Chapter 12

 Chapter 12

“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..”
“ 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…

Chapter 11

Chapter 11

Geet carefully removed the dupatta which was wrapped properly around her face.She shut her eyes tight as she put her dupatta on the mirror at the basin.She opened her eyes slowly only to see her dupatta shielding her reflection from her.Her mother as well as people around her always thought that she used to wear that dupatta to cover her scars from others but no one knew that more than shielding her from others,her dupatta had always shielded her from herself.She removed her glasses to wash her eyes.She and Maan were about to finish the final design for orphanage project tonight when she felt something pricking in her right eye.Very soon it started watering badly.It was then Maan suggested her to wash her eyes in adjoined washroom.

She felt relief as cold water touched her eyes inside.”Burning” was ebbing away gradually.She wiped her eyes with fresh napkin before putting on her spectacles again.She was about to wear her dupatta when she heard a painful shriek from outside.Knowing very well that voice belonged to her boss,she did not care to put on her dupatta as she left the washroom with frantic steps.

“What happened sir???”She almost yelled looking at maan who was standing near the window,blowing at his bandaged finger.

“Nothing geet,i was just trying to open this jammed window and got hurt my finger..”He explained.

“Your already “injured” finger..”Geet said moving towards him while her eyes fixed on bandage on his finger which was turning red slowly.His finger was bleeding.”let me see..”she exclaimed in worried voice taking his hand in hers.

“Did i yell that loud???”Maan asked little embarrassed with the thought that his shriek had brought geet out of the washroom.She wanted to tell him that his one painful breath is enough to awaken her from deepest slumber but could not say so.”I think,we have to change the bandage” She said before sprinting towards the washroom again to get the first aid box.

Next minute,she was knelt down beside his chair,applying the antiseptic lotion on his wounded finger.Her occasional blowing was soothing the burning caused by the lotion.Her entire attention was on his finger while his entire attention was on her face.It was second time when he had seen her without the dupatta,however it was first time when he had seen her that closely.He remembered his own words suddenly from their bike ride night conversation.He had told her that being a girl she would never understand what he would feel when his wife would shed all her inhibitions for him.He himself did not know how he would actually feel in such a situation,when he had said those words to her night. But at that moment,he had realized how it would feel.Watching geet without her dupatta was giving him strange happiness and confidence that she had trust in him to expose “that” to him which she had always hid from all.

He saw some of loose hair form her braid falling on her face.In a trance,his fingers removed those errant silky threads which was blocking his view.His touch made her look in his eyes.He expected her to flinch or react like that day when he had seen her without spectacles,but strangely she did not do so.She gave a weak smile as she finished bandaging his finger.

“Won’t you ask about my scars???”He heard her asking after sometime as she got up from her place,with first aid box in her hands.

He held her wrist and gestured her to sit near him as he spoke,,”If you consider me worthy enough to share then do tell me..”

She smiled in response as she settled herself comfortably in the chair opposite him.”An unfortunate road accident has given me these scars as well as “squint”in my left eye,when i was twelve”She spoke further looking in his eyes.There were few people with whom she had actually talked about that accident and everyone had always responded her with sympathetic words.She told him entire incident in one sentence and kept looking in his eyes to search for “sympathy” but instead of sympathy she found “fear” in his eyes as he spoke,”Thank God you were saved“.He did not know whether she was able to feel tremble in his voice but her one sentence had shook him badly inside as fear of “loosing her for ever” overwhelmed him.

Tears appeared in her hazels as his words evoked an alien feeling in her.She did not know how it would actually feel to be loved by a “man” but whatever she was feeling right now was no less than to be hugged or kissed intensely by your lover.

“Don’t cry geet..”Maan said to her controlling his fear.”Do these scars and eye defect make you feel bad geet???Have you ever tried a “treatment” for your eyes???”He questioned continuously.

“They have made me feel bad only once when i could not play “Sita” in musical drama”She answered averting her gaze from him.She could not lie looking in his eyes directly but sadly she could not tell him also that she felt more bad when she had read first part of his story when he had praised the “beauty” of his heroine.”and regarding treatment of my eyes,doctor had told after the accident that squint would be gone with the time itself”..She informed him.

“Hope it has not affected your “eye sight”..He exclaimed worriedly.

“No sir,it has not..I wear spectacles only to hide my “squint”..I don’t know whether my squint has gone or not because I have never checked myself in the mirror..”She spoke and looked at him as she waited for him to advise her but he did not say anything..”Won’t you advice me to remove these spectacles and check my eyes in the mirror???“She asked.

“Though I should have advised you to let go your fear and check your eyes but i am not the right person to advise this..”he exclaimed with a sigh.

“Why sir???”

“Because I myself is unable to overcome my fears..”He told her.”Won’t you ask about my “fear”,geet???“He questioned further when she responded in complete silence to his previous statement.

“If you consider me worthy enough to share sir,then do tell me..”She said with a smile which made his lips curve into a beautiful smile before he started speaking..”I can’t drive a car geet..It is not because i don’t know how to drive it..It is because I fear driving a car..”

“Why sir???”

“At that age,when kids think they can become whatever they want to become,I wanted to be a Formula One racing driver..Cars were passion for me geet..One would find only “cars” in my collection of toys..When i was fourteen,i was an expert in “theoretical knowledge”about cars..I knew very well how do gears,accelerators,clutch or breaks work..Problem was that my father had never let me drive because of my “under age”..I tried to pacify him in every possible way but he was adamant on his decision that I could not drive till i would turn sixteen..However,his decision could not stop me entirely because I had started pestering our drivers to let me drive for a while…”Geet was able to notice a naughty smile on his lips but it faded soon as he spoke “I wish they had not let me drive geet.!!!”

Pain and fear was evident on his face when he tried to speak further..”Mumma had sent me with my younger brother “Vicky” to “garden” that evening..He was three years old then and I was fourteen.I had saved my pocket money to gift him a “ball” on his third birthday just a day before..”Ball” that i gave him was his favorite gift geet…I still remember how happy he was playing with that ball in garden. Mumma had sent me to take care of him but instead of doing that i was more interested in grabbing a chance to drive the car on a busy road  and my driver let me do that..It was the first time when i was driving on a busy road geet…and for the first time i had realized that what difference was there in driving in our courtyard for a while and driving on a road full of traffic.I was hell nervous..Inspite of knowing everything,i could not control the car.Suddenly my mind was blank as i forgot everything from changing gears to pressing breaks..I was contemplating how to stop the car when suddenly i saw my brother in the middle of road chasing his ball..That was the moment when panic attacked me with full force as i left the steering wheel and closed my eyes..”

His breaths got shallow as beads of sweat appeared on his fore-head..

I don’t know geet,what happened next because i opened my eyes in hospital only after that…”He said wiping his fore head with handkerchief…

Chapter 10

Chapter 10

“Coffee cum Tea break..“Maan announced placing two cups on geet’s desk.Tonight,they were working in geet’s cabin.It was fourth day they were working together after office hours.Though it was tiring job but both were glad doing this for their own reasons.For maan,His friendship with Geet was blooming well.Since that bike ride,they were much open and casual with each other in their talks as well as behavior.He knew now that geet’s preferred tea rather than coffee”.That was why he had brought one cup of tea..

For geet,these extra hours of work had given her break from “crumpled papers”.Since they had started working on Orphanage project at night,she did not find any crumpled paper in his cabin.Moreover,she was enjoying this little time with the man she worshiped.
Why did you bother yourself sir???You should have told me to get the coffee”Geet said apologetically.
“Its fine geet..I am not paying you extra for this “overtime”,I can bring tea for you in compensation atleast..”Maan exclaimed giving her cup of tea.
“But sir…”
“No ifs and buts geet..We are friends after office hours and as a friend,I can do this for you..Now finish your tea and resume work..”Maan ended with a bossy tone.
“You are a bossy friend sir..”Geet said with smile,taking first sip from her cup.
Maan’s cell phone beeped grabbing his attention.An amusing smile appeared on his lips as he checked his cell phone.
“How is she???”He asked her showing a picture of girl in his cellphone.
“I don’t know sir..”Geet answered sipping her tea.
“What do you mean geet???”
“I mean that i have never met this girl before,how would i know how is she..”
“ are would you know???”Maan exclaimed shrugging his shoulders.”Actually My mother wants me to meet her for marital purpose,that why she has sent this picture to me“He spoke further looking carefully at the picture now. Geet tried to focus on some random design on the cup in her hands in an attempt to ignore the pain that his words caused her.For first time in life,she was happy that she was wearing spectacles otherwise maan would have seen emotional turmoil in her eyes.
“Sir do you believe a person’s face can tell about him or her???”geet asked controlling her emotions.
“Why are you asking this,geet??”
“You just showed me this girl’s picture and asked me “how is she??”I thought you were asking about her character or it was a simple question about her looks???
“I should be careful with my words around you geet..“Maan said with a smile.”Actually I don’t believe that face could tell something about person’s nature or character but isn’t it natural for us to make our own assumptions when we see the person for first time,however most of the time our assumptions appeared to be false when we actually start understanding that person..
Did you assume something about me too when you saw me first time???“She asked with much curiosity.
“Yes,I thought “This girl must have a magnanimous heart..”
My face told you so???”She asked in a surprising voice making maan look carefully towards her.Her face was displaying such innocence that it made him wonder whether she was the same girl who was talking so boldly about “lust” a few days ago.He knew it was her insecurities about her scarred face which spoke in those words that night.
“Tell me sir,did my face tell you so???”She asked again breaking his chain of thoughts.
“No,your “deed” told me so..”Her furrowed eyebrows under the spectacles frame told him that his answer had confused her.
“Actually geet..It was not your interview day when i first saw you..I have already seen you that day when you helped that injured kid near the traffic signal..I was standing there among the crowd..I wanted to help you but you were gone before i could talk to you..”
She remembered that her face was not covered with dupatta at that moment when she helped the kid.Before he could ask anything about her scars,she decided to change the topic of conversation..
“All the best sir for your first matrimonial meeting..”
“It is my fourth meeting geet..”
“Why did you reject the previous three girls???”She asked as her mind concluded it might be because they were not as beautiful as Sameera.
“I did not reject them,they rejected me…”Maan informed her.
“What???” Her eyes were wide with surprise.No sane girl would reject this man,she thought..“but why sir???”She asked in disbelief.
You can blame my hobby for this geet..”
“Which hobby..???”
“asking ‘weird questions’..I asked all of them one question “Which is your favorite state of matter “solid”,”liquid’ or “gas”???
He expected her to laugh at his question or give weird look as if he had asked something entirely stupid but instead he found her twitching her eyebrows in thoughtful manner as she exclaimed..”Interesting question sir..!!!“Geet had never failed to amaze him.
“You find this question “interesting” geet??.My family thinks this question is my way to escape from marriage..”
“But it is not..I know if this question has arisen in your mind then your mind would have given an answer too..Tell me sir,which is your favorite state of matter..???”Maan looked at her quite surprisingly as it was first time when someone actually  had considered his question worthy enough to find an answer..
“Solid” geet..I love solid..It signifies the rigidity..One should be rigid with his character, One should be rigid for truth and justice,no matter how many hardships time and destiny bring for him..
When i see these solid walls,they provide me sense of protection that i am safe from sudden changes in weather outside because of their strength and rigidity..Anything “solid” can be hold in our hands unlike liquid and gas..One can’t hold water and air in fist,however both can be held in anything “solid”..You can collect water in this mug..Gas can be collected in “cylinder” in your kitchen..All these facts make “solid” superior itself…”
“Hmm…interesting answer for an interesting question sir..”
“Thank you so much..Now you tell me geet which is your favorite state of matter???”
I would like to go with God’s choice sir..”Liquid”..”
You mean to say “liquid” is god’s favorite state of matter???”
“Yes sir…”
“Care to explain geet???”
Liquid is God’s favorite state of matter that is why he has covered 72% of earth’s surface with oceans..God had chosen “liquid” to express emotions that was why he created “tears”..They express both extreme joy as well as grief..God had chosen “blood” to deliver nutrients and oxygen in our body..God had chosen “milk” as food for newborn babies..Even he had chosen “semen” to create a new life…Liquid defines fluidity and adaptiveness..They are also important aspects for life…
“I agree with you geet but don’t you think liquid lacks strength??Solid reminds me of strong shining armor of a warrior in battle ground…It has strength to protect the warrior…”
“Amniotic fluid in water bag protects the fetus from all the dangers in mother’s womb sir…It can do what solid shining armor can’t..”Geet’s answer made him speechless.He did not want to argue more but he wanted to tell her that she was the first girl or person who had understood his question as well as him…
“Excuse me geet..”Maan excused himself as he picked his cell phone and went towards his cabin.
A beautiful smile was lingering on his lips as his fingers typed the message in compose box..
“G” is the one for me..” and sent it to vicky’s number.


Chapter 9

Chapter 9

Maan saw Geet’s furrowed eyebrows with a solemn face as she marked his “meeting with contractors” on the calendar.They had been working together on orphanage designs since last five hours but work was still unfinished However as the clock’s hands showed 11 of the night,he suggested her to stop working and go back home.She collected her handbag to leave but did not forget to mark the calendar for his meetings on next day.He knew from her expressions that she was reminiscing that unpleasant incident in the conference room.

“Geet stop thinking about that..”His voice broke her reverie as she wondered how did he know what she was thinking about.Her scowled face told him to continue himself..”Look,I don’t want to embarrass you but I am very well aware of that pervert’s deed..If you are not comfortable then you can exempt from tomorrow’s meeting..”
“No Sir, I don’t fear him..”
“I did not say you fear him,geet..I know the way you have looked at him that day he would never dare to look or touch you again and if he ever tried to cross that line,believe me I won’t spare him..I don’t want any sort of relationship either personal or professional with a person who don’t know how to respect woman..”Maan said with little anger.
“Then why did not you say anything that day??”geet asked.
“Were you expecting me to say something??Maan replied with another question.
“No sir, I was not expecting anything from you..Its just your ignorance that day and your words today are giving me idea that you are among those people who think Eve teasing is bearable till the line of “physical harassment” is not crossed..”
“No geet..I am not one of them for whom “verbal assault or disgusting stares” are acceptable…But I am also not one of them who let anger control their conscience..If i had reacted that day the way i want to react ,then “that” which is known to three persons today”you”,”me” and that “pervert”would be a “hot gossip” in the office..”Maan replied in an angry voice.He was offended for sure.
“I am sorry sir..”Geet apologized with regret dripping in her voice.She never meant to offend him but could not stop herself when she found something contrast to her assumption of his “character”.She was glad that he proved her wrong by his reason behind not reacting in conference room.
“Its ok geet but you should also stop thinking about that accident..It was not your fault..’
“It was not his fault too sir,One who should blame is this emotion.,,”LUST”..I just hate this emotion..”Geet said with expression showing disgust.
“Well..I don’t hate “LUST” after all “we all are conceived in a moment of passion“..Maan said with a smirk which brought an amusing smile on geet’s lips too.
“That is Chetan Bhagat’s line sir..”Geet retorted.
I know it thats why i had already put an “asterisk”,when i said that line with note”line credit-chetan bhagat”at the end in my mind..I think you did not notice that asterisk..”He said quite seriously which made geet break into fits of laughter.. Very Soon maan also joined her..
“Are you serious geet??You hate “Lust”??“he asked after those mirthful moments.
Geet replied by nodding her head in a yes.
“But why Geet???”Lust” is a part of “Love”..It can surely be despicable without love but with love,it is as sacred as love..”Maan tried to explain.
“No sir,I don’t agree with you..Lust is just an outcome of hormonal responses when two opposite sexes come in close proximity to each other..Its just an urge to satiate physical hunger..Neither love nor any emotion can make it sacred or pure..I think there is no difference in making love and having s** when basic phenomena is same..”
“hmm..”Maan sighed loudly..“Come I will drop you home,You won’t get any taxi and auto at this hour..”He spoke further getting up from his seat.His lack of response towards her opinion about lust amazed Geet as she followed him towards the parking lot…
“Are we going by this??”Geet asked in disbelief as she saw him stopping his bike near her.
“Yes we are..Do you have any problem???“Maan asked putting off his helmet.
“No sir,i don’t..“Geet answered with a smile”Its just I have never seen you riding a bike before..”
“You will see tonight geet..Not only see,you would ride with me too…Now,come and sit,we are getting late..”Maan said revving up the bike.
“But I don’t want to be pillion rider sir..”
“What??? You want to ride the bike???“Maan asked in a surprising voice.
“Yes Sir..Would you allow me please???“Geet asked in a persuasive tone..
“Ohk..If you want so..“Maan responded meekly before getting off his riding beauty..He was pretty unsure whether geet would be able to ride it properly or not when he took pillion seat holding his helmet and his secretary’s handbag, but as soon they left the KC premises,geet’s command over bike amazed him.She was not riding but flying the bike with much expertise. Geet had wrapped her dupatta quite tight around her face however its loose end was flying with air thus caressing maan’s face lovingly.Unique fragrance of her dupatta was tempting him to shift more close to him but he did not want a wrong impression for himself in her eyes.
“Stop..Stop..Stop geet!!!” Maan’s sudden voice made her press the brakes.
“What happened sir??”geet asked in confusion.
“Lets have some “tea”,geet..“Maan said in an exciting voice as he handed her his helmet and her handbag.Before Geet could deny or ask something,she saw him going towards the other side of the road jumping the divider. Geet looked around to find some decent restaurant or cafe but none was there.There was a temple at her side of the road and small stall at the other side.Her jaw dropped as she found maan buying tea from that small stall.He was talking and smiling with an old man which was perhaps the owner of  stall.After a while,he was coming towards her with two Kulhads {small clay cups} in his hands.
“Have it geet,I bet you have never tasted such a tea before..”He said giving her one kulhad.
She took her first sip and found sugary liquid elating her taste buds.”It is really yummy sir..”
“I told you so..come lets sit near the temple..”He exclaimed as both of them start walking towards the temple nearby. like bike riding,geet??
“Yes sir,I just love riding bike”
Any special reson,geet??“He asked cocking his eyebrows.
“Yes,Accelerator in bike could use to both speed up and slow down it,unlike the car..One should have such control over life too..”
“Interesting..”he remarked.
“Why do you like riding a bike sir???“She asked taking a sip from her kulhad.
“Well..umm,,I don’t have any philosophical reason like you,geet..”
“That means you also have the same “macho satisfying cum male ego boosting” reason..”She said with disappointment.
“Now what is that geet???” Maan asked in confusion.
“Well..Bike riding is generally considered as a “boy thing”as bike’s engine make them feel the strength of “horse power” between their legs..”Geet’s bold statement made maan choke on his tea as he felt his cheeks burning with some strange sensation.He was blushing for the first time in his life.
“What happened sir???”Geet asked casually enjoying his predicament.
“Nothing geet..“Maan answered controlling his coughing..“Believe me there is no such reason behind my liking for bike riding..I just love bikes because I don’t like driving the car..”
“hmm..”Geet gave an understanding node while controlling her laugh.
“Are you this much “open and bold” with all your friends,geet???“He asked after some time.
You are my only friend sir..“She said as she clutched the kulhad tight in her hands..
Maan only gave a slight smile in response as he felt delighted about the fact that geet considered him as a friend.
“Come lets sit there geet..”He suggested pointing towards the stairs of the temple.
“wait sir..we should put off our foot wears first..”
” why geet???Temple is not open,we are not going inside”
“But there is a “Hawan kund” sir..”She gestured him towards his left. He smiled as he removed his shoes.Both of them went upstairs to sit beside the “Hawan kund” inside the temple premises.
“Geet what is difference between the fire that is lit in this hawan kund and the fire in the gas stove of that tea vendor???“Maan asked after some time.
“Fire in the “hawan kund” is considered “sacred” sir…”She replied taking last sip from her kulhad.
“But both have same “fire”.geet..!!!”
“yes sir.. both have same fire but presence of “Hawan kund” makes the fire lit in it sacred..”
“Love is the “Hawan kund” for “Lust” geet..“Maan exclaimed with a smile while rolling the “kulhad” between his palms.
She responded with a smile as she understood his purpose behind stopping near the temple and tea stall.”Is is possible for a man to think something other than s** after seeing naked breas** of his wife or lover??”Geet asked letting him know that his “Hawan kund’s” logic had not convinced her completely.
Yes It is possible geet,when he sees his child satiating his hunger with her brea*** ..”Maan answered looking straight in her eyes.She forgot to blink as his eyes captured hers under the spectacles.
“I hate it when males are thought as “s** seeking monsters,geet..We also understand meaning of love..Being a girl,you can never understand what would i feel when my wife would show that much trust in me to shed all her inhibitions without any hesitation give up her virtue to me..!!! Why “Lust” is always considered as an emotion solely related to males???Don’t women feel this emotion???Few days ago you had said to me that Ravan’s lust for Sita sabotaged him but in actual,his sister’s lust for”Ram”was the root cause of his destruction…”Maan spoke further averting his gaze from her.
“Not every “male” thinks like you..”She wanted to say but her tongue did not oblige her.
“I think we should leave now,geet..”Maan said taking empty “kulhad” from her hands for trashing.She followed him silently towards the bike as she realized that her heart was in love with this man before the bike ride but now it had started worshiping him…

Chapter 8

Chapter 8

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…


Chapter 7


Geet did not know whom she should blame actually???Herself for letting pen slip from her hands or that tailor who had stitched her suit with such deep neckline.She was busy taking notes in the meeting,which maan had postponed yesterday,when pen slipped from her fingers making her bent down to pick it up.Her deep neckline made her cleavage show quite prominently while doing so.She was embarrassed as well as angry when she found one of man in the conference room looking at her with hungry eyes.She just wanted to kill that person at very moment.She knew it was impossible for her to do so that why she just wanted to leave from there as soon as possible. Maan was able to feel her restlessness and anger as he himself had witnessed entire incident.He was angry for sure but more than “anger”,he felt “disgust”for that person.He finished the meeting as soon as possible causing much relief to his secretary as he saw her literally running towards her cabin as soon meeting got over.

Geet’s nails dug into her palms as that man’s face flashed infornt of her eyes.She took deep breaths in order to calm her rage but failed miserably.It was the first time when she had faced such a situation.Throughout her college life her way of dressing as well as her spectacles and more important gossips regarding her “scarred face” had saved her from eve-teasing.She had not any close friend who had shared such a experience with her.She knew it used to happen in society  but she was not a victim before and that was why she had no idea how to handle this rage??How to forget all that???She massaged her temples as an idea popped in her mind.Next moment,She opened her handbag to take out her favorite book “Ramayana”.She knew very well that she could find “solace” only in the company of her favorite character”Sita”.But today,along with “Sita”,there was someone else to accompany her.
“Hello geet..”
Geet was shocked finding maan in her cabin.She was not expecting her boss to disturb her in lunch hour.
“Hmm..Ramayan..very interesting..!!”Maan did not wait for her response as he came forward towards her table and settled himself in a chair.He was determined to accomplish his “Mission Friendship” today.Besides that,he badly wanted to divert Geet’s mind from that schmuck contractor.
“Ramayan seems your favorite book.I have seen you reading this before too..”Maan spoke further.
“Yes it is..I love this book since childhood” Finally geet obliged him with her answer as she tried to absorb the fact that her boss was actually present in her cabin.It was not like She had never seen him visiting his employee’s cabin before but he had come to her cabin for the first time.
“Wow!!! so tell me something about “Ravan”???“He exclaimed in a serious voice.
“Were not you supposed to ask about “Ram” and “Sita”???“Geet asked as a smile adorned her lips.
Maan felt a calm settling his insides as he saw her smiling.He had purposely asked her about “Ravan” just to bring that smile on her face.”Yes,I was supposed to ask about “Ram” and “Sita but putting such weird questions is my hobby“.He replied with other smile.
“Well,I can answer your weird question then..“Geet spoke as she closed the book in her hands.
“You will talk about Ravan,geet???” he asked in astonishment.
“Yes,I would sir…”
“Ok then,tell me something “good” about Ravan..That would be really interesting..”Maan said in a challenging tone.
Geet cleared her throat before she started speaking good about “villain” of Ramayana..” Ravan was a great scholar sir..He had thorough knowledge of four “vedas” and He was an expert in “astronomy” and “Chemical Sciences”.He possess vast knowledge of “Ayurveda”as well as he used to play “veena” very beautifully.He was a brave warrior and He was very handsome..
“HANDSOME???”Maan almost yelled in disbelief..“Ravan was handsome,geet???”
Maan’s expression brought an amusing smile on her lips.”Yes sir,Ravan was very good looking..There is an incident described in “Sanskrit Ramayan”.According to that,Lord Hanuman was smitten by Ravan’s good looks when he saw him for the first time.There is also a “shlok” describing lord Hanuman’s thoughts.It says,”If Ravan did not have evil aspects prominent in him,then he could be a ruler of “Devlok”..”
“Interesting..I never knew a “demon”could have such good qualities..”Maan gave his opinion.
“Yes he had many good qualities but his “LUST” for Sita sabotaged him…”Geet exclaimed.As the word “lust” escaped her lips,her attention was diverted back to incident happened in conference room.Her facial expressions clearly told maan that she was thinking about that pervert once again and he had to do something.
“I have always imagined a scary face for Ravan..If i had known all this,i would have given him a handsome face..”Maan spoke grabbing geet’s attention.”Hey geet,Have you ever tried to give faces to story characters??I mean have you ever imagined someone as “Ram” or “Sita”???He asked further with his gaze now fixed on Picture of “Raam” on the cover of Book. Maan’s sudden question actually made her feel like  she was caught red he was able to read her he already knew that she had imagined him as “Raam”..
When he did not get any response from her ,he shifted his gaze from book cover to her.For first time ever he was unable to read her face.She was looking like a little girl who had been caught with her hands in candy jar.
“You did not answer my question geet???” He asked once again.
“Keanu Reeves sir..”Geet spoke suddenly.
“What???” Maan asked in confusion.
“I think Keanu Reeves would be a perfect Ram ,sir..”
“You mean,that actor from “Matrix”..??”
“Yes sir..”Neo” from matrix..He would look too good as Ram..”Geet spoke in order to convince her boss as well as herself.She was a bad liar indeed.
“Interesting choice geet..”
“Sir,who is your favorite character from “Ramayana”???Geet asked in order to change the topic of conversation.
I would tell you geet but you have to promise me that you won’t laugh after knowing it..”His statement confused geet.Why would she laugh on his answer??
“I promise Sir,I won’t laugh“Geet said in convincing tone.
Trijata..”Maan told with his gaze fixed on the table.
There was a complete silence after that for a while and then he heard musical laughter of the girl sitting infront of him.”…trijata..that demoness???” Geet spoke amidst fits of laughter.Maan should feel annoyed or embarrassed because geet had broken her promise so shamelessly and moreover she was laughing at him like lunatic But instead he was elated watching her laugh so freely.He tried to look angry but could not do so.
“I am so sorry sir. I could not control myself.” Geet said wiping tears from her cheeks due to laughing so hard.
“It is not at all OK geet..” Maan said while trying to look angry.
“I really apologize sir!!! I should not laugh on your choice..”Geet apologized quite seriously this time.There was no smile on her lips anymore which pinched maan’s heart.
“hmmm Its ok geet..and its not your fault actually…My choice is weird indeed..”Maan said trying to cheer her mood.
“Why “Trijata” is your favorite character sir???”Geet questioned him.
“She was demoness in Ravan’s Kingdom but still she was in favor of “Sita”.She knew that her boss had done wrong by kidnapping Sita and She showed the guts to convince Ravan to send Sita back to Ram…It is not easy to go against “someone” who pays you salary for the “truth and right”..Trijata indeed was a brave woman or demoness,Geet!!!”
Maan expected an other round of laughter from geet as he finished speaking but it never came.Instead he found Geet looking at her with some unknown expressions playing on her face.
I am really sorry sir..I should not have laughed at you without hearing the reason behind your choice..”Geet said with a genuine regret.
“Its ok geet!!! now stop apologizing and tell me my schedule after lunch..“Maan asked in a bossy tone.
“Sir,There is an invitation for you from Miss sameera.Her NGO is celebrating their 10th foundation day..”
“ what time??”
“3 pm sir..”
“ok..It was really nice talking you geet..”Maan said as he got up from his chair.
“Same here sir..”geet replied with a smile.
Maan turned around to leave her cabin with a satisfactory smile on his face.He had given great start to his “mission friendship”.

chapter 6

Her vision was blurred as she opened her eyes in darkness.She tried to recognize her surroundings but failed miserably thus making her close her lids once again in exasperation.Familiar damp smell entered her nostrils as she realized that she was in “storeroom” of her lavish villa.She once again opened her eyes.Slight light coming from the only window confirmed her presence in most “disliked”portion of her house.She had never liked to enter in this dark room then how did she reach there???She exerted much pressure on her memory cells but could not remember anything useful..

She remembered herself enjoying dinner with her friends in the party..
She remembered “envious” look on the faces of all the females present there..
She remembered “admiring” eyes of all the males in the party…
Last she remembered words of “adulation” from one of her friend about her beautiful peach chiffon saree while coming back from the party in her car. She remembered her saying how beautifully her saree was complementing her.After that everything was blank for her.As thought of her saree crossed her mind,her attention went towards her clothes.She was wearing same saree but it was not tidy anymore.She found her saree crumpled with its pleats open.A certain restlessness filled her heart as she never liked something “less than perfect” or “less than beautiful”.Her hands got busy with adjusting her pleats as her feet moved towards the door of the store room.She wanted to leave the ugliest corner of her house as soon as possible.Sudden light blurred her vision again as she came out of dark storeroom.She opened her eyes only to get biggest shock of her life.Her saree was not only crumpled but dirty too.There was mud all over saree as well on her hair and arms.Bile rose in her throat as she ran towards the bathroom to take a bath..
“Is not she looking so beautiful in this picture???” Voice of her eighteen years old son halted her steps near his room.Even in hurry of taking a bath,she could not stop herself from looking inside his room.He was sitting with his father, and her pictures were scattered all over the space between them on the bed.
“She is looking beautiful in each and every pic,son..”She saw her husband saying those words with his gaze fixed on one of her picture in his hand..”She is most beautiful woman i have ever met..”He spoke further causing a proud smile to appear on her lips…
A tear slipped on geet’s cheek as she read the lineShe is most beautiful woman i have ever met..” for umpteenth time.She was in her bed reading that crushed paper.She could not stop herself from imagining “maan” saying that line for Sameera. It was paining her alot that he was imagining his future with Sameera in the story.Even he is dreaming of having a son with her.Pain in love blinds rationality sometimes.Same was happening with Geet. Instead of her brain,her heart was working at that time thus making her ponder over “specific” lines which were increasing her pain more.Initial portion of  crushed paper’s content was unable to grab her attention.
With much determination,she wiped her tears as she decided to control her feelings for her boss.He was never meant to be hers,she thought as she caressed  scarred part on her cheek.She felt her scars also telling her same…
He was surprised as well as confused as he saw his elder brother smiling while looking at a Five hundred rupee note{bill}.He moved forward to take a closer look at the bill.He was able to see a “G” written in red ink near the picture of “Gandhi” in the bill..
“Oh my god bhai!!! you fell in love with Mahatama gandhi..” Vicky,maan’s 16 years old younger brother exclaimed in astonishment.
Maan was in his study room.He was busy staring at Five hundred rupee bill which geet had returned him as soon they reached the office.For some reason,he could not keep that note in the wallet.He wrote “G” with red pen on it before keeping it in his breast pocket.
“Shut up vicky!!” Maan replied in  little irritation.“I am not in love with Gandhi”..
“Then why were you staring at his picture in the note?? and moreover you have written “G” on it..“Vicky said taking a seat opposite of his brother.
“G does not mean “Gandhi” here.,vicky..”
“That means you are actually in love with some girl whose name starts with “G”,Bhai???”
Vicky’s statement brought a smile on his lips as he spoke,”I don’t know vicky..Its just I can’t stop thinking about her..Do we fall in love like this???”
“Yes..It is the first step only..“Vicky answered quite seriously which made maan chuckle as he slapped vicky’s cheek dearly. Vicky was most pampered younger brother in the world. Maan was not only his elder brother but his best friend too.
“oh really???you know everything about love??“Maan questioned.
“Yes I do big brother and i know your problem is that you are unable to figure out whether it is a mere attraction or real love???”Maan knew his younger brother was using “his”lines with him.Vicky was in the age where he used to fell in love with every third girl he met. Maan used to preach him alot about infatuation and attraction.
“Yes,that is my problem..tell me “vicky ji” what should i do???”
“Very simple “maan ji”..Just ask her same question which you used to ask to every girl whom mumma made you meet for matrimonial purposes.If she could answer it then she is the one for you”Vicky stated revolving a paper weight on study table.
You mean “what is your favorite state of matter,solid,liquid or gas”???”Maan said as both broke into fits of laughter.It was maan’s fulproof idea to ask such weird questions to girls whom his mother used to make him meet forcefully.This question had always helped him to escape from such girls as well as marriage.
“Are you really serious for this girl,Bhai??”
“Yes,I am vicky but I don’t  know what to do further..I want to know more about her but we share strictly professional relationship..”
“Then try to transform your relationship from “professional” to “personal”..” Vicky suggested.
“and how???”
“Friendship bro Friendship!!! Try to do friendship with her..”
Maan found his younger brother’s idea very useful..“hmm..good idea vicky!!!Thank you so much”Maan said genuinely.
“My pleasure bro..Now will you please share a little about your “G” with me???” Vicky asked in an excited tone.
“Well..She is .umm..she…mm”Maan struggled with words to praise Geet .
“Is She pretty bhai???” Vicky asked loosing his patience.
His question did not surprise Maan.
“She is very “Beautiful” Vicky!!!”Maan said with a smile as his fingers caressed the bill in his hands…