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….
Geet’s body had gained temperature and she had relaxed a bit under Maan’s touch but her heart felt really agitated as if it could feel Maan being humiliated. Her soul felt the loose of his touch as well as could sense him being disgraced without any fault of his and she stirred a little.
Geet (mumbling still unconscious): Maan… please don’t leave me (it was as if her soul heard him say he would leave)
Maan looked at Rano Maa asking permission to hold his Gudiya. She kept quiet (hearing Geet) as if her silence allowing him. Maan rushed to Geet and held her side ways.
Maan: Kabhi nahi Gudiya. I can never ever leave you (Never Gudiya. I can never ever leave you)
Geet relaxed under his touch, she felt at peace and slowly blinked her eyes finally gaining consciousness. Maan forgot all his pain, his sufferings, all the humiliation, disgrace and shame he had faced when he saw his Gudiya open her eyes and he smiled at her. Geet felt content to see her savior next to her and slightly smiled at him.
Maan (worried, seeing her so agitated): Kya hua Gudiya. (What happened, Gudiya)
Geet (trembling in fear): Maan… woh… woh… Papaji
Maan (hugging her more, rubbing her back trying to calm her down): Sh… Gudiya… calm down… Uncle ji is no longer angry on you. You don’t worry everything is just fine. Theek hai (Ok)
He smiled at her and she smiled back hugging him real tight truly grateful to him for being there for her always, even in the worst phase of her life, always protecting her but little did she know at what cost.
As she hugged him more she touched one of ripped portions of his back and he flinched slightly but he tried to control his pain and maintain a straight face so that she won’t come to know. Geet felt something wet and sticky and was surprised.
Geet (shocked): Maan what happened? What is the wet and sticky thing on your back?
Maan (not able to meet her eyes as he lied): Nothing Gudiya. You just relax.
Geet (worried): Nahi Maan, I know you, you are trying to hide something from me. Please tell me what is it?
Maan tried to convince her but her heart felt that something was amiss and she brought her hand forward to look and she was stunned to see her fingers covered in his blood.
Geet (exclaimed, dying in pain, tears flowing endlessly seeing his blood): Maan, you are bleeding. What happened?
She tried to turn him around but he didn’t let her not wanting to torment her more by showing his ripped back. He knew she would die seeing him like that in so much pain.
Maan: Nothing Gudiya, I fell down, it’s just a minor wound, you don’t take stress. Please doll, doctor said you need to relax. Please take some rest.
Geet (looked at Rano, she was pretty sure Maan was hiding something from her and why didn’t anyone bandage him if he fell and got hurt): Maa, aap ko meri kasam please bataiye na Maan ko kya hua hai, why is he lying to me.
(Maa, my swear, please tell me what has happened to Maan and why is he lying to me)
Rano (totally confused, not understanding what was going on, if Maan did what he said then why was Geet behaving like this and if not then why did he say so and what about the doctor. She was totally lost but thought of telling Geet what happened maybe then it might clear the air. Maan tried to stop her but she just glared him shut): Raj Bhai Sahib whipped Maan for what he did to you.
Geet (shell shocked, completely astonished, her heart flinched in pain hearing he was whipped but why….) But what did Maan do, he saved me and took care of me then why will Bare papa beat him?
Rano (totally lost as to what was happening, Maan tried to interrupt and stop her but she realized something was amiss, he was hiding something and didn’t listen to him): Took care of you but he said that he forced himself on you in a drunken state and compelled you to sleep with him.
Geet was totally aghast at what Maan had said, he had sacrificed even his self-respect in order to save her and redeem her in the eyes of their parents. She looked at him, tears pouring non-stop from her eyes, her soul bleeding, totally guilty of what all he had to bear because of her. She died each second feeling the pain, the humiliation, the shame, the disgust he must have faced just because of her. But Maan assured her with his eyes that it was ok, he was fine and urged her to keep quiet, but how could she.
Geet: Nahi Maa, Maan toh sapne mein bhi mujhe kabhi dukh dene ke bare mein nahi soch sakta (she said weeping profusely feeling his trauma)
(No Mother, even in his dreams he can’t think about hurting me)
Rano didn’t know how to react so she just waited for Geet to speak up
Maan: Shh… Gudiya (he said trying to silence her but how could she remain silent)
Geet (almost breaking down): Nahi Maan, tumhe meri kasam tum mujhe nahi rokoge. Yadi maine aaj kuch nahi kaha toh mera zameer mujhe kabhi maaf nahi karega, meri aatma mujhe zindigi bar kachotegi (Maan was still pleading her to remain silent) Kya tum yeh chahate ho ki tumhari Guriya apni hi nazaro mein gir jaye… Maan?
(no Maan, you are under my swear you won’t stop me. If I don’t speak today then my conscious would never forgive me, my soul will forever blame me. (Maan was still pleading her to remain silent) Do you want your Gudiya to fall in her own eyes… Maan)
He just shook his head speechless how could he bear to see his Gudiya fall in her own eyes.
Rano was stunned, this is what they all had always believed but when he himself told that he committed such a horrendous crime, they all lost their minds. Her facial expressions changed to guilt and aghast had they all been wrong was he innocent… OMG what have they done.
Geet: Maa, It was I who made the mistake of trusting and loving Dev and like a fool I went along with him. But he… he… (she cried profusely re-living the nightmare, Maan held her hand and squeezed it trying to give her strength and promising her that he was with her and he would never ever leave her. She finally gained strength and continued) he raped me. As soon as Maan came to know that I was missing from hostel he rushed to rescue me and it was he who supported, loved and cared for me in the worst phase of my life. But I never knew that in order to redeem such an undeserving, foolish and stupid person like me he would sacrifice not only his body, mind and soul but also his self-respect. (she cried even more feeling how much pain, suffering, humiliation, shame, disgust and disgrace he must have gone through at the hands of his beloved parents and Rano Maa. He would have died each second yet had kept quiet taking all the blame just for her, she wept more feeling so guilty and unworthy of his unconditional love)
Maan cupped her face wiping her tears, shaking his head silencing her.
Maan: Nahi Gudiya, you are my Jaan na. It is not your fault (he fumed in anger as he continued) it was that bas**** who betrayed you.
He hugged her trying to calm her down and she hugged him back trying to absorb his pain while Rano cursed herself for misunderstanding Maan and torturing him so much. Oh God… what all she had told him, she would never ever be able to forgive herself for how miserably she treated such a noble soul.
Rano (folding her hands): I am terribly sorry Maan, how could I misunderstand you, you saved your Gudiya and I accused you of ruining her, how could I (she wept uncontrollably while Maan held her hands, shaking his head tears rolling down his eyes understanding the pain Rano Maa must be undergoing not only for Geet but also for abusing him, she knew how must she adored both her kids) I am the one not worthy of calling you son.
Maan (hugging her): Nahi Rano Maa, please don’t say this. Aap ki koi bhi galti nahi hai, I had lied to you all, how were you to know. (No Rano Maa, please don’t say this. It is not your fault, I had lied to you all, how were you to know)
Rano (Hugging him back, tears flowing endlessly): Nahi Beta, how could I even believe that you could have committed such a horrendous crime, I am to be blamed for accepting it and not heeding to my heart’s voice which screamed of your innocence. I can never forgive myself.
Maan (breaking the hug and shaking his head): Nahi Rano Maan (he wiped her tears) It’s not you mistake, please don’t blame yourself, please don’t cry Rano Maa, my heart burns to see tears in my Maa’s eyes.
Rano: I am so sorry Beta.
He simply shook his head begging her to not torture him more by saying sorry. It was then that Geet saw his wounds for the first time and she screamed in pain.
Geet (flinched in pain): Maan your whole back is ripped (and she very gently caressed his wounds tears dropping endlessly from her eyes seeing his state)
Rano (feeling so guilty, fresh tears in her eyes): I will get the medicine.
Saying so she rushed to get the turmeric paste for his wounds while Geet very carefully helped him remove his battered shirt making sure to not hurt him. She made him lie down on his back while her heart bleed to see him bleeding and in so much agony.
Geet (crying non-stop): Maan ho sake toh mujhe maaf kar dena yeh sab meri wajah se hua hai (she said dying in guilt and chocking in pain)
(Maan, if possible please forgive me, all this has happened because of me)
Maan (turning slightly and keeping his finger on her lips): Nahi Gudiya, please don’t blame yourself.
Rano Maa rushed with the medicine and sat beside Maan. Both she and Geet applied the turmeric paste very gently and carefully over his wounds. He tried to remain still but the pain was so unbearable that even he flinched. Rano and Geet died a thousand deaths looking at his condition, their hearts ached that his true, pure, divine and unconditional was so grossly misunderstood by them and his innocent soul tormented so much.
Rano and Geet painstakingly applied the turmeric paste on his wounds and he felt much better.
Rano: Maan, beta, is the pain some better (tears rolling down her eyes not able to see his back ripped so badly)
Maan (getting up): Ji Rano Maan, your hands have magic (he said giving his lop sided smile. He so desperately wanted to cheer them up).
Rano Maa and Geet smiled ever so slightly, though their heart pained for what all he had undergone but they smiled just for him because they wanted him to be happy.
Rano Maa very lovingly laid his head in her lap and ruffled his hair gently trying to absorb all his pain while he hugged her from the waist weeping silently as if trying to let go of all the pain, the humiliation and disgrace he had silently bore. She let him wet her dress as she knew he needed to let go off all the emotions he had bottled up trying to shield his Gudiya.
Here Mr. and Mrs. Khurana were dying in grief, their heart bleed to imagine their son in so much pain. They couldn’t even sit still in one place his ripped and bleeding image was roaming in front of their eyes and not able to bear it anymore Mr. Khurana spoke.
Mr. Khurana: Simran, woh theek toh hoga na. Mein janta hoon jo usne kiya hai woh maafi ke kabil nahi hai par kahin usko kuch ho toh nahi jayega na, I was so harsh on him.
(Sirman, he would be fine na. I know what he has done cannot be forgiven but nothing happen to him na, I was so harsh on him)
Mrs. Khurana (she had been fearing the same): Let’s go and look at him once, what if something happened to him.
The mere thought of something happening to their son tore them apart and they rushed down to check on his condition. Their heart bleed as they saw his blood outside the store room door but they somehow mustered the courage and opened the door.
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