@All: a lot of you think raj and pooja are doing this to get rid of their guilt. guys, do understand that they don't really know what kind of life she has been living in NYC. they know she is just friends with khuranas and nothing more. Geet doesn't visit them often and neither they talk too much. the ice still remains intact between them. Raj and Pooja don't even know the Khuranas then how can they understand what she feels for them? Isn't it natural on their part?True friends understand each other when there is communication between them. I hope this update answers most of your questions.
@dalur: dear reader, thanks for the wonderful wonderful comment. I loved how you put forward the contrast between Maan and Raj but isn't that exactly why Geet has fallen/is falling for him? like you said after the first love and heartbreak, this is the difference that is going to change her life. Thanks for being patient with the updates though. the days are just hectic.
@kansya: hey, thanks for all the lovely comments.I haven't been replying these days due to time constraints but I do read yours and love them. Keep writing...
@PaintedSky: Is he going to confess? I don't know. You asked a difficult question my dear!
@vrishtigoel: hahaha I loved how you vented out on Raj. That was cute. Just to make up, you have a dog names Raj... remember?
@docgurti: hey.. welcome aboard. So glad you are enjoying this story. Hope you enjoy the rest of it too. Sent you a req with my pmList. Accept it.
@paponecon: hey good to see you after so long. your questions shall be answered in the next 2 updates.
@Tarana: take care sweets...
@Maaneetsangel: its okay yaar... read and comment at your own pace. don't rush. Take your time. I am right here and the story is here too.
Betakalluf... Urdu, Without formalities.
"I am sorry."
"Ughh... for that day at the cafe!"
"Yeah. I had no idea how important those papers were and anyhow I shouldn't have been so mean. I am really sorry for that..."
"Good. You should be!"
"Trust me, I didn't mean any harm and I am terribly sorry for that."
"Hmmm. If you are honest with it, then it's okay Premchand."
"Really? Is it?"
"Yeah. Forget it."
"Am I forgiven?"
"Yes. But never do that to someone else again."
"Ohh thank you Aarush. I am so relieved right now."
"uhhh can I ask you something?"
"Umm, what about your research program? You didn't have your papers. Were you able to finish it?"
"Oh of course I did. In fact mine were the best papers."
"Really? That's great. But how did you manage to write it all over again at such a short notice?"
"hahaha That's why I keep telling you to observe people around you."
"What do you mean?"
"You think I am dumb enough to let anyone ruin my papers? Those were drafts!"
"Of course not Premchand. I am not so dumb as you!"
Dekho Abhi Khona Nahin Kabhi Juda Hona Nahin Ab Ke Yoohin Mile Rahenge Dono Vaada Raha Ye Is Shaam Ka Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na Maane Tu Ya Maane Na
Pooja stopped in front of the door and peeped inside. The music wafted in the winter air that was slowly warming up with the sun that blessed the mortal world with its faint glory. And there she stood, basking in that glory of the soft sun, humming the song that played on the TV as she folded her clothes.
Pooja smiled and quietly stepped into her room and observed the soft smile playing on her lips as she waltzed swiftly across the floor, putting the neatly folded cloth on the bed.
".hmmm...hmm... tera mujhse hai pehle ka naata koi... yun hi nahin dil lubhata koi..."
She twirled on her toes and set the clothes on the bed.
"jaane tu...yaa jaane na..."
She stopped when she saw Pooja standing right in front of her, with a smile playing on her lips.
Her friend raised an eyebrow up and looked at her incredulously. Geet waited for her to speak something but when she didn't, she added, "what?"
Geet shrugged, "when what?"
"when have you started listening to these songs?" Pooja plopped herself on the plush mattress and made herself comfortable.
"Why, is there anything wrong with them?"
"Geet..." Pooja looked at her with big eyes, "you never liked old songs. What has happened to you?"
Geet looked confused, "really? I did?"
Pooja pulled her by her hand and made her sit on the bed, "woah there lady... you have changed. New York has changed you. And tell me everything about it."
Uncle was healing. That was a good news and more than anything else, the news had cheered Geet up. That's what Pooja and the rest thought. But the conversation with Maan remained as undercurrents... shooting waves of pleasure up her nerves and down her spine. It had been a week to new year and she was to get back home a day later. Her placements and her final exams remained waiting for her with arms wide open. He called in between and she did too. he waited for her to come back and she waited to go back. Suddenly NYC was more of a home than London had ever been or even India for that matter. At one point of time, she had shamelessly admitted that she would prefer NYC at any given time.
She talked of her college and her friends and Ana and Kabir and everyone at the estates.
"...and Maan took me to his beach house in Miami where he had his interview and it was amazing pooja. You should have seen the way he answers every question..."
The twinkle in her eyes that Pooja saw made her probe further.
"Maan? Who is Maan?"
Geet slapped her forehead, "uff... how would you know Maan... he is Monster Khurana... remember?"
"Ohhh... yeah I remember now.." she laughed realizing she had never known Maan by his name but as Monster.
"...and then I fell into the pool and caught fever. He actually cooked dal-chawal for us..."
She went on and on and Pooja kept listening. The topic had diverted from her life to entirely on Maan's life. She knew after 40 minutes what Maan liked and what Maan disliked and what he ate for breakfast and how he hated sweets. She looked at her friend and felt happy. She had missed this between them. Somewhere down the line, the advent of Raj in their lives had drifted them apart. And when Geet had decided to go to NYC, she was sure they had lost the friendship that they had.
"Pooja... Pooja? Where are you lost?" Geet clicked her fingers in front of her face. She snapped out of her thoughts and watched her friend talk animatedly.
"where are you lost? Tell me everything about you na... how is the new married life? Do you miss home?"
In the next moment, she felt herself in the embrace of her friend who sniffed, holding her.
"Are you crying?"
"Sniff... No..." she clutched her tightly.
Geet smiled and held her friend, "You Liar! Tell me what happened?"
"I missed you so much Geet... I thought I had lost you after whatever happened. I thought I pushed you away..."
Geet sighed and pulled out of the embrace. She cupped Pooja's face and wiped those tears that had rolled out, "I am here Pooja. See..
"I am sorry Geet... I am so sorry..
"hey hey hey... don't cry now. You love him and he loves you. Isn't it obvious for the third wheel to back out? And that is the right thing to do. You both are happy with each other... my being there would have ruined three lives now, don't you think?"
"but you aren't happy..."
"who said I am not happy? I love my life now. I am out there, learning everything that comes my way... cheer up now. I don't want to be a reason for my friend's tears before I leave..."
Pooja smiled through her tears and watched her friend who had grown up so much, not physically but emotionally. She had grown as a person. She wiped her face and looked through her phone.
"lets go out and have fun..."
Geet looked at her from the corner of her eyes, recalling the good old days when she'd say the same and drag Pooja out. It was just the opposite now. It was then that she realized how much she missed Pooja who was as much a part of her or even more than any other relation.
They enjoyed the day together, shopping and eating and roaming around. It wasn't until evening when they reached home and fell on the bed in Pooja's room, laughing at some old joke.
"Seriously Geet... NYC has changed you for good...No more Kanha, Old songs, street food with a story... you are nailing it woman."
Geet couldn't have agreed more.
"So what have you thought?"
"thought about what?"
"About your marriage!"
Geet sat up and sighed, "Let me be honest Pooja, I don't want any kind of entanglements right now."
"We are not starting this conversation again!"
"No Geet... tell me. Why do you say no? You have made a place for yourself in the world now and you are beautiful and single. Tell me why then... or do you have someone else in your life?"
"Yeah... do you like someone? Then tell me. We will accept him with all our hearts..."
She thought of the predicament of falling in love all over again and suddenly she realized she had no more love in her to give it to anyone. She had people in her life who were her lifelines right now...more precisely a certain someone but that's that. There was nothing else.
"No..." she spoke very thoughtfully.
Taking her cue, Pooja asked what had been in her mind for a long time now.
"Not even Maan?"
She put it forward in a slow soft whisper that would hit her at the right nerve and found Geet looking at her in bewilderment.
"Yes Maan. What about him?"
Geet scoffed, "Hah! You are crazy. Maan?"
"Why, is there anything wrong with Maan?"
"Uhh No... but Maan? No Pooja..."
"Come on... the way talk about him, the way you know him I am pretty sure about it..."
Geet watched her friend with amazement and memories of him with Sarah flashed in her head. His choice of words, his likes and dislikes echoed in her head and she sighed in defeat.
"This concept of Maan and me... that isn't possible."
"And it isn't possible because?"
She found it difficult to make herself understand the cause, let alone Pooja. Suddenly it was too much to ask for.
"...ughh because Pooja we are poles apart."
"tell me more."
Suddenly everything about Maan hit her with so much force that she found herself of wet grounds.
"He is someone who deserves the best Pooja... and I am not the right person."
"how do you know you are not the right person you fool..." Pooja felt exasperated with her silly logic.
"I know him well... he is like the sun who deserves someone who doesn't perish in his proximity. And I am already a lost cause."
"No You aren't..."
"I would burn even if I just look at him..."
"We are often the victims of our mind more than our situations Geet."
"Anyways, chuck that. Ask your husband not to worry about me. I am fine and I don't need a nanny in the name of a husband. I know that's what Raj wants...to have someone who can take care of me. But I do have you and Ana and Kabir and Uncle and Raj to take care of me right?"
Pooja nodded in agreement.
"then please don't make me feel like a burden... that is all I ask of you."
It was the first weekend after she had come back to New York.
She had missed everything about it. Every. Single. Thing. She wrapped up her work early and head home to catch up with her studies.
Zain tapped her shoulders, "leaving so early?"
"yeah..." she stuffed her papers into the bag.
"But its only Friday. We are going out for bowling. Join us..."
"Uh Zain I have..."
Her phone buzzed with his name flashing and the world was forgotten.
"Maan...where are you?"
He walked out of his office loosening his tie and smiled at her voice, "Are you done with work?"
"Yeah. Just wrapping up. Are you?"
"Meet me at Central Park in 30 minutes"
Her heart skipped beats at the tone of his. She hadn't seen him even once after she had landed in NYC. He had been travelling and she had been busy wrapping up college. Her exams were in a few days and she'd remain busy till a month. On top of it, she had a study tour and her job to manage.
"Okay. I am coming."
She felt so delighted to hear his voice after a long day that she almost forgot Zain who was standing right beside her.
"Uhh any good news Miss?" he teased seeing her expressions.
"Nahh! I am leaving for the day. Enjoy your Friday night Zain.." she took her cue and rushed towards the subway.
He watched the frozen cherry blossoms hanging down the branches. The winter had stopped time for them it seemed. He heard faint footsteps and turned back. Winter, perhaps stopped his time too.
Clad in a long trench coat and a woollen cap, she rubbed her gloved palms with vigour to fight the cold. It felt years to him to see her now and he had the urge to run to her and hug her tightly. But he waited, with his hands in his pocket he took in her sight and waited for her. How long had it been that he hadn't seen her? And every single moment had been a battle between his feelings for her and the kind of person he was. He had stayed away, knowing he wouldn't think twice before giving in to his feelings.
He watched her eyes twinkle the moment they fell in him and those lips curled into a wide smile. He didn't know what he felt but he was sure he would have kissed her then and there.
She stopped right in front of him and took in the view of what he presented. She had longed for this so much. And now that he was here, right in front of her, she suddenly felt overtly emotional about everything.
Oh her name from his mouth felt so beautiful! God bless that heart of hers which still managed to keep her alive after all that.
"How are you?" he asked and he was replied with her gloved had resting on his cheek.
He looked straight into her eyes and found them conveying something more than what she felt for him.
"I... I thought I lost you.." she squeaked.
He placed his cold hand on hers, which rested on his cheek, "I was never gone..."
He whispered back.
They stared into each other's eyes for God knew how long because none of them really cared. And in the next moment, she found herself in his embrace. She rested her head on his chest listening to his heartbeats that were so audible and almost cried in happiness. She knew this ice had to be broken for it was not in her anymore to stay away from him.
"Umm..." she breathed in and prepared herself for the confrontation. And along with the cold air, the faint musk of his cologne slipped into her stealthily, shooting waves of pleasure through her.
He cupped her face and wiped the tears from her cheek with a swipe of his thumbs.
"Why are you scared?"
How did he know everything about her?
She sought answers in his eyes but then she knew he had just known her like an open book. How he knew she had no answer but he always knew about her.
"I don't want to lose you... I am sorry." She hung her head low.
London had remained etched in her mind and the weight of everything fell upon her shoulders. She had felt suffocated back then and suddenly she found a channel to let them all out.
"Shh... You will never lose me."
She sniffed and wiped her tears. He held her hand and wrapped it around his arm. She looked up at him and he gave him a soft smile, "lets go for a walk."
She knew he would make things okay now that he was here with her. She clutched his arm tighter than he had anticipated and walked alongside.
As they walked along the pathway, she found the landscape painted in white and gray. The trees had shed their leaves and remained thickly laden with snow of the previous day. the pathways had been cleared and very few people roamed around in the cold. The light of the day began fading as they walked quietly, bathing in the tranquillity that their presence created and then one by one the street lamps flickered alive.
"how was your day?" he asked after a long time.
His other hand now softly caressed her hands that held him tight.
"Hectic. Managed to get through it. How have you been Maan?" she looked up at him and found him looking straight ahead.
"Pretty much the same." He turned to her and his eyes softened, "how is your uncle?"
"he is getting better which is a big relief."
He looked straight ahead and realized they were just beating around the bush. The important thing remained like an ice and they were simply delaying the thawing process.
"Geet... about that day, I know I had been unreasonable..."
Moment of truth...
She muttered to herself and braced herself up for the inevitable.
"...but I am unapologetic about it." he confessed and she gaped at him like he was speaking latin.
"I was wrong in judging your friends and calling you ugly and I am sorry for that. But I won't apologize for being unreasonable..."
This man...she was stunned at his words.
"You should know by now the kind of man I am...and lets be honest, I am possessive about my loved ones."
She watched him as he spoke and then looked down. Silence prevailed upon them and her gaze fell on both their feet. They were suddenly in sync with each other, his right to her right and his left to her. They were resonating and she realized it was her turn to speak.
"are you still mad at me Maan?" she asked after a pregnant pause, "that I behaved so bad with you?"
His fingers still caressed her palm that clutched him tighter. The bow bridge came into their view and she marvelled at the beauty nature created. The lake was partially frozen and the trees around were an abstract of yellow, brown and white. The banks of the lake had land in patches and snow covered the most part of the area. There were none around and they stopped right at the middle of the bridge, talking.
"I was then... I am not now!" he answered and left her and.
She cringed but watched him lean against the balustrade and looked at the slowly moving water beneath the thin sheet of ice.
"I don't know why I said those horrible words but trust me when I tell you Maan that there is no one else in my life who is as important to me as you. And I am extremely sorry for whatever I said. Forgive me for hurting you. I had made new friends and I was getting to know them. I was very happy when they invited to the club and they treated me well. The least I could have done is to be with them and when you asked me to come back...I was angry."
She glanced at him and found him listening to all of her and so she continued with her side of the story.
"I know being angry doesn't give me any right to say you such things but know that I meant no harm. And I am truly sorry for whatever happened. I just can't imagine my life without you now.."
He watched her contorted face with some emotion she couldn't understand. She didn't realize what her words did to him. he had been fighting a battle between yes and no and with her words, the "yes" started emerging victorious.
"I hold no grudge against you... I can never do that Geet." He smiled faintly.
A cold wind gushed past them and the chill set in. He held her hand and gestured her to keep walking as they traced their way back.
"I have my weakness too Geet... I have times when I am at my weakest and I don't really tell anyone about it."
She watched him lovingly as he put forward his heart.
"and being the eldest son and the eldest sibling, this thing comes out so naturally. I am supposed to be strong and not fret over little things. I am supposed to set examples for my siblings and make my parents proud. But then I cannot be strong at all times. And when I am not strong, I retreat."
"to where?" she felt for him, realizing one new thing about him today. he had none to share his heart with. There was dadima but she isn't any more.
"to my confines. I cut myself off from the world, think things through, get a grip on myself and bounce back. And when I am at that point, I don't want anyone near me because I don't want to show them that I am weak."
A foot of his perhaps fell on a twig and it cracked, echoing in the silent surrounding.
"No one knows this about me except dadima and..."
She waited, "and?"
He turned his face towards her and looked straight into her eyes.
"I am an introvert..."
"Yes its true. I don't have many friends because of it either and I usually don't allow a lot of them to come closer to me either. But when I do, then that means they mean everything to me. I choose to be with them. I choose to let my guard down and tell them what makes me happy or what angers me or what makes me sad for that matter."
They stopped walking and stood facing each other.
"...And I choose YOU Geet..."
She almost lost her footing at that. To have a part of him in her hands and to safeguard it was a huge responsibility he was bestowing upon her. And she knew what she meant to him now...she raised herself up on her tiptoes and placed her cold lips on her cheek, stunning him.
They remained suspended in the moment for a few seconds as her soft cold lips slowly felt the ruggedness of his cold cheek.
"I am blessed to have you in my life..."
She whispered in his ears before parting away and walked ahead slowly. He stood there like a fool, watching her kick the pebble as she waited for him to join her. He had been resolute all this time but this woman was breaking all the barriers that he had created around himself. And it would be a shame if he didn't confess soon.
He dropped her in front of her apartment after a good dinner at a cheap diner and pressed a kiss on her forehead, "I love your hairstyle..."
Her eyes widened in surprise, "do you mean it?"
He blinked and smiled as her face brightened up, "Yes. It suits you."
She pouted, "But you said I looked ugly."
He chuckled, "That was because I was angry.."
"So?" she arched her brow.
"So, I would call anyone ugly.."
"I am not 'anyone' remember that mister.." she pointed her finger at him.
He fell in love with her all over again. He laughed and gently patted her head.
"I am mean when I am upset. You should get used to it by now."
"Your being upset literally kills me.." she sighed.
He hugged her from the side and she basked in the warmth of his embrace.
"Don't worry. I won't let you die so easily."
She felt happy seeing that fun filled mood of his and realized a sense of fulfilment inside of her. And she knew this feeling was only because of him and no one else.
"Good night..." he whispered in her hear and ushered her to get inside.
"Give me a call when you reach home.." she instructed him before entering her apartment.
She watched him drive away from the window of her apartment and felt extremely light at heart. she felt "happy. She turned to change when her eyes fell on her Kanha who remained on her center table, smiling happily like he was happy too.
>> It feels so great to reply after ages!! How have you all been?
>>Does this update clear a lot of things now??
>>See you next weekend. thanks for being so patient.
Thanks for the pm Dear it is always a pleasure reading what ever you
write not once but couple of times to get to the feeling and emotions
of each scene
and serene update I would call it a a climax of an emotional turmoil
which they were going through since past couple of updates . They
have almost confessed to each other in this update about their belonging and Maan's possessiveness . Geet has admitted that Maan is the only special person in her life and she can't live without him but when Puja asked
her about marrying Maan she said that Maan is beyond her reach .I just don't want to go back and read your prologue again where Geet refuses to accept Maan's love There is big ? hanging why ?when ? I don't want Maan or Geet's rejection again a big ? how and why? I know it will become clear when the story will reach that point .So there is a wait time and you are building the momentum to reach there .
I am in love with Maan's character.He is in such a level of understanding to his beloved which is beyond any explanation .I loved the way he is treating his lady love .Giving her own space to evolve slowly and gradually . The
story is moving in a slow pace .I loved the way you have written the intricate
phase of Geet's character and her evolving to a person which she has evolved now
and MAAN'S supportive character is simply mind blowing
I know I need to wait till next weekend to see more progression in Anna and arush's life and more mature understanding and caring Maneet .
YES POOJA you see it your friend doesnt! Pound the love in her! She has plenty of love to give she just needs to stop feelings like a lost cause because even i can feel the love in her every action just like Maan does! Oh man this confession is going to be like a tragic scene! He is so deep in his emotions and she may just not reciprocate! Good Zain needed some me time and Geet needed some Maan time LOL Enjoyed the update :)