Joined: 14 October 2006
One week later
Sameera paced restlessly up and down the guest house in Bangalore waiting for the phone to ring. Over the past two weeks, Dev had unfailingly rung her up around 9.30 pm every night and checked on her mother's health. Although her mother was not back to what she was prior to the suicide attempt, she had at least started recognising her. She spoke only in monosyllables and had a perpetually lost look about her. Sameera was not aware that hearing her daily reports on her mother, Dev had redoubled his efforts to find her dad for he knew only her father can bring her mother back to normalcy. After the discussion about her mother's health, the conversation would veer around to what was happening at work and soon they would start discussing about their respective lives. Dev was an entertaining conversationalist and Sameera looked forward to listening to his witty comments on anything and everything under the sun. Often their conversations carried on beyond midnight. In fact they ended up wishing each other good morning before they hung up the phone every day.
During the day, Sameera had an idiotic smile perennially pasted on her face every time she thought of him, which was pretty often. Her mother was annoyed at these expressions since she felt Sameera was mocking her. Sameera then had to hastily assure her that she was not ridiculing her. In her spare time she kept wondering about the change she was noticing in herself. The feelings Dev was evoking in her were new. His deep voice made her heart flutter. His laugh lifted her spirits. She kept recollecting the smallest detail of his face, the crinkle of his eyes as he smiled; his big nose which flared up when he was angry which by the way was very rare; his thin lips which looked inviting; his pronounced chin with the slight clef which enhanced his attractiveness; and his boyish hair cut. She never thought she would find someone like Dev attractive but here she was unable to dislodge him from her mind's eye.
It was not only his physical appearance that appealed to her. She was more than impressed with the way he handled the situation when she crumbled hearing about her mother's attempted suicide. He was non-invasive yet was extremely supportive. She never felt suffocated by his overwhelming concern for her well being. On the other hand she longed to lean on him to gain the strength to endure the trauma. She wondered how he managed to make her feel independent yet dependent at the same time. She did not feel ashamed to let her guard down and display her emotional vulnerability for she knew that he will not think less of her because of it or take advantage of her weakness. No man had the complete hold on her thoughts and on her life as he did, not even Maan when she was dating him. Has she finally found the love of her life? This was the question that seemed to perennially haunt her these days. Along with this question came the question whether he felt the same way about her. The latter one scared her. What if the answer is no, she wondered. She knew he was attracted to her. She would have to be blind not to notice that but did he love her? She knew he had been badly hurt in love before. Would he let himself succumb to love again or would he swear off love for life? She was eager to know the answers to all these questions but was also apprehensive of them. What if they were not what she was expecting? Can she survive the disappointment and disillusionment?
She looked up at the clock. It was past 11.30 pm and still Dev had not called. She was alarmed by the unusual delay in the call. Was something wrong with him? Was he sick? Panicking, she called up Singh Residence. Nandu kaka answered the phone and said that Dev Saab has still not come home. Sameera's heartbeat quickened as she called his office. There was no response. By now she was sweating profusely. She tried his cell but she was getting no response. Not knowing what had happened to him and being so far away from him, she felt lost and terrified. Tears started filling up her eyes fast and spilled over her cheeks.
Just then the phone rang. She literally pounced on it and hurriedly held it to her ear. The sound of his voice was like music. She heaved a sigh of relief but could not immediately respond to him as she was choked with emotion. Inspite of herself a sniff escaped her lips. He immediately sensed that she had been crying and asked her if she was alright, his voice betraying his concern. She nodded her head and realising he cannot see her, she uttered a meek 'yes'. He then explained to her that he was caught up in an important meeting with his overseas clients. He later tried her number before he left his office but the lines in the route were busy. So he left thinking he will call her from home. She asked him why he did not respond to his cell. He apologised saying that he always kept his cell on silent mode while driving, to avoid distraction. She realised how foolish she was to unnecessarily panic over such trivial things. It was so untypical of her to behave in this manner. Was this one more reason to believe that she was indeed in love with him? She pushed the thought aside for the moment and embarked on another long and pleasurable conversation with him.
It was well past two o'clock by the time they wished each other good morning and Dev disconnected the call. It is only then he realised he had still not had his dinner. Seeing the number of missed calls on his cell and later being told by Nandu kaka that Sameera had called home too, Dev feared that she was in trouble and called her up immediately. Once on the hook, he forgot all sense of time as always. Strangely he did not feel hungry. Talking and listening to her not only filled his ears but also seemed to fill his stomach as well. Ever since he left her behind in Bangalore and returned to Mumbai, he could not stop thinking about her. Her absence left a deep sense of emptiness both at work and in his house. Dev sometimes hallucinated that she was in his office or in his house, as a result of which he ended up talking to himself. His secretary and Nandu kaka were puzzled by his strange behaviour and had to literally shake him up to make him aware of his surroundings. He knew he has fallen in love with her but can he afford to do so? Does she reciprocate his feelings? Would he be worthy of her? He did not know. All he knew was that he did not want to hurt her at any cost. He will not reveal his feelings for her. After the fiasco at his residence he cannot take the chance of losing her forever. No, he will wait for her to make the first move. He then hit his bed, and soon was enveloped in sweet dreams of the woman who had come to occupy all his thoughts.
It was a Sunday and Maan was home.
After breakfast he rummaged through his cupboard and brought out an old photo
album which had photographs of him as a new born baby. He then removed a
tin box which held photos of baby Geet. He had got the box from his
mother-in-law when he had asked her for pictures of Geet to frame on the occasion
of her birthday. He took a pair of scissors and snipped at both sets of
photographs, separating the eyes, nose, lips, forehead and chin. Taking out a
scrap book he first pasted a picture each of baby Maan and baby Geet. He then
neatly pasted the cut pictures, with different permutations and combinations of
the two sets of photographs. Soon he had filled the scrap book with pictures of
Geet who had been chatting with Baba entered the room just then and was surprised to see Maan sitting on the floor amidst a whole pile of rubbish with a scrap book in his hand. She went up and asked him what he was doing and was told that he was trying to figure out how his babies will look. Seeing Geet's puzzled expression, he got up, took her hand and led her to the bed. Sitting beside her he showed her the scrap book.
"Look, Geet. If our babies take after you, they will look like this," he said pointing at the first photo of baby Geet on the scrap book.
"If they take after me, they will look like this," he said pointing to the second photo of baby Maan.
"If they are a combo of both of us, they can look like any of these. See here if the forehead is like mine, but the rest of the features are like you, they will look like this," he said pointing to the third picture.
"If the eyes are like mine but the rest of them are like you, this is how they'll look," he pointed to the fourth picture.
"And look here, in this one the forehead and lips are like mine and the rest of them are like you."
He went on in this vein for the next half hour, excitedly explaining each and every photo in the scrap book. Geet's smile widened seeing her husband's laborious efforts to put together their babies pictures even before they were born. At the end of his long discourse, she put her arms around his neck and placed a wet kiss on his lips.
"Do you know how cute you are?" She pinched his cheeks."By the way, would you like to have sons or daughters?"
"I would be happy to have three daughters just like you," he said kissing the tip of her nose."What about you?"
"I would like to have at least one son, if not more and he should be a perfect replica of his papa."
"Darling, sons or daughters, they will be our babies. That is what is important. All I want is to see them healthy and happy. I don't care what gender they are. They are all the same to me. I'll love them equally."
to that," she said and smiled at him.
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Joined: 14 October 2006
caught up on three updates together in two days.
1. reiterating - Sameera/Dev are
2. Maan is sweet. Helping Geet get over what was troubling her.
3. Rano reflects many people from the older generation who learnt the hard way to let bygones be bygones.
When i was growing up in Delhi, there used to be a lot of old people who would sit outside their houses in the charpai and you had to go and say namaste to them while passing them. Every line and every crease on their face reflected the hardships that they had faced and overcome, of partition, of being a refugee, of building a life and then succeeding.
Their children were all well off now and with that came the rigidity of not having to compromise and not having to think of another person, of forgiving even your enemy, of realising that it is only events which are against you, not people, that people are a victim of circumstances. These are lessons that the older generation learnt and they had to to continue living.
Rano in your story is representative of that for me.
4. Hope Geet is able to overcome her trauma.
And thank you Opti for bringing out all these emotions in your FF.
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Joined: 14 October 2006
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Joined: 14 October 2006
Joined: 14 October 2006
Joined: 18 September 2010
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