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Aankhon Mein Teri
A Maaneet Fan Fic
"Savitri, hum ab aur intazaar nahin kar sakate. Logon ko lagate hain kuch galat ho raha hai. Ki hum kuch chipaa rehe hain." (Savitri, we can't wait any longer. People will think something wrong is happening. That we are hiding something.)
"I understand, Sonali, but I want to give Maan time to come on his own. He should be able to realize his responsibilities."
"Lekin Savitri, shadi ke baad se ek saptaah hogaya hai, aur voh ab tak wapas nahi aaye hain. Hum hamesha ke liye intazaar kar nahin rakh sakate." (But Savitri, it's been a week since the wedding, and he has not come back yet. We can't keep waiting forever.)
"Humko maloom hain. Theek hai, hum Mooh Dikhai kal hoge." (I know. Alright, we will have the Mooh Dikhai tomorrow.)
"Kya aap Geet ko batayenge?" (Will you tell Geet?)
"Yes, and will you call the guests? I want to try convincing Maan one more time. The marriage hasn't been registered yet and that is one thing that we can't do without him."
Geet knew it was rude to listen to people's conversations without their knowledge, especially if the people were elders. However, she couldn't contain her curiosity when she heard the two matriarchs talking about Dev. They didn't know where he was or how he was and that had them very worried. He had done disappearing acts before, but usually only for a few days. Sonaliji thought that he might be afraid to face them. Savitriji just hoped that he wasn't in some kind of trouble.
Regardless of how concerned they were over Dev, they were more concerned about Maan. He had yet to come from Rewari and every time Savitri talk to him on the phone, he gave one excuse after another for why he couldn't get away. Savitri complained to Sonali that during their last conversation she had plainly asked him if his work was more important than his wife. The shocking response he gave was that work was far more important than a wife.
Savitri explained how angry she was and how she had asked him why he married if this was how he was going to behave. Even as Savitri had been loosing het cool, Maan had calmly told her that she was aware that he had never intended to marry, and that she was also aware of how important his business interests were. He didn't feel that there was any reason to pretend anything different. He only married Geet because of Dadi's request, but that was all that he was willing to do. Maan had no intention of changing anything about his life just because he had married some village girl.
Sonali was upset to hear all this, but not surprised. Maan had always been a stubborn child, and his zidd had only increased as he got older. She was afraid that he had been able to do what he wanted without having to consider someone else for so long, that it would be next to impossible for him to change now. Savitri knew all that, but it didn't make her feel any better. She felt terrible that her insistence of Dev marrying had led to Geet being abandoned by first a fiance and then a husband. However, she was determined to stay positive in her belief that things would change, that Maan would change. Until then they would have to do the best the could in his absence.
"Savitri, I don't think we should tell Geet what is the real truth about why Maan isn't back yet."
"I agree, Sonali. I dislike the idea of deceiving the child, but I can't see any other option. If she knew the truth, I'm afraid that it would be too difficult for her to bear. She's such a sweet, innocent girl. She doesn't deserve this kind of treatment."
Geet agreed with that assessment, but was not as upset as the two grandmothers would have guessed. The first two days after the marriage, she was too curious about her knew home, where all her time was spent exploring, to wonder about why her husband had not come yet. The third day she started to wonder what Maan was doing and when he would come back. She thought it would be a good idea to try and impress him, so she spent two days learning how to make his favorite foods from Nakul, the servant who knew him the longest. It was hard because he liked a lot of foreign foods that she didn't know how to make.
By the time the fifth day without a husband appearing happened, Geet was starting to get mad. What kind of husband was this who left his wife with his grandmothers and didn't even bother to call? Oh, Savitri would lie and say that Maan had asked how she was when he called, but Geet knew it wasn't true. She was sure that it was Savitri who was doing the calling and not her idiot husband. No, the great Maan Khurana was out doing who knows what, with God knows who, while he left his new bride to sit home alone feeling rejected and abandoned.
Geet had silently stewed over the issue for another two days, then she got over it. She didn't know this Maan Khurana and he didn't know her. Just because they were married didn't mean they automatically had feelings for each other. Why should a girl he'd only just met suddenly become more important than his business and people who worked with him for years? Why should she want this strange man to be with her, when she knew nothing about him and all he knew about her was what she looked like? Geet had never wanted to be liked only for how she looked, so why should she be upset if her husband didn't come rushing to spend time with her after just one look at her face?
By the time Geet had overheard the conversation between Savitri and Sonali, she was more confused and curious than anything else. As far as she understood from her mother, when Dev ran off, Maan came in his place only at Savitri's insistence. Geet couldn't understand why when Savitri plead with him two or three times daily to come, this time he didn't come. Though she came to understand from the employees and other people who lived on the estate that the young Khurana was a supreme workaholic, the difference in behavior on their wedding day and now continued to baffle Geet.
The one thing that she was absolutely sure of was that her new nani and dadi were the two sweetest ladies on earth, and that she would do what ever she could for them. That was why, when Savitri told her of their plans for the Mooh Dikhai, and how sorry Maan was that he was forced by urgent work to miss it, Geet pretended to believe her. She spoke very enthusiastically at dinner about the coming rasam, and was pleased when Savitri and Sonali became more at ease after seeing her cheerful behavior. The two women enjoyed helping Geet pick out her outfit and jewelry after dinner. They spent time reminiscing about their own Mooh Dikhais, and how it was nice that even though times were changing, these traditions were still an important part of their lives.
Geet made sure to get up early in the morning so that she would have ample time to prepare the food they would be serving the guests. Not knowing exactly what the different preferences would be, on Nakul's advice she made plenty of desi and non-desi dishes and snacks. By the time Savitri and Sonali discovered what Geet was up to, most of the morning had gone by. They lovingly scolded her, commenting that nobody made food for these types of functions anymore, they were catered. Geet exclaimed that at home she was used to helping make food for all the large celebrations, and she was just doing her duty as a good bahu.
With such short notice, there ended up being only about twenty guests, mostly friends of Savitri and Sonali, with a distant cousin or two who lived close enough. One by one they gave Geet their gifts and lifted her veil to view her face. The gifts were very nice, especially the jewelry. The older ladies were all keen to know who had catered the snacks, and Savitri was proud to tell them that her bahu had made all the food with her own hands. All in all, wasn't quite as bad as Geet thought it would be. The only thing that she didn't like was the way the older ladies teased her about her fair looks. There was much laughter when it was pronounced by Sonali's friend Lalita that Geet with being so light skinned and Maan the same, their children would look English. Geet had a tough time hiding her aversion to any thoughts of having children with a stranger.
The teasing was cut short when Lalita remarked that they'd barely had a glimpse of Maan since he was a child. "Arrey, Savitriji, dulha rajaji kahan hai? Main jaana chahti hoon, agar voh mujhe yaad hai ya nahin." (Hey, Savitri, where is the groom? I want to know if he remembers me or not.)
Geet could see Savitri and Sonali immediately tense up at the question. Not wanting them to feel uncomfortable, she quickly said, "Aunty, voh bahut busy hain, bahut kaam the, Rewari mein. Isliye, voh yahan nahin hain. Voh jaldi hi vapas aa jaayege." (Aunty, he is very busy, had a lot of work in Rewari. That's why he's not here. He will come back soon.)
This answer was easily accepted by everyone. Though the groom being absent would generally invite curious questions, in Maan's case no one seemed surprised. Many of the women commented that they could remember that, even in his childhood days, he was always busy with some school homework or project that was more important that coming to meet his grandmothers' friends. Not much more was said, and the conversation soon turned toward getting to know Geet better. The ladies questioned her about her home and family, what she had been studying in school, and how she was adjusting to her sasural. By the time the last of the guests left late that evening, Geet was exhausted. Even as tired as she was, she offered to help clean up, but was shooed away, sternly told that after the events of the day she surely required rest.
That night as Geet leisurely prepared for bed, hundreds of miles away, Maan angrily turned off his cell phone, momentarily tempted to throw it out his hotel window. Adi could see his frustration, and thinking it was caused by their work, asked what was wrong. Maan then complained that his grandmother had been sitting on his head all week, requesting that he come back to Kharar for one reason or another, and now she was insisting that he come so the marriage could be registered. Maan was tired of these constant interruptions when he had so much work to do. The number of set backs they had been facing lately couldn't be a coincidence, and he wanted to get to the bottom of it, not waste his time at home.
"Sir, I understand your frustration, but you can't take the registration of your marriage lightly. If you don't register your marriage within thirty days, the girl and her family can bring a case against you. We don't need any kind of bad publicity, and I'm sure that you don't want to spend time going through the court system." Seeing the angry glare of his boss and friend, Adi continued reassuringly, "Registration is fairly simple and doesn't take that long. You just need to fill out a form and present some documents for identification and proof of marriage."
When asked how he knew so much, Adi's cool and collected speech faltered momentarily. "Well, I, uh, my girlfriend, uh, well I was just curious, so I looked into the various procedures." Seeing Maan's incredulous look, Adi protested, "I like to be prepared. But, never mind me, we need to concentrate on your situation. If you leave for Delhi right now, I can arrange a flight to Chandigarh by the time you reach IGI. I'll discuss things with Dadi early tomorrow morning and have everything prepared so you can be on your way back by afternoon."
Maan wasn't happy, but he didn't see that there was much he could do in the situation. He agreed to Adi's plan, feeling it was better to get the whole thing over with, so he could get back to more important things. It took about an hour and a half to get back to Delhi and another hour and a half to fly to Chandigarh, where he still needed to drive himself to the estate with the rental car Adi arranged. By the time he pulled into the mansion driveway it was nearly 3 am. Maan was feeling tired with the beginnings of a headache. He wanted nothing more than to crawl into bed and go to sleep. He was so impatient that he started unbuttoning his shirt before he even got inside his bedroom. He was just in the process of peeling his shirt off to toss anywhere on the floor, when something caught his eye.
In the moonlight Maan could see a lump in his bed. A people sized lump. Quickly and soundlessly, Maan stalked over next to the bed and gazed down at the sight before him. There, in his bed, underneath his sheets, lay the small, quiet figure of a girl. Only his great self-control prevented Maan from hauling the sleeping female out of the bed and demanding to know how she had the audacity to sleep in his bed. His bed!
First, for those who may not have known what Adi was referring to with IGI, that's for Indira Gandhi International Airport. Okay, so I know that it's been a loooooooooong time since an update, and kind of a short one, but I have a few good things for you to make up for the wait. I am going keep working on another chapter and update that within the next day or two. I wanted to go into a little more detail, instead of writing a quickly hurried update. I've also got some pictures of Geet's mooh dikhai for you to enjoy.
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Joined: 27 February 2011
Joined: 27 February 2011
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