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Aankhon Mein Teri
A Maaneet Fan Fic
As she tossed and turned in bed, unable to settled her mind, Geet wished she had listened to Maan about not going to Chandigarh. If she had, she would now be sleeping peacefully, instead of replying the evening's events over in her mind once again. Things had been fine during most of the festivities. She even met a few people who were interested in intellectual discussions and wanted to ask a lot of questions about the newest research in the psychology field. David had been pretty good the entire time, not even fussing when the various friends of Nani wanted to hold him. No, it wasn't any of that which had her mind in a turmoil, it was something else. It was something that she had never expected to happen, even with her good understanding of human nature. If she admitted the truth, her own actions were partially to blame. If she hadn't heard the name Khurana mentioned, she never would have stopped to listen to the conversation. Eavesdroppers never hear anything good, about themselves or others.
"I haven't seen Savitri Khurana come to a social gathering like this in years," a woman a few years older than Geet had said, catching her attention.
"You know why that was, right? She didn't want to face all the questions and knowing stares because of her freak grandson."
"Oh, come on, Karishma. That's not why."
"No, seriously, that's why. Look, I'll prove it to you. He was set to exclusive foreign private schools, so nobody in Chandigarh would know anything about him. Then, when he's twenty, they bring him back and try to marry him off in a hurry. The first family might have kept quiet about the reason for rejection, but when my dadi tried to set us up, I quickly found out the truth."
Geet cringed as the women surrounding Karishma clamored to learn the juicy details. As she began to explain what Geet could only assume was an extremely difficult and embarrassing time for Maan, her anger rose at the group's insensitive response. It was quite obvious now, why Maan did not like the woman. Geet would have like to confront her and give her a piece of her mind, but she hesitated to make any kind of scene in public. However, Karishma's declaration that no woman would ever marry Maan, not even for his money, had her blood boiling. Minutes later, when she came face to face with Karishma in the ladies restroom, Geet really wanted to scratch the woman's ugly eyes out. She refrained from doing that, having to be content with the look of shock on her face when Geet said her name, indicated that she was married to Maan, and that she couldn't talk anymore, as her son would be needing her.
When she found Dadima, who was holding a fussy David, it didn't take long for the older woman to sense something was wrong with her bahu. Quietly Geet told her what she had overheard, taking David and cuddling him in her arms as she did so. Dadima wasn't very surprised to hear what Geet reported. She had never really liked that Karishma, and she also suspected that the arrogant young woman was the reason they had so much trouble after her rejection trying to find Maan a good rishta. If the girl's mother hadn't been Sonali's friend, she never would have even considered her for her grandson. Dadima was extremely understanding of Geet's desire to leave, promising that she would arrange everything with their hosts.
Minutes later, as they were leaving, Geet had asked if Dadima knew what the slight commotion was that had occurred. Geet had been with Nani at the time and not able to see. Without any hesitation or regret, Dadima explained that she had bumped into one of the servants, the result of which was the spilling of all the drinks he carried directly onto Karishma Chopra. Her very expensive and skimpy dress was ruined, and though Dadima expressed that she was very sorry for the whole incident, somehow, Geet didn't believe her. Not that she found anything in Dadima's actions to criticize. That stupid girl deserved it for all those things she had said about Geet's Maan.
"Wait! He's not my Maan. There is nothing like that between us!" exclaimed Geet, sitting upright in her bed, shocked at the way her thoughts had wandered.
Geet couldn't believe she had been thinking in such a way. It was true that Karishma Chopra's comments were unpleasant and very rude, but anyone would have felt the same as she after hearing those spiteful words. Just because someone said something callous about Maan's disability, with no regard for how difficult it was for him to deal with, did't mean that she had to mistake her natural response to such behavior as something else. It wasn't like he would appreciate her consideration, for she knew he didn't like anyone's pity or to be considered weak in anyway. There also wasn't really anything that she could do now that would change anything. The best thing that she could do was forget the whole thing and go to sleep. Though it was difficult, Geet finally laid on her back and closed her eyes, determined to stop worrying and get some rest.
Eventually Geet was able to fall into a fitful sleep which lasted until the sunlight started to peek out from behind her curtains. Not able to go back to sleep, and knowing it would be at least an hour before David woke up, Geet decided to go to the kitchen to make herself a cup of tea. All her confusion from the previous night had made her wary of Maan, causing her to avoid taking the most direct route, as that would lead right past his room. Though it would take longer, she decided to go the other way and take the back set of stairs near the servant quarters. When she reached the main floor, she planned to go straight to her intended destination, but an unfamiliar sound stopped her. It was coming from the inner courtyard, a place that she rarely visited, much preferring the gardens when she wanted to go outdoors.
Curious about what could be making such a noise at that early morning time, Geet walked through the door that led to courtyard and around a pillar, almost gasping at the sight that greeted her. The noise was caused by none other than Maan, doing some sort of martial arts practice, bare footed, and more shockingly, bare chested. He was swinging a chain weapon very rapidly, that she could barely make it out. Geet didn't know how he kept from hitting himself, but she watched as his hands and arms moved deftly, his muscular body straining at his effort. Geet had no idea that she had stopped breathing until her body protested, gasping for breath loud enough that Maan could hear it. She managed to hide behind the nearby pillar quietly until Maan went back to his practice, convinced he had imagined the noise.
After some minutes, Geet made her escape from her unsettling husband's presence, even more in need of a soothing cup of tea than she had been before. She was so distracted that she didn't realize she had used salt instead of sugar, forcing her to start all over. Finally, after careful concentration, she had her cup of tea that was ready to be enjoyed. Almost unseeing, her mind full of Maan's memories, she walked into the breakfast room, sipping her tea as she went. Geet had never seen a partially naked man before, having been kept sheltered earlier by Daarji, and then later by her intense interest in her studies. Academically she understood what attraction was, but she had never experienced it before. She was very confused about why she couldn't control her thoughts, and why nothing she did could erase the image of Maan's hard, glistening body.
Geet was so distracted by the direction of her thoughts that she wasn't even aware of Nakul coming into the room until he startled her, causing her to drop her cup. He questioned her about why she was up so early and if there was any problem. Geet couldn't tell him the real problem, so she just gave the excuse of not being able to sleep, before excusing herself to go check on David. Her bubbly little boy was awake and pulling himself up by holding on to the crib railing. Smiling at how much he had progressed and changed since his birth almost a year ago, she picked him up and gave him a good morning hug.
As she got her son's diaper and clothing changed, Geet wished that her life was a simple as his. In some ways she felt that she was just like a baby, at least when it came to relationships. She didn't know anything about boys, hadn't even been interested in them when she was younger. Even when she and Maan were first married, she had only acted according to how she was brought up, not out of any sense of personal connection. With their marriage heading on into three years at the next anniversary, she couldn't even say what their relationship was other than a kind of undefinable friendship. Certainly it wasn't anything that would be considered normal, which made her new found attraction for her husband so uncomfortable and scary. For all Geet knew it was even pointless, as Maan had never shown any indication that he felt something similar for her.
Rather than dwell any further on the issue, Geet decided to not think about it for awhile. She was already stressed out enough with her last semester starting in a week. She didn't need to spend time worrying about a relationship that was as unlikely to change in the next few months, as it had in the last few years. David's first birthday was also just a few weeks away, and those preparations would take up some of her time also. Whatever it was that she was feeling, whatever this attraction might be, it was not something that she could deal with at this time. It would be better just to concentrate on her work and try to avoid Maan, or at least avoid being alone with him. That was fairly easy until David's birthday came around.
David was really too young to understand what a birthday party was, but Geet wanted to be sure that it lived up to the expectations that society would have of the Khurana family. The food, decorations, everything had to be just right, even if she had to take time to do it herself. Nakul and Gopal had the kitchen and all the refreshments under control, but the rest of the house was another matter. To get everything done on time, Geet started helping with the decorations while David was down for his afternoon nap. The decorations around the mandir were something that she wanted to do personally. Most of the flower decorations took only a few minutes, but there was a very large garland that needed to be hung on the wall frame above, requiring Geet to use a ladder. She was a little nervous at first, but after a while she became comfortable enough that she started humming.
Maan came out of his study at 3:30 to see the whole mansion in commotion, preparing for the little Khurana's birthday. Dadima had spoken with him earlier in the day, saying that it would be important for him to not only attend the party, but to participate in the pooja as the baby's father. Maan had attended the pooja that morning, but had never been to a baby's birthday party before and wanted to find out if he needed to know anything important. Dadima and Nani were not at home, so Maan asked for Geet, finding out from Nakul that she was decorating the mandir. It took only a few moments to walk through the house and get to the mandir. He saw Geet standing on a ladder all alone, which made no sense. Why did she have to do something so dangerous, when the house was full of servants who could be up there instead? Almost the moment he thought the question, Maan saw Geet's foot slip as she tried to descend the ladder, causing her to loose her balance. No thoughts went through his mind as instinct took over in his race to catch her.
Geet tried to grab hold of something when she felt herself begin to fall backwards, but was unable to get hold of anything. With no way to stop gravity, Geet tensed in expectation of hitting the floor hard. Instead, she felt a pair if arms come around her, pulling her against a hard, muscled chest. Unfortunately, her momentum from the fall was too great to be stopped, forcing her and her rescuer to the floor. She lay quietly, trying to get her breath back after the frightening experience, her head nestled against a manly chest in such a way that she could hear his erratic heartbeat. Before she even opened her eyes, Geet knew that it could have only been Maan who caught her so deftly. Locked into his embrace the way she was, once she looked into his chocolate brown eyes, it was impossible to look away. The care and concern that was visible took her recently returned breath away. He asked if she was alright, to which she gave a vague affirmative answer. Then he asked if she was able to get up, but the question went unanswered as she continued to stare at his handsome face.
"I m..may not t..t..t..talk very mu..ch, but I uh...am st..st..still a n..normal man, whi..ch you will f..find out s..s..soon if y..you don't get off m..me."
Geet felt her face burn at his words, for she could feel not only his body's reaction to her proximity, but also her own. She quickly scrambled to her feet, backing away slightly as Maan also got up. The situation was so awkward, that Geet stood mute, with downcast eyes, twisting her dupatta and hoping that he would just go away. When he didn't go away, but just kept looking at her, she had no choice but to ask if there was something he needed. Maan explained that he had been looking for her and Dadima to find out if there was anything special that he needed to do at the party. Geet quickly replied that he only needed to show up, before rushing away to her room on the pretext of changing clothes.
Maan didn't like the way Geet seemed to be avoiding him. During the entire party she always seemed to have somewhere to go, or something to do when he appeared in her vicinity. When they were forced to feed each other a piece of birthday cake by the request of the guests, she wouldn't look him in the eyes. He knew it was because of what he had said to her earlier when they were on the floor. He felt bad about that, but what was he supposed to do? She hadn't acted like she planned to move any time soon, and if he hadn't said something, she would have found out on her own just how his male body had begun responding to her female body. It wasn't just that she was a female, but that she was her. Geet. Maan found everything about his wife attractive, from her incredibly beautiful face and body to her fascinating, intelligent mind. It amazed him that she could be such a fighter for what she wanted, yet at the same time wonderfully kind. She treated him like she would anyone else, which was something extraordinary in his experience with young women. She never made him feel like she had a problem with the way he talked, not that he ever talked that much.
Maan liked everything about Geet, found everything about her to be attractive, but would never be able to say so. Not only was he not comfortable talking about such things, but he was sure that a beautiful, talented girl like Geet would never want to hear those kind of things from him. Her behavior at David's party, as well as afterwords was proof of that. Dadima always gave the excuse that she was busy with school work when he asked, but he knew that she was avoiding him. When he would feel too starved of her presence, he would send off an email, only to have to wait a day or two for the shortest of responses. It was getting to the point where Maan was seriously considering asking Dadima for help, regardless of the embarrassment involved. Yet even that avenue was denied him when Dadima suddenly decided to leave.
Unknown to both Maan and Geet, she had been observing everything that happened between them from the time they came back early on New Year's Eve. The elderly lady could see that their feelings toward each other were changing, but that these new feelings had made them wary. Ever since Maan and Geet had married, it was Dadima's fervent wish that they be able to come closer. At the same time, having basically urged Maan into the marriage by emotional blackmail, she hadn't wanted to interfere in their relationship. Since that time nearly two and a half years had passed, with very little progress among Maan and Geet until now. In there very concerned way, both Maan's grandparents discussed how they might go about helping the couple.
"Sonali, humein lagta hai hum in dono ko akele chod dena chahiye. Yeh behtar hoga agar hum kal jaane." (Sonali, I think that I should leave the two of them alone. It will be better if I leave tomorrow.)
Maan's nani didn't understand his dadi's thinking, for she thought it would be better for her to stay. Dadima explained that Maan and Geet had become too used to her being there, acting as a sort of middle man for them. Even in David's case, they had stopped talking directly to each other, relying on Dadima to communicate relevant information to the other. If she left for an extended period of time, her absence would force Maan and Geet to talk together as much as they now avoided one another. With Gopal's wife available to help look after David, there was no that she had to remain in Delhi. In fact, she had two good reasons to leave, and she hoped that her leaving would finally be the catalyst to the breaking down of the barriers between Maan and Geet.
End Part 1
This is the end of part 1. Please do post your comments in the second thread here, as this thread has crossed 150 pages. Thanks.
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