she pulled Geet in her lap and kissed her cheek and wished “Happy Birthday bacha!!!”
Geet kissed her back on cheek and again started cribbing for a gift. Neer smiled and stood up keeping Geet on bed. She opened her wardrobe and put out a box. Geet excitedly came running to her and raised her little palm. Neer smiled and kept a folded paper on Geet’s hand and without delay Geet made it open and saw the thing. Her eyes widened in happiness and she started jumping in delight.
“It’s so beautiful Didi!!”
“Did you like it!! Give me I make you wear it’
Neer kept Geet on bed and picked out a pair of white pearl anklets from paper and made her wear them. Geet face gleamed seeing it she started dancing. She jumped down.
“Neer di Maan would like it na!!”
Hearing Maan’s name , the shining face of Neer gleaned down in no time.
“I’ll show him whenever he’ll come back. He will be so happy I know, to see what I did with those pearls which he had given me. Didi it’s so good. Now I would not fear to lose those pearls wow!!’
Neer stopped her dance and held her. She sat taking Geet in lap and genuinely asked,
“Geet you had also promised me you would tell everything when I’ll get this anklet for you. Now tell how you got this pearls,”
Geet started thinking for a while and then remembered their first meeting in Maan home…
“Baba where are you going?” Geet asked Mohan who was getting ready to go out.
Mohan smiled looking at her, “I’m going to Bari Haveli Beta’
“Who lives there Baba?”
“A lady and her grandson”
“What’s her name Baba?”
Mohan kneeled down and got up to Geet level and said, “Name I don’t know. Yesterday whose ball you had brought na Beta, I’m going to return it back.” Mohan had thought Geet would cry for not to return it but she agreed without any hassle. Instead she asked,
“Then whom would you meet there Baba if you don’t know her name” Geet asked, giving a worried expression that made Mohan chuckle.
“Hmm That’s a big problem. Geet, will you come with me so you can help me finding her name!!”
Geet jumped in excitement. “Can I also come with you Baba??”
Mohan said yes. Without delay Geet ran to the mirror, combed her hair and put two butterfly hair clips in them. She wore her slipper and came back with her sweet smile, “I’m ready”
“Wah my Geet is looking so beautiful” He touched her face lovingly and took her in arms, made her sit on cycle and paddled toward Maan home.
“Suniye, can I meet to Alka madam”
Mohan asked the guard at the haveli entrance. Guard told him to wait and went back to ask permission.
Geet was looking around with surprised eyes. She had not seen any mansion before and this mansion was catching her curious eyes toward its huge construction. She was stunned seeing this place. Guard came back and said they could go inside. Mohan held Geet hand and ball in other hand, walked in.
“Namaste” ,He greeted the same lady and also said” Geet to greet her. Geet joined her both hands and said “Namaste’ which came out in a very sweet tone. Lady smiled hearing her wish and wished back. Mohan advanced the ball to her.
“Aree you didn’t need to return it , she can keep it!! Geet beta, do you want to keep this ball?” Lady asked. Geet who was still staring at the decoration looked at the ball and she nodded yes.
“See Mohan, she likes it” she returned the ball back to Geet. Geet looked at Mohan with asking eyes and when Mohan gave his agreement, she smilingly took it and held with her both arms.
“Beta, will you eat something” Lady asked. Though Mohan tried to refuse but Geet nodded yes then looked at Mohan and shook his head in no. Mohan chuckled along with the lady and she ordered the servant to get something for her while Mohan sat in the living hall.
Mohan was impressed with lady behavior. Servant brought biscuits and the lady said Geet to have it. She hesitantly took one and started eating while the lady started talking with Mohan. She asked about him and then told about herself. She was Alka Khurana, mother of Maan and had come here with the purpose of selling this property here.
“But Madam why do you want to sell this property?” Mohan looked around the huge place.
“Actually we have many more properties scattered in different places in India. My father in law and mother in law live in the US and after my husband’s death, they want me to settle there with them. That’s why we need to sell all our property here as soon as so we can go there leaving this country forever”
“Oh!!” Gasp came out in reflex hearing that she was a widow. He suggested some person’s name who could help her. They were engrossed in their talk while Geet was busy having her biscuits and suddenly her eyes fell on the aquarium , kept at a little far corner of the hall. She stepped there eagerly. She stopped there and started seeing little fishes with happy eyes. She so much loved these colorful fishes but suddenly she felt, she had seen something different across the glass box.
She got scared, moved a few steps back then again came back to the box and tried to find out what it was. She went to the other side of the box but there was no one. She thought it was her illusion and again started playing with fishes and suddenly she saw the same face appear from the other side of the glass. Her little heart beats raised. With little steps she walked to that side but again found no one was there, she felt she would cry anytime. She was walking round and round around the square aquarium to find who that face was and suddenly Maan appeared and shouted.
And Geet started crying out loud…
Both Mohan and Alka came running to see what happened and found Geet was crying viciously and Maan was standing there looking at her weirdly.
“What happened Geet?” Mohan asked worried but Geet did not reply. She kept crying more. Alka asked same, “Geet Beta tell me what happened, who made you cry, I’ll punish him for sure”
Maan got scared hearing her mother will punish him. He looked at Geet and Geet stared at him with her teary eyes.
“Tell Beta.. ” Alka was forcing her and Geet was looking at Maan only. She saw he was upset. She pointed toward the aquarium and started sobbing. Both elders could not understand what she was pointing to.
“I want this red fish!!” She said innocently.
Alka started laughing along with Mohan who was embarrassed at the same time.
“So you want this fish Geet” Alka asked lovingly. Geet smiled and said yes.
“Okay Beta, when we will leave this place, I’ll gift this aquarium to you okay”
Geet did not collect their going thing in mind just became happy with the thought she would get this fish for her.
“Thik Hai” She said sweetly.
“Let’s go Beta” Mohan said. Geet nodded. She picked up her ball and left. They were crossing a long corridor when a ball slipped from her hand. Geet runs behind it.
“Geet come soon I’m waiting for you at gate!!!!”
“Okay Baba” She shouted back and started following the ball and it stopped at a door. She came and picked it up and was to go back when she turned back and found it was a beautiful room and she saw Maan inside, making something.
“What are you making?” She asked curiously.
Maan raised his head up and saw Geet, standing on the door holding his ball in her hands and was staring toward his thing. He did not reply, but showed a pearl.
“Woww.. kitna accha hai!!!” She left ball and rushed inside. She picked a pearl and started staring it with widens eyes. She very wished to take them with her but was frightened of asking him. She looked Maan who was again engrossed making his thing when Geet kept that one pearl in her frock pocket secretly.
“I’m going!!” She wanted to escape before Maan saw the pearl. She runs out to the door when heard Maan voice for the first time,
She stopped right there fearing. Maan came and opened his fist and Geet saw many pearls in his hand. She got scared thinking he must come to know about her steal. She was more scared when Maan raised his hand and held her pocket. She started him fearing when Maan kept all pearls inside her pocket and moved back.
“Go” He said.
Geet smiled and she ran away smiling and kept smiling till she reached her home.