TPR chapter 32 & 33
Hellooooooooooooo shelloooooooooo! TPR is back! Woohooooooooooooo you say (I hope) the story moves on, ahh Maanilicious and totally delicious ;))
Enjoy, do comment please I want to know if you enjoy it enough to carry on and on….!
Chapter 32 ~ Sweet beginnings and painful choices
“Daadima I think we should skip the engagement and go straight to the wedding.” Maan announced, gently depositing Geet on one of the lounge sofa’s.
A gasp broke from Geet’s lips as he carried out his threat to hurry matters up, she glared at him as he grinned innocently at her.
“Nahi, Maan beta we cant do that it will look very odd now that we have sent out engagement invitations to everyone.” She looked at him with a twinkle in her eye, her grandson seemed to have it bad. Then she saw Geet’s bandaged foot and a frown came over her face.
“Geet beta what happened to you foot? We just got over your other injuries!
“Errm nothing much, it will be fine by Saturday,” she told daadima.
“I have spoken to Jaspal Singh, he will be bringing the children up on Friday night for the engagement, I have also arranged for beauticians to do your make up and hair, and some girls to help you dress,”
A huge smile came over her face. “Thank you daadima Babli and Chotu will be so excited and err daadima, is all the beauticians and dresser necessary, I can do it all myself with Pinky’s help?” Geet questioned just thinking about the day made her nervous.
“Yes!” they both chorused back at her. Geet stared at them, she was marrying into a very stubborn family.
Day of the engagement………….
Nervously she fidgeted with the end of her duppatta.
“Didi will you stop doing that!” Babli moaned, quite frustrated by the constant fidgeting her didi was doing.
“You look so beautiful, Jiju is going to go crazy.” she added smiling.
As she looked in the mirror Geet thought she did look nice, the beauticians had been at her since morning, facials, massages, nails, hair, make up, she’d felt like a Barbie doll, then the dressers had taken over and dressed her in the outfit she had chosen with daadima. Butterflies fluttered in her stomach, she could barely think, was she really going to be engaged to Maan Singh Khurana?
Pinky had already pinched her at her request several times to make sure she wasn’t dreaming, going off to find Adi with a huge grin on her face, just when the last touches were being added by the dressers. Nakul had taken Chotu away to give him yet another snack, leaving Babli alone with her.
Maan watched her covertly from a window, she looked so beautiful he was speechless. Wearing a midnight blue outfit covered with silver and gold embroidery, with a fitted corset and a tight fishtail skirt all her curves were showed off to perfection. Her incredible eyes had been enhanced with liner and soft eye shadow making them look huge, her lips looked lush and glossy, without telling her, he had ordered the hairdressers to keep her hair looking natural so they had just pinned strands of it up leaving it flowing, like a golden brown waterfall around her shoulders. Unbeknown to her, he’d had a matching Nehru collar suit made in the same midnight blue colour.
She leaned forward and stood for a moment choosing something from her vanity then turned and leaned down, giving him a view of her delectable bottom that made his body stiffen instantly. She lifted her foot towards the stool at that moment he couldn’t resist jumping in through the window saying ‘let me do that for you.’ winking at Babli.
“Maan!” A shocked gasp escaped her as he took the payal out of her hand and went down on one knee. “You’re not supposed to be here! Daadima will get annoyed.”
Babli giggled as he rolled his eyes at her outrage, gently lifting her foot onto his knee, she had to grip his shoulder to keep her balance. Her fingers sank into the soft velvet. He slowly slipped the payal around her ankle, he noticed she had chosen the one with the dark beads, he raised his eyes and looked at her, smiling at her choice, his dark chocolate eyes filled with remembered heat.
“It..it went with the outfit!” Geet declared blushing to the roots of her hair.
“Hmm…” he said making a great event out of hooking it around her ankle. She did really have great legs he thought.
“Maan! What are you doing here? You are supposed to be waiting outside!” Daadima admonished him as she bustled in to see if Geet was ready.
Slipping the other payal on the other ankle, unhurriedly he gently put her foot back on the ground and rose.
Geet nearly swooned as she took in how handsome he looked, the dark blue matching her outfit impeccably. He noticed her body unconsciously swaying towards him and then suddenly correcting herself as she realised that daadima and Babali were watching with a smile on their faces.
“Hota hai Hota hai.” he whispered under his breath to her, “Maan singh Khurana hai he assi cheej” flicking his collar.
A furious blush rose on her cheeks as he grinned at her.
“Chal putter we’d better get going,” said daadima to Babli, to whom she’d taken a real shine to as soon as she had arrived.
“Maan you come along as well, I will send Pinky up to bring Geet down, I want her to make a grand entrance.”
“Daadima! I think I had better stay with her and bring her down those stairs myself, with her propensity for accidents I can just see her tumbling head first down the stairs adding yet another injury to her portfolio.”
‘O’ Geet glared at him angrily.
“Yes OK, you might be right,” daadima replied grinning at his smokescreen, “but don’t be long, the guests have already started arriving.”
“Maan!” She rounded on him just as she felt daadima and Babli were out of earshot.
“Chup bilkul chup!” He said placing a finger against her lips and drawing her tight into his arms. “Do you have any idea of how beautiful you look? I don’t want to share you with anyone just yet!”
A blush rose on her heated cheeks as she saw the clear intent in his eyes.
“I want to kiss you so badly,” he whispered, his eyes roaming over her face, and resting on her glossy lips. His fingers roamed over her, seeking out her soft curves until she moaned her pleasure.
“What’s stopping you” she bravely whispered, his kisses has become the drug she had got so used to.
“I don’t think I will be able to stop myself at just a kiss,” his hand reached up and trailed down her soft cheek.
A teasing smile came our her face, “What the great Maan Singh Khurana losing control, tauba tauba!” her arms went up around his shoulders and she pressed herself against his length, pleased when she heard his sharp indrawn breath.
Fire blazed in his eyes, the little minx! He was just about stopping himself from ravishing her and here she was teasing him, two could play at that game, a sexy grin teased the corner of his mouth he planned to make her suffer and burn as much as he was right now, all night, tonight.
“Hmm..” he trailed his fingers across the exposed silky skin of her waist up her back teasing the skin until goose pimples broke out and she shivered compulsively in his arms. Softly he teased the her skin with his stubble just where her shoulder curved, feeling her nails sink into his arms. Her body was so responsive to his every touch it excited him beyond measure. Her eyes had clouded over with passion her breath was coming out in gasps. Suddenly he removed them just as she arched towards him dying to feel his lips against hers.
“Maan?” why had he stopped? She was burning up!
For an answer he just gave her a teasing sexy smile, threading his fingers through hers he led her to the reception area, he wanted the whole world to see the love, the passion in her eyes, because it was all for him, and only him.
“Maan Singh Khurana and Ms Geet Handa!” Announced the event co-ordinator as they stood at the top of the stairs.
There were so many people staring up at them, many of the faces Geet recognised apart from her small group of friends and acquaintances, from newspapers, magazines, stars, the Khurana Construction office members, Sunita and Ashokji , Mohanji and some of the members of the team she knew.
“So many people Maan,” she whispered nervously.
“They have all come to see you my mishty!” He declared proudly slowly escorting her down the stairs, smiling and nodding to greetings. Her nails were biting into his arm through the soft velvet.
He placed his hand over hers and reassured her, his gaze adoring.
Friends family and well wishers surrounded them. She breathed again, seeing the happy smiles on Chotu, Babli, Jaspal sir, and Pinky and Adi’s faces. Daadima was in her element introducing her to all her friends with excitement. More to the point Chotu and Babli were accepted as members of the family and being involved in all the excitement, Geet couldn’t have asked for anymore from Babaji at that moment, her heart overflowed with love for Maan.
Every now and again Maan would touch her in a way that made her burn, in passing, with his fingers, a whisper of a kiss across her shoulders in a stolen second behind a curtain, or just sometimes looking at her with such heat in his eyes she felt she would melt into a puddle there and then.
He pulled her on to the dance floor as soon as the music started. The slow seductive song giving him licence to hold her close, filling his arms with her softness.
“Please…Maan! Stop it!” she groaned against his cheek as they danced. She felt everyone’s eyes on them. “People are staring.”
“Stop what?” he asked innocently, brushing his lips against her hair. “I am not doing anything.”
“You know very well what you are doing?” she hissed her eyes pleading for him to stop driving her mad.
“Hmm Ms Independent has lost control, tauba tauba.” he teased.
“Oh!” Geet had to smile, his sexy grin and the teasing heat in his eyes was entirely her undoing.
After that Geet didn’t remember how many people she was congratulated by, or she somehow became separated from Maan becoming suddenly surrounded by well wishers. A chubby kohl eyed man chewing paan suddenly appeared before her startling her with his closeness, she stepped back immediately feeling her personal space was being invaded. She saw he was surrounded by bodyguards of sorts, she was sure she had seen him before but couldn’t place him at that moment.
“Geet Handa.” he eyed her lasciviously, “I have been looking forward to our meeting, seeing you in the flesh is exciting.” he eyes slowly ran over her from her pink toes up to her head, lingering on her curves.
Geet felt like she needed to suddenly take a shower. “Err I have to go.” she said trying to make her escape.
“But we haven’t even had a chat yet!” He exclaimed with a smile that chilled her.
“I don’t think we have anything to talk about Mr..?”
“you can call me Pandey. Everyone does. You must have seen my election posters and even seen me on TV, I am quite famous you know.”
Recognition flared in her eyes. Of-course she had seen him on posters and on the TV, “What are you doing here? She questioned with a glare, she was sure he wouldn’t have been on the guest list.
“Shola hai tumhari ankhoon mein, I am going love taming that fire.” He grinned, red liquid dribbled down his chin, making her cringe.
All colour left her face at that statement, what did he mean.
Turning he looked at Maan across the room who was chatting with Ashokji and Adi. “Handsome your Maan Singh Khurana is, but imagine if he were to have acid thrown in his face, or his car bombed, or a bullet hit his spine, imagine your Maan Singh Khuarana in a wheelchair.” He finished on a menacing whisper.
She felt sick. Colour had drained away from her leaving her looking as pale as a ghost.
“What do you want?” The painful words had to be asked.
“You! I want you.” His eyes gleamed. “From the day you beat up my three men I have been dying to meet you and now I have, I can see why Maan Singh Khurana is so mad about you.”
Her eyes widened with fright and disgust.
“Tomorrow I want you to come to me, wait at the Barista café on the corner near Khurana Construction offices, my men will collect you from there.”
“Are you mad, I am not succumbing to your threats!” Angrily she replied trying to walk away only to have her arm caught in a tight grip.
“Adi have you seen Geet?” Maan asked him as soon as Ashokji left to chat with someone else.
Where was she? He couldn’t see her anywhere! It was then Maan saw her across the room, as a man stepped away from a small group, a sharp expletive left his lips.
A chubby man with his back to him was holding her arm, she looked pale as the white marble floor. It was plain to him that she was trying to free herself unsuccessfully, he walked towards them with a purpose, Adi followed as he realised something was up.
One of his men nudged Pandey to say he could see Maan coming towards them.
“You had better listen to me or be prepared to lose your ashique! Soch lo you wouldn’t want any harm coming to him would you now, time to prove how much you love him.” he said realising her arm and vanishing into the crowd.
“Who was that?” Maan questioned as he reached her, where had the man vanished.
“Geet! Kya hua, you look so pale! Geet? ” His dark eyes worried.
“What did he say?” He pulled her towards him, looking at the angry red welt on her arm where it had been gripped do tightly, she looked so wide eyed and shocked.
“Nothing.” Geet whispered. “I am fine Maan, fine. Please don’t cause a fuss.”
“Geet bolo, what did he say to you, you look pale as a ghost. Who was he? Did you recognise him?”
She looked into his eyes, there was no way she could see her Maan in any pain, hurt or in a wheelchair, anguish filled her heart.
Babli and Chotu ran up, clinging to her sensing the change in the atmosphere.
“Didi are you all right?”
Taking a deep breath she said, “Maan I am absolutely fine, it was just a well wisher saying congratulations.
She could see he didn’t believe her.
Hastily seeking escape she said “lets go and have something to eat, I am famished.”she said leading the children away and escaping from Maan’s questioning gaze.
Angrily he watched her go, he would find out what happened tonight, who the man was and what he had said to her to make her look so scared.
“Maan beta, kya hua?” Daadima questioned as she saw every one’s faces looked tense and worried.
“Kuch nahi.” he replied softly, not wanting to worry her.
“Then lets go, get Geet so we can exchange the rings.” she urged excited to get the ceremony started.
“I will go and find Geet,” Adi said walking towards the food.
He found her sitting between Chotu and Babli staring into space whilst Pinky chatted away ten to a dozen to the children.
“Err Geet, daadima is calling you, its time to exchange the rings and cut the cake.” Something was wrong, she looked scared, but he didn’t want to ask her in front of the children.
“Is it chocolate cake?” Chotu questioned with excitement.
“Chotu! Don’t you think of anything else but food, since you have come here you have done nothing but eat!” Babli admonished.
His little face crumpled, “But didi everything is so tasty, and Nakul uncle said I could ask for anything and it will be made for me.”
“Its fine,” Geet said ruffling his hair, “really Chotu you can eat anything you want. Just try not to get too fat otherwise I will have to get new uniforms sewn for you.”
“Geet the rings!” Adi hissed trying to hurry her up so he could ask her but she still wasn’t getting up.
There had been something about that chubby man that rang a bell, damn it! Why was Geet not telling him anything? She was definitely shook up. He had better go and find her before something else happened.
“Daadima I’d better go and find Geet myself, looks like Adi is not having any luck.” Maan said walking off in the direction where he had seen Geet disappear.
Should she go through with it? Would it be fair on Maan to go through with the engagement? What if Pandey carried out his threat and did something to Maan? What should she do? She would never be able to face herself if anything happened to him when she could have prevented it.
Maan suddenly appeared in front of her, he took her hand decisively in his and pulled her up.
“Maan! Suno to.”
“No, Geet, whatever it is can wait till later.” he gripped her by the waist directing her towards the enormous heart shaped cake and an impatient daadima.
She followed him in a daze, Pinky the children and Adi following close behind. How she got through the exchange of rings she couldn’t remember but she must have, as the beautiful yellow diamond that matched her pendant sparkled and blazed a thousand rainbows across her hand.
Daadima smiled at them both and gave them ashirwaad, “You have made me the happiest woman today, Geet beta. May god bless you both.”
“Cake khilawo beti, Maan ko,” she instructed as saw Geet was just looking at him frozen to the spot.
Maan stood looking down at her with unfathomable eyes. Why wasn’t she telling him who that man was?
Tears welled up in her eyes as she looked at him, his beautiful face was taut as if he was holding himself back tightly, she knew he was angry at her for not saying anything but she had no choice if told him it had been Pandey, and what he’d said, all hell would have broken loose.
Her hand shook as she picked up a slice of feather light cake and offered it to his lips. She knew what she had to do.
He opened his mouth to take the offering, but it was her eyes that held him spellbound, pure love poured out of the amber pools, tears freely ran down her cheeks and vaguely he heard everyone sigh and then break out into applause, but he couldn’t smile, he could see it in her eyes, gone was the teasing smiling woman of earlier, something was seriously wrong.
Morningggggggggggggg or afternoon! Sunday Sundae is here. The story rolls on, pyaar me kabhi gum kabhi khushi….angsty Geet, confused angry Maan….your weekly serial khichdi ;))
Enjoy and please do comment, love to read what you think.
“Now Maan beta aap Geet ko cake khilawo.”
For daadima’s sake he carried out the tradition, in reality all he wanted to do was drag her off to a quiet corner and demand answers from her.
At the back of his mind there was a niggling thought that he should know that man who had been holding her arm.
“Congratulations Geet, Maan what a lovely party!” Sunitaji exclaimed. “Geet you look incredible.”
“Th..Thank you.” Geet replied smiling a little too brightly Maan thought.
Maan was glued to her side now, his hand possessive on her waist.
“Thankyou Sunitaji and Ashokji for your wishes, it was you who brought us together.” Maan said smoothly, “I will always be grateful to you.”
“I have a confession to make,” said Ashok, “as soon as we saw you both together, I knew underneath, after all the fireworks you two were made for each other, it seems we were right. Many years ago we met under the same conditions, Sunita was just like Geet, young, fired up ready to show the world she could stand on her own, and I was sent by my father to bid for the same contract she had her heart set on. I really didn’t want to go but thank god I did. Well she led me on a fine merry chase I assure you,” he said smiling at Geet. “We were married within nine months though, once I decided she was the woman for me, she couldn’t shake me off. I could not live without her and I still cant.”
“Ashok!” Sunita blushed furiously.
“Its true, I would do anything for you Sunita, and I think its the same for these two.”
A heavy weight settled in Geet’s heart, Ashokji was not far wrong.
Maan watched her closely, Ashokji had touched on nerve there, it was clearly written on her face, she would do anything for him he knew, and it looked like she was getting ready to do something very soon. It had to be something to do with whoever it was that she had met earlier.
A photographer came to take pictures of them all, Maan’s eyes darkened with a thought.
“Err excuse me, Geet, Ashokji, I just remembered something I forgot to take care of, I will be back soon.”
They all nodded as he went off, Geet watched his back in surprise, what was he up to?
Maan signalled to Adi and as Adi came to him he said firmly, “keep an eye on Geet don’t let her go anywhere.” he barked, now seriously worried.
He motioned the photographer to him, saying something in his ear, he disappeared into the study with him.
“Geet! What happened? Maan sir seems agitated, he thinks you are up to something.” Adi asked her.
“Geet are you in trouble?” Pinky questioned looking at her friends pale face.
She looked at both of them. Would it be fair to involve them in this, Pandey was a horrible man, they could get hurt.
“Geet!” hissed Pinky her eyes imploring to tell them what’s wrong.
“Pandey was here earlier, he… he threatened to harm Maan if I didn’t go to him tomorrow.”
Adi swayed, the colour draining from his face, Pinky steadied him.
“P…Pandey! Geet you have to tell Maan sir! He was here?” He sank down on a nearby chair his face twitching with a nervous laugh.
“Adi! Don’t you dare tell Maan anything! Pandey said he would seriously hurt Maan if I didn’t listen. If I tell Maan he will not do anything about his own security but probably surround me with bodyguards.”
“So what are we going to do?” Pinky asked.
“There is no ‘we’, you two are not going to do anything! I am going there tomorrow and sorting Pandey out once and for all!”
“You are not going anywhere without us!” They both said in unison.
“If you don’t want us to tell Maan than you had better listen to us and don’t try and shake us off either.”
“Since when did it become ‘us,’ Pinky? Geet smiled at her, suddenly realising that Pinky kept saying we all the time as Adi turned to drink from a glass of water.
Pinky blushed a bright crimson, her sweet little face embarrassed, her eyes pleading with Geet to not to say anything further.
Geet smiled and said, “Ok we’d better think of a plan. Pandey is a dangerous man it’s not going to be easy. Let’s discuss it in the morning, I had better find Maan and say goodbye to daadima’s friends.
Most of the guests had started to leave, but Maan was no where to be seen.
Geet stood beside daadima saying thank you and goodbye to the many guests.
“Where has Maan gone geet beta?”
“He had important business to attend to he said.” Geet replied softly, wondering where he had vanished to.
“What now?” Daadima moaned, “beta now that you are in his life, can you make sure that he looks after himself?”
She looked at Daadima and nodded, unable to speak, she couldn’t say, he is in danger because of me daadima.
Just then Maan reappeared, his face inscrutable.
“Maan beta where did you vanish? All these guests are waiting to say bye.”
He smiled a charming smile at everyone, giving his apologies, soon enough all the guests left. Daadima declared the party a great success and with tears in her eyes gave them both a hug.
Jaspal sir had declined their offer and was staying with a relative of his nearby, Maan arranged for a driver to drop him. Adi took Pinky home after Geet quietly promised to talk to them in the morning.
“Chalo, I am going to bed, it’s been a lovely evening, and I couldn’t have asked for any more, everything went so well. I am turning in now, its been a long day. Goodnight.” daadima declared.
“I just have a few calls to make.” Maan said, and walked off leaving an open mouthed Geet standing all alone. What was he up to? But in a way it was better that he had business to attend to otherwise he would just hound her for answers she knew.
She went to check on Chotu and Babli who had gone to bed earlier, they were both soundly asleep. She stood for a long time just looking at their sweet innocent faces, they both depended on her but if anything happened to her she knew Maan would look after them. Now she was so wound up she couldn’t sleep, what was she going to do tomorrow? She wandered out of her room towards the main house somehow drawn to the terrace. Her heart was heavy with worry for Maan. Pandey had to be stopped somehow, if she didn’t go to him as he had said Maan would be in danger and she knew he wouldn’t listen to her and take precautions for his safety.
The night was surprising clear, a blanket of stars twinkled brightly in the dark inky sky, the breeze was cool and she shivered in its wake, wrapping her arms around her exposed midriff.
No clear plan formed in her mind, she couldn’t tell Maan, as yet there was no crime committed, so she couldn’t call the police. The only thing that she could think to do was go with Pandey’s men and for Adi and Pinky to follow, perhaps then call the police once she was in Pandey’s custody.
So lost in thought was she that she didn’t hear Maan walking across the terrace until he stood next to her looking out onto the vista, his face closed off to her. He looked so handsome, still in his dark Nehru collar suit that matched hers, his eyes were staring ahead the sooty lashes casting shadows across his cheeks, he looked deep in thought.
“The evening went well…” she hesitantly said looking at the sparkling diamond on her finger.
Cut the small talk Geet and tell me what’s bothering you! But he didn’t say those words. He had spent a good part of an hour with the photographer checking out all the pictures that he had taken and unfortunately there was none with Geet and the mystery man.
He didn’t say anything. Glancing at her sideways, he wondered what was she thinking.
“Thank you Maan, for making me the happiest woman in the world.” She whispered softly turning so she faced him.
“Are you the happiest woman in the world my mishty?” his brow creased. He turned and looked at her, the starlight threw soft blue light over her face, creating shadows and yet making it glow. His hand reached out and caressed her face gently, she leaned into it with a sigh, her eyes sparkled over brightly, he knew it was a prelude to them filling with tears, tears which she was vainly trying to hold back so desperately.
Suddenly fury and pain raced through him, his eyes stormed angrily.
“Go to bed Geet!” he said turning, about to walk away.
“Maan!” Unable to bear him walking away she slipped her arms around him pressing herself against his back. “Please don’t go!”
Her soft plea stopped him in his tracks, he unlinked her hands and turned to face her.
“Why don’t you want me to go?” He wasn’t going to plead for her to tell him, between them by now there should be no secrets.
“I…I…” her soft amber eyes looked at his dark shadowed face. The anger in his eyes had her spellbound.
“Geet! You can’t even be honest with yourself, how are you going to be honest with me?”
She cringed from those words, he had a right to be angry and it was true she was behaving peculiarly. At the back of her mind was the fact that if she couldn’t think of a plan by tomorrow she could very well end up as Pandey’s captive and that made her shudder, the way he had been looking at her she knew he only had one thing on his mind.
“Maan, make love to me, now.” the words tumbled from her lips.
His dark eyes widened with shock, fingers going up to her shoulders holding her still so he could look at her face.
“Mishty!” Whatever he had expected it was not this, his eyes narrowed on her face.
“Don’t you want to?”
“Desperately, but that is not my question.” his dark gaze was penetrating.
“You would hate yourself in the morning if we made love now, Geet I don’t have to make love to you to cement our relationship, you are already mine, your mind body and soul are mine, I feel it when I touch you, I hear it when you call me, we are already one my mishty.” his brain tried to figure out why she would say such a thing now, at this moment but he couldn’t.
Her eye watched him staring down at her in confusion, but she would hate herself more if…….whatever happened tomorrow she wanted to be his tonight totally his.
With a sob in her throat her fingers reached up and trailed across his jaw, feeling the soft stubble, her thumb caressed his lower lip, her eyes focused on his. Lovingly she traced the contours of his face under the soft light of the stars. He stiffened at her caress, her eyes were soft, her face filled with intent. Standing on her tip toes she brushed her lips against his, again and again until he could stand it no more, with a muttered oath he relented and opened his mouth to hers. She kissed him reverently, she kissed him with a desperate need, she kissed him as if there was going to be no tomorrow for them.
Breathing harshly he pulled away from her, his eyes were stormy with anger, passion and confusion. Why was she behaving like this?
She leaned back into him trailing kisses across his jaw and down his throat. He was rapidly losing control, her soft lips were driving him insane.
“Geet! No!” He grasped the tops of her arms and moved back away from her.
“Now tell me what has got into you? I want to know now!” He was furious.
It was Pandey, he was here it nearly tumbled out. Instead she gave him a long look of longing turned and ran her inner turmoil clearly showing on her face.
He was just about to follow her when his phone rang. Annoyed at being interrupted he fished it out and barked ‘Maan Singh Khurana!’ As he listened to the man on the other end, his face became hard as granite.
Waking at six she saw the children and Jaspal sir back off to Rupnagar from the bus station. She hadn’t bothered to call Maan and she noted that he had not come to talk to her further or text her she assumed he was furious with her.
“Thank you sir for bringing them. I don’t know what I would have done without you to look after them in Rupnagar.” She told him.
“Beti you father would be proud of you, and so am I. I am happy to look after them, they are no trouble at all, and Babli is the top student in her year, always coming first in all her exams.”
Chotu piped up not wanting to be left out being praised, “I will come first too one day sir, didi you will see!”
“Only if you do your homework and concentrate, we have to make Geetdidi proud of us.” Babli told him.
“Haan you will.” Geet said her eyes welling up with tears. “I love you both so much and am proud of you, papa and mama would have been proud of you as well.”
“Maan is a good man, I am happy that you have found someone who will look after you and make you happy.”
“Didi when can we come back?” Chotu asked.
“Soon, in you holidays.”
“But daadima said we could come back whenever we wanted to , she said that now this was our home too.”
“Chotu! We still have school to finish, stop giving didi a hard time.” Babli said.
She hugged them both tightly, and they climbed on the bus.
“Err Jaspal sir if anything were to happen to me, the children will be taken care of by Maan.” Geet said out of earshot of the children.
His eyes widened, he nodded and climbed on the bus saying, “Beti nothing will happen to you I know Maan will always look after you.”
She watched them leave thinking it was time that she made good her promises to daadima and took care of Maan. It was already ten o’clock and she was supposed to go to the café by 12.30.
She dialled Pinky’s number.
“Geet! have you though of a plan? Pinky asked in a rush.
“No, Pinky have you and Adi?”
“No! what are we going to do?”
“I am not sure, we should play it by ear, meet me at the corner of the KC office and the Barista at noon I am supposed to be there at twelve thirty, and by the way make sure Maan doesn’t find out, please Pinky!” she pleaded.
“Don’t worry, we will think of something before then, I am not going to let you go to that creep!” Pinky vehemently said.
Arriving just shortly before noon, Geet stood waiting for Adi and Pinky to arrive. They were going to be late if they didn’t come soon she muttered to herself and she would be whisked off by Pandey’s men without back up.
Geet looked around and saw two women in burkhas and large handbags, they were approaching her, but she didn’t see who was calling her , she couldn’t see Pinky or Adi anywhere, she turned back to look at the road. Where were they?
The tall one in the burkha stood next to her and started gesturing. Geet stared at her wondering what she wanted.
“Geet it’s us!” Adi said pulling up the face covering and showing her his face.
Adi? Pinky? What the!
“This is your plan?” Geet squeaked. Burkhas and large colourful handbags?
“Yes, don’t you think it’s a brilliant disguise! You go with the men, we will follow, then as soon as you get to Pandey we call the police and say you were kidnapped! And if there is trouble we have filled our handbags with bricks so we can hit them” Pinky gushed.
Babaji! She stared at them both not knowing whether to cry or laugh, they looked so funny, but this situation was no laughing matter and she didn’t have better plan either.
“Ok,” she muttered hoping that the gods were smiling at her today.
“I knew you would go for it!” Pinky smiled.
“Only because I cant think of anything else at the moment.” she muttered. “Ok, it’s twelve twenty I am going into the Barista. Don’t lose me, I am counting on you.”
“Geet don’t go!” Adi pleaded suddenly.
“I have to go for Maan’s sake Adi. I can’t let anything happen to Maan.”
“But what if something happens to you, Maan sir would be devastated, have you thought of that?” Adi said his face very serious.
Her eyes darkened but then a vision of Maan hurt and bleeding filled her mind scaring her out of her wits.
“I…I have to go Adi, Pinky, I am relying on you.” they both nodded, Pinky with tears in her eyes.
Hurriedly she crossed the road and went into the cafe before fear got the better of her, there were a few couples dotted about here and there but no one that looked remotely like they could be Pandey’s men.
Sitting at a window table she ordered a cappuccino, for want of something to do, her hands shook as she stirred in the sugar. Pinky and Adi crossed the road and stood outside the café pretending to be waiting for someone.
As she sipped nervously, two men appeared and sat on her right side, she looked at them wondering if they were Pandey’s men, but they were having a long conversation about cars and racing.
Ok not them, she thought anxiously as she looked out of the glass, then she saw them, they had to be Pandey’s men. They were all dressed loudly like street goondas, all four of them, they strode into the café, looking around, as soon as they saw her they came up to her. Two of them were large, well built men, they had moustaches and chubby round faces, eyes lined with khol, they looked like brothers Geet thought. The other two were slimmer, more like the ones that had accosted her in the alley a while back.
“So chikne chameeli tu aaye.” He smiled a lusty horrible smile, pulling out a chair in front of her and planting a fat kolapuri clad foot on it. “Chalo! Time waste nahi karne!” he tried to grab her arm but she pushed him away, “don’t touch me!”
They all laughed uproariously, “Kya aag hai! We’ll be doing a lot more then that chamaak chalu. Once boss is finished with you. Itne jhaakas cheej hai!” his phone rang, “haan haan, yes boss she is here.” He laughed a dirty laugh at whatever was said to him, switching the phone off.
The look in his eyes made her gag, suddenly Geet decided that this was not a good idea at all, she should have told Maan, she should have told the police. Jumping up she tried to back away, but there was no place to go. Her eyes strayed to the door, but one of the men blocked her exit.
The large one grabbed her arm, “Chalo boss is waiting!”
“No, leave me alone!” Geet screamed but he relentlessly dragged her out of the door.