Last Chapter

 


Early morning chilled wind caressed Rano’s face as she opened the window of her kitchen.It was still dark outside but chirping of birds were telling that morning had arrived and was waiting for “sun”to spread its brightness.Fresh aroma filled the kitchen as tea started boiling in the pan.Rano was about to add milk in the pan when she felt two arms encircling her waist from behind.

“Good morning mumma” Geet spoke as she placed her chin on Rano’s shoulder.
It was not the first time when Geet had hugged her this way but there was a difference today which made tears welled in Rano’s eyes as she realized it.Instead of geet’s dupatta,her cheek was touching her mother’s cheek as she hugged her from back. Rano immediately turned around to saw her daughter clad in white patiala suit.Instead of wrapping her face today,her dupatta was in her neck.There was no glasses on her eyes however they were still closed.
“Geet..” Rano called in a teary voice as she caressed her daughter’s cheek. Geet had told Rano her decision of meeting maan and confess her love previous night. Rano could understand her daughter’s wish to look beautiful at this important moment.
I want to look beautiful for him mumma..”Geet exclaimed..”if not completely then as much as possible i can look with these scars..”She spoke further as her fingers caressed  her scars. 
“You are beautiful beta..”Rano said as she took a little kohl on her finger and placed a black dot behind her ear.Geet had not opened her eyes yet..Rano very well knew her daughter’s fear as she asked her,“Geet..you have not checked your eyes yet???”
Geet nodded her head in No as she shut her eyes tightly..
“Check it beta..”
“No mumma,I can’t do it myself..I would open my eyes and you tell me whether my squint is corrected or not..”Rano was able to feel the fear in her words.
“You would check it yourself beta..”Rano said adamantly.
“No mumma I can’t..What if it is not corrected yet???”
“That won’t affect maan’s love for you..He would love you no matter your squint is corrected or not..Now go to your room and check yourself in mirror..”Rano instructed her daughter as she turned around to check the tea on the gas stove.
Geet opened her eyes to see her mother’s back as she stepped towards her room.
She did not want to do that but as soon she reached near the mirror,how eyelids got closed in a reflex.Last time when she had seen her naked eyes in the mirror,it was in the hospital room.That moment had instilled a strange fear in her heart.Fear that a twelve years would have felt after hearing her mother’s conversation with doctor..Fear that accident had snatched something very important from her life..Fear that her scarred face and defect in eyes had increased her mother’s troubles..She had always acted brave infront of her mother as well as society but fear never left her existence but It kept on changing its meaning as she grow older.It changed from fear of not getting any friend in the school to fear of never getting “someone” who would love her like a lover.
But now she had that “someone” in her life and It gave her courage to open her eyes and look into the mirror…
It was thirteen years since her eyes had seen “her eyes”..She had forgotten that her eyes were hazel colored..She had forgotten that her eyes were doe shaped..But now watching her eyes after thirteen years made her forget that she was checking her squint as she kept looking at her eyes in the mirror without blinking.
“Geet..”Rano’s soft voice made her blink as she shifted  her gaze from mirror to her mother.Her hazels became teary as she slowly took her steps towards her mother.She wanted to tell her that her squint was gone but emotions chocked her heart as well as throat. Rano wanted to scream in joy after examining her daughter’s eyes.There was not any defect but only saline water of happiness…She thanked God as she cocooned her daughter in her embrace…
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Environment was slightly gloomy at the breakfast table in Khurana Mension today.Everyone was eating silently with their mind still lingering at the incident happened yesterday. Mamta looked at vicky .He was eating silently without making a fuss about not getting his favorite grilled sandwich for breakfast.Gloominess on his face pinched Mamta’s heart.
“I would take maan’s breakfast in his room..”Mamta spoke breaking the silence as she kept the glass of orange juice in the tray.
“Good morning everyone..”
Mamta was about to leave the dining table when a sweet voice touched her eardrums.She turned around to see a girl clad in white patiala suit standing near the door.If she would not have recognized her voice,it was impossible for her to believe that she was geet.Before Mamta could greet her,she saw Vicky running towards her..
“G…!!!” Geet heard him say restlessly as he reached near her however his monosyllable confused her.She wanted to ask him about him calling her “G” but next moment she found his hands embracing her as tears trickled down his cheeks.He wanted to thank her for saving his life but all he could say between sobs was “Bhai loves you alot “G”…!!!”
Geet rubbed his back to soothe him.Very softly she made him pull out form the hug after some time.
“I know that…”She spoke as she removed the food crumps near his lips..“Everything will be all right..”She spoke further wiping his wet cheeks.Her assuring words brought shine back to his orbs as he gave a teary smile in response.
“Where is your bhai???”Geet asked finding maan absent at the breakfast table.
“He is in his room upstairs..”It was mamta who answered her question coming towards her..”Take this breakfast for him..”She instructed geet handling her the tray.“He needs you beta..”Mamta spoke caressing her cheek softly. Geet was able to feel the vulnerability in her words as she nodded her head in acknowledgement making her way towards the stairs.
“Few spots can’t mar Moon’s beauty..!!!”Nitish heard his wife say after some time with a glowing smile on her face.
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You can play this if you want…
Maan was buttoning his shirt when he heard a knock at the door.
“Come in maa…”He exclaimed turning towards the mirror to wear his tie.
“Keep the breakfast on the bed,maa!!!”He spoke further as he heard door opening and someone entering inside.”You have unnecessarily bothered yourself maa..I was about to come downstairs..”
Geet heard him say with his back towards her and his hands busy making the knot of his tie.A shiver ran down her spine as her heart felt a strange emotion in new light of realization that man standing infront of her was not only her boss,was not only someone whom she had loved irrevocably but someone who was equally in love with her also.Her hands trembled little as she kept the breakfast tray on his bed.
His fingers halted on his tie as he heard chime of glass bangles.It could not be his mother as he had always seen two Gold kadas{bangles} adorning his mother’s wrists.With a thumping heart he turned around to find Geet in his room..It took sometime for him to realize that Geet was actually present there.He did not let his eyes blink as they captured every detail in her from red stones in her white juties{footwears} to white and red glass bangles in her hands.Smile which was lingering on his lips disappeared as his gaze fell on her scars.A pang of guilt hit him with much force making him turn around once again. Geet was able to read his eyes. There was silence in the room for next few minutes except the chime of geet’s bangles as she sat down and started buttering the toasts for him.
Maan was done with his tie but still could not dare to turn around and pick his waist coast.
“Mumma was saying that I am looking very beautiful today..”He heard her voice after some time.He wanted to tell her that how right her mother was but could not muster the courage to do so.
“Look at me Maan and make me feel beautiful..”
Her words had not only touched his ear drums but his heart also as he could not stop himself from turning around now.He looked in her hazels which were not veiled by spectacles today and found immense love for himself.
“Don’t forgive me so easily geet..”He spoke as he moved towards her.
“For what???”She asked without breaking the bond between their eyes.
“For giving you these scars…”
“Don’t you like them maan???“She asked.Her omitting “sir” after his name gave a strange satisfaction to him.
“You might have hated them when they did not let you play “Sita” in the drama..”
 
“Yes,I had..but you know what my mumma had told me then??She said,”These scars are my bravery medals for saving the kid..”I have never hated my scars after that day till I saw you so close to Sameera in orphanage..That day I felt bad about my scars after so many years.I thought I would never be able to get my “love” because of them..She spoke as she adjusted his tie..
“Your love???”Maan asked with his heart beating loudly against his rib cage in anticipation.
“I love you maan…!!!”
Her open confession made his heart miss a beat.He wanted to hug her forgetting everything around them But It was not that easy for him to forget the mistake he had done in past.Tears welled in his chocolate brown eyes as he averted his regretting gaze from her.
“I was always scared that these scars would never let me get your love maan!!!..and now remorse in your eyes is turning my “fear” into reality..Please don’t make me hate my scars once again maan!!!…Please forget everything…!!”She pleaded in a teary voice.
“It is not possible for me geet!! I can’t see them as some “bravery medals”..They are something which had given you immense pain in last thirteen years and I am the reason behind them…”He answered in a defeating voice.
“They are not my bravery medals any more maan…!!!”She said cupping his face..“Now they are “love bites”for me because the person whom i love most had given me these marks..You should not regret for giving me these love bites..”A shy smile crept across her lips as she finished her sentence.
Was it possible for somebody to be this good?? He wondered as tears trickled down his cheeks freely.
“Let me love you first geet…!!!“He exclaimed in a teary voice removing her hands from his face.A pink hue touched her cheeks when his hands embraced her tiny waist to pull her more close to him. Geet closed her eyes as her lips trembled in anticipation of her first kiss But his lips never touched hers.Instead she found him kissing her scars slowly.He trailed soft kisses on the scarred portion from her fore-head to neck with tears streaming down his eyes simultaneously.
“You have healed them..”Geet spoke with closed eyes feeling his kisses and tears on her scars.
“No..I was healing myself..!!!” He answered kissing her eyes one by one.Geet opened her eyes only to see that love in his eyes which was masked under the remorse till now.
“I love you alot maan…”She spoke throwing her arms around his neck. Maan hugged her more close to him thus avoiding even the air to create distance between them.He dipped his face in her hair as he whispered in her ear…“Marry me geet!!!!”

 

Chapter 16

 

“Have some rice beta,,,”Rano offered geet. They were having dinner however it was quite late tonight because geet had returned near 10.30 pm from maan’s house..

Geet nodded her head for No knowing very well that if she spoke a single word now,tears which were chocking her throat would spill out. 
Rano did not ask her anything when she announced her denial for maan’s marriage proposal after coming back home.All Rano knew was that her daughter had denied this alliance for some other reason,not because she did not like “Maan”.Her words,”He can’t marry me” when she ran out in hurry, were still ringing in Rano’s ears.If geet herself did not want to marry him,she would have said,”I can’t marry him” instead of “He can’t marry me..”
“Geet you never told me that you work in such small Construction Company???“Rano asked biting a piece of cucumber.
“No Mumma..!!!”Geet gulped the food in her mouth before speaking further in a feeble voice..”Khuraana Construction is one of the biggest construction Companies in India..”
“Oh reallly..I had never imagined that I would find MD of such big construction company buying vegetables from our street..”Rano exclaimed casually..
“Why would Maan sir buy vegetables.???“Geet asked in a surprising voice.
“Then what was he doing in our street???..I don’t think any of his client lives in our colony..”Rano said getting up from her seat.
Rano’s question made geet leave the spoon as she looked towards her mother..”What do you want to say mumma???”She asked holding her hand thus stopping her from leaving the dinner table. Rano sighed loudly as she took her seat back..
“I don’t know geet why are you denying to marry him but believe me you would never get a life partner like him..”
“I know that mumma..He is the “best”..but what about him???Don’t he deserve someone better than me???
“He is the one to decide this beta..and he had chosen you..”
“No mumma he had not chosen me..His remorse had “chosen” me..”
What remorse geet???” Rano asked furrowing her eyebrows in confusion.
He was driving the car that day maa..He thinks he is responsible for my scars..”
Rano’s eyes widen in shock hearing her words.She knew very well about which day geet was talking about.With a thumping heart,she looked in geet’s eyes to find “anger or hatred” for maan but none was there.Instead her eyes showed the pain..
“Do you think same geet???”Rano asked meekly.
“No..mumma..not at all..”Geet answered immediately..”He is the one who had suffered most because of that accident..You know,the kid whom i saved was his own younger brother…He had faced very serious trauma after that accident..I have seen his guilt. I have seen him regretting..Moreover,I never wanted him to know about all this but you told him everything..”
“No geet..I have not told him anything..”
But you yourself had told me that you talked to him about my accident..”
Yes,I talked to him about your accident..I told him that you have scars at left side of your face and I wanted to tell him more but he stopped me saying that he already knew everything about your scars and squint..”
Oh my God..!!!”Geet exclaimed as she hid her face in her palms.Tears she was trying to control till now were flowing freely down her cheeks.
“Geet..what happened beta???”Rano asked with worry watching her daughter crying so bitterly..”Tell me beta..why are you crying???”She spoke as she tried to remove geet’s hands  from her face.
Last five minutes had made geet realize that “Remorse” is the biggest punishment by God.She knew very well now how maan would have felt since last 13 years and how maan would have been feeling after knowing entire truth which she herself had told him.
“Talk to me geet..“Rano said in an angry tone finally removing her hands from her face forcefully.
“Mumma..I..my self..told him..everything..”Geet said between hiccups as she hugged her mother. Rano felt her shoulder getting wet with geet’s tear as a smile appeared on her lips.Her daughter was in love with the man for whom she was shedding her precious tears. Rano kept her daughter in her embrace till her hiccups and sobs died.
“Geet..”She called her daughter after some time,making geet come out from her mother’s embrace.
“Mumma..I always wanted him to save from  this pain..and look what i have done.???I myself have given him this pain..“Geet spoke as fresh tears brimmed her eyes.
and you yourself can heal his pain beta..“Rano said caressing her hair.
“How???”
By reciprocating his love…By showing him all the love “you” have for “him” in your heart..He loves you alot beta..You know why he was wandering in our street asking your address today???”
“Why mumma???”
“Because he had heard our cell phone conversation today’s morning..He was afraid that i would get you married to some other boy..He was here to tell me that he loves my daughter and wants to marry her..I have seen “honesty” in his eyes when he had confessed his love for you infront of me..All i have come to know about him in this one meeting is that he is very good human being..May be that was why I did not feel any anger for him when you told me he was the one to hurt you…”
“No mumma..He had never hurt me..”Fate” had hurt all of us..”
Rano smiled watching her daughter defending “maan”..
“You are right geet..Fate had hurt both of you..But It also has made both of you love each other to heal this pain.. Maan wants to marry you because he loves you,not because of his remorse..He did not know anything about all this when he had asked for “your hand” to me..”
“How can he love me ??He loves someone who is very beautiful…”Geet mumbled to herself as all “his” words describing the beauty of girl in the story started ringing in her brain but this time they were followed by his voice asking her,“Did you read further,geet???“She remembered the disappointment in his eyes as she moved towards her room to read the remaining crumpled papers. Rano saw her daughter closing the door of her room with a lost look on her.She folded her hands while closing her eyes as she prayed for the happiness of her daughter..
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Geet was impatiently searching the next crumpled paper in her room after finishing the previous part.Father son conversation had not only increased her curiosity but changed her perspective towards the entire story also.She was searching the paper in the folder when she remembered that last crumpled she had collected from his cabin was still in her bag.Her fingers trembled little as she took out the paper from her bag and started reading it…
She did not realize that she was crying till her vision got blurred .She wiped her tears with the back of her hand as she saw her son coming towards the door.She immediately hid herself at a safe place where her son could not see her.She had never preferred someone watching her crying because as per her opinion,she looked ugly with tears in her eyes. But today she knew very well that she was hiding herself because of some other reason.She could not dare to face her son after hearing his conversation with his father.She had realized that her relation with her only soon needed to be amend but before that she wanted to confront her husband who despite her ignorance still loved her.She wanted to tell him that last fifteen minutes of her life had changed her entire existence, that her husband’s scar did not matter to her anymore,that her ” physical beauty” which she had worshiped till now did not hold a candle to her family.With a teary smile,she entered in the room.She was formulating words to start the conversation when she saw her husband walking past her without acknowledging her presence.”May be he was angry..”She concluded as she followed him towards the hall. Her son was sitting comfortably on the couch with his entire attention on the laptop in his hands.
“I think this picture would be perfect..”Father spoke showing one picture of hers to his son.
“Pick any picture daddy..Its for her “obituary”not any modelling assignment..”Son replied shrugging his shoulders in nonchalance.
“Your mother had lived her life as a “most beautiful woman”..I want to bid farewell to her without compromising with her “beauty”..Her best picture should be published in the news paper..”Father replied staring at her picture in his hands.Soon he was alone in the room as his son left the room..
She was shocked..
She was terrified…
Her gaze fell on her saree once again.There was not only mud on it but her blood also..Her eyes widened in astonishment as she looked at the big mirror at the front wall.There was no reflection..”Was she really dead..???”She wondered as she came near her husband who was still staring at her picture.She tried to touch him but could not do so..She cried..She yelled at top of her lungs but her voice did not reach his ears..She was tired after all the vain attempts of making her presence realize to her husband when she saw a tear escaping her husband’s eye.She felt contend to see that her husband was shedding tears for her.The scar on his forehead that she had hated till now,seemed most beautiful to her. But soon she saw her husband wiping the tear as he spoke,”It is good that you died in that car accident coming from party that night..otherwise you could never be able to see yourself getting old and ugly..”
But now she wanted to grow old with her husband,if given a chance…
But now she wanted to breast feed her son,so little love could bloom in his heart for his mother,if given a chance..
 But all her chances were snatched from her forever..She was too late to understand the real “beauty” which her husband possess who loved her truly despite her imperfections...
Geet felt immense anger for herself as she finished reading the story.She was totally wrong about Maan’s perception of beauty..Only if she had read it before,she could have saved him and herself from all this pain…She was unable to decide whether she should feel happy that God had bestowed Maan’s precious love upon her or she should feel sad for giving the same person this much pain…

Chapter 15

 

Mamta was very well aware of the fact that a fatherly concern was hidden beneath all the  frank and friendly interactions of Maan with Vicky.Vicky was more like a son to Maan rather than brother.  Knowing very well about today’s social structure,She had never dreamed of a daughter in law who would  treat maan’s younger brother as her son,but she wanted her to treat vicky atleast like her own younger brother. But today,standing near the uppermost step,witnessing geet taking care of her younger son,she felt utterly blessed by almighty God for making her elder son choose this girl for himself.With a satisfactory smile lingering on her lips,she caressed maan’s cheek as she spoke,”I am proud of your choice,beta!!!”.Nitish could feel the  excitement in his wife’s words and steps as she went downstairs to meet her future daughter-in-law.But strangely She did not show any restlessness or worry which should be shown by a mother after seeing single drop of her son’s blood. Geet had not only won her mother-in-law’s heart but a mother’s trust also.

“You should use an ice pack,It would help in reducing pain…”Geet was instructing Vicky when she felt a hand on her shoulder from behind.She turned around and saw a lady in cotton green saree and small Kum kum bindi adorning her fore-head..These two things had caught geet’s attention most as she got up from her place.She did not need any introduction to realize that the lady standing infront of her was Maan’s mother. Maan had got his eyes from her.
“Good evening ma’am..”Geet greeted Mamta however her formal addressing irked Mamta a little.
“Good evening beta..”Mamta replied while giving geet one more tissue from tissue box to wipe her fingers.”Vicky go and get an icepack for yourself”She instructed Vicky as she lead Geet towards the couch only to be followed by Maan and Nitish silently.
“Make yourself comfortable beta..”Mamta exclaimed taking a seat besides Geet. She was able to feel geet’s discomfort as she was avoiding looking in Maan’s eyes who was sitting opposite of her.
“What would you like to have beta???Tea or coffee??”Mamta asked in order to start the conversation.
“Tea maa..!!!Geet likes tea..”Maan answered before geet could tell her choice. Mamta and Nitish gave a teasing smile to their son which did not go unnoticed by Geet. The kind of welcome she got from maan’s family was clearly indicating  that Maan had told his family everything.And now exchange of these teasing glances between them confirmed her doubt.
Putting all her wits together,she looked straight in maan’s eyes.Her heart pained knowing very well that she was going to reject “that” she had yearned most and “that” she would yearn most in future.She ignored her heart and let brain did its job as she spoke..“I have to talk  about something very important”..
Geet’s words caught both Nitish as well as Mamta’s attention as they were reminded of the fact that their son had not confessed his love to geet yet.
“I think we should let them speak in privacy” Nitish spoke to Mamta as he got up to leave the room.
Wait..“Geet spoke a little loud..“Please don’t leave..I want to talk in your presence..”She spoke further in comparatively low voice averting her gaze from Nitish to Mamta. Maan saw his parents taking their seats back as he held his breath in wait of geet’s opinion.He knew that reason behind her visit to his home at this hour of night was his marriage proposal.It was actually a long wait for him as Geet took much time in choosing right words to start the conversation while fidgeting with tissue in her hands.When she did not speak even after five whole minutes,Mamta thought to initiate the much needed conversation.
“Geet beta..Maan has told us that he has chosen you as his life partner…”
Mamta’s voice as well as words startled her badly as she spoke,”Maan sir has not chosen right girl ma’am..I am not the girl with whom he wants to spend his life..”Her gaze was fixed on her hands once again. Before mamta could say something,she was stopped by Nitish as he gestured her to keep quiet with his eyes.
“You are that girl geet..!!”Maan exclaimed in a desperate voice making geet shift her gaze from her hands to him.
“No sir..That girl would be most beautiful girl in this world..Bees would have borrowed nectar from roses for her lips …
Water would have borrowed curves from river for her body..Star would have borrowed darkness from night for her hairs.. and Pearls would have borrowed blue color from ocean for her orbs…”Geet retorted using “his” words as familiar pain constricted her heart more strongly.She could never forget those words as they had made her yearn for beauty for first time in her life.
Geet saw shock appearing on Maan’s face but soon it was replaced by a painful disappointment as he asked..“Did you read further geet???”
She lowered her gaze once again unable to look in his questioning eyes.She would never be able to answer if he asked the reason behind her not reading further.
Nitish and Mamta were completely clueless about their conversation but they could guess very well that it was not going in a favorable direction.Silence lingered in the air for next few minutes as Maan waited for her answer,which was perplexing Nitish and which was making Mamta loose her patience as she spoke,“If you are not his choice then why maan wants to marry you,geet???”
“Because of his remorse maam..!!!”
“Remorse???”Nitish asked scowling.
“Yes sir,remorse..Because I got these scars while saving “vicky” that day..Believe me sir,I never wanted him to know about all this but my mother accidentally told him everything..”
An audible gasp escaped Mamta’s lips hearing her words as she clutched Nitish’s arms tightly.Both of them looked towards their son.They saw same fear in his eyes which they had seen 13 years back.Life’s maze had brought him back at same place where his worst memories were residing.
Geet could not dare to look in his eyes as she spoke further.”I don’t blame you for that accident sir then why are you punishing yourself by marrying a “ugly” face??These scars are nothing infront of what you had faced after that accident..Please sir,we both could never be happy with this marriage..You should not..”
She could not complete her sentence as she found maan leaving the room silently.She kept looking at his retreating back as “pain” hit her heart with full force.There was slight hope in a small corner of her heart that he would stop her from saying all this..that he would tell her he wanted to marry her because he loved him,not because of his remorse..
She cursed her heart for these unreasonable yearnings while getting up from her place..”I should leave now,,”She spoke looking towards Nitish and Mamta who were unable to respond her. Nitish saw geet leaving with heavy steps as his wife broke down in his arms.
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His fingers were moving randomly on the keypad of his laptop to type something completely “incoherent” on the word page which was opened on the screen. He looked at the screen as he clicked the “Undo” button,resulting in a neat and clean blank page to appear once again.Since he had returned to his room after geet left,Maan was busy doing this on his laptop.Every time he clicked the “Undo” button,he wished he could find such button for his life too..Sudden knock at the door made him look away from the screen. He gave a smile to his mother who was standing near the door with a glass of milk in her hands.
“I have brought milk for you..”Mamta said looking intently towards her son.His eyes were blank and smile that he gave her was not at all reaching his eyes.
“Thank you maa..”Maan spoke,keeping away the laptop.He appeared calm to Mamta,however being his mother,she knew very well that his calmness was superficial.The way his fingers were fidgeting with bunch of staple pins was clearly showing his inner turmoil.
“Are you fine beta???”Mamta asked keeping the glass on his study table.
“I am very much fine maa..!!!Finally I am being punished for my crime..”Vulnerability appeared in his eyes for a while but soon it was covered with same blankness which was scaring mamta alot.
“It was a mistake maan..”She replied controlling her tears.
“Breaking the dream of twelve years old girl to play “Sita” in her school drama is a “crime”,maa!!!”Maan retorted in a voice which was devoid of any emotion.”Now I am understanding why God saved me in that accident..”Death” was very small punishment for what i had done that day..God had decided a big punishment for my crime..Punishment of staying away from my love…Punishment of feeling the “helplessness”every minute that i would never be able to make her believe my love..Punishment of “regretting”that accident every minute for rest of my life..”
Mamta’s sobs interrupted him as he walked towards his crying mother.
“Don’t cry maa..I am contend with the punishment i have got..I am completely fine now..”He spoke wiping her tears.
“No..you are not fine..!!!”Mamta exclaimed as she brought forward his left hand which was balled in to a fist tightly.With fresh tears streaming down her eyes,she pulled his each finger to open the fist,only to find skin of his palm being pierced with staple pins.Blood was oozing through small wounds.
“Maa!!!” Maan’s  feeble voice made her eyes shift from his hand to his face.”Can I hug you???“Maan asked further with immense pain in his eyes. Mamta nodded her head in yes as she opened her arms for her son.He hugged her mother like a small kid,hiding his face in crook of her neck as he cried louder and louder,without caring about his age.His strong body was wracked with the sobs as Mamta rubbed his back to soothe him.She knew very well that “Crying and writing” would not work this time to reduce her son’s pain..

Chapter 14

 

“But bro you had told me that “G”is very beautiful..“Vicky said with a sullen face crossing his arms on his chest.

She is beautiful!!” Maan exclaimed little loud.
As soon he had reached his home after meeting geet’s mother,first thing he had done was informing his family about Geet and his decision of marrying her.His parents and younger brother were very happy till he told all of them about Geet’s scars and squint.His father,Mr.Nitish Khurana was perplexed knowing his decision where as his mother,Mrs.Mamta Khurana was busy cutting apple silently since he had told about scars.His mother’s silent treatment was her own way to express her disapproval.Reaction of his family members did not amaze Maan as he had already expected same from them.
“Facial beauty is not primary criteria to decide your life partner,vicky..I know you are too young to understand all this but..”
“I don’t want to understand all this bhai..I always wanted a bhabhi like “Megan fox..” Vicky spoke with disappointment.
Maan chuckled watching his little brother behaving quite immaturely as compare to his age.Vicky was diehard fanatic of “Megan fox” but since she was 10 year older than him,he had left her for his elder brother.
“But I like Angelina jolie..!!”Maan said with a teasing smile.
“But your “G” does not look like angelina  either..”Vicky replied with irritation
“like your bhai is “Brad pitt”..Maan retorted.
“My son is no less than any hero..”His mother’s voice intervened the conversation between brothers,making maan look towards her.She had finished cutting the apple and was now poking holes in one slice of apple with the knife.Her eyebrows were furrowed slightly,thus ebbing the beauty of “Red Kumkum bindi”placed exactly between the brows.
“For every mother,her son is hero maa.!!”Maan spoke taking the plate from her hands.He kept the plate on the center table as he knelt down beside her easy chair.He took her hands in his before speaking further,“I know maa,her face is not beautiful but her heart is replica of your “heart” !!!.His statement made his mother look in his eyes as she asked,“Do you love her,beta???”
“Yes..” Maan answered with determination.
“and She???”
“I don’t know maa..I have not asked her yet but I had talked to her mother and she likes me..”
“What if she denied for this alliance??“Mamta asked the question which made her son speechless.Maan had never thought before that geet could say “no” to him.The night she told him that he was her only friend,he had assumed himself that there was no one else in her life.His mother was able to feel the restlessness which her question had caused him.He was surely in love with this girl,Mamta concluded as she ruffled his hair while speaking,”Don’t worry beta,,She won’t deny..”
He smiled slightly in response before saying,“I would respect her decision maa even if she denied but are you happy with my decision???
“My happiness is not as important as yours beta..If you are happy,I would be happy but I am more concerned about that girl’s happiness..I am afraid you are not taking this decision because of “sympathy”or “pity”generated in your heart after seeing her..Love should solely be the reason behind your decision beta…After marriage Your eyes would be her mirror.She would see herself with your eyes..Would you be able to stop her from feeling bad because of her face???
“I would try my best maa..and I don’t pity her..I love geet!!!”
“Enough of these discussions..Its time to take the decision..” His father announced in a strict voice grabbing the attention of all the persons present in the room.
“I am ready for your decision dad..” Maan exclaimed with little nervousness.
“Before giving my final decision,i want to ask you something maan..Nitish said picking a slice of apple from the plate”Do you think she is girl with whom you can spend your entire life happily??”
“Geet is the only girl,dad..”
Nitish smiled at his son’s reply as he looked towards his wife who gestured “yes” with her eyes.
“Ok then, we are happy with your decision..But before taking any step further,you should know about her opinion..Better if you ask her the same question which i asked you..”
“I would dad..I would surely ask her..”Maan exclaimed in excitement after getting his parent’s approval as he hugged his mother..
“No body cares about my opinion..”Vicky mumbled to himself however his voice was audible to everyone. Maan and his parents gave a heartily laugh to his antics..
The cheerful environment in the room was disturbed by a knock on the door.
“Sir some madam is here to meet maan sir..“Servant told Nitish.
“What is her name???”Maan asked little confused by the arrival of a female visitor at 8.30 pm.
“Her name is Geet handa sir and she is waiting in the drawing room..”
Maan and his parents were surprised hearing the name as they saw vicky running out the room.He was too eager to meet this “not pretty still beautiful”girl,who was his prospective bhabhi.
                                   ******************************
Vicky’s entire attention was on the girl sitting on the couch in the drawing room as he came downstairs.Girl’s back was facing him.First thing he noticed was her clothes.She was wearing a white loose fitted kurta with red salwar. A mismatched black duppata was covering her head entirely.He was in hurry to see her face that was why he could not see where his foot was landing and  stumbled badly causing his “sensitive nose” to collide with the railing. “Nose bleeding” was the problem vicky had faced since childhood.He knew that this injury was going to worsen the nose bleeding this time as he screamed loud due to sharp pain while covering his nose with hands.
                                     *****************************
Since she had stepped in premises of large villa named as “Khurana mension”,each and every thing had awe struck her with its beauty. Geet felt her “presence” blemishing the ambiance of the place where maan wanted to bring her by marrying her all because of his remorse.She was more determined now to stop him from doing so. Geet was busy looking at “dusty stains” caused by her dirty Jootis{footwears} on the beautiful carpet when she heard a painful scream from behind.She turned around only to see a boy sitting on the stairs with his hands covering his nose and mouth.
“Are you ok???Geet asked as she ran towards him.Finally vicky was able to see her face which was masked properly under the spectacles and dupatta as she sat beside him on the stairs.
“Let me see..”Geet said,softly removing his hands.”oh my god!!!“She exclaimed in a painful voice finding blood flowing profusely from his nose.“Don’t tilt your head back..“Geet instructed as she pinched his nose slightly between her index finger and thumb to stop the bleeding.
“It will pain little but i have to do it..”She spoke further apologetically as she pinched his nose more firmly this time thus causing a painful moan to escape from vicky’s lips.
“Just three minutes more..”She exclaimed checking time on her wrist watch.
Vicky was looking intently at her face but his attention was not on her scars or squint anymore  but on immense pain and worry which her face was showing. Geet left his nose after some time.A relief washed her countenance as she found  bleeding being stopped by her act.Vicky saw her index finger and thumb smeared with his blood as he called one of the servant to bring some tissues.
“Here are the tissues vicky baba..”Servant said giving him tissue box.
Geet looked surprisingly towards the boy as servant called him by his name.He was the same little boy whom she had saved that day.She did not know why but she felt a motherly affection generating in her heart watching the boy all safe and fine.Instead of wiping her smeared fingers,vicky found her wiping his nose and lips first.
“Is it still paining???“geet asked as she caressed his hair so lovingly.
Vicky was busy wondering whether it was his illusion or her eyes were really teary as he gestured in no with his head. For the first time in life,Some one spoiling his spiked hair did not irk Vicky as he gave a sweet smile to his would be “bhabhi”.

Chapter 13

Chapter 13

 
He gave an unpleasant expression as he stepped on a rotten tomato discarded on the road rather than dustbin.Tomato was crushed badly splashing few drops of its juice on the shining leather of maan’s shoe.He looked around to select a person among the vast number of busy people, to whom he was going to ask geet’s house address.After hearing geet’s cell phone conversation with her mother this morning,he found his brain blank as he tried to contemplate what he should do now.Should he barge in geet’s cabin and threaten her to not to marry some one else??Should he propose her on his knee in the presence of whole staff???Both the ideas that his mind proposed felt ridiculous to him.He was not the person who could follow these cliched ways of proposing,though he himself had nothing in his mind about how he was going to propose her..He had just realized his “love” and had given no thought to all this.He had shared most personal and “Worst” memories of his with her.It was not less than stating those three words”I love you” for him But then sudden appearance of “marriage proposal”compelled him to think and act fast and he decided to talk with geet’s mother first.It was necessary to stop her Son-in-law search right now.That was why he was standing in the street in which geet’s house was situated. He wiped the sweat from his forehead while cursing the moment when he had not paid much attention to the house in which geet entered the night he had dropped her in this street on the bike. Geet had stopped the bike at the main road telling him that her house was in that narrow street ahead.

Maan saw a middle aged lady standing near the vegetable vendor.She was busy bargaining for potato price with the shopkeeper.Both the shopkeeper and lady were almost yelling at quite high pitch because of loud music coming from adjoined shop..“Dekha hai pehli baar,sajan ki aankhon mein pyar..”was being played loudly on the radio in the next shop.
“Excuse me maam”..Maan yelled in order to make himself audible to lady.
“What??..”Lady said with irritation breaking tip of the ladyfinger with her fingers. Maan had surely disturbed her.
“Can you tell me where does Geet handa live???”
Suddenly lady stopped her sophisticated task of buying vegetables as maan found her entire attention shifting on him from ladyfinger.Lady checked him from tip to toe before asking little strictly..“Why are you asking her address???”
“Why are “You” inquiring about all this???..“Maan said with little attitude and rudeness as he found that woman poking her nose unnecessarily in his matter.
“Because I am her mother..“Lady replied with the same attitude as his.
Maan forgot to blink as an old saying “First impression is last impression” started ringing in his brain.He had given very bad impression to his prospective mother-in-law.Only when damage was done,his “not so helping”brain told him that he could fetch geet’s address from staff’s records rather than asking random people in the street. Atleast he could ask to a “random” person but fate made him ask to geet’s mother out of all the people present in that narrow street.
“Why do you want to meet my daughter???“He was busy contemplating how he should greet geet’s mother..whether he should touch her feet or simple “namaste” would work,when Rano’s strict voice broke his reverie,
His tongue and his brain were not helping each other as he replied,”Because I love her..”
Rano’s eyes widen in surprise with his statement.
“and i want to talk to you about this ma’am not geet..”He spoke further.
Song was changed in the radio playing at the shop nearby.It was now playing “Maar diya jaye ya chod diya jaye..bol tere sath kya sulook kiya jaye..”Maan found “lyrics” apt for him as Rano gestured him to follow her..
                                                                                  *******************************************************************
Geet concluded that day “baddest day” of her life as she found  lock at the door of her house.Her mother had not returned yet.
Geet could not ask that question to maan because of her mother’s call.After finishing the call when she went to his cabin,he was not there.There was a note left for her on his table stating..”Cancel all my meetings for today..”.She kept waiting for him whole day but he had not returned till she left the office in the evening.Question started troubling her more when during lunch one of her colleague showed surprise on the fact that Maan sir had chosen her for orphanage project despite her insufficient educational qualification.She was just a diploma holder.
Geet sighed loudly as she searched the “duplicate key” in her bag and opened the door.She was not in the mood of cooking dinner today but as her mother was not home yet,she had to do that.She threw the handbag on the couch with irritation as she moved towards the bathroom to change her clothes.
Geet was venting all her irritation at the poor onion on the chopping board when she heard excited voice of her mother..She was calling her.
“Geet!!! geet!!! where are you..”Rano yelled in excitement abandoning the vegetable bag on the dining table.
“What happened mumma??why are you yelling..??”Geet asked in surprise.
Rather than answering her,rano came forward and pulled her daughter in a breath chocking hug..“Oh geet..I am so happy for you..”
Geet reciprocated the hug with a smile.She had never seen her mother this happy after her father’s death.”Tell me mumma..why are you so happy???“She asked.
“He wants to marry you,geet!!!”Rano exclaimed in happiness.
Her words made geet pull out from the hug with a “frown” on her face..“You met that boy mumma??I have already told you that i am not interested in this marriage thing…”
“Not any boy,geet…Your boss “Maan Singh Khurana” wants to marry you..”
Knife fell from Geet’s hand as her mother’s words touched her eardrums.She looked at Rano incredulously who was busy keeping the vegetables in the refrigerator..
“Where did you meet him mumma???”
“Today afternoon,in our street geet.,,I was with him till evening..I asked him everything about him and his family. and..”
“Did you talk to him about my accident mumma???“Geet intervened with fear in her heart that her mother had told him everything about the accident including the fact she was actually saving a kid when she got these scars.
“Yes..but..”
Geet did not wait for her mother to finish as she ran towards her room to get her handbag. Rano was surprised watching her daughter leaving the house in such hurry..
“Where are you going geet???”She yelled from behind.
“He can’t marry me mumma…”She yelled back in reply as she came out of the house.
“and he should not marry me..”She mumbled to herself looking around in the street for an auto…
                                                                                  *****************************************

Chapter 12

 Chapter 12

 
“What happened to vicky???”Geet clutched her dupatta tight in nervousness as she asked him the question whose answer was going to confirm how fate had interwoven her life with the man sitting infront of her,,with the man whom she loved and worshiped..Story that he had told her till now was clearly telling her that “they” both were the victims of same accident..

“He was saved by “someone” geet!!!!” He replied.
“Someone???” She asked furrowing her eyebrows in confusion.
“Yes..”Someone”..Because I don’t know who that person was???Sometimes it is very hard to understand God’s acts..I was the main culprit in this accident..I was about to kill my younger brother but still i was saved from the accident without a single “scratch” on my body..I don’t know what happened after i closed my eyes,,I don’t know how i pressed the breaks to stop the car..I don’t know how the car actually stopped..All i know is that God had saved “me” without any injury..Even only one “Headlight”of the car was damaged in entire accident..I don’t know for how long i was laying unconscious in that car..May be till my driver arrived at place of commotion..Some people were about to take me to the hospital when he arrived.He was told that i had hit someone with car.May be it was because of my age,no one acted offensively as he requested as well apologized to everyone on my behalf and let us go.Person whom i had hit was taken to hospital already.Driver took me to hospital and in order to save his job he did not tell anything to my parents..He made up his own story that he found me laying unconscious in the garden..Doctors told my parents that i was unconscious because of some mental trauma because they did not find any physical or internal injury..When i opened my eyes,i was scared that i had killed my brother as I did not find him with my parents.Thought panicked me to such extent that i was “numb” for next three weeks..I did not speak a single word..I refused to eat or drink..Doctor was keeping me on “saline”..I was oblivious to everything happening around me..Doctors were confused with my behavior and problem as driver had not told anyone yet about the accident..and then my parents decided to take me home instead of staying at hospital.It actually worked for me because first thing i saw as i entered my home was Vicky,all safe and fine playing in the drawing room .I hugged my mother and cried loudly till my throat and eyes hurt.Only after crying for an hour,i was able to tell them about the entire accident.They were shocked to know that i was about to hit “Vicky”.Driver was called immediately by my father.Finally he told that i had hit “someone” actually that day.It did not take a minute for me as well as my parents to conclude that the person whom i hit had actually saved my brother.My dad tried to find that person by inquiring shopkeepers on that road  but after almost one month,no body remembered that an accident had actually took place at that road and some who remembered the incident gave different answers.Some said, a middle aged woman was hit..Some said, a young girl was badly injured  but no one was sure..Moreover,that person or person’s family did not file any complaint against me..
“Hope you were fine after crying and telling your parents.”Geet said in worried tone.She was worried for him at that moment,completely forgetting about herself and her scars.
No..I was not fine..geet..Though my brother was saved but i had injured or killed someone else..”
“No..you did not kill anyone..”She almost yelled making maan look at her incredulously…“I mean you don’t know anything about that person..its wrong to assume him or her dead..May be he or she was saved..“Geet spoke further meekly.
“That was what my mother told me geet but still “something” was gnawing at my soul..I was still restless..Then my mother gave me a pen and paper, asked me to write anything..and you know what i wrote???I wrote a story based on that accident,however person who saved my brother was dead at the end..I showed the paper to my mother and she asked me to tear it into pieces and throw in the dustbin..I actually felt “light”after pouring my thoughts on the paper and discarding it..second time I wrote the same story and that person was saved at the end, i apologized to that person but was not forgiven..I tore that paper too..Third time person was saved and my apology was accepted..I actually felt happy after writing third time..My mother asked me to keep that paper with myself but don’t know why I found it unfair…It would have been an injustice with previous two papers..I could not be biased with positiveness and negativity of my thoughts..that was why i torn the third sheet too..Even today,whenever i write something whether it is sad or happy,i don’t keep it with myself..”
He sighed loudly as he completed his story..There was silence in the cabin for next few minutes. Maan had closed his eyes as he felt a burden being removed from his chest after sharing everything with geet..He opened his eyes after sometime only to see Geet’s face covered with dupatta once again.Sight made him restless as it felt like some “barrier” was back again between them.Would geet hate him after knowing his crime???Thoughts clouded his mind as he saw her picking her handbag to leave..
“Designs are complete sir..I think i should leave now..”He heard her speak after some time.
“Geet..!!“He called her.His desperate voice collided with her eardrums as she noticed the restlessness in his orbs.
“I am a criminal geet..“He said in a defeating tone with his head hung down.She had seen him like this for first time and it was paining her more than anything.
“Childhood mistakes are not considered as “crimes” sir..”
“But i could have killed someone..”
“Mistake can be “big” or “small” but still i won’t call it crime sir..”She retorted.,,” “Wrong Intentions” make a “mistake” crime..and I know your intentions were not wrong.It was just a mistake sir and you have been already punished enough for this..”
Her one sentence was more than capable to calm all his anxieties as she saw his furrowed eyebrows relaxing with her words.“Good night sir..”She bid him bye and left the cabin with numerous thoughts jumbling in her mind.She had always blamed that driver for the accident she had faced thinking he was a drunk and careless person.But today when she came to know that he was not some drunk person but a overenthusiastic teenager,she was regretting her thoughts.She found her scars nothing in front of what maan had faced after the accident.She was always happy with the fact that she had saved the kid in that accident but tonight she was relieved that she could save the kid otherwise that accident would have ended two lives instead of one. The only thing that was bothering her badly was that whether maan had given her job because of her capabilities or it was just a “sympathetic” response from him as he had already seen her saving that  beggar kid near the traffic signal.May be seeing her saving the kid that day,he was reminded of his childhood accident when “someone” had saved his brother.She smiled at the fact that “She” herself was that someone.As that thought crossed her mind,she felt a strange happiness and satisfaction.She closed her eyes and thanked God for making her do “something” good unknowingly for the man she loved.She had never hated her “scars” but from tonight she had started loving them…She gave her hand to stop the auto as she decided that she would never let him know about the person who saved his brother’s life..
Maan checked the time on his watch.It was 10 pm only.Since work was finished,Geet was left for her home. Maan had always loved spending alone these late hours in office.It was his “solitude” time but since last few nights,geet was accompanying him and tonight when she was gone early, he was missing her presence badly.He smiled remembering how geet’s few words had calmed all his anxieties.For the first time in life,he actually felt guilt leaving his body and soul because Geet did not think him as “criminal”.He picked his notepad and pen as he moved towards the couch to write the “End” of his story which was revolving in his thoughts since a long time..
                                                                           ************************************************************************
Geet crushed the “crumpled paper” more in her small fist as she waited for her boss to arrive.She was in pretty bad mood today morning because of  argument she had with her mother at breakfast table.Rano wanted her daughter to meet some boy for marital purpose. Geet had spent her entire night thinking about whether maan had given her this job because of her capabilities or “sympathy”.At last she had decided to ask him directly about this.She was not in good mood when she woke up today and then this “marriage” discussion with mother completely spoiled her mood.She came back to her cabin to keep the crumpled paper safely in her handbag.She had not read the previous paper yet and she knew she was not going to read this one too,still she could not dare to trash them..She was zipping her bag when she saw maan entering in his cabin.She decided to ask him everything directly as she walked towards his cabin with determined steps.
Sir,I need to ask you something..”
Geet’s voice startled him as he looked towards her. She was standing near the door.He was able to notice her “tensed” expression as he himself got anxious to know what was bothering her so much.She had been always showed calm demeanour otherwise..
“I am ready to answer geet..”he exclaimed..
As her mind formulate the correct words to comprise her question,she was disturbed by ringing of her cell phone..She gritted her teeth as she found it was her mother’s call.She did not care about the place where she was standing as she picked the call in irritation and yelled at top of her lungs..”Mumma..I am telling you for last time..I am not going to meet any boy for marriage and all…”
Only if she could have distracted herself from the phone call for a while,she would have been able to see what effect her words had caused to her boss. Maan felt ground slipping beneath his feet as two words “boy”,”marriage” sunk in his mind…

Chapter 11

Chapter 11

Geet carefully removed the dupatta which was wrapped properly around her face.She shut her eyes tight as she put her dupatta on the mirror at the basin.She opened her eyes slowly only to see her dupatta shielding her reflection from her.Her mother as well as people around her always thought that she used to wear that dupatta to cover her scars from others but no one knew that more than shielding her from others,her dupatta had always shielded her from herself.She removed her glasses to wash her eyes.She and Maan were about to finish the final design for orphanage project tonight when she felt something pricking in her right eye.Very soon it started watering badly.It was then Maan suggested her to wash her eyes in adjoined washroom.

She felt relief as cold water touched her eyes inside.”Burning” was ebbing away gradually.She wiped her eyes with fresh napkin before putting on her spectacles again.She was about to wear her dupatta when she heard a painful shriek from outside.Knowing very well that voice belonged to her boss,she did not care to put on her dupatta as she left the washroom with frantic steps.

“What happened sir???”She almost yelled looking at maan who was standing near the window,blowing at his bandaged finger.

“Nothing geet,i was just trying to open this jammed window and got hurt my finger..”He explained.

“Your already “injured” finger..”Geet said moving towards him while her eyes fixed on bandage on his finger which was turning red slowly.His finger was bleeding.”let me see..”she exclaimed in worried voice taking his hand in hers.

“Did i yell that loud???”Maan asked little embarrassed with the thought that his shriek had brought geet out of the washroom.She wanted to tell him that his one painful breath is enough to awaken her from deepest slumber but could not say so.”I think,we have to change the bandage” She said before sprinting towards the washroom again to get the first aid box.

Next minute,she was knelt down beside his chair,applying the antiseptic lotion on his wounded finger.Her occasional blowing was soothing the burning caused by the lotion.Her entire attention was on his finger while his entire attention was on her face.It was second time when he had seen her without the dupatta,however it was first time when he had seen her that closely.He remembered his own words suddenly from their bike ride night conversation.He had told her that being a girl she would never understand what he would feel when his wife would shed all her inhibitions for him.He himself did not know how he would actually feel in such a situation,when he had said those words to her night. But at that moment,he had realized how it would feel.Watching geet without her dupatta was giving him strange happiness and confidence that she had trust in him to expose “that” to him which she had always hid from all.

He saw some of loose hair form her braid falling on her face.In a trance,his fingers removed those errant silky threads which was blocking his view.His touch made her look in his eyes.He expected her to flinch or react like that day when he had seen her without spectacles,but strangely she did not do so.She gave a weak smile as she finished bandaging his finger.

“Won’t you ask about my scars???”He heard her asking after sometime as she got up from her place,with first aid box in her hands.

He held her wrist and gestured her to sit near him as he spoke,,”If you consider me worthy enough to share then do tell me..”

She smiled in response as she settled herself comfortably in the chair opposite him.”An unfortunate road accident has given me these scars as well as “squint”in my left eye,when i was twelve”She spoke further looking in his eyes.There were few people with whom she had actually talked about that accident and everyone had always responded her with sympathetic words.She told him entire incident in one sentence and kept looking in his eyes to search for “sympathy” but instead of sympathy she found “fear” in his eyes as he spoke,”Thank God you were saved“.He did not know whether she was able to feel tremble in his voice but her one sentence had shook him badly inside as fear of “loosing her for ever” overwhelmed him.

Tears appeared in her hazels as his words evoked an alien feeling in her.She did not know how it would actually feel to be loved by a “man” but whatever she was feeling right now was no less than to be hugged or kissed intensely by your lover.

“Don’t cry geet..”Maan said to her controlling his fear.”Do these scars and eye defect make you feel bad geet???Have you ever tried a “treatment” for your eyes???”He questioned continuously.

“They have made me feel bad only once when i could not play “Sita” in musical drama”She answered averting her gaze from him.She could not lie looking in his eyes directly but sadly she could not tell him also that she felt more bad when she had read first part of his story when he had praised the “beauty” of his heroine.”and regarding treatment of my eyes,doctor had told after the accident that squint would be gone with the time itself”..She informed him.

“Hope it has not affected your “eye sight”..He exclaimed worriedly.

“No sir,it has not..I wear spectacles only to hide my “squint”..I don’t know whether my squint has gone or not because I have never checked myself in the mirror..”She spoke and looked at him as she waited for him to advise her but he did not say anything..”Won’t you advice me to remove these spectacles and check my eyes in the mirror???“She asked.

“Though I should have advised you to let go your fear and check your eyes but i am not the right person to advise this..”he exclaimed with a sigh.

“Why sir???”

“Because I myself is unable to overcome my fears..”He told her.”Won’t you ask about my “fear”,geet???“He questioned further when she responded in complete silence to his previous statement.

“If you consider me worthy enough to share sir,then do tell me..”She said with a smile which made his lips curve into a beautiful smile before he started speaking..”I can’t drive a car geet..It is not because i don’t know how to drive it..It is because I fear driving a car..”

“Why sir???”

“At that age,when kids think they can become whatever they want to become,I wanted to be a Formula One racing driver..Cars were passion for me geet..One would find only “cars” in my collection of toys..When i was fourteen,i was an expert in “theoretical knowledge”about cars..I knew very well how do gears,accelerators,clutch or breaks work..Problem was that my father had never let me drive because of my “under age”..I tried to pacify him in every possible way but he was adamant on his decision that I could not drive till i would turn sixteen..However,his decision could not stop me entirely because I had started pestering our drivers to let me drive for a while…”Geet was able to notice a naughty smile on his lips but it faded soon as he spoke “I wish they had not let me drive geet.!!!”

Pain and fear was evident on his face when he tried to speak further..”Mumma had sent me with my younger brother “Vicky” to “garden” that evening..He was three years old then and I was fourteen.I had saved my pocket money to gift him a “ball” on his third birthday just a day before..”Ball” that i gave him was his favorite gift geet…I still remember how happy he was playing with that ball in garden. Mumma had sent me to take care of him but instead of doing that i was more interested in grabbing a chance to drive the car on a busy road  and my driver let me do that..It was the first time when i was driving on a busy road geet…and for the first time i had realized that what difference was there in driving in our courtyard for a while and driving on a road full of traffic.I was hell nervous..Inspite of knowing everything,i could not control the car.Suddenly my mind was blank as i forgot everything from changing gears to pressing breaks..I was contemplating how to stop the car when suddenly i saw my brother in the middle of road chasing his ball..That was the moment when panic attacked me with full force as i left the steering wheel and closed my eyes..”

His breaths got shallow as beads of sweat appeared on his fore-head..

I don’t know geet,what happened next because i opened my eyes in hospital only after that…”He said wiping his fore head with handkerchief…