"Dadi, what is all of this?" He
said looking skeptically at the food and extravagant setting that wasn't normal
for everyday dinner at the Khurana household.
"Oh it's nothing Beta, I just
thought to have some friends over for dinner." She said casually.
"What? Why didn't you tell me
earlier you know I don't like company!"
"Will you chill Dad, you will
love her she's so sweet and nice." Piyu said munching on a cookie.
"Piyu, I've told you a dozen
times no sweets before dinner. And how do you know this new friend?"
Before Piyu could answer the
doorbell rang and she ran towards the door to open it. But her height was an
obstacle for this activity. Maan stood behind and watched Piyu on her tippy
toes placing one hand against the door for balance and the other waving in the
air reaching for the lock.
"Piyu, let me help you." Maan
picked her up and let her unlock the lock, while he turned the knob allowing
the door to open and reveal the beauty behind it.
Maan couldn't help but stare
intriguingly at her. After scanning her down, he noticed she wore minimal
makeup and a simple white summer dress concluding that she definitely was not
from here. His next thought was that her face was not exactly Hamptons
material. Well yes, her beauty and facade were classic characteristics of this
wealthy seaside. But the face also possessed dark circles under tired somber
eyes and was covered with worry lines which no one here would be caught dead
in. Then once he looked back into her eyes Maan noticed the front she put up
wasn't the usual socialite type. No, this facade was trying to hide something much
darker. His mind would have thoughtlessly continued on this track had it not
been for Meera interrupting.
"Hey Geet, I finally found it I
dropped it near the fountain." Said Meera who had just reached the house now
since she was busy looking for her cell phone in the lawn.
He didn't know how long he had
been lost in his thoughts but he quickly regained his composure and introduced
himself. "Hi, I'm Maan and this is Piyu." He said while extending his
right hand out to Geet while the other held Piyu in his arms.
Geet shook his hand and nodded,
"I've been quite well acquainted with Piyu, right sweetie. I'm Geet by the way
and this is Meera." Piyu struggled in Maan's hold and realizing she wanted to
get down, he placed her on the floor.
"You are such a cute little
thing!" Meera said while pinching her cheeks.
Piyu giggled while saying, "I
know I am!"
She immediately grabbed Geet and
Meera's hands and pulled them towards the kitchen.
"What took you both so long?
We've been waiting forever!"
Maan simply shook his head at
Piyu's behavior and followed them into the kitchen where Dadi was busy setting
the table. Now that he met their company Maan had an inkling of what was going
to happen tonight. So he decided to escape.
He walked over to Dadi's side
when he noticed Piyu was occupied with Meera and Geet and tried to make his
move. "Dadi I just got a call from Adi and he wants to get the plans for the
new project ready so I'll have to go right now." He hoped this was convincing
enough but he should have known that his Dadi was one step ahead of him. She
knew this was coming, after all who knew her grandson better than herself.
"Maan, please don't fool me. Your
cell phone has been charging over there since you've gotten home and hasn't
ringed once." She said glancing over at the small kitchen desk in the corner
where the phone lay. "Now stop making excuses and at least for my sake try
Before Maan could complain
further Piyu started screaming she was hungry. He realized there was no way out
and to make the best of the night was the only option.
Geet wanted to be far away from
Maan as possible but Meera beat her to the far end seating. Just my luck she
thought and took her seat next to Maan. He sat at the head of the table with
Piyu on his right and Geet on the left, Meera sat next to her while Dadi next
Geet wasn't scared or intimidated
by Maan, she just felt awkward around him. Since the moment she shook his hand
and looked into his deep brown eyes she felt uncomfortable. They had an
allurement to them, on the surface they seemed cold and icy but the deeper one
observed pain was clearly visible along with a tinge of softness. This
revelation slightly shocked Geet since in the short time she observed Maan,
softness was not at all a word that could be used to describe his demeanor and
attitude. But then again her experience as a doctor had taught her that there
is always more than meets the eye. And this could very well be the case with
Maan she thought again.
Being the type of person that
enjoyed challenges in the hospital Geet would often be more fascinated in
obscure cases and people like these. This could be interesting she thought
while glancing over at Maan but then immediately chided herself. Maan isn't a
medical case that needs to be solved! And even if he was nothing indicates he
would be a willing patient Geet concluded before mentally thanking Meera for
breaking her away from her absurd thoughts.
"Wow, Dadi the food is absolutely
delicious! It's been ages since we've had homemade Indian food!"
"Thank you Beta, so I heard from
Geet that you are an interior designer. That must be fun."
"Yes, I love it. I've always been
artistic. In college I started out wanting to be a doctor like Geet but I later
realized my real passion was designing."
"I wish I had taken up that
route, at least I wouldn't be where I am right now." Geet said sourly while
picking at her food mindlessly.
"Oh come on Geet, it's only a
matter of time until the case will be settled." Meera said.
"She's right beta, just relax
right now. Everything will be over with soon."
"But Dadi, it'll take months for
this case to be solved so what will I do until then. And the Walters really
won't settle for anything less than my license so after that what will I do?"
"Geet, you did absolutely nothing
wrong so there is no question about anything happening to your medical license.
But in the meantime if you are worried about passing time, why don't you work
Maan, who least wanted to be
there all this while, was a silent listener of the conversation. He focused
mainly on this food and Piyu who managed to get more food on her clothing than
into her mouth. But Dadi's job offer caused him to instantly look up at Dadi's
face. She tried to act casual but Maan was good at reading faces and had a
feeling she was up to something.
"What do you think Maan? I mean
you know how Piyu is without you around on taking her medicine. And even I'm
frailing in health, what if something happened when you weren't home? I think
it'd be good to have a doctor around the house, don't you?" Dadi said feigning
innocence and weakness.
Although Maan knew what she was
up to, there wasn't much he could do. If he said no then Meera and Geet would think
he's an absolute monster for not caring about his Dadi's well being. But if he
said yes then has to put up with Dadi's nonsense. "Ah well...I guess so, whatever
you see fit Dadi." Maan couldn't think of a way out of this one. He truly hoped
Dadi didn't have an ulterior motive behind this but the chances were slim he
"So it's settled then Geet you
will work for us starting tomorrow!" Dadi was smiling wide now.
"But Dadi I don't know about
this, I mean..." Geet was trying to wriggle out of this. Yes it was a great offer
and she loved the company of Dadi and Piyu but it's going to be so strange
around Maan especially after secretly dissecting his behavior all throughout
dinner. Not to mention this isn't the conventional doctor's job she is used to.
"Beta do you what to find me
collapsed on the floor one day?" Dadi said getting slightly upset and
emotional. Maan hoped that Geet wouldn't accept the offer. But now that hope
came crashing down after this emotionally blackmailing statement was dropped by
"Of course not Dadi, don't say
such a thing." Geet couldn't say no after hearing such from Dadi. Although she
had just met her it had been years since she felt an emotional motherly
connection like that with someone and the thought of losing that too was
unbearable. "Okay, I'll gladly work for you Dadi until everything is settled."
"That's wonderful! Isn't it
Piyu? Now we will have Geet with us all the time."
"Yes, I finally have someone to
play with!" Piyu started clapping excitedly.
Everyone was happy at the table,
well almost everyone. Maan knew this was the consequence of simply entertaining
the thought of a relationship this morning to Dadi. He had a feeling she was up
to no good and now offering Geet this job just confirmed it. Of course he had
no hard feelings towards Geet, he didn't even know her. Maan was just troubled over
what Dadi was planning because it was something he wasn't in the least bit
ready for. Lost in these thoughts Maan abruptly excused himself from the table
and left for the study on the pretext of work.
After Maan's sudden departure
Meera and Geet cleaned up since the help had left early that night, while Dadi
put a sleepy Piyu to bed. Once everything was completed in the kitchen they
said their goodbyes and left with Geet assuring Dadi she would be back the next
morning. This reminded Dadi of the next order of busy, dealing with Maan so she
made her way to his study.
He stood against the large bay
window staring out into the open expanse of water. It was clear night so the
moonlight shone brightly giving off beautiful natural light. He enjoyed the
small serenity that overcame him while staring off into this oblivion. It was
only here he could feel this way, only here where his past didn't haunt him.
The open sky above and the ocean below made his problems seem smaller for an
instant. Here there were no reminders of the past in front of him constantly
bombarding him with disappointment and guilt. Lost in this daze he quietly
whispered, this isn't how life is supposed to be.
"Then how is it supposed to Maan?"
Dadi said slowly making her way next to him to also watch the moonlight dance
over the ocean.
Maan wasn't surprised she
followed him. He had a feeling she would come here after his stunt at the
dinner table. He didn't bother looking at her and continued staring outside, "I
don't know, but not like this." Maan couldn't take it anymore and made it clear
that he wasn't interested in what she was planning. He was surprised when she
didn't respond immediately, that wasn't normally like her especially on this
"The ocean has many secrets you
know. On the surface it looks tranquil but thousands of year's worth of
knowledge and treasures lay lost in the depths. The same is true with people
you know, we show people the surface we want them to see while our secrets are
hidden deep within. It's often done to make ourselves or others happy or at
least show the appearance as such. And I've noticed the same thing with Geet. I
know that this setback to her career has affected her greatly but there is
something in her eyes that tells me there is more behind her pain." Dadi would have
continued had it not been for Maan instantly looking up at her after stating
the last sentence.
"Don't look so shocked Maan. I
know very well how to read people and it's from me that you got your ability. I
can't stand what I see in her eyes, that's why I offered her the job, so that
maybe I can help her somehow." She paused for a while and continued with a
little smile, "And I know you think I'm doing all of this to set you two up and
that's not totally out of the realm of possibility."
Maan gave her an exasperated look
and walked out of the room. He didn't want to argue with her now. Especially
after knowing that his relationship status wasn't her first motive but he
couldn't completely forget that it was a motive nonetheless.
you all for the comments so far I really appreciate them! I'm sorry I haven't been able to individually reply, I've just been busy with coursework and all but as soon as I'm finished I will get back to you all! Below there is a note pertaining to the FF with pictures! I hope you liked this part please comment and/or hit the like button!
Edited by Limerance - 31 May 2011 at 7:49pm