The next morning when Geet woke up it was to the sound of something shuffling beside. She turned her head n found Maan placing the tray of breakfast on the side table.
Good morning. He said n she tried to sit but the dull ache in her stomach failed her attempt. Though the stomach ache was not that potent still the knot in her stomach was enough to leave her weak.
Maan sat on the bed n said. I have brought you breakfast. She didn't reply, after what happened the night before she couldn't even look at him.
Her silence did not deter him n he let his hand move towards her back to help her sit up. She lightly pushed them away n with a little extra effort sat on her own.
I don't want to eat. She told when he indicated towards the breakfast tray.
Tell me something new. He said casting her mild angry glare. But I won't buy it, either you eat yourself or I will feed you. By now he had understood it clearly that to make her do something there was only one, forcing her.
Don't know why but tears filled her hazels as she looked at him, wearily. I don't want to eat. She snapped. Because I would throw it all up. I don't like vomiting.
Maan sighed. Yesterday a doctor came n she had prescribed some medicines. I have them but to take them you would have to eat something first. The look on her face spoke defiance. Geet we don't have time.
I have loads of time. She whispered looking away. You can go to office. I will eat later.
Will you stop being so difficult n listen to me, for once? The anger in his voice was evident n she flinched. His gaze softened. Okay, don't eat anything but have this juice. He forwarded the glass towards her mouth.
What if I vomited again?
You won't. Maan assured. How do you know? She countered.
Geet. He was losing patience. Holding her cheeks, he thrust the glass to her lips n forcefully made her drink the whole thing.
She gagged when he removed the glass and looked at him with more angry tears in her eyes.
These are your meds. He motioned towards the tray. Have them. I am going to check on Jia. Meanwhile you get ready we are going to your psychiatrist.
Geet looked at him astound. You mean Neeraj. I don't want to go.
What is your problem? You don't want to eat n you don't want to go to the doctor. Then what do you want? Rot here?
A tear slid down her eyes n he cursed himself. He didn't want to sound rude but she was leaving no choice.
No, I want to rot in my room. Will you allow me the privilege please? Why was he doing this, she didn't know. She got up from the bed to leave but just as she stood her head started spinning n she lost balance. At right time Maan held her n made her sit on the bed.
No I won't. He shouted on her face. We are going to the psychiatrist n that's final.
After 45 minutes they came downstairs, ready to leave.
Dadimaa was surprised when Maan told her that they were going to Geet's psychiatrist. For her that was a big progress, at least Maan was showing concern towards her health.
Rohan on the other hand couldn't keep his eyes off Geet. Now when he was looking at her closely he could see she was weak n withdrawn. There was no shimmering saari or makeup to hide her dark circles, pale skin n sucked in cheeks. Not at all like the deceptive, selfish women he had imagined her to be all these years. Perhaps Dadimaa was right, this was all a big misunderstanding, n by the way, who was he to draw conclusions anyway.
You look scared? Rohan half commented half asked.
I don't like clinics n hospitals very much. She said. There was a small pout on her face while she looked at Maan with complaint.
Rohan hid his smile; certainly his cousin had used his threatening skills on her.
Don't worry your devil hubby would scare off the evil docs n nurses.
We are getting late. Maan said with a scoff.
Haan aap log jayiye. Dadimaa said n they both left in the car.
The ride was silent with Geet resting her head on the glass window, looking out n Maan driving dutifully. Although he looked at her every now n then, he didn't try to break the silence because there was nothing to say. Still, a small sliver of hope was visible, may be today, he would get some answers.
He had called Rajendra as soon as he woke up in the morning n told him about Geet's condition. Then only Rajendra informed that the date of Geet's monthly check up with psychiatrist was last week, he thought that Geet must have gone herself. After hanging up on Rajendra, Maan called the private clinic of Geet's psychiatrist n got an appointment for today.
Apparently, Geet's psychiatrist was one of the best in his field in the whole country and also extremely loyal, that was why he denied giving any information relating Geet to anyone else other than Meera n Rajendra when earlier he had talked to him.
They reached the clinic n Geet unease was palpable in the stiff posture she walked in.
Everything white brought the familiar, strangling feeling n as she walked along the long corridor towards, Neeraj, her psychiatrist cabin, the walls seemed to close up on her. She was visiting after a long time so it felt all the more excruciating.
Maan wanted to comfort her, to hold her in his arms n assure that everything was fine but he just walked by her side. She knew before pushing open the cabin's door, Maan looked at her but she didn't acknowledge his gaze n they both entered.
Geet. The eyes behind specs were warm n welcoming, as Neeraj greeted his patient. I was waiting for you. You skipped two checkups. I was growing worried for you.
Hello Neeraj. She said and for his last sentences just smiled apologetically. Neeraj observed the girl before him. She was scared, he could tell n looked bad as compared to the last time she visited him.
Maan Singh Khurana. Maan said forwarding his hand. Neeraj shook it n Maan saw something flicker in his eyes and then it was gone the friendly glow back at its place. Geet's husband.
She cringed at the way he introduced himself. It was the first time n she was not used to it.
Neeraj. Nice to meet you Mr. Khurana. Have a seat.
Both Maan Geet sat beside each other while, to Maan, the man on the other side of desk didn't look any older than 30.
32. Neeraj said.
I am 32.
Oh. Maan said surprise written over his face.
Don't worry. I just guessed by your expressions. He stated with another smile. So... Geet how is you?
Fine. She whispered looking down.
Really? He sounded amused. Reaching behind towards another desk at the back of his chair, he picked up a box n handed it to Geet. The box looked oddly familiar, Maan noticed confused. This would make you even better.
Sweet Candy. Her face lit up in a way Maan didn't see in recent history. Though as she took the name, he remembered it was the same candy that they used to have in the main market of Ujwal Academy.
Neeraj knew Geet liked this candy n he arranged for a box especially from Ujwal Academy every time she came. It wasn't much in return for making her happy while also putting her at ease for the sessions.
Mr. Khurana if you don't mind can you wait outside I want to have alone talk with her.
Maan looked at Geet but she didn't glance at him. He left without another word.
After what felt like eternity but were just 15 minutes, nurse asked him to come inside.
Take Geet for tests. Neeraj told the nurse n smiled reassuringly at Geet. She smiled back n walked out behind the nurse, the candy box still in hand.
Once they both were alone Neeraj looked at Maan the smile didn't faltered but the look in his eyes changed a little.
It's amazing how little things can make people happy, especially someone like Geet. She is still a child at heart.
Hmm. Maan answered because the tone with which Neeraj ended, it seemed more of a question than a statement.
Are you happy? He asked suddenly adjusting his specs.
Maan furrowed his brows. His nerves were already twitching in need of answers n over that the absurd talks was just adding to his confusion n exasperation.
I mean with this marriage, taking in that you both didn't know whom you were going to get married.
How did you know? Maan asked sceptically.
Neeraj leaned back on his chair. I am Geet's psychiatrist n have been treating her for almost 4 years. More than that she is not just a patient but has become a friend. I know her more than she knows herself. The way she thinks, her doubts, her fears... I know it all. I have been in every crevice of her brain n I know how it works. The smile disappeared into a thin line as he pursed his lips into a more serious expression for the first time. I am no one to judge here. But she was coming out of the depression slowly yet surely. Now, though, she is slipping back again into it.
I am aware what happened between you two and I admit that only her side of story is known to me. She thinks that you... are the reason for whatever condition she is in, she is not blaming but that is the thing which is there in her mind and it's eating her. It would be difficult to live together in this forced marriage n Geet-being a patient of melancholic depression-would certainly not be easy to cope up with but Mr. Khurana she needs help and care. Keeping his hands on the table, he added. She has seen difficult times more than you can imagine n has gone though physical abuse too. Her thought process is damaged and she gets feed up in her own hollowness.
Her current physical condition would be clearer when the results of the tests-that I have sent her for-would come. But, from what I figured out right now after seeing n talking to her is that she is weaker. I know she needs medicines but now she is depending on them too much. The sleeping pills she is consuming are more than prescribed. The pill-induced sleep is not natural n if it becomes a regular routine then the cells in the brains gets damaged. If, everything kept going in the same way they are now then it could prove fatal for her.
Forgetting all grudges or whatever it is, Mr. Khurana, you should take care of her, if not as a wife then as a human being.
What physical abuse? It was the first thing Maan asked after listening about everything that had and has been going on with her. He was aware that she was not well but her state was tarnished to this extent he did not know.
Apart from the details of her depression what bugged him the most was who would physically abuse her? As per he knew her family was a loving one and Rajendra also loved her. Just as the words of someone abusing Geet left Neeraj's mouth, he felt the pure fury bubbling inside him.
I can't tell you that. Neeraj said sitting straight. I have given my words to Meera, she would kill me if I did reveal Geet's history to you. The smile was back on Neeraj face the difference was that it irritated Maan now.
If you wouldn't tell me I will figure out myself. Maan said furiously.
That's what I want. Neeraj stated. That you find out yourself.
Oh! You are back, Geet. He beamed at her when she came back as if nothing happened.
I will send the test reports to your house. Neeraj said to Maan. N Geet, don't skip your checkups otherwise next time I won't give you your candy.
At this Geet actually rolled her eyes.
Anyways Shanaya was asking about you. You were not picking her calls.
Geet again smiled apologetically. I am sorry. My phone was not with me.
Oh okay. I will ask her to call you again.
Maan stood up. We should be going now. And walked out. Bidding goodbye to her doctor, she followed him out.