“Eat slowly beta..” Rano instructed her daughter who was eating her breakfast with the highest speed of consuming edibles.“I can’t maa..I am getting late for office..”Geet answered chewing her toast hurriedly.”Maa..you have packed the lunch???”She asked further.
“Yes dear..There is your bag..”Rano answered pointing towards a quite big bag kept near the door.
It was Geet’s birthday today.Instead of a treat in some restaurant,her friends from KC’s staff had asked her to bring “Home made lunch”for her birthday treat.Their demand had made Geet and her mother busy in kitchen since 4 am in the morning.They had to prepare lunch for almost twenty people.Despite getting up so early in the morning,Geet could not make it till her office time.She was running twenty minutes late today.She was not late literally as she used to arrive KC half and hour early.Today she was going to arrive at right time.The only thing that was bothering her mind as well as her heart that she would not get that “crushed paper”today.
“Ohk mumma..I am leaving now..”Geet said rushing towards the door.
“Wait geet..”Rano said halting geet’s steps..
“Happy birth day beta”Rano said kissing her daughter’s fore-head.
“Thank you maa..”Geet replied hugging her mother.Mother daughter duo did not break the hug for a while.
“Now go dear..You are already late today..” Rano said pulling out from the hug first.Rano’s wrods made geet broke into run.To her luck,she found an “auto” just near her home.She settled herself in auto as she made a call at the reception of KC. Geet requested Pinky,receptionist at KC,to instruct the cleaner to not to trash any paper from Maan sir’s cabin as she had missed an important document due to her carelessness.
Maan checked time on his watch.It was showing 9 of the morning.He cross checked the time on his cell phone.Cell phone was also showing the same time.That meant he was not early today and had arrived KC at his regular time.In other way,it meant his secretary was late today. Maan was in the lift already when he saw Geet entering inside.Her entry came like a shock for him as she was never late in last two months.It actually made Maan to check time on his watch to confirm that he had not come early today. Geet was busy talking on her cellphone oblivious to a pair of eyes watching her each movement keenly.Little confusion appeared in maan’s eyes when he saw her carrying a big bag on her shoulder.As skinny her frame was,onerous weight on her right shoulder was tempting his heart, to ask her whether he could help to carry it. But then his brain reminded him that he was her boss and sight of boss carrying “bag” for his secretary would be quite awkward.Thanks to completion of call,she let the heavy bag leave her delicate shoulder for a while.She kept her cell phone in her comparatively very very small handbag.As the lift once again stopped on 8th floor,a bunch of people entered causing her to shift herself along with the bag towards the corner.This was when she noticed her boss sharing the same lift.With a sweet smile,she wished him..”Good morning sir..”
“Good morning,Geet…“he replied.Due to proximity provided by lift as well as number of people inside it,his nostrils were able to take the fragrance of her freshly shampooed hair.They were open today and their ends were visible at her waist,though major part was covered under her dupatta. Her beautiful mane was more than capable of being subject of a normal girl’s vanity but as much he knew her,she could not be included under term “normal girl”.According to him,“she should have born million years ago as she was simply not meant for this cruel world..“He sniffed ardently this time because of sudden change in fragrance..It seemed like mixed with smell,characteristic of kitchen of wedding house or dhaba or restaurant.He looked around himself to find somebody eating tiffin in the lift.Before he could complete his search,she was ready to go out of the lift.He was surprised because it was not 15 th floor.They were still two floors down.He could entirely blame his curiosity because as she stepped out of lift,he found his legs following her automatically.She was going towards canteen and so was he,however at a safer distance from her.
“oh my God,geet..You have brought home made lunch for us..yippie..”An overenthusiastic and overexcited colleague of hers named “Tasha”, hugged her and screamed at top of her lungs near the door of canteen.Before Geet could greet her properly,she had pulled down the bag from the shoulder and was peering inside,kneeling down near the bag.
“not here..tasha..let me take it insi…”Tasha’s second screaming session did not let her complete..”I am going to tell everyone in office that we are going to have home made lunch today..”Saying this she got up,scurried towards the lift. Maan immediately turned around thus giving his back to the running and screaming girl.Once Tasha was gone,he looked back at Geet.She was still at the door struggling with the heavy bag.For a minute,a rage erupted in him for that stupid colleague of hers.She could have helped her with bag.But then Society is filled with such people who are expert in giving fake hugs but not a hand of true help when needed.She once again lifted her bag and entered inside the canteen.He waited for sometime and then made his entry.It was his effort to erase the feeling of a stalker.When he entered,she was busy unpacking her big bag.It was filled with tiffins of various sizes..She shifted all the tiffins on pantry counter and requested the chef to warm all the dishes during lunch.“If you have some other work uncle,i will do it myself.just provide me gas stove or microwave..”she said with a smile.It was not only her smile but her words also which coax the tough looking man to agree,albeit the fact that there would be very less orders for his canteen on today’s lunch.When she left,Maan went to the counter and ordered a coffee.He gave a facade nonchalant look to the tiffins present on the counter like he did not know who had brought them there..”so many tiffins,u started importing food,jagdish ji???“he asked..Chef was startled by his comment..”no..no..sir..geet madam has brought them..These are for her birthday treat..”He answered with nervousness.Apart from regular monthly income that KC used to pay him,Maan had allowed him to take 20% commission on each order on one condition..”Healthy and hygienic food for the employees of the company”.
Maan casually sipped his coffee..“What do you think jagdish ji,how much time it would have taken to cook this much food??”
“well,minimum 4 to 5 hours sir..Cooking is a tedious job”chef replied in a tone full of confidence.Nobody else could answer that question more correctly than him at that moment.“I don’t understand,sir..why Geet madam had bothered herself so much for stupid demand of her friends..She could have given her birthday treat here in canteen like others..” Those words were outcome of the concern that Jagdish ji had for geet,not because of his loss of some orders at today’s lunch.
“Because she is Geet.”He could not think anything else in reply to chef’s question.
Geet was busy keeping the empty tiffins in her bag,when Maan arrived in canteen during lunch hour.More precisely lunch hour was about to finish and everyone was back to their seats after enjoying wonderful homemade meal.
“Happy Birth day Geet..” Maan’s voice grabbed her atttention.
“Thank you sir..”Geet answered a little startled by his sudden presence as well as his knowledge about her birthday.
“You did not invite your boss for your birthday party” He said further in a fake accusing tone,making geet little nervous.
“No sir,It was not a party per se..“She tried to explain.
“Whatever it was, I think i am worthy enough to be involved in your happiness or celebration..” He said now getting a seat near her.
“I am sorry sir” Sadness and regret in her voice was clearly audible which made maan a little restless.He did not want her to be sad on her birthday.
“So,is there something “left” for me???“He asked in an attempt to change the topic as his eyes roamed over empty tiffins.
“Food is finished sir except the dessert..“Geet answered meekly taking out a small tiffin from the bag.
“I would love to taste the dessert” He said rubbing his hands together.With in few minutes,Geet served him “Badam Halwa” in a small plate.
“Umm..Its delicious..”He exclaimed after taking the first bite.
A smile crept across geet’s lips as she saw her boss relishing each and every bite of “halwa”.It was in his nature to find “joy” in smallest of things.Suddenly she remembered his enthusiasm and joy the day he was learning some “Vedic maths” shortcuts to do fast calculations from Aadi sir.
“Thank you so much geet”Maan said after finishing the halwa from his plate.”Can I have little more from your “share”???“He spoke further pointing towards the left over halwa in the tiffin.
“You have already eaten my “share”,sir…”Geet’s statement made him scowl in confusion.
“This halwa is for Nathu lal ji sir..He is having night shift today and will come in evening only..I will give him this halwa after office hours..“She explained him.
“Ohhk..”he gave an understanding nod as he felt immense respect in his heart for the girl standing infront of him witnessing her “care” for each and every person around her.
“I can bring more “halwa” for you tomorrow sir..”She proposed.
“No..No..geet…Don’t bother..”He said wiping his hands with a tissue..“Geet I think we should personally visit that orphanage before starting working on the designs.It would help us to decide how to use maximum land area efficiently..”
“Nice idea sir..”She consented with him.
“Ok then,make a call to Miss Sameera and ask her to arrange a visit for us tomorrow..”Maan ordered before leaving the canteen.
Geet settled herself as well as her bag in the auto.Very soon,auto’s engine started roaring in its own classical way.She found evening breeze caressing her cheeks as soon auto caught little speed. Geet’s hand got busy in searching that “crushed paper” in her handbag.As per her request,Pinky had collected all the papers from the peon who had cleaned maan’s cabin that morning.She could not wait to reach her home,as she started reading…
Bees had borrowed nectar from “roses” for her lips…
Stars had borrowed darkness from “night” for her hair..
Water had borrowed curves from “river” for her body…
Pearls had borrowed blue color from “ocean” for her orbs…
God had bestowed every from of physical beauty upon her and she herself was very well aware of this fact…
Her lips curved seductively yet innocently in to a smile as she admired herself in the mirror.Her beautiful fingers caressed the embroidery on her peach colored saree. It seemed like saree had got its color from her complexion.With much delicacy,she picked the diamond bracelet and placed it around her delicate wrist.It was hard to decide whether bracelet had adorned her wrist or her wrist had increased the beauty of bracelet.Her beautiful hair which could allure anyone to caress those silky tresses,were open today.But Next moment,she pulled her hair together at the side making them fall at the front.Her action resulted in exposing her back which could compete with flower petals in smoothness..At last she gave a elegant stroke of “kohl” to her eyes thus making them more attractive.She indeed was dressed to “kill” today..
“I am going for the party and would be late tonight.. Please Don’t wait for me…”
She used her “lip pencil” to write that note for her husband.She left note at the dressing table as she picked up her clutch .Click of her high heels created a symphony in the silent bedroom as she walked out ……………….
“Hmm..Maan sir is in mood of writing a story this time..”Geet thought with smile while trying to ignore slight pain in her heart as she knew very well “who” was his “muse” for this story…..