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The next two weeks Geet worked in her new office. To her luck Maan sir was out of town for a deal and would only return later. When she wasn't on her floor, Geet went downstairs to talk to her new friends. Meera was not so happy that Geet was working here, not because she minded Geet being in the same office as her but it was more the fact that Geet was straight forward, honest and very often said things without thinking and her cranky and khadoos boss will not be pleased seeing her here. Adi and Geet had become friends, too. He finally understood Dadima's plan and congratulated her for her brilliance. Pinky had recovered when she found out about new bistro in the office and took an instant liking towards Geet who was just as crazy about food and she was. Little did she know that the she was one of the reasons why KC will in one week's time have the delight to have Bistro Geet.
The day came and Bistro Geet was opened. Dadima was impressed by what she saw. The dull looking place had been converted into a wonderful bistro.
"Beta I must say I am impressed. You converted this place rather nicely."
"Haina Dadima. Now employees of KC can have lunch in the main area or work while eating on the bigger tables" She indicated towards the respective places. "Adi sir once told me how he had to arrange lunch meetings with clients at nearby restaurants so I have those two rooms for this purpose only."
"Interesting Geet, you thought a lot about this."
"Ji Dadima, my mentor at cooking school told me that a good restaurant or bistro should have all the facilities that will make it easy for people to come and enjoy the food."
The inauguration went well as Geet had forgotten all about the MD. Maan being out of office was a bonus and the fact hat he took Sasha with him was cherry on the icing. The office staff all liked Geet; even Tasha who is Sasha's spy couldn't deny that Geet really cooked some good food.
A week later Maan returned. He was pissed off. He so desperately wanted that deal and Rasika Saxena was not easy to deal with. He got it eventually after all he was Maan Singh Khurana, but he was not in a good mood. The work had piled up and he still didn't have a new secretary. It seemed that no one wanted the job. He never thought about the fact that it might be because he either frightens the person away or fires them on their first day.
"Tasha, I had told you to revise my schedule and include the meeting with Mr Chopra and also to cancel any meetings for Friday afternoon. WHY IS IT NOT DONE?"
Tasha flinched. She was not his secretary and had no idea how to do any of the tasks that were given to her by MK. But she could not tell him that or she would be fired, too.
"Sir, who... I don't know how'"
Of course she doesn't Maan reasoned. She was a stupid girl who couldn't do anything apart from dancing around Sasha and drool over me all day long, but at least Sasha was of some use to the office.
"Now go and get me some coffee, QUICK"
Tasha ran out and ordered a coffee from the bistro upstairs. Since she didn't want o face MK again she told Geet to bring it down.
Geet was happy as she was doing well. The employees at KC liked her and her food and were never hesitant to try any of her new creations. She thought about Antonio, and didn't notice till then that it was the MD to whom she had to bring the coffee. She was nervous, not because she feared Maan sir (or DD as he was known amongst the females of the company) it was because he was the only one left who had to give her a judgement about the food. She didn't expect praise but the expression on someone's face usually gave away many things. She had brought some grilled cheese sandwiches as it was lunch time. She often thought about why the MD was behaving like a wild beast and remembered her mentor once saying: "Food is medicine for mind and body. Is the food bad it will badly effect both is the food good it will positively effect both." He would be proud of her. She held he mug with one hand and knocked at the door.
"Come in" MK said harshly.
"Sir your order." She kept the plate and mug down.
Maan remembered that voice, this just added to his misery.
"YOU? What are you doing in my office? GET OUT." Geet flinched slightly since she didn't expect him to yell at her.
"Stop yelling, I only brought you your order, DD."
Maan stopped. He had often heard females in his office call him DD which meant Dhak Dhak because that was what their heart did after seeing me.
"DD?" he asked.
"Yes, Dusht Dhaanav"
That was it. Maan got up and grabbed Geet by her shoulders. He came dangerously close to her and said: "Don't you dare say that ever again." He stood there looking Geet into her eyes trying with all his might to break her defence with his stare. But instead he drowned into her hazel eyes. The eyes were warm and comforting. He felt at peace looking into them. His anger vanished and after so many years his cold heart started to feel warm again. He came closer and closer to those eyes till both their lips touched. It was an ever so slight touch but both felt a burning sensation and he quickly let go. Geet ran out, past an astonished Adi and up the stairs to her Bistro. She sat down in her kitchen and tried to clam down. Surprisingly she couldn't stop smiling. 'Oye Geet, this man just did "woh" on your lips and you are smiling?' Yes she was smiling. Smiling because something in her heart had clicked and the tightly closed tab of her emotions which she had closed down long ago were now opening again. She didn't realise it yet but she will soon.
Maan stood still. 'Did he just kiss'. No ways that was never'. Why am I thinking about that anyways, that annoying girl is gone, that is what matters. Probably got scared of me,' he thought proudly.
He looked at the mug and sandwiches which Geet had kept there. At first he was reluctant to have them but dug in as his stomach started to rumble. He didn't know that a simple cheese sandwich could be so delicious. The coffee was very good, too. It seemed that there was something different about it but whatever it was it was too good. He saw the napkin and read the name: Bistro Geet
'Strange, I have never heard of it. Must be new. But why did Tasha order something from a Bistro instead of our Canteen. This girl is really stupid.'
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The work went on for the week and Maan started noticing more and more of Bistro Geet in his office. Employee's had BG napkins, lunch bags and wrapping paper with the logo on it. He wondered where this place was. It seemed that every KC employee would rush to BG for lunch or a quick snack in between. Even the coffee and tea came from there. He asked his driver one evening about BG. He had never heard of it and when Maan had asked him to drive up and down the street he couldn't find it either.
His Dadi waited at home for him for dinner on Friday. He was still lost in thought about BG. "But it must be somewhere near" he reasoned with himself. "Since this BG was there not even one KC employee came late after lunch hence it must be somewhere close."
"What are you talking about Maan?
"Oh no nothing Dadi. Our office employee's are going crazy about some Bistro Geet; God knows what is so special about it."
Dadi laughed inwardly. He still didn't know.
"Why don't you check it out?"
Maan didn't want to embarrass himself in front of Dadi by saying he couldn't find it hence he said:
"I don't have time for it. I have more important work to do."
'Accha baccha, Maan, I am your Dadi. I know you still don't know about BG. But I will make sure you do beta, just wait till tomorrow.'
Dadi called Adi after dinner and asked about any lunch meetings for the next day. Indeed there was one which was planned at a nearby restaurant on orders of Maan sir.
"Adi, call the clients and tell them the meeting is now going to be in BG and the send a memo to Maan and tell him the clients insisted on going to BG for lunch."
Adi was terrified, Maan sir was sure to strangle him if he found out about this meddling.
"Par Dadima, what for?"
"Our great Maan Singh Khurana still doesn't know about BG. He was wondering yesterday where it might be"
"What?" Adi started to laugh. His boss was really something. He had been having lunch and coffee from Geet for so many days and still didn't know that it was just one floor above us. Probably because he never went himself but always made someone else get it for him.
"OH and don't tell him until he doesn't ask you straight about its whereabouts. This will be fun"
Adi laughed more. He was happy to oblige Dadi's order. He had known Maan for a long time now. He was always like this. Many things had happened that caused him to turn the way he was and Dadi kept trying to bring some colours into his life by playing pranks on him or joking around. After all, now they only had each other.
Dawn came and Maan woke up from the weirdest dream he had in his life. He had seen those two beautiful eyes again and was drowning in them. Then again his lips touched hers and when he had kissed her he could taste cheese sandwich. He back off her and she asked him smilingly if he would like some coffee with that cheese sandwich.
It annoyed him but his mind kept racing back to the cheese sandwich he was given by that girl. He didn't know her name but he wished he would. He wondered whether he was more interested be the cheese sandwich or the girl who brought it.
He did his usual morning routine and went to his office. On his way he got a text. His mood was much better now. He re-read the message multiple times and saved it.
There was a memo on his desk and the content wiped the smile off his face.
Meeting with Mr Chopra now at Bistro Geet as per clients request
Please be there at 12 noon.
It was handwritten and Maan recognise the handwriting as that of Adi. He was in a fix. Mr Chopra was an important client, the deal with him was taking KC one step towards going international. He couldn't refuse his request. But he had no idea where this Bistro was. He would have to ask Adi. He called him. He knew the question may seem stupid but better Adi then anyone else.
"Adi Mr Chopra requested the change in venue for our lunch meeting'"
"Yes sir. It is now at Bistro Geet. Very nice place sir, I go there every day."
Adi chuckled inwardly.
"OH, ok" Maan felt like an idiot now. "You can go."
Adi left. He felt sorry for Maan but he had strict orders from Dadima.
He tried to help him indirectly. Then he remembered: Geet.
It was 11.45am and Geet was nervous. For a week now had she avoided going down. Every time there was some order for Maan sir she had asked someone to collect it from her. The almost kiss had still an affect on her because of which she didn't want to face him. That day she kept smiling and even Meera had noticed but Geet simply said she was happy because the bistro was going well. Meera had bought it. She had noticed how the office environment had changed since Geet was there. The food was doing some magic on everyone. They seemed more energetic; less stressed and made fewer mistakes than usual. MK's bad mood was still an issue but even that seemed to have become a tinge better.
Now Adi sir had asked her to accompany Maan sir and his clients to the conference room in her Bistro and she didn't know how to face him. She couldn't understand her behaviour herself. This is Geet we are talking about. She wasn't afraid when she had to leave her family suddenly, or go to Mumbai and become a cook, she wasn't even afraid when Rahul tried to be overnice with her. She had shown him in all the right places that he should never mess with Geet. But one touching of lips can change so much. It had been only a small touch but Geet had felt a shiver run down her spine. She had felt a burning sensation on her lips but she liked the feeling.
She looked at the watch again. 11.55 'Hai Babaji, I'm late'. With this she looked herself in the mirror and ran down the stairs. The clients were just coming in and Maan sir was not there. She heard footsteps behind her and turned to see him coming towards her.
Maan was in deep trouble. He had fought with himself since that morning. He didn't know how to ask Adi. Then at 11.55am he saw Geet running down the stairs. 'What is SHE doing here? And Mr Chopra, too? Let me see what the matter is.'
As he came closer to them Maan noticed for the first time how well built the young lady was. She wore skinny denim and a t-shirt which was hugging her figure. Her hair was curly and hastily put together in a bun. Some stands had escaped the hair clip and where caressing her cheek'
"Ah, Mr Khurana. Sorry for the delay. But the change of venue reached us rather late today morning." Maan's trail of thought was disturbed by Mr Chopra. "Oh yeah" Wait, did he just say he wasn't the one to change the venue? Then who was'.ADI
What to do now, I don't even know where this damn place is.
Just the Geet said:
"Would the gentlemen please follow me?" And she took us towards the elevators. Everyone was wondering where they were going to till they reached 4th floor.
There it was in big letters: Bistro Geet.
Maan mentally smacked himself hard. How could he be so stupid? Dadi had told him about the new eating facility and he had never bothered to find out what had happened about it. Not that it was necessary for him because everything he wanted was send to him. This would also explain why KC employees were never late after lunch or had food stuff and coffee from BG. He was poked in his ribs by the girl and she said:
"Sir wake up. They are all waiting."
Maan came back to his senses and turned angrily towards Geet.
"How dare you poke me, ACTUALLY POKE ME?"
"Stop making a drama sir, you were just mentally gone I had to bring you back somehow. I know it works with me so I did it with you, too." Geet said smiling. His anger really had no affect on her. She shoved him into the room and said:
"Menu is in front of you, please press the buzzer if you want to order or need anything." With this she left. It took Geet all courage to say something in front of him but when she started it came as naturally as breathing. Geet had noticed the far away look in his eyes when he saw the board spelling Bistro Geet. His face was clam and for the first time Geet noticed his facial features, everything from his caramel eyes to his m-shaped lips and his stubbles. He was handsome, no doubt but his face also conveyed a message of sorrow and pain and innocence. She poked him into his ribs and with his senses his anger came back, too.
Mr Chopra and his clients were amazed by the food. They had all opted for the Weekday special being vegetable lasagne. Maan was all awe with the choice but couldn't decide and ended up taking grilled cheese sandwich. Just as the first time it was a pleasure. The deal was signed of and Maan told them about the launch party.
"Sasha will organise it for next Saturday." All left and Maan made his way to the counter. She was sitting there and doing some accounts. 'She looks like a school kid, all innocently counting on her fingers and smacking her head if she is wrong' Maan thought.
He cleared his throat. She looked up and smiled at him.
"You need anything sir?"
"Umm, where is this Geet?"
He pointed at the board which said Owned be Geet!!!
She looked at him and thought 'Hai Babaji, he doesn't even know who I am'
"Kyu sir, kya kaam hai" Maan noticed the disappointment in her voice.
"Tumse kya? Jo poocha hai uska jawab do" he said arrogantly.
"Sir lekin main'"
"Ok, do a thing; tell her to come down after office hour I would like to meet her."
Maan started walking towards the elevator when he had heard her say in a low but audible voice: "Khadoos dusht dhaanav kahika". He smiled at her attics. She really was sweet. SWEET? Maan this girl insulted you just now and you are calling her sweet. His brain kicked in again and he turned around to give this girl a piece of his mind. But she wasn't at the counter anymore. He checked at everywhere and for the first time became fully aware of the place.
The 10th floor was never used. It was other than the other floors in KC not divided by rooms. Most part of it was one hall which now occupied small tables and chairs for a quick lunch or coffee and bigger tables to work on, too. He had seen one of the conference rooms and was amazed at how good of an idea that was. He usually spend quite some time for meetings outside for lunch but this new arrangement would save him a hell lot of time. This Geet truly was innovative; he just had to meet her. She was also responsible that none of his employees had been late after lunch since he had returned. The only thing which he couldn't understand is why she employed this' this girl. Maan thought of words to describe her, she was annoying, disrespectful, and beautiful. 'Beautiful, where did that come from? No she was' innocent. No not that she was sweet'' Maan gave up; his mind had a mind of its own sometimes.
He quickly returned to his place and worked till late. He noticed everyone leaving and remembered that Geet was going to come to him. But she didn't, instead this swe', innoc', beau' THIS GIRL stood there, looking downcast.
"I told you to send Geet. Can't you even do that?" he barked at her.
Geet was amazed by his behaviour. Was he really so stupid or did he just pretend?
"Sir, tora dimag lagaye'."
"Mera matlab hain ke kya aap sach main Geet ko nahin jante?" Geet asked innocently.
"To khaana kaise laga aap ko BG ka?" she asked sweetly.
Maan was angry enough that this girl was telling him to use some brains, now she was asking him about the stupid food. This girl really needed to see a specialist for her sort of problem. He thought about Samira and his anger increased ten fold. Samira had played same tricks with him. She was all sweet and innocent and then she had shown her real face. 'DISGUSTING' he thought.
She had waited for an honest answer from him. She thought he maybe was just joking about the whole I-don't-know-who-Geet-is business and was keen to know what he thought about her food. She knew he only had cheese sandwich but still. She didn't know why but his opinion mattered to her.
"DISGUSTING" he screamed at her. She was shocked. All the time she thought that he liked her food and now he was saying disgusting? He could have put it nicely even if it was true. Tears started to form in her eyes and she looked down.
Adi, Pinky and Meera, who had waited for Geet rushed to MK's cabin when they had heard him scream. Meera saw Geet on the verge of crying and understood. All these days she had wanted to know MK's opinion about her food. Meera had told her not to ask. There was no way he was going to give her an honest opinion. But that he will say such a big lie, Meera had never expected him to do that. Even Adi and Pinky who had been familiar with their bosses temper never expected that and now were extremely disappointed in him. They bid good bye to their boss and took Geet by her hand who had started sobbing now.
Maan was frozen. He had only realized that he had said his last thought aloud when Meera, Adi and Pinky were standing in front of him. Their facial expression told him that neither of them had expected him to say such a thing. But he didn't even get a chance to explain that he didn't mean to say that to her.
"To khaana kaise laga aap ko BG ka?"
'Oh no. She had last asked me about the food, no wonder they gave me such a look. If you imply disgusting to BG's food than there isn't a bigger liar than you.'
Maan sighed and sat down again. Why did he keep loosing his temper? Samira was gone. She was his past. She got in a way what she deserved. He remembered the time before he had met her. He smiled at those memories. He was calm, loving, sharing and fun to be around. Now he had turned cold and rude and arrogant and everything he never wanted to be. Maan took out a photo from his valet and looked at it lovingly. "Kyun chali gayi, Maa? I am really sorry. Please come back to me." His mother had often said to him that tears take away sorrow hence we should not stop them. But even tears had left Maan. He was all alone now.
I might post two more chapters later, but here are chap 5 and 6. Plz hit LIKE button and do comment.
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