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"Dadi'"Maan called softly when silence prevailed once Nakul escorted the doctor from the room. The face that turned towards him was etched in pain and anxiety. He knew she wanted to rant at him but it was the doctor's advice of no stress that spared him. He still couldn't fathom what had come over him' one moment he was looking at Geet over Dadi's head when Dadi had brushed away the hand he had extended for support' then the excruciating pain had flashed in his head as if the torment in her eyes slashed at him and the world had gone blank. He couldn't comprehend that any more than he could fathom the blinding rage that had blinded him to everything but the need to lash out at her for calling herself a w***e. But that did not excuse his behaviour'
"I'm sorry Dadi'" he reached out to touch her. But his hands dropped when she moved away in the pretext of pouring a glass of water.
"I am so ' so disappointed in you Maan." Her eyes burned with supressed rage. "I am not the one whom you should be apologising to. "
"I know Dadi and I will too. But I know I hurt you too" his voice was thick with remorse. "I don't know what came over me'."
"Whatever it is ' this is no way to behave," her voice spoke of her distress. "Your action speaks of my failure. Yes! I am to be blamed for failing in your upbringing. I failed to instil the need to treat your wife with respect."
"Dadi please don't blame yourself' the fault is entirely mine. I know what I did is wrong and there is no justification for it. I will apologize to Geet and will take whatever punishment I deserve."
"What has happened to you, Maan? You had stood against the world to be stand by her, there was no extend to which you would go to bring a smile on her face," she shook her head in bewilderment. "Now you have raised your hand on her, the same Geet whose tears would depress you."
"When you say Geet was my life.. I ' I feel I am missing out" he caught her hand in his, holding on' "Why can't I remember Dadi? I want to. I want to remember so I can understand. But I don't know why!... then when she comes before me with her eyes full of expectations, I '. I ' go on defensive.. I feel as if I am found wanting' i want to lash out and she is there conveniently'." He bend his head and clutched his hair. "I want to remember' I need to correct this'"
Dadi was concerned by Maan's outburst and placed a calming hand on his shoulder. "Now, now' don't stress yourself, it will come back to you, I am sure ' I just hope'" she shook her head dreading how this was tearing apart the children she loved so dearly. " But for now take rest."
"I will send her in' you can apologize." She gave him a stern look before continuing, " But 5 minutes. I don't want her upset further."
As moments passed he became restless.. he just needed to get this over with.. he was not someone who made mistakes often and he lived by his rule' but with Geet he found himself apologising every now and then.. what was it between them that they were at odds almost always? No decision he made regarding her seemed right and he reacted insensibly' violently'. Just the opposite of how he was told he used to react'
He looked at the snap placed near her bedside, the one he avoided looking at because it puzzled him. He looked so different in that' so happy o utterly relaxed and content as if he held the world within his arms' the pride in his eyes as he looked at the woman in his arms. his head was angled to listen her whispered words. As if pulled by an unseen thread he walked towards it and took the framed picture in his hand'.
Maan's eyes shifted to the woman'her face aglow with joy' so comfortably leaning onto him' her head tilted back a little to gauze the reaction of her comment'her eyes brimming with mischief and something so bright'
"How are you feeling now Maan?" He turned to see her standing a couple of steps away from him. Her voice was almost as expressionless as her face. But in her eyes flickered to the photo he held in his hands, there was a depth of emotions' pain, hopelessness'
Remorse sliced thru him as he saw the redness of her cheek' he could almost make out the finger marks even at this distance which explained her absence when the doctor was there. As if tuned into his thoughts she turned away slightly.
"I'm sorry Geet'"he walked towards her.
"It doesn't matter' it is not like I am new to this." She gestured to her cheek, her voice was blank. Then closed her eyes to hold back the anguish as her voice lowered to an almost inaudible whisper, "just new from you'"
A tear slipped past the confines of the closed lid.
"Geet'" his voice was an agonised whisper. "Please forgive me'"
At the whispery touch of his thumb she opened her eyes to see those eyes dark with misery and contrition.
"It is okay' it doesn't hurt," she consoled. She bent her head so that her hair fell as curtain hiding her injured cheek. But he lifted them away with soft touch.
His drew in a deep agonised breath on seeing the angry marks of his fingers on her soft creamy cheeks. Turning away he slammed his hand against the cot wanting to punish himself for his crime.
"Maan, no'" Geet held his hand before he could cause injury to himself.
"Why?" he asked harshly, questioning not just her but his own actions.. ..the man he had turned into. He had never raised his hand on a woman. "Why?...why? " his voice hoarse with the ache in his throat.
"shh' don't stress yourself' let go'" she placed his hand on her cheek and repeated "It doesn't hurt."
Then cupped the side of his face with her free hand, "You hurt me more when you hurt yourself." Her eyes shimmering with unshed tears, she turned her face slightly to touch her lips to his hand, giving him the forgiveness he craved.
She was holding his palm between hers when Dadi knocked and entered.
"I hope you have had your say Maan '" she looked at him. " now go to bed, " she paused and fixed him with another of her stern look giving no room for argument, "' Geet will be sleeping in my room."
The next day everyone tried hard to behave normal'. but he could neither forget nor forgive himself' he felt suffocated acting as if nothing happened .. . with the long silences, the careful avoidance of eyes. Dadi made sure that he was not alone with Geet , and her distrust rankled even when he could understand her sentiments' Geet was no less to her than what he was to her. Still her distrust and the sadness in her eyes added to his shame. He needed to escape'. The need for solitude tormented' some personal place where he could be himself. So he asked his belongings to be shifted to the outhouse and Dadi's accepted as if she agreed that was for the best.
"Dadi, why is Maan's things being shifted to the outhouse?" Geet asked.
"He will be staying there for a couple of weeks. " Dadi replied, raising her eyes from the book she was reading.
Dadi placed her book down with a sigh, knowing she was in for an argument.
"He wishes to be on his own for some time and I thought it is a good decision. No one misbehaves with my daughter and gets away with it!"
"Dadi' he wouldn't have reacted so if he was not provoked' I ' I said something.."
"Stop making excuses for him Geet. What he did was wrong, against principles. You may forgive him because you love him'.." she took Geet's hand in hers. "I can't, because I love him too. It is my duty to correct when he makes mistake and raising his hand was way beyond a mistake. 'Distance however small, will teach him to value relations and not to take them for granted."
"Then let me stay in the outhouse' it is every bahu's right to visit her mayka when she is angry with her husband'. And the outhouse was my mayka."
"That was before." Dadi patted her cheek. "I am your Dadi now."
"And what about Maan? Will you be able to turn away from him?"
"IF I need to' and he is still within my vision."
"No Dadi' he needs someone with him now. What if he gets another dizzy attack? Do you think we will know about it unless he is staying with you? You know his independent streak ' he will never admit to weakness or vulnerability."
Dadi sighed saddened at the irony of fate' Geet understood Maan so well ..they were made for each other and her ziddi grandson couldn't accept that.
"I am in perfect health and if you can always see me thru the cameras installed."
"No buts.. you know this is a better idea. And you can't take my right to stay in my mayka' even the most evil saas in soaps let their bahu's visit her mayka once in a while!"
"Why can't my fool of grandson value the precious gift he has?" adadi lamented after kissing Geet's forehead in agreement.
"Everything will work out Dadi'" Geet rested her head on Dadi's shoulder feeling the tears clog her throat. If nothing else it will prepare me for what is to come'.. a live without your support.
He had bowed down to Dadi's decision to let Geet stay in the outhouse because he did not wish to antagonize her further. Then there was always a chance to review the situation in a couple of days. For now he didn't wish to widen the rift.
He found that distance didn't diminish his fascination for her. Why else would his eyes go back to her movements in the outhouse, after the cursory glance to make sure she was okay? What made her depressed today, he wondered taking in her drooping shoulders as she stood by the window. He remembered her odd habit of talking to herself when she was alone' and put on the sound.
The darkness of the night added to the loneliness' there was no stars to keep her company tonight' she felt as if she was back to being the old Geet ,lonely desperate ' she had forgotten what it was like to be alone' the knowledge that her family was just a call away didn't relieve the desperation that came with the solitude' may be it was the hopelessness that her life was slipping away from her'. She felt so incomplete'
May be it was the significance of the day' a year had passed since Maan had defended her against the world and claimed her as his'filling her maang with his blood'. Then he had brought her back with him' held her in his arms thru the night' she had slept peacefully listening to the steady beat of his heart, feeling secure in the strength of his arms .. believing that, come what may his love and trust would strengthen her to win her battles' with him at her side she would never be desolate again'
Her throat burned with agony and she brushed
the wetness off her cheeks' she wouldn't cry 'she had promised herself' . but
the supressed tears called for release' suffocating her' still she didn't wish
to be thought weak even by herself'
do play he song for maximum impact... this is one of the few i always cry along
She selected the song she wanted ' and tried to distract herself with the soulful voice of the singer'. Singing along' drowning herself in the emotions the lyrics evoked' tears slipping past her closed eyelids'.
kyaa ahad-e-wafaa hote hain
Log milate hai, judaa hote hain
Kab bichhad jaaye, humasafar hee to hain
Kab badal jaaye, yek najar hee to hain
Jana-o-dil jis pe, fidaa hote hain
Baat nikalee thee, is jamaane kee
Jis ko aadat hai, bhool jaane kee
Aap kyo hum se, khafaa hote hain
Jab rulaa lete hai, jee bhar ke hume
Jab sataa lete hai, jee bhar ke hume
Tab kahee khoosh wo, jaraa hote hain
so there goes the first part of maan's remorse ... still a long way to go, i know but the song shud wud be the stimulus, don't u think? i so wanted to give updates for the other stories too ... like a triple sundae but they are not ready and it's a long weekend...
so this becomes my belated b'day gift to AAshu and an advanced 'Id' gift
no use saying sorry for the delay i feel, when i often repeat the same mistake... but the delay is not intentional... at times i don't feel the story.. and family issues and at times ill health plays a trick...
Joined: 21 November 2010
Joined: 28 August 2010
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