Joined: 11 June 2008
Meera stood by the windowsill. , brushing her hair. It was pouring rain. She saw a young girl and boy walking hunched up trying to escape the rain and it's wrath. They seemed to be having fun and enjoying themselves, but they suddenly stood still and alert ' the eyes of an elderly lady having spoiled the mood with her stern glare. The moment her back had turned, they ran away giggling.
Her mind went back a few years to another such boy and girl. It was a modern city but the people still had their narrow-minded views ' unwilling to let the people around be.
The boy and girl had just been friends - the best of friends rather. Sharing their joys and pains, their love stories and crushes with each other ' enjoying each other's company. They knew they would never date each other-they were way too companionable for that. But that didn't stop the gossip in the town. After that, the girl was tainted, she was subjected to judgemental glares, ill humour, caustic comments, inhuman behaviour. It didn't matter that she was dying a slow death- trapped in a life she never identified with, branded by her family and friends, shunned by one and all. The friendship didn't make it...but then again, the girl hadn't let it.
It was not a wonder she ran away. Away from the quagmire she had been subjected to since she had become aware of the big bad world around her. Away was anywhere ...the place she found solace... the peace she looked for. She was never lonely...it was just herself and her life. She could do as she pleased, run her life as she liked and do the kind of work she wanted.
Yes, Meera knew her decision had been right!
She turned away from the rain and looked at the sleeping Ajay. A smile came involuntarily as she saw him. She quietly went and sat next to him.
Meera stroked her hand across Ajay's head as he slept. There was a serene look on his face. A gentle wind wafted through the window and Ajay turned towards her and hugged her hand. She sighed and pulled him closer.
Ajay was her only source of comfort. She never thought she could be there for anybody - ever again. But Ajay had made her realize the value of people through his sweet innocent nature. She knew she didn't love anybody in the world, as much as she loved him. It was strange how people who were thoroughly unconnected with each other, could become so close.
She had found him as a small kid running around on the pavement outside her flat. On finding that he was a street urchin, she had brushed him off...Until the day she had seen him collect waste paper and old pencils and struggle to hold the pencil and scribble. He heart had gone out to him. She had beckoned him and had gifted him a book and a pencil set. The rewarding smile had been just the thing to melt her heart.
She had taken it her duty to fund his education. Which she did. Did everything she could to take care of him ' so what if he was not kin.
After leaving her town, she had worked hard to gain ground with the world around her. He freedom was liberating. She was happy'but it was at a price. Gone was the Meera Shergill who would smile and laugh. The city had taught her that he tough survived. Her job had given her recognition, respect and a life. She had learnt it the hard way. Being a single woman, alone in the city had been difficult. Adopting their methods and cultures had been tougher. But, she had had inspiration. Her boss Mr. Khurana had been her ideal. She had followed his upwards graph stealthily''and had idolized him to an extent. Her work had been worship to her. She never gave less than a 100%. Her work, her clients, and mostly her boss deserved it.
And now that strong persona was replaced by this excuse for a boss.!! She grimaced, thinking about it.
Geet opened her eyes blearily. The cold hard floor was the first thing that reached her senses. She shifted and twisted, looking around. The ceiling of the studio came into focus. A movement caught her eye as she realized it was her own reflection.
Yes. She had returned. She pushed Nik's blanket off her and sat up. A sense of peace returned, as she thought back to the events of the previous night. Was it the hand of Providence? She wasn't one who believed in God ' but then, it couldn't be coincidence could it? No... one door had shut itself on her but she had found another one. Another place, she could dwell in, one that was filled with his memories. The one place they had gone through so much in. The first kiss they shared, the place they dreamed, the choreographies they composed, the bond that had only strengthened. A lone tear escaped her eye.
He wrist watch beeped, pulling her out of her thoughts. She had spent the night at the studio...Nanima!!!
She quickly called her and informed her that she was alright. It was 7am...her neck hurt from the awkward manner in which she had slept. No one came to the studio that early...even Farhan didn't. She went off to take a quick shower.
Maan walked into Studio 77. He was pepped up and a focussed about his plan for the day. He felt confident about all that he had read in the sign language book - it couldn't be as bad as that, could it?
He was about to walk into his cabin, when he heard running water. He walked towards the wash rooms only to bump into somebody. A waft of a frsh dewy smell emanated from the said person. He steadied himself to look - and his eyes fell on Geet. His expression turned sour immediately.
''What are you doing here?'', he bit out immediately.
''In case you'd forgotten, I work here.'' She retorted.
''Oh'', he said sneeringly,'' Are you trying to tell me that you came here that early?''
''Why do you find it so hard to believe?'', she said her eyes narrowing.
''You don't seem the type who'd do that, Handa. But, I'll believe you if that's what you say. Why is your hair wet?''
''I prefer to shower after I've practiced. The idea might be alien to you.''
Saying this she walked off, towards the door.
''Where are you going now?'' he asked irritably?
Classes begin at 10am. If I'm late, feel free to question.''
With that she walked out.
Maan stared at the door, thinking something didn't quite add up. He had his doubts about her behaviour. She mostly ignored him and answered in monosyllables. But today she took the effort to reply...And explain herself. Why? His guard was up.
''Handa''...he whispered to himself, '' what were you upto?''
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Joined: 11 June 2008
Vicky sat in the office prepping himself for the meeting. He was nervous. It was not a feeling he was unacquainted with. Nervousness was something he experienced every time he went on stage. It was good to be nervous...
''Yes,'' he told himself, 'Nervousness is good...but then why do I feel like an absolute moron.'
The new project that he'd be overseeing was all under him. He had seen it inside out. Meera had informed and completed all the specifications. Then why did he feel like something was wrong. He opened the file to the page of clauses again. Something was amiss.
He called Meera inside. She walked in, her expression completely blank.
''Have you read these clauses? There is something that doesn't add up. You have 2 hours before the meeting. Go through this again and let me know what you think.''
''This isn't really my job,'' she replied coldly. ''I think you should ask the legal department''.
'Rajiv in on leave ' he's sick and I don't trust the opinion of anyone else. You being directly under Maan bro , I think you should go through this.', he replied sternly.
She stomped out of the file, a look of complete defiance on her face.
There was no way she could help this idiot. He was so completely ignorant about business. Why the hell did he have to come here and disrupt her perfect working life. He had no clue as to what he was about. How could he be so stupid. Why did he have to make that bet??!!! How could Maan sir leave? It was ridiculous. Khurana Constructions had become a fiasco, post his advent. She hoped this went down the drain , then Maan sir would probably return and the office would return to its initial glory!.
Vicky Sir had not been able to do a single thing right in his stint of the past two weeks. Nothing had been organized enough and he seemed to have made friends with all the staff. They didn't even seem to treat him like he was their boss, more like a respected older brother. What was happening to the office. She had been so proud to belong to a place like this.
Ok , so the work had been completed without hitches, but this was Maan Sir's office, dammit.!! Why did he have to leave her haven in the hands of this nincompoop!!
Her eyes drifted to the clauses in the file, but she resolutely shut her eyes.
No...she rebelled. There was no way she was going to help him!!
Vicky sat in the meeting room. He hadn't heard from Meera since he had given her the file and now she was conveniently missing. He drummed his fingers on the desk. He hadn't been able to get through to bhai. What should he do. Buy some more time to get Bro's decision on it? No ' he couldn't do that. He realized she wasn't going to show up and prepared himself on what he was going to say to the clients.
The clients entered and the meeting began. The deal was about to be signed, when in true filmy tradition Meera entered dramatically and asked to have a word with them.
Vicky didn't know whether he should be angry or relieved. He held his breath while she asked his permission to go through the clauses again.
He nodded. The clients seemed disturbed. Vicky watched astounded as Meera put forth her point as firmly as possible, showing no speck of anger. He was awed by the way she got her way ' making valid changes and making it equal in profits for both companies.
* * *
Later in his office he sat quietly, thinking over the events of the day. He didn't understand why Meera had helped him. Everything in her demeanour showed that she disliked his presence in the office. Why then did she help? One mistake in the deal and the bet would be lost. He'd be out and back in Studio 77. She didn't know that, but why did she help him?
Unable to take the suspense any more, he called her in his office.
''Miss Shergill, why did you do it?'', he asked getting straight to the point.
She looked at him, a little startled. From his expression, it was clear that he knew what she thought of him.
She thought for a moment.Fine, he wanted the truth, so she let him have it.
Levelling her eyes with him, she spoke without fear or regret.
''This company is the baby of Maan sir. He is one person I look up to more than anyone. This office is my haven ' at least it was until you arrived. Viram sir, I have no problem with you personally, but when it comes to your methods of working in this office and disrupting protocol, creating havoc in the workings of the company ' that I abhor and I won't stand for it.
You are alone when it comes to anything outside of my duties ' this is the last time you get help from me. The sole reason behind me doing this was for maan sir ' I cannot bear that his company suffers because of incompetent management.
I don't know why he's asked you to head Khurana Construction, but I'm sure he wont mind you asking him for advice now and then. I hope I've answered you question. If you'll excuse me, I have work to get on with.''
Vicky watched her retreat. He was stumped by whatever she had said and awestruck yet again. The loyalty she displayed for Maan, made him envious. He knew he had the same from his dance troupe, but the greed for appreciation remained. He wanted it from Meera. He wanted it bad.
Challenge number 2 presented itself to him and he wanted to take it up...he would prove himself to her. He didn't stop to reason why. But win her, he would!!
Geet ate her breakfast quietly. Naanima wasn't surprised by this. It had been days since she had heard her incessant chatter. She craved to hear her talk. She missed her granddaughter and worried about her. She had known all about her nightly visits to Nik's apartment. She also knew about the loss of that place. She was glad it was gone. But, the mystery still remained ' where had she been last night. She hadn't been drunk, nor had she shown any signs of it . None of her closest friends were there in the city. She had to inform Mohinder about it.
She looked at her now. She seemed to frown a bit, lost in thought. For a change, some other thought seemed to occupy her mind. What was it? She called out to her. Geet looked up.
He eyes looked as hollow as ever ' dark circles under her eyes. She looked questioningly, now.
''Beta, don't you have to go to the studio today?''
''Haan Naanima, I have to be there by 9:30. I'll have breakfast and leave.''
''Ok, I'll turn the geyser on for your shower. ''
''No, that's ok, I've showered already.'', she replied off hand. She seemed to go back to that line of thought again.
Naanima, became worried again ' where had she had a shower?
Geet was worried. Maan had almost caught her today. She knew Vicky wouldn't mind her staying over at the studio. But Maan Singh Khurana was a completely different thing.
He had already been suspicious. A little too much. She didn't want to lose out on her new found refuge. She hoped he hadn't caught on to her nervousness. She would have to be careful.
It was late, past 2am and he wanted to go home and sleep. Running the Dance company was anything but easy, but he was Maan Singh Khurana. Defeat was something he couldn't accept nor was it anything he had ever encountered.
When he had taken up the challenge to run a dance company he had never imagined how tough it would be. But, a challenge was a challenge and he'd only give up when the company was on firm ground and he could return to Khurana Constructions.
He thought back to all that had happened in the past few weeks of him heading Studio 77. He was beginning to appreciate Vicky's efforts.
There were so many things going on his mind. He had returned late in the evening when most of the troupe had left ' and the rest had left after that.
He pulled out his keys and switched off all the lights. The complete darkness made his senses even more alert. He walked out of the room, when he heard music.
''That's strange. Did someone leave the system on?'', he thought
He had thought everybody had left and he was the last one. Heck even he wasn't supposed to be here , but the need to finish pending work pulled him there - Not even Farhan stayed that late.
He walked quietly to the studio from the back door of the office and saw a light on. The door was a bit ajar'''.
He tread as quietly as possible and walked in from the wings. The studio ws dimly lit and the music was on softly.
That was when he saw her. Surprise hit him as he actually saw her. Dressed in black tights and a vest with her wild mane open - she was dancing!
Dancing like there was no one watching. Dancing in a way that he had never seen her dance. It was raw. It had passion and he could feel pain emanate from her body as she moved and turned and twisted and leaped. He recognized the song. It was an old R&B number, ''Bleeding Love''.
He didn't want to let her know he was watching so he partially hid behind the wings and stared. He drank in her movements.
Every move was perfect and every turn had an expression. The energy she used, seemed to reverberate from her. The movements were saying something, but he didn't seem to understand. She whipped from place to place following the music... melding steps not conforming to any dance style in particular.
He was stunned by her- the quiet girl, the loner, the girl who kept away from the group. The most unresponsive person he knew, the one who's presence irked him, was doing something that he had never imagined. He had taken her for being non-committal and lazy.
The music stopped and she moved down and huddled to the side, on the floor and kept her head on her knees, panting. Her shoulders started shaking and it was then that Maan realized that she was crying. Heaving heavy sobs and crying her heart out. He felt a bit guilty about spying on her in this moment of weakness.
Suddenly she punched the floor and let out an angry noise. She stood up and walked to the main door and picked up her things and went out of the main door. Maan just stood stunned, unable to process what he had seen.
''Geet??'', he whispered aloud, letting go of the breath he had been holding. His mind questioned. Is that the same unresponsive rude girl he saw every day??
Trying to post a video here -it's not quite what I had imagined for Geet - and the expressions of this dancer are far from what Geet is feeling at the moment. But it is just to give you an idea of the kind of dance she is doing.
Hope you enjoy it and let me know what you think. I am so sorry that the previous video did't work - I hope you managed to see it on YT
Here's another one...watch it from 4:32 minutes for the same solo.
Ok NOW I want to know what you guys think...please pretty please ' We have reached the exact high point of the story ' or so I think. There's gonna be changes in the story from now on. So please comment on what you think is going to happen, or what you think should happen ' or anything as such!
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Joined: 11 June 2008
Nida was trying to be patient. It wasn't easy being unable to communicate with someone who didn't understand sign language. Maan had been learning and he even tried to decipher what she mimed without anyone's help, but today he seemed lost.
She tried to get his attention again. It was October ...and it was only a month to go for yearly show the troupe put up. It was sort of tradition that the troupe put up a themed dance show, in lieu of publicity. And it mostly worked. This year seemed dank to her, though.
Nida explained again to an engrossed Maan that Vicky mostly performed too with the best choreography, and Maan having taken his place would have to do so too.
Finally, she managed to get his undivided attention and explained how it all took place. He tried his best to listen to her, and made a mental note to talk to Vicky about it.
Maan on the other hand was looking out for Geet. It was past 10 am and she hadn't come to the Studio. He was about to give up and call her home, when she walked in. She looked worse than usual, the rings around her eyes darker, her body drooping and her eyes lost. She hardly bothered with anybody, and for a change she vaguely drifted in and out of the Studio. Maan waited back for her in the evening, but she left early.
His curiosity got the better of him and reached home early to meet Vicky.
He found Vicky in his room, reading up on some files. As soon as Vicky saw him, he delved into the latest project. Unable to resist, Maan too discussed the pros and cons. He was happy that Vicky was doing so well. The staff seemed to respond well to him. He felt guilty that he had barely been able to break into the troupe. The nagging thought returned when he thought of Geet. How should he broach the topic? He knew Geet was close to Vicky. But how close? He had never met her at his home. Though he was still sure he had seen her some place before.
Finally, he decided to just ask him.
''Vicky, is Geet a good friend of yours?'', he began cautiously.
Vicky looked up, his expression turning serious immediately.
''Why , is something wrong?''
''Is she always that rude?'', Maan asked cautiously.
Vicky took his time to answer wondering how to explain it to his older brother. Nik had been as close as a brother to him, and talking about his untimely death was never easy.
''Bro... She's coping with some problems...''
''Vicky, I don't care about her personal life, but when it affects the work she does, I think I do care.''
''Bro, give her some time. Geet is strong, but it's difficult to cope when the person you love just leaves you and goes...'', Vicky's phone began to ring and he cut off in mid sentence.
He indicated that it was an important call, and left Maan to assume erroneously, what he could from his vague words.
He returned early to the Studio again.
Today was the day he'd not pay attention to Geet. It was the day he wouldn't think about her dance. Nor would it be the day he thought about her cry. It was the day he would be angry with her. And he would ensure that she listened to every damned order he gave her. He'd ignore her and not waste precious time obsessing over her behaviour. ''Yes Maan, that's exactly what you're gonna do.'', he told himself.
Using all his willpower, he turned his attention to Nida's conversation. So a show was what they had to put up. He processed the information Nida had given him and collated it. A show was put up every year,but the response and audience was poor. The focal point would therefore be to attract more people to watch it. And getting more people to watch meant he had to do subtly canvass for Studio 77.
He called an impromptu brainstorming session of the troupe. It was imperative that they came to a solution soon ; and it was his tried and tested method to get solutions. He trusted the troupe and he knew he only needed to nudge them.
They eliminated the oft tried methods of pamphlets and ads, since they were targeting the young college going crowd. Getting to them to like it was getting their attention.
''Let's just do some word of mouth publicity ya.'' , Zaakhir said impulsively.
''Word of mouth publicity is fine ' but we need to do something to make it stick. A reference about some event, in a random conversation will be forgotten'', countered Farhan.
''They should see us perform or see something that makes them want to join us.'' Nida stressed.
''Nida the whole point of the show is to showcase the Studio.'', Maan argued.
''No Maan, that's not how I meant it. We should be seen ... but the people shouldn't know that we're advertising ourselves.'', she explained.
Geet spoke up from her reverie, an idea forming in her mind.
''We won't advertise ourselves; in fact we'll not do anything other than having a good time ...having fun,...to the extent that everyone will want to have fun with us. We don't go prepared...we just go out knowing we have to have fun''
Maan looked up at her, his anger forgotten.
''That's it - a flash mob!!'', he whispered to himself.
He switched back to his business mode and started delegating tasks.
* * * * * * *
Vicky swirled his drink in his hand, looking around at the people in the club. He was annoyed. Why had Maan bro called him here so urgently? He had just begun to see glimmers of respect in Meera's eyes...damn!!
The dance floor was crowded, and much as he wanted to go and join the crowd, he didn't - simply because Maan had requested him not to. And yet; Mr. Punctual was missing. There had got to be a reason, why Bro had called him there.
He looked around. Everywhere he looked he could see the young crowd. Being the end of the exam season, the club was filled with students.
The DJ changed the music to something more popular, the trance music faded as he put on popular dance numbers.
A couple was dancing in the middle of the floor. Their moves were captivating. Vicky could've recognised them anywhere - but they seemed to be oddly paired. How was it that Nida was dancing with Maan instead of Zaakhir?? Still they danced well together...
The crowd seemed to be parting, giving room to Nida and Maan, watching them move. They moved in sync, doing complicated steps that seemed to be choreographed for an audience. As more crowd gathered to watch them, they became aware of the audience and diluted their steps. The crowd watched in awe as they did the steps in perfect unison, with all the appearance of enjoying themselves. Nida saw another girl looking at her, moving in her place. She gestured to her, to join her and showed her the steps she was doing. She gestured to Maan in turn to make the steps easier.
The girl joined with alacrity, copying her steps. After a minute or two, others joined them, stepping in unision - uncertain at first and then with confidence.
Vicky saw Geet and Zaakhir join the dancing, never letting on that they knew anyone there. After some time he spotted Farhan in the crowd. The DJ encouraged the others to join them. A few others stepped in, mirroring the steps that they did. They were fairly easy, following a sequence.
Maan and Nida made sure the steps were repeated after a sequence so that everyone could follow and learn.
One by one all the crowd joined the dancing, learning the steps at the spur of the moment, enjoying themselves. Maan and Nida were lost in the crowd; as were the rest of the troupe. It just seemed like one united mass moving in tune with the beats.
Vicky watched in awe as the dance floor seemed to move as one. A flash mob wasn't a thing, most people knew about - but he had an inkling as to where Maan's stunt was leading. He felt a surge of pride grow in him. With a smile her got up and joined the dancing mob.
Maan almost punched the air in glee. It had worked. The flash mob style had got the crowd talking, exchanging numbers, asking about the dancers.
A group of people came up to him, asking about the dance style.
He called the troupe and made them stand in front of the crowd. He introduced them one by one, Nida, Farhan, Zaakhir, Geet...Geet?? Where the hell was she?
He excused himself, and began searching for her. Anger bubbled up inside him again. Just when he managed to forget his anger, she ended up pushing his buttons. Now she'd had it!!!
Joined: 11 June 2008
Chapter 32: The Error of my ways.
Maan sat back in his chair as he watched Geet charging towards his cabin, her hair streaming behind her.
''What the hell is your problem? '' she barked, the moment she touched the door. ''Do u have a problem that I have the keys to the studio? Vicky trusted me with those, you obviously don't. Fine, take them. But I wanna know why you're taking them away''.
He wondered what made her speak out so She had always tried to stay away from conversation.
''Where were you yesterday after the stunt we put up?'', he asked in return, trying to keep his temper in check.
''What do mean where was I - I had left for home. We'd finished the stunt, hadn't we?''
''Handa, you weren't present when the crowd wanted to see the troupe together and left me looking foolishly for you. That is completely irresponsible . I don't think I want to hand over the keys to somebody who isn't able to think straight''.
''When have I ever slacked at the studio?'', she argued back.
''I don't favour your choices. You seem to floundering throughout the day. Is that how you lead your life?'', he attacked.
''My life is none of your business. I know how to lead it well.''
''Hah!!'', he scoffed. ''Yeah!! Sure, you do know how to lead your life well. Living in the past shows how well you do it. Losing out on the present that's there in front of you. Sure!! Crying all night long over some pathetic sob story of an ex boyfriend who dumped you. Sure Handa, you seem to be leading your life well.'' He sneered looking at her.
She paled and went visibly stiff like she'd been slapped. Her anger wiped off her face, as she silently pulled the keys out of her pocket.
Picking up her bags, she spoke in a deathly cold voice, ''You seemed to have nailed my character right on...except for one thing''...she gave a bitter laugh and continued, ''...dead boyfriend. He never wanted to leave me.''
Saying this she pushed the door and walked out.
Maan's brain refused to react for five minutes. He processed and reprocessed all that had taken place in the office with Geet. He felt mean. He felt disgusted with himself. He didn't want to be himself at that moment. Clutching his temple in shame, he ran after her looking for her; only to find that she'd left the studio.
Abhorrence and revulsion were words that seemed to mild for him at that moment. Maan Singh Khurana who sought to do everything perfectly; without flaws, had made the most wounding one... all, a result of his anger; his one hamartia.
A part of him tried to excuse his anger ... in hindsight, he truly had been disappointed in her. She had just not seemed to be the girl, who would be cut up over a guy who dumped her. He had misjudged her all through. She had always seemed stronger than that. Vicky had been right after all.
Guilt seeped through him spreading to every inch of his conscience, covering him; smothering him. He went back and tried to work on the publicity of the show - but he kept messing up with the simplest of tasks. Unable to stay in the studio, he left Farhan in charge of the paperwork and went home for lunch ; in pursuit of peace.
The house seemed quiet. Vicky was at KC, Annie was in college, and Daadi was entertaining somebody. He gulped what he could of his lunch, all of it tasting ashen in his mouth. Just as he was walking by Daadi's room, he heard the sound of sniffing. He peeped in from behind a curtain to find Vidya aunty in the room with her. Daadi was comforting her as she cried.
He started walking away, when the next few words stood him rooted to the ground.
''Geet is young. Children recover from tragedy sooner.''
''Savitri, you haven't seen her lately. While Nikhil's apartment was there, she seemed ok. She would stay over at his flat almost every night. At times, she would return early in the morning, so that Mohinder and I wouldn't know where she's been.
But now...she hasn't eaten a proper meal in days. She tries to act like she's fine. But she fools nobody at home. ...My baby... my poor poor baby. She 's drifting from one day to another. And I can't do a thing about it. Why does she have to bear so much in her life?? Why her?'' She broke down into tears again.
''Vidya, Geet is mourning. She had dreamed an entire life with Nikhil. She's mourning for the loss of those dreams too. You can't expect her to deal with this rationally. And you can't barge into her life either. Give her space, give her room to get the urge to live once more.''
Maan had heard enough. He was feeling sick. Sick with his lack judgement. Sick of his prejudice. Was he that unthinking, unfeeling? He had thought he'd make a change in himself and had been very content in his improvement. It all felt like a farce. He'd only been deceiving himself.
He walked quickly on the tiled floor, eager to get away from the old lady's tears, away from her grief, away from the self disgust that threatened to spill out from himself. He sat on the chairs placed outside on the verandah, trying to make sense of everything he'd overheard.
''Maan?? Is that you?'', called out Daadima.
He turned reluctantly. ''Hi Daadima, I just came to have lunch.'', he replied, monotonously.
''Are you off to the office? Oh, to the studio, I mean?''
''Yes, did you need something?'', he asked, hoping the answer was in the negative.
''Beta, could you drop Vidya Aunty home? Her home is on the way to the studio. Her car's broken down.''
It was the last thing he wanted to do, but there was no way he could disobey his grandmother. He nodded.
He helped Vidya aunty to the car. The ride was a silent one. A million thoughts kept running through his mind. He felt guilty just being in her presence, knowing how he'd hurt Geet. In all these years of her friendship with his grandmother, never once had he met Geet. He'd always been in his own world. He'd hardly had time with his family...or maybe he had met her...which was why she looked to familiar.
Naanima broke into his contemplation.
''Beta, the mansion on the left. Stop there.''
He looked around and turned to park. A drizzle had begun. The water reached him, cold and unwelcome as he opened the car door for the lady. The ivy covered wall looked familiar. He looked around astounded. He had been here before! He remembered it all too well. All the events had coalesced that day. Realization dawned upon him, overwhelming him.
It was her!!
Geet! She had been the girl! The girl with the laughing eyes. That one glimpse had shaken him, they had yanked him out of his comatose existence.
Geet?? Had she been the one? How could it be?
He stood motionless, long after Nanima had thanked him and dwelled upon his epiphany. How ironic it was. He had envied her, her laughter, he happiness. Her eyes were what he remembered when he thought of his listless life. He thought of her eyes now. Deathly cold, frozen - inert.
Resolve formed in him as he thought of her life. She was there somewhere beyond those walls. He knew it. But he knew that she'd be shedding tears. He couldn't be passive now. His guilt overpowered him and he made a promise to himself.
It was difficult. Maan Singh Khurana who could multitask without lifting a finger, was finding a dearth of his mental faculty.
He hadn't been able to talk to Geet privately throughout the week. All his efforts to meet her and apologize seemed fruitless. She either ignored him , or the circumstances made sure that he could never talk to her alone. He was ashamed too. He had no clue how he'd face her. What would he say to her? Maybe she herself avoided him, of course she would.
He struggled to go back to the matter at hand. Now that the studio had garnered so much interest, putting up the show was essential...and at it's earliest. He had put Zakhir in charge of the theme and he , like a true romantic had come up with a tragedy straight out of a Greek play. Boy and girl love, destiny that intervened and tragedy struck. Maan had approved. Crowds loved romance and heartbreak. It had potential. And his troupe and a few of the students were excellent when it came to performing on stage.
However, there was the problem of the competitors. A new studio had been advertising vigorously, testing his said flair for multi-tasking .
He called for a meeting and asked the troupe. After laying out chits, he asked the troupe to draw lots, making it easier for him to decide who'd dance to what. Zaakhir had already made the playlist, and the remixes were ready for them too.
They had a 3 weeks to choreograph it. And within that time, Maan could choose one person to dance with. The draws were kept secret ;the secret only to be known to Maan at a later date ,when all their choreographies were done and ready.
He sat now, looking over the design and the budget for the stage. Try as he might, he was failing. He needed to apologize to Geet.
Geet listened to the song selected for her. It was ironic, it was poignant, it was her!
How was it that she had got that part. Like it was destiny to play that? Or was it fortune? Wasn't it enough that she was in that state in real life? The moment she'd opened the chit, she'd known she could do justice to it. But did she want to do justice to it?
Her argument with Maan had been hurtful. But, despite that. She couldn't get herself to leave. How could she? This was her last lifeline.
No. She couldn't leave.
Maan had just finished watching Zakhir and Nida's practice choreography. They were perfect for it. They would surely get the house down. He had to watch Farhan's yet. He was doing a solo...and a student was going to do the other solo with him. That left just one more ...Geet. His heart constricted every time he thought of her. He still hadn't seen her's. Pushing thoughts her, out of his mind he walked to the outer practice room. He saw Farhan in the middle of helping the student with her steps. He waited till they had begun the routine. It was an aggressive filler , showing their emotions and the personalities of the character. But something didn't add up. If the happy in love couple were Zaakhir and NIda, and the other two styles were by Farhan and his partner, then the slow painful version was left for...???
He ran out of the room towards the smaller studio, where he knew he'd find Geet. It wasn't fair that she got that part ot play. He would allow her to change it.
He stopped short of the door, keeping himself from view. Why he did that, he didn't know, but on some level he knew she might not want to see him.
She was already dancing. He watched her move, the dancing giving her pain an expression. It was beautiful, filled with anguish, but beautiful. Did that make him a sadist? For liking the pain that reverberated off and around her. He watched her. It was impossible not to watch her.
When she finally stopped, panting, he mustered his courage and walked towards her.
She stiffened and turned at his voice. Her expression hardened on seeing him and she turned away without a word.
''Geet please stop.'', he said desperately.
She did...turning her face away.
''Look, Geet... ...I...I want to...have been wanting to apologize for a lot of days. I had no excuse for myself and I don't ask for forgiveness either. Cause I can't forgive myself, and I wouldn't expect you to. But I want you to know that I'm extremely sorry. I shouldn't have spewed my anger on you. And I shouldn't have aimed baseless conjectures at you either.'' He paused. ''If you'd like to, you could change your song selection and dance to another part. I have reviewed everyone's choreography now, but I hadn't realized that you had got the finale. If you aren't comfortable ... I'm sure Nida will be willing to change. It's ur choice. Personally I liked your choreography and Nida might not do justice to it.
And err...I'm really sorry...again.''
Geet looked up to meet his eyes. There was nothing but an earnest regret in there and she found herself believing him. She nodded once and walked away.
Maan ran a hand through his hair. It felt like his heart was thudding threatening to burst out.
Over the next few days, Maan watched each of the performances. They were apt for every performer.. Like the chits of the draw had known which hand would suit them the best and had delivered themselves.
He knew the one person he could perform with. It was Geet; not because he wanted to , but because she was the lone dancer in her performance. But her dance was breathtaking. He didn't want to fiddle around with it and take away its essence. But, he wanted to be a part of it somehow and he had to be a part of one performance, as was tradition. He sat at the end of the hall watching Geet perform on stage. This had become a habit and she had become used to it too.
The moves of her dance were perfectly imperfect.But hers being the finale, needed that extra touch.
He walked out discreetly and moved to the wings, taking in her movements, her steps, the area she left for the props, and the unused area of the stage!
He walked out, and called Zakhir to his cabin.
Precap - Geet's performance
I'm not too happy with this one...so sorry bout any sloppiness.
I decided to break it up into two - there's too much in one update otherwise - this one shall go up soon.
Hope u enjoy it.
Joined: 21 December 2010
Joined: 11 June 2008
Joined: 11 June 2008
Chapter 33 - Jiyein Kyun ( Why should I live?)
The audience was having a good time. Studio 77 was putting up the annual show. The regulars noticed that the audience was larger and the hall seemed packed. The evening was full of surprises as the performances exceeded their expectations. It was much more than dance. Their senses had been indulged in one visual treat after another. The sets changed with every performance, and solo performances by students, were used as fillers to showcase the progress of the students. A big screen was hung halfway down the hall, for the audience right that the back.
Vicky sat astounded in the front row as he watched the show. By this time he had guessed why Maan had called him. For a change his recluse of a brother was showing off. But what was he showing off. He was accustomed to the performances that his troupe and students had put up. Or was it just out of courtesy that Maan had called him? Pushing the thought out of his mind, he dwelled on the performances that he had seen. As always Zakhir and Nida had kept the audience spell bound with their chirpy and lively performance. Farhan had displayed the best of talents, showing the stern side of the character ' it had been like the roles had been tailor made for them. So if the programme sheet said that there was only the finale left ' he wondered what Maan would perform on.
Geet stood alone at the wings of the stage. There were 15 minutes to her performance. She felt alone and abandoned. Naanima and Paapa had no clue that the show was today. Sid and Mayank obviously couldn't come. She missed Nik. Never had she performed without him. Even if she had, he had always been there at the wings with her, till she went on. And he'd always been there to welcome her back, with a hug and a kiss. She felt alone. She missed him.
Her phone suddenly vibrated. Pulling it out of her jacket quickly, she saw Mayank's name flashing.
''Hi'', she replied choking back her tears. Was it telepathy? She clung to the phone, sending a silent thanks above.
The lights suddenly went off as the auditorium went into complete darkness. A speck of light shone out from the stage as the curtains started to part. The spotlight illuminated a girl on the stage. The entire stage was in darkness, as she stood listlessly for a moment. As the song began, she paced indolently, as if waiting for someone. Her body swayed to the rhythm as she took tentative steps towards the side of the stage, anticipating the arrival of someone. She danced a little more, her pointed feet tracing patterns on the floor and then did a joyous spin.
Her eyes dropped as she realized there was nobody coming. Slouching, she clasped her hands to her heart. Disappointment clouding her movements.
The spotlight split into two illuminating a swing on the other side of the stage and highlighting the sterile white background of the set. It looked like a sheet. The crowd gasped collectively as a silhouette of a lean, tall boy emerged behind her on the background. The girl was too lost, to notice what went on in her background. The spotlight on her, blinded her to all else. The lights turned duller, changing with her mood.
She paced sluggishly, keeping time with beats, and sat sadly on the swing. The silhouette followed echoing her movements. When the swing moved back, it appeared that the silhouette 'pushed' it back, swaying her on the swing. The song stammered out memories erratically.
She got up absently, lost in her dreams, the ghost of a smile lifting her lips, and caught an imaginary hand. The silhouette put his hand out, as if catching it and twirled her around. She leapt in the air reminiscing about a dance, while the silhouette caught her waist and lifted her. Wherever she moved, the silhouette moved in sync, helping her; guiding her. She swayed and he echoed her. If she leaped, he leapt behind her. The hand she put out was 'caught' by him, as he kept her steady.
The lights abruptly turned sepia and ghostlike. She was yanked out of her reverie as realization hit her that there was no one around her. The silhouette shuddered as he tugged at the air. Something seemed to pull him away from her and he stretched out his arms, trying to reach her. He seemed to be in pain, but he remained. She lurched agitatedly, looking around her in desperation.
Slowly, her movements became frantic as she struck out wretchedly, trying to hold her pain in. She clawed in grief and she struck out her hands calling out to the person to come back. Her hands pulled at her clothes, at her hair, tears gushing out of her eyes. She gazed out to the heavens as she pleaded respite from the grief.
The silhouette stood helpless, with his head hung. She slumped half way down as the silhouette 'caught' her. The grief increased as she mimed at trying to plunge a knife into her heart, while the silhouette struggled to pull it away. The silhouette of the knife appeared as he threw it away. She lashed out in pain, a silent scream of pain emitting her as she clutched herself trying to hold herself together. The silhouette's outlined blurred and shimmered. She slumped to the ground, debilitated and crippled of any life. Finally, she broke down in earnest tears, falling to her knees. The silhouette slowly moved behind her as he unfurled his wings behind him and covered her protectively with them. Her crying stopped as she leaned back onto him.
Sorry that's the best I could do for pics!
The music faded out and the spotlights dimmed until they went out, saving the one focussing on the girl. She sat immobile and motionless. The curtains pulled forward as they closed.
There was complete silence in the auditorium. A few sniffles were heard. Nobody spoke neither did anybody move out of their seats. All of them too overwhelmed and choked up by what they had seen. Slowly the applause began and kept going.
Vicky sat rigid. Tears running down his face. He had never missed Nik so much. He got up quickly and made his way to the wings.
Geet saw him waiting for her, as she walked out of the stage. Tears were pouring down her face too. As one their feet moved towards each other and they embraced each other, crying out their pain. They never saw the man staring at them from behind the white sheet, empathizing with them.
Maan walked away from Vicky and Geet. Over the last few weeks, certain things had been clarified to him. They had either dawned on to him or just hit him out of the blue. He couldn't watch his brother and Geet cry. It was too private a grief.
He walked towards the stage to delivered the vote of thanks. Backstage the party was already in full swing. Champagne seemed to be flowing and Zakhir had managed to decorate one of the smaller studios. As the auditorium emptied, the troupe pulled out all stops of enjoyment. Maan got a congratulatory text message from Vicky , also informing him that he had some urgent work he had to take care of. So then where was Geet? He walked out of the building looking for her jeep, but it was still parked. Where was she then? He knew that she hadn't realized what had gone on behind her in the shadow. He had known that the performance would make her eject her pain and lose herself in it. And she had. Zakhir and Nida who had watched from the wings only confirmed it.
He walked hurriedly now, in search of her. She was nowhere to be found. Even though he had been behind the curtain, he had somehow felt her pain reach him. He understood the pain she must feel. Keeping it repressed was difficult, but letting it flow and then cope with it, face it was tougher!
He walked faster, looking through different rehearsal rooms and changing rooms. He looked into the smallest studio as a last resort. She was there - sitting on the floor hugging what looked like a blanket, rocking back and forth, weeping all the time.
His shoulders slumped in despair. He felt guilty. His guilt led him unconsciously towards her, as he laid his hand on her shoulder.
She looked surprised to see him, and she tried to hide the tears - but the knowing look in his eyes negated the need for that. His arms were around her before she knew it, soothing her, hugging her, giving her relief in his arms. She shed more tears, not finding the need to hide them anymore.
The pictures were the only thing I managed to get my hands on..
For those who dont know what dancing in silhouettes is like - here's a video on YT
I hope you liked it - please let me know exactly what your mental picture was. Am very very curious.
Also, the next update shall be a while ok!
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FREQUENT Maneet Bumping: Maneet, & Maan's Dadi LOL
Author: maybe-just Replies: 24 Views: 10766
|maybe-just||24||10766||29 May 2011 at 1:02am by SaritaMSK|
Geet Spoilers Corner # 1:Article+Pics Pg 149 17/10
Author: *Shruti* Replies: 1147 Views: 372953
|*Shruti*||1147||372953||18 October 2010 at 7:45am by *Shruti*|
VOTE FOR MANEET...WE ALL LOVE MANEET
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|shikha_p||13||5728||12 October 2010 at 11:18pm by suba30|
MAJOR Maneet Bumping: Maneet - Eyes, Hand & Gundas
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|maybe-just||18||7068||09 October 2010 at 8:12am by SSWATIS|
This time its VOTE for MANEET against MANEET ;-)
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|Mione||7||2784||04 August 2010 at 5:25am by Mione|
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