It was pitch black in the garden and how was I to find her, for a second I thought it would be better if this darkness would be there when I face her. I wouldn’t fumble with my words atleast or get lost in her eyes. But then I had to see her only then could I take a breath of relief. It had been quite a while that I have wanted to express what I feel for her but every time I had been infront of her words had always failed to form in my mind, let alone speak to her. I had to find her and that too very soon or else I would go mad. After spending 7 days away from her where I couldn’t even get a chance to see her. That’s when I decided it was time I had to convey it to her. As if someone hearing to my wish path lights on the either side of the stomp stones switched on illuminating the whole path which was ready for me to walk on it.
I could sense her around me but where was she? I look around the garden only to find that other parts of the garden was still in darkness. Only this path had lights on which was like laid out for me to reach her and without a second delay I start to walk on that to find my price at the end of it where she choose to wait for me below the arch in aqua blue and white lehnga making her look as elegant as she is. I was glad that she had her back towards me or else she would have known how nervous, excited and also anxious too to know her answer. Each step which I take to close the distance seems to raise my heart beats in double rate.
But suddenly my mind questions me “What will I say to her when I stand before her?” I stop few steps behind as I realise that it had totally slipped my mind. “I should atleast get some gift to her. What will I find now that too here? Oh yes flowers, bright yellow and white lilies would be best. I have to find them and give her atleast flowers to her.”
I turn around to look for some in the garden and fortunately just like it is said in the novel written by Paulo Coelho (‘The Alchemist’) Original: When you really desire something with your heart & soul, the entire universe conspires in helping you to achieve it! I find the best one all set that too in my hand. How & when did I get them? I wonder but then this isn’t the time to think all those but to tell her what I have been feeling for her.
One step and I would have her in my arms but unless I confine the deep desires of my heart to her and until she accepts them I have no right to have the heavens in my arms. I turn back at the last step fearing her rejection. My heart can already feel the burden of that thought. Yet again to my surprise I feel the bliss when I hear her giggle. She might have seen me struggling and even she couldn’t help but giggle at my plight. I without any delay turn back to face her but she isn’t there. Where has she gone? “Now is not the time to hide.” I say to myself somewhere fearing if I delayed I may lose her.
I want to find her but there is only silence everywhere. Where did she go I wonder? That’s when I feel a tap on the shoulder. There she stood crossing her hands over her chest while raising her brow towards me as if asking why I was behind her.
“I love you…” I say without a thought. Only one thing could be heard and that wasn’t a pleasant laugh but was that of a slap. All that could be heard was “Wake up Maan. It’s time to move on.” I still stare at her unable to believe the words which I heard. These can never be her words, her eyes still emote, the love for me then why was I hearing again and again “Wake up Maan. It’s time to move on.” “Wake up Maan. It’s time to move on.”
Finally opening my eyes as slowly realisation draws upon me as the words start to get register in my mind what I have been going through. It was yet again one of those nightmares which I wanted to get rid of from couple of days. How could I forget such a serious thing? Every day after switching off the mobile I get lost in wondering where she has gone and when she would return in turn I forget to change the ringtone of my alarm from “Wake up Maan. It’s time to move on” to something else. And every day I have to get up from the same dream. No no the biggest nightmare of my life.
After cursing myself with the morning quota, I rush towards the window to check whether she could grace me with her presence today but to my utter dismay of mine she is still not back. Thousands of questions formed in my mind “Has she left this PG?” Or “Has she gone for any vacation” Be it anything I had to see her. I run my fingers through my hairs feeling frustrated of the situation I am struck at. Suddenly the doors of the balcony opened and I wait with abated breath to catch a glimpse of her. But then today is not my day as it was her friend and not her who came out.
In the opposite building stayed a bunch of girls with Supriya aunty who runs a PG whose balcony opened towards my window. Never did I know who stayed there who left there but the day I saw her 6 months back in one of the bright mornings in this same balcony everything changed. That day I had a pending presentation to be prepared so I was busy in it and that’s when I had seen her coming out of glass doors of the balcony out of the veil of hairs in front of her face blocking it for me to see clearly but how long could she hide from me. Next moment she pushed back all of those tendrils back and was rubbing off the water after her shower.
And from that day I had watched her secretly every morning the same way from this window even my gym has shifted to my room as I didn’t wanted to miss this time with her. As her college started at 9 her stay in balcony was fixed as she would be busy drying her hair or with her tab in one hand and some books which were always kept in side table for her instant reference. Was that a novel or text-book that she referred so many times is all I could wonder. As her expressions changed with every line she read like she emote what she read in the book.
I was still be lost in her thoughts had my cell not started to yell to get my attention. The name made me shudder a bit and after another second I finally managed to take that call.
“Good morning Boss.” He said.
“Did you finish the work assigned to you.” His boss questioned “We need to meet the deadlines. I don’t need any excuses like last time.”
“Yes boss. It would be on your table by the time you reach the office.” Maan said but he clearly knew it wasn’t ready to be presented and as the appointment was given to him in afternoon. He was pretty sure the work would be completed in time. But whom was he kidding to his boss. He could never ever outsmart his Dad that too when he in his boss appearance. Every time his Dad called in morning it had to be because of work. He always gave a head start when a trouble was awaited for his son.
“That’s great, as the project is ready why don’t you accompany me to the meet in morning in that way you would get more exposure towards the young aspirants thoughts.” His boss continued to boost him but right now he was thinking ways to finish the work and also attend with boss the meet.
After about 10 minutes of his call Maan was ready at the table having breakfast that too in a hurry as Maan had to be with boss in the car in next 15 minutes.
“Bro, Have your breakfast slowly. Your boss wouldn’t eat you up if you are late.” Anjali said as she saw her brother Maan eating hurriedly. “Or is it your girlfriend coming to meet that you are in such a rush.”
Maan thought it was better to eat at that time than give her suitable reply but his eyes were showing his anger and also helplessness. Anjali was the only one who knew Maan’s interest in a girl whose name is Geet but apart from that she didn’t know a thing more. But even with this small information she never left a chance to tease her Maan Bro.
“Anjali, have your food and leave to your college. Today you are not getting late for it” Rajneesh Khurana (Maan’s dad) said dismissing the useless battering going on.
Making a sad face Anjali left for her college. Well this was the usual scene at the breakfast table. Maan always would be in urgency, Anjali pulling his leg for one or the other thing as she always linked everything with Geet while Rajneesh always restricting both of them with discipline.
In about an hour time Maan Singh Khurana along with his Boss Rajneesh Khurana came out from either side of the car in classiness that the whole world stopped to catch a glimpse of the father-son duo. Maan had his traits inherited from his father so it looked as if a person’s past & present walked hand in hand. Soon the crowd welcomed the chief guest the elder Khurana into the conference hall and Maan slipped out of the hall silently without getting noticed by anyone as he had his work to be completed before his dad turns into the boss mood. Well he always failed to speak in front of 2 people one was his Geet and the other one was his Dad.
Now Maan was in search of a quite place and also lonely place so that no one would find him any sooner. But to find that was not an easy task either as people were busy and walking up and down the corridors. Luckily he found another auditorium but then people had taken all the seats and he took one of the back seats and all of a sudden the lights were turn off but then he also wanted the same. As in that darkness he could finish his work in the laptop. Maan was about to open the system when a voice caught his attention and he sat listening to it “Zindagi ke har subah tum se shuru hogi aur har raat tum se khatam…” but then where was that sound coming from; every where it was darkness which surrounded him. In his life it was only her & he cannot be wrong in recognising her voice tell him this.
Slowly the spot light focused on the stage illuminated making him look for the person whose voice held his attention. But none of the person on stage were speaking it was only being recited by her.
As some person occupy the stage and start enacting the same as narrated by her:
This is a tale of a girl Geet who came to the new town in order to complete her study but was unaware of what had fate planned for her. It was one the same day she stepped into this town she had to found him and lost her heart to him. It was a summer morning when she arrived and the heat had already made her life hell. And in addition to that she was away from her family which added to her frustration. She got down her luggage from her taxi at the entrance and thought to walk through the driveway till her PG apartment. As she was walking taking in the surroundings she saw how well the residency was kept clean and clear of pollution. Many people were walking in the park. Many of them did stare at her as she was new to the place but that was normal she thought and walked ahead until she heard
“Fweeeehu fweeeehhu” whistle sound and followed by sweet endearment
“Hello beautiful” which halted her steps but he didn’t stop addressing her with sweet nothing
“My Pinky, my cutie pie” That words made her cross check herself from top to bottom as she was in her pinky salwar suit. Her temper raised and her nose flared in anger.
“Look at me baby. Where are you looking at? When I am speaking to you why are you looking the other way.” He continued to pester her “Fweeeehu fweeeehhu” It was the limit thought Geet. It hasn’t been an hour in this town and she is facing this. Her face turned red with rage.
She decided in the same moment she will put all of them on track be it her town or this new town of hers never will she think twice before mending people. She looked around to find something suitable weapon and luckily she got the sweeper with the broom stick that was there to clean the drive way from the dry leaves. In an instant she had that stick in her hand and without giving any second for her opponent to react she attacked in full swing.
“You fool, dumb headed dolt, bonehead, fathead, numbskull, dunderhead, chucklehead, knucklehead, muttonhead, pudding-head, thickhead, wooden-head, airhead, pinhead, lamebrain, pea-brain, birdbrain, zombie, jerk, nerd, dipstick, donkey, nutcase …” And she went on cursing the person who was in front of her nonstop for another 5 minutes. Luckily for the man in front of her; he only had to bear what she said as she wasn’t very good in multi tasking and as her mouth was at work her hand was only there ready to work once her mouth took rest. “What do you think a new girl is in town, she is defenceless, you can treat her like any doll.” Geet went on with her remark until she realised the person in front of her hasn’t spoken a word yet. And also a sudden meek sound of claps and a squeal of laughter broke her trail of words.
That’s when she saw a small baby in a walker next to baby was a young man in late twenties with his eyes & mouth wide open and a shocked expression plastered on his face. Not to forget his eyes was fixed on her hand thinking how to escape from the harassment. Before anyone of them could speak or react an elderly lady came walking out of the lift.
“Thanks Armaan beta, I finally got the doll which my granddaughter had dropped it in the lift. Did my gudia trouble you?” The elder lady questioned.
“No no Aunty, she didn’t trouble me but she isn’t even responding to me either. Why is she so silent?” Armaan asked.
“Oh.. she just got up from sleep that’s why she isn’t responding to any of your gestures.” She told. “I will take your leave need to finish my walking tour in garden with her.”
Armaan thanked the stars above as today that Aunty saved her from a broom seva and turned to look at the pretty girl in pinky who was ready to consume him with her words. But the tables had turned upside down and Geet had dropped her weapon and was searching words to apologies the man in front of her who stood in full attitude hands crossed over his chest, eyebrows raised as if expecting a well deserved apology.
“I am sorry. Really very very very sorry for the confusion.” Geet said but he stood giving a not enough kind a look. “I am really regretful, remorseful, contrite, repentant, rueful, penitent, conscience-stricken, apologetic, dejected, despairing, disconsolate, broken-hearted, heartbroken, guilt-ridden, self-reproachful, ashamed, shamefaced, sheepishly pleading sorry for my act…..” And she went on until she heard the eruption of laughter from Armaan.
After having completed his fits of laughter and when he finally managed to breathe normally he said “Hi…I am Armaan…” for which she responded with a pleasant smile “Hello…My name is Geet.” This was their first meet and first step towards the start of a new relation.
Maan’s version: No Geet that wasn’t our first meet but second. That day you had come out to leave for your college when we had met in the drive way before that I had seen you in the balcony through my window. But why have you named him as Armaan when I had introduced myself as I am Maan Singh Khurana.
Back to the stage the lights were turned off as the set was arranged to her balcony and when a dim light focussed at a part of the stage where Geet sat reading a book before heading to bed but before she could even switch on the lights of the lamp her whole concentration was caught by the person who stood infront of her in the opposite apartment. He was engrossed in his work but she wondered what he was doing with such a big board in front and with so many pencils kept in the stand attached to the board. It looked like her Armaan was a painter. Was he painting her portrait by any chance? Was the first thought which came to her mind or rather her heart she questioned herself? Geet thought it was better to be in darkness as that gave her the advantage to stare at him unnoticed. Days had passed from their first meet but they couldn’t meet again in particular but she hoped they did. Nevertheless it didn’t stop her from following his moves whenever and wherever possible.
Get together parties which the society would arrange, many gatherings in neighbourhood places. Sometimes in the name of morning or evening walks or while strolling in the garden. Everytime she saw him but never stopped admiring him. What was it that she felt that instant pull towards him was still unknown to her. Was this a desire, infatuation or indeed love.
In the background a song started to play:
Yeh kya hua kaise hua
Yeh kab hua kya pata
Chori chori jab nazarein mili
Chori chori phir neendein udi
Chori chori yeh dil ne kaha
Chori mein bhi hai maza
Even though the stalking gave a sense of calmness and a new hope to cherish the beautiful life ahead but then there was times too when she had slumped into negative thoughts. What if he never looked at her the way she had started to feel for him. What if her dream her Armaan never become reality? She had cried those nights feeling miserable and helpless.
Maan’s Version: His heart did skip a beat when she claimed him as her’s but was she talking about him or was it just a part of the play. The question lingered in his mind. But the way she spoke made him think it was him she was referring too as Armaan and most importantly she meant what she was saying.
How can you think Geet that when you stay awake in the balcony I wouldn’t have noticed? The moon was there for me to enlighten your existence most of the night. But yes it failed to disclose the fact in that shade that I was the object of your interest.
At one side he felt his heart heavy because of his fears even she had to live and experience the pain of his fears. But then it will not happen now, he was ready to accept his feelings to her. He stood up to walk up to her and take her in his arms well secure and away from her fright.
Geet’s Version: However life is full of surprises. One day morning suddenly she got a call from her home town and her parents wanted Geet back the same day. A kind of restlessness had filled her with that unexpected call. Unfortunately her fears had come true that day as when she reached, her parents broke the news that she was getting married in next 7 days. Hell broke loose on her but what was she to tell them? When she herself was in a fix? She didn’t know whether it was a one-sided love or even he did love her.
As a fate’s decision she agreed to her parents wish. What if her wish her Armaan wasn’t there for her. She couldn’t break the joy of her parents.
Maan’s Version: He felt his heart heavy with the sudden disclosure of her moving away from him. How can God be so kind and cruel to him at the same moment? God choose this moment to give him courage and also choose to break it. But this was not the time to let go her. It was time to embrace her no matter the difficulties he had to face. No matter the people he had to stand against, he will not let his love fail that to when he knew she too harboured the same; may be even carved to hear him declare his love.
He who had stood still hearing the pain in her voice while narrating her haal-e-dil in the form of a play walked in determined steps to reach her at any cost. He doesn’t care what others would think of him if he interrupted any play. He had to eradicate the pain in that voice. Which pleaded him to accept his love?
Students who stood managing the backstage work commented “Anjali maam always manages to bring those emotions right through the heart. How easily she could portray the pain of a girl who was ready to let go the love of her life.”
“Yes… now you have to be alert as Geet’s Armaan’s entry in the marriage is coming now. We need to arrange the set in seconds the lights goes off.” ordered the head girl to her assistant.
The moment the lights are off people rush to change the set when Maan barges into the area where the narrator sat doing the recital of her heart. She didn’t need any parch of paper to emote what was screened on stage today. But in the hassle some people are pushed and the stage doesn’t get ready in time. As the signal from the head girl isn’t received all the lights weren’t switched on and the dim light at the narrator’s place creates a new set where in the shade of 2 people are shown on the centre screen. The final confrontation was waiting for them.
Sudden change makes the narrator to squeal in surprise as someone just pulled her away from her position but the mic which she had fixed was intact. “Ouch…Who are you?” she asked.
One word from him made her speechless “Geet…” The heaviness in that voice gave away the pain he was experiencing.
“Maan…” she replied instantly “Why are you here? You shouldn’t be.”
“Geet… Not now… I can’t let you go.” He replied “After a long time I today managed to shed the barriers between us.”
“This isn’t the right moment. We can’t speak now. People are waiting for me.” she said.
“Let them wait. Today is our day. We have waited for this moment more than anyone.” He said.
“You always surprise me with your action but now I have to go, they are waiting for me.” She pleaded.
But before she could turn around and go he stopped her by pulling her back into his embrace. “Geet… I won’t let you go away from me even for a second. Let anyone think whatever they want but today you will have to hear me. I want to tell you what I have always felt for you. My every day starts and ends with you. You are the sunshine of my life. These 7 days when you weren’t there it made me realise without you I am living a half-life. You are that missing piece of my life who would make me complete. You weren’t the only one who stalked me even I did secretly. Every night you had the pleasure to fill your heart and similarly you are my morning cynosure. Your absence in my life would mean a life of a living dead.”
“Maan….” she stopped him by covering his mouth with her hand not to speak anything related to death.
But he removed her hand while placing a soft kiss over her delicate fingers “No… don’t stop me. Today I wouldn’t at any cost. I am your Maan not just your wish armaan but in reality also. You don’t have to bow down to anyone else wishes. You can’t keep someone happy when you are unhappy. I would speak to everyone and get everything correct but will not let you go away from me. With you my side I could win the whole world.”
The day you came in here…
Our life has entwined into one
You are the most precious gem
Was unveiled in dawning light
Which couldn’t be concealed
Behind the darkness
As it shone in the moon light…
I desire to close the void
I avow to abide by you
To keep you happy every second of our life.
To eradicate every reason which could bring tears in your eyes
To be yours and only yours till death do us apart.
This life starts and ends with you
I love you Geet… I love you… till my last breathe
and even beyond that.
Will you take make as yours Geet???
“Yes I do…I love you… I love you too…Maan.”
With that confirmation Maan took those petals into his which spoke the delightful words. Though to the outside world it seemed as just a play the love birds had got their life back into them. They separated only when they were short of breath. Maan was the first one to speak after the sweet assault. “I would speak to your parents don’t worry. I wouldn’t let anyone to take you away from me.” He said it many a time to just assure himself than Geet.
“Maan… Maan… Calm down my marriage isn’t fixed…” Geet said. Maan gave a confused look. “It was just a twist before the end and you just gave me a beautiful surprise.”
“You mean to say… it was all just a play.” Maan said raising his brow still not convinced.
“No… But the marriage part was only a play… I am not getting married to anyone just like I had changed your name into my armaan.” Geet said little bit excited and bit blush as her play won the best prize for her. Her Maan…who was not just a wish (armaan) for her but become hers forever.
Before Maan could reply they were interrupted by a voice which made Maan gulp his saliva as he had totally forgotten his dad who was also present in the same college. He must have heard each and every truth of his heart. And knowing his dad, he must have been hurt too because things came out like this.
“That isn’t the truth. You are getting married and that too very soon.” Rajneesh Khurana said as time and again his dad had surprised him just like every day.
Maan thought it would be easy to convince his dad as he would want is his children’s happiness but his words again scared him.
“Dad… I love her Dad.” Maan said but Rajneesh raised his hands to stop his son from speaking a word more than required.
“You don’t even know who she is or her background. Why should I make her my Daughter in law?” Papa Khurana spoke with a naughty smirk which went unnoticed even by Maan.
“Dad… She is Geetanjali Sharma… to be Mrs. Geetanjali Maan Singh Khurana.” Maan said proudly. “She is working here in this college as a senior lecturer in literature and also doing her masters. Her family is in a respected one in their town.” Maan continued to give the history of her family which he had known from the few meets with Geet earlier. “Dad… dad…she is the best for me and for our family too… Dad.”
“Maan you sound like a 5-year-old kid to me now who is bargaining with me for his favourite toy.” Rajneesh finally decided to not to trouble his son more. “You didn’t hear me fully at that time I guess… You are getting married and that too very soon to my son Maan Singh Khurana…We would very soon come to meet your family Geet.” And took both his Son & would be daughter in law into his embrace.
“Thank you Dad.” Maan said. “Love you Dad.”
Geet felt elated at this and avowed to abide by him forever.