Posted: 03 August 2010 at 4:43am
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Thanks for the response guys! Loved it.
The moment the Mercedes arrived at the Manchandas, Geet forgot the confusion in her mind.
Never in her life she would have imagined that she would travel in something more than her modest Scooty. She till loved it, but the car seemed to evoke a feeling in her...a feeling that it was related to Maan.
"Oh just shut up," Geet told herself,"Why do you need to think so much about him?"
Deep within her heart she knew why, but she was not willing to bring that part to the surface.
She sat inside, shivering as a blast of air-conditioner hit her in the face. She was shivering more because of the driver though. After her recent experiences with men even a strange man could terrify her. In fact when she had first met Adi, she had told Pinky that she had to be careful of him.
Oh poor human heart, as Tagore had said. She would never forget her past. But she was trying. Unsuccessfully, but that could not be forgotten.
"It's so weird," she thought to herself, "It's been just like, half an hour since I left the Manchandas, but I've already started considering them to be my past. How am I going to face Pinky in office?"
As she wondered about different scenarios of confrontation. she never realised when the car reached the house. She craned her neck, looking for Savitri Aunty. Sure enough she was standing there, holding a thali in her hand.
Geet got out of the car and walked hesitantly. She stared at her surroundings, trying not to behave like she was another one of those people who walked by and lusted after the glamarous house. She looked here and there, expecting to see a shabby cottage.
I think the thali is for someone else, she decided.
She waved to Savitri. Savitri smiled and beckoned Geet towards her. Geet walked forward, looking uncomfortable.
"I believe in the fact that my bahu-err, guest is to be given the best treatment. Starting with my house."
"But I'm your emplo-" she was cut off by a motion of Savitri's hand. "Now is not the time for differentiating between employees and guests. Just stand here while I do your aarti."
Geet obliged, wondering whether Savitri was sleepwalking with open eyes. It seemed like it.
"Where's the outhouse, m'am?"
"Firstly call me Dadimaa, not m'am. Secondly, this is the outhouse," she said proudly, gesturing to the imposing mansion behind her.
Geet felt faint. If this was the outhouse, then what was the real house like?
A butler arrived and picked up Geet's bag and took it towards the house. Geet was about to let out a protest, but a look in Dadimaa's eyes told her she's better not argue.
After all she was Maan Singh Khurana's grandmother. She always got what she wanted.
The moment Geet stepped into the house, she was reminded of the horror shows Pinky watched every night. That grand haveli, with several rooms, but no occupants. She was sure if she called out her name it would be echoed.
After the butler left, Geet first looked around, and then she knew what she had to do.
Up the stairs she went, as if a real monster was after her. She noticed the butler had placed her luggage near a room. She went inside, and closed the doors and panted, feeling stupid, but safe at the same time.
And when she looked at the bed, she got the shock of her life as she could clearly see the silhouette of someone sleeping. With terror in her eyes she went forward and gently touched the blanket.
And like a jack-in-the-box, Maan Singh Khurana jumped up and screamed, the way he always did.
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