Chapter Seventeen: A Rainy Affair!
“Bilbur, how does it feel being a puppy??Atleast you don’t have to deal with Maan’s pranks!”
Yeah! Geet was discussing the “hardships” of her hopelessly unpredictable life with the Khurana family’s pet animal. Bilbur was a cute white puppy & Dadima’s favourite!
“By the way, do you think I can write a book titled ‘101 Ways To Trouble Maan’?” Geet asked fluttering her eyelashes.
Bilbur just blankly gaped at her.
“Yeah Yeah I know! That’s more difficult than climbing MT Everest!”
Bilbur sighed along with Geet!
“Anyways, I shouldn’t think of Maan much because then he will get hiccups & plot a new prank on me. Kisi mahan aatma ne sahi kaha hai ‘Never Trouble Trouble Until Trouble Troubles You’”
Bilbur was confused & even Geet didn’t understand what she said. She wished the puppy a good night & went to her room.
Narration by Geet
Yawn! Yawn! Yawn! It almost 2 o’ clock in the night & I’m still doing my assignment! Yes! For our introductory class, we are told to sacrifice our brain cells....I mean use our creativity & draw a dress design & I’m giving the finishing touches to it. Man! I haven’t removed my lenses yet when the doctor had strictly told me to wear it for 12 hours! Mamma & Daarji would have taken my case if they were here! Jeez!
I stretched sleepily after I was done with my work. Now I should rest my eye balls since I have strained them & my head a lot today. I was just about to remove my lenses when I heard a pitter-patter outside. Guessing what it could be, I rushed to the window & yes!!! It was raining beautifully along with a cool breeze blowing in rhythm. Well....ah! Did I tell that I LOVE rains!!! Yay!!!
End of Narration
Maan, who was doing some office work in his laptop, saw Geet rushing up the staircase as he came out of his room.
“Geet hasn’t slept yet?” he wondered.
Nonetheless, he followed her to the terrace. And that was it! His steps halted at the entrance when he saw Geet looking up at the sky with her arms open enjoying the rains....A cool breeze blew past him as he grew enchanted by looking at her....His senses bade him goodbye as he saw her twirling merrily in the rains. Maan was awestruck & hypnotized by her....The sparkle in her innocent hazels, her breath taking smile & her rosy cheeks—everything seemed to affect him in a way he could never imagine....He stood there gawking at her losing each & everything he had....How can anyone have such a strong influence on Maan Singh Khurana? He wanted to look away from him but he simply failed to. The girl in front of him had captivated him in such a way that he lost every battle with himself.
He followed her with his eyes wherever she walked. Maan wasn’t a huge fan of rains but then to he had an undeniable urge to go there & hold her close....Maan didn’t realize when his feet began stepping towards her....He was intoxicated enough by her beauty to even realize that he too was fully drenched....
Geet was startled to see him there out of the blue & he looked so lost into something!
“Pata hai Maan!” she chirped happily, ”Rajji & I wait excitedly for the rainy season every year. It would be so much fun playing in the muddy puddles & getting a sound scolding from Daarji. Then Mamma used to make yummy pakodas for which Rajji & I used to fight! And Papa used to lit bonfire in the Haveli & all of us used to sit around it & have a perfect family time!”
Maan saw her getting all nostalgic & kind homesick. It had beed a week since she was in Mumbai. Suddenly he saw her getting all sad & he was shocked when tears formed in her eyes! And the very next moment, Geet hugged him crying! She held on to him tightly by clutching his shirt....& for the first time ever, Maan’s heart skipped a violent beat making him go all blank...He couldn’t fathom when he held her, hugging her back. They stood there like that for a little while as the rain kept falling.
Geet suddenly realized what she had done & at once distanced herself from him. Maan saw her very much flustered as she covered her mouth....
“I-I am sorry....” she ran indoors.
“Geet wait!!” he ran after her.
Maan waited outside as she changed her dress & wiped her hair. He still couldn’t help but gaze at her but he know she was disturbed about something.
“Mujhe...Mujhe maaf kar dijiye please...I shouldn’t have done that....”
“Geet, what happened?!!! Why did you suddenly cry?!!!” he asked her.
She turned her back to him. Maan made he face him again & jerked her closer.
“Tell me!!” he insisted.
“Woh...” she glanced sideways, “I am missing my family a lot....”
“If you want, I can take you to Chandigarh to meet them RIGHT NOW!!”
His voice was intense & Geet knew that MSK meant each & every letter of his words....
“I....I lied to them....I lied to them that I am studying finance when in reality I am doing fashion designing....When they will come to know that truth that I lied to them about my career, they will be so hurt...!”
She sat on the bed with a thud & closed her teary eyes. Maan bend down leveling himself to her.
“But tumne aisa kyun kiya?!”
“Because Daarji doesn’t approve of fashion & glamour much. Moreover, I am advised not to take up something that would strain my eyes & brain way too much....I love fashion designing & I want to prove my capabilities despite all odds!!! I want to prove to myself & all that I’m not an under-dog!!! ”
Maan saw the determination & will power in her eyes. He had a fair idea of what challenges in life do visually weak people face due to which they often think of themselves poorly but Geet was strong.
Geet’s heart fluttered a bit when she felt his hand on hers...
“Do you trust me?” he asked.
“Not really...Actually No!”
Her straight forward answer wasn’t taken graciously by him & she could make that out when he cringed a bit. Anyways, he calmed himself down.
“There is nothing to be guilty about. You just concentrate on your goals & leave the rest to me. After all, you know how I handle situations, right?”
She saw the smirk on his face & glint in his eyes. Maan left soon after.
Geet walked up to the window. The rain had slowed down.
“I don’t why but I never really felt angry at his mischief & even now I feel like believing him! Babaji, please fix whatever is wrong with me!”
The next morning Maan’s phone rang while he was getting ready for office.
“Hello.....Yeah Yeah Mr Oberoi! Renaissance Hall Ballroom No 3! Ofcourse I will be there! After all it’s your party!”
Maan rang off. Unknown to him, Annie had heard his phone convo while passing by.....
“Hmm....so Maan Bro is going to a party today haan? I have a perfect partner to accompany him !”
She at once called up Simi & told her the venue & time.....Simi, like always, pretended to be deeply in love with Maan & thanked Annie profusely.....
Annie was happy about her new set-up.
“Now that’s what I call something great! I know the aircraft set up failed because of those stupid bodyguards but this time Simi & Bro will dance arms in arms in the party!”
Narration by Geet
When I woke up from sleep, I felt my head aching a bit. Argg!! I am used to it now! Anyways, I better get ready for college! I chose a blue jeans & pink top with netted sleeves.
When I arrived at the breakfast hall, I saw Maan’s aunt. She gave me a weird smile. Perhaps she didn’t expect to see me in western outfit!
“Have you done your assignment? Waise, I know Annie is the best.”
Before I could answer, I saw Vikrant uncle & Dadima arrive. I greeted them as they took their seats. Then Annie & Maan were coming down the stairs.
“Make sure that the shipment of my dresses & cosmetics arrive well on time!!” she was talking on phone.
Yeah right! Maan pampers his sister way too much! And yes! Every month, Annie orders a shipment of dresses & accessories! He gives her whatever she wants to have! Oh boy!
“Maan, what’s all this? Don’t you think you are over-pampering Annie??” asked Vikrant uncle.
“C’mon Dad! It’s absolutely fine!!” replied Maan
“You’re the best Bro!” exclaimed Annie.
Wow! What a sibling bonding, I must say!
“No, it’s not fine! Cancel the order right now!” said uncle sternly.
“It’s not fair Dad!!” exclaimed Annie shocked, “Aunt tell something to dad na!”
And as usual, Kamini aunty sided with Annie!
“Bete, you have many dresses which you haven’t even touched yet! It’s bad splurging right?” Dadima said sweetly but it hardly had any effect on Annie.
“You may have to start earning then if your expenses go up in this manner!”
Whoa Man! I absolutely agree with uncle! Miss Snobby surely needs a reality check! Annie was frowning hard! I know not getting new clothes to wear every day is a life & death situation for her! Sheesh!
Annie stomped her foot & staged a walk-out! It was then that I realized that we were in the same college & we were getting late!!!!....I ran after her....
“Annie wait!!!Even I’m coming!!!!”
Wait a minute, were Annie & me. both of us. going to share the same car by any chance?????? Oh boy! But then I decided that I need to gel up with her since I have come in this city to make new friends, not enemies!
The atmosphere was sunny outside but the same couldn’t be said about the weather inside the car. Annie’s face was cloudy & there were major possibilities of rain....err....tears flowing down her eyes. Even though she didn’t look like the crying type but then I certainly doubt my abilities to judge a person! Should I console her? Yes! I think I should talk to her! No! I shouldn’t as we are not in each other’s good books! Oh come on Geet. you should speak to her atleast for humanity sake?!
“Annie, Look I completely---”
“Chup!! Bilkul Chup!!”
Whoa! That was something “new” ! I always thought Maan held patents for that dialogue!
She had more to offer apart from that
“Better stay quiet & mind your own business!!!!!”
Serves you right Geet Handa, badi aayi console karne wali!!! She is so rude!!!!Forget it, mujhe kya!!!
I turned my head the other way looking through the tinted glasses of the car at the highways.
The car soon deposited us in front of the college gates. Annie at once got out & went inside leaving me to fend for myself! As if I wanted her to wait for me! Hmmphh!