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Tum Kaun Ho?
A Maaneet Fan Fic
Nov. 5, 2010 8:30pm
Maan could barely contain himself from crumpling the paper in his hand, his anger was so acute. Here he was in his own room, drinking his coffee and reading the Investor's Business Daily, trying to wind down like he always did, and Nakul just had to disturb him. And for what was his night disturbed? For Handa.
Once again Nakul was asking for permission to drive Handa home. In the past, Maan had given permission without even much thinking about it. This time was different. This time he could feel his blood begin to boil. First she had dared to question his behavior and call him to task. Now she was taking advantage of him. He would have fired her after what she did Friday evening, except that she was such an efficient worker, and he had no intention of going through the processes of finding another assistant again. That did not mean that he would let her get away with anything.
"No, Nakul, you may not take Handa home. I might need you later."
"But, Chote Saab, it's late and..."
"That is not my problem. I don't ask Handa to stay late. If she does, that's her choice, but I don't pay overtime, and I don't grant favors."
"But, Chote Saab, how will she go home? She was counting on me."
"Let her call a cab. I pay her a good salary. She can certainly afford to take a taxi home. I absolutely do not see the need to send her home using one of my cars."
"Nakul, you've worked for this family since before I was born, but if you don't get out now, your job will be in serious jeopardy."
Nakul had been about to say that he doesn't use Maan's car but his own. As old and beat up as it was it still got the job done. He didn't say anything though, because he could tell that Maan was not going to listen. Leaving the room dejectedly, he made his way to the 1st floor.
"Are you ready, Nakul?" asked Geet, when she saw him come down the steps.
"Chote Saab wouldn't give me permission to leave, Geet Madam. He seemed angry for some reason. I don't know why."
Geet closed her eyes and let out a sigh. She was pretty sure that she new why. He was angry with her for confronting him last Friday. That was likely the reason he had given her so much work to do this week and that was likely why he wouldn't let Nakul take her home."
"Don't worry about it, Nakul. I can take the bus."
"But it's late and how will you manage with the package?"
"It's not that late and I can manage. It's less than a mile to the bus stop."
"Madam won't like it."
"That's why we're not going to tell her." Nakul got a stubborn look on his face and Geet knew she would have to stop him from bothering Dadi. "Nakul, promise me that you won't tell Dadi. Promise!"
Nakul didn't want to, but Geet finally extracted a promise from him. He then tried to convince Geet to call for a cab, but she didn't want to do that either. She just gave her usual excuse of the walk being good for her, and left the mansion. As she walked, she kind of wished she had phoned for a taxi, but she didn't want to pay the enormous fee it would cost. Ever since her schedule changed, she'd switched to using taxis instead of the bus, to come in the morning. It gave her more time, but a cab ride from W. Ohio St. to Kenilworth was not cheap. She didn't feel like paying again to go home at night.
As she stood at the bus stop waiting, she tried to think if there was another solution, but couldn't. Sunday was her only day off, and she always had too much to do to worry about shopping for household items. It made her life so much easier to order things online from sites like Amazon and Walmart, but she couldn't have things shipped to her own address. The likely hood of it not being stolen was about zero percent, so she had things shipped to the Khurana Mansion instead. In the past, she had asked Nakul to take her home whenever she had larger shipments arrive, that was much easier than trying to navigate riding the bus with a large box. But it seemed that now Maan was making an issue of that, just because he was angry with her.
"I suppose it could be worse. He could have fired me, in fact now that I think about it, I'm surprised that he didn't. Oh, well. No use worrying about it now, Geet. Here comes the bus."
Nov. 5, 2010 9:15pm
"Chote Saab, do you need anything more tonight?"
"No, Nakul you can go to bed."
"Goodnight, Chote Saab."
"Wait a minute. I've told you before, not to call me Chote Saab, call me Sir."
"Yes, Chote Saab."
Maan shook his head as Nakul left the room, saying to himself, "Some things never change."
Nakul was well used to Maan's rude behavior, but tonight really upset him. Nakul wasn't allowed to drive Geet home, because he might be needed. It had been almost an hour and he wasn't once called up to his chote saab's room, and now he was told to go to bed. Nakul suspected that Maan had never had any intention of calling him, he only wanted to cause Geet difficulties.
"I wish something would happen to change Chote Saab back to his old self."
Nov. 6, 2010 8:01 am
Maan spit out his morning coffee, and called loudly for Nakul. Nakul came running and was met with a very angry, "What is this?"
Nakul looked at the cup Maan was holding out towards him and said, "Coffee."
"No, this is not coffee! This is two day old bath water. I want to speak to the cook, right now!"
"Geet Madam isn't here."
"Of course Handa isn't here, it's a Saturday. Why would she be here? I wasn't asking for her, I was asking for the cook."
"Nakul? Nakul?" Both Nakul and Maan turned their heads towards the voice they heard, seeing Dadi walk into the dining room. "Nakul, have you seen Geet? I can't seem to find her."
"No, Madam. Geet Madam isn't here yet. She didn't call, and I tried to call her phone, but got no answer."
Dadi looked very confused. "That isn't like her at all. I wonder what's happened?"
"Dadi, where's GT?" asked JD, coming into the room in his pajamas, rubbing his eyes with his fist. "Why didn't she get me up?"
"Oh, um...Beta, Geet is just delayed a bit. You go watch cartoons, okay?" JD walked away, still rubbing his eyes, while Dadi turned back to Nakul. "Nakul, I'm starting to worry. Was there any problem last night when Geet left?"
Maan was fuming at the fact that he was being ignored by both Dadi and Nakul. He angrily burst out with, "If you two will stop this drama about Handa, and tell me where the cook is, I can be on my way."
"That's what I've been telling you, Chote Saab. Geet Madam isn't here."
Maan finally started to grasp the meaning behind Nakul's words, and asked disbelievingly, "You're not telling me that Handa is the cook?" Shaking his head, he answered his own question with, "That's impossible."
"Maan, Geet has been in charge of the kitchen for over a year. Almost from the time Mrs. Gupta moved."
"You've got to be kidding."
"Chote Saab, you remember how difficult it was to find someone to replace Mrs. Gupta. You didn't like any of the chefs, and we went through at least 20 replacements before I couldn't find anyone who wanted to apply any more. Geet Madam took over and you liked her coffee and food so much, you told me you didn't care who it was, I should see that they stayed."
Even though he could see his grandmother nodding in agreement, Maan couldn't make sense of what he was being told. Deciding to leave that for a moment, he asked, "Whatever, I don't get why you all are so worried about where she is."
"Maan, Geet would never be so irresponsible as to not let us know if she couldn't come. She knows how sensitive JD is."
"What does JD have to do with it?"
For the first time Dadi really looked at Maan closely, beginning to wonder if something was wrong with him. "Maan, are you feeling alright? You do remember that Geet takes care of JD when she's not working as your assistant?"
"Maan," said Dadi sternly, "I don't know what's wrong with you, but I know that you know this. Remember how concerned you were about a nanny being able to function as your assistant, when I suggested Geet as a temporary replacement last August?"
At Dadi's words, Maan could vaguely remember a conversation about Geet Handa's qualifications, and Dadi emphasizing the fact that she could speak English, Hindi, French and Spanish, and that if she didn't work out, at least he would have someone to help while he tried to find someone more permanent. Handa had proved to be so capable and efficient, that he forgot all about it. If he had thought about it, he would have supposed that Dadi would hire another nanny for JD. He said as much to her.
Dadi could tell from his tone that he was upset, and knowing her grandson she had an idea what was bothering him. "Maan, what is your problem if Geet has another job besides working as your assistant? She herself insisted on being paid only for the hours she actually takes care of JD, and that was before she even started working for you. If you're going to give me another lecture on not allowing employees to take advantage, I don't want to hear it. The more important thing is to find out what has happened to Geet, and why she isn't here yet."
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