Joined: 14 October 2006
The Mumbai Trip - Part II
This is the final part of my Maaneet fic on their trip to Mumbai.
The next morning turned out to be very hectic. Maan received a call from Adi that he was urgently needed at his Delhi office. So they had to hurriedly check out of the hotel. They barely managed to grab a bite of the breakfast. Maan kept his wounded hand well hidden from Geet. Geet herself averted her gaze from him and looked out of the car throughout their journey to the airport. Later in the flight too her eyes were glued to the aircraft window. As soon as they reached their residence, Maan dropped Geet and immediately left for work. When he returned that evening, he tried to make small talk with his wife but she completely ignored him. As Dev and her family were still around, he did not want to bring up their issue before them. Instead, he tried to converse with her indirectly through Dev, Nandu, Lucky and Mamaji. She pointedly ignored all his remarks and comments but was very cordial with the rest of the family. If they noticed anything amiss between the young couple, they did not show it.
That night Geet carried her quilt to his room and threw it on his bed as they had agreed to share the room before they had left for the Mumbai trip. Seeing her, Maan's eyes brightened and he finally brought up the subject of the previous night.
"Geet, I want to apologise for my behaviour last night at the hotel in Mumbai," he said hesitatingly.
Geet turned her face away from him and pretended he did not exist. Maan knew she was still smarting from his rejection.
"I'm very very sorry Geet. Please forgive me," he begged. When she continued to ignore him and was about to go to her side of the bed, he caught her arm in frustration and swung her around to face him.
"Geet, there is something I have to say to you. Please listen to me," he pleaded.
She shook her arm free and sat on the bed. He placed his hand on her shoulder. She pushed it away and said curtly, "I am tired. I want to sleep."
Without waiting for his response she lay down on the bed with her back to him so that he could not see her silent tears. He stared at her back for some time and decided to give her time to cool off. So he did not press on.
The next morning he tried to talk to her again. "Geet, I need to talk to you, please," he said. "Won't you listen to me?"
Geet again ignored him and went about her tasks as if he did not exist.
"Geet, please let me explain," he pleaded again.
Not being able to hold back any longer she lashed out, "Explain what, Mr. Maan Singh Khurana? That you left me that night because you found me disgusting?"
Maan was shocked to hear this.
"Geet, no. What makes you say that?"
"You made me feel cheap, Maan. Can you even begin to imagine how humiliating it is for a woman to be rejected by her husband in bed? Is it wrong to love my husband and want to be with him? Does that make me a nymphomaniac? "she asked, her eyes welling up. She wiped her tears furiously, trying to get a grip of herself. She knew he did not like crying women. He thought that it was their weakness. She would not let him think that she was weak.
When he heard the words she had used, Maan literally cringed. "NO!" he screamed in anguish, shutting her mouth with his left hand. His wounded right hand still remained hidden from her view. "Please, don't say that. You are not at fault. I am the one to be blamed. I am the one who failed to fulfill your legitimate needs. Please forgive me, Geet." His eyes betrayed his remorse.
"Now that you have apologised to me once again Mr.Maan Singh Khurana, when do you plan to repeat this humiliation? I'm asking so that I can steel myself for it in advance," she said sardonically.
"No, I am not going to humiliate you again, ever. Geet, please forgive me this one last time."
Geet looked at him enquiringly.
"Are you sure that this would be the last time I will be subjected to your humiliation, Maan? " she asked.
Maan was taken aback by her sarcasm. Was it really his Geet who spoke so cynically? He wondered.
Just then the phone rang. It was his secretary who had called him to remind him that the board members are awaiting him. It is only then he remembered that he had called for an extraordinary general body meeting to discuss the acquisition of a firm. He realised that this was not the opportune time to strike a business deal when his personal life was in shambles. He wanted to get his personal life back in shape before making any major business move. Having called for the board meeting, he now needed to address the members and buy for more time.
"I'm sorry, I'll have to leave immediately for an urgent meeting. We'll discuss this in the evening," he said as he hurried out. Geet did not say anything.
At the meeting Maan explained to the board members that there was a proposal for the acquisition of an architectural firm. While this firm can bring with it a lot of expertise to their construction business, he was having a relook at it. He said that a final decision would be taken after carefully examining all the pros and cons. He distributed the latest details on the financials of the firm and announced that the voting on the acquisition will take place two weeks hence, thereby giving the board members enough time to study the proposal in detail. If the proposal gets accepted the modalities for the acquisition would be worked out by him with the help of Adi. He then wound up the meeting and went into his cabin.
Swinging in his swivel chair, he was immersed in deep thought. From his brief conversation with Geet, he realised how much he had wounded and humiliated Geet by his insensitive act. How far he must have pushed the happy and carefree girl for her to start questioning her own self-worth and sexuality! How far he must have pushed this simple hearted girl to turn her cynical! He felt deeply ashamed of his behaviour. He had no right to keep punishing her for his mistakes.
Returning home that evening he restlessly waited for their private time in the bedroom that night to continue their conversation where he left off that morning. Not understanding his urgency, Lucky engaged him in an animated discussion after dinner about a gymnasium he wanted to start in Delhi. After a few minutes, he saw Geet go up to their room. As he knew that she normally goes to sleep early, he hurriedly excused himself and promising to help Lucky with the finances, he followed Geet into their room, leaving behind a pleased Lucky.
Once they were alone in the room, Maan resumed their incomplete conversation.
"Geet I need to speak to you," he said, holding her hand in his.
"There is nothing further to discuss, Maan," she said with a sigh and extricating her hand from his, she moved away.
Maan's frustration peaked and he yelled out, "Dammit! Why don't you at least listen to what I have to say." He blindly hit his right hand against the nearby wall. Immediately he let out a sharp cry as the pain shot up through his head. His wound had opened up and was bleeding.
Hearing his cry, Geet turned around sharply and seeing his hand bathed in blood, her eyes widened in shock. She quickly ran up to him and unwound the bandage around his hand to examine his wound.
"How did this happen?" she asked him in concern.
He did not respond but stared at her face. Her eyes had welled up in tears. She made him sit on the bed and hurried to the medicine cabinet and came back with the kit. She knelt before him, quickly wiped the blood with cotton and pressed it hard till the bleeding stopped. She then dressed up his wound again.
"Will you please listen to me?" he asked pleadingly.
She sat beside him and said, "OK, if you insist."
"Geet, you are a beautiful person from within and without but I am still trying to understand you. While I deeply care for you and am strongly attracted to you, I am still not in love with you. This is the reason I could not take the final step and make you mine. When I let my senses lead me that night I thought that our union would be purely a physical act which would then help us build a stronger emotional bond later on. But when I saw in your eyes the depth of the emotional connection you already had with me, I could not go ahead. While you were willing to offer me your mind, body and soul, I was in a position to only offer you my body. My conscience would not permit me to take advantage of you."
"So you do not want our union till you fall in love with me?" she asked trying to understand him.
"I do not want to fall in love with you," he declared.
Geet's face fell hearing this.
He continued, "Falling is sudden and effortless. No one knows it better than me. I had fallen in love with a girl at first sight back in my college days."
Hearing this Geet's eyes widened. 'Maan had loved a girl before?' she thought to herself as she looked up at him.
Maan did not notice her enquiring look and continued matter-of-factly, "Sudden love can also have a sudden death under natural or unnatural conditions. My love for this girl died too and I have buried it forever."
His eyes looked vacant as he said this indicating he had no feelings for this mysterious girl any more. Smiling ruefully he added, "Apparently what I thought was love was nothing more than strong infatuation. I astutely stayed off girls after that. That is why I was surprised when I was told that I had fallen in love with you and was married to you. I don't recollect how and when all this happened. I understand that whatever we shared must have been a pretty strong bond for I heard that it has brought me back from the clutches of death not once, but three times. Unfortunately I don't remember anything of the beautiful past I seemed to have shared with you. That is why this time around I do not want to merely fall in love with you, but rise in it. Rising is, however, slow and arduous, requiring a lot of effort and perseverance which I am willing to put in. Will you give me the time to understand you better and rise in love with you?"
Geet was stumped for words as she stared at her husband. Seeing this, Maan was disheartened.
"I know what I am asking from you is unreasonable. I know that I will love you some day for I had been in love with you before, but I have no idea how long it will take for me to feel the same way I did then. Will you wait for me to rediscover my love for you before making you mine?"
Geet nodded her head, her eyes brimming with love for her man. "I'll wait for as long as you want me to."
"Geet you will not regret this decision," he said gently kissing her on the forehead.
Geet smiled at him and said, "I know I will not, for I have faith in my love. My love is strong enough to bring you to me and I will wait to become one with you in mind, body and soul."
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