Maan was back from Sameera’s NGO function but instead of going home,he preferred to spend some lonely time in his office.Moreover,he had got his left hand’s index finger squeezed in his car door and he did not want his mother to worry unnecessarily. That was why he thought to come office first and give his index finger much needed “first aid”.He winced in pain as he removed his handkerchief from the injured finger.It all had happened because of his lack of attention as he was busy staring at Sameera while opening his car door. She was scolding a little girl in the function for spilling ice cream on her saree. Little girl was running near the entrance with ice cream in her hands when she collided with Sameera.
He trashed his blood soaked handkerchief in the dustbin and moved towards the bathroom to get the first-aid box.He carefully looked at his finger as he wiped it with the antiseptic lotion.It was swollen badly at the front and under the finger nail.Even finger nail was turned blackish blue.It indeed was looking “ugly”,he concluded.As that thought crossed his mind,he suddenly remembered Sameera’s words when she had seen his finger.Rather than asking whether it was paining or not,she was relieved to see that his finger nail had not fallen off otherwise his hand would have looked very”ugly”.He was in deep pain but still her words amused him.All she could care was “physical beauty”.
Maan was done with bandaging his finger when he checked time on his watch.It was showing 10.30 pm.He could spend little time more at his office,he thought as he picked a note pad and pen before settling himself in the couch.He had always loved to write a little leisurely in his office,rather than sitting on his regular working table.He removed the shoes and sat comfortably with his lower legs crossing each other at the ankles.He put a cushion in his lap and placed his note pad on it before starting to write next part of his story…
She was in hurry of taking bath and changing clothes but conversation between her husband and son made her delay the bathing as she opened the door of her son’s room a little more to get the proper view inside.Her son was busy flipping old albums where as her husband was staring at one of her picture .Where she was standing,her son’s back was facing her and only left profile of her husband’s face was visible to her.She did not miss the admiration in his eyes.After so many years,she felt little love in her heart for her husband.Yes,She used to love him but only till he got that “scar” on his fore head after a dreadful accident.She knew after that accident their relationship or their marriage was not same as before.
“She never loved you,dad” Again her son’s voice broke her reverie.
“No Son,she loved me…”Father replied
“Only before you got this scar..”Son intervened.
Her husband did not reply this time but gave a sad smile in response.She looked at both of them.Sadness in her husband’s eyes made her heart cringe,however words of her son made her wonder,when her son grew to talk like that.She could not blame herself for sadness in her husband’s eyes at that moment.”Marred beauty” could not be admired or loved as per her opinion.She chose him as her life partner only because of his handsome face.His character,his nature were not among the things to be counted for such important decision..
“Why do you still love her daddy???”Son questioned.
Father smiled again in response but did not utter a word this time too.She felt little disappointed because she herself wanted to know his answer.She wanted to hear those words which she had never spoken before.She wanted him to say,how beautiful she was..She wanted him to praise her thick long mane, blue color of her orbs,her pointed nose,her pink lips,her slender long neck,her curvaceous slim waist and her beautiful toes.She was beautiful form “tip to toe”..
But her son’s next words broke all her hopes.
“I know daddy..It could be anything but her beauty…am i right???”Son asked.
“Yes you are right..I have always loved “her”not her “face”..”Father answered,,”Don’t you love your mother???”He asked further.
“No..I have never loved that “woman”..”Son answered in a voice colder than ice.
“You can’t talk about her like this..You are her son..”Father said with little anger..
“But she was never my mother..She was just a beautiful woman who had obliged me by keeping safe in her womb for nine months..A mother can’t prefer her saree over her son’s bleeding knees..A mother can’t ignore her son’s meals for her saloon appointments…A mother can’t scold her son for hugging her with muddy hands..She never loved me..She loved her looks and her beauty only…
Maan put the cap on his pen as he stopped writing.He read the whole page once again wondering about his imagination.Since the day he had met “Sameera”,her behaviour had always provoked him to write but he never knew that his story would come out like this.Her comment on his injured finger had compelled him to think that how would she react if she got a life partner with some sort of physical imperfection.It might possible she would not marry him.But if her life partner got some “physical imperfection” after marrying her,would she stop loving him???He could not ask all that to Sameera and moreover it was not a good thing to assess some one’s character by your own “assumptions”,But he could bring a “twist” in his story by all the questions about Sameera which was troubling him since he was back from the party.He sighed loudly as he crushed the paper in his strong fist and threw it..Clock was showing 11.45 pm.It was time for him to go back home..
Geet put the coffee mug on Maan’s table with her gaze fixed on the “crushed paper” near the couch.She made herself busy in arranging files in the cabin in an attempt to ignore that paper.She was in a dilemma today.She was unable to decide whether she should read it or trash it,as she knew very well reading that paper would increase her pain only.It might possible maan had written more about his wonderful future with Sameera. As the thought crossed her mind,She did not take a single minute to pick that paper to trash it in the dustbin.She was about to throw it in the dustbin when her gaze fell on “blood soaked” handkerchief in it.She felt herself getting”numb” with immense fear of some “mishappening” with Maan. She felt her heartbeats stops as she tried to think what she should do to confirm his “well being” but found her mind blank.Tear threatened to spill from her eyes when she heard the click on door.She turned around to see maan entering in the cabin safe and fine except a bandage on his finger.
“Good morning geet..” maan said casually with his eyes fixed on his cell phone,as he came towards his table. Geet tried to respond him but words failed to come out from her lips.Instead she felt her lips tremble.She was still standing near the dustbin.
“Nice coffee geet!!!..”maan exclaimed as he took first sip from his mug and looked towards her.“Are you OK geet???”Maan questioned with little worry as he noticed her pale face.
“I am fine sir..”Geet responded weekly and made herself move towards him.
“hmm,,you should not ignore your health geet..”
“I am very much fine sir..”She responded this time a little loud.”..and thank you so much liking the coffee..”She said forcing a smile on her lips.
“It is literally “my pleasure” geet after all i get to taste such wonderful coffee every morning..”Maan said with a genuine smile as he checked his calendar for meetings.
“Geet..I think we have to give some extra hours to finish “orphanage designs”..Is it possible for you to work after office hours??”
“Yes sir…I have no problem..I can work after office hours..”
“Thats great..hope we would be able finish them with in three or four days..”
“Hope so sir..”
“You may leave now geet..and take care of your health..”
“I would sir..”With those words she hurried her steps to leave his cabin.
She saw her hands still trembling in the fear as she put the crushed paper in her handbag carefully. She did not want to read it but still she could not dare to trash it too. Geet ran into washroom as soon she was done with keeping the “crumpled paper” safely.Tears which were chocking her throat till now spilled freely on her cheeks and she cried louder in the solitude of the washroom.Those three and half minutes that she spent standing near the dustbin till maan entered the cabin had shaken her whole existence.She had never felt herself this much “scared” before in her life.She did not fear this much when she had seen that car approaching the toddler on the road.She did not fear this much when she had seen herself in the mirror after the accident.Sight of profuse blood flowing out from that kid’s head did not scare her as much as that handkerchief did.She wiped the tears from her cheeks as she wondered why “love” was weakening her when she had always heard that “love gives strength”.
Only thing she was not able to understand is that if love generates “weakness” for loved ones,it also gives the “strength” to go to any extent for their well being.She was feeling herself weak as she was unable to see his little blood but she did not realize that she had courage to shed each and every drop of her blood for him now…