“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…