Joined: 14 October 2006
Geet had a nice experience shopping for the wedding clothes with Dadi. The boutique, which specialized in wedding attire, was the best in the city. Maan had called the manager of the shop earlier to warn him not to quote any prices to Geet, lest she considers the stuff too expensive and refuses to buy anything. Dadima helped Geet select a beautiful brocaded crimson lehenga choli. The salesgirl took her measurements and promised to deliver the dress that evening after making the necessary alterations. As Maan was too busy at work, he had asked Geet to select his clothes for him. She picked up an off-white sherwani with exquisite embroidery work but was apprehensive whether he would like it and voiced it when he called to ask how the shopping was progressing. Maan assured her that he would be only too glad to wear what she had chosen for him.
Geet's dress arrived that evening after the alterations and she wore it in order to show it to Dadima when Maan returned from work and caught his beautiful bride-to-be in all her splendour. Hearing his whistle of appreciation, Dadi shooed him away saying it was inauspicious for the groom to see his bride in her wedding clothes before marriage. Although Maan did not believe in such superstitions, he respected her opinion and left the room.
The next morning at the office Geet barely managed to settle in her seat when Maan called her to his cabin. As she walked in, she saw Maan pace up and down with a file in his hand. As soon as he saw her, he angrily threw the file on the desk and asked her for an explanation for it. Slowly lifting the file she read through the document, her eyes widening in shock.
"What is the meaning of this, Ms.Handa?" he spat out angrily. "The inordinate delay in executing this project has caused a loss of Rs.50 crore to this company. Our client has also threatened to proceed against us legally for the deviations which were made in the original plan without consulting with him."
Geet was for a moment stunned to see Maan so furious with her. Checking the date of the project, Geet realised that the project had commenced long before she had joined the company. She knew he was aware of it as well. Then why was he accusing her? As if he read her mind Maan continued, "You may take shelter in the fact that work related to this project had begun before you joined my company but you were supposed to keep track of all our ongoing projects and bring it to my notice if there was some problem in any of them. You did say that you will not give me reason to point a finger at your professionalism, didn't you? Now don't you think it was laxity on your part not to have brought this to my attention that things were going wrong with this project well before they reached this stage? I want you to assume responsibility for this and submit your resignation letter immediately."
She stared at him in disbelief. Was this the same Maan who had been sweetness personified in the past couple of weeks? Was it the same man who was compassionate and helpful to the extent of assuming the responsibility of her pregnancy? How could he be so unreasonable all of a sudden? While one part of her revolted at the injustice meted out to her, the larger part of her felt too hurt to be angry. Her disappointment in him was so overwhelming she did not have the will to fight. All she wanted to do is to run away from him and cry her heart out in the privacy of her cabin. Quickly blinking back her tears, she rushed out from there.
If she had lifted her eyes and looked at him she would have noticed the pain in his eyes. It took all his will power to keep from running behind her and dragging her into his arms. As the minutes ticked by he waited patiently for her reappearance. He had read her well. He knew she will not defend herself or beg for the job. Her self-respect would not allow her to do so. As he had expected, she came in within fifteen minutes, her resignation letter in her hand. She slammed it on the desk and said that she will vacate the outhouse too by that evening. Without waiting for his response she left his cabin as quickly as she came in. She briskly walked out of his office premises, a cardboard carton in her hands holding her belongings, with Sasha and Tasha smirking behind her. Maan who had followed her out of his cabin noticed the expressions on the two women's faces and was lost in thought for a couple of seconds. Gathering his bearings, he then rushed behind Geet who had already taken the lift down. Maan scampered down the stairs and reached the lift door just as it opened and Geet stepped out. Geet gave him a stern look and quickly walked passed him.
"Geet, wait," Maan called out to her. At first she tried to ignore him but he persisted.
Turning back, she cast her flaming eyes at him, "What do you want now, Mr. Khurana?"
"I am Maan, not Mr.Khurana. Remember, we are on first name basis outside office?"
She did not say anything. Ignoring her silence he continued, "Badri will drop you home. I'll meet you after work this evening at the outhouse. And you are not going anywhere. There is something I want to give you."
She couldn't believe her ears. Was the guy out of his mind? He throws her out of her job and then says that he wants to give her something?
"What do you want to give me? Some more dose of your ill-temper? Haven't you humiliated me enough for a day? Well, you cannot make me stay against my will. I'll be gone by then."
He seemed like he was about to say something, but stopped himself and shook his head.
"Look Geet. You may no longer be my secretary but you are still my fiance. In less than four days you are going to be my wife. Can I not meet you and give you something in that capacity?"
"Oh, so you do remember that I am your fiance? What makes you think that I would still want to marry you after the way you treated me?"
Maan gave a lopsided smile and said pompously, "You will marry me Miss.Geet Handa because, no matter what, you cannot help but love me."
Before she could retort, he turned his back and returned to his office without turning around.
"I'm leaving Maan. I'm leaving for good. Do you hear me?" she yelled back but to no avail. He was gone by then.
Soon his black Mercedes glided near her side. The driver got out to take the box from her hands and stash it in the trunk of the car. Geet mutely watched him and cursing under her breath, she took her seat at the back.
"Dusht Dhanav" she muttered to herself.
"Did you say something, madam," asked Badri, innocently.
She shook her head and asked him to take her home soon. She hated how Maan always managed to get his way with her but not this time, she thought to herself. She will teach him a lesson. She will leave before he arrives home and make him search for her in desperation. 'But where will I go?' she wondered and was determined to find a place.
When she reached home, she hurried inside and searched for the morning newspaper. She flipped the pages to the classified section and skimmed through it before she found what she was looking for. She circled an ad offering a single room paying guest accommodation. She called up the number given in it and found out that the place was available. She was told that they would require her to pay six months' rent in advance which worked out to Rs.30,000. Although the rates were stiff, she decided to take it and went to the bank to withdraw the money. Before she issued the withdrawal slip, she checked her balance and nearly fainted hearing the figure in her account. Asking the teller to print the entries, she skimmed through them and her eyes widened when she saw that Rs.1,60,000 was credited to her account on the day after she went shopping with Maan and she told him that he needs to pay her the amount she saved by buying the saree he was gifting her from a less fancy shop. But then the amount she had demanded was only Rs.16,000. Presuming that there was some mistake, she called up Adi to cross verify.
"Adi, Sir. This is Geet."
"Geet, how are you?" asked Adi. "I was away to meet one of the clients and when I come back I hear that Maan Sir had shouted at you and you have resigned your job. I thought you guys were getting married. What's up, yaar."
"I don't want to talk about it, Adi Sir. " said Geet, her voice breaking as she felt a large lump in her throat.
Recovering herself she asked him, "Adi, Sir, there is something I want clarified. Why has one lakh sixty thousand rupees been credited to my account? Have you added an extra zero by oversight?"
"No, Geet. It was no oversight. I received a chit from Maan Sir to credit the amount into your account. Since the amount was large I cross checked with him and he himself confirmed the figure."
"But why has he given me so much money?" she asked puzzled.
"How would I know, Geet? I am just an ordinary accountant doing my job. How can I question my boss? You should ask him, for after all you are his fiance."
She promised to do so and replaced the receiver thoughtfully. Maan's behaviour thoroughly baffled her. On the one hand he chucks her out of her job for a mistake she did not commit and on the other, he showers her with his generosity. While he seemed to want her in his personal life, he was pushing her away from his professional life. Now what could be the reason for this dichotomous behaviour? She tried to call Maan several times during the day but was told by Pinky that he was in a meeting and has left instructions not to be disturbed. Although this frustrated her, she decided that she will not leave the outhouse till she gets a satisfactory answer from him and she waited for him impatiently.
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