“Are you looking for something,geet???“Maan asked with little confusion as sight of “his secretary under his table”welcomed him in the office this morning.His baritone startled poor geet who was lost in finding next “crushed paper” in his cabin.It was not any hard and fast rule for maan to write on daily basis and geet herself was well aware of this fact But temptation of knowing more about that beautiful girl in “his” story made her to do stupid act of going under her boss’ table. Geet banged her fore- head against the table’s leg in the hurry of coming out.
“Careful geet..”Maan said sprinting towards geet who was busy massaging slight swelling on her fore-head.He wanted to ask whether it was paining but words did not come out as it was the first time when he got to see her “eyes”without spectacles. Geet did not realize when her spectacles fell down while coming out. He did not blink as he found himself being enchanted with those hazels. What attracted him most was “rawness” in her eyes as he knew they were never being contaminated with any sort of artificial makeup.Little scrunch between her eyebrows due to pain had made her eyes narrow thus forbidding him form getting proper view of her hazels.In a daze,he lifted his hand to caress her fore-head.It was then,geet realized that she was not wearing her spectacles.For a moment,she felt herself “naked” infornt of him.Next he saw her closing her eyes tightly as she spoke..”please don’t look in my eyes“.Her voice broke his trance and he took two steps back.He did not know why but he felt himself guilty of intruding in her privacy.She opened her eyes after a while only to see him standing away with his back towards her.She picked her spectacles and put them on as soon as possible.
“Good morning sir” she said in an attempt to clear the “awkwardness”.
“Good morning geet” He replied turning around to find spectacles back at their place.He wanted to ask about her”under table search”but decided otherwise.”So did you talk to Miss kapoor about our visit to orphanage??”He spoke further taking his seat.
“Yes Sir,She herself would accompany us..”She replied.
“Thats great!!!”He exclaimed sipping his coffee.“So what time she had decided???”
“11 am sir..and I have rescheduled your meeting with contractors in the evening…”
“Good..”Maan said looking in one of the files on his tables.
“Anything else sir???”
“No geet..you may leave now…“Maan said shifting his gaze from file to her.
“Thank you sir..”With those words Geet turned around to leave the cabin.
“wait..geet..”His words halted her steps near the door.She could feel her heart thumping in her ears as she anticipated a question either about her “under table search”or her “squint” from him.
“Yes sir??“She asked meekly.
“I think we should take something for orphanage kids like toys or…”
“Chocolate pastries” She did not let him complete as she suggested her choice with ample excitement which made maan give an amusing look to her.
“Actually sir.. People either donate money for such orphanages or they try to help by providing essential groceries and clothes But nobody takes those kids for an ice cream or pizza treat. Thats why I suggested Pastries.I am sure kids would enjoy pastries alot…“She explained.”Sir..if you have something else in your mind then..”
This time maan intervened..“No geet..we will take “Chocolate pastries”..Go and place an order at any bakery of your choice..”He ordered with a smile lingering on his lips.
“Yes sir..I will..”saying this she sprinted towards the door.He was able to feel excitement in her voice as well as her steps.
He felt something “warm”covering his heart as he saw Sameera feeding pastry to a little girl with her hands. Maan and Sameera were settled on the chairs in the small garden.Sameera had made little girl sit on the table infront of her so she could feed her properly.They were done with their visit and It was time for distributing pastries among the kids.Enthusiasm and Satisfaction on children’s faces after tasting pastries made maan happy as well as thankful to geet who was busy in distribution.
“Say thank you to maan uncle for such tasty treat..“Sameera instructed little girl after feeding her last bite.
“Thank you Uncle”Girl said in a sweet childish voice.
“My pleasure beta..”Maan replied as he wiped girl’s smudged lips with a napkin.
“Put me down uncle”girl requested.As Maan helped her to get down from the table, she ran towards geet. Next moment maan found little girl coming towards them with a plate having pastry .With much innocence she brought forward a piece of pastry with her little fingers towards Sameera.Girl wanted to feed Sameera now,though due to her small height she was unable to reach Sameera’s mouth.
“No beta,i am full”Sameera said caressing her cheek lovely..“You can have more if you want..”She suggested further to her to which she nodded “no” with little sadness.Girl looked towards maan as if asking him to eat pastry from her hands.He smiled and picked her up again.He made her again sit on the table before opening his mouth in front of her for a bite.No other “pleasure”in the world could match the feeling what he felt when he saw “smile”lightening up girl’s little and innocent face again.Before he could take a bite from her,he felt a tug on his right arm.He looked sideways only to find Sameera holding his arm as she gestured him with eyes to not to eat.
“Why???“He asked little loudly in confusion.
In the response Sameera brought herself near him as she tried to say something in his ear.Her long hair teased his cheeks as he inhaled sharply taking her intoxicating aroma.This is how geet saw them while standing at a corner in the garden.She tried to find any reason but could not find one for sudden appearance of salty water in her eyes.
“You can’t trust with hygiene at such places,maan” Sameera said in a hushed tone in his ear.”I eat only after taking bath whenever i come here..”She tried to make him understand. Same aroma which was intoxicating him a second ago felt suffocating to him as he heard her words.He pushed himself away from her in an attempt to create little distance between them..
“My immunity is quite strong Miss Kapoor..My immune system is able to bear little “love”.“He spoke as he ate pastry from girl’s hands,making her clap in joy.
As she grew older,She was able to understand that there were certain restrictions with the “love” that God had given in her share to receive.It was possible to receive “love”for her as a daughter.She could receive love as a “sister” or a “friend”.Bus she knew she would never be able to receive love as a “lover” or “wife”.She had prepared herself well for this as she had decided to keep herself immune from such kind of “love” a long ago.But everything does not happen according to our decisions. Geet understood this fact very well at that moment when she saw him playing with a little girl.He was pretending to sip tea from a small pink colored cup from girl’s toy kitchen set.Girl then served him some invisible “snacks” in one of the little pink plates.He very seriously took the snack and pretended to taste it.He licked his lips quite animatedly thus telling the girl that he enjoyed the snack alot. She felt an “anxious calm” covering her heart.For one moment,she wanted to run and hug him.Other moment,she wanted to stand there and keep watching him for eternity.Something was paining and healing her at same time simultaneously.She wiped moisture from her eyes under the spectacles while a smile lingering on her lips as she realized she had fallen for “that” which could never be hers…
“Geet…”Maan called his secretary as he found her staring him.
His voice broke her reverie as she covered the distance between them.
“Can I borrow some money from you???I have forgotten my handbag at office..“She said.
“Yes why not??“he answered as he took out his wallet from his back pocket.
“Five hundred would be enough sir..”She spoke further.
She almost ran from there as soon maan handed her the money.He did not want to know why she needed money but still he felt a strange urge to stop her and ask her “don’t know what”…
He checked time on his watch as he bid bye to Sameera. He knew he had a meeting with contractors after half an hour but he could not ask Geet to go back to office as he saw her enjoying with some kids in one of room in orphanage.She had bought some “bangles” and some “balls” with the money she had borrowed from him.While little boys were busy with their balls,geet was busy putting small bangles in the small wrists of the girls.He gave a heartily smile before moving towards the garden once again.
He asked for a pen and paper from one of matrons as he decided to write next part of his story enjoying evening breeze in the garden.He was writing since last one hour when geet came running there..”I am so sorry sir..I forgot about your meeting with the contractors.”She said panting heavily.
“Its ok geet..I have already informed them that i would not be able to attend meeting today..”He answered as he got up.Geet saw him crushing some paper as his eyes looked around to find some dustbin.
“Give it to me sir..I will trash it..”Geet said. Maan handed the crushed paper to geet before asking her to go back to office now.
Geet followed her boss towards car as she felt that “crushed paper” pricking her palm today…