The plane landed on his country’s acreage. His own country, motherland, his India. After so many years, finally he comes back in his own country, which he left for the sake of his bright future, his father’s dream, his own dream, so get higher education to run the Khurana Empire.
Maan Singh Khurana, who was once the charming prince of college for the girls, now is heading back after whole five years in Manchester, United Kingdom. Who cannot recognise this Man? Maan Singh Khurana, who has now arrived after achieving a triple honours in Business from Manchester Business School.
He came out from the security section from the airport and immediately spotted his Daadi Ma, Dev and Annie were standing there, waving at him. He smiled to see the precious smile and the motherly glow on his Daadi Ma’s face.
Finally I’m back! He murmurs to himself.
As soon as he reached near his family members, Annie came running and hugged him tightly.
“Bhai, I’m so happy, finally you are back, I missed you so much bhai!” she squealed, jumping excitedly in his arms, seeing her brother after a long time made Maan’s heart melt.
“I missed you too sweetheart” wrapping his arms around her tightly, his sister was one he could not forget in a million years.
Still hugging Annie sideways, he came near Daadi Ma. The older lady has tears in her eyes to see her favourite grandchild after so many years. Maan bent down and take ashirwaad from Daadi Ma, who hugs him lovingly.
“I missed you the most Daadi Ma, but what is this? I come back after so many years to see you and you greet me with these precious drops falling from your eyes”.
Savitri Devi stroked his cheek affectionately and smiled through the tears, Maan nodded in denial and wipe the tears that inwardly hurt him the most.
Dev came forward to lighten the situation up between the emotional ones.
“Arre, from where these emotional scenes are coming now?” Hi said mischievously, “Daadi Ma, are you planning to do a shooting of a film with bhai? If not, shouldn’t we be heading home? Bhai looks quite tired after his Nine hour plane-jouney” Dev answered with his winning smirk.
All laughed at his words and Maan hugged his brother, who returned the hug with a wide smile. Dev rubbed his back and greeted him warmfully, “welcome back bhai”
“Now come on guys, let’s go home na, we are getting late”Annie said forcefully dragging Maan by his arm, leading him into the car with herself.
All sit in the Mercedes and the start to drive towards Khurana Mansion.
In the car:
As the driver was heading towards Khurana Mansion, Maan was reminiscing his momentous childhood back in the day. The parks he played cricket at, the secret hideouts he had with his primary school friends and the ice creams he had with his high school friends at the various stalls. Then his college life, he had always been a topper in his studies from the much dull Calculus in Maths to the enthralling water polo he played as an extra-circular activity, which evidently did not go unnoticed by any girl! His gorgeous, taut, masculine body with the layer of water making him shine out of the lot.
He laughed inwardly remember the open drooling those girls did, that too frequently! Once a girl tried to grab his arm but Geet, his partner in crime from Nursery grabbed him away, thrashing a towel to my face shouting “Chi Chi Babaji!” Gosh! If she was around, he was considered dead meat! His best friend, whom he knew for more than three-quarters of his life, knew the best for him and he did not try to go against her or else he was a goner!! He truly did miss Geet, but his sudden decision to continue his studies in Manchester did shock many people, mostly Geet.
Other than the usual traditional India, he was liberated to a much freer country, England. In Manchester, the freedom of friendship and the extent of university life was the real deal! The busy City Centre, the endless restaurants and takeaways that reminded him of home and the diversity of the country appealed to him a lot. He did miss India but Manchester had become a second home to him.
As the car came to a halt at the traffic lights, he looked out dazed at what he saw.
Geet? he gasped under his breath. Was that truly her? No, that is not his partner-in-crime Geet! He had a mental dilemma. What had truly happened to this girl?! She wore her hair in a French plait and wore a plain white suit with a plain dupatta to accompany her. From a bubbly, nonchalant girl to this dull, heart-wrenching avatar scared him. Sach mein koi Saint dikh rahi hai! Aur sab isse Sunshine kehte te! Kissi rainfall se kam nahi lagti hai ab! he laughed to himself. Little did he knew that this Sunshine lost her shine with her life back in the day. He remembered his last day in India, he left her crying after an argument. She only wanted to say something that was on her heart and he did this to her.
The car came to stationary in the Khurana Driveway. Maan was remembering his goofy moments with Geet, but came out his trance when he heard his Daadi Ma’s voice.
“Bete, andhar chaliye. Aap kaafi takke lag rahe ho. First go in and freshen up and catch up on sleep! You know this Jet-lag is not going to get any better if you do not sleep…” Her list of things-to-do went on until Maan spoke in between,“Daadi Maa do not worry, from now on your wish is my command!”
Annie ran in first grabbing an Aarti Thaali, doing her brother’s puja. After many years he is reentering this house, his mother, Jaya, unaware of Maan’s arrival ran to him and engulfed him into her arms.
“Mera Beta, Chotu ab yaad ayi hai aapko apni Mama ki?” she taunted him playfully whilst Maan gave her a kiss on her cheek and took her all-important blessings. His mum went in with the list… did he take good care of himself, did he eat well, sleep well. Maan silenced her ensuring all was fine and went up to his room and took rest.
After freshening up from the shower his hand went into his draw and collected a picture, one most likely from his college days.
“Sweetheart, I miss you but do not worry, Your Maan is coming to you soon!”