Chapter Twelve: Battling The Odds
"But why can't I go to Mumbai?????????!!!!"
Her voice echoed in the Handa Haveli. Her eyes travelled from her parents to her Daarji but no one looked at her directly. Geet couldn't believe what she just heard...or perhaps she did expect this coming...
"We will not discuss anything about this matter further. We can't permit you to go to Mumbai..."
Daarji said in a low decisive voice but even she wasn't happy with her own decision. Geet clenched her fists & closed her eyes tight to stop her tears.
"I know you are saying so because of my myopic eyes...but I am not blind, why can't you understand!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Rano tried to call her but Geet ran upstairs locking the door of her room...
Tears rolled down her eyes as she fell on her bed. How excited she was to get the opportunity of studying in St Mark but everything was lost now as Daarji never changes her decision...Geet cried digging her head in the pillow...
Narration by Geet
I have been a myopic patient since birth. Living with a number of minus 28 hasn't been an easy job at all. Lenses don't help much as my number is really high & doctors advise not to strain my eyes. All this have been really frustrating as some people almost treat me as though I am blind...Also it has caused lot of hindrances in my choices as regards to my career interests or even enjoying college life. I wanted to take up engineering but couldn't make it. My family was apprehensive to send me to Delhi for studies but since my relatives there assured them I will be fine, Daarji agreed. And now, when I have got a wonderful opportunity to study in Mumbai, things are yet again not in my favor...
End of Narration
"Geet puttar, please open the door!"
She heard her father’s voice. Composing herself, she let him in. Geet hugged him tight & he knew his daughter was very sad...
"Geet," he caressed her lovingly, "It's not that we don't want you to follow your interests. And don't think we are not sending you to Mumbai because of your eyesight, we don't have any relatives there to take care of you. So how we send our darling bitiya all alone? "
His voice was soothing & friendly. Geet parted from him.
"Papa, I know you all are really protective & caring about me. But you have to trust my capabilities because I trust myself!"
"We have never underestimated you beta!"
"Then please Papa...please maan jayine na...I don't want to sit at home for two years till I am operated...I want to fight the circumstances...I want to achieve something despite my shortcomings!"
Geet looked at him with pleading eyes. Mohinder understood her perspective. He was never against her going to Mumbai, but somewhere even he feared...
"Please convince Daarji & Mamma..." Geet spoke again...
"Yeh aap kya keh rahain hain. Hum Geet ko jane nahi sakte, hamara mann nahi maan raha!!" Rano was teary-eyed.
"Rano is right & I will not change my decision. Geet can even study in Chandigarh itself." Daarji added.
"I don't think it's right on our part! If we stop her, she will think we don't want her to progress!" Mohinder tried to convey, "And I don't want our daughter to feel that we treat her as handicap. I have full faith in Geet & it's not right to dissuade her always."
Mohinder left from there. Rano couldn't decide what was right & what was wrong. She had always been over-protective of Geet but that's also true that her daughter needs to be independent.
Daarji was forced to reflect once again in the matter...
All sat around the table for dinner. Geet looked at her dad who gave her an assuring nod. The meal was a silent affair.
"Geet puttar...!" Daarji spoke after the dinner got over.
Geet looked at her unsurely. Daarji continued,
"You are going to Mumbai but on one condition that you will phone us everyday."
Geet couldn't believe her ears. Her sad hazels at once shone with happiness. Her mind felt light & all unsure thoughts cleared. Cheerfulness was back in her face. She saw her parents smiling too. Geet was happier.
"Sachci Daarji???!!! Thank you...Thank you so much!!!!!" she chirped & she hugged him very tightly!
Rajji giggled. Geet thanked Babaji too for helping her yet again. Doors had opened for her, Geet breathed in anticipation.
"And yes! I have even looked for hostel accommodation for you. You will be staying in St Mark girls hostel!" added Mohinder.
Geet nodded cheerfully!
Narration by Geet.
"Geet beta!! How much will you sleep? Get up!"
Mamma had been repeating herself since the past one hour!. Finally I had to give in. I felt as though it was a new beginning. I can't thank my family enough for being supportive & understanding.
I got up yawning & looked around me. Thankfully, it was my own room not some helicopter or aeroplane!. Gosh! I am thinking about Maan!
"After the marriage prank, he played the kidnapping prank! He knew I had to go to Delhi anyway & he took advantage of that fact! Aur main pata nahi kya kya soch rahi thi! Eloping & all! But anyways, he is out of my life now & I don't have to think about him!"
I opened my laptop. There were two mails in my inbox. The first one said I had to go to my Delhi college & collect my passing certificate which will be needed in St Mark.
"Kya!!!!?? Phir se Delhi jaana padhega!" I sighed.
I read the next mail.
"What! Tomorrow is a guest lecture in St Mark!!???College ke first day mein hi guest lecture!"
Pah! They did not even mention who was going to come!
The rest of the day went quite good, though I was kinda sad that I would be departing the next day. And true enough, I was being pampered by all! Daarji brought my favorite sweets. Papa bought my fav chocolates. Mamma & Rajji helped me in packing. Aamma was very particular that I shouldn't neglect my health by skipping meals!
But even then I felt something amiss...My mind constantly kept drifting back to Maan. Most of the times I was able to stop myself from thinking about him but other times I couldn't...Though I was very very happy I won't ever see Aniee again but I couldn't say the same about Maan….
"Geet, get a life!!!" I scolded myself, "Would you want to hear Aniee's rude remarks or be the sole target of Maan's pranks on a daily basis? No na? So you should be celebrating that the Khurana siblings are out of your life!!"
So basically my motto was 'Maan's thoughts go away, don't come ever again'
At night, We all were seated in the dining hall for dinner. Mamma was serving me my favorite dish.
"Geet." I looked at Papa, "I have booked your tickets for tomorrow. One is Chandigarh-Delhi & the other Delhi-Mumbai. Yaad se bag mein rakh lena!"
I nodded. Then Daarji spoke,
"Geet." Daarji spoke, "Bas ek hi baat hai, stay away from Maan!"
I was shocked hearing that. Now from where did Maan's topic arise? I will be studying in Mumbai, not Delhi!. Maan's chapter is over in my life along with yestarday's epilogue!(Man! I have repeated that to myself a million times now!)
I nodded confidently...
Early next morning my family had come to see me off at the airport. I took Mamma, Papa & Daarji's blessings & hugged Rajji. It was then that Rajji whispered to me,
"Di, don't forget to check out the good looking guys in your batch & tell me also about them!" she winked.
"Sure Sure, why not!" I replied.
We both giggled. Soon it was time for me to depart...All turned so emotional! Even I!
End of Narration.
On their way back to the Haveli, Rano exclaimed.
"Does Geet know that the Khuranas are her Local Guardian in Mumbai??"
"Oh ho! We have forgotten to tell her! Koi nahi, we will tell her once she lands there!" said Mohinder
Geet sat in the air-craft looking forward for her life in Mumbai…..oblivious of the fact that her Perfect Suitor will re-enter her life within a few hours with a prank...