Chapter 23: Pudhu Pudhu
Arthangal (Newfound Meanings)
Arjun walked into the
room silently, his eyes red and swollen from continuous crying. He saw Geet,
her face pale and drained, while her body lay limp on the hospital bed. The
girl who couldn't sit in one place for few seconds, the lively and bubbly Geet
was now stuck on the hospital bed, unconscious and motionless. Seeing her
condition, his tears again flowed freely. He walked towards the bed and took
her hands assuring she was there before him. Her hands felt cold and hard. He
clasped both his hands and tried rubbing her hand to get rid of the coldness.
He let his tears fall freely on her hands, brought her hands near his face, and
leaned his forehead on her hands. He felt her fingers move a little with his
touch and looked at her. Although she was still unconscious she seemed to feel
his touch. He heard the door creak open and he saw Maan walk in, quietly
closing the door behind him. He walked slowly towards the bed while constantly
looking at Geet. Arjun wondered if Geet knew the person who saved her and
before he could ask, he saw her stir a little.
Geet's eyes fluttered
open slightly. She squinted her eyes, trying to adjust to the dim light of the
room. She first saw Maan enter the room somberly and then she felt someone
holding her hands tightly. She shifted her gaze to find Arjun staring back
lovingly at her, his eyes filled with tears. She tried to remember what
happened and how she ended up in the strange room filled with monitors and
machines. The last thing she remembered seeing Maan in the bazaar and him
screaming her name when she felt a sharp pain on her shoulder. After that, the
incidents seemed hazy and she racked her brain trying to recollect them.
"Geet," Maan and Arjun
said at the same time. They looked at each other surprised and smiled weakly.
They turned to face Geet again, "How are you feeling?" they said together. Geet
chuckled at their timing. She tried to get up but a sharp pain in her shoulder
prevented her from doing so.
Maan saw her squirming
to get up so he rushed front, "Geet, could you please stay on the bed," he said
panicking about Geet's present condition.
"Uff ho M—" she
paused. If Arjun and Maan were cordial under the same roof without biting each
other's heads off, they wouldn't know each other, she thought. And if she
called him by his name, definitely she would be the witness of World War III.
She wanted to get the things straight before they got to know each other on
rough grounds. And the first step was to keep them away from each other.
Seeing her thoughtful
Arjun wondered what was going through her mind. "Geet, dard ho raha hai kya?"
he asked with concern.
"Hm?" she said
breaking away from her flow of thoughts. "Nahi, I mean haan," she said
clutching his hands tightly. "Doctor ko bulao please," she said. Without
another word Arjun rushed to get the doctor. Geet hoped he would take time to
find the doctor and took this opportunity to talk to Maan.
"Maan, aap yahaan kya
kar rahe ho?" she asked curiously looking at his blood stained shirt.
"Voh, I came to help
someone," he lied, not wanting to reveal the real motive behind his presence.
"Oh I see, but how did
you know I would be here?" she pestered further.
"I saw the doctors
take you in while I was exiting out."
"By the way, why is
your shirt stained with blood?"
Maan was starting to
get annoyed with her continuous questioning. "Muruga!" he said imitating Geet.
"Why have you have created a question bank instead of a human being?" he said
Geet, seeing Maan
mimic her constant Muruga call, looked away pouting her lips. Maan chuckled at
her childishness. When she fell in his arms, wounded badly, he was gravely
afraid that something terrible would happen to her. He had prayed for the first
time in his life. He was never used to asking anything from anyone; he had
grown up to fend for himself but for the first time he had genuinely asked
something, Geet's life. Seeing her alive and back to her own childish and
innocent self was something more than he had asked for and he was definitely
grateful for that. He had deeply regretted the day when he had meaninglessly
shouted at her for a mere laser pen and he vowed to set things right with his
apology. Unfortunately she had taken too much into her heart right from the day
he had insulted her in the airport preventing her from accepting his apology.
He never meant to walk out in the airport not did he mean to hurt her feelings
with the coffee incident but the way things took place was not pleasant. He
knew she was extremely intelligent, talented, and nave. Unlike the other girls
who didn't leave a chance to flirt with him, she was very professional and
decent. He definitely liked working with her, but his ego and anger prevented
him from behaving rationally. Since the time he walked out of her house seeing
her tear stained face, he had mentally cursed himself for letting his anger
loose. And then when he saw her in the bazaar he once again wanted to try his
luck convincing her to come back, but to his horror she was injured right in
front of him. His heart lurched in his throat seeing her in that plight and he
rushed to her. But when she asked what he was doing here, he didn't want to
tell the events that he helped her, as he didn't want her admiration for the
work he did. What he did was out of genuine intentions and for the sake of
humanity but he didn't want appreciation for it therefore he had conveniently
lied. He looked at her, admiring her childish behavior and smiled.
"Geet, I was just
"Ukkum, poi sollathel
(As if, don't lie)"
"I'm sorry, come again?"
he said confused at her sudden change of language.
"Geet, could you
please blabbing in your own language," he said regaining his original arrogant
"Dekha, again you are
showing me your attitude," she said.
Maan realized his posture
and relaxed a bit. "Nahi Geet, I am s—" Just then the doctor entered followed
by Arjun explaining Geet still complained of pain.
"Hello Geet," he
smiled and asked the men to leave the room so that the doctor could check on
her. The doctor started checking on her pulse and checked the wound and
"Aap bohut lucky ho
Geet," she said checking the Intravenous tube.
"I'm sorry, main
samjhi nahi," Geet asked puzzled.
"The Maan Singh
Khurana, himself fought to admit you and gave you his blood in order to save
"What?" Geet asked
"Haan, you were
unconscious when he brought you to the hospital. He was quite anxious. And then
when the doctors had refused to treat you because it's a police case, he fought
to get you admitted."
Geet couldn't believe
her ears. Maan was the one who saved her but he had lied that he was in the
hospital for a different reason. He did seem quite disturbed when she first saw
him enter and relaxed a little bit seeing her talk back at him. She was
definitely surprised by his unusual behavior but never really thought into in.
But looking at his bloodstained shirt and his hazy appearance she became
skeptical. She wondered why he would lie to her. In the midst of pondering
about his lies, she began to think about his help. The Maan, who had refused to
say sorry on the first day of their meeting, now came forward to the extent of
fighting for her. Although she couldn't fathom the bottom of it, his selfless
act did etch a place in her heart. Today she saw a new Maan that she had failed
to discover in the past few days. Although her mind reasoned his acts as a part
of his scheme to get her back, her heart refused to comply with it. In the back
of her mind still a doubt lurked but she quickly brushed it off and now began
to think about the task at hand, trying to prevent the upcoming world war III.
Seeing the doctor
leave, both Maan and Arjun were anxious to find from her if Geet was alright.
Confirming her well being they wanted to see Geet again.
"By the way aap ne
bataya nahi ki aap Geet ko kaise jaante hai," Arjun asked seeing Maan fret over
Geet like he did.
They entered the room to
see Geet curiously eyeing them. "Voh I am her b—"
interrupted. "Arjun main tumse akele main baat karni chaahti hoon," she said
eyeing Maan to leave them for few minutes. Maan left without a word, leaving
Arjun and Geet alone.
"Kya hua Ammulu?" he
said sitting beside her.
"Voh, promise me first
you will not come to unnecessary conclusions before I tell you everything."
"Baat kya hai, pehle
voh toh batao," he said eyeing her curiously.
"Athu vanthu (The
matter is)," she hesitated. "That man who helped me is Maan Singh Khurana, MD
of Khurana Constructions," she paused looking at Arjun's reaction. He seemed
quite calm, contrary to his hot-blooded reaction. "Arjun?" she called knotting
"Yes, I am listening,"
he said coolly.
His silence was irking
her now. "Arjun!" she screamed, "that fellow, my jellyfish fellow, my boss,
Maan!" she said stressing each word hoping that would ring a bell.
"Geet, I can hear you,
chillane ki koi zaroorat nahi," he said blocking his ears.
"Dei, loose avanthanda
enna azhavecchan (Hey crack head he only made me cry) you are suppose to be
killing him right now and—," she said frustrated.
Arjun laughed loudly
at her childish anger. He smoothed her hair and tucked them neatly behind her
eats and helped her sit up comfortably. "Ammulu," he said cupping her face, "I
did find out from the front desk but just wanted it out of his mouth." Hearing
this, Geet's mouth widened. "I do understand that he has troubled you a lot,
but if not for him, I wouldn't have seen you alive now," he said becoming
teary. "Seeing his anxiousness and his selflessness to help you shows he
wouldn't have meant anything seriously.
"Arjun," she whispered
realizing the depth of his pain and hugged him to assure him she was absolutely
"Che naan edutha
efforts ellam thanni la karenju poche (Ugh, all the efforts that I took has gone
down the drain)," she joked changing the topic.
"Vahi, I am suppose to
be preventing you from biting his head off by telling he is a vallavaru (great
man), nallavaru (good man), etc.," she said dramatically.
"Pagli!" Arjun said
shaking his head. "He seemed he wanted to talk something with you. I shall call
him. Anyway I have go pick up your medicines to you. Teekhai?"
Geet nodded her head
in approval. Arjun left asking Maan to go see her while he left to pick up the
medicines. Both Maan and Geet were lost for words and an awkward silence
prevailed. Feeling the need to break the ice, Maan decided to speak up and
clear the air of misunderstandings.
"Geet, pehle I really
am sorry. I didn't mean anything I said in anger. On the other day I was mad
that someone was purposefully making a scene in the airport. And then during
the interview time I wanted to quench my ego by making you work double. The
coffee incident made me think you put too much sugar just to irk me. And
finally during the presentation I didn't realize you were nervous. Each time my
anger clouded my judgment causing me to act like a jerk. Even after this
apology if you feel I deserve revenge. I am more than welcome to comply with
it. You are free to treat me the way you want to," he said solemnly.
Geet was overtaken by
his honest confession. She never thought he would step down this much just for
her acceptance of his apology. She was touched by his words and definitely
decided to give him a chance to revive his mistake. She cleared her throat and
looked at him not revealing her emotions.
Maan, seeing her
calmly listening to him, was confused of her reaction. "Friends?" he asked
extending his hands with hesitation.
Geet was surprised by
his offer but wanted to play hard to get. "Friends? My foot!" she said feigning
Maan noticed her
counterfeit anger and was happy she conceded and accepted his apology. But he
wanted to play along with her, "Once offer gone, it's gone forever!"
"Toh jaane deejiyena,"
"Aise kaise jaane doon?"
he asked surprised.
"Toh phir kya karenge
aap?" she asked innocently.
"I shall hold on to it
till my last breath," he said candidly.
"Maan!" she said, her
tone reaching the high notes.
"Stop being so
dramatic," she complained.
"Who me? Look who is
talking," he teased.
Geet crossed her arms
in anger that was harsh on her stitches, causing her to wince in pain. Maan
rushed to her side alarmed as she cringed, "Geet! Are you okay? Doctor ko
bulaun? Is it hurting too much? Do you feel the blood oozing out, tum thehro I
shall call the doctor," he said everything in one go.
"Maan," she said
calmly. He looked at worriedly at her. "Main bilkul teekh hoon. I moved my
hands too fast. It's alright Maan," she assured.
"Nahi main abhi bulata
hoon. For my satisfaction," he said and rushed to get the doctor again.
Geet shook her head
and smiled at his concern for her. Few days ago, she had hated the sight of
this man. His arrogance, his behavior, his guts had irked her to no end, but
here he was caring for her, running around the hospital for her, and asking for
repeated apology. She wondered at the new turn of events and the new meanings
it portrayed. She smiled satisfied at the turn of events and was grateful to
her Muruga for enriching her life with people who cared for her.
Arjun walked towards the balcony while Geet stood rooted to
the spot regretting her words. She didn't mean to burst forth at him but in the
spur of the moment she blurted out unwanted words. And now there was no taking
back; she had hurt Arjun deeply. She knew he always wanted her happiness that's
the reason he had silently supported her decision to part away from Maan. And
he has stood by her side and always lent his shoulder to cry and extended his
hands to support. He had always put her happiness in front of his, no matter
what. And what had she given him in return? Nothing but pain. Realizing her
folly, she decided to set things right and went out to the balcony to find him
leaning on the railings.
"Arjun," she said bleakly but got no response from him. She
placed her hand on his shoulder and called out again. He walked away from her
without replying. "Mujhe maaf kardo I didn't—"
"Don't be sorry," he said plainly, "there is nothing you
have to be sorry for. In fact, I am the one who needs to be sorry for jutting
in your decisions."
Geet's head shot up at his dispassionate tone and his
declaration. She ran to face him, her eyes bedewed with tears. Arjun instantly
turned away from facing her. "Arjun, I know I have hurt you deeply, but please
aise bade bade shabd istemaal mat karna," she said, her voice cracking.
Arjun turned hearing her sob silently. He pulled her into a
tight embrace and at that instant Geet sobbed loudly, wetting his shirt. He
patted her head shushing her to calm down. Finally, sobs died down and she
looked up to find Arjun's eyes were red from crying. He saw her looking at him
and hurriedly wiped down the tears. That was the reason he faced away from her,
she thought. She cursed herself to have made him cry. She caught his hands from
wiping his tears and she wiped down them down, mouthing a sorry.
Arjun weakly smiled through his tears and shook his head at
her gesture. He knew she couldn't take his tears so he had stood facing away
from her. But when her voice cracked, he couldn't take it anymore and rushed to
her side. He had promised himself to take care of her and he knew that she
didn't mean those words she uttered few minutes ago. But for a second, his
emotions overtook him, making him walk away from her. He knew her love for Maan
made her talk such words. He knew the depth of her love towards him. If not for
that love, she wouldn't have opted to stay away from him and sacrificing her
love for him. He had seen her suffer since the day of their marriage but she
refused to stay away from Maan. And finally when she knew she was pregnant with
Kritika, she decided the best option for Maan and her was to separate before he
knew anything about it. In her words, love for a person meant seeing that
person happy over anything else. Geet always saw Maan's happiness above her own
causing her to make the most difficult decision in her life; living away from
the people she loved most. Although she never complained, her voice had lost
the charm, her eyes lost the luster, she had become quieter, contrary to her
usual nature; overall, she was not his old Ammulu. He had always prayed for her
old self to be back, he hoped time would heal her wound but nothing seemed to
change her prospective. She stood rigid by her decision to stay isolated and
live a lonely life, with her Kritika.
The week passed by quickly, giving way to the conference
Geet had feared most. The day when she had to be careful not to expose herself
in front of him, else it would be very difficult to stay away from him. She had
tamed her heart all these years to stay away from him, but one look at him
could turn the tables around completely.
Geet had asked Arjun to pick up Kritika from the school and
keep her at his apartment for she would be late. He assured that if she needed then
to call him immediately. She let him know she would take care of herself and
not let her emotions run haywire. But she didn't know tonight would be something
new, something different, something that she had always wished for would come
to her. She would be swirled in the eddy of emotions forcing her to reconsider
Geet was about to about to leave the dance floor when she
felt a strong jerk, making her fall on a strong, broad, and chiseled chest.
"Kyun Ms Handa dar gayi?"
Maan teased, his cool breath fanning her ears and his baritone voice sending
chills down her spine. She winced at his contact but didn't want to fight the
urge to go away from his embrace. She turned to face his handsome face, yet his
sunken dark eyes said a different story. She let her hands run freely on his
stubble and traced her fingers on his jawline.
the next part coming soon as in by tonite (EST) ... until then comment this away n hit the LIKE button