TPR chap 40 & 41 – Old memories
Helloooooooo sheellllooooooooo Sunday Sundae is here again! Wow it seems to come around faster everyweek ;))Lammmmmbaaaaaaaaaaa update hai enjoy
I hope you enjoy this weeks serial :)) I have been cogitating and deliberating to no end! Didnt decide till last moment what was going in and what was staying out! Modern or Retro then I thought why not both! Links provided so you can turn the music on in an another window and joing in ;)) Chalo we head to the Sangeet night, song dance and Mazzaaaa! But before that a little bit of Maaniliousness for his Mishty :))
Do comment love to read them! What you like and what you didn’t. I hope youre enjoying the knok jhoks.
“Savtridevi!” She knew exactly who it was.
“You …didn’t come to the coffee shop.”
“You wasted my time!” she glared at the phone. “ This all seems like a very big hoax to me. And I am not really bothered any more.”
“Aren’t you interested in seeing your son? Your grandson?”
“I don’t think that there is any son or grandson, or that you actually have any proof, that’s why you didn’t bother to turn up.”
He couldn’t say my man had turned up but the stupid kotha got beaten up.
“I do have very conclusive proof that he is alive, you know….I could easily go to the papers with this story. How would it look splashed all over the papers, the son of the great Savitridevi comes back from the dead?”
Her face filled with anger. “Blackmailing me isn’t going to work. If you have proof send it to me, if not I am really not bothered to go any further with this.” She slammed the phone down.
His anger knew no bounds. Damn her! Threatening her with the newspaper wouldn’t work, he had to keep a low profile, but he had tried it anyway. Age hadn’t mellowed her at all it seemed. He spat out his bile in the dirty sink, and looked at himself in the broken mirror. She would never change. If she wanted proof he would send her irrefutable proof, after that he knew he would have her in the bag but not just yet, he decided he would let her stew for a day or two. He was going to play this by his rules.
His ace in the hole had vanished into a drug den somewhere, he just couldn’t keep clean that boy. First thing was to find him and clean him up for a few days until he could be presented.
Just when he was so close! This was such a beautiful plan, he could make her bend and become putty in his hands, he would fleece them dry and walk away, they owed it to him, she owed it to him even if fate was just not his side he would bend his fate this time, he had to, it was his last chance. He needed a few days to sort himself out, that would give him time to find a new place, all-ready he had the strangest feeling that he was being watched.
By the time they had finished their treatments Geet felt completely limp. After her hair had been trimmed and tinted, Pinky had insisted for her, full waxing, body polishing, a seaweed body wrap, oil massage, and facial. She felt like a rag doll having been tortured, pummelled, wrapped up like a mummy, plucked and waxed. But she had to admit she smelt great and her skin was amazingly silky soft. She ran her fingers over her arm and his parting words played in her mind, she blushed unable to help herself.
“You will feel and look great tomorrow at the Sangeet night, he wont be able to keep his hands off you.” Pinky insisted.
It was quite late when she came back home, Pinky had gone off home as she had things to do she said. Geet stared at her it was obvious she was hiding something. As she stepped into the house, it seemed really quiet, she was hoping that she would see daadima before she went to bed, to ask her if that man had called again, but it looked like she had gone to bed. Of Maan there was no sign. Yawning she started walking towards the linking corridor, thinking that she might as well just go to sleep early when Maan said from right behind her, “hmmm you certainly smell good enough to eat”
Whirling around she saw him standing indolently leaning against the stair rail.
“Err I thought you had gone to bed.”
“Have you eaten?”
“I …I well..” she had a chaat dish a few hours ago, did that count?
He frowned his dark eyes had a determined glare, walking up to her he just picked her up in his arms and went towards the terrace stairs.
“Maan! I can walk!”
“Indulge me Mishty…I like carrying you. And you smell so good I might decide to eat you instead.”
“Didn’t you have dinner earlier?” a teasing smile played about her lips. She linked her arms around his neck and leaned into him.
“No, I was busy with work, if I am to spend my days and… nights entertaining you for the coming weeks I have to finish off as much work as possible.”
“Oh?” her eyes teased him, “Nights mein tou kaam kar sak te ho, I will be sleeping and not requiring you to entertain me at all.”
A dark look came over his face. “I don’t think either of us will get much sleep for a long time to come, in-fact I have been having quite a few sleepless nights already and many cold showers recently.”
“Really?” she rolled her eyes filled with mirth. “I have had no such problems, infact I been sleeping very well indeed of late.”
“Stop laughing at me with those bewitching eyes of yours. And here is a word of warning, the only time you will be getting any sleep is when I let you.” He said quite firmly reaching the gazebo, where a table had been set for them as he had instructed.
The air was sultry. The atmosphere between them as thick as syrup. It was as if the slow simmering ever present fire that was constantly between them was burning brighter for knowing it wouldn’t be too long now. The moon was but a crescent shaped sliver in the dark inky sky. A few stars twinkled here and there as if shouting for attention.
But they were too busy to notice. Slowly he let her slide down his body, breathing her in. His nostrils flared, body tightening, her skin was petal soft. A few more days he told himself, only a few more days. Pulling out a chair he indicated for her to sit down.
Geet slipped into the chair and watched him efficiently light the candles in the beautiful silver candlesticks.
“Maan you didn’t have to do all this, I already agreed to marry you” she teased her eyes twinkled brightly.
“Bahut himatwali ho gayee ho…you will need it all and more if you don’t stop looking at me like that.”
He went to the heated trolley and pulled out the dishes that Nakul had made and put aside for them. Pasta for him, saag paneer, rice, roti and dal for Geet.
She made to get up to help him, but he commanded her to sit down and started serving it all up for her.
“Eat! I am sure you haven’t eaten properly all day.”
She looked at his beautiful face as the candle light flickered over it, seeing that he was just about holding himself in check annoyed at her eating habits.
“Eat!” He commanded again, and dug into his own trying to distract himself from her glowing face.
They ate in silence, each watching other consume food but tasting each other with their eyes, their thoughts tuned into each other. She felt the heat, the need, it consumed her, it terrified her. The fear must have shown on her face as his eyes flickered he abandoned his food and came around to her.
“What is it?”
“Maan, mujhe daar lagta hai…”her whispered words washed over him.
She felt him suck in a deep breath and pull her up so he could look into her eyes, his expression full of love and concern.
“I am here, there is no need to be afraid, I wouldn’t let anything happen to you my Mishty.” Even as he said those words his conscious screamed at him that he had let her walk into that trap with Pandey knowing full well what kind of animal she would be facing.
She read his face.“Maan…I am not afraid like that …I…I.”
“I have lost myself completely in you Maan, every moment of my day is spent thinking about you, I never thought I would ever fall in love, let alone fall in love so completely, it scares me Maan.”
His eyes gleamed bright with emotion, “Ahhhh….love knows no difference between life and death
The one who gives you a reason to live is also the one who takes your breath away.”
“You are quoting Ghalib?” He watched her eyes fill with love, the candlelight flickered on her face, it glowed with happiness.
Picking her up in his arms he walked over to the swing, settling her on his lap, he gently set it in motion. Time seemed to stop as they looked up at the inky sky, each echoing each other sighs and whispers at the sheer perfect beauty of the night sky.
“Is love always like this for everyone?” She wondered out loud, snuggling into his chest, her arms tracing abstract patterns across his shoulders.
“I blame your eyes, as soon as you looked at me I was lost.” he tucked her into him, just enjoying having her in his arms. He held her tightly letting the night breeze flow over them.
Her soft laughter tickled his neck. “And your glares had me petrified!”
“Chalo Maan Singh khurana ke kuch to aasar hue!” he laughed.
The days events caught up with her and her eyes started to drift shut.
“Mishty..” he whispered looking up at the sky.
“Hmmm….” his arms felt like heaven.
“We were meant for each other, without you I am incomplete, just like the darkness of the midnight sky is only illuminated by the moon, my life is only bright when you are with me.”
He looked down at her and saw that she was fast asleep. A crooked sexy smile lit his face.
“So many women have waited to hear these words from my lips, and here Maan Singh Khurana confesses his love to her and she is sleeping like a baby!”
With the words of daadima ringing in his mind, he carried her to the outhouse and gently placed in her bed. She didn’t even move or awake. Shaking his head with laughter he pulled the blankets up and tucked her in.
“Night Mishty..”.with a whisper and brush of his lips across hers he left her to sleep, “you might as well get all the rest you can because in just a few days you are not likely to get much.”
Nervously Geet dressed for the Sangeet night.
“Pinky do I look all right?” She asked for the tenth time.
“Geet! You are crazy, you know you look fantastic, this fancy dress Sangeet night was a great idea haina? It reminds of the night at the Shah’s.”
Adjusting her Orange Mumtaz wrap around sari again Geet looked at her. “Pinky did I tell you that you look adorable as Neetu Singh, with your long braids and retro salwar khameez, what’s Adi coming as?
“I am not sure, I think he is coming as a Kaalia.” Pinky smiled mysteriously.
Geet gave her a strange look, something was up, Pinky was bound to know what Adi was coming as, she had probably chosen it.
Maan stood watching her from the door, she looked so sexy in the tight wrap around sari, he had no idea what Bollywood queen she was meant to be but she looked fantastic. It showed off her flat belly from where a sparkly naval diamond flashed at him. Biting back a groan he said from the door “Err Geet are you ready, we’re needed downstairs.”
Turning to look at him she caught her breath. He looked breathtakingly beautiful in a black Tux. The dark cloth fitted him to perfection showing of the width of his shoulders and his lean fit body.
As their eyes locked on each other, Pinky grinned , “I think I need to go and sort Adi out, I will see you in a few minutes.” she declared rushing off.
“Why do you need her?”
“She has been acting all secretive, I want to know what she has been up to.”
“I am sure we will find out soon enough,” Maan declared linking his arms around and pulling her in close. “But before we go downstairs I need something to get me through the evening.”
Puzzled she stared at him, “W..What?”
“This!” he said as his lips swooped down and kissed her.
He took his time exploring her soft lips, Geet moaned low in her throat. When he lifted his head, she looked thoroughly kissed, her lips looking plump and a little swollen. A soft moan escaped her and then she stared in surprise as he sank down on one knee to put his lips to her flashing belly button.
“Maan!” His hot kisses had her sucking in her belly with pleasure.
He looked up his eyes blazing with heat “You are driving me insane Mishty, make sure you wear this on the wedding night!”
“It..It was Pinky’s idea.” The elephants in her tummy started jumping again.
“Thank God for Pinky.” he smiled.
“Now lets go, I want everyone to see you are mine!”
“So He Man” she grinned. “One special Maan Singh Khurana glare and whoever it is would run a mile.”
“Geet, tum meri ho.Bas!” Taking her hand he led her to the main house.
“Ahh Maan, Geet there you are.” Daadima came forward looking resplendent in a deep cream sari with a gold patterned border.
Geet hadn’t seen the hall since this morning, it had been transformed into a beautiful venue for the sangeet night. Fresh flowers adorned every nook and cranny. Candles and beautiful decorations glittered from everywhere. In one corner a small stage had been set up where the musicians were settled. Pinky Adi and the Khurana family were there, along with the Shah’s, Mohanji and the team from the project and a few close friends of Daadima’s. The Shah’s had come as Jaya and Amitabh, Mohanji had come as Paresh Rawal, there were several Mehmood’s, Helen’s, Zeenats and Salman’s. It was a real shame that the children hadn’t been able to come as Babli had exams, but she had spoken to both of them yesterday and they had been very excited.
“Where is Pinky and Adi?” Geet whispered to Maan as they greeted the Shah’s.
“I am sure they are here somewhere.” he replied not looking worried.
“Geet! Maan!” Sunita hugged them both, myself and Ashok are so excited that this is happening. “We both think you are match made in heaven.”
Ashok laughed, “Forgive Sunita she is a hopeless romantic!”
Maan smiled at them both, “if it were not for you both deciding that we should work together this may have never happened.”
“I knew at once that you would have fireworks between you.”
“Haan, Geet has led me a fine dance to get to this point.”
“Maan! How can you say that!” She gasped, “you were the one who was always glaring and shouting at me.”
Ashok laughed, “its always the way Maan, us men ko bahut papad bel ne paad te hai to get our girl.”
Maan looked into Geet’s eyes and said, “but it’s worth it in the end.”
“Haan!” Sunita declared, “what’s the point of the chase if there are no twists and turns that’s the fun of a relationship. And believe me you will have much more of that after you are married as well.”
The lights dimmed and Nakul urged everyone to take their seats.
“What’s going on?” She tugged at Maan’s hand.
“You’ll see in a minute.”
Maan led her too a small seat arranged for two. They sat down and it began.
“Ladies and Gentlemen please take your seats. Tonight we are going to tell you all a little love story, a love story which has had many twists and turns. Tonight hum peesh karenge Maan and Geet ke love story as told through some edited Bollywood songs.”
The hall went dark and Pinky came in wearing a trouser suit and Adi came in wearing a waistcoat and trousers just like Maan’s.
The music stared.
Yeh ladki hai allah kaise hai deewani…….chup chup ke sharmaye…dekhe chori chori…
Pinky took out a file and started rifling through it, turning to look at Adi now again furtively. They circled around each other and stood back to back.
Dekho ji dekho yeh to meri peeche pad gaya…Yeh Ladka hai allah…..hai hai re Allah!
The music faded out...
‘They met and at a party much like this, and danced together for the time….’ Adi’s voice rang out, the music started again…
Adi took Pinky in his arms and mimicked Maan and Geet dancing,
“Sholen se Sholen se….”
“teri ankhon ke yeh roshani………… mere liye hai BAS! Mere liye hai!
“Mere liye hai……………!”
The music faded out…
Babli and Chotu came out into the spotlight, Babli beautifully dressed in a blue dress and a small tux for Chotu with huge grins on their faces and said “And then their love story began…the newspapers got hold of it suddenly and they became news”
“Babli, Chotu!” Geet gasped, she turned and looked at Maan in shock.
“As soon as her exam finished I had them brought home for tonight, let me tell you it hasn’t been easy keeping them quiet!”
“Maan!” Her eyes overflowed with tears, he had thought of everything, just for her.
“Shhhh Mishty!” he said wiping her tears with his fingers. They turned to watch the show again.
Pinky came out wearing a wrap around sari just like Geet and and Adi came out in a Shammi Kapoor look…
Geet grinned at Maan, Adi and Pinky looked incredibly cute. The music started again…and they started to dance and twist,
……aaj kaal teri meri charche ho rahe hai har zabaan per…sab ko malum hai aur sab ko khabar ho gayee………..
Hum ne to.. pyaar mein aisa kaam kar diya….pyaar ke rahoon mein apna naam kar diya…
……aaj kaal teri meri charche ho rahe hai har zabaan per…sab ko malum hai aur sab ko khabar ho gayee………..
It went all dark again.
After a couple of moments, Pinky and Adi ran in half dressed as Poonam and Rishi,
everyone giggled as Adi’s curly wig fell off.
Babli: They resisted these feelings at first, but eventually they fell in love,
la la la..la la la …Tu hai wahi dil ne apna kaha..tu hai jaha mein hoon waha…mil jaaye iss tara do lehre jis taarah, aab hona nahi juda yeh waada raha…..:
It went all dark again.
Geet turned to smile at Maan but he had vanished.
Adi’s voice rang out, “We asked Maan Sir to name one thing he loves best about his Geet, and here he is to tell her…”
It went all dark again.
Taak te rahete tujko saanj savere………
naino mein ….naini mein haiiiiiii……
Taak te rahete tujko saanj savere…naino mein basiya jaise nain yeh tere…
Teri mast mast do nain, dil ka le gaya chain, teri mast mast do nain…
a fab maaneet vid 😉
Tears flowed out of her eyes as Maan came towards her mouthing the words of the song, pulling her into his arms he swung her across the floor to dance.
Applause broke out as they circled the floor looking into each others eyes.
“Maan I love you!” she mouthed against his cheek, her face glowing with happiness and love.
“Mishty my life is incomplete without you.”
Everyone spilled out on the dance floor to joining in their party. Daadima hugged them and the children ran around excited greeting everyone.
Geet hugged Pinky and Adi smiling at them through her tears of joy.
“Maan…thank you.” her eyes shone.
Pulling her tightly against him he whispered “Mishty ab to do din baad properly thank you kehna.”
Helloooooooooooooo Shelloooooooooo! Again Sunday is here faster than the speed of light! I keep running out of time….someone build me a time machine please!
This week’s serial is a meduim helping as I have been so busy lately, but I hope you enjoy it just the same.
Towards the shaddi we trot, obstacles in our way galore…but Maan will get his Geet no matter what so keep faith. Do please comment as it inspires to write more if I think that people are enjoying and reading.
“I told you to stay clean!”
He slapped him hard.” Just a few more weeks! Keep off the drugs. Soon you will have everything you could ever dream of, but you must look the part!”
Anwar wiped his face where he’d been slapped. His eyes blazed with fury.“But you promised me all that months ago in Bangkok! I am sick and tired of your broken promises. And don’t even think about hitting me again! You might try and pass me off as your son but I am not!”
Damn him, this serpent was growing a mouth and it had to be now, glaring at him he said“This time you’ll see, it will happen. Now go and get cleaned up!”
“Chotu stop fidgeting so close to me, I have to be very still for my mehndi, Didi can you tell Chotu to be still!”
Geet smiled at Babli’s cross face, all around her she could smell the mehndi everywhere. Daadima had arranged for several girls to come, Sunitaji, Pinky, Babli were all having it done, she was also having it applied. Beautiful patterns adorned her feet already and now her hands were nearly done. Maan had been banished to the main house with Ashokji, Adi and a few of the men from KC, after he tried to tell Geet what designs she should have done and tried to bribe the girl into telling him where she was writing his name, whispering to Geet that he really didnt want to waste time with all that when he had better things to do.
She watched as daadima fussed over everyone. Unfortunately since that morning, she hadn’t had a moment to ask her about whether she had received a call from that man again since the other day, and now with Babli and Chotu around she had been extra busy. This morning they had showed her all the new clothes that Maan’s tailor had made for them. For Babli, several pretty dresses and chania choli’s, and a special red and white chania choli for the wedding day. For Chotu, a dhoti suit, the tux she had seen on the sangeet night and some silk kurtas and trousers and a special red and white sherwani for the wedding day. He had spared no expense. The latest designs and best materials. It seemed that there was nothing he hadn’t thought of when it came to making everything run smoothly as possible.
She hadn’t seen him alone since the Sangeet night, always there was something to do, people talking to them. And tomorrow was the big day. Her tummy fluttered at the thought, tomorrow, she would be Geet Maan Singh Khurana. A few months ago if anyone had said that she would have laughed out loud, but now…there was nothing in the world she wanted more than to have Maan as her life partner. Jaspal Sir was going to give her away tomorrow in place of her father at her request, she wasn’t going to ask that horrible uncle or aunt of hers. She had missed her parents so terribly the last few days. But daadima at every turn had been there to try and fill the gaps, as had Pinky and Sunitaji.
“Geet don’t start crying again!” Pinky moaned, “you will ruin your mehndi!”
“Sorry Sorry! Its just that…”
Pinky smiled an understanding smile. “I know.”
Daadima looked up and Geet saw her sway a little.
“Daadima, please sit down for a moment!” Geet jumped up to walk towards her.
“Geet! Sit down and have your menhdi done. I am fine really.” Daadima glared at her.
Knowing that she wouldn’t listen to her, Geet signalled Chotu, “go and get Maan, tell him daadima is not feeling well.” she whispered.
Chotu ran off to do as he was asked, his little face set with worry.
Maan was standing in the midst of Ashok, Adi and a few of the other young men from the office they were all urging him to go with them to have bachelors night out.
He glared at them fiercely. “That is not happening!” he was vehemently saying when he felt his arm being tugged and looked down.
“Chotu kya hua?” The little boy looked very worried.
“Its..Its daadima, Geet didi said to call you, she is not feeling well.” Chotu puffed out of breath.
Maan paled and instantly ran towards the outhouse, the others following. He knew she had been doing too much.
“Daadima please sit down.”Geet pleaded.
“Geetbeta, I told you I am fine, you sit and finish off your mehndi.” Savtridevi said rearranging the snacks on the table.
“Daadima!” Maan’s voice came from across the hall. “Please do as Geet says and sit down. You have been working too hard, did you take your BP medication.”
Daadima looked sheepish, “beta I forgot in all this.”
Maan gave her such a fierce glare, and escorted her to a chair.”Nakul daddima ke dawai le awo.”
Nakul went off running to fetch the medication.
“Daadima,” Babli’s eyes were full of tears, “please say you will be fine. Can I get anything for you?”
Knowing she had no choice under Maan’s glare she sat down and replied,“Babli beta I am absolutely fine, I don’t need anything, I will be fine, I just need to sit down for a few minutes. Maan and your Geet didi are just over fussing.”
Pursing his lips Maan looked darkly at her.
Nakul came back with the tablets and some water and with him brought a man carrying a huge bouquet of white roses.
“Geet madam some flowers have arrived for you along with a box.” Nakul said in his happy voice, handing the medication to daadima who dutifully swallowed her tablets under Maan’s watchful gaze.
Holding up her hands in the air Geet said, “Maan dekhona, who are they from?”
He took the bouquet from the man and placed them on a table in front off dadima picking up the card.
“To Geet and Maan, from a family well wisher. It doesn’t say who its from.”
“What’s in the box, maybe there will be a card in there?” Geet nodded at it.
Maan reached for it, tearing off the golden wrapping he opened it, his eyes widened in surprise at the contents. An exquisite gold and emerald necklace lay snugly in the dark velvet, it looked old and very valuable.
Geet peered over his shoulder and gasped.
“That looks very expensive! Who sent it?”
“There’s no card,” his eyes darkened, who would send such an expensive present anonymously? It didn’t feel right.
“What is it Maan?” daadima asked unable to see what was in the box.
Maan turned the box around and displayed to Savitridevi,
Instantly, he saw her face pale and eyes widen, she gasped in shock and fell into a dead faint.
“Daadima!” A scream escaped Geet and Maan at the same time. Forgotten, the box tumbled from his hands and he caught her as she slumped. Everyone sprang up in worry.
Nakul stood rooted to the spot with fright even as Maan screamed at him to call a doctor.
Picking her up in his arms he took her to a nearby sofa and laid her on it. Thankfully she was already coming around.
“Daadima!” They both peered down at her, their faces pale and worried to the core. All the others had also stood up and were all looking very concerned.
“Maan, Geet……that…that…N..” she looked at them both intensely for a minute, her face was almost grey, then she blinked rapidly as if getting control of herself and smiled up at them, “Errrrr….you are both right, I should have taken it easy. Nakul please bring me some tea, I need a good strong cup and something to eat. And Maan I don’t need a doctor! I really don’t want to see him today, and don’t worry I will get a full check up once your wedding is over.” she added trying to appease Maan.
“I think you should have a full check up now!” Maan insisted.
“Nahi beta, really I am fine, I should have been more careful about taking my tablets, that’s all. I promise to be careful in the future. Nakul, some tea please.” she said to him again as he hadn’t moved from the spot his face, looking so worried.
Nodding, he went off to do as requested.
Daadima looked at all the worried faces, everyone had stopped enjoying the mehndi night and stood worried about her. “Please Sunitaji, Pinky, Geetbeta, please carry on with the mehndi. I have spoiled everyone’s evening, please forgive me.” she admonished herself looking very sad.
“Savitridevi, please don’t worry about us. You just take it easy. We are all done anyway, and the mehndi is almost dry.” Sunita said kindly. Myself and Ashok are completely at your disposal for today, we will look after everything.
Nodding Ashok said “Yes, Savitridevi we are all here, tomorrow you relax and we will sort out anything that needs doing.”
“Thank you everybody,” graciously daadima smiled at them now in complete control of herself. That necklace had really thrown her for a moment but she was not going to let anything spoil the wedding.
“Maanbeta please make Geet sit down and finish her mehndi otherwise I will get upset.”
Maan nodded to Geet his eyes clearly worried that daadima would faint again.
Reluctantly Geet sat back down to let the girl finish off her hands, her face telling Maan that she was clearly too worried about daadima to enjoy herself.
Pinky elbowed Adi, whispering ‘Kuch karo! Everyone looks sad suddenly.”
“W…What?” Looking at Maan’s dark and worried expression.
“Anything!” Pinky urged.
“Chalo,” Sunitaji said suddenly, “since we are all here lets play antakshari whilst Geet’s mehndi get done.”
“Haan! What a good idea.” Daadima declared anxious to divert everyone’s attention away from her.
Pinky grinned at Adi, “Boys versus Girls!”
Geet giggled, “then we might as well declare victory now, kyu ke …”she eyed up Maan from top to toe “…mujhe naahi lagta ke the boys will know any songs!”
Dark chocolate eyes clashed with warm, mirth filled amber.
‘Baithe, baithe, kya karein? Karna hai kuch kaam,
Shuru karo antakshri, leke prabhu ka naam!’
Maan said out loudly settling himself on one of the low divans, with Chotu beside him the rest of the men settled themselves around him all ready to face up to the challenge.
“M!” Ashok declared.
Babli settled next to daadima, and the rest around Geet, facing the men.
“Retro! Main…. na bhoolunga main na bhulunga….inn rasmo ko….inn kasmo ko………main na bhoolunga main na bhulunga…………hmmmm hmm hmm!” Ashok sang, his eyes on Sunita’s face..Samay ke dhara mein….Samay ke dhara mein umar beh jaatee hai………”
Adi clapped, “Wah wah!” smugly looking at Pinky.
“Hummmmmm tummmmm ek kamre mein bandh ho…..aur chaabi ko jaye……….” Pinky sang looking at Adi, who blushed bright red and flustered. “Aaagee ho gunghor andhera…peeche koi daku lootera………..”
“But! But!” One of the others said, “it doesn’t start like with h!”
“Yes it does!” Geet and Sunita replied cheating like mad and winking at each other.
The men rolled their eyes and sat back, with the full intention of getting their own back soon.
Daadima looked on, thankfully they had all been distracted from her, Maan was engrossed in looking at Geet and she looked so animated, smiling she squeezed Babli’s hand mindful of the little girl’s mehndi and rose from her seat, quietly going to the table where someone had retrieved the box from the floor and placed it on the table. She took it with her and slipped away from the outhouse towards the main house.
Babli watched her go, a frown lit her little face. Without attracting attention, she followed daadima worried that she might pass out again.
It was all quiet in the main house, Savitridevi sat down on the sofa and flicked the lid open. No, she hadn’t been wrong. It was the same necklace she had gifted Maan’s mother on her wedding day. Her eyes filled with tears and they ran down her cheeks. Was Ajeet really alive, could….could this be true? Her mothers heart filled with hope, now she had no choice but to do whatever the man on the telephone asked of her. She had to know.
“Daadima?” Babli asked, “are you ill again? Shall I call didi and jiju?”
“Babli!” Surprised that Babli had come after her, she looked at the little girls serious face. Quickly brushing her tears away she said “No beta I am fine.”
Babli stared at the necklace, “it looks very old, and pretty.”
“Haan beta, it is very old, it’s given down to all Khurana brides on their wedding day by their parents in law’s.
Babli frowned, the necklace had been sent to didi, “but Jiju’s parents are not alive, he is like us without parents he told me.”
“Maan’s mother died a long time ago, but I think he might be still alive!” Savitridevi stopped herself. Why was she telling a child about her problems.
“Jiju’s father is still alive? But Jiju said…” Babli’s bright mind translated the information quickly.
“Err… forget I said that, and Babli please don’t tell Maan or your didi about our conversation, I don’t want anything to spoil their wedding tomorrow.” shutting the lid on the box she said, “why don’t we just put this away and get back to the others.”
Thinking about it for a moment Babli stood still, her big brown eyes searching daadima’s face for answers. She knew something was not quite right but she didn’t want anything to spoil didi and Jiju’s wedding so she nodded gravely in agreement.
“Good!” Smiling daadima went and locked the box in a cupboard and led Babli back to join in with the others.
“Maan! That’s cheating that song doesn’t start there!” Geet’s face was full of outrage.
“That’s rich coming from you girls who have been cheating, left right and centre!” Adi declared.
“Hmm! We are not playing any more with you cheaters.” the girls declared haughtily.
Geet was just about to grab a pillow to throw at Maan, when Pinky screamed at her to remember her mehndi. With regret she slumped back down restricted by her mehndi clad hands.
Nakul and some others came in with plates of ice-cream for everyone.
“Geet shall I feed you?” Pinky asked her eyes resting on Maan playfully to see if he would take up the offer.
“Pinky…err I will do it.” Maan said getting up and picking up a dish full of chocolate ice-cream. Everyone looked on smiling as he sat down in front of her and offered up a spoon, they all took theirs and the arguing started again between Pinky and Adi, Sunita and Ashok to judge if the girls had won or the boys.
“I don’t want it!” Geet said still furious with him.
“Huh…Ok,” shrugging his shoulder nonchalantly, he put the spoon to his lips and licked the ice cream off.
Her attention was immediately riveted to his bow shaped lips. Her soft amber eyes watched hungrily his every movement as he took spoonful’s of ice cream and ate it with obvious enjoyment.
“Maan!” His name was but a whisper on her lips.
“Hmmmm…? Would you like some?”
“I….thought you didn’t like sweet desserts.”
“Believe me I am looking forward to tomorrows dessert.”
“Tomorrow’s dessert, is it something special?”
Those sinful dark eyes stared at her blush pink toes, and worked their way up slowly over her soft moss green salwar khameez, resting briefly on her rapidly rising and falling chest, then resuming their journey up her throat to her lips and then locking on to her eyes which had become clouded with passion. He saw the realisation of his words strike as the soft deep blush rose over her skin.
His eyes remained locked on hers as he whispered, “Tomorrow’s dessert is something very very special!”