Chap 67 – Love hurts
Sundayyyyyyyyyyyy Sundae is here again ;)) this week is all about fallout from the last, pain, anxiety, unravelling deep feelings. Sometimes we cant tell the one we love most why we are in so much pain, we know it would hurt them to think of us in so much pain. Love is ….
Do comment love to read them, and please excuse the mistakes.
Geet lay on the bed in their room staring at Maan’s profile, he was standing at the window so stiffly, staring out once again at the night sky. As he had been every night since she had come home, and before that he had sat stiffly in a chair next to her bedside at the hospital. Tonight there was no sign of a moon, clouds had gathered and the night sky looked ominously dark, dark as the thoughts that she could see were clouding his face.
It had been two weeks since it had all happened. So much had to be dealt with, Ajeet’s death was of-course a police case and was treated so. Thankfully there were so many witnesses including the Saardarji’s who had given evidence on how he died, Geet didn’t need to give evidence. Maan had been adamant that she should take no stress at all during her period of recovery. Daadima was also practically under house arrest as she was quite bruised too and shocked. ACP Gupta had handled everything along with Major Saab’s help with the utmost discretion. Anwar had been suitably dealt with, and a case was being prepared for all his misdeeds. He had told the police everything, now that Ajeet was dead, he seemed completely defeated and resigned to his fate.
Ajeet’s funeral had been held in a very private manner, Maan and daadima had insisted that Geet was not to attend and save all her energies to get better. The body hadn’t even been brought home. She had seen them off, and watched as they came home, both looking very tired and lost in their own thoughts and grief. She had tried to communicate with Maan but he seemed to have closed off completely to her. It wasn’t as if he had abandoned her, he was there every moment, helping her get out of bed, feeding her, carrying her around as if she was an invalid, if she protested he just ran roughshod over her argument. Her every need was attended too but at no point did he touch her with anything but an impersonal touch. She hoped that things would change and change soon, she craved his kisses more then she craved her next breath.
“Maan? Neend nahi aati?” Her soft question flitted on a wave of concern.
He turned and looked at her, his eyes held such pain, she gasped in shock. Instantly they hooded over and he schooled his face to give her a tight smile.
“Mishty, looks like you are not sleepy.”
He walked up to her and put a hand on her brow. Over the last two weeks she had suffered from raging bouts of fever that had scared both him and daadima. In her feverish state he had heard her pain, her fright, it all added to the burden he was carrying around with him now, it had settled around his heart like a lead weight, it seemed to hurt even if he breathed nowadays.
“How can I sleep when you are not next to me?” Her eyes were soft amber clouds of pleading.
“You know the doctor has asked you to take it easy, I just want to make sure you are comfortable.” He lied blatantly, he just couldn’t bear to sleep next to her and not gather her in his arms. But every time he even thought about it he couldn’t, he kept seeing her being dragged away from him as soon as he closed his eyes.
“M..Maan what is it that you are not telling me?” She pulled herself up into a sitting position with her good arm.
“There is nothing to tell…Mishty!” But she could see the pain in his eyes.
“Maan!” Her eyes filled and big fat tears spilled over and ran down her cheeks.
An inarticulate sounds escaped him, his face contorted looking so tortured, unable to look at her, he turned and walked out of the room.
“Maan!” Geet called out but to deaf ears.
Daadima who had also been unable to sleep saw Maan stride out of their room and heard Geet’s call, she knew there was something troubling him, but she had put it down to a mixture of emotions including grief at his fathers death. But this looked like something else. She went into their room to see Geet sobbing quietly against her pillows.
“Beta…shhhhh, stop crying, its not going to help you recover.” With that she sat next to Geet gently reaching out to her.
Geet looked up and threw herself into daadima’s arms sobbing her heart out.
“I don’t know what’s happened…he ..he,”she hiccuped. “I..I cant bear to see him in so much pain.”
“Beta it is going to take time. You have been so ill, I think its shocked him, and I think also Ajeets….death has affected him even though he would not admit to that. Its affected us all, his betrayal and the way he died has been eating into us all. You will have to give him time.”
“I ..s..sorry daadima,” Geet sat back wiping her tears. Of-course Maan would be grieving as was daadima. “I should not be so demanding when he is grieving.”
“Nahi beta, you are right I can also see Maan is unusually sombre. And beta you have nothing to be sorry about, I am sure he will back to his ‘Puarana Singh’ antics soon enough!” Daadima smiled trying to make Geet feel better she said, “aaray what a a fighter my bahu is I never knew! I am so proud of you Geet, you saved me beti.”
Smiling back at daadima through her tears Geet hugged her. She reverently hoped that Maan would be back to himself soon and not catch him looking at her with such pain in his eyes, when he thought she wasn’t looking.
“You will see Maan will be back to himself in a week or two, until then you have to get fit and healthy then I am sending you two on a honeymoon that you didn’t get a chance to have.”
“No Buts! That’s my decision and its final.” Savitridevi said with finality, her face brooking no argument, she hugged Geet again, “Its time you two enjoyed yourself for a change.”
“Daadima..can I say something…”Geets eyes filled again, “Since I have met Maan and then you I feel I have completed my family, after my ..parents died and I was left alone with Babli and Chotu, I never thought I would feel complete again. But you and Maan you are everything to me. Even if something were to happen to me..”
“Bas!” Daadima admonished her, she knew Geet could have easily been injured fatally that night. She kept seeing Pandey shooting her and Maan going mental, unable to reach her.
“If anything were to happen to me I know you and Maan will look after Babli and Chotu.”
“Beta you don’t even have to say such things, Chotu and Babli are precious to me just like any grandchildren that you and Maan will have.”
Geet blushed beetroot at the thought, making Daadima smile widely. Her phone saved her from more embarrassment as it rang with a silly jingle distracting them both. It was Babli.
“Didi! How are you? Are you feeling better? Can you please tell Chotu not to wander of with strangers! He is not listening to me!” Babli sounded very serious as she launched straight into her complaint.
“Babli what happened? Why are you calling so late?”
“Didi, Chotu has made friends with some uncle who keeps giving him sweets and toys. I keep telling him not to take them but he is so stubborn!”
“Pass it to Chotu, and Babli you are a very good big sister, thank you for being so vigilant.”
“Here chotu didi wants to speak to you!” Babli said passing the phone, her tone very big sisterish.
“Didi! Dont listen to her, he gives everyone toys and sweets, not just me! What’s wrong in that?”
“Chotu you know you are not supposed to accept gifts from strangers, you know that don’t you.”
“Ok didi ,” he sounded so crestfallen.
“Chotu I will bring lots of toys for you soon.”
“and sweets and chocolates?” His little voice became all excited again.
“Haan, chocolates and sweets too, now listen to Babli and don’t accept gifts from strangers.”
Crossing his fingers behind his back Chotu agreed.
“Now give it back to Babli please.”
“I want to speak to Babli,” Daadima said
Geet passed her the phone, “Babli beta how are you? I got the card you sent me, that was so very thoughtful, tell me how you knew?”
“Daadima I was talking to Pinky aunty, when Geetdidi was not well, I asked and she said you were a little under the weather also, so I thought a card might cheer you up.”
“That’s so thoughtful beta, tell me when is your next holiday? I want you and Chotu here straight away, the house is so quiet without you two.”
“Daadima, I have exams first in a few weeks time and so does Chotu, we will have some holidays after that.”
“I look forward to seeing you.”
“And me and me!” Chotu piped up.
“Haan, both of you, your Nakul uncle hasn’t been the same without you.” Daadima smiled as Geet bid them goodnight with a wistful sigh.
“Geet beta, I just cant wait to have the children here, why don’t you bring them here sooner? Maan has got prospectus for some very good schools.”
“Daadima…” Geet sighed, she so wanted to bring them here too, but still she felt bad, once she received the full payment for the Parth township she knew she would be fine and that would be soon.
Savitridevi watched the emotions conflict across her face and sighed, she admired her stance but at the same time she wanted her to accept that she was part of this family now, married to Maan Singh Khurana, and as such she was entitled to spend his money especially where it concerned the children. She wanted to lavish her money on geet and the children but she knew Geet would have a fit about it, another day she would talk it out with her but at this time she didn’t want press her point not when Geet looked so worried about Maan.
“Chalo beti I am going to bed, you too go to sleep now.” Savitridevi got up, running a gentle hand over Geets head she went.
“Haan, daadima I will try.” Geet whispered, wondering when Maan would come back as daadima went off to her room. After a moments hesitation she decided that she would have to seek him out from where ever he was hiding and confront the issues that he was holding in head on. With that in mind she slipped out of bed and walked out into the corridor. Under Maan’s strict instructions she had hardly been out of bed at all, much to her annoyance, but as she walked down the corridor and rooms looking for him she realised that she was not at a hundred percent, she had to stop from time to time to get her breath back. She looked through all the rooms upstairs but he was not anywhere to be found, then she thought about it and realised of-course he would be venting his anger in the outhouse or the small hall where he sometimes worked out. Slowly, holding the banister for help she ventured down.
She could here his angry grunts and harsh breath as she ventured nearer. The gauzy diaphanous curtains that usually looked silvery and ethereal in the moonlight, fluttered in the breeze as if trying to set themselves free from this dark place. He hadn’t bothered to turn on the lights, on tables here and there small candles flickered trying their best to light up the room but failing miserably, darkness abounded and in its midst he worked out with fierce intensity using sticks that were alight with fire. He was bare from the chest up, wearing his joggers low on his hips. Rivulets of sweat coursed down his toned body from the workout and also from the heat the flames generated. He stood amidst the dark looking as fierce and intense as the flames he was playing with.
She gasped as he twirled them around in the air close to his body, not flinching when the fire singed his skin here and there. Any moment he was going to burn himself. Waves of dizziness struck her, what was hurting him so badly that he was happy giving himself as much pain as he could. Was it the fact that Ajeet had died? Was he really that cut up about it, perhaps it was. First Ajeet’s betrayal and then the way he died, saving both daadima and Maan at the end. Perhaps Maan was grieving over the fact that he was unable to save his father. She gripped a nearby pillar for support, clutching at it as her heart broke.
The baton twirled and struck his arm, his face didn’t even flicker as he carried on. But she could watch no longer as he tortured himself. Running towards him with the last dregs of her strength she called out his name.
He saw her come out the darkness, angelic in her white salwar khameez that she sometimes wore in bed, bright, the flames picked her out and lit up her face. Was she real, or was his mind playing tricks again. He herad her sobs, tears streamed from her eyes, her lips bore his name as she called out to him. Her face held so much pain, it stopped him in his tracks, still breathing hard.
He threw down the batons in a bucket and caught her as she sank down on the floor.
“Geet! What are you doing out of bed?” Angry at her that she was hurting herself.
“Why are you torturing yourself? Why Maan?” Her hands clutched as his bare torso her finger pad tracing a red burn. Her face filled with pain.
“Leave it Geet!” Why did she come after him, and in her state too! She was so utterly stubborn.
“Nahi Maan, how can I leave it, you are hurting, how do you expect me to recover when my life is in so much pain.”
“Mishty!” His eyes filled as he looked down at her, how could he tell her what he was feeling. No he couldn’t.
Without a word he lifted her into his arms and started walking back towards their room. How could he tell her he had just been on the phone to Major Saab and he still had no good news about the whereabouts of Pandey. Apparently Shanker had been singing like a canary giving information on all Pandey’s hideouts and yet they had along with the police force failed to find him. It was eating him alive that Pandey had escaped yet again. The only bit of of good news was that between Major Saab and the police force Pandey’s pictures had circulated to every police station and agent. This time he wouldn’t get away with anything as there were so many witnesses to Ajeet’s murder and attempted murder of daadima and Geet.
“Will you not tell me what is killing you like this?”
His lips pursed but he looked straight ahead not replying to her, his face set in determined lines.
“I…is it because your fa…Ajeet is dead?”
Dark eyes glanced down at her. Is that what she thought, that he was grieving about Ajeet? He stared into her soft amber pools, that at this very moment were searching for answers in his eyes. Yes, it would be very easy to say yes, he was really still grieving about his father. Perhaps then she would leave him to it. But as he stared down at her, he knew he couldn’t lie, not to her, no…she was his life, she was his everything, his truth!