Chapter Seven: Maan's GoodBye
“But how can this be possible????” I was too shocked to get scared.
“Main kaha tha na....please do something....please.....”
I thought for a few seconds.....
“It can’t be!”
Gosh! Finally I knew what the matter was! I smirked…I clutched her wrist & rushed out of the room. She was probably shocked at my back-out. She questioned me but I was more interested to put on the main switch. I did so. Then we again went to her room. She was very confused at what I was up to.
No sooner did we reach the room, the ‘two ghosts’ remained intact. I switched on the lights, Geet was horrified at her discovery…
“Geet!” I looked at her amused, “You saw your own reflection in the mirror in the darkness & got scared and the other ghost was my reflection!”
She was too stunned to even react. She covered her mouth with her hands.
“Babaji!! I had completely forgotten that there was a mirror here!”
“Next time, have popcorn & watch horror films, you will come across many real good looking ghosts.”
I teased her. She frowned as usual. I wanted to taunt her further but just remembered that I had to tell her about my departure tomorrow....Damn! Why is it turning out to be so difficult? I am surely making an issue out of nothing!
“You are coming with me for a night walk right now.” I announced.
She raised her eyebrows.
“You might be MD of KC but you can’t order me like that okay! Aur waise bhi, good girls don’t go out with bad boys at night.” she sneered
“Oh really? I don’t think you’re a good girl as good girls don’t watch erotic stuff at night!”
I nailed it! She glanced sideways. Ha! Nobody can outsmart MSK!
“Still, I can’t go with you since it’s high time I remove my contact lenses.”
She reached for her lens case and a Bausch & Lomb solution.
“Can’t you see without your lenses?”
“I can’t see properly even with them.” She said in a low & sad voice.
Yeah! Mr Handa did tell that Geet was suffering from very high myopia, a case of short-sightedness. That I even saw her reading the newspaper from way to close even after wearing lenses! They had to make frequent rounds to eye-specialists & doctors said the safest bet for laser operation for her was after 21 years of age. Geet is 19 presently.
End of Narration.
Geet thought for a while. A walk wasn’t that bad an option. Also, she needed fresh air, especially after the ghost fiasco. She did not remove her lenses & agreed to go with him.
They were walking down a small narrow lane. Maan didn’t know why he was feeling so strange within. Even Geet’s peering eyes judged his behavior to be odd. He looked withdrawn & his eyes stared hard across the lane..... he evinced hostility.....Suddenly, a realization struck Geet.
“Babaji! Maine toh yeh socha hi nahi! What if everyone returns to the Haveli before us!!! If Daarji comes to know I am with you then!!” she grew hyper
“This proves I am not scared of Daarji or anyone, doesn’t it?” his voice had a tinge of roughness.
Geet was startled by such a remark!
“Daarji will never let me meet Geet again!!!!”
The thought lurked Maan’s mind. The time had slyly gone when his rendezvous with Geet succeeded very much under everyone’s nose. But now with his going away from here, what next?!The question echoed in his mind.....
“Why are you so quiet Maan??” her hazels looked at him, perplexed.
Maan remained silent. It was clear he won’t be able to see her face again & that thought did something to him.... something which was unfelt before.....He was fighting with his own self.....
She couldn’t make out what’s wrong with him. His eyes were intense & his face was still hardened as if something was bothering him & he couldn’t make out what it was or why it was.....Maan was finding it tough to battle the alien emotions which had surged in him.....which told him Geet won’t be near him next day onwards....He tried to use logic as his weapon to understand as to why this thought was troubling him so much! But logic did not fit in the puzzle.....
“So what??? Aaj nahi toh kal I had to leave from here…!!!!I was anyways not about to stay here forever!!! Toh why is it so difficult to wave good-bye to her....! Damn!!!!!”
The air around them was getting cold. But it hardly mattered to Maan as a peculiar spark within him kept him intact.... Geet crossed her arms for warmth
“Maan....can you please lend me your over-coat....woh kya hai na it’s---”
She couldn’t even complete as Maan adroitly removed his coat & left it in the air for gravity to do the rest! Startled, Geet instantly bent a little & caught the coat before it kissed the ground! She sighed but then she saw Maan walking ahead!
“What‘s wrong with you!!!???”
She asked while catching pace with him simultaneously flinging his coat on herself.
“Just formatting myself!! Nothing else!” he said bluntly.
Her eye-brows notched up hearing him but he hardly cared.
“Fine!! If he is not giving me bhav, then why should I ??”she thought stubbornly.
“Thik hai.....mat kariye mujhse baat....mujhe bhi nahi karni!” she said.
“Can you wheel yourself faster as we need to reach & establish ourselves in our respective rooms before family arrives!”
He again walked ahead of her. Geet pouted in anger.
“How mean & rude!!”
She yet again ran & caught pace with him!
They walked inside the dark Haveli. With every stair they were ascending, Maan’s restlessness grew.....There were only a few hours left for his departure & he hated that extremely..! There was a strange kind of anger seething within him which mocked him saying his life henceforth will be devoid of Geet....! He tried to deal with this strange feeling within him calmly but he didn’t know with what to start leaving him in square one itself.....
Geet, on the other hand, was seeing him becoming stiff every passing second....She was worried for him at the same time angry on him....
They were at the corridor leading to Geet’s room. She looked at him.
“He is not even looking at me! As if I care!”
“Good Night. The walk was very good.” she said sarcastically.
She prepared to go but with slow steps with a faint hope Maan would stop her.....but he didn’t.
“Yeh kya baat hui? Why isn’t he stopping me?”she wondered
“Enough! Maan Singh Khurana, enough of your ‘so-called’ thinking! You are building an issue out of nothing!! Just tell her that you are leaving !! That’s it ! is there any need to think about such a simple thing??! Why be a maladroit!!”
She wanted to turn behind & see whether he was standing there or not but she walked further....
“Stop!” he called out from behind.
She stopped with a flash of smile. She heard his footsteps approaching him from behind. She felt his hot breath on her shoulder marking his arrival closer to her.
“If anyone discovers my overcoat in your room the next morning, we both will be in trouble.” His voice was a little rude.
Geet cringed hearing him. Without turning to look at him, she rashly handed him the coat.
Then she began to walk briskly but Maan stopped her, clutching her wrist & pulled her to him. Her back was against his torso.....
“I don’t think I have to return anything else to you.” she tried her best to remain stiff even though the feel of his velvety shirt tickled her.
“Mujhe tumse kuch kehna hai.” he whispered, his voice was deep.
Geet left her breaths mid-way. Her eyes widened.
Wow! The five famous magical words which comes before the even more famous three magical words, her mind ringed the statement.....
He abruptly turned her to face him. She shrieked as her startled hazels locked with his intriguing ones…She couldn’t fathom what was going inside him as his eyes were so dense & they arrowed her senses through her eyes. Things became more difficult for him. His eyes wandered over her feminine features which were the main cause for his unexplained state.....The words which were to be said slipped his mind as his eyes stared at her intensely.....
She was a bit scared now by his appearance. She tried to wriggle out from his hold but he gripped her even more firmly. Then came is voice....
“You loved the walk, right!..?”
The texture of his voice made her beat drum in her ears.
She shook her head vigorously to support her reply not able to comprehend what was going on or what would happen the following second....
Just then her numb ears heard the large door of the Haveli open marking everyone’s return. The scary thought at once brought back all her abducted senses but Maan was still in oblivion....
“Maan, please.....let....let go....sab log aa chuke hai....”
He was unperturbed. She realized that his hold had already loosened....She freed herself & was about to run into her room when Maan yet again stopped her, yanking her back to him.....Her heart was frayed by her thundering beats.
The hall lights were put on & voices could be heard from there.....
Maan pinned her to the wall which stunned her to the roots. His very close proximity paralyzed her. Her heart beated mercilessly as he incarcerated her while her mind was petrified thinking of the consequences if anyone saw them in such a state.....
“Maine kaha na mujhe kuch kehna hai!” his voice was stubborn, he was clearly not in his senses.....
“T-T-Tell me t-tomorrow....a-abhi-- ” she choked…
“No!!!!!” his intoxicating breath was all over her face & their lips had an inch of a distance between them.....
Geet heard footsteps approaching towards them & the steps neared every second....
“You are coming with me tomorrow to Delhi & then to my home city Mumbai!!!” the words were emitted near her lips.
His voice was passionate & his eyes were desperately looking at her for a reply....But Geet hadn’t heard a single word spoken.....She was terrified....extremely terrified as the foot steps became louder & clearer....making her shiver.....
She shrieked as his propelling voice commanded her attention again.
She was breathing heavily not knowing how to deal with him or the situation....They had to part right now, else it would be too late.....
Geet attempted to move her paralyzed hand but he had pinned them tightly on the wall....She felt the urgency to act very quick…
“I am waiting for your nod Geet!!!”
& the footsteps became more louder....more clearer.....Geet eyed his neck.....he had turned her insane & had left her with so other option....with great difficulty, she inched her mouth closer to his neck & then....with shivering teeth, she bit him with all the little strength she had, below his ears....He at once winced in pain & released her.....Maan was knocked back to his senses & before he could realize what had just happened, his shocked eyes saw Geet running inside her room, locking the door behind her.
His eyes were wide digesting the fact that Geet had bit him.....!!!
He held his neck where she bit him. Then his eyes fell on one of her ear-ring on the floor which must have fallen when she ran....He bent & grabbed it. The next moment he heard his Dadima’s voice behind him...he slyly slipped the ring in his pocket.
He abruptly turned around to face her. Dadima was surprised when Maan walked away without a word!
Maan went to his room shutting the door behind him.
“What was up with me…!!!!? ” he was trying to come in terms with himself, “I did not ever lose control over my self!!! I wanted to tell her that I would be leaving tomorrow itself, & what did I stay instead!!!! & Did she really bite me????!!!!!”
He looked at his reflection in the mirror. There was indeed a mark on his neck. He held her ear-ring in front of him & his eyes turned sharp gazing at it.
His fingers joined to form the fist clutching the ear-ring....
On the other hand, Geet had her own set of miseries. She was prancing to & fro in her room.
“Babaji, yeh maine kya kar diya!!!!” she bit her finger nail, “Now how will I face him tomorrow…what will I say to him!!!By the way it was his fault. Pata nahi what had come on him!!!??? Main unke samne hi nahi aaungi!!! Yes!! This will be better!”
She removed her contact lenses & fell on the bed.
“I know him for barely a week par phir bhi.... even then I allowed him to get so close to me. ”
“And I have lost my fav ear-ring!! Pata nahi where I have dropped it!!”
Geet soon dozed off to sleep.... oblivious that Maan would leave the following morning itself.....