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Geet walked away after leaving the child safe with her father. Oh no Babaji! She said to herself exparatedly as she looked at her watch. She had wasted one hour doing nothing and only one more hour was left before the two musketeers would come and drag her away. She quickened her steps determined to get the full view before leaving.
As she was examining the handmade artistic carvings on the marble walls, she couldn't help but overhearing the conversation of a foreign couple standing close to her. They looked like people of status, with two guards surrounding them, but she didn't like the way their conversation was heading. "Isn't it quite a feat that a third world country like India has one of the seven wonders of the world? The people must be proud of the fact that they atleast have something to boast about", she told her husband.
"That's true! Actually I was quite skeptical about us visiting India after watching that film slum dog millionaire, seeing the violence and the pitiable state of people, but after coming here I don't feel India is that bad." The man replied. The lady nodded her head in agreement ,"but I would prefer living in any other country than India any day!".
"What's with these foreigners! Geet thought to herself angrily. Do they think that we Indians are living a worthless existence? Agreed that Slum dog millionaire portrayed India in a totally different light. Seeing that film anybody would think that India had nothing but slums. Even though it had gained world-wide fame, Indians were much better of without that kind of publicity. And why are these foreigners being so judgmental? It was high time someone knocked some knowledge into these people's high headed brains.
She went up to them and said," Excuse me Sir, Mam. I'm very sorry to have interrupted but I couldn't help overhearing your conversation. I just wanted to ask you, aren't you being biased on your opinions about our country, considering seeing a film and hearing some rumors here and there?"
"Well, since you started it, let me tell you, its not about being judgmental, but you cant blame us for having our own doubts listening to stories about how the foreign tourists are ill-treated, sometimes robbed or even raped. Though, of course I don't entirely put the blame on the people, illiteracy and poverty forces them to take such steps", the man replied confidently.
"Let me remind you sir, Indian economy is today one of the strongest economies in the world. Even when the world economy collapsed, the Indian economy was still stable. So, I don't think we are that poor as you make us out to be. And regarding the problems, foreign tourists face, I agree, that is a matter of serious concern. But what do you have to say to the racism adopted by them towards the Indians?"
"Well, it is your attitude which makes us behave like that. Don't get us wrong, but we feel Indians are very self centered people who would do anything to make themselves comfortable, thus leading to corruption at every level and making the other countries get an entirely wrong idea about India." The man shot back.
Geet started a new argument in answer to that and gradually the conversation started getting heated. The guards tried to interrupt them but to no avail. They tried shooing Geet away, but she did not budge. Fearing for their job knowing their boss, they decided to go to him better late than never
Maan was still trying to get in touch with his London branch office to find out how they were handling the new change, when the guards found him at the entrance and narrated the incident to him.
Listening to all this, Maan's fuse was getting ready to blow. He would deal with his worthless guards later, but first he needed to get there before his guests were offended. Dammit! The day which had started well seemed to be ending on a bad note (except for seeing that girl! His heart reminded). As he hurried to the spot, he heard the girl whose back was to Him saying, "It is high time foreigners changed their opinion about India. India has come a long way from virtually being robbed by the British till about 50 years ago. Today it is in par with all the powerful countries in the world"
This patriotic chit of a female was bent on ruining him,he fumed looking at the girl's back. Before the couple could retort to this, he intervened." Mr. Spencer, my apologies for keeping you waiting. A problem had occurred which needed my immediate attention. Shall we proceed?" he asked them without looking at the girl.
"Actually we were having a very interesting conversation with this young lady over here, who seems to have quite an opinion about her country. I'm sure you disagree, don't you?" Mr. Spencer asked Maan.
These whites surely knew how to put people in spots. Now he would have to answer something which would please them. After all they would bring him huge profits. And who cared what they thought of India. Different people had different opinions. How was not some national leader to change all their views. Random people like this girl could not and would not interfere in his dealings with their so called opinions." If you as my opinion, a country does not run on opinions alone. Most of the people only talk and talk, like men of words and never of deeds. If we practiced even half of what we preached, I don't think we would need to justify our case with anybody."
At that moment the girl turned towards him and he was once again left speechless as angry hazel eyes stared back at him. His first thoughts were, that he was hallucinating." Don't you think, the same applies to people who don't even preach, nor practice, simply stand aside and laugh with others. Provided their ends are met ,nothing else matters?" those eyes challenged him, jerking him back to reality. Well now, challenging him was never a wise thing to do.
Without looking at her, he addressed Charles he stated with attitude, " Please do not pay attention to such baseless talk. I agree with you. India still needs a lot of improvement to match up to international standards, but one specialty of India is that you get a lot of opinions and free advices, regardless of whether you want it or not. I suggest you not to bother about such kind of people. They are just jobless and tend to grab attention or impress the rich with such kind of patriotic stunts."
Geet had never felt so insulted in her whole life. Tears were pricking the back of her eyes. Did she look like somebody who would do cheap stunts to gain attention! She was simple having a healthy discussion before this overbearing man interfered. But ,she was Geet Handa. And who better than her, to show this man his right place.
"Well sir, I think I'm arguing a lost case. Cause the fault is not with you all. A doctor can cure others diseases, but what if he himself is diseased? If our own people are formed of such low opinion, then it is not worth blaming the others about their train of thoughts. Some people are just too egoistic and pig-headed, to come out of their shell and take in others perspective. Mother India must feel so unfortunate to hold such worthless people under her bossom. Anyways, you have a good day and enjoy your stay in India and I hope that you would have a pleasant experience whilst here." Saying which she walked away, leaving the couple smirking behind a fuming Maan.
So this angel had developed black wings! Well then, she didn't know, he was a devil in the making. Just what did she think, a mere human being like her could insult Maan Singh Khuraana and get away with it. He would find her, and when he found her, she would regret the very day she crossed paths with The Maan Singh Khuraana, he mused with an evil glint in his eyes''
"Just what does this Man think about himself? How dare he think about me in those terms? Attention seeker, Impressing the rich by my stunts? Chi Chi Babaji!" she said angrily to no one in particular as she narrated the entire incident to Meera and Pinky on their way back.
"Welcome to Delhi Geet. This is how mean some people can get in big cities. Nothing matters more to them than themselves. We know what you are, and you know what you are, so that stinking rat's opinion shouldn't matter in the least. Don't let that loser's words bother you " Pinky said consoling Geet.
"So true. I'm not going to spoil the remainder of the day and the next day thinking about that sadistic male. Lets have a fun day tomorrow shopping and relaxing. After all, we've got to join KC the next day." Geet chirped excitedly. The very thought of reporting to her first job brought a smile to her lips.
They spent the next day just shopping and relaxing, with Pinky daring to call KC and ask for a sick leave. As the sun set, Meera and Geet couldn't contain their excitement. Since sleep seemed an impossible task with all the excitement radiating out, they spent the night reliving their days in hoshiarpur, helping Pinky catch up with what she had missed after coming to Delhi'
those who are disappointed that Geet didnt notice Maan in THAT way, well there will be a lot of time for that in the later part of the story. If she too feels the intensity now, there wont be any fun. From here on, the story takes an intense mode, so please do leave your comments and let me know how you found this part.....
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