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12.Si Bheag Si Mhor
Si Bheag Si Mhor...Little Fairy Big Fairy
Darkness of her room couldn't defeat the faint moonlight that streamed through her window, telling her how desperately she was in need of solitude. She looked down and found Ana asleep in her lap, still whimpering in her dreams perhaps. It's been an hour or more when her friend had come to her with a terrible heart-ache and she hadn't been able to speak. Geet had held her and let her cry until she had fallen asleep. She kept looking at her tear marked face and wondered if she had looked the same sometime back. She ran her finger on Ana's cheek and she squirmed. Geet immediately pulled her hand back. Ana was still sniffing, even in her sleep. She looked pale; like a dead person; Geet could have very well believed that hadn't it been for the irregular breathing of hers.
So, is this what heart-break looked like?
She wondered, did she look the same? Pale. Weak. Pathetic.
She carefully put Ana's head on the cushion and pulled the duvet on her. she was tired; sleepy because of tiring college and office but she just couldn't. Sleep wasn't to come soon to her, tonight. She pulled a chair carefully to the window and sat, folding her legs up. Her eyes fell on the phone and she quickly sent a text to Kabir.
His sixth sense had been right. He had been restless the moment Ana had gone out and he had just followed his guts. Fierce protectiveness towards his family had him become what he had been to Geet. And even now, he hadn't calmed down. It wasn't so easy for him to do so. He sat on the steering, looking for places where Ana could have been but had found no traces of her. Her phone was switched off and though he hated to involve the police, he knew he had to. There was no other way out. He would probably kill the person who dared to lay a finger on his sister. Kabir hopped back into the car and Maan instantly looked at him for any news.
"Bhai, she isn't in college but yeah she is at Geet's place now."
His hold on the steering tightened hearing Geet's name.
"How do you know?"
Kabir pulled out his phone and showed him the text, "she texted me just a minute back."
Even though the text was a potent proof, he wasn't convinced until he had seen his sister with his own eyes.
"She could be lying..."
"Bhai No. Geet is not like that." Kabir countered that made him wonder what it was within that woman that made his siblings trust her so much.
"How can you say so Kabir? That woman had been lying..."
Kabir sighed, "And didn't you realize for whom she lied?"
"I don't care."
"Bhai, she lied for Ana. She knows well how worried we will be. She did that to save Ana..."
Maan didn't reply to that, probably knowing Kabir was right. But to him, lying still didn't do well. Hence, all he did was quietly drive away.
"We aren't going home, are we?" Kabir recognised the road.
Maan kept mum. He had to make sure his sister was okay. Only then he would perhaps keep peace. they stopped right in front of Geet's apartment and Kabir called.
"Hello?" Geet's weak voice made him feel guilty.
"Geet, is Ana alright?"
"Can we see her?"
"She is asleep. Let her stay at my place for tonight. Can you do that?"
Geet's voice was weak but Kabir knew she was trying to be brave. He held his phone away and informed Maan of the same. He mumbled his response.
"Fine. Geet, we will just see her and leave. Bhai had been too worried."
"Umm..." she spoke in a defeated voice, "Just don't wake her up please. She had not been in a good state of mind."
She kept the phone away and looked at Ana in the dim lights of her room. She was still asleep. A soft knock made her rush to the door and open it quickly before it disturbed her friend. Kabir stood, giving her a weak smile, unable to meet her eyes. Geet didn't bother of the pleasantries as well.
"She is on the couch."
Kabir nodded and walked in and she came face to face with the man who had just hurt her some time ago. She looked away, not wanting to face him and be hurt once more. If he wanted, he was very much welcome to go and check on his sister but he didn't move an inch.
Maan watched her refraining and he preferred that as well. He saw Kabir make a quick exit and nod in affirmation.
"take care Geet." Kabir tried to lighten up the sombre air.
But Geet didn't look at him. it broke his heart.
"I will drop her home in the morning. Don't worry."
She said just that and closed the door. Kabir stood there for a while, watching the dark wooden door and walked back to their car.
Did the moon ever feel lonely, even though it had so many stars around it? they seemed so close to the shining moon yet they were so far in real. She felt the same, like the moon, lonely. She had people around her yet she was so far from them. she watched the night sky, still sitting by the window and let the fleeting time mess up with her memories of the past, until a warm hand rested on her shoulder.
She looked up and found Ana by her side; the pale yellow light of the night lamp giving her a glow that she had been missing
"You are up? So early?" Geet put her feet down.
Ana came to her front and sat on the soft rug of the floor, "you didn't sleep?" Her voice was weak but she could speak at least.
"yeah. I just didn't feel like it.."
"I am sorry Geet, to have troubled you like this. But.. but I.."
"Shhh. Don't be sorry Ana. You know I will always be here for you right?"
Ana looked at her friend with teary eyes but she didn't cry. Rather, she felt overwhelmed to find warmth in Geet's heart. she leaned back on the wall behind and looked at nothing in particular. Geet didn't ask her anything too. A companionable silence hung around them for a while, letting each of them calm their own hearts and clear their minds.
"you know Geet", Ana spoke, after a very long time, breaking the heavy silence, "I had been so stupid... to think of things that weren't supposed to happen..."
Geet kept mum, letting Ana speak her heart out.
"I thought Arjun was the guy I had always dreamed of. He was so gentle, so nice to me and I was too blind to see past the facade he had put up. He...He wanted things from me that I am not ready to give...yet. Despite being brought up in a city like New York, despite living in a modern age, there are things I am not ready for. And he...", her lips trembled before she spoke again, "he just left me then, for someone who could give him what he desired."
She looked at Geet for a reaction but she found a familiar ache on her face that she so related to her own.
"I...I really liked him so much Geet. My first relationship that I so cherished but I had been stupid. I had been too dumb to recognise people; two months Geet, we had been together and it didn't mean anything to him. I went to him; tried to convince him that we could still be together, I tried so hard to hold on but I failed. I didn't want to let him go and perhaps I still don't want to let him go even now... I have been so stupid Geet...so so so stupid..."
Geet watched tears roll down her eyes but she didn't wipe it off this time. She left a breath and looked back at the sky, "Guess, we all had been stupid at some point in our lives... I had been too, once..."
Her distant voice made Ana look up at her. She seemed lost but her eyes were on Ana, a weak smile adoring her lips. Ana pulled herself closer and placed her head on Geet's lap. Her hands instinctively came to caress her head. If tonight was the night, then be it.
"You know Raj, Pooja and I were childhood friends, almost grew up together. We were in Shimla back then. Raj shifted to London with his family for some work and he left. Pooja was always the studious types, quiet and reserved while Raj and I were partners in crime. We enjoyed, fooled around while Pooja did my homework and projects. And may be thats why Raj and I became very good friends. Before Raj left for London, he said he'd write me emails. Back then, we didn't have computers in every house. Pooja had one and we agreed that Raj would email Pooja and I would reply from there."
Ana watched Geet, her face half illuminated by the dim night lamp and half by the pale moonlight. The breeze was colder than normal, perhaps bringing the news of the onset of fall.
"Did he write mails then?"
Geet smiled, recalling the times, "Yes, He did. Every week. For years. Until he came back. 15 years later."
"what did you write in your emails?"
"I didn't. I was never into all these Ana. I couldn't sit at a place and just observe things. I was more of an outdoorsy person, completely opposite of Pooja. I forgot about the emails while growing up but Pooja replied to all his emails. Every single one of them. And you know what her only mistake was? She sent him emails with my name at the end."
Geet heard Ana gasp in shock and waited for her reaction. Ana's hands clasped Geet tighter, "did he know?"
Suddenly she had forgotten her own story and she felt herself losing herself in the tale that Geet was weaving.
"No. he thought I was the one who talked to him about his favourite Gobi parantha or I went to church just like him. He thought I knew of his favourite book and perhaps he had fallen in love with me. When he came back, he recognised me and told me how much he had loved my emails; how much had he been in love with just the concept of me. But I was not who he was seeking. I pretended to be the one to write all emails because Pooja had asked me to."
"And then you fell in love?"
"Yes. Until then I hadn't thought that I would fall in love with someone like Raj but as time passed, the line between reality and my pretence blurred. Perhaps I lost myself to him the day he proposed to me."
Another cold breeze helped the temperature drop but that didn't deter Geet, neither Ana.
"Our family got to know and fixed our alliance. Raj went back to London and a few days later Pooja went there as well, to give interviews for some Universities. It was then that my father passed away, leaving me alone, in the care of Pooja;s family."
"When they came back, Raj and I were engaged and we all moved to London for our marriage. I never knew what happened between Pooja and Raj in London but they seemed aloof to me. I thought after my dad, Raj would be the one whom I can call my own, I dreamed of a life with him, gathering myself up. I thought I could live again but I had been so stupid! I had been too stupid to not see the Love between Raj and Pooja. I had been stupid not to notice their pain earlier. They were giving up on each other for me."
A drop of tear fell on Ana's cheek and she looked up to see Geet's face.
"It was my Kanha who told me that I was doing things wrong. And when I gathered hints, I realized I got to let go, for my friends. For Pooja and more than that, for Raj. It was our wedding but It was the day Raj and Pooja got married. Much later, Pooja told me that it was during her stay in London that Raj had come to know of her being the writer of all my emails. She was the one whom Raj had fallen in love with her. it was her all about her. I was never in the picture."
Ana heard the faint sobs of Geet and found her so hard to hold herself back. She stood up and embraced her. it must be tough on her too. Ana just held her and Geet remained still. Her silent sobbing told her that she still had not healed.
"Geet?" Ana's broken voice echoed in the room.
"Will you ever be able be able to forget him?"
Still in each other's embrace, they sought solace and Geet shook her head for a no.
"Is it okay to not forget?"
"yeah. Its okay to not forget your first love."
"Then what about the love I feel within his heart that hurts so much?"
"You will learn Ana...to accept it and let go."
"How do you live Geet when you still love him so much?"
Geet took some time to answer that, "I don't know. I have just learned to love him from afar..."
They were fairies perhaps, one small and one big, learning to live and love, fighting battles that healed them and destroyed them at the same time.
It was her last day of her work as his secretary and perhaps the next week was going to be the last week of her internship. She, for the day, didn't stay in his cabin. She stuck to Stacy's, answering only when called. She had let her guard down just for a while and she had come to realize that she had been too impatient. She was glad for one thing though, Ana was better. She had gone to KM to drop her off this morning and returned without entering the gates.
Maan looked through the report his secretary-cum-intern and sighed in defeat. The previous night had been tiring because he hadn't slept a wink. Ana was back in the morning and everyone had been worried about her. She just said she was tired and went to sleep. What was it that his little sister was hiding? All she had to do was just tell him and he would bring the world down on her feet. Then why did she choose someone like Geet over him to confide in? It unsettled him. Where was he going wrong?
He re-read the report and looked towards her cabin. Her blinds were closed. She had been good with her work, he knew by now but she had nothing new. All her reports followed the same pattern with different topics and he knew by now that she did not belong to this world. He kept away her file and didn't bother to ask her for anything after the previous night awkwardness. Kabir was right though, but he still hadn't been at peace with things.
She entered his cabin, the last time as his secretary. It was almost time. The week had been good and bad with him and he had guided her and hurt her well. He was in some meeting perhaps and the blinds of his glass window were closed. The day had been a slow one because he never called her and she never had to do anything. she kept the files and her final documents that he would need and for the last time, stood by his bookshelf, looking for that one particular book that had taken away her attention. She looked though the fat books and the thin ones, the old and the new but she felt it missing. What was she even expecting? She sighed and left for home, holding her blue-green feather, trying to find solace in its presence.
------------------------------------------------------------------------ >>I know less of Maaneet...but I guess, a revelation was necessary between the friends.
>>From next update onward, there will be only Maaneet. Stay Tuned.
>>The title, if you are interested, is a popular Celtic music, roughly translating to Small Fairy, Big Fairy.