Joined: 14 October 2006
The next four weeks were very hectic for both of them, particularly for Geet who had to wrap up her new album. The first album had hardly taken three weeks to wrap up mainly because she was the solo singer and all the spade work was already done for it, not to mention the Democles sword of the wrath of the sheikh hanging over their heads, waiting to fall on them had they not finished it on time for Noor's birthday. This one though has been dragging for over three months now. The album featured several duets with Kunal Mehra which was also more time consuming since the guy always delayed the recording either by turning up late or singing in an unsynchronized manner, making her repeat every song at least a dozen times. Since the guy was the son of the producer of the album, nothing much could be done. They could have recorded their voices separately and mixed it at the time of rerecording but the music director was particular that they both sang together for the effect to be good.
Geet returned home late from work every other night and was perennially exhausted and irritable. Her face wore a perpetual look of worry and anxiety, morning as well as night. She shunned Maan's advances in bed, citing fatigue as the reason. Although Maan was disappointed, he did not say anything for he was not one to impose himself on his wife.
That morning Maan was in a hurry for work. He yelled out for his socks and Geet made a face and asked him to find it himself as she was running late for the shooting of the music video and she still had not had her bath. Maan was shocked by the behavioural changes he had been noticing in his wife for some time now. He would not have dreamt that his sweet natured wife can be so rude to him. Putting it down to overwork, he meekly went to the cupboard and rummaged through the drawers, hunting out the socks, himself. As she came out of the shower, he volunteered to drop her off at the studio before going to work. She merely nodded her head absent mindedly and quickly slipped into her salwar kameez. He asked her why she was not wearing sarees these days to which she snapped whether she had no choice in wearing the clothes she likes. Maan was hurt by her sharp counter-query. He hurried to assure her that she can wear whatever clothes she wants. Before leaving Geet gave instructions to Krishna kaka, who had just then entered in, on what food to give Baba during the day and she caught up with Maan at the parking lot.
En route to the studio, they maintained a stoic silence. Geet looked highly disturbed by her own behaviour. She started to whimper and Maan turned to her in alarm. Stopping the car by the side of the road, he asked her what was the problem. When she continued to sniff, he lifted her face and looked into her brimming eyes. She pushed his hand away and brusquely asked him to reach her to the studio soon. Having no choice, he restarted the car and drove to the studio. As soon as she reached the studio, she got off, rubbed her eyes dry and headed towards the entrance door. On the way, she was met by Kunal Mehra who greeted her with a broad smile and lightly placed his hand on her back as he led her in. From his car Maan noticed the tall, fair, suave and clean shaven man touching his wife and felt a jab of jealousy. Suppressing it, he left for his hotel as he had an important meeting to attend that day.
That night, when he returned late from work, Baba had already retired to bed. He had his dinner with Geet in silence, preoccupied in some thought. Geet too remained quiet although her face was lined with worry and she looked like she wanted to say something a couple of times. After they went to bed and the lights were switched off, Geet finally summed up the courage to tell Maan what was troubling her mind the entire day.
"Maan!" she whispered.
"Mmmm," he grunted.
"I want to tell you something," she said hesitatingly and amidst sobs she recounted what had transpired that day.
The producers of her new album wanted her to shoot for
a music video which will feature one of the duets songs from the album.
Although the song will mainly feature two hot new models, Mrinalini and Druv,
she will have to make an appearance with her co-singer for about two minutes of
the song, wearing a western outfit. She tried hard to wriggle out
of wearing one, saying that she was not comfortable in such clothes,
but the producers cited clauses in her contract which stipulated that she needs
to abide by whatever conditions they place. Geet was shocked that she had
got herself into such a mess due to her failure to read the fine print of the
Left with no choice, she settled for the least revealing of the
dresses they asked her to choose from. It was a maroon sleeveless dress which
fell just above her knees. Feeling very self conscious in it, she tentatively
walked to the recording theatre where her co-singer was waiting for her. Seeing
her, he whistled appreciatively, causing her cheeks to flame up in
embarrassment. She just wanted the whole thing to be over fast and asked them
to go ahead with the shoot. The director asked them to face each other and look
deeply into each other's eyes while singing into the mikes they were holding in
their hands. Geet did as she was told, although she felt weird looking into
Just as she completed the song, Kunal leaned over and placing his hands on her waist, he kissed her cheek. Initially shocked by his act, she recovered soon to give him a tight slap across his cheek. The director called for a cut of the scene and tried to appease her but she ran out of the studio in tears. The producers tried to call her up many times during the day but she refused to answer their calls.
End of recollection
Wiping her tears, she said in a remorseful tone, "I'm sorry Maan, I wore that short dress, knowing that you hate such dresses. I am also sorry for not anticipating Kunal's kiss so that I could move away before he got an opportunity to kiss me. I have finished recording all my songs for this album but I don't wish to continue my singing career. It is a big bad world out there, Maan. I don't think I fit in there."
She expected him to say something...anything but he remained silent. She was willing to bear the brunt of his fury but his non-responsive state got her worried.
"Maan!" she called.
After a pause she heard the rhythmic snoring of her husband. It is only then she realised that he had slept right through her entire monologue and had not heard a single word of it. Resolving to try again the next morning, she tried to sleep but the day's events left her deeply disturbed.
The next morning Geet got a call on her cell while Maan was having his bath. It was the director of the music video. Although she did not want to attend it, she knew he would be pestering her through the day. She decided to give him a piece of her mind and picking the cell up she told him in no uncertain terms that she will proceed against the company for sexual harassment. He begged her not to make a big issue of what happened yesterday. He assured her that the shot of Kunal kissing her was not part of the act and was, therefore, cut and will not be used in the video. He also told her that he had spoken to Kunal's father, the producer of the album and he too admonished his son for taking such liberties with her. He then congratulated her on the excellent performance and hoped to work with her again. Just then Maan came out of his shower and enquired who was on the line. Geet cut the line and told him it was the director of the music video who called up to congratulate her for her performance the previous day. At the mention of the album his face darkened and he brusquely enquired about her co-singer.
"Kunal?' she asked in a small voice.
"Yeah, Kunal. How is he?" He asked sceptically.
"He.. He is .." she stuttered, wondering how to tell him about what happened the previous day.
"I do not like him." He said abruptly.
Geet looked at him surprised, wondering about his sudden animosity towards him. Maan looked positively miffed as he continued, "I hated it when he touched your back yesterday in the pretext of escorting you inside. Shameless fellow, touching another man's wife. Warn him to keep his hands to himself if he wanted to stay alive."
Geet was alarmed at Maan's extreme reaction to another man's light touch on her back. If he comes to know the guy actually had the impudence to kiss her, he will go berserk. She knew that narrating the previous day's incident would only precipitate the situation and Maan may land in jail for assault and battery. She did not want that at any cost. Moreover, the director had assured her that the shot was removed from the video. As to her short dress, she will tell him about it when he was in a better mood. Hopefully he does not throw a tantrum over it. Right now she has to assure him that everything was fine.
"Maan, Kunal is just my co-singer and he knows I am a married woman. He will not take liberties with me. In any case my recording for the album and the music video is over."
Maan merely nodded and went to have his breakfast. While serving his breakfast, Geet kept checking his expressions and realised he was still in a foul mood. She hoped that he cools down soon. After breakfast, he lightly brushed her cheek in a good bye kiss and hurried out.
At the hotel, he got busy with his work and had put Kunal temporarily out of his mind. Around noon, Mr.Bansal came to see him. The guy had been shifted from housekeeping to entertainment three months back. Apart from overseeing the music and cultural events they put up every evening for their guests, his responsibility also included selecting the music videos which were to be played in the large screen high definition television kept in the lobby.
"Sir, I have got a great music video to be played in our lobby area. It is still to be released. The producer has agreed to allow us to show a preview to our guests for his own sales promotion. Actually it is from your wife's latest album and features your wife too. Would you like to watch it, Sir?"
Although Maan was very busy, he agreed to take a look since he was interested to see his wife's performance.
As Mr.Bansal inserted the DVD into the player, he cunningly smiled. Finally he will get his reward from Arjun for he is about to unleash a catastrophe in his brother-in-law's life. He had got the DVD from the cameraman who had shot the video. The man was his distant cousin. When he found out that he was working for the company which had signed up his boss's wife, he had asked him to give him a copy of the video that had Geet's song. When he got the first cut, he never dreamt that he will get such a bonanza. His cousin was clever. He had edited out the shot where Geet slaps the guy. He also had taken unusual close-ups of Geet's and Kunal's faces which highlighted their deep gazing. Mr.Bansal was sure that with a little prompting from him, Maan will see what he wanted him to see.
The song started off pretty innocently with the two
models jiving and swaying to the music. As the song came towards the
conclusion, Maan stiffened to see Geet and Kunal on the screen. His ears
turned red when he saw Geet in the short sleeveless dress. Seeing his
reaction, Mr.Bansal decided to fuel his anger by exclaiming how lovely his wife
looked in western clothes and how shapely her legs and arms were. Maan turned
and gave him a stare which would have scorched him. Pretending not to notice,
he continued about how handsome Kunal looked and what a great pair they made on
screen. He could literally hear Maan grit his teeth. Not wanting to be
thrashed, the man hurriedly apologised and said that he did not look as great
with Geet as his boss did with her. Maan turned his attention back to the video
and was shocked to see his wife deeply gazing into her co-singer's eyes and the
guy returning it with lust clearly written on them. His temper which was
already on the rise, hit the roof when he saw the man lean in and kiss HIS wife
on her cheek. He got up with a start and rushed to the DVD player.
Stopping the DVD and ejecting it, he broke it in two with his knee and threw it
aside. Still blazing in anger, he left the place. Mr.Bansal smirked to see his
plan work so effectively.
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