“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.
“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???”
“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..
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…