Just wanted to ask If someone can suggest me a good song (english/hindi) for this crazy Maaneet of this story. I shall Put it up in the next thread. So put on your thinking caps and let me know the song in your comments.
15.Which Is Your Favourite Place?
He yawned and blinked his eyes a couple of times. It was going to be 6am and they were almost half way through the second season. Wanting to stretch, he tried moving his hands but felt rigidness on his right hand. He looked beside and smiled. She had her head leaning against his arm and she was happily sleeping away. They had been sitting on the floor, leaning against the couch. He pushed her a little, until she landed on Ana sleeping soundly beside her and got up. Kabir had rolled to another corner of the room. He turned off the system and went back to sleep in his room.
It was late in the afternoon when they woke up and had their brunch. The whole mansion was being decorated for diwali. Geet was excited the most because just the previous evening she had been in such a gloomy mood and the activities around the mansion just lighted up her spirit. She watched dadima instruct the helpers in decorating the hall while she had her brunch with Ana and Kabir.
"Can we burst crackers?" she asked excitedly.
"No Geet...am afraid we cannot", Kabir stuffed in a bread into his mouth.
"We are in the States darling. The government does not allow such activities except on July 4th may be."
"What?? Nooo.." she cried. She had never been so excited for anything in the past few months. And not being able to celebrate her favourite festival just put her off. Dadima patted her head from behind, "Don't worry Geet beta... you all can light lamps and we can float lanterns in the air.."
She smiled weakly and nodded. The trio finished their food and again went back to sleep, this time though, in their respective rooms. Geet shared Ana's room and they slept till evening, until Dadima called them for the puja.
"Geeettt..." Mrs. Khurana called.
She was running out to Ana and Kabir because they had already started lighting the earthen lamps and she didn't want to miss out.
She stopped and turned back, "yes Aunty?"
"Beta, can you go and call Maan from his study?"
She raised her brows, "Study?"
Mrs Khurana sighed, "Yeah. I know my eldest is weird. He likes to keep himself locked up in his study when he is home. I have been calling him for sometime but he... just go and get him down. We can all light the lanterns then."
"Okay." She nodded and slowly walked up the stairs.
What a weirdo! Who locks himself up in study on Diwali. Ohh Ta-da... he is Monster Khurana! He can do anything...Idiot.
She mumbled to herself and then she recalled the previous night when he had apologized, brought her back to the mansion and even helped her win Rummy! And they watched F.R.I.E.N.D.S together! Wow, she thought, how come they didn't murder each other already, knowing what chemistry they shared in the office.
But wait Geet, didn't he help you in the office too, with your feather and then in front of the clients! He couldn't be that bad, could he?
She stood in front of the door and knocked softly. The tension in the air between them had thinned down a little owing to the previous night but he still remained so unknown to her. she had easily been able to figure out Ana, Kabir, Dadima and even his parents but she wondered why he was being so difficult.
She opened the door slightly and popped her head in to look for him. the room was huge, completely designed in white just knocked the breath out of her. Curious, she stepped in slowly and looked around. It was huge room with so many book shelves, hung and fixed on the walls, big and small, holding so many books. The floor was carpeted with intricately designed rugs that felt so soft even with her shoes on. She was awed by it. Down-lighter wall lamps glowed in the yellow lights that gave a warm air to the room. At the front, the wall gave way to another room, probably the inner side of the study.
She walked in and instantly felt warmer. The fireplace was lit and a faint musk of something akin to lavender wafted in the air. If she thought the other room was beautiful then she didn't know how to describe this one. The walls were neither peach not cream but something between the two. There were more books, a huge dark wood study table decorated one corner, strewn with files and some charts and above all that there was peace. she could almost hear her own breath and the occasional crackling of fire.
She jumped and instantly put her hand over her chest to calm her spiked heart rate and turned back, her eyes widening at the sight he presented.
He had been sitting on his favourite armchair, with his legs resting on the ottoman, reading a book when he had seen her enter. He wondered what she was doing there and waited for her to speak but she seemed totally lost in the room. He had been sitting right behind her and she had not even noticed his presence.
She watched him in surprise and awe. he sat there, with a dark grey high-necked sweatshirt and white trousers, looking absolutely handsome. But what threw her off balance were the rimless specs on his eyes. Two things surprised her. First, she had never known him to wear specs, not even in office. Second, how can someone carry a thing like specs with such awesomeness? She had to admit, he looked someone straight out of a movie. The white bands of the rimless specs suited him to the T, no doubt about that. She gulped hard, almost stopped breathing. She had known him as a good looking man but this was something that made her heart stop for a moment. She had never seen his like this and this casual and he reflected class, even when he was just in his daily clothes.
"Ahem, Miss Handa, are you there?" he broke the lingering silence, seeing her so stunned.
She blinked after a long pause and felt flustered to have been staring at him like this.
Damn, the Monster looks so good in specs.
"ah...yeah.. " she managed to mumble.
He put the book down and pulled his legs on to the floor, "what are you doing here? Have you lost your way?"
One dark eyebrow went up as she gathered herself, "What do you mean I'm lost? You think I am that dumb, don't you?"
He rolled his eyes and took off his specs and kept it aside, "When did I say that?"
"You meant that!"
"Woman, stop manipulating my words and tell me what are you doing here?"
"Aunty was looking for you so she sent me to call you. Everyone is waiting downstairs."
He sighed, "okay, go ahead. I will be there in a minute."
She walked towards the door when something hit him.
She stopped and turned back, "Yes?"
"Well, there is something we need to discuss."
His dead serious face told that whatever was to be discussed was not going to be very good but she waited.
He went to her table and fished out some papers from the table beside. He showed it to her, "this is you performance report Miss Handa..."
"What?" she cut him in between, her eyes going wide in shock.
"Yes and this is serious. You need to focus more on your career and I want to discuss about it..."
Gosh No! she was not having that crap on Diwali!
"Stop Stop Stop!" she pressed her hands on her ears, "Do we need to discuss that now?"
She knew it was not that great but she was not in a mood to sit for a round of lecture from her boss...her ex-boss.
"Yes we do... take a seat now."
"Can't we do that later? Its diwali...I have to light lamps." She made a baby face.
Great! Now lighting lamps were more important that her career?
He had always disliked people who didn't take their careers seriously and that was one of the reasons he had never liked this woman initially. He had known about this by the end of her first week on the tenth floor but they really hadn't been on good terms to talk about it. he thought, maybe, just maybe he could tell her what to focus on but who was she if not a difficult woman!
"No Miss Handa. Lighting lamps can wait.."
"Why?" she cribbed.
"Because I am the boss." He spoke sternly.
"Ex-Boss. And am going bye."
She didn't even let him complete and ran away, literally. He rubbed his temples with his fingers... why was she so difficult? She wasn't even interested in her career. He knew he didn't have to do anything with her but then she helped Ana. He just wanted her to know where her weakness lied but he was wrong. She, indeed, did not belong to this corporate world. He wondered why she was then doing an MBA in the first place!
He sipped his coffee and stood leaning against the pillar on the porch, watching Ana and Kabir prepare the earthen lamps and the silly woman was nowhere to be seen.
"Hey...wait for me..." she screamed and ran out.
Spoke too Soon!
He shook his head and took another sip of his coffee and watched the trio line up the lamps along the steps of the porch. Kabir went off to prepare the floating lanterns and the girls sat on the steps and decorated the lamps.
"Geet...", Ana screamed from the other end, "light the lamps on that side.."
She nodded and hopped towards him and knelt down on the lowest step to arrange the lamps on the top of the stairs.
She lighted one and the pale yellow light flickered due to the breeze. She quickly held it close to her with one hand and covered the fire from the direction of the wind. He watched her face glow yellow in the light of the lamp, the darkness of the night letting the brightness of the lamp brighter than it was. She looked so happy...her expressions were so easy to read. He watched her place it on the step and light up the other lamps. She wore some shiny embroidered purple salwaar-kameez and she looked nice. Did she take a shower? Her curls were left lose and were still probably wet. He took another sip of his coffee and kept on watching her until she looked up and their eyes met.
She kept looking at him, not thinking anything at all but his gaze just kept her fixed on her place.
"Geet..." Kabir called out, "Come. The Lanterns are ready."
She looked away and quickly lighted up the remaining lamps and ran away to Kabir.
He shook his head and went to join his family who were totally thrilled seeing the lantern go up. He clicked a few pictures and found her squealing in joy. She was too loud! She jumped with Ana when her lantern went up and he then witnessed the childlike enthusiasm of the woman who had suddenly made her own place in his family.
It was again the time for cards post dinner and everyone decided to play poker. Maan walked to the couch and sat with a magazine. Ana looked at Geet and took her seat immediately beside Kabir, smirking at her friend who threw her murderous glare.
"So, if you lose today, you are going to buy us dinner!"
"Whats with you and free food han?", Geet fought back, "As such dadima makes such awesome stuffs and you are still after me?"
"Come on Mi Bella...just accept it na that you just can't win against us!"
"Never!" her ego was hurt, "Geet Handa never loses to anyone."
Ana raised her brow, "really? So, who lost 5 times straight yesterday?"
"But I won too..."
"Only Once that too with help."
She twisted her lips and the game began. Geet sucked at Poker too! Maan rolled his eyes...what was she good at?
Geet knew her money was going down the drain and in no way she would let the siblings win and make fun of her. So, in a desperate bid, she put aside her ego and called out.
Three head turned towards her, Kabir, Maan and their father, "yes?"
She looked at the three of them blankly and then took her time to realize the situation. Maan had that extreme urge to laugh but he held back. She was definitely someone worth observing.
She gave a weak smile, "No...I mean I meant Ma...Maan!" and looked at him, making a baby face.
"Yes Geet!" he very well use her first name as well, if she was doing so.
"Wo...erm...Can you..." she felt it tough to ask for help amidst all the mocking faces.
"Do you want something?" he smirked and feigned innocence and she knew it well.
But she had to win. She could not, for the love of Kanha, be a laughing stock for losing every single time.
"Umm.." she looked at her cards and then looked back at him, pouting, "Can you...umm..help?"
His lips curled into a smile, "and what do I get in return Miss Handa?"
"Well, i helped you yesterday and am helping you today. I don't do free stuffs." He teased.
She made a baby face, "what do you want?"
"Whatever you can give! We had some unfinished business back in the study, remember?"
She sighed, "Fine. I will listen to all of it!"
Such Manipulative Man and he left no chance to manipulate her in every single way he could find!
He got up and took a seat beside her on the floor, "Now, where do we stand?"
She inched closer to him and showed her cards to him in secret. She was one clueless woman, he concluded and helped her in the rest part of the game. They didn't win though but they didn't lose either. Maan explained the rules and how to deal and bluff amidst the game and another round followed, along with small talks.
"So, which is your favourite place?" Ana asked.
"India." Dadima replied making Ana sigh.
"Don't make that face Antara Khurana", dadima warned, "respect your roots."
"Alright Dadima. Mom Dad, yours?"
"Home, where we are surrounded by all our family."
Geet felt happy hearing them. Even she loved when families were together. Sadly, there was no one in her family, except kanha.
"Bathroom!" Kabir answered.
"What?" Ana looked at him and everyone started laughing.
"hey...there is nothing to laugh at. I get all the time to think there, without any disturbance! Respect my choice."
"Umm.. my study!"
Everyone rolled their eyes, "Expected!"
"Geet, your turn." Kabir quipped.
She was busy arranging her cards as Maan had instructed, lost in the game.