Part 3

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Maan sat staring at the place where Geet had been minutes before.  He dint know how to react to the words she uttered before she left.  She had never spoken to him like this before.  Actually thinking abt it, she had never talked to him after that day at all.  Neither had he talked to her casually.  He got up from his chair and moved towards the photo of Muskan.

What did she just mean by those words Muskan.. itne sal, did I mistreat her? I have given her everything.  Provided her with everything.  Have I ever refused her anything? How can she talk like this?  I never thought she would talk in such a manner.  I have done what other husbands do for their wife’s fir how could she say all those things?? Mantha hun I couldn’t forget you.  But she knew that I love you.  I have told her this fact on the day we married. But still she had to bring it up.  I also accept that I have never considered her as my wife, and that night… That night was a mistake,, he said looking down.. and Kushi tho use rath ki sakshi hai mantha hun but still, I have done all the duties of a father to her.  Given her the best education, my name, a family aur kya de saktha hun.. How could she say such things? he asked the soulless picture again.  A knock on the door made him turn his head away from the photo

Maan?? Yeh sab kya hai beta??? Pammi asked coming in.

Ma.. kya bath hai??

Divorce ke bare me puch rahi hu.  What is this?  is umar me yeh sab accha nahi lagta hai beta.  You have a family.  Kushi ke shadi hai abhi.  Aur bhi bacche hai ghar me.  Pammi added with a disapproving look

Ma.  I have handled this girl for you for the past 20 years I don’t think I can do so for any more time. Maan said adamantly

Beta. What are you talking about? Pammi asked a bit surprised..

Yes ma. You know I dint want to marry her. You forced me. I am in this mess cos of you.  Dadi’s choice was Muskan only not this girl. Look what she has done ma! Look what your choice has done! Maan accused Pammi.

Yes Maan. I have realised what my choice has done. But beta let me tell you one thing. Muskan was never Dadi’s choice.  She never wanted Muskan for you. It was always me.  You are correct. Look what I have done.  Look what my choice has done. She said sadly holding the chair for support…

Flash back:

Savithri Devi called Yash as she entered the house.  She was very happy and excited.  Today she had seen the girl she wanted as the elder daughter in law for this house.  Yash she called her son again.

Yes ma. Coming answered her son as he came inside the hall..

Beta challo. Get your wife. We need to go to the Handas today itself she hurried him..

Kya bath hai mummy ji and who are the Handas? asked Pammi as she followed her husband

Batate hai. But get ready. I have selected a girl for Maan. She would be perfect for our son.  Just perfect bahu for the family. She said proudly.  Yash smiled at this but Pammi dint like this. 

Come on what are you waiting for? Savithri Devi ushered the people into the car and they drove into the Handa’s house

After the preliminary hi and hellos they jumped into the main topic. Mohinder Handa was shocked to hear that they were interested in Geet

Mohinder ji.. I really want to get Geet married to Maan. Dadi (Maan’s dadi) said

Par Savithri ji, she has a elder sister, moreover Geet tho abhi 17 ki hai. Itni jaldi I don’t want to get her married… Mohinder said

Savithri Devi was also stubborn. Its ok Mohinder ji. We will perform an engagement for now and will wait till she is 21 for the marriage.  Till then you can get her elder sister married.  Actually, we will help you in getting a good boy for her she offered with a smile

Mohinder was not very much into the idea.  Dekhiye Maji.. we are not well off like you.. and.. hum log tho middle class hai. Aur

Mohinder ji,  accha ghar milna aaj kal bohat mushkil hai.  Jab mil raha hai tho I don’t want to let go. Savithri intervened.

Ok, but why do you want to marry Geet and not her sister?? Garima asked, as she was worried what the society will say if Geet got engaged and Muskan dint even find a groom.

Hume pata nahi tha that Geet had a sister also.  Savitri Devi managed

Aapne aapki pote ka naam aur umar nahi bataya..

Han.. wo.. his name is Maan and he is 24 years old…

Mohinder dint like the 7 years gap also.  He was expecting at least 5 years. But he also dint know how to say no to these kind people.

Aap hume aapke dono beti ke photo de dejiye. We will tell you tomorrow. Pammi said

Savithri and Yash looked at her with a confused expression but she ignored them. Garima got both their daughters pictures and gave it to Pammi.

Accha hum chall they hai saying they left…

That very evening, Pammi found out from her circle that the Handa sisters were very cultured but very different from each other.  While Muskan was soft and submissive Geet was bubbly and fearless.  She waved her options and decided that Muskan would be easy to control.  And decided that Muskan would be Maan’s bride.

Yash aap Muskan ki rishta Handas ke yahan le jayiye.. she said giving the photos to her husband.

Kyu?? Ma ne tho…

Han, par Geet tho ab bacchii hai.. and 7 years younger than Maan.. she argued..

Yash got thinking he too found that this was a bit of a problem. He thought of talking to his mother.

Ma he called as he entered her room.. humne decided kiya hai ki hum Maan keliye Muskan ko select karenge..

What?? Muskan ko? But she won’t be correct for the family beta. Savithri said.

But Maan keliye perfect rahegi.  Aaj ke zamane me age matters ma. Think abt it.

Ok we will ask Maan if he says yes then we will go for it.  But I am saying Geet will be perfect for this family. Savithri said

But before they could go, Pammi took the pictures and showed it to Maan.  Maan beta, these are the pictures of two girls who you’re Dadi and I have selected for you.  She said.  This is my selection she said showing Geet picture and this is your Dadi’s saying she placed Muskan’s pic. She cunningly played as she knew Maan respects and trusts Dadi very much. 

At that time Savithri and Yash came in. Maan in dono me se whom do you like? Savithri asked..

Yeh teek rahege Dadi saying Maan gave Muskan’s picture to her.  Dadi gave him a sad smile but dint say anything else.  She pacified herself saying that she was also bought up in the same house so she might have similar habits as Geet. At that time she dint know how wrong she was.

Flash back ends…

Tho aap keh rahe ho that Dadi wanted me to get married to this girl and you planned all this?? Maan asked shocked

Yes beta. Pammi said ashamed of herself

Ma, why should I believe you now??

It is your wish.  I just wanted to get it off my heart before my death.  I cannot hold it for ever.  After Muskan’s death I thought brining Geet into this house will make things better, but in doing so I have only destroyed that girl’s life.  She would have been happier elsewhere she said dejectedly.

Maan beta. Me ek bath kahun?? I don’t know what has happened between you both, but pls try to mend it and get her back in your life before it is too late.  Geet ke bina tumare zindagi … She nodded her head. it will be horrible.. She said walking away..

Pammi was abt to enter her room when she saw Mohinder walking down the corridor with 2 suitcases.

Mohinder Ji?? She called where are you going??

I am leaving Pammi ji.  He said without a hint of hesitation

Without even informing us.  Forget me Mohinder ji, you have not even thought of informing Maan or even your daughter?  She asked, accusation clearly evident in her tone

Pammi ji, after today I don’t think I need to give any explanation to anyone.  I feel.. He stopped himself and then looked directly into her eyes.  Pammi ji.  I don’t think I or my family would like to stay here anymore.  So we are leaving now.  Hume nahi lagta ki aapko, ya apke kise bhi ghar wale ko koyi ethiraz hoga isse.. he said then he folded his hands,chalthey hai saying he took his suitcases and started moving

Rukiye Mohinder ji. She called in desperation. She knew this was not a good sign.  Him going like this would only bring lot of trouble in this house. You cannot go like this.  aap ne ladki de hai iss ghar ko.  Ek nahi do-do ladke.  But before she could say anything he stopped her

Ek ladki iss duniya me nahi hai aur doosri ka rishta is ghar se nahi raha tho aap kis rishte ke bare me bath kar rahe hain Pammi ji? he asked her.. his stern voice creating a weird sense of fear in her stomach

Mohinder ji. Abhi Geet aur Maan ke rishtey ka faisla nahi hua hai.. she spoke, but her voice shivered as he fear was coming alive

Me mantha hun but I just cannot stay here anymore.  I don’t feel I can breathe in this air anymore Pammi ji.. hume jane dhijiye.. my wife has already left with what was important, I am just taking our other belongings he told her and started leaving without even looking at her..

Tho nani, you promise you won’t tell anyone no??? Kushi asked for the nth time as she boarded the train. 

Yes beta.. I’ll not tell anyone where you are taking your mother.  But remember, if you need anything, you’ll call me.. wo mera ghar tha beta.. now it is yours and your mummas.. take care of it.. and wo caf bhi.. bhoth sal ho gaya hai use isthemal kiye.. you have to mend it.. I have deposited money in your account.. use it to mend the shop… Garima narrated again..

Nani.. don’t worry.. I will take care of everything… Kushi said hugging her..

beta.. take care of Geet.. she seems so… distant.. pls take care of her.. she said with tears in her eyes..

Nani… just leave her to me Kushi said with a smile.  Just then the whistle rang telling everyone it was time for the train to move

Ok Nani we will meet soon.  Take care of yourself and nanu.  Don’t worry abt us, I’ll take care of mumma and myself she shouted waving her hand.  She stood there seeing her Nani disappear from her sight.  Kushi walked towards her seat

Mumma, your cough has started again?? she asked as she saw Geet coughing.  Why don’t you see some doctor for it?

Beta, I’m alright. It is just some season change. she said dismissing it.. Just like she has done for the past 5 years.  I’ll just be back.  She said getting up.

What is that Mumma.  Kushi asked seeing a black plastic cover in Geet’s hand.

Wo, it is you know.. Geet said feeling a bit embarrassed… Kushi took it from Geet’s hand and looked inside it.

Mumma, why do you have adult diapers with you?? She asked surprised

Beta wo.. it is for me.. When I cough, I tend to leak.. it is embarrassing in such places.. so only..

Mumma.. from when are you wearing it?? I mean kab se aap.. Kushi asked giving back the cover.

For the past 4 years.  Geet said as she left towards the toilets to change. She knew if she stood that she had to answer more questions from her daughter.

 Kushi kept staring at the place where Geet had stood wondering what else she dint know abt her mother. 


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