Joined: 14 October 2006
Here is the sequel to my fanfic "Strangers", the tale of the extraordinary and unconditional love of a man for his wife and her baby.
For those who have not read the fanfic, here is the link:
Strangers- The sequel
Fifteen and a half years later
"Ishan, give it to me now," she demanded, chasing her 10-year old brother around the house. The boy was too fast for her as he sped down the stairs with her make-up set in his hand. He dashed into the kitchen and tried to hide behind his mother.
She came running after him and panting in front of her mother she complained to her, "Mama, Ishan has taken my make-set and is not returning it to me. I have to get ready in the next half-hour for the farewell party for our seniors at school. Ask him to return it back to me."
"Mama, tell her not to paint herself. I don't like it," Ishan had his own demands.
"I don't care what you like or dislike. You are not my father, my husband or my boy-friend to tell me what I should do or not do." With her arms around her hips she yelled back at her brother who was bending behind his mother's back and peeping over her shoulder. Turning to her mother she complained, "Look at him, Mama. He's constantly interfering in my affairs. Ask him to mind his own business."
Geet looked from one kid to the other and sighed. "I think my hair will all turn grey trying to settle your fights. Ishan, hand over your sister's make-up set to her."
"But Mama...," he tried to protest.
"Do as I say. You cannot go around taking things that do not belong to you," she said firmly. Her son meekly handed the make-up set to his sister. "And Sahana, go a little light on the make-up. God has gifted you with enough natural beauty so you don't need these cosmetics to enhance it."
Sahana nodded her head, although not too happily and walked up to her room.
"Ishan, have you finished your homework?" asked Geet.
He shook his head in the negative. "Go on. Go finish it or you'll not be allowed to go out and play." Ishan hurried to his study room lest his mother carries out her threat.
Maan came in early that evening as he had promised to drive his daughter to school for the party. Loosening his tie, he bent to kiss his wife tenderly on her lips.
"So how's the queen of my heart doing?" he asked pleasantly.
"Your kids are giving me a headache," she complained.
He smiled at that and pulling her to the nearby sofa, he sat by her side.
"I'll take care of that in a jiffy," he said and pulling her down on his lap he held her temples between his thumb and middle finger and massaged her head.
"How's that, now?" he asked.
Geet closed her eyes and wordlessly conveyed her contentment in a long, "Mmmmmmm."
Just then their daughter came down the stairs in a micro-mini narrow skirt which fell well above her thighs and a halter neck blouse with a plunging neckline. Maan's mouth gaped at the sight of his sixteen-year old in such a revealing outfit. Geet who sensed him tensing up opened her eyes and jerked up straight. She was relieved that her father-in-law wasn't in the house that day. He had gone to visit his sister in Mumbai for a month. Had he been around the poor old man would have died of a heart attack, seeing his darling granddaughter clad in this manner.
"Sahana, you can't wear THAT to the party. By the way where did you get that dress? I had not bought it for you."
"Mama, it is Cheryl's dress. She lent it to me. I didn't have anything appropriate to wear to the party."
"You call THAT appropriate???" Geet's voice was gradually on the rise.
Sensing that there was going to be a big show-down between mother and daughter, Maan held Geet's arm to silence her and smiling at his daughter he said,
"Darling, that surely looks like an interesting outfit but are you sure you want to wear that for the party?"
"Why Papa, don't you like it?" asked Sahana cheerfully and twirled around so that he can have a good look at her.
Maan did not answer her immediately but instead asked her whether she felt comfortable in it.
"For instance, say you drop something down in the party. What would you do?"
"I'll bend down and pick it up."
"Try bending down in this dress."
She bent down and noticed how her cleavage was showing through the neckline. Embarrassed, she pulled the neck of the top together. She looked behind and saw her backside up in the air, her panties showing. She quickly straightened up, her face flaming red.
"Darling, you may think that this outfit makes you look hip but see how uncomfortable you are in it. Moreover, the dress would only attract the wrong kind of attention. You wouldn't want the guys to think you are easy to get, would you?"
She shook her head in the negative.
"I understand that this is your first big party and you like to look attractive in it. But there is a very fine line between what looks fashionable and what looks cheap. Believe me darling, being a man myself, I can say that most guys respect and admire a girl who is tastefully and smartly dressed rather than one who is barely dressed."
Sahana looked crestfallen. Walking up to her he put his arm around her shoulder "Now, don't lose heart. We'll find just the right dress for you, shall we?" he asked and escorted her to her room. Opening her wardrobe he took out a well fitted knee length wine red sleeveless dress with a sweet heart neck line, trim waist and a flair. Sahana silently took it from him and went in to change into it. When she returned he asked her if she felt comfortable in it. She twirled, making the flair of the dress swish around her knees and smiled a big yes. She then leaned in and kissed his cheek, thanking him for helping her choose the right dress to wear to the party. He lent her his arm and she linked hers in his.
"Shall we go now?" he asked her and she nodded enthusiastically.
Seeing father and daughter come down the stairs, Geet smiled at them proudly.
Later that night as they lay in bed together, Geet, basking in the afterglow of a loving and intense union with her husband, asked him how he managed to handle his teenage daughter so well. Maan smiled and kissing her forehead said that he goes by pure instinct of a father who cares deeply for the well-being of his daughter and she, in turn, understands and appreciates him for that. Geet kissed his chest and said how lucky they were to have him in their lives to which he responded that he was the lucky one.
Around the same time nearly 4,450 miles away in an apartment in upmarket London Dev had just returned from work to be greeted by his lovely wife, Neha with a kiss. She handed him an invitation with an Indian postmark. Dev did not have to open it to know who it was from. He could recognise Maan's bold strokes any day. Taking the envelope, he asked her, "Where are the kids?"
"They are playing with the Gladstone kids," she replied.
Without waiting to change his clothes he ripped the envelope open. Inside was a card, a letter and a couple of photographs. He first looked at the photographs. One was a solo picture of his daughter and the other a family photograph of the Khuranas. His daughter had grown into a stunningly beautiful teenager.
"She would be sixteen next month," he muttered to himself and opened the card. It was a printed invitation to attend the sixteenth birthday party of Sahana Khurana. Reading the surname pricked his heart but he soon overcame the feeling and flipped open the single sheet of letter and read the letter written in Maan's hand.
Our daughter is turning sixteen next month. I am sure you are aware of it. I have a humble request to you. Can you make it to our place with your family to celebrate this special occasion with us? We would love to have you. It would give us an opportunity to meet your family too.
With warm regards,
Maan & Geet (Geet had signed her name)
The children would have their summer vacation then, so it should not be a problem visiting India, he thought. Ever since he had come to London over fifteen years ago he has not visited his home country even once. As soon as he landed in London he came to know that Maan had made arrangements for his accommodation as a paying guest with one of his acquaintances, the Kapoors. He finally ended up marrying their daughter, Neha who had relentlessly pursued him from the beginning. His melancholic and mysterious looks had always intrigued the ravishingly beautiful girl and she tried to get him to open up. It was not an easy task, for Dev preferred to keep his problems to himself. He had tried to politely dissuade her overtures but the girl was not one to easily give up. She waited on him hand and foot, cooking for him, cleaning for him and generally following him around. She finally succeeded in prying him open when on one emotional day he let out all his feelings and shared with her his past. Her love and admiration for him grew when she came to know the extent of his sacrifice for the sake of the woman he loved. Dev was hesitant to open his heart to another woman after being so badly hurt in love, but gradually he softened towards her.
When her father offered his daughter's hand in marriage, he had reluctantly agreed although he was not really in love with her then. Living with his wife and getting to know her more closely, he slowly but steadily fell for her beauty and goodness till he was as completely in love with her as she was with him. As symbols of their deep love for each other they have a pair of ten-year old twin, Sanaya and Sanjay and a seven-year old boy, Abhay in the twelve years that they have been married. But he always had a special place for his first born, Sahana, in his heart. As if understanding his sentiments, Maan had been regularly sending him pictures of his daughter. Once Sahana learnt to write, he started receiving letters from her addressed to her Dev Uncle, describing her life to him. He always responded to her letters promptly. Now there was an opportunity to meet her in person. While a part of him was eager to meet her, another part of him was apprehensive of the meeting and the effect it would have on all their lives.
That night after making love with his wife, he gently broached the subject of Maan's invitation to Sahana's birthday party, wondering how she would react. Contrary to his expectation, his wife was thrilled to hear about it and started excitedly making plans.
"Dev, we'll go shopping tomorrow and buy a lot of gifts for your daughter-- all the things she loves -- jeans, t-shirt, costume jewellery, mathematical game CDs.."
"Wait, wait, wait...how do you know she loves all these things?" he asked in surprise.
She bent her head and admitted in a low voice to reading the letters Sahana wrote to her husband."I am sorry, Dev."
"Shh... no sorries between us, remember?" he said softly and lifted her face to capture her lips in his. Soon the kiss turned more passionate and he rolled over to demonstrate the extent of his love for his woman who was large hearted enough to so joyfully accept her husband's daughter.
One month later
Maan waited at the airport to receive Dev and his family. He had called Geet and told her that he will pick them up from the airport on his way back home and asked her to make all the arrangements to house them. He heard that their flight has landed and yet there seemed to be no sign of them. The last people to come out were a family of five. The woman, who was stunningly beautiful, had a small boy in her arms. Alongside her was a slightly plump tall gentleman in dark shades. The two of them were preceded by two young children who were pushing together the trolley with their luggage. As there was still no sign of Dev, Maan wondered whether he had missed his flight and turned to leave when he felt a hand on his shoulder.
"Maan, are you not going to take us to your home?" asked Dev genially.
Maan turned around in shock and stared at the gentleman in shades.
"Dev? Wow, I did not recognise you. Man, have you put on some weight there!"
"Don't all Indians do when they go abroad?" retorted back Dev. "By the way, this is Neha my wife. Her excellent Punjabi culinary skills are also to be blamed for my physical transformation. And these are Sanaya and Sanjay, the twins and Abhay, my little boy," he introduced his family.
Maan shook hands with all of them and wheeled the trolley to his car, loading the luggage in the trunk. On the way to Khurana Mansion, Maan caught up with Dev's life in London.
Ishan opened the door to them and seeing Neha with a sleeping Abhay on her shoulders, his mouth gaped open.
"Mama, come soon. Katrina Kaif has come to our house!"
Geet who was setting the table for dinner looked up and asked, "Katrina who?"
Hearing his shouts Sahana came out from inside her room and was stunned to see the woman at the door. She did bear a striking resemblance to Katrina Kaif but what would a bollywood actress do at their house, particularly with a small child in her arms?
Ishan continued, "Katrina Kaif, the actress!"
"Shut up Ishan. She is not Katrina Kaif," yelled back Sahana as she came down the stairs.
In the meantime Geet hurried to the door where a smiling Neha fondly pinched the cheeks of Ishan, who still could not get over the fact that a famous actress had come to their home.
"Yes?" she prompted the visitor to identify herself.
Before she could respond she caught sight of a healthy looking Dev who had joined his wife and son, holding the hands of the twins.
"Dev! My, have you changed!" she exclaimed and gave him a bear hug. Ishan looked at his mother in confusion.
"Geet, meet my wife, Neha. Neha, this is Geet, my childhood friend. And these here are my children, Sanaya, Sanjay and Abhay."
Sahana came slowly towards them and Dev's eyes left Geet's to catch sight of his daughter. Seeing his stunningly beautiful daughter, he felt a lump in his throat. Maan who had joined them after parking his car looked over Dev's shoulder at his daughter and said, "Sahana, this is your Dev uncle."
Sahana's face lit up and she rushed to shake his hands and hug him.
"Are we going to stand at the entrance like this all night?" asked Maan.
Geet apologised and escorted the visitors in. Maan handed his car keys to the driver, Prabhu, asking him to bring in the luggage from the trunk.
The children got introduced to each other and Ishan and Sahana took them to their respective rooms. Extra beds were fitted in the kids' rooms so that the boys can crash in with Ishan and Sanaya with Sahana. Maan and Geet took Dev and Neha to their guest room. After the visitors had showered, they all sat down to have their dinner. The children were in animated conversation with each other, all trying to speak at the same time. Geet's pleas asking them to first finish their dinner before chatting fell on deaf ears. Maan asked Geet to let them be. After a noisy dinner, the children rushed to their rooms to play while the grown-ups caught up with old times.
It was close to midnight before they all turned in. Dev and Neha first checked on their boys, kissing them good night and switching off their lights so that they go to sleep. When they came to the girls' room they found that they were already asleep. Dev stood by the door and stared at his daughter's face lit up in the moon light. Neha laid her hand on his shoulder and pressed understandingly. Not wanting to give in to his feelings, he turned around and smiling at her, he held her waist and led her to their bedroom.
Maan was in the kitchen helping his wife clean up. When they were done he linked his arms around her waist and pulled her to him.
"Darling, you are sure about this, aren't you? There would be no turning back after tomorrow."
"Yes, I am. Sahana deserves to know the truth. She is old enough to understand. I hope she will forgive her mother," she said her eyes filling up fast.
"Hey, don't cry baby. Everything will be alright. We will make sure it is. Sahana loves you and will always love you, no matter what. Come on, give me one of those charming smiles that captured my heart!"
She smiled through
her tears and he lifted her in his strong arms, taking her to their room amidst
her protests that somebody may see them.
Part 4:=> Here
Part 5:=> Here
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Joined: 14 October 2006
Joined: 14 October 2006
Joined: 14 October 2006
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