But things have been really tough for the past few days.
I am going through a major personal setback and this will take time.
thanks for all the love and patience.
I will be back with regular updates soon.
69.Many Of Us Spend Our Whole Lives Running...
"Many of us spend our whole lives Running from feelings with the mistaken belief That you cannot bear the pain. But you have already borne the pain. What you have not done is Feel all you are beyond that pain." -Khalil Gibran
A lone wind howled and then it dropped. The clouds took a tumble and hid the waned moon in their embrace as the two shooting stars crossed each other's path once again. It is probably true, what they say about destinies and fates. What is meant to be, would always find ways to happen. The unwritten rule of nature once again materialized in the form of two restless souls.
Her heart thudded with just his proximity and she took in his appearance... tall and toned, the same dark eyes peering down at her with so much love, the same nose, the same lips and the same ghost of a grin on them. The stubble was an additional feature now, which actually suited him, she reckoned.
"How are you Geet?"
He had never expected to see her. He was tempted though and he knew he could easily find her if he wanted but then he didn't. And when he was walking out from some dinner he had to attend with his clients, he had found his little storm, stirring up a whirlwind in him.
"I...I..." she didn't know what to say. She was suddenly so blank and so at peace that her brain couldn't conjure up any thought at this moment. The restlessness that had gripped her for so many days suddenly seemed to settle down. The river that had violently rushed down the slopes of a mountain went still like she found the sea.
She gulped hard, trying to formulate something... anything.
"I...I am..."she stuttered, her eyes still locked with his. She wanted to move away, look away from him but she couldn't.
Her saviour Pooja walked in, looking for her and then found her with someone she found oddly familiar. She looked at Geet and then at the man in front of her and her brain matched the features with what Geet had once described.
"I...I was just about to go Pooja.." Geet quickly recovered and held Pooja's arm, not knowing what to do, "Come on, lets go."
Pooja held her hand tight and stilled her. She looked at her friend and smirked. Turning to Maan, she grinned, "You are Maan right?"
Maan wondered who the lady was but her eyes twinkled in excitement. He gave a faint smile, "I guess yeah...and You are..."
She quickly forwarded her hand for a shake, "Pooja. Geet's friend. I am so happy that I got to meet you Maan. My My... you look exactly how Geet had described.."
He raised a brow, "Excuse me?"
But his eyes remained on Geet who looked away.
She tugged at Pooja's hand, "Pooja??!!!"
She ignored Geet and continued with Maan, "Its so nice to finally meet you Maan. Geet has told so much about you... "
"I have been a subject of a long discussion I see..." he spoke playfully but his eyes remained fixated at his little storm, who seemed to not meet his gaze. She was trying to run away.
Pooja giggled, "So Maan, it's a surprise to find you in London. Are you staying for long?"
He shrugged, "yeah. It was a client site visit. I am here for the next few days."
He liked Pooja. Was she the one who Geet had talked about? The one who was married to her ex-fiance?
She must be her!
"Ohh that's great news. Hey, now that you are here, why don't you come for breakfast tomorrow? Raj and everyone else will be so happy to meet you. Geet has told everyone about you and your family and they love you guys so much already..."
Geet gasped and looked up, trying to halt Pooja. She tugged at her arm once again, whispering in her ears, "What in the world are you doing Pooja?"
Pooja knew it better. It was now or never. She shrugged off her hand from Geet, "Ohh you shut up Geet...let me handle this."
She turned to Maan and flashed her best smile, "Please do come. It will be so great Maan... do come."
Maan looked at Geet who looked so disturbed. Pooja caught that.
He sighed, "I am sorry Pooja... as much as I would love to but I don't think it will be a good idea..."
"But why? You must come. At least let us thank you for taking care of Geet..."
"Umm...No I don't think I can make it..."
Pooja felt angry on Geet and so, she put her brain to work. Turning to Geet, she nudged her, "Lady, tell him to come. I am sure if you tell him, he can't deny. Geet...tell him.."
She was not expecting this to rebound. She gasped and didn't know what to say. She gaped at Maan, clueless.
He sighed, "Uhh..its okay Pooja. Some other time..."
Pooja wasn't having any of this. She held her head in stress and shouted, "Can't a pregnant lady invite a guest home and feel happy? Why do you two have to be so tough? Ughh... I am feeling dizzy now..."
"Ohh my...are you okay?" Geet held her, "we must get home if you are tired..."
"hey hey...I can drop you guys home..." Maan offered.
"No! I don't need any help. All I want is Maan at home for breakfast..."
"Why are you being so stubborn Pooja?" Geet sighed.
Pooja rolled her eyes, "Hormones you idiot! And if you don't want me to cry, you must come Maan. Everyone will be happy to see you."
Maan laughed at the faces she made and nodded his head, "Alright. I will be there..."
Pooja's grin widened, "That's great..."
"But not in the morning. I have some work pending..."
She gave a quick thought and clicked her fingers, "Alright, how about dinner? Surely you can spare some time.."
"That will be good."
"great... Oh am so happy!"
Geet looked at the pale moon as the two friends walked home. He will be at her place for dinner the next evening. Ohh how in the world would se survive that? Her heart had already been set in motion! As she retired to her bed, she couldn't help thinking about how she felt when she had seen him.
She felt happy. Oddly happy to see him after so long.
Go back to him Geet...
One part of her urged.
But what if...
The other half argued. The past haunted her.
She turned her head towards the table where her Kanha stood, with the flute close to his lips, smiling.
"How can I let go Kanha? Isn't what people say about me, true?"
Raj watched his wife, lost in her thoughts. He went closer and gently tapped her shoulder.
"What are you thinking?"
She bit her lips and slowly let out the breath that she held, "Ummm... I invited Maan for dinner!"
"Maan?" Raj narrowed his brows at her.
Pooja looked up, all troubled and confused, "yeah. Remember Geet telling about him and his family..."
"Yeah... I remember. What about him?"
She sighed, "Apparently, he has proposed to her..."
Raj gasped in sweet surprise, "Really? Wow.."
She twisted her lips cutely, "there is nothing wow in it. This stupid girl said no..."
Raj thought for a while, "does she not like him? You know Pooja I am not going to force her into anything she doesn't like..."
"But the problem is...she loves him! That's what I believe"
Raj sat beside her, all confused, "what?"
"yeah..." she let out a breath, "let me tell you everything now."
Morning came up bright and shiny and she found a weird vigour inside of her. Maan would be here for dinner tonight. It gave her butterflies in her stomach and scared her as much. What was she going to say to him? The look in his eyes only made things difficult. She was trying hard to forget him, in which she failed miserably. If anything, she found herself yearning more desperately for his one look. And now that he was here, she was sceptical and unsure about everything. The entire day she found her resolute self weakening. Her resolution stood on wet grounds since the moment she saw him the previous night. And as the time of his arrival came nearer, she felt herself fidgety and nervous up until the moment Pooja called her and asked her to bake something for everyone.
She was baking after ages! The sound of the hand beater cheered her up for a moment as she measured the sugar and butter carefully and she forgot the world.
That black turtle neck tee paired with jeans took her breath away and she realized how eager she had been to see him at her doorstep and at the same time, scared that her heart might hurt with his advances. But nothing of that sort happened. All he gave her was one gentle smile.
Nothing less and nothing more.
He walked in with a bunch of flowers and a smile on his lips. She sighed and watched him greet Pooja with the flowers and then her family. She felt happy for some reasons seeing him welcomed so, as everyone surrounded him, asking him about him and his family. Her uncle, she noticed, seemed to gel up well with him. And what she also noticed was his indifference towards her. She paced the hall where he sat and countless number of times their eyes met and for some reasons he didn't let his gaze linger on her. He averted his gaze as quickly as they met hers.
Weird that it was, it felt agonizing. This hadn't happened before.
He was avoiding her.
Wasn't it just the previous night that he had looked at her with so much love that had rendered her sleepless?
She tried catching his gaze as he talked to Pooja or sipped in the drink that he was offered or when he smiled at some joke of her uncle but he didn't yield.
She hated it. She had to admit.
She hated this indifference.
Kanha, what the hell has gotten into him?
She cribbed and stomped her foot in frustration up until the moment they all sat down at the dinner table.
She felt so left out that she couldn't help asking anything that came to her mind.
"Uhh Pooja, where is Raj?"
Everyone stopped and looked up at her and she felt awkward.
Maan raised his head and looked up at her. He had been observing her the whole evening. She wasn't the Geet that he knew. She was not his little storm. She was some scared little woman who had no confidence in herself. The woman in front of her lacked self-esteem as she let others talk and remained quiet. She thought hundred times before doing or speaking anything.
Who was this woman?
"He was stuck in a meeting. Probably on his way home now." Pooja replied.
"Oh okay.." Geet nodded and stepped down.
He was surprised to see her so subdued in her own house. She did whatever she was told to quietly, carefully, meticulously. She was not herself. He had seen better. He had seen "her". The whole of "her". And it pinched him deep down.
Was she like this always when she was in London? So quiet, so pale?
"Time for desserts..." Pooja chimed and ushered everyone towards the lawn, under the moon.
Geet stood at a corner and sighed at her predicament. Maan was definitely being a jerk in all senses. She just couldn't take it anymore.
He was being weird.
She found him all alone in the hall, talking to someone on the phone and her nerves didn't let her be in peace. She had to get that out of her system and the moment he kept the phone down, she marched towards him and blocked his way.
He stopped and looked up only to find her shooting daggers at him with her eyes. His little storm was upset about something.
"What?" he cocked his head to a side.
"Exactly, what Maan?" she snapped.
"What do you mean?"
"What do you think you are doing?"
He was utterly confused, "what am I doing Geet?"
"don't pretend that you don't know."
He crossed his hands across his chest, "I honestly don't know. Tell me."
She seethed, "what is with this indifference han? Why aren't you talking to me properly?"
Ohh dear heart...her Kanha sighed in defeat.
That slight frown on his face vanished as he raised a brow at her, "did I do that?"
She gritted her teeth, "yes you monster! Why are you not being yourself? What the hell is wrong with you?"
Her words did something to his heart as his lips curved into a smirk and he took a step closer to her.
She took a step back involuntarily.
"Little storm is displeased... I see.." he breathed out, making her heart skip beats.
"I am doing exactly what you want Geet.."
As he neared, she took another step back, ready to jump out of her skin. But he reached out to her, grabbed her hand and pulled her close.
"You wanted this, didn't you?"
Her eyes widened in shock and surprise and as a reaction to this closeness. And the way he looked at her...she could melt right there like a candle then and there.
His proximity was dangerous...
Was it her feelings or the distance between them or both? She asked herself..
"wh...what..." she mumbled.
"I am being just what you wanted Geet. You don't want to be with me. You keep running away from me. So, what is the point to even talk to you?"
She gasped, an unknown cold knife going straight into her heart with his mean words.
He didn't let her speak.
"You wanted to be alone and away from me... I am giving you that, since you are adamant about it. Then why does it matter anymore, my speaking or not speaking to you?"
This was exactly what she had been thinking about.
He had rattled her yet again and she had walked straight into the pit; this time deliberately.
Her eyes burned with unshed tears and his mean words. Her lips trembled, "bu...but you said my decision won't change anything?"
She felt like something slipping right away from her hands and she wasn't able to do anything to stop it. And it was painful.
He sighed and his breath fell on her lips, making her skin erupt into goose pimples.
To think that he still had such drastic effect on her was an understatement.
Whatever it was, it was ten folds more now.
"from my end, it hasn't!"
She gasped in sweet surprise.
"I love you Geet...I still do..."
She forgot to breathe.
His words echoed in her mind as she felt being swept into another world altogether.
"but it is you..." he continued, "...who decided to run. It's you who decided how I should behave with you. Then I don't think my being and not being shouldn't bother you anymore."
He left her hand and she stumbled backwards.
And then he was gone.
Hot drops of tears rolled down her eyes as she watched him join Pooja and others in the lawn. She had brought it all upon herself! The fact sat heavy on her as she slowly walked towards the lawn hearing her uncle call her. She wiped her tears, blinked a couple of times to hide that redness in her eyes and slowly walked out, with slow heavy steps...heavy like her heart.
"here..." Pooja offered him the chocolate cake and ate some herself.
Her mouth contorted in dislike, "ughh..."
Geet quickly walked to her, "what is it Pooja? Is it not good?"
Pooja made an apologetic face, "Ummm..it isn't sweet.."
Pooja and Maan spoke simultaneously.
They looked at each other and smiled.
"You like it Maan? It hasn't got any sweetness." Pooja asked.
"yeah. Its amazing. I am not a very big fan of sweets. But this is just perfect. The light hint of sweetness...umm.." his eyes conveyed what he felt.
Pooja looked at his face and smirked looking at Geet. She had eaten Geet's desserts before. But never ever had she done like this. Geet caught that and looked away, feeling so conscious. She knew Pooja wouldn't leave her alone once Maan is gone.
Ohh kanha...why??? Just why?
She cribbed to her Kanha mentally and tried to avoid Pooja's naughty gaze.
"you know what Maan..." Pooja kept her plate down, "Geet baked this cake for you specially..."
He stilled holding his hand in the air and looked at his little storm who was already fidgeting.
"Yes. Probably that is why she didn't add much sweet to it, knowing you would hate it."
She still cares... he knew. She still feels...but heck, this woman was running away for some goddamn reason she wasn't revealing.
He looked up at her, this time catching her gaze and he didn't waver it this time. She bit her lips, all fidgety and nervous that her feelings for him were out and in the open.
"its hard to believe..." he spoke without breaking the eye contact, "considering the last time she made me eat those muffins with an intention to kill me.."
"What?" Pooja laughed.
And he just looked away as quickly as possible. He was ready to leave in the next few minutes and Geet found herself down. He said his goodbyes to everyone but all she received was just a nod.
A simple nod.
you wanted to be alone and away from me... I am giving you that, since you are adamant about it. Then why does it matter anymore, my speaking or not speaking
He meant what he said. She looked at him longingly, waiting for him to turn back once to see her at the least but she had pushed him too far perhaps.
As he walked out, she saw Raj walk in.
"I am so sorry but I was just stuck in some meeting..."
She watched the two men shake hands formally and there was nothing pleasant about it.
"that's okay..." Maan replied.
"Maan..you must come tomorrow..." Raj insisted.
"I have a flight to catch the next day."
He was leaving already?
"At least let me make it up for the absence when our guest was here..."
A little more push from everybody made him agree.
She stood by the door, long after he was gone. He never spoke to her, never looked at her and he'd be leaving. Wasn't it what she always wanted? To stay away from him? But his words were like an ice cold knife driving into her already burning heart.
A tap on her shoulder brought her back to where she was.
"hey...where are you lost?"
She smiled weakly and turned away, "Nothing Raj. I was about to go to sleep."
She tried to walk past him when he held her hand, halting her.
"You are upset Geet."
She sighed, "No, I'm not."
"You suck at lying. I know it's about Maan.."
Her eyes widened in surprise but she didn't say a word.
Raj sighed, "We want the best for you Geet and we want you to be happy."
She didn't understand why she said what he said. He just bid her goodnight and walked away.
The next evening when she saw him, he was all in formals that she had always loved.
The crisp white shirt paired with navy blue dress pants and a waist coat, he took her breath away with the top few buttons open and the sleeves rolled up to his elbows. She looked at him, happy and nervous and sad all at the same time. He talked to everyone, she observed carefully but when their eyes met, he gave her a small smile.
This awkwardness between them broke her heart into a million pieces. She didn't want anything to change between them but now she had brought it all upon herself. She changed everything when she decided to leave NYC and come here. She bit her lips to hold herself and watched him walk towards the lawn with Raj, talking about something, probably work, she presumed, holding their drinks. She left a long breath and walked back to her room, not willing to face anything.
The two men talked of work and some topics of genuine interest as they sat on the chairs, sipping their drinks.
"We are really thankful to you and your family for taking care of Geet." Raj spoke after a long minute of silence, "she can be a bit difficult at times..."
Maan smiled and stood up, looking at the sky, one hand in his pocket and the other holding his glass close to his lips.
"difficult?" he scoffed, "I'd settle for sensitive..."
Raj glanced up at him and took a sharp breath in. the aura of this man was intimidating. But he wouldn't step down.
"You have come to know her too well then?" he asked.
Maan agreed quite easily, "pretty much...I still have to know so much more."
"And, isn't it because of you that she ran away from New York?" he tried to intimidate him.
Maan turned his head to look at his counterpart and smirked, "forgive me for my lack of knowledge, but isn't it because of you that she ran away to New York in the first place?"
The cold wind between them turned colder as they stared at each other, waiting for the other to back down. Raj stood up, his nostrils flaring at the ridicule that the man in front of him has come up with. And for some reasons, he had this intense urge to justify his stance.
"I didn't want her to go. It was her choice."
Maan took a sip from his glass, "and you were the reason behind that choice..."
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