“ Geet !!” maan yelled in shock. It was sudden. Everything was so immediate he could not think what happened. First her hugging him. It was so soothing and new. Her touch was something he longed for most but then he realized, she was not hugging him but clutching him, holding him like someone would take him away from her. It was touch for pleading, not to go away. A request, a appeal for her last breath because she wanted to live more. Her loud cry was making pieces of his heart and then, everything stopped. Her cry stopped, her hold loosened and she fell on his chest.
“Geet!! open your eyes. Geet please !!” he patted her cheek thoroughly . She stirred unconsciously. Maan heart found its peace, looking her moving. “ Geet !” he called her softly, raised her face cupping in his palm. “ Geet please open your eyes” he whispered. She looked him with droopy eyes. “ are you ok Geet? ” maan asked.
She nodded. She looked concern and worry on his face. She moved back feeling awkward. She composed her dress. Wiped tears from back of her hand. “ take this ” maan offered his handkerchief. She took and cleaned her damp eyes. She gave him back saying Thanks. “ you need water ? ” maan asked, giving water bottle. She shook head. Maan nodded and drove …
In whole drive maan was glancing geet, caring her. She was very upset and fagged. He did, wanted to cheer her up but dint know, how. He dint know her likes. What would make her happy, he had no idea. But, could not see her like this. He thought for while, searching some ideas. He thought for restaurant. He asked “ umm.. Geet ! Are you feeling hungry. I mean, If you want we can for lunch out somewhere ?”
“ Maanji, you have your lunch. I am not feeling hunger, please” she turned her face side, closing her eyes in retrain. His plan flopped. Now what, ” he thought. “ if I were on geet place, what would she have done for me ? ” he thought. He smiled. His eyes twinkled. He fastened car speed and reached, km.
As usual, Geet went to kitchen making lunch when maan said, he would not eat. He had to go in lunch party and he went to his room. Geet was not feeling like do anything so she also left her room, saying Nakul, she has headache. It was not passed about fifteen minutes when maan appeared in kitchen, shocking Nakul, in amazement.
“ Nakul do you know what Geet’s favorite lunch ? ” Maan asked, stood like any inquiry officer, crossing arm across chest.
“ ji ? ” Nakul had to ask, not gaining meaning of this simple question.
“I asked what Geet likes to eat in lunch ! ” maan said again and waited, tapping his shoes, like could not wait more. Here Nakul was still, staring Maan, with open mouth.
“Nakul ! ” Maan shouted. “ Bolo ”
Nakul jumped in fear. “ ji.. wo she likes Indian food ” he told dish name.
“ Do you know how to make these all dishes ?” Maan asked. Nakul nodded.
“ Good! Now tell me ” maan rushed to gas when Nakul interrupted. “ let me make Maan sir”
“ Nakul, dint you hear what I said. Just tell me how to make. I will prepare myself hmm” Nakul nodded and started telling him recipes. Maan was doing everything with extreme concentration. He prepared stuffed Rotis and curry. Meanwhile KM phone rung and Nakul had to go. He described Maan process to put spices in curry and left. Maan listened everything but had not knowledge of any spice which Nakul told. And finally ended up, putting wrong spices and no salt. He with all love, settled plate for her and waited for Nakul.
Nakul was back. Maan handed over plate and said, to take it to Geet. Nakul did what had been told. He knocked Geet door and entered. Geet denied but Nakul forced to have little, so she agreed. First bite she put in mouth and threw out
“Nakul Bhaiya, who made this food ? How bad is it, total tasteless ! ” she made dislike face and kept plate aside, wiping mouth. Nakul face fell down. He was stood there, feeling bad. Geet raised her gaze to see Nakul, and found Maan, behind him. She looked Nakul with questioning eyes and found, Nakul was pointing toward Maan, with cornered eyes. Geet was understanding, there was something a miss. Something , what she should know.
“Who made this food Nakul Bhaiya ?” she again asked, but it was a surety in her voice more than confusion.
“ Geet actually Ma.. ” Nakul was going to tell when Maan called him. Maan dint want to became Her more embarrass. Nakul left room, seeing no option. Maan too, was passing from there, who was standing on door, till then, when Geet called him.
Maan stopped, looking straight. He dint turn. Dint see Geet was behind him, so close but he felt her nearness and could feel, she did know, everything.
“Maanji I am sorry ” she said
“No Geet, you dont need to say sorry. I know food was not that good and so, you disliked it. There is no fault of you in this . Not at all ! ” he replied.
“But I know I should not have said like that . I was just .. ”
“ Shhh” He stopped her lips saying else more, putting his finger on them. “ I said no Geet, you dont need to be sorry. Hmm ! ” Maan whispered. She nodded, feeling bubbles in her body. She shut her eyes, half. Maan moved back his hand.
“ Ahem” he cleared his throat, making situation normal, of course for Her. “ Geet can I ask something? ”
“why did you cry ? Was you thinking about your home . I mean your Orphanage ? ” she looked him. Her eyes went moist again. She shook her head.
“ I dont have any memory for there Maanji ” she said, little mocking on herself, on her life
Maan frowned. “ I dint get ”
“Maanji you are too alone but at least you have memories of your parents, memories of your happy childhood, your school studies and of everything. But I have nothing. Not a single happy memory which I could remember in my sorrow. I have nothing to think what would make me laugh, when I cry. I have nothing Maanji. Today when I saw Meera, I saw how happy she was. How she could see her family, her husband, with so much love and had assurance in her eyes that she could cherish for whole life. But me, I have nothing to cherish .. nothing to trust upon , nothing .. ‘Maanji ” she was sobbing
“ Geet !” Maan breathed. He held her hand “ come with me ”
“Where ? ”
“Just come Geet, dont ask ” Maan took her on last floor of Mansion. They reached to a door, A Door which was closed from years, seemed. He handed over a key to her, which was hanging on next wall. “ Open it ” he ordered. She looked him. He was holding back something. His face had agony. She put key in keyhole and twisted. With a click, it opened and Geet pushed wooden sculptured barriers.
She put key in keyhole and twisted. With a click, it opened and Geet pushed wooden sculptured barriers. She saw a huge place, a beautiful place but dark. Dark like hiding its all wounds inward, from all.
Maan entered. Switched on lights. Geet eyes widen looking its beauty. It was indeed The Best room she had seen in this mansion. A complete royal place. She looked Maan, finding permission to go ahead. He dint look her but nodded. She headed to front wall. A large painting was hanging, with golden thick borders and a beautiful human face was completing this picture frame. She touched, caressed it. It was portrait of a beautiful woman.
“She is my Mom” Maan said. From back, looking lovingly to photo. Geet turned back, and could see, He was grieved. She looked other paintings, hanging, covering entire wall, with authority. It was all Maan’s parents photos, which he was hiding, till now, from all and from himself too . He dint want to see those, which could make him weak, sorrowful, when he was all alone. It was his most precious yet distraction, in goal of tough his life. But today, with Geet, he was again in his past, with his family.
“ Your Mother was beautiful Maanji ” Geet spoke. She saw a Photo Album. She took it up and opened. It had Maan’s childhood pictures with his parents. In one photo, Maan was making funny face. Geet unknowingly started laughing “ Is it you Maanji ? ” in between, somehow she asked.
Maan was happy gaining Her back. He nodded, feeling shy. Geet saw more photos and was making funny comments, laughing her heart out. Maan left her free to enjoy this moment, not disturbing her in her relaxation. He was looking her and when too started smiling , dint know. They sat on floor chair and was enjoying their togetherness. Sometime maan narrated his childhood incidents. He too, started living again, in his abandoned past. It passed about half an hour when Geet found herself hearing
“From Today, its your memory too Geet ”