Mrs. Handa sat near Geet placing her head in her lap. She slowly caressed Geet’s hair, tears flowing continuously from her eyes looking at Geet’s condition, she couldn’t even imagine how much torture her princess had to go through and she made up her mind to never ever forgive Maan for what he did to her.
It had been a couple of hours since Geet had collapsed and all were very worried about her health. Mr. Handa was pacing the room in tension, he had a court hearing the next morning and he had to leave town for that but he didn’t have the heart to leave his unconscious daughter like this when Mrs. Handa broke his chain of thought.
Mrs. Handa: Mohinder, you should leave now otherwise you will miss your flight.
Mr. Handa: But Rano, how can I leave Geet in this state, she is yet to gain consciousness. What if there is any emergency, no, I won’t leave her and go.
Mrs. Handa: But if you don’t appear in court tomorrow we will lose the case, not only would it be a big loose to our company but you would get arrested too. (she paused a bit before continuing) and you don’t worry, Bhai sahib and Bhabhi are there, if there is any problem we will manage (yes, she despised Maan for what he had done but what was the fault of his parents. They had always been the best of friends and she knew that they could never betray or cheat on her family)
After much persuasion from her, Mr. Handa finally agreed and left with a very heavy heart but it was a court matter and he just couldn’t help it.
Here in Khurana mansion Ramu kaka laid the dinner table.
Ramu kaka: Sahib, khana laga diya hai (Master, I have laid the food)
Mrs. Khurana: Raj, chaliye aap kuch toh kha lijiye (Raj, come at least have something)
Mr. Khurana (dejected voice): I don’t feel like eating anything, I am not hungry.
Mrs. Khurana knew how could he, or for that matter even she, eat anything when their child was hungry and bleeding. Yes they could never forgive him for this gruesome act but they were his parents and their heart bleed to see their son in so much pain.
Mrs. Khurana: Ramu kaka, aap log kha lijiye and keep the rest in fridge. I will warm it up later when he is hungry
(Ramu kaka, you guys eat and keep the rest in fridge. I will warm it up later when he is hungry)
Saying so Mr. and Mrs. Khurana retired to their room while the servants cleaned everything and went to their quarters.
When all had left Ramu kaka took some medicine, food and water and silently crept into the store room.
Maan felt really guilty to have caused so much pain and humiliation to his dear parents but he somehow gathered himself for the sake of his Gudiya. He made himself strong so that he could face the disgust, hatred and humiliation from all his beloved.
Ramu Kaka: Maan Baba, aap yeh davai laga lijiye aur kuch kha lijiye (Maan Baba, put this medicine and have something)
Maan (as soon as he saw Ramu kaka he asked him about his doll): Kaka, Gudiya kaisi hai. Usko hosh aaya kya (Kaka, how is doll. Did she gain consciousness?)
Ramu Kaka shook his head and Maan felt as if someone ripped his heart out of his body, his Gudiya had not yet gained consciousness, how much more would she have to suffer, thinking so tears poured from his eyes.
Ramu Kaka: Maan baba, you are bleeding please put some medicine and eat something.
Maan: Mummy, papa ne bhi toh nahi khaya hoga na. (He knew his parents couldn’t even eat a bit when he was suffering, they really loved him and he hated himself more for bringing tears in their eyes but what could he do) Ramu kaka, please mujhe ek baar Gudiya se milwa doh please
(Mummy, papa also must not have eaten. Ramu kaka, please make me meet doll once)
Ramu kaka: Par Bare Sahib…
But before he could complete Maan folded his hands in front of Ramu kaka. He immediately held his hands.
Ramu kaka: Maan baba, aap yeh kya kar rahe ho. (Maan baba, what are you doing?)
Maan: Please Ramu kaka.
Ramu kaka: Theek ha, main kuch karta hoon (Ok, let me do something)
He helped Maan get up and they silently came out of the mansion and headed towards the Handa haveli. Maan was in immense pain but the desire to see his Gudiya, to soothe her and wake her up was so high that he let go off all his suffering and marched ahead. As they reached the back door of Handa haveli, Ramu kaka gestured Maan to stop.
Ramu kaka: Rano memsahib is with Geet bitiya. Wait I will keep her busy for 10 minutes. Maan baba you meet Gudiya but please come back fast.
Maan nodded and hid behind as Ramu kaka knocked on the door. Since all the servants had retired, Mrs. Handa placed Geet’s head on the pillow and came out to open the door.
Mrs. Handa: Ramu kaka, kya baat hai. (Ramu kaka, what is the matter?)
Ramu kaka: Woh… memsahib ki tabiyat theek nahi hai toh aap woh kara bana dengi (woh… actually memsahib is not well so could you please make the home remedy)
Mrs. Handa nodded, she could very well understand what Mrs. Khurana mush be undergoing. Maan was her pride and she must have broken down hearing what he did. As Mrs. Handa went towards the kitchen Maan quietly slid inside and went to Geet’s room.
Maan’s eyes filled up seeing his Gudiya lying lifelessly and he rushed towards her. He gently touched her but was shocked to feel her body so cold. It killed him inside and he immediately sat on the bed placing her feet on his lap and started to rub the vigorously trying desperately to warm her up, to transmit life in her. He lost count of time and what Ramu kaka had said about returning in 10 minutes as he kept rubbing her feet trying urgently to bring back his Gudiya.
Here Mrs. Handa had made the kara and after handing it to Ramu kaka, she told him to lock the door and leave while she headed for Geet’s room. Ramu kaka just stood there not knowing what to do as Maan hadn’t yet returned.
Mrs. Handa was shocked to see Maan in the room and she probably understood that it was Ramu kaka who got him there. On seeing Maan so close to Geet her temper shot up and she blasted him.
Mrs. Handa (in extreme rage): Ab kya dekhane aaya hai tu, tune uski zindagi barbaad kar di (Maan was shocked to see Rano Ma there and he silently bowed his head making his heart strong) Dor ho ja uske paas se (saying so she approached him and pushed him away from Geet and he fell down not able to maintain his balance)
(What have you come to see, you ruined her life. Get away from her)
Maan: Rano Maa…
Mrs. Handa (tears flowing from her eyes at Geet’s condition, and her heart cried for Maan as well she had always considered him her son but she could never forgive him for what he did): Mat kah mujhe Ma, Tu mera beta ho hi nahi sakta, mera beta kabhi itni giri hui harkat kar hi nahi sakta. Tu toh maas nochane wala koi bheriya hai. Chala ja yahan she isse pehele mera haath uth jaye.
(Don’t call me Ma. You can’t be my child, my child can never commit such a horrendous crime. You are like a flesh eating jackal. Go away from here before I raise my hand)
Her words were like acid on his already burning heart and all the hatred, disgrace, disgust and humiliation from his loved ones was slowly killing him but yet he kept quiet just for his Gudiya.
Mrs. Handa (holding his collar): Yeh toh teri gudiya thi na, phir tune apni gudiya ke saath aisa kyun kiya. (Maan just stood there with his head bowed and eyes stuck to ground) Jawab deh mujhe, tune apni gudiya ki aatma ho zakhami kyun kiya.
(She was your doll na, then how could you be so cruel to her. Answer me, how could you wound her soul)
She shook him up and his heart ached. His soul screamed ‘Nahi’, he could never ever give any pain to his Gudiya, he would rather rip himself apart than even think of harming her. He was toh ready to bear all her pain, all her suffering, all her trauma on himself, how could he abuse his Jaan. He fell on his knees not able to bear her accuses but still he bore all the shame, dishonor and questions silently for his love.
Even God cried today looking at his truly divine, pure and unconditional love for his Gudiya. Maybe even he wondered how could he strip himself off his self respect like this and absorb all the humiliation, disgust, hatred and aversion just for her.
Maan (holding her feet): Let me stay with Gudiya till she gains consciousness Rano Maa…. Please… I beg of you. After that I will accept any punishment you give me. I will leave everything and go far away and never even show my face to you all but please let me be near her till she wakes up. Please….
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