Joined: 14 October 2006
Two days later
Geet's cell rang early in the
morning. It was Rano calling them to wish them on the occasion of Diwali. Even
before she can wish her back, the door bell rang and Maan went to open the
door. Rano's driver was standing with a gift hamper filled with new clothes,
sweets and dry fruits sent by Rano for it was the first Diwali after her
daughter's marriage. She expressed her inability to personally make it
because Anwesha was having a particularly difficult time now that the baby's
head was engaged in the pelvis. Delivery may be anytime. So she did not want to
leave her side. Geet assured her that they will come to the Handa House and take
her blessings. She then passed on the cell to Maan who warmly wished his
mother-in-law and asked for Anwesha. On being told that she was still sleeping,
he repeated what Geet said about visiting them.
After breakfast they got dressed in the clothes sent by Rano and set out on the bike to the Handa House. Rano was waiting for them at the door. Geet hugged her mother and the two of them took her blessings. Maan then hurried to Anwesha's room, which was shifted to the ground floor so that she need not use the stairs. Geet was close on his heels. Maan sat on the bed next to his sister and held her hands. Anwesha said that she was fine although she was experiencing some discomfort in sitting or standing for long. She leaned against her brother who fondly kissed the top of her head and held her close. Geet was happy to see the strong bond between brother and sister. Arjun had just then come out of the shower and seeing Maan he rolled his eyes as if to say, 'So, YOU have come'. He then asked him in a sarcastic voice, "How's your job at the hotel going?" Maan merely nodded his head and looked away. Just then Arjun's cell rang and he went out to the portico to receive the call, not bothering to excuse himself from either Maan or Geet. Both Anwesha and Geet sensed the tension between the two men and wanting to avoid an unpleasant scene, Anwesha urged her brother to join in the puja. She then slowly ambled out of the room holding Geet's hand.
Rano was already waiting for them to join her at the puja room. They had an elaborate puja. Although Maan did not have any particular reverence for pujas, he took part in it actively, repeating the chants after Rano. His eyes, however, never left his wife's face, a fact which did not escape his sister's notice. Geet herself was unaware of the undivided attention she was getting from her husband since her eyes were closed in piety. Anwesha was happy to see her bhaiyya so in love with her bhabhi. As they finished the puja, Maan's cell rang and he explained to the women that he needed to immediately leave on some urgent work. Arjun came out just then to inform them that he too needed to attend to some urgent business. With both the men gone, Diwali meal was had by only the three women.
That evening after Geet returned from the nursing home having visited her father-in-law, Mrs.Shukla waited at her door with a big envelope in her hand. Despite Geet's efforts to ignore her, she literally barged into her house as soon as she opened it. Informing her that she has come to give her a Diwali gift, she thrust the cover in her hand and urged her to open it to see for herself her husband's true colours. Geet thrust the envelope back, saying that she is not interested in what she had to give her. Mrs.Shukla then slit the envelope open in her presence and taking out a photograph, a newspaper clipping and a Xerox copy of a letter, she shoved them in her hands. Geet looked down at the photo and saw her husband sitting with a gorgeous girl in what looked like a coffee shop. Looking at it confusion she lifted it to see a newspaper clipping. It was a news item in one of the prominent dailies. The date indicated that it was at least two years old. There was a picture inset of a group of skimpily clad girls and looking more closely she realised that one of the girls was the same one with Maan in the coffee shop. She looked at the caption which read "Bar dancers rounded up in a private farm house in the city's suburb." She then looked at the Xerox copy of the letter. It was a copy of Maan's termination letter. She looked at Mrs.Shukla in confusion.
Mrs.Shukla smirked and said that Maan had lost his job more than two weeks ago, in fact on the last day of the Navratri celebrations to be precise. The reason - he was encouraging a prostitution racket in the hotel he worked in. Even after losing his job, the guy has been staying out late because he was engaged in various extra-curricular activities. A sample of that was the photo of him with the bar dancer. After she finished spitting out all this venom, she looked at Geet's shocked face with a satisfied smile. She asked her to call him and ask where he was. When Geet did not respond, she snatched the cell from her hand and dialed his number. As soon as Maan came on line she thrust the cell in her hand and asked her to speak to him. Geet shakily put the cell to her ears and hearing his voice asked him where he was. He replied that he was at his hotel. There was an emergency at work and he will be back in about three hours or so. Geet told him she will be waiting for him and disconnected the call. Mrs.Shukla gleefully rubbed her hands. She has set the spark. Now all that remained is for the blast to take place in a matter of hours. What a Diwali celebration it is going to be! True to the festival, she has ensured that there will be fireworks in her neighbours' house. Conveying her deepest sympathies to Geet, she left her to wallow in confusion.
Once back in her own house, Mrs.Shukla called someone on her cell.
"It's done, Mr.Handa. I've accomplished the deed".
"Good, Mrs.Shukla. Thanks for everything," he smiled at the attractive model who was sitting on his lap.
"No problem, Mr.Handa. It is retribution time. That Maan Singh Khurana has to pay and I'll make sure he pays big time."
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