For the next half hour, Geet spent cleaning the child and talking gibberish to him. Manan or Manu as she called him seemed to react to every sound she made. He giggled, cooed and laughed, making Geet happier by the minute. After feeding him some milk, she carried him towards her elder brother’s room which had a play pen and a cradle. It was their kid’s, which she would use for Manu now. She placed the kid in the play pen. In all this she completely forgot abt the child’s father who had disappeared. In the next 45 minutes, she dressed Manu and hummed him a lullaby making him sleep. After he slept, was when she realised that his father was missing. She went looking for him. She was abt to pass a room when she heart groaning sound from there. She opened the door and entered it. The bathroom door was opened and she stepped into it and gasped at the sight. In the room, Maan sat inside the bathtub filled with dark brown water. He looked tired and drained.
Maan ji?? She called softly
Huh??? He looked up.. a bit surprised
What… I mean.. Do you need some help..?? she asked not knowing what else to say
Maan just kept on looking at her. Signing, she moved closer to him. She bent down and moved her hand inside the tub, searching for the outlet. Sensing the stopper, she pulled it and let all the dirty water out. She tried hard not to look at his naked self. She, at that time had not realised that he might be stark naked under the dirty water. She prayed for strength. Just like a patient.She told herself. As she opened the tap to fill it with water again. She took out the loofah and squeezed in the shower gel. She gently scrubbed him, starting from his shoulders till his toe. All the time she kept reminding herself. Just like a patient but she could feel his eyes on her, all the time, scrutinising her all over. For the next 15 minutes, Maan dint not take his eyes off her. She felt intimidated by this. But she was the one who offered help so why the hell was she complaining. She thought as she continued cleaning him.
Hmmm, she hummed as she looked at his face trying to see more than his eyes. His face was covered with thick beard, which was more than a weeks old or so she thought.
I need a shave, he said breaking her thoughts. She blushed as she realised that he had noticed her staring at him.
I’ll get the required things today itself. You can take this room itself. She told him. This is my brother’s. Hume lagtha hai ki unke kapde bhi aapko fit ayenge. She said trying to look elsewhere.
Devi Maiyya she prayed. This man was so.. so.. she dint know. He had such a beautiful body that did things to her. Was it her loneliness playing or her age that was drawing her to him? She dint know but what she realised till now was that she was getting attracted to Manu’s father and this was not good news.
I don’t use second hand goods. He told her in a ruff voice. Geet looked at him surprised.Laad Governor kahika. she murmured, earning a glare from him. She just ignored him and moved to open the cupboard.
I said I don’t wear.. but he was stopped. Yeh naya hai. she said.. Tears stinging her eyes. My brother never wore them. She whispered as she placed the clothes on the bed and left the room.
It was nearly 4, when she realised she dint talk to Maan abt what he plans to do abt the future. Thought in her heart she wanted them to stay at least for Manu’s sake, but how could she be vocal abt this? She thought as she made her way up to his room. She gently opened the room and smiled seeing Maan and Manu sleep cuddling each other. May be she would talk to them later. Thinking she left the place
Geet entered the kitchen of the mess she had created for cooking dinner. The Maharaj had already started making preparations. She knew if she was going to have Maan and Manan as permanent members of her household, she had to change her daily timings and get more people to work also. Maharaj smiled at her and both of them started doing their work. It was nearly 8:30 when she realised that she needed to go home as there were people now with her, giving some excuses she ran back home only to encounter a furious Maan.
Kahan thi tum?? He growled at her. With 3 quick strides he was near her. He held her arm in a vice like grip. Where the hell were you?? Whom did you tell abt us staying here?? He shouted, making Geet cringe in fear. The way his eyes grew in anger created untold fear inside her stomach. No one had ever talked to her like that before.
Wo.. hum.. she stammered not knowing how to deal with such a situation
Where were you?? What were you doing.. Answer me dammit. He yelled pulling her closer to him.
Geet was shivering like a dried leaf in his hands. Me wokers keliye khana bana rahi thi… kheth me jo kam karthey hai na.. un keliye.. She answered meekly. Tears ran down her eyes. She dint know why his behaviour was affecting her like this.
Maan’s eyes suddenly calmed down. He left her arms and moved away from her. He looked down uncomfortably. Wo.. me… he tried saying but dint know how to explain his actions towards her.. Just then they heard Manu crying. Geet shot out like a bullet towards the room, leaving Maan surprised seeing her like this.
It took nearly half hour to calm an agitated Manu. His father’s yelling had scared the otherwise calm Manu into crying. Geet cribbed to her Babaji and called Maan a Dusht Danav numerous times. She held the baby and rocked him and cooed to him, trying to calm him down. At last her patience was rewarded and Manu slept off. All this time, Maan’s eyes dint leave her. She did realise it, but chose to ignore. That man was incorrigible. She had decided. Placing the baby in the play pen, she thought of having a bath and then preparing something to eat. But when she turned around, she found Maan looking at her in a weird manner. She dint know what to think of it. He was not looking at her face. He was looking at her, curves.. and that was embarrassing.
Maan turned around and took her duppata and gave it to her. Geet for a minute dint understand what was going on. But when she saw the wet patch on her n****e she understood. She grabbed the duppata and ran out of the room. Babaji…the son and father would be the death of me.. she said out loud as she discarded her clothes and stepped under the shower for a bath.
20 minutes later, Geet came down to find the dining table ready with dinner. She gave Maan a surprised look. Maan was sitting and reading the newspaper silently. She opened the lid to see white rice, yellow dhal and pappad. One thing she understood of this man was he was a perfectionist.
I and Manan have taken our food. He told her as he got up to leave…
Ek minute. Geet said, as she served herself..
Yadhi aapko teek lage tho, you can keep that room where you are staying now. She said getting a bit uncomfortable. Maan narrowed his eyes towards her
Wo.. You can stay there, till you want.. I mean.. you can stay in this house, till you want.. She said suddenly feeling stupid. She wanted to hit herself for saying this before he asked her anything.
Maan grunted and left. Geet dint know what that grunt meant, but took it to be a yes. She finished her food and cleaned the dishes. She retired for the night.
From the next day onwards, her routine was entirely changed. Her day started a bit early. She made sure to prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner for all three of them. She managed the other work with the help of the Maharaj properly. She came back home by 7 every day to make dinner for them. She loved this life. She felt she had a purpose now. Manu occupied most of her time at home, if not him, she spent in cooking or cleaning. The next 10 days flew like this. Geet made sure no one knew abt these two in her house. The fit he had thrown on the first day had told her enough that no one should know abt them, and she had surprisingly not asked questions also.
Winter was growing and it was really harsh on the little one. Geet was growing worried and she slept less as she held the whining baby most of the time. She just couldn’t keep him away from herself when he was suffering with fever or cold. Maan was a silent observer to all this.
Sshhh Manu… she cooed as she rocked the baby for the third time that night. It was 1am, and Manu had got up with another bout of cough which had woken Geet along with him. She carried him to her room and was pacifying him, she never noticed Maan who was looking at them from the door way.
Manu wined and coughed as he yawned fluttering his baby eyes. Geet looked at him with so much love and warmth which only a mother could feel. She just wanted him to be with her. But how could she say so to Maan. How could she take a baby from her father without having any bond with the child? She cradled the child closer to her bosom as Manu suckled her over her clothes, this bought the child some peace and soon he was fast as sleep. Geet turned around and that is when she noticed Maan by the door
Wait, saying he left the room and came back carrying the play pen with him. He placed it in her room and she put Manu inside it and covered him with his baby spread. She placed a gentle kiss on his forehead.
Beautiful she heard him say. She looked up at Maan and then smiled. Yes he is beautifulshe said smiling at Manu.
I know. Maan said as he walked towards her. He stopped opposite to her. But I was talking abt you. Geet looked up into his eyes. She was shocked by this. Never in these 10 days had Maan tried to make a decent conversation with her. Apart from grunts or his weird mood swings he said nothing absolutely nothing.
Geet.. he whispered. His husky voice sending shivers of pleasure down her spine, I am not good with words he told her holding her face by her chin but actions are better than wordshe said as he placed his lips on her, sending millions of sparks down her body. She dint know how to react to this. She stood frozen..
Geet.. he moaned.. I want you. Saying he pulled her by her waist sliding his hand under her top. When his warm hand touch her bare skin something in her erupted. Liquid fire coursed through her veins and she hugged him not knowing what to do.. Not understanding her needs. She wanted to cry.. for the past 10 days she had felt this attraction, but nothing to this magnitude. But every accidental brush with him would sent sparks flowing through her system making her crave for more. And here he was saying and making her feel things that she never imagined in her life. In his arms she was feeling whole again. It was as though her family had come back. It was like, when he came, she found herself. She hugged him, with so much passion and want, telling him without words of her needs and feelings.. She was melting like ice on a warm summer noon in his hand and she couldn’t stop it. She dint want to stop it.
Cool wind blew outside the house, as two warm bodies united, wordlessly writing stories of lust, want, need, passion and desire…
The next morning was a different one from the past 2 years for Geet. It was nearly 9 but she was still in bed. She woke up stretching and yawning. Her body revolted in pain, but it was sweet pain. She searched for him but the place beside her bed was missing. She felt disheartened by this. Brushing aside the feeling, she got up to get ready. She couldn’t believe she was so late. She came out of the bathroom only to find Maan sitting on the bed with Manu.
Hey.. he called with a small smile. She was surprised seeing him smile.
Good morning.. Maan ji.. She whispered feeling shy.. Very shy.. she couldn’t believe how wonton she had been last night. She had slept with a stranger who she knew for the past 10 days. She knew nothing at this man before her. Only that his name was Maan and he had a son named Manan. Was it enough for her? she wondered as she troubled her duppata knot with her fingers..
Geet??? Come here and have breakfast.. Maan called.. you would be hungry.. he said looking at her face..
Geet bit her lips thinking he was teasing her. She quickly took her plate and gobbled the contents. She saw Manu playing by himself.
Geet isse sign karo he told me showing me the marriage certificates. I looked questioningly at him.
Kya hua?? He asked me
Wo ye sab but I was stopped
Kal rath ke badh tho I thought you shouldn’t be having any problems. Just sign it he told me
Are you expecting something else?? He asked me.
I was surprised by his question. What could I expect from him? I have given him everything I have without asking him anything. She thought as tears welled he eyes..
Maan ji.. she started.. But Manu’s cooing called to her.. she turned around and looked lovingly at him..
Don’t you want to be with him Geet?? Maan asked.. You will not have any right on him if you don’t have any relationship with me. He said, but I knew he was getting angry
I took the certificates from him and signed it. I dint even read it. Why should I? I have given everything that I have to him, what could he take from me which was more important that my heart!
Maan signed it and then kept it safely. Geet.. sign this also. You will be Geet Maan Singh Kurrana from now on. He told me giving me another set of papers. I signed it without a word. I dint care abt anything anymore. What more could I want. I got a husband, a son and a life which, with Babaji’s blessing would work out fine.