Joined: 31 August 2008
Hi friends! Its Aimee again. First off all i need to thank you all for such a wonderful response and support you have given me for my first FF. This is the second thread of the same series. Hope you will continue to support me as before.
Joined: 31 August 2008
As they reached the club, they saw Mr. & Mrs. Chopra and their daughter Neha waiting for them. They all took their seat at a pre-reserved table. Mr.Chopra was a renowned businessman in America. His company wasnt as big as Armaan's, but he surely was a known personality in the business world. Mrs. Chopra was a famous socialite. She could be seen regularly on Page 3, many times accompanied by her daughter too.
Anjali made Armaan sit with Neha. Armaan gave her a dirty look. She smiled back at him. Armaan glanced towards Neha. She was beautiful, he had to agree, but it was quite obvious that she had to put lot of efforts to look beautiful. Her body language clearly showed that she has never ever lifted a finger to pick anything in her life. Born with a silver spoon in mouth he guessed. Though she was behaving very well, but the way she spoke told Armaan that she is a spoilt brat and was only 'trying' to make a good impression.
She wore a Punjabi Suit with a deep V-cut low neck which skimmed down towards the mid of her cleavage. Of course the suit was meant for a traditional look, but her continous waggling in her seat and fussing with her dupatta and suit indicated that it was the first time she was wearing it. That was absolutely fine actually, but looks like she is not fidging uncomfortably coz of her first time with such cloth, but probably coz she hates them.
After some formal introduction, Aarti asked Armaan to take Neha along with him for a walk. Armaan made a face, but agreed.
As they moved away from elder's sight, Neha immediately removed her dupatta and stuffed it in her purse making an loud Arghhhhh sound. Armaan looked at her strangely.
She looked at him staring at her quizzically so she spoke in her very much broken American accent "Oh I am sorry... actually I dont like wearing these piles of cloths, they are so... Yuck... I mean how can a person even walk straight wrapped in such big bedsheet like outfits... they are so LS... and horrifyingly Aunty-types... I have seen only loosers wearing such things..."
Oh really... So today you are one of them yourself. And I guess you havent actually met any of the smartest people in the world missy... The most successful people in the world arent the ones with most extravagant outlooks. It means I was right, he thought. If she was so uncomfortable she shouldnt be wearing it. Its not like we are an old fashion family who want to see a girl like a sati-savitri wearing only traditional dresses. Is that what they think about being a traditional person? And especially when it comes to us Indians/Asians? Idiots I guess. He smirked inwardly.
Well she is actually pretending to be one and dont even know the meaning of being traditional. It has nothing to do with the dresses we wear, but the way we behave, the respect towards the elders, the love we have for our Youngers. It is the revere we hold for every human and their individuality, no matter which region or religion they are from, which makes us 'Traditional'. Dont know about others, but atleast we Maliks and Joshis dont believe in 'fake'.
Yes we like a little decent dressing instead of exposing ourselves, but that doesnt mean that we want our ladies to wrap themselves in hell loads of cloths. Its upto their own choice. They knows it better than anyone else what to wear. And of course short dresses these day are quite openly welcomed by our tradition as far as they doesnt put your honor on stake. Anjali bhabhi, Minnie, Muskaan they also wear short dresses at times, and nobody in our family, I mean not even dadi, dad or mom has had any problem with it. Looks like Miss. Neha Chopra havent heard about an Old saying "Jaisa desh waisa bhesh..." We arent that narrow minded.
Armaan himself never had any preferences for any kind of dresses women wear. He thought a lady can look beautiful in any type of dress, whether its Traditionally Native or western, short or long. Its only a person's way to carry their outfit and their body-language which makes it look decent or vulgar. Men or women, whoever it is, should wear what they feel comfortable in. He was absolutely fine with the women wearing short dresses or ANY sort of western cloths, but he was against vulgarity. What Armaan actually hated was counterfeit-ness. His revulsion was with those who pretend to behave one what they actually are not 'just' to make an impression. And that's what the lady beside him was doing, acting to be one what she actually is not.
He looked towards Neha pulling down her suit to adjust its neck-line, which according to her was small and covered her body more than she wanted it to. Then she fixed her hair a little fluffy to give them a wild, but yet stylish look. She definitely had good styling sense. But he wasnt impressed at all. Tossing her mirror back in her purse, she smiled at Armaan. They strolled around the Hotel garden walking side by side.
"Its been 2 days we came from America" Neha said trying to build a conversation.
"Oh... so how was your journey? And what about your stay? I hope you are enjoying it?" He asked affably.
"Arghhhhh... dont ask..." she groaned "actually its pathetic. I mean its too hot here... my skin burns as soon as I get in the sun... the sun is really bad here... and the dust... Eeeehhh, its... I just hate it... and the roads, they are all so dirty. And the hotel we are staying at... the staff is just ruefully useless..." she kept blabbering on and on saying how bad its up here.
Hey do you have a different sun at your place? I thoughts there is only one Sun in this world. Or has your father bought a new one? He laughed inside at the thought. Hmmm... So Miss. Chopra has problem with everything here. How is she dreaming of surviving here by marrying me? He thought and smiled, but then his smile dropped. Wait... wait a minute, I hope she and her family is not planning to make me a 'Ghar Jamai'. NO WAYS... I am not leaving my house at ANY cost. Do you get that Miss. Shruby hair. Oh yes, she has hair like Shrub sticks. That's a good name Armaan... good, very good.
"That's why we dont live here you know... " she interrupted his inward discussion with himself.
"Oh really... so do you people live in America" actually I wanted to ask when are you going back he thought.
"Yep... we have been living in America for last 15 years now... I was born in Greece... my father had his business there. Then we moved to London and lived there for 4 years. Then my mother and me got so fed up, so we moved to France. France was very good you see... Fashion hub of the world. But then my father got a very big contract in America, so we moved there at last when I was 11 years old..." she spoke moving her hands up and down in air.
"Oh really?" well lady I only asked you if you live in America, not your history about hoping from one country to the other. I believe even they couldnt tolerate you.
"Yes of course... But I love traveling... I have seen almost whole Europe and North America and I am planning to visit California and Brazil on my next vacations..." she rattled again.
"Good... very good" If you want I can book your tickets immediately.
"Have you ever been to Egypt... I have never seen the pyramids... I mean I did saw their miniature models in a museum in America, but have never seen them live..." she said.
"Well... I never got an invitation from any of those Egyptian mummys, and I dont like visiting places without an invitation..." He replied annoyingly. Well in case I got one, I will surely give it to you and ask those mummys to keep you forever.
"Oh god you are so funny..." she laughed. Then diverting from the topic she asked "Anyways Armaan... hows your business doing?"
"Its doing... ok..." Lady, dont you watch TV. I mean I am all over it and you are asking me.
"Good, it means you can afford my holiday trips comfortably" she laughed again at her own joke.
"Ya of course..." O... if you promise never to come back I can even sponsor you trip around the world. So go away.
On the other hand the elders were discussing this future alliance. Mr. & Mrs. Chopra were too excited for it as they knew what it would mean if they got successful in this acquaintance with Armaan Malik. Chopras were from a rich background. Mr. Chopra had heired most of his wealth from his ancestors. But he was still no where close to Armaan Malik's Empire. Marvels was atleast hundreds of ranks ahead in business world standing at the one of the topmost notches of best and biggest business houses in India and has recently also secured its place in world's top fifteen as well.
Chopra did a little research on Armaan and his family before coming over to meet them. He was surprised to find that even though they were among the richest people, but yet they were quite traditional and down-to-earth family. He never expected them to be like that. It actually made him a little uncomfortable for a while as he thought of them as old fashioned family. How will his ultra-modern daughter live with such people? But then as his mind flewed back to the Marvels, all his discomfort turned into a comfort. Oh she can live separately after they get married. Away from this family. Alone with Armaan Malik.
Mr. Chopra had asked his avant-garde wife and daughter to behave and pretend to be as traditional as possible so that they are successful in their mission of impressing them. He asked Neha to buy some Indian outfits and convinced her to wear them. Neha didnt agree in the beginning, but then after a while when she heard things about Armaan Malik she agreed reluctantly saying that if he is not handsome she would not stay even for a moment.
"Bachche bahut time laga rahe hain... lagta hai bahut saari baatein kar rahe hain..." Mrs Chopra said smiling gracefully.
"Haan... mujhe bhi aisa hi lagta hai..." Aarti smiled looking towards the way from where Armaan and Neha had gone.
"Lagta hai, baat ban jayegi..." Mr. Chopra smiled.
"Mujhe to kuch aur hi lag raha hai..." Atul muttered under his breath, while Anjali nudged him to keep quite. Atul had seen the look Armaan gave to the girl before leaving. He looked as if he is gonna puke on her face.
"Maine to soch liya hai, jaise hi wo dono humein apna faisala sunate hain, we will throw a huge party to announce their engagement within 2 days..." Mrs. Chopra said excited.
Lagta hai Madam ko kuch jyada hi jaldi hai... khud hi decide kar liya ki wo haan hi kahenge... itna khush hone ki zaroorat nahi hai madam... Kahin aisa na ho ki uchalte hue aayi ho aur muh latkate hue jao... Atul thought.
"Kya soch rahe ho tum?" Anjali whispered in his ear as she saw him staring at Mrs. Chopra.
"Huh? Kuch nahi... kuch bhi to nahi..." Atul nodded looking down.
As they reached a lonely corner Neha turned around unexpectedly. Armaan who was looking down in his mobile bumped into her. She was about to fall when he held her by her waist. She looked up in his eyes and got fanatical. She was in daze. Wow... he is so handsome she thought. His face, his lips, his muscular arms, his chiseled broad shoulders, and oh my-my... the smell... his smell. Oh wow, he is gonna be great fun to play with I guess, she thought.
Armaan looked at her staring at him strangely, which he didnt like much. It looked like she was trying to undress him with her eyes. He felt miserably uncomfortable. Negatively. He helped her stand straight and loosened his grip around her. But as he did that, she pretended as if she is about to fall again so he held her again.
She pulled him towards her and in the process her huge overgrown bulges touched his chest. Armaan breathed in trying to save some gap. She looked down at his neck, her eye slipping down to his masculine chest. She purposely loosened her body so that Armaan keep holding her saving her from falling. She tugged and hung on his shirt harder acting as if trying to stand on her feet and broke a mid button of his shirt exposing his muscular chest further. Deliberately she bend backward making her deep neck look obvious almost exposing everything over her cleavage.
He stiffened as he felt her fingers crawl down his chest sliping under his shirt. Then she moved a little ahead and kissed his torso. He felt itchy and very-very annoyed and of course didnt like the way she way behaving. He could sense it that she was willingly doing all of it. She looked like one desperately aroused woman. He wanted to yell at her, give her his peace of mind, tell her to behave and stay in limits or least run away, but couldnt do so as she was his family's guest. How could he let down his family's honor?
Armaan's jaw tightened in anger which was building in him. His eyes wandered around the place to seek an escape. Suddenly he got an idea. He moved a little closer to Neha which made her quite excited. He thought she will move back if he tries to get closer, but when she didnt, he decided to use another plan. Still holding her by her waist, he kept moving ahead almost dragging her backward. He was holding her a little up in the air in his arms by her waist so that he could push her backward swiftly. After walking a few steps, he stopped.
He looked down at the ground and then at her. She was still in daze. He smiled mischievously and suddenly pretended as if he lost his balance making her stumble backward while his weight following her. Before she could realize what is going on, she fell backward... first on her butt, and then on her back as her high heels slipped and could not grip the muddy wet ground. They had come over towards the Garden area where Gardner must have been working a few minutes back, so the place was all messed up, wet and muddy.
"Aaaooooochhhhhhhhh... WTF?" she cursed loudly as she felt mud all over her expensive branded dress. Her whole back body and hair were covered with mud.
Armaan saved himself from falling by holding a nearby pavement. He smirked watching her like that. Oh god what a scene. But then held his hand out to help her up.
"Oh god... I am so sorry Miss. Neha... I didnt realize that we were heading towards this... this muddy place..." he made a fake hateful face looking towards the mud-spattered ground.
As she tried to get up by placing one of her palm on the earth, more mud covered her hands "F***..." she cursed again while getting up taking his hand.
Once up, she stood with her hands held outward and her legs spread wide like a scare-crow standing in a field, looking down at herself in disgust.
Armaan wanted to laugh a loud seeing her pose, but stopped himself and asked her to follow him. To add to her annoyment, he purposely walked through the Pool area where a lot of other guests stared and giggled watching her grubby state. Armaan patted himself inwardly. He didnt wanted to make fun of her like that, but the way she was behaving and then tried to seduce him, he knew what sort of girl she is.
Anjali looked at her with a horrified expression as they reached back to their table where both the families sat. Others followed her gaze and were equally shocked to see Neha in that state.
"Oh my god... how did this happen darling?" Neha's mother Mrs. Chopra asked as she got up.
"I fell on that ugly ground... these people, they are such bloody s***..." Neha spoke loudly.
"But how did you fall?" Mr. Chopra asked.
She glanced towards Armaan, who looked back at her with an innocent guilty expression as if he hadnt done anything. How could she tell them that she was trying to seduce him and in the process she forgot where they were going, and as a result she fell on her butt. Looking at her father she replied "That doesnt matter dad... I just dont wanna stay here anymore... this place is a junkyard, bloody dirty garbage city... that's why I dont like it here... I mean this country and its people... they all are such..." she was cut in by Mrs. Mother.
"O... I guess we should be taking your leave Mrs. Joshi... we are really sorry for all this..." she interrupted on purpose as she saw the changing expressions on Joshis and especially Armaan's face as Neha blabbered crap about the country and its people. She knew it very well that if she hadnt interrupted her daughter, they would have landed in deep trouble. Neha would have gotten a big slap on her face and the whole homely and traditional image they have created in front of this pretigious traditional RICH family, would have been tarnished.
"Oh.. yes-yes... yes" Mr. Chopra replied as his wife nudged him "We are really sorry Mrs. Joshi... I think the kids have spoken, so we will wait for your decision..." with that the Chopra family walked away immediately while Mrs Chopra dragged Neha along with her.
Atul saw the expression on Armaan's face, which had turned from amusement to abhorrence after hearing Neha's last comments. He looked at him suspiciously.
Armaan saw the Chopras leaving with a tight expression. Then as he looked back, he found Aarti, Anjali and Atul, all of them staring at him with a questioning look "What?" he asked. They raised their brow "I... I didnt do anything..." he tried to explain.
"Hmm..." Aarti raised her hand to stop him narrowing her eyes and walked away followed by Anjali who passed him a fake smile and then a stare.
Armaan's eyes followed them till they were out of sight and then turned back towards Atul, who was still gawking at him taping his chin with his index finger. "Bhai... kya hai?" Armaan asked irritated after a few seconds when Atul didnt averted his suspicious gaze.
"Nothing..." Atul said casually sitting back in the chair, but his eyes not leaving Armaan.
"Then stop staring at me like that..." Armaan said.
Atul nodded but then suddenly started laughing. "Oh god... kya baat hai... mazaa aa gaya..."
Seeing him laugh, now even Armaan, who was holding his gaiety for a long time also burst out laughing. They sat besides each other laughing madly holding their stomach with people by passing them giving them a have-they-lost-it look.
After a while Atul asked composing himself a little "Ye sab tune kiya na?"
"Hehe... hmmm" Armaan nodded laughing.
"Saale tu nahi sudhrega" Atul punched his arm.
"Sorry bhai..." Armaan replied as he stopped laughing.
"Arey its ok yaar... waise bhi mujhe wo ladki bilkul pasand nahi aayi... she was such a spoilt and so-called i-m-the-mod kind of girl" Atul said.
"But what exactly did she do and then you...?" Atul asked him.
"She tried to seduce me..." Armaan replied dryly.
"What?" Atul who was siping his cold drink spurred out and looked at him implausible.
"She did..." Armaan stated factually "I didnt like it... I mean they were all behaving as if they are the most traditional and well-behaved people and all... and then she was behaving like that when we were alone... if instead of 'pretending' what they are not, they would have behaved what they actually are, I might have considered them for a while, but..." he trailed.
"I know... even I felt that they were forging their behaviour..." Atul added.
"But I dont know how am I gonna explain this to Mom and Anjali Bhabhi..." Armaan grimaced.
"Arey dont worry... I will handle them..." Atul assured him.
"Thanx bhai..." Armaan smiled at him.
"But Armaan..." Atul started again "I wanted to talk to you in this regard" he spoke seriously
"Bhai please..." he whined.
"No Armaan... I guess you should try to forget what happened in your past... I know that you were hurt and those things have left very strong imprints on your mind... but try and understand that every girl is not the same..." he placed a hand on Armaan's shoulder and continued "Look... I know what kind of girl you might like... so I will ask Anjali to take care of it next time and I promise you that nobody will force you to marry any random girl who you dont even know... And dont forget... I will always be there to support you... no matter what..."
Armaan looked up in his assuring eyes and sighed "Alright bhai... I will try, but I cant promise you anything..."
"Ok... By the way... is there anything else you wanna talk about..." Atul asked him thinking if he is comfortable talking about what happened a few days ago when he was upset.
Armaan looked up in his questioning eyes and understood what he might be asking for. But he was not in a mood to discuss those things right now. "Not right now Atul... but I promise, I will talk to you when its the right time..." he said while Atul nodded.
Note :- There will be some random names used for some characters here. Not much details will be added about them as they are not relevant. But any name you read in this scene which you dont recognize, take it as one of the kid from the orphanage.
She was playing with kids in the garden when his car entered the Ashraya premises.
Hearing the sound of his car the kids almost knocked her and ran towards him.
"Bhaiya aa gaye..." they screamed.
She tried to peek and see who he is, but could not as he sat on his knees on the ground, surrounded by kids.
"Riddhima didi chalo na, mujhe bhi bhaiya ke paas jana hai..." Little Chaya, a 12 year old girl who had polio, said as she tried to drag Riddhima with her since she couldnt run with other kids.
"Kaun bhaiya?" Riddhima asked.
"Aap chalo to..." Chaya replied impatiently. As soon as Riddhima gave her, her walking sticks, she limped quickly towards the mob of the kids.
He saw her hurriedly coming towards him and placed the little boy he had in his arms down. "Arey araam se Chaya..." he held her before she trip on the path. "Tum bhaagi kyun?"
"Aapko dekha isliye... main bhi aapse milna chahti thi..." she replied.
"Lekin main to wahin aa raha tha, tumhare paas" he picked her up in his arms and walked towards the garden area followed by all the kids.
"Haan lekin mujhe bhi aapko dusare bachcho ki tarah jaldi se milna tha..." she said.
"Wo to theek hai, lekin agar tum gir jaati to... aur waise bhi main sabse pahle tumse hi to milne wala tha..." he said smiling at her.
As they reached the mid of the Garden, he stopped and placed Chaya down on her feet. Moving towards the two statues placed there he bent down and touched their feet.
"Bhaiya... aapko apne mummy-daddy ki bahut yaad aati hai na..." one kid asked.
"Haan beta..." he replied looking down at him.
"Mujhe bhi apne mummy-daddy ki yaad aati hai..." as the boy said that, Armaan felt his own eyes welling up. He sat down in front of him and hugged him.
Parting from his hug he wiped his eyes and spoke "Ok kids... ab kis-kisko chocolates chahiye?" He didnt want kids to get emotional coz he came to play and enjoy with them to make them happy. They already had lot of sadness in their lives, and he didnt want them to remember what they dont have.
"Mujhe" the kids raised their hands and replied in unison.
"Theek hai milenge sabko milenge... lekin pahle main Girija Tayee se baat to karu... jis-jis bachche ne apna homework nahi kya hoga, use chocolates nahi milegi" he informed.
"Maine to apna homework school se aate hi kar liya tha bhaiya" one girl replied.
"Aur maine bhi..." other added.
"Aur maine bhi..." another boy said.
"Ye jhoot kah raha hai Armaan bhaiya... isne homework nahi kiya... didi ne ise kitni baar kaha, lekin phir bhi ye bhagta hi raha" a third boy said.
"Haan... aur isne meri choti bhi khinchi..." another girl spoke.
"Kyun Raghu... is it right?" Armaan asked the boy in question.
"Wo... bhaiya main..." he bobbed his head.
"Hmm... theek hai phir... tum jhoot bolte raho, tumhari chocolate main wapis le jaonga..."
"Sorry bhaiya... main apna homework abhi kar lunga" Raghu replied immediately.
"Aaj to theek hai, lekin kal?" Armaan asked him.
"I promise bhaiya, main kal se apna homework time pe karunga..." he assured.
"Ok then... Umar bhai ko bulao wo tum logon ki chocolates car mein se nikal ke la denge... aur haan koi apne aap kuch nahi chedega... Girija tayee aake khud de dengi..." he warned.
"Lekin Girija tayee to bazaar gayi hain..." a girl named Reena told him.
"To phir tum log wahan kiske saath khel rahe the?" he asked. He had seen the kids playing with someone in the garden area, but could not see her face.
"Wo to didi hai..." Bhanu said who was another boy of 11.
"Didi? Kaun didi? Kahan hai wo?" he asked.
"Wahan..." The kids held their hands in air pointing their fingers towards Anjali's office in unison indicating where their didi was.
"Anjali ke office mein? Ye ladki hai kaun aur Anjie bhabhi ke office mein ghusne kaise diya ise?" Armaan muttered. "Bachchon tum Umar bhai ko bulao, main abhi ata hu..." he told the kids and walked towards Anjali's office.
Riddhima had gone in the office to attend a phone call after Chaya left to meet Armaan. It was Anjali who had called to inform Girija Tayee that she wont be coming that day and Aarti is also busy, but hearing Riddhima's voice she relaxed. Riddhima reassured her that she will take care of everything until Girija Tayee is back. After that she got busy with other works. She instructed the Cook to make pre-lunch arrangements so that as soon as Girija Tayee comes back they could start cooking for kids and elders. She also went to meet folks in Old age home and to ask if they need something.
As he entered Anjali's office he saw her back as she was writing something in a register while sitting on Anjali's chair rolled on the other side.
"Excuse me" he spoke.
"Ek minute..." she spoke almost an inaudibly low voice waving her hand to ask him to sit down, still turned around and busy writing while he kept standing there.
When she didnt turn back even after 5 minutes he went to her and twirled her chair to face her. She was flabbergasted by his sudden move and dropped the register on the floor.
"Tum yahan kya kar rahi ho?" He asked surprised to see her.
"That was supposed to be my question" she said equally surprised.
"if you have forgotten, this place belong to Marvels' charitable trust..." he rolled his tongue.
"To kya..." she stopped, but then added immediately "Haan theek hai, lekin iska matlab ye to nahi, ki jahan main jaaongi tum mera peecha kare hue wahan aa jaoge?" she didnt know what she was saying. She just wanted to show him that she was the authority for the time being and not his employee.
"What? tumhara dimaag kharaab ho gaya hai kya? Main aur tumhara peecha karunga? Give me a break..." he scoffed.
"To phir tum aaj yahan kya kar rahe ho? Tumhari to meeting thi na aaj..." she asked.
"Excuse me... meeting shaam ko hai, aur waise bhi aaj Sunday hai... and Miss. ES-PA, who are you to command me..."
"First thing I am not your ES-PA right now and second thing 'I' am the incharge for the day..."
"Who said that?"
"Girija Tayee... aur abhi phone bhi..." she was cut off by the chirping sounds of kids who banged in pushing Umar Bhai inside.
"Chaliye na Umar Chacha..." the kids were pushing him inside.
"Arey bachcho mujhe haath to dho lene dete... sab mitti laga hai..." he looked up "Namaste Armaan saab, kaise ho aap?"
"Main theek hu Umar Bhai... aap sunaiye..." Armaan smiled.
"Ji... hum bhi bilkul badhiya hain..."
"Bhaiya..." Raghu pulled Armaan's hand making him bend down "Umar Chacha ko bolo na" he whispered in his ear.
"Arey haan... Umar bhai, ye lijiye gaadi ki chabi" he handed him the keys "Wo saare packets le aayiye yahan..."
"Ji abhi laya" he took the keys and went out.
As soon as Umar bhai left the kids dragged Armaan outside. "Chalo na bhaiya khelenge..."
"Achcha baba chalo..." when in the garden he asked "Lekin khelna kya hai?"
"Kabaddi..." a boy stated.
"Nahi... kabaddi nahi... mujhe bhi khelna hai... main kabaddi kaise khelungi..." Chaya said.
"To phir Ludo..." another kid suggested.
"Nahi wo bhi nahi... use to sirf 4 hi khel sakte hain..." Bhanu reminded.
"Hmm... to phir ab kya karein?" Armaan scratched his chin.
"Cricket..." Shashi a 13 year old boy cried.
"Par usmein bhi to bhagna hota hai... aur Chaya kaise khelegi wo..." Ruby said.
"Nahi mein khelungi Cricket..." Chaya interrupted excitedly. She loved Cricket.
"Lekin Chaya... tumhe lag jayegi..." Riddhima who had heard their discussion replied.
"Nahi lagegi didi... mujhe Cricket hi khelna hai..." Chaya whined.
"Ok... ok... its settled then. We all will play cricket today..." Armaan announced before Riddhima could protest further.
She darted towards him. "How can you be so stupid? How will she run?" she asked him.
"You fuss a lot Miss. Gupta..." he made a face. "Hey kids come here..." he called everyone. "Alright ab jab hum Cricket khel rahe hain... to I want to know who will help Chaya playing it..."
"Main..." most of the kids raised their hands.
He looked towards Riddhima and then looking back at Deepak he said "Ok Deepak... tum bahut achcha bhagte ho to tum Chaya ke substitute runner hoge... ok"
"Ji bhaiya..." Deepak shook his vigorously in agreement.
"Aur Chaya tumhe balling karni hai ya nahi?" he asked her.
"Haan bhaiya, bas thodi si..." she replied.
"Ok... so you will ball 1 over... is that ok?"
"Ok..." she agreed.
"Aur Chaya ki jagah fielding ke liye kain volunteer karega?" he asked again.
"Main karungi bhaiya..." Tina who was closest to Chaya replied.
"Tumhe batting ya balling nahi karni?" he asked her.
"Nahi bhaiya... mujhe batting nahi aati bas thodi so balling aati hai..."
"To phir meri jaga ye balling kar legi..." As Tarun suggested Armaan looked at him surprised. Tarun was one of the most rebel and naughty kid. He always troubled everyone and never ever left his turns for anyone.
"Kya? teri jagah ye balling karegi..." Armaan asked him perplexed.
"Haan..." Tarun replied simply and ran towards the other end of the play ground to pick up Cricket ball.
Seeing the puzzled expression on Armaan's face Chaya nudged him. "Bhaiya... Tarun ab hum sabko jyada pareshaan nahi karta... bas kabhi-kabhi hi tang karta hai..." she informed him.
"Really? Par ye hua kaise aur iska dimaag kisne theek kiya?" he asked her.
"Didi ne? kaunsi didi ne?"
"Riddhima Didi ne..." she pointed towards Riddhima who was busy talking with some other kids.
Armaan looked at her instructing something to a little boy. She was sitting on her knees holding him by his waist fixing his cloths. The boy was listening to her very carefully as if she was telling him something very interesting. She looked so much at ease with the kids here. He smiled seeing her pulling her dupatta back from the boys' hands as she got up and turned to leave and the boy gripped it. She sat again and said something to him and then taking her dupatta back she moved towards a table lying at some distance and sat on the chair besides it.
"Bhaiya chalo na..." Vivan said.
"Haan chalo..." he said as most of the kids gathered around him. "Ok... now lets divide the teams first..." he said taking the ball from Tarun.
"Main bhaiya ki team mein..." a girl said.
"Main bhi..." second one said.
"Main bhi." a third added. Soon all the kids announced that they wanted to be there in his team.
"Arey yaar aise kaise khelenge... Cricket ke liye to 2 teams chahiye... aur agar tum sab meri team mein hoge to phir doosari team kahan se ayegi?" he said scratching his forehead.
Here is Episode 32 Friends. I know not much of AR in it, but it was getting too long. Promise to have more AR in next one. It will be the last scene's continuity. Hope you like it.
And thanks agian for you lovely comments. I love you all.
Joined: 31 August 2008
"Arey yaar aise kaise khelenge... Cricket ke liye to 2 teams chahiye... aur agar tum sab meri team mein hoge to phir doosari team kahan se ayegi?" he said scratching his forehead.
"Umar Chacha ko bula lete hain..." Tina suggested.
"Good Idea..." Armaan turned towards the the corner where Umar was working and called him "Umar bhai... zara yaha ana to..."
Umar came running "Ji saab..."
"Pahle to aapko kitni baar bola hai... ye saab-waab kam kijiye..." he scolded him.
"Sorry saab... mera matlab Armaan bhaiya..." Umar nodded. Though Umar was atleast 12 years elder than Armaan, but he still preferred calling him Bhaiya.
"Good... Ab ye lo aur apni wahan jaake khade ho jao... hum teams divide karte hain..." he gave him glove and signaled him to stand aside.
"Teams?" Umar asked.
"Haan teams' Cricket khel rahe hain na'"
"Lekin Bhaiya' humein to bahut kaam hai'"
"Arey cricket se jaroori kya kaam ho sakta hai' is waqt humein khelna hai aur aap doosari team ke captain ho' Kaam baad mein kar lena'"
"Theek hai'" Umar sighed and took the glove, but then turned and said "Agar Girija Tayee ne kuch kaha to?"
"Girija Tayee ko hum sambhal lenge' kyun bachchon?"
"Haan'" the kids shouted.
"Achcha bhai, chalo phir'" Umar stood aside waiting for kids to join him in his team, but none of the kids was ready to be in his team. Everyone wanted to be a part of Armaan's team.
Riddhima watched them arguing who will be in Umar bhai's team. After a lot of discussion when no solution came out, she stood up and walked towards them.
"Kya hua?" she asked.
"Didi humein Armaan bhaiya ki team mein khelna hai'" the kids replied one by one.
"Lekin agar Cricket khel rahe ho to 2 teams chahiye aur agar tum sab iski'" she glanced towards Armaan oddly "I mean inki team mein ho jaoge to phir kheloge kaise?
"Par didi, humein Bhaiya ki team mein hi khelna hai."
Armaan watched her trying to convince the kids to join Umar bhai's team as well. He looked at her curiously thinking how is she gonna be doing so.
"Hmm'" she looked at Umar bhai who stood there with a sorry face. "Theek hai, Umar bhai ki team meri team hai'" she said, then turned towards the kids "Ab batao meri team mein kaun-kaun hai?" she asked.
"Main'" To Armaan's amazement most of the kids raised their hands. Wow, the kids seem to be her fan. Good Miss. Gupta.
"Good' ab jo-jo meri team mein hai wo is taraf aa jao'" she asked.
Half of the kids come and stood on her side. She gave Armaan a victorious look and went back to her seat. Armaan watched her leaving and made a wind-you-up face.
So the teams were '
Armaan's Team ' Armaan, Chaya, Tina, Tarun, Deepak, Peter, Farhan, Roshni, Kathy, Seema, Charu.
Umar Bhai's Team ' Umar Bhai, Bhanu, Raghu, Shashi, Reena, Ayaaz, Najeeb, Meenu, Freddy, Vivan, Vineet.
Within minutes they started their game. Umar bhai's team won the toss and decided to bat first. Armaan gave the ball to Tarun who balled to Reena batting at the other end. She pushed her bat and hit the ball and took a run. After few minutes the score was '
Umar Bhai's team ' 30 runs for 2 wickets in 8 overs.
Vineet from Umar Bhai's team made a shot and the ball flew towards his leg side on left.
"Bhaiya ball'" Reena shouted.
Armaan who was standing at the Mid-Wicket position, a liitle far away, saw the ball flying towards his right side and ran to catch it. Riddhima was sitting busy reading newspaper at the Deep Square end on the Leg side. She didnt notice Armaan rushing towards her. Armaan's eyes were set on his target up in the air.
Suddenly Armaan jumped to catch the ball and landed almost on the bucket lying there near Riddhima's feet. She jumped from her chair as the water spilled over her salwar from the bucket. Armaan fell on his right arm catching the ball. Then turning around still lying on the ground, he held the ball up in the air and shouted. "CATCH'"
Kids from his team ran towards him yelling victoriously. "YAAYYYYYYYYYYY'"
Riddhima stood there looking down at her salwar with her mouth a little open. She glared towards Armaan. He was lying on the ground on his back while the kids came and jumped on him hugging him.
"What a catch Bhaiya'" Farhan praised.
"Haan' yayyyyy, Vineet out ho gaya'" Roshni added.
"Aoooooo' arey yaar theek hai ab tum sab utho to sahi mere upar se'" Armaan who was dumped under all the kids, groaned.
As the kids get off him he stood up and wiped his jeans to get off the sand. The kids went back to their positions. Riddhima was fuming at him by now. She spranged towards him,
"Tumne ye sab jaan bujh ke kiya na?" she spoke angrily.
Armaan turned with a jerk "Kya?"
"Tumne ye sab jaan bujh ke kiya' hai na?" she repeated.
"Kya? kya kiya maine?" he asked confusingly.
"Ye sab'" she pointed towards her mud covered salwar.
Armaan looked down "O' ye? Ye kaise hua? Tum kya itni badi hoke bhi mitti mein khelti ho?"
"Don't act smart' ye sab tumne kiya hai'"
"Maine? Maine kaise?"
"Achcha ab tumhe ye bhi nahi pata' abhi jo tum meri upar kude the ye usi se hua hai'"
"Ooooo' but I was catching the ball'" he said casually.
"Ball catch kar rahe the ya jaan bujh ke mujhe pareshaan kar rahe the' main sab jaanti hu'"
"Arey' tum to peeche hi pad gayi' maine kaha na maine ye sab intentionally nahi kiya. I was playing and jumped to catch the ball' ab tum beech mein aa gayi to main kya karu?"
"Bahut smart samajhte ho na tum apne aapko' ball ko tum thoda dur se bhi catch kar sakte the'" she scoffed again.
"Oye listen, main kya pahle ye dekhta ki mujhe kitne feet tumse dur rahne hai baal catch karne ke liye? Tab tak to ball gir jaati. Aur by the way, you are the one sitting carelessly at the wrong place' to ye to hona hi tha'"
"Achcha main galat position pe baithi thi' ab to main yahin bathungi' aur dekhti hut um kya karte ho?" she replied stubbornly and went back to her chair. "Aur agar is baar meri taraf ball aayi na' to'" she pointed her finger towards him.
"To kya? Mummy ko bulaogi?" he smirked.
"Ji nahi' bas dekhte jao main kya karti hu'"
Before he could reply further Seema called him "Bhaiya aao na'" he ran back to his position.
Now it was Armaan's turn to ball. He threw the ball and by chance the ball went towards Riddhima. She picked up the ball and looked at him, but before she could say something Peter came and took away the ball from her hand. So she sat back.
From the balling end, Armaan observed her heated expressions. He shook his head and went to ball again, but then smiled mischievously. This time he threw the ball in such a way that Raghu who was batting hit the ball and once again it landed on the table in front of Riddhima.
Riddhima picked the ball and looked up. Armaan winked at her. She knew it immediately that he was doing it intentionally to rag her. Getting up from her place she darted towards him fumingly. Armaan stood at his place and saw her marching towards him.
"Tumne phir se wohi kiya'" she said.
"Kya maine kya kiya?" he asked.
"Ye ball meri taraf phenki'"
"Ball? Nahi to' ye ball maine nahi phenki' main to balling kar raha hu' ise to Raghu ne hit kiya tha'" he spoke making an innocent face.
"Main sab jaanti hu, tumne ball is tarah phenki ke shot meri taraf hi aaye'"
"Arey, tum bhi na, har bat pe mujhpe shaq karti ho' maine kya kiya?"
The kids saw them arguing and came there.
"Kya hua bhaiya' didi?" Tina asked.
"Ye'" Riddhima showed her the ball.
"Ye to ball hai' iska kya?" she got puzzled.
"Ye ball isne meri taraf jaan bujh ke phenki'" Riddhima said.
"Nahi Riddhima didi' ise to maine hit kiya tha' bhaiya to balling kar rahe the' aapko lagi kya? I am sorry'" Raghu replied.
"See' I didn't do anything and you are blaming me'" Armaan made a dramatically sad face.
Riddhima looked at Armaan and then at Raghu. She still suspected that it was all Armaan's doing, but didn't had proof, so couldn't say anything to the kids. She gave the ball to Kathy and went back. Armaan jumped in joy inwardly. I won. Miss. Gupta, you don't know who are you messing up with. He went back to his position taking the ball from Kathy.
Charu was balling. Another shot and the ball went towards Riddhima once again. But this time it skimmed slower. Armaan went to pick the ball again. He stopped in his path as he heard Girija Tayee's voice
"Arey Armaan bete?" Girija Tayee came towards him. "Tum kab aaye?" Armaan went to her and touched her feet "Jeete raho aur jaldi se pyari si dulhan le aao humare liye" she blessed him.
"Tayeeeeeeeeee'" he whined making her laugh "Bas thodi der hui Tayee' aap kaisi ho?"
"Main to theek hu' tumne aate hi laga diya na bachcho ko khelne mein'"
"Kya Tayee main kabhi-kabhi to aa pata hu' aur tab bhi agar unhe padhne mein laga dunga to phir bachche enjoy kaise karenge?"
"Haan' tumne hi in sabki aadatein bigaad ke rakhi hain' abhi to tum ho isliye sab baat manenge aur tumhaare jaate hi phir se shaitaniyan shuru ho jayengi inki"
"Layiye Tayee ye mujhe dijiye" he took the bag she was holding in her hand.
"Tayee' kitni der laga di'" Riddhima came there too.
"Arey aaj bazaar mein bahut bheed thi'" Tayee said.
"Achcha' Tayee maine cook ko saari tayyari karne ko kah diya tha aur Dana logon ke liye dhoodh bhi bhijwa diya tha' wo sab peeche wale garden mein honge abhi'"
"Dana log?" Armaan asked. "Wo kya hai?"
"Arey Old Age Home ke log'" Tayee replied.
Riddhima took the bag wands walked away towards the Kitchen.
"Lekin Dana log matlab?" he asked again.
"Dana matlab short form of Dada-Dadi aur Nana-Nani' Riddhima unhe yehi kahke bulati hai" Girija Tayee explained.
"Oh' like that'"
"Hmm' Umar'" she called Umar bhai.
"Ji Tayee?" he came huffing-puffing.
"Tu yahan kya khel raha hai' tera sara kaam ho gaya kya?" She scolded him.
"Ji' wo'" Umar glanced towards Armaan, who looked away.
Tayee followed his gaze and held Armaan's ear "Achcha to ye teri hi karaamat hogi' tune hi lagaya na ise khelne mein?" she asked.
"Aaaoooooo' Tayee chodo to'" she left his ear. "Tayee hum log Cricket khel rahe the, aur do teams chahiye thi isliye'"
"Achcha' lekin ye bachche tujhe chodke iski team mein khelne ko raazi kaise ho gaye?" she asked confusingly.
"Riddhima didi ki wajah se" Umar replied. "Didi ne kaha ki meri team unki team hai' aur bas aadhe bachche meri team mein ho gaye" he added excitedly.
"Hmm' to ye baat hai' achcha ab chal Lunch ka intezaam karna hai'" he told Umar. "Armaan tum yahi ho na' Lunch yahin karke jaana' bachchon aur baaki sab badon ko achcha lagega." She asked Armaan.
"Ismein bhi kya puchne wali baat hai Tayee' zaroor khaonga'" Armaan smiled widely.
Tayee went away followed by Umar.
The kids came there "Bhaiya chalo na khelte hain'"
"Haan chalo'" he replied.
Inside the Kitchen, Riddhima was busy instructing the 2 cooks for food preparations.
"Arey Riddhima tu ye sab kya karne lagi beta?" Girija Tayee asked.
"Tayee wo bahut time ho raha tha, to maine socha ki lunch ki tayyari karwa du" she replied.
"Tu ye sab chod aur jaa jaake bahar bachcho ke saath khel' ye sab main dekh lungi."
"Lekin Tayee abhi-abhi to aap bahar se aayi ho' aap thaki hogi na' thoda araam kar lo, tab tak main dhekhti hu'" she said.
"Koi zaroorat nahi hai' main to gaadi mein gayi thi aur gaadi mein aayi hu' mujhe kausi paidal parade karni padi, sabkuch to mandiwale tayyar rakhte hain, mujhe to bas check karna hota hai' mujhe araam ki zaroorat nahi' lekin main jaanti hu, in sab shaitaano ne tujhe kitna tang kiya hoga' aur phir aaj to aur bhi badmaashi kar rahe honge' Armaan jo aaya hai' tu jaa jaake bahar baith'"
"Ja na'" Tayee pushed her out.
"Ok'" she gave up and went out.
She came back and went to her chair. Taking the newpaper she started reading it again.
At some distance Armaan was sitting on the ground with his legs folded in Yoga style while 7 year old Freddy sat on his lap. Najeeb was hanging on his back. They seems to be discussing something. Riddhima glanced towards them. She smiled seeing the position he was sitting in surrounded by all the kids. He looked so involved and the kids looked his aficionados.
After a while he got up and walked towards her. She immediately looked back in her newspaper. He came there followed by some kids who were talking while walking "Bataiye na bhaiya ab kya karenge?" Ayaaz asked him.
"Haan' ab humaari team ka to koi captain nahi hai'" Vivan added.
"Hmm' dekhte hain'" Armaan replied and bent to pick the ball which was still lying near the chair where Riddhima sat.
Riddhima gave him a side glance. As he got up picking the ball, he got an idea. He walked back to the kids who were standing in group at some distance and threw the ball in air catching it again. He looked at Riddhima who was busy with her newspaper.
"Waise bachchon tumhe kya lagta hai, yahan aur koi hai kya jo doosari team ko lead kar sake?" he spoke aloud to be heard by everyone in the ground while smiling mischievously looking towards her.
The kids looked at him confused. Why was he repeating the thing they were discussing for last few minutes? And why was he speaking so loud?
But then Tina followed his gaze "Riddhima didi..." she exclaimed suddenly. "Haan Riddhima didi khelengi..."
"Haan Didi bhi khelengi" others agreed and ran towards her.
Riddhima looked with muddled expression at the horde of kids fliting towards her. What are they upto? She gasped while thinking.
"Didi..." Shashi said as they reached her "Chalo na... humare saath Cricket khelo na..."
"Kya? Cricket?" she looked at them "Lekin mujhe..."
"Please didi chalo na... humein khelne ke liye 2 teams chahiye... ek team to Armaan bhaiya ki hai aur doosari apki ho jayegi... Umar chacha bhi chale gaye'"
"Kya? par..." she didnt know what to say.
"Didi humari team mein ek member bhi kam ho gaya hai'" Meenu said.
"Please didi... please..." she could say no as the kids pleaded making cute faces.
"Ok baba... chalo..." though she wasnt sure, but still agreed.
"Yayyyyyyyy..." the kids cried joyfully.
The game started once again. The socre was '
Riddhima's team ' 54 runs for 5 wickets in 15 overs.
Shashi, Najeeb, Meenu, Freddy, Vineet were already out and it was now Bhanu and Raghu who were now batting. Raghu was a very good batsman. He took several runs with the help of Bhanu within minutes and the score rolled to 81 runs for 5 wickets in 20 overs.
Riddhima kept encouraging them from her place.
A few more overs passed and now the score was 102 runs for 9 wickets in 24 overs.
Vivan walked towards the table where Riddhima was sitting while other kids and Armaan got busy drinking water. Riddhima gave a water bottle to Vivan.
Taking the water from her he spoke "Didi! Aapne abhi tak gloves nahi pahne?"
"huh? gloves? Lekin kyun?" she asked.
"Arey main out ho gaya' ab aapko jana hai'"
"Mujhe?" she gasped. She has seen cricket on the TV when Rahul and Shashank watched it but had never played it.
"Meri jagah koi aur nahi jaa sakta?" she asked innocently.
14 year old Vivan laughed seeing her nervous "Nahi' aap hi last player ho' aap dar kyun rahi ho didi' itna difficult bhi nahi hai'"
"Lekin maine pahle kabhi Cricket nahi khela'"
"Dekha to hai na?" he asked. She nodded "To bas' Bat ko aise pakdo'" he showed how to grip the Bat "aur apni nazar ball pe rakhna' aur jab bhi Raghu aapko awaaj lagaye, bhagna' aur haan wo jo line hai na'" he pointed towards the line drawn near the wickets "usse bahar mat nikalna'" he explained.
"Bas itna karne se ho jayega?" she asked.
"Haan ab ye glove pahno aur jao' ye lo Bat'" he handed her everything.
"Ok'" she wore the glove and walked nervously towards the Pitch holding the Bat.
As she reached the wicket and made a bating pose Raghu who was already standing there looked at her "Didi' yahan nahi wahan'" he point towards the other end from where Roshni was ready to ball. "Over up ho gaya hai' apko wahan jana hai'"
"Oh'" she slapped her head and then started walking towards the other end, but then turned back and spoke to Raghu in a low whisper so that nobody else could hear them "Raghu' mujhe khelna nahi aata' please mujhe batate rahna kya karna hai'"
Armaan saw them discussing something from a far end while giving instructions to Peter.
Raghu looked at her and blinked his eyes, but then he assured her in a confident tone "Don't worry didi' main hu na' main aapko batata rahunga kya karna hai' aap abhi wahan jao' aur us line se bahar mat nikalna' aur jaise hi main aapko awaaj du jaldi se bhagkar yahan is line ke andar aa jana' ok'" he explained.
"Ok'" she nodded happily and strolled towards the other side confidently giving a side glance to Armaan who just came and stood a little away from her at his usual spot on Mid-Wicket position on the leg side.
Roshni threw the ball and Raghu hit it towards the off side. He called Riddhima to run. She ran towards the batting end immediately. They took 2 runs so Raghu was back at the batting position. After that Raghu missed 2 balls, but they still managed to take 2 runs on the next ball and 1 on the 5th ball of the over. Now it was Riddhima's turn to face the ball. She stood there nervously holding the bat over her shoulder.
"Ready didi?" Roshni asked. Riddhima looked towards Raghu who showed her a thump up signaled her to put her Bat on the the ground. She looked back at Roshni and nodded.
Roshni threw the ball and it was caught by Tarun who stood behind Riddhima as a wicket-keeper. Riddhima kept standing there holding the bat on the ground. Raghu slapped his head and walked towards her. Armaan looked at her puzzled himself. Why didn't she hit the ball?
"Tum yahan kyun aa rahe ho? Wahan jao warna tum out ho jaoge." She said.
"Didi' ye kya kiya?" Raghu asked her.
"Kya? maine kya kiya?" She looked at him perplexed.
"Arey ball aayi to use hit kyun nahi kiya?"
"Use hit bhi karna tha?"
Raghu looked at her as if she-has-lost-it "Aur nahi to kya? warna runs kaise banenge?"
"Oh' I am sorry' lekin tumne mujhe ye nahi kaha tha'" she defended herself.
"Hey bhagwaan'" he slapped his head again "itna to self-understood hota hai didi'"
"Achcha baba sorry kaha na' abse galati nahi hogi'" she held one of her ear.
"Its ok' ab jayiye, us taraf jaake khade ho jayiye'" he told her.
"Kyun? Meri bating nahi hai?" she asked again.
"Arey' over khatam ho gaya'"
"Oops' Theek hai'" she bit her tongue and walked away.
After that they played a little comfortably taking singles or sometimes doubles as well. Raghu even managed to hit some fours and 2 sixes as well. The score went upto '
126 runs on 9 wickets in 27 overs.
It was the 28th Over and Armaan was going to ball. Armaan pitched the ball towards Raghu who hit to take a single. Riddhima ran fast to reach the other end. Now it was Riddhima facing Armaan. She took her position, but then seeing Armaan on the other end she got anxious.
Armaan smiled mysteriously at her which made her even more conscious. As he tossed the ball towards her she closed her eyes and somehow her bat hit it. Raghu shouted to ask her to run. She opened her eyes with a jerk and ran immediately.
As she reached the other end, without realizing she banged into Armaan who was waitng for the fielder to pass him the ball. He turned frantically towards Riddhima, but could save the fall. Riddhima landed upon him while he fell on his back, his hands resting on her hips lightly. She closed her eyes in trepidation. The bat fell from her hand which now rested on the ground besides Armaan's head for support, while other hand rested on his chest.
Armaan looked at her tightly closed eyes. For a moment he was a little annoyed but as his eyes trailed on her face, his expressions smoothened. Her glasses slipped a little towards her nose tip, her face was flushed with a mix of purple and crimson coz of fear, while a few of her hair wisps which managed to escape her braid fell on her forehead. A few sweat beads evolved over her brow. He couldn't figure out the shape of her eyes and lips as they were tightly squeezed.
"Bhaiya'" Charu called making him look away from her face.
"Bhaiya kya hua?" Chaya asked worriedly who came shambled in their direction.
"Huh?" he finally managed to say.
"Kya hua?" she repeated.
"K-kuch nahi?" he replied and looked back at Riddhima who still had her eyes closed. "Excuse me'" he whispered on her face. Hearing no reply he spoke a little louder "So gayi kya?"
"Kya?" she opened her eyes. "Kya hua?"
"Abhi 2 overs baaki hain aur tumhara pata nahi lekin mujhe balling karni hai'"
"Haan' lekin agar tum apni team ki inning abhi se declare karna chati ho to aise hi aankhen band karke leti raho' mujhe koi problem nahi hai'" he smiled purposely.
"What?" she got up with a jolt and "T-tumhara dimaag kharaab hai kya?"
"Mera dimaag? Ye lo' meine kya kiya? Tum mujhse takrayi aur phir uthne ka naam nahi le rahi thi' aur mera dimaag kharaab hai' ye kya baat hui'"
"Arghhhhhh'" Riddhima groaned and picked up her Bat ans went away.
Armaan smiled again.
Vivan who was sitting away after his batting also came there to help.
"Bhaiya ye kya tha?" Vivan asked him suspiciously. Vivan (going to be 15 in a month) was comparatively elder than other kids. He had seen the look on Armaan's face when Riddhima had fallen on him. There was something different which he had never seen on Armaan's face earlier.
"Kya? kya, kya tha?" Armaan asked him.
"Ye sab?" he pointed his fingers from Armaan to Riddhima then back at Armaan.
"Phhhhrrrrr' ye' kuch nahi' jaa jaake wahan baith' abhi tujhe fielding bhi karni'" Armaan tried to divert his mind. He himself didn't know why. Nothing has happened' or has it? He scratched his head confusingly and walked away.
After a few minutes, finally Riddhima's team was done, leaving Raghu and Riddhima not out by the end and now it was Armaan's team's turn to Bat.
Armaan's team had to chase the target of 135 in 30 overs.
Armaan's team managed to make first 60 runs on 2 wickets within 12 overs. Farhan and Peter were already out and after that as Tarun got out in 14th over Chaya came to bat. Deepak as pre-decided was her substitute runner. She played slowly, but well.
Armaan observed that Riddhima had made sure that her team is a little gentle with Chaya. He was pleased to know that she was taking care of needful in the right way. Its wasn't that she was trying to be biased towards Chaya, but she was being considerably considerate.
Soon Seema also got out. Armaan decided to bat himself so that he can support Chaya. He went to bat and gave as much chance to her as possible, but never did he let her face a ball which might hurt her. He made sure that he faced the ballers who were a little fast himself and made Chaya face only weak ones.
On the other side, Riddhima too noticed that Armaan never tired to dominte the kids by flaunting his power and Cricketing skills. It was quite clear that he was a wonderful player and if tried might have become a world-class professional in the sport. But he still opted to please the kids. She smiled seeing him holding his head as he missed a ball. He had done it purposely. The kids were shouting and enjoying to the fullest.
While playing as Chaya hit the ball and Deepak ran to take a run on her behalf, he tripped on his feet. Seeing the fielder throwing the ball towards the baller, Chaya forgot everything and ran herself in excitement. Suddenly she tripped on her feet and fell hard on the ground.
"CHAYA'" Riddhima shouted.
"Oh shit'" Armaan saw her falling and ran back towards her.
"Tum theek toho na'" Riddhima held her.
"Aaaaa'" Chaya cried as she felt pain in her leg.
"Chaya' hato zara'" Armaan came there and asked the kids to give him way so that he can see her. He saw some scratched on her knee and some blood flowing from her wounds. He picked her up in his arms immediately and walked hurriedly towards Anjali's office for first Aid.
Riddhima and other kids tagged along.
He placed Chaya on the couch in the office.
"Maine kaha than a use lag jayegi'" Riddhima said seeing her injury
"Will you shut up for a moment'" he scolded her "Vivan jaake Tayee se Almaari ki chabi leke aao' first aid box nikalna hai'" he asked Vivan.
"Wait Vivan" Riddhima stopped him "Chabi mere paas hai'" she took opened the Almirah and took out the First Aid box.
Armaan cleaned Chaya's wound and did her bandage.
Riddhima turned towards Deepak who was standing there as well "Tum to theek ho na Deepak' tumhe lagi to nahi'" she asked him worriedly.
"Nahi didi main theek hu'"
Hearing Riddhima ask Deepak about his wellbeing Armaan felt a little guilty. He had totally forgotten that even Deepak tripped while playing. He called him, "Deepka yahan aa'" he then checked Deepak who had some scratches on his knees. "Lagi to hai tujhe bhi'"
"Bhaiya ye to thodi si hai' aur aap hi to kahte ho boys don't cry over small injuries'" he replied proudly making others chuckle.
"Theek hai-theek hai Mr. Boy' yahan aao ab'" Riddhima called him back. "Ab yahan pe theek se baitho'" she bend down to clean his scratches with Antiseptic. Deepak hissed a little, but then relaxed as she caressed him lovably.
Girija Tayee observed both Riddhima and Armaan nursing the kids so lovingly and admired the scene. Her eyes welled up in emotions. Little Kathy had gone to call her. She wiped her eyes.
"Chalo bachcho' khel khatam, ab chalke Lunch karlo." Tayee announced.
"Lekin Tayee abhi humaari game baaki hai'" Tarun whined.
"Aaj ke liye bahut ho gaya' baaki ki game phir kabhi' Armaan, Riddhima tum dono bhi aa jao jaldi se'" she said and went to the Dinning hall.
Armaan went to call Old Age Home folks. They all sat in the dining hall chatting and laughing with Armaan and kids. Riddhima helped Tayee, Umar bhai and cooks serve the food. After Lunch Armaan took his leave as he had to attend a meeting. Riddhima stayed there for a little more time and then left at around 5pm.
That night something new happened with Riddhima. She had a dream. The scene of Armaan playing with kids kept floating in her dreams. She tossed and turned yet again.
Armaan on the other hand had a peaceful sleep. He felt so relaxed after such a long time. Playing with kids was one thing which made him forget all his tensions. He smiled at the thought of Riddhima being annoyed by his comments and fell asleep.
Hi Friends . So here is Episode 33 with lots of AR. No actually with ONLY AR. . I hope you like this one.
Joined: 31 August 2008
Next day Riddhima heard Armaan almost scolding Omang at the top of his voice coz of some reason. She made a face. What could be reason behind it? Why is shouting at Omang Uncle? He was so polite and well behaved with all those elders in Ashraya yesterday, but what happened today? What is wrong with him? One moment he is so sweet, fun and all and the very next moment he is the most Cranky and haughty guy. Would I ever be able to understand him? Oh gosh he is so unpredictable. I think I will go mad, she thought.
In the last one month for which she had been working there, she realized that Armaan respected Omang a lot like his own father. But she still wasnt aware of the exact relationship between Omang and Armaan as unfortunately she have never heard them talking much. Armaan was always busy in his work with the new project in hand, which they won a week ago while Omang visited the office infrequently.
She saw Armaan come out of Omang's cabin and stepped a little away so that he couldnt see her.
"Jullie... if I saw him with these once again... I am gonna be holding your neck... get that clear?" he looked at her sternly while she nodded "throw them away..." he handed her some packets and walked away. Riddhima couldnt see what it was as she was standing at some distance. She wanted to go and ask Jullie, but couldnt as her phone rang and she was forced to go back to her cabin.
A few days passed this way. It was Dushehera Day and as planned Armaan had brought Zayan and Falak to the Ashraya. They had arranged a small story-telling session and kids and elders have prepared some plays to be presented in the function. After the function was over, they burnt Ravana's model statue which was prepared by the kids themselves.
Armaan played and enjoyed with kids. He tried to explain it to Zayan the importance of parents. An old aunty from the old age home told them a story through which she elucidated the importance of making good friends. Zayan listened to her carefully and somehow he understood the meaning behind the story. He thanked the old lady. After a while Armaan dropped him and Falak back to their house and went back to his.
Riddhima knocked his door waiting for him to allow her in.
"Come in..." she opened the door to find him waving his hand in air weirdly as if trying to shake away something. "Oh... Riddhima beta... aao na... come sit..." Omang said.
She narrowed her brow. "Hi Omang uncle... ab aapki tabiyat kaisi rahti hai?" she asked.
"Ahem-ahem" he cleared his throat and replied "Meri tabiyat? Theek... bilkul theek... mujhe kya hona hai?" he looked a little panicky.
"Nahi... us din aapko aapke Asthma ki wajah se problem hui thi na..."
"Oh... wo... thats fine... now..."
Suddenly he started coughing
*cough* *cough* *cough* *cough*
Riddhima got up immediately and fished out his pump from his pocket and gave it to him. She also gave him some water to drink.
"Ab kaisa lag raha hai aapko?" she asked rubbing his back with one hand.
"I am ok now..." he replied sitting back in his chair. "Thanks beta..."
"No need to say thanks uncle" she smiled. As she was about to move back her eyes fell on a packet lying under the table. Before she could pick it up she heard his voice.
"Aur sunao... kaise aana hua..." Omang asked her.
"Oh... ek minute..." she went back to her chair and took out a tiffin box "main aapke liye ye halwa leke aayi thi" she held it out for him.
"Wow... halwa..." Omang jumped ahead and took the tiffin opening it instantly. "Arey waah... ye to bahut swadisht hai..." he said as he tasted it while she smiled seeing him enjoying the Halwa. "Tumne banaya hai?" he asked.
"Ji... maine banaya hai... Atul bhaiya ne bataya ki aapko halwa bahut pasand hai..."
"Haan... wo to hai..."
"Arey waah ye kya ho raha hai?" Atul said as he came in. "Yahan to lagta hai daawat ho rahi hai"
"Haan ho rahi hai... tujhe kya?" Omang said holding a spoonful halwa in front.
"Dad..." Atul came forwards held Omang's hand "What are you doing?"
"What? main halwa kha raha hu aur kya..." Omang replied looking annoyed.
"Dad... aap jante ho na, Doctor ne aapko apni diet pe dhyaan den ko kaha hai, aur aapko apni sugar ka bhi dhyaan rakhna hai..."
"Dont worry Atul bhaiya... maine ise sugar free mein banaya hai... aur phir ye itna heavy nahi hai inke liye..." Riddhima interrupted.
"Ye tumne banaya hai?" Atul asked her.
"Hmm" she nodded.
"Phir theek hai..." he left Omang's hand but then immediately held it again"Lekin phir main bhi khaonga" he added. Atul trusted Riddhima for what she said as he knew that she is very well aware of Omang's health problems. After all she was the one who saved his life on the very first day she met them.
"Achcha abhi mujhe mana kar raha tha, ab tujhe bhi khana hai... main nahi deta jaa..." Omang freed his hand and turned around.
"Arey ye kya baat hui... mujhe bhi khana hai..." Atul whined while Riddhima laughed seeing two grown up kids fighting for her halwa.
"Atul bhaiya aap Uncle ko khane do... aap ye lo, mere tiffin se kha lo..."
"Wow..." Atul grabbed her tiffin and ate. "Arey yaar... sach mein... ye to bahut tasty hai..." Atul grinned. "Sorry Riddhima, aaj tumhe bhukha hi rahna padega..."
"Koi baat nahi main Cafeteria se kuch kha lungi" she replied.
"Theek hai, lekin tumhari aaj ki treat meri taraf se..." Atul said making her smile.
"Waise ye kis cheez ka halwa hai? maine is se pahle itne tasty halwa nahi khaya..." Omang asked her digging his spoon again in the tiffin box.
"Ye lauki ka halwa hai... bahut healthy hota hai ye... apko sach mein achcha laga?" she asked.
"Bahut achcha..." Omang replied.
"Mujhe bhi... Lauki ka halwa? Lauki ka halwa bhi banta hai?" Atul asked with his mouth full.
"Mujhe to aur bhi chahiye yaar..." he replied.
"agar aapko aur chahiye to main jab dobara banaongi tab aapke liye bhi le aaongi" she smiled.
"ab to main tumse har roz iski demand karoonga..." Omang laughed as he ate.
"Roz nahi milega... aapki health ke liye roz-roz aisi cheezein khana theek nahi hai... but if you want I can bring something else for you..." she said.
"Arey baba... theek hai... phir aisa karna, ab se jab bhi tum halwa banaogi, mere liye zaroor leke ana... ok" he said.
"Mere liye bhi" Atul added.
"Ok... pakka..." she beemed.
After that day Riddhima brought Halwa for both of them frequently whenever she cooked it. Within no time she grew very close to them, especially Omang. She saw her father in Omang. Her father Kartik had the similar personality as Omang's. He was also tall, wheatish with a warm smile on his face. She could feel the same warmth in Omang's eyes which she used to see in her father's. Kartik was also very fond of Halwas, especially Lauki's Halwa.
On the other hand Omang also grew very fond of her too. For him, she was not an employee in his son's company, but was more like his daughter. Riddhima could behave herself when Omang or Atul were around, just like the way she could when she was with her own family. Atul saw the sweet and lovely bond developing between the Omang and Riddhima. He realized that she was a wonderful girl, just like the way Rahul has told him, or even better than that. She was an intelligent girl, yet very innocent. The way she commanded Omang with so much authority showed how close she has gotten with Omang.
"So what is your opinion on this gentlemen?" Mr. Ghai asked as he presented the renovation plan for Ashraya.
Armaan looked at the slides again and nodded thinking something. As he looked up to say something he saw Riddhima's making her face. Why is she making faces? Looks like she didnt like it much. He turned towards Ghai who was waiting for his answer "Mr. Ghai, I guess we need to look at the budget as well"
"Sir I have already presented the budget report to Mr. Gupta" Ghai replied pointing towards Rahul who sat a few chairs away.
"What do you have to say Rahul?" Armaan asked Rahul.
"Amm... I think we have to check out the layout once again" he signaled Armaan for something.
Understanding his gesture Armaan turned towards Ghai again and said "Mr. Ghai... I am sorry but I cant commit anything right now, my creative department and the trustees have still not approved your plan... so you need to wait..." he spoke politely.
"Ok sir... mmm... no problem... I will wait for your response..." Mr. Ghai said and went out after shaking hands with Armaan and others, collecting his files and bag.
"So?" Armaan spinned towards Rahul once again.
"Armaan I think his budget is not well adjusted. Some of the items he has mentioned are much cheaper than his report. Atul has already checked their price in market" Rahul replied.
"I agree... I mean, we dont have any problems with fund handling, but then instead of paying this unduely excessive amount to him, which is not even worth it, we can use it for some other essential things..."
"Like?" Armaan asked.
"Like..." Atul was about to say something when Armaan held his hand up to stop him.
He saw Riddhima still checking out the renovation plans and making weird faces... She twisted her nose and lips, then adjusting her glasses she bend towards one part of the plan. Again she sat back on her chair and then narrowed her eyes. Then instantly she bends down again and pointing her finger towards some point scratched her forehead.
Armaan went to her and snatched the print away.
"Hey you..." she stood up and glared at him, but then she stopped immediately in her way realizing it is Armaan.
"What is it Miss. Gupta?" he asked him.
"What?" she asked.
"Why are you making those silly faces?"
"I didnt make any silly faces..." she retorted.
"Yes you did... I have been watching you ever since Ghai started his presentation..."
"Oh it means, this is the reason you passed such a stupid renovation plan" she muttered.
"Say it loud" Armaan commanded.
"I was saying that, this plan is stupid..." she blurred it out while Atul, Rahul and a few more employees sitting there looked at her horrified.
"WHAT?" He asked.
She looked around towards others and got a little nervous seeing the expression on their faces, but then mustering her courage again she repeated boldly "Y-Yes... this plan is stupid..."
"Riddhima shut up and sit down" Rahul who was sitting besides her pulled her down.
"No..." she nodded "He asked me and I replied... why are you asking me to shut up?"
"What do mean its stupid..." Armaan asked her.
"If you would have checked the plan carefully, you werent asking me this..."
"Why dont simply tell me whats on you mind Miss. Gupta" he narrowed his eyes and asked her.
"Ok..." she stood up again and took the print from him. Then bending towards the layout's print she started "Look at this... they have left this area open and the walls are so low, which is not safe as it faces the main road... anyone can easily invade in from this side and harm the residents... Then look at this..." she pointed again "this wall has been built on the eastern side where there is a garden for kids to play. Also... at this place, this structure is positioned in such a way that it will result in the wastage of land. Instead of using this design for the building if they would have used the multi-storey building for the kids and a flat 2 storey building for the old age home then not only it had saved land but also a considerate amount of money, which as Mr.Joshi has said, we can spend on other things... like for putting an elevator in Old age home's building for their convenience, better interiors, new clothings, some toys for kids, and things which will be helpful for old people to pass their time..." she explained shrugging her shoulders.
Armaan checked at the layout again for a while, then stood up straight. She was right. The plan had lot of discrepancies. If he had checked it once again 'himself' before approving it earlier instead of just leaving it on his creative department, they would have saved a lot of time. And as they say 'time is precious'. He glanced towards Riddhima again and folded his hand on his chest. Walking towards the projector screen, he stopped and turned back again.
Others waited for his reponse.
Rahul looked bewildered. He was worried. Nobody has ever interjected or raised any objection on Armaan's decision. Yes Armaan always made sure he consults everyone before reaching to a decision, but never had it happened that anyone had objected and spoken so audaciously in front of him and that too during a meeting for the Approval of a plan. It wasnt that Armaan was one who didnt listen to others in case of any problem. Infact he always checked everything atleast twice with his team and associates to make sure nothing goes improper.
But Riddhima was new and the way she just disapproved the Plan calling it stupid could bring her trouble.
Rahul stood up "I am sorry Armaan... she is just..." he tried to defend her but stopped as he saw a different look on Armaan's face. Armaan gave him a look to stop. What is that? He doesnt look mad at all. Whats on his mind? I better not speak, he decided and shut up and looked down waiting for Armaan's response.
Armaan walked slowly with his hands still folded and stopped in front of Rahul. He placed his hand on Rahul's shoulder and pushed him down making him sit again. Then strolling lazily around the table he moved back towards the screen. He turned back towards Riddhima.
"Do you know any other Architect Miss. Gupta?" he asked her while all heads turned towards him in surprise. Armaan Malik who has never tolerated anyone's interference, once he has approved a plan, was asking his PA if she knows another Architect?
Atul narrowed his eyes observing Armaan carefully. He looked absolutely ok. He was not at all mad at her. This is a news. A pleasant news. A surprise. Whats going on? He looked down at the print and thought about what all Riddhima had explained a few minutes back. He agreed with her too. He glanced towards Riddhima who was still thinking something.
"Y-Yes I... I do..." she said finally not sure of why is he asking that for.
"Arrange an immediate appointment with him..." saying that he walked out of the Meeting.
Rest of the attendants were still in daze. Riddhima saw him leaving the room. There was a pin-drop silence in the room. Her forehead creased in confusion seeing others sitting lost as she turned back to pick up the papers.
"Woah..." Atul spoke breaking the silence "That was something new..."
"Yes it was..." Rahul muttered.
"Kya hua Bhaiya?" she asked Rahul while other staff got up and left the room.
"He wasnt mad..." Rahul said.
"Who wasnt mad?"
"He..." Atul added.
"He... Who he?"
"Armaan..." Atul replied "He wasnt mad at all... its great" he got up and went to Riddhima "Tumne to kamaal kar diya Riddhima... your points were absolutely right and the way you spoke so boldly... very well done..." he praised her.
"But I am surprised that he wasnt mad at all..." Rahul interrupted.
"Was he supposed to?" she asked.
"Well... WE thought he was... WE ALL..." he informed.
"What does that infer?"
"Actually Armaan never tolerates any sort of interference or intervention in his work once he approves it... and nobody ever questions him..."
"So nobody actually ever tried to do so?" she asked
"Mhmmm... never..." Rahul replied nodding his head negatively.
"Bhaiya... did I do something wrong?" she asked Rahul innocently.
"Nahin Riddhima..." Atul interrupted "What you did was absolutely right... all your points were justified and wonderful..."
"So it means he wont be angry at me... right?" she looked at him.
"No... he wont be... if he was to get mad, he would have already shouted at you right away... he just dont like carelessness and uneccessary interruptions. And besides the points you raised will save us a lot. Armaan might have realized it as well, thats why he didnt get angry. So dont worry..." Atul assured her.
Riddhima sighed relieved. She had witnessed it already how livid Armaa would get in case of mistakes. Infact she was surprised herself when he didnt shout on her earlier.
She came back to her cabin still thinking about everything. She might have spoken boldly in the meeting, but knowing Armaan's response about mistake now she was getting a little apprehensive. She picked up the phone as it rang.
"Yes sir..." it was Armaan.
"Riddhima have you spoken to the Architect?"
"Errrr... no not yet... " she replied.
"Then do... I want this to be done ASAP..."
"Sure sir... I will do that right away..."
She put down the phone and went through her contact book. While working with Chaudhary Associates she had come across a number of good Architects. She remembered one of them, Mr.Sameer Nigam. Though not a big one, but he was a very talented Architect. She had worked with him on a small project they handled for Chaudhary Associates. She looked at her contact book and dialed his number as she found it.
"Hello! This is Riddhima Gupta speaking, I need to speak to Mr.Nigam please..."
"Yes I am Nigam..." he replied.
She arranged their meeting for the coming Wednesday. Sameer Nigam was very excited and happy to get a call from Riddhima. He was looking forward to meeting.
Armaan sat back in his chair after putting down the phone. He was impressed once again. She surely is a smart girl. Earlier he wasnt too sure of her being his ES-PA. She looks so simple and gullible. In reality it didnt matter him. He wasnt the one to judge people by their outlook. Her reactions everytime they meet each other was something which raised doubts. She is always fierce... no actually childishly fierce. But now all the doubts were sheding away. He nodded his head and attended the call he received on his phone.
Armaan signaled her to come and sit down as he talked on the phone.
"Alright then... I will speak to my Financial Advisor on that..." cutting the call he turned around towards her. "Yes?"
"Sir... I... I have fixed an appointment with Mr. Sameer Nigam on this Wednesday in the first half..." she informed him.
"The Architect... you asked me to find one... He is very talented..."
"Oh... alright... So... whats with his profile? Which firm?"
"He is not a big shot... but knows his job very well... still growing... & I have worked with him..."
"In Chaudhary Associates..."
"I mean where is the meeting?" he rolled his eyes.
"Oh... I am sorry... he will be meeting us here at Marvels..." she replied shifting agitatedly in her seat. She was still a little uneasy about the fact she intervened in the meeting.
Armaan also realized that she was not very looking comfortable. "Whats wrong?" he asked.
"Ji?" she replied looking up.
"Is everything alright? You look a little baffled."
"Are you sure?" he narrowed his eyes.
She looked up to see a genuine expression on his face. "Wo... I just wanted to apologize for interfering in..."
"Oh... well you dont need to apologize for that... In fact I am happy that you saved us from making a mistake..." interrupting he praised her in a polite way.
She smiled surprisingly. It was definitely new to her that he was speaking so sweetly with her without any sort of teasing in it "Thank you sir... thank you very much..."
Seeing her smile he relaxed as his eyes glinted "Miss. Gupta, I think you should undergo some special classes."
"Special classes for what sir?" she asked curiously.
"I am not sure what they call it... but probably which helps you comprehend it correctly that when and for what you should say sorry or same about thankyous..." he smiled wickedly.
"Oh that..." she suddenly realized that he was teasing her again. Obviously her expressions changed. She stood up and picking up her files she marched to her cabin.
Armaan grinned seeing her walking out mumbling something. He felt so peaceful seeing her back normal and not conscious. He liked her that way. The way she responds to his teasing, the way she retorts back, the way she keeps kicking his arrogance away, the faces she make, all of it amused him. He shook his head again. Armaan' what is happening? Why do you keep thinking about her? Go back to your work man. Diwali is close.
"Idiot... stupid... moron... samajhta kya hai apne aapko? Boss hai to kya humesha aise hi baat karega... mujhe laga tha ki ab atleast wo mujhe tease nahi karega... par nahi Mr.Teaser isnt going to change..." she muttered as she entered her cabin. "Pahle kitne pyar se kaha ki 'you dont need to apologize, in fact I am happy...' and then again he started his stupid bickering... Gosh for atleast for once, cant he talk sense..." she pouted.
Next day they sat in the restaurant. Riddhima came there for lunch with Sunaina, but she had to leave coz of some work. So she was left behind alone. But to her pleasure she saw her sitting in the same restaurant with some. First Minnie got a little agitated seeing her there, but then she relaxed. She knew Riddhima was harmless.
As they sat together on the same table having lunch, she nudged her "Minnie... ye kaun hai?"
"Ye... wo di... ye..." Minnie tried to find word to introduce him.
"Wo-wo kya kar rahi hai... bata na..." Riddhima asked her again.
"Ye mera boyfriend hai..." she blurred out.
"Boyfriend? Lekin..." Riddhima didnt understand what to say. "Oh ok..."
"Di... please aap kisi ko is baare mein nahi bataogi na..."
"Kyun, ismein nahi batane wali kya baat hai?" she asked.
"Wo actually..." Minnie didnt know why she said that. May be she wasnt sure if it was the right time to tell her parents about Harsh.
"Arey... itna kya soch rahi hai... if he is your friend..."
"Friend nahi... boy friend..." Minnie corrected her.
"Haan-haan ek hi baat hai... agar friend hai to ismein chupana kyun?"
"Di... Ek baat nahi hai... just friend alag hota hai aur boyfriend alag hota hai..."
"Haan alag hota hoga, lekin hota to friend hi hai na" she replied irritated, then looking at Harsh differently she pulled Minnie her side and whispered "Minnie, tell me the truth, you are not involved in any stupid offensive activities... arent you?"
"WHAT?" Minnie screamed, but then she burst out laughing "Di... you are too much..."
"What happened?" Harsh asked her.
"I will explain you later..." she turned towards Riddhima "Di... dont worry I am not becoming a criminal..."
"Then?" she asked.
"Then what? offo... how do I explain you? Agar aapka koi boyfriend hota to shayad main aapko samjha paati... but..." Minnie held her head.
"Kya matlab? Do you think I am fool that I wont be able to understand" she frowned.
"Arey nahi... you are not a fool... aap to is duniya ki sabse pyari di ho... ekdum sweet si baby..." Minnie pulled her cheek.
"Minnie ab tu bhi shuru ho gayi" she glared at Minnie.
"Achcha baba sorry..." she held her ear "But dont worry di, I am not doing anything which I shouldnt... but I just need some time, so that I can tell everyone about my relationship with Harsh... thats it..."
"Ok... I trust you if you say so..." then pulling her towards herself again she added "Aur agar ye tujhe pareshaan kare to mujhe batana... I have learnt to handle boys of this city very well..."
"Ok..." Minnie nodded trying to suppress her laughter.
"I am leaving now... but you... go back to your home on time... dont be late, otherwise I will call Kirti Aunty..." she warned her.
"No, please aisa mat karna. I will go home on time, Promise..." she got up and hugged Riddhima.
"Hmm... bye..." She glanced towards Harsh suspiciously and left.
As soon as she left Minnie burst laughing again "Oh god... ye Rddhima di bhi na..."
Harsh looked at her confusingly "What was that? Who is she?"
"She is Riddhima di... bhul gaye, I told you about my innocent friend..."
"Oh... to ye wo hai?"
"Haan ye wo hai..."
"Lekin ye ajeb si baatein kyun kar rahi thi... I mean friend, boyfriend and then she also whispered something in your ear... what was all that?"
"Batati hu..." she controlled her laugher as they sat on their seats again "Tumhe pata hai di ne mujhe kya kaha?"
"How would I know?" he nodded.
"Di asked me if I am getting involved into some criminal activities..."
"WHAT?" he widened his eyes.
"Yes... and she also asked me to tell her if YOU bother me... she will handle you then." she laughed again.
"Oh god... she sounds like a lady commando..."
"Lady commando?" Minnie chuckled "Thats a good one..."
"Yep... she is dangerous I guess..." he made a frightened face.
"Arey nahi... its not like that. Riddhima di to bahut hi bholi hain... she is very sweet and innocent. Unhe ye boyfriend wagara ye sab nahi malum... she is harmless."
"Lagta to nahi that she is harmless... I mean the way she almost glared at me while leaving, it gave me goose flesh..."
"Dont worry... she wont do anything... she cant harm anyone, and even if she tried, it will only end up in our favor."
"If you say so... lekin wo dhamaki..."
"Harsh... kaha na you dont have to worry about her..." she held his hand "Actually dekha jaye to Di ke aise behavior ki wajah kahin na kahin main hi hu."
"What do you mean?"
"Matlab maine hi unhe kaha tha ki Mumbai ke ladke sab badmaash hote hain..."
"Haan... darasal hua ye ki..." Minnie told him everything about Riddhima and her gullible nature. She also told him how she met her and how they become friends.
"Oh... to ye baat hai... tabhi main kahu ki itni simple aur innocent dikhne wali ladki itni khatarnaak kaise ho sakti hai... ab pata chala ki actually khatarnaak wo nahi, tum ho..."
"Harsh?" she hit him playfully while he laughed.
Hi Friends . So here is Episode 34. I know it wasnt what you had expected, but i wasnt feeling too well. Please comment if you feel like.
Joined: 31 August 2008
On Wednesday they met Sameer Nigam. Armaan liked Sameer's work. Riddhima was right, he may not be a big shot, but surely had something in him. Riddhima had recommended Sameer and he trusted her for that.
After some discussions, Sameer was asked to prepare a new renovation plan for Ashraya. Sameer of course was on the 7th heaven. He thanked Armaan and left the cabin with Riddhima.
Armaan saw them talking and laughing while sitting in Riddhima's cabin. He narrowed his eyes. Why is he still here? Oh... he is having coffee. Thats ok. I know, he will leave in few minutes.
But to his despair Sameer stayed for next 1 hour or so. Armaan's eyes kept shifting towards them again and again. As soon as he saw him leaving, he called Riddhima to his cabin.
She closed the door behind her and found him reading something... or...
"Sir you called me?" she asked.
"What? yes...yes'" he replied.
She kept standing for him sot say something, but when nothing came she tapped on the table. He looked up "You called me sir..."
He narrowed his eyes and then immediately added "Oh yeah... yes... ammm... I called you... sit..." she sat on the chair. "Wo... Mr. Nigam gaye?" he asked.
"Ji... abhi 5 minute hi hue hain..."
"Hmm... what were you guys talking about?" he asked trying his best to hide his curiousity. As she looked a little confusingly he quickly added again "No... I mean I could hear a lot of commotion..."
"Oh... actually we were talking about our past time, when we worked together and our previous projects... and then we also discussed a few details about Ashraya's renovation plan" she explained politely.
"Ok... that's great..."
He was about to say something else as well but just then Rahul and Atul entered.
"Hey Armaan..." Rahul said.
"Hi Rahul, Hey Bhai..." Armaan waved them as they came and sat besides Riddhima.
"Hi Riddhima... kya chal raha hai?" Atul asked.
"We were discussing something..." Armaan said. "Tum log yahan?" he asked them.
"Tumhi ne to bulaya tha subah..." Rahul replied.
"Oh... yes, sorry I... anyways... I called you guys to discuss Ashraya's Renovation plan..."
"Ok... so whats up?" Rahul asked.
Armaan got up from his seat and walked towards a shelf. Picking up a file from there he turned back towards them "Guys I have a new budget for it... I have decided to spend a little more as its Diwali... I guess it will be a Diwali gift for them from Marvels." He gave Rahul the file "Rahul, have a look at it and let me know if we can divert some more funds to it?"
Rahul took the file and said "Sure I will do that today..."
Armaan nodded and turned towards Atul "Atul, I want you to accompany Riddhima during the initial stages and check out the Market price of everything once Mr. Nigam sends us outline of the new plan."
"Riddhima?" Atul said "Who is Nigam?" he asked him.
"He is the new Architect I have appointed for Ashraya... Riddhima recommended him."
Atul narrowed his eyes and looked at her, so she nodded in agreement. "And what about Riddhima?" he asked Armaan again.
"Well... she will be the incharge of Ashraya's Renovation." He stated. All three of them - Rahul,
Atul and Riddhima looked at him astonished.
"Riddhima?" Rahul questioned.
"Yes... I have decided that she will be the Incharge... Riddhima has worked on such things earlier and also with Mr.Nigam and apart from that she is aware of most things about Ashraya and its people, so I guess she is the right candidate..."
Atul looked at Armaan carefully who was smiling at Riddhima and then nodded "Yes... I think you are right..."
"Yep... Riddhima..." he called her while she was still looking surprised "Riddhima..."
"Yes... Y-Yes sir?" she looked up.
"I think I can trust you..." it was a question.
"M... Sure sir... I will try my best not to disappoint you..." she replied confidently..
"Good... not lets get back to the work... we have very less time left..."
"Ya... you are right... Diwali is near..." Atul said
"Riddhima! tell Mr.Nigam to get everything done within a weeks time, without even a single day's delay... And fix his meeting immediately with Atul" Armaan instructed her as she nodded. Then turning towards Atul her said "You please take him to Ashraya and it will be better if he meets Anjali as well, so that he knows what are Ashraya's basic needs..."
"Sure no problem" Atul replied. "Riddhima let me know once you fix a meeting with Nigam..."
"Ok..." she nodded while leaving.
"Wait Bhai, I need to talk to you..." Armaan stopped Atul as he was turned to leave. Rahul and Riddhima left the office.
"Haan... Bol..." Atul asked him to proceed.
"Bhai... please take a seat..." as they sat he continued "Bhai you know na, I want everything to get done ASAP..."
"Janta hu, aur ye bhi janta hu ke tu Diwali pe Asharaya ke logon ko uska ye naya rup to unhe Diwali Gift ke taur pe dena chahta hai..."
"Yes... you are right. Bhai, I would have made you the incharge, but I know you also have Singapore's project in your hand. So I thought might increase your workload. And my reason to ask you to accompany Riddhima was that... she is new. I know she is talented and can do it herself, but I still want her not to be left without any support."
"Wo to theek hai, lekin tu to ye khud handle karne wala tha na?"
"Haan... karne to wala tha, but then I have worker's surprise in hand as well and this Jacob Lines' project, apart from that Shubhankar Uncle has informed that the new company we took over few weeks back, its getting trouble again... Ashraya's Renovation is comparatively smaller work, I guess Riddhima can handle it very well. Isi bahane, she will learn something new. She could be a great support in future. We need to get her trained on things. Aur waise bhi, if required Anjali bhabhi to hain hi... main bhi time-to-time nazar rakhunga..."
"I think it's a great idea Armaan... par tu mujhe ye sab explain kyun kar raha hai? Mujhe pata hai, tu jo bhi karega, sab soch samajh ke hi karega..."
"Thanks bhai... actually that day I told you that you will be the incharge of the Renovation and today all of a sudden I just..."
"Armaan... maine kaha na, tujhe ye sab kahne ki zaroorat nahi hai yaar... in fact I am really happy that you are trusting Riddhima for all this... even I feel the same about her. It makes me feel that I have made a right decision by appointing her."
"Yeah right..." Armaan chuckled.
Next few days went in zoom as all of them got busy with their work. Rahul approved the budget Nigam sent them. He also helped Armaan divert some more funds for Ashraya. Riddhima was too busy outlining the new Plan with Nigam. She made sure all the needs of the project are fulfilled. Atul supported her in all possible ways. He and Anjali helped her understand the basic need of Ashraya's people. Then she even spoke to Ashraya's residents, so as to get a clear picture of everything. Armaan was too busy with his surprise he had planned for his Low Grade workers. Rahul helped him in his work. They all spent their day and night working for it.
She stood outside his cabin peeking inside secretly. She had been doing this for last 2 or 3 days. She needed to find what was actually going on. Omang was busy in his work. He seems to be ok. But I am sure he is hiding something. I mean that day when I came, he looked quite nervous. Why would he get nervous in front of me? I am not a ghost or something. I am sure there is something going on, Riddhima thought. She felt like a detective trying to collect evidences against someone or catch a criminal red handed. She chuckled at the very thought.
She saw Omang coming over and hid immediately. Once Omang left, she opened Omang's door to go in but stopped at Atul's voice.
"Oh god!" she muttered and closed her eyes tightly. "I hope he has not seen me peeking in Uncle's cabin." turning around she spoke. "Hi Atul bhaiya."
"Dad hain kya andar?" he asked.
She smiled effortly and spoke "N-Nahi' nahi hain'"
"Kya hua? Kuch kaam tha?" she asked.
"Haan' kuch papers pe unke signatures karwane the'"
"Oo' haan to uske liye aapko baad mein ana' padega'" she replied relievingly.
"Ok, I will come back later on." He said and went back.
She sighed loudly. "Bach gayi' agar Atul bhaiya ne mujhe aise Uncle ke cabin mein jasoosi karte dekh liya hota to kya sochte mere baare mein'" she spoke to herself "kya sochte' stupid' tu kaunsa koi chori karne aayi thi' unhe pata chal bhi jata to koi problem nahi hoti'" she slapped her head "haan' ye baat to hai'"
"I am sorry Atul... ye sab meri wajah se ho raha hai... ek baar phir se tumhe disappoint hona pada na..." Anjali said leaning on his chest as they laid on their bed in their bedroom.
"Anjali, ismein tumhari kya galti hai... ye sab to bhagwaan ki marji hai... wo jo chahte hain wohi to hota hai... aur kya hua agar isbaar results negative aaye to... I am sure sab kuch theek ho jayega ... phir humare ghar mein bhi ek baar phir se khushiyaan aayengi..." Atul pacified her.
"lekin kab? Kab hoga ye sab?"
"Jaldi hi... par tum itna udaas mat ho..."
"Udaas naa houn to kya karoon? Maine aur Muskaan ne saath-saath plan kiya tha, ki is baar hum dono ek saath apne dusre baby ki delivery karenge... Muskaan ka result positive aya aur maine phir se tumhe disappoint kiya..." she said tearfully.
"Anjali... ye sab to luck pe hota hai... kab kya hona hai, ye hum plan karke bhi nahi kar sakte... ab dekho na, hum Armaan ki shaadi karane ki kitni koshish kar rahe hain, lekin kuch ho raha hai? Nahi na? Agar uski shaadi time se ho jaati to aaj shayad uska bhi koi baby hota... par aisa nahi hua. Jab time ayega tab uski shaadi ho jayegi... waise hi, humaare ghar mein bhi time aane pe humaari dusari santan aa jayegi..." he wiped her tears away.
"Haan... lekin ab mujhe thoda dar lagne laga hai... hum pichle kitne mahino se koshish kar rahe hai, lekin kuch nahi ho raha..."
"Arey to kya hua, hum koshish karte rahenge..." he smiled pulled her face up. "Waise bhi, ismein mujhe hi fayeda hai..."
"Atul..." she hit him playfully smiling shyly. Then looking up she said "Tum sach kah rahe ho na? humara dusra bachcha hoga na?" she asked again.
"Zaroor hoga..." he kissed her forehead. "Waise ek baat batao, tum aur Muskaan ye sab bhi plan karti ho... I mean kab apne husband ko seduce karna hai wagerah..."
"Atul?" she glared at him.
"Kya?" he asked smiling at her mischievously.
"Shut up..." she said while snuggling closer to him.
"Ok meri jaan... tum kaho to, kya hum ek baar aur koshish karen..." he asked rubbing her back.
"Karke dekhte hain..." she said pulling him down while putting her lips on his.
It was true that Anjali and Muskaan had decided that they will deliver their second child at the same time. Muskaan got her results a few months back and came to know that she was pregnant, but Anjali was still looking forward to it. Anjali had some complications at the time of Vaibhav's delivery, coz of which she was hospitalized for a few weeks after her delivery. Doctors at that time told her that she might not be able to conceive again. That one news came to her like a big shock. She was broken.
But a ray of hope bightened her life, when she went to Guruji's Ashram with Aarti and dadi few months back to talk about Armaan's marriage affairs. Guruji checked her and Atul's Kundali and told her that they are going to have two kids. After that when she came back and told this to Muskaan, she advised her to consult some doctors about her condition. She agreed.
Anjali and Atul consulted a number of specialists for the same and a few months later she was informed that she 'can' conceive again. Though the probability was very less, but there was still some hope. Atul was ecstatic to hear the good news. He had seen Anjali sad after she got that bad news earlier. He wanted her to be happy. It happened around the same time when Riddhima convinced Shashank after Muskaan's continous persuation and he finally agreed to move to Mumbai and live with Rahul and Muskaan.
So after that Muskaan and Anjali decided to deliver at the same time. But luck wasnt with Anjali. Though both of them tried at the same time and Muskaan was even successful in her attempt, but Anjali was not. She got a Negative report. She was highly disappointed and depressed. Her mental state was worsening day-by-day which made everyone in her family worried, especially Atul. He couldn't see her in that state.
Armaan helped Anjali come out of her poignant state by deliberately asking her to help him in his work. He and the whole family tried to keep her busy with random things and never let her alone. Armaan even spoke to Muskaan regarding the same and she agreed to help her too. He also persuaded Anjali to spend a little more time at Ashraya saying that blessings of helpless always work and luckily it did helped her. Slowly her depression started disappearing.
To add to it, Anjali met Riddhima around the same time, who was another person, who unknowingly made her forget her miseries. In fact, when she got her last checkup done a month ago, her doctor informed her that her condition was improving and the probability of her becoming mother again is getting brighter. They asked her to stay cheerful and happy. What else she wanted. She was happy ever since then and made sure she is always positive.
Riddhima entered her house and asked the Servant about everyone. He told her that Shubhankar is in the office and Kirti has gone to meet her sister for two days. Minnie is at home and she is in her room. Riddhima nodded and climbed upstairs.
"Minnie..." Riddhima knocked her bedroom's door. "Minnie?" when she didnt answer Riddhima entered her room "Minnie..." she looked around "Kahan gayi ye?" she was about to leave when she heard her voice from balcony talking to someone. She moved to the door towards balcony and heard her "Minnie tu..." she trailed as she saw a man's back who was standing near the railing. She paused in her place and tried to hear their conversation.
"Oh god... pata nahi wo din kab ayega?" the man sighed. He was hugging Minnie from behind.
"Aayega... lekin tum dad se baat to karo..." Minnie replied.
"Kar lenge... I have already spoken to my parents and they have no objection..."
"Sach?" Minnie turned around "To phir der kis baat ki hai... ab main aur nahi rah sakti tumhare bina... please Harsh, mere mom-dad se bat karo na..."
"Karunga, lekin mujhe thoda sa dar lag raha hai... I mean, what if they dont like me..."
"Dont worry about that, they will like you... after all you from the same profession as dad..." she smiled. "Aur phir wo meri khushi ke liye kabhi mana nahi karenge..."
"Wo to hai... but for the time I need something..."
"What?" Minnies asked while her arms hung to his neck.
"Oh... to pahle kahna tha na..." she smiled and kissed him full on his mouth.
From behind the door neither Riddhima could not see not could she hear anything properly. She could only see Harsh's back and Minnie's hands which were wrapped around his neck. They only thing she could understand by their faint whispering voice was that they were talking something about telling to their parents.
Not understanding what exactly they are doing or talking about, she turned around and walked towards the door. What should she do? Whether she should interfere or not? She turned around as she reached the door again, thinking something but nothing in specific. What are they doing? Riddhima thought. Who is this boy with Minnie and what is he doing in her bedroom, especially when no one is home? This is not right. I need to talk to her before she makes any mistakes.
She wanted to stop them, but didnt know how. She didnt want them to think that she was uneccessarily interfering in their business. Minnie is like her younger sister, she couldn't let her fall into any trouble, but she also knew Minnie is a smart girl. Then again even smart people can make mistakes, she pointed. But above all she wanted to know what exactly their relationship is. Thinking about various things, she decided to go out.
Standing outside door once again, she knocked it again and this time a little harder. Minnie and Harsh came out their kissing trance while Harsh panicked.
"Oh... god, who is this... kahin tumhare dad to nahi aa gaye, ya phir tumhari mom?"
"Harsh..." she shook him as he kept blabbering "HARSH... relax... I told you, mom is out for two days, and dad is in his office... it must be the servant..."
"Yes, but what if Uncle has come back early..."
"Oh god... first thing, its not possible and secondly even if he has, then we will have to face it... after all sooner of later we need to tell them about us..."
"Ok... if you say so..." as Minnie moved to open the door he held her back "Where are you going?" he asked her.
"Harsh! I need to open the door..." she freed her hand leaning him standing in the balcony and opened the door to find Riddhima standing there with her hands on her hips. "Riddhima di aap? Thank god..." Minnie sighed loudly.
"What? Were you expecting someone else?" she raised her brow.
"No... nobody di... come in" she tugged her hand and pulled her in.
"I was knocking for a while now... what were you doing?" Riddhima asked.
"Wo... wo main..."
"Wo-wo kya? Minnie?" she gave her a stare.
Finally Minnie gave up "Ek minute di..." she went to the balcony and brought Harsh with her. "Di..." Riddhima turned to see her. "Di ye... Harsh... I was with him..." Minnie blurt.
Riddhima gave her a questioning look as if asking what is going on, so Minnie decided to tell her everything. She signaled Harsh to sit on the chair and sat on her bed with Riddhima. Making her turn towards herself she started "Di... actually me and Harsh love each other and wanted to get married... and Harsh's parents have no objection, I have already met them..."
"Oh... to ye baat hai..." Riddhima sighed. Thank god she was not getting involved in something wrong. So it means Harsh is not a bad boy. "So now?" she asked.
"Now..." Minnie glanced towards Harsh and continued "We need to talk to mom and dad..."
"They dont know anything yet?" she asked Minnie.
"No... I was going to tell them, but then I am not sure how they will react..." she made a thoughtfully worried face. Suddenly an idea popped in her mind. She knew that her parents will never say no to Riddhima. "Di... will you help us?"
"Help you? But how? What can I do?" Riddhima asked puzzled.
"Di... mom-dad aapki kisi baat ko na nahi karenge, so... so when we talk to them about our marriage, please be our support... please" she pleaded folding her hands.
Riddhima thought for a while and then agreed "Ok... but you need to tell me everything..."
"No problem..." Minnie told her everything about Harsh. Harsh was a senior in her college. Minnie was in her final year of Graduation in Commerce, while Harsh has passed Law this year and was to start his internship with a Law firms very soon.
Once she told her everything, Riddhima smiled "Alright' I will support you."
"Wow di' you are the best." Minnie hugged her in excitement.
Hi Friends . So finally i could manage to stick another boring one for you guys to tolerate. I guess i am stretching things too much. So as i also mentioned in few of my comments, i am gonna be skipping a few things i had planned earlier. Just another episode after this, and an event will take place which will route the story into new direction.
Please do comment.
Joined: 25 October 2007
Joined: 31 August 2008
"Armaan... I guess we need to check out the site first and then we can decide whether its fit for our new plant or not..." Atul suggested as he saw him checking at the blue print of their new factory.
"Hmm... I guess you are right Bhai..." Armaan nodded. "Ok... you can visit the site then."
"Arey nahi yaar... it will be good if you go there yourself... You have better knowledge about land and all... And its a big land we are talking about."
"Right... but then this man, the owner... whats his name?"
"Chabra... Naman Chabra."
"Yes Naman Chabra... You know him better than I do..."
"Theek hai phir... lets go there together... coz in case you like the land, we can finish up the formalities then and there so that our construction department can take over immediately after that..." Atul said.
"Good idea... I dont have any problem with it..."
"Ok... so when do you wanna go?"
"Wait... Bhai, I think for the time, we can put this work on back seat. Diwali is only few days away. Lets finish up rest all errands first and then we can concentrate on this later. What say?" Armaan said.
"I guess that would be fine..." Atul shrugged.
"But do you think this Chabra guy will wait for us?" he asked rubbing his chin.
"Chabra knows our reputation very well Armaan, he wont let go this valuable deal with us that easily... he had already turned down few other buyers to crack it with us. So don't worry about him." Atul reassured.
"Hmm, but you still let him know about it."
"Sure thing... I will do that." Atul replied. He put the file down and continued "So... what are thinking about Diwali?"
"Sochna kya hai bhai... everthing is decided. We will be releasing a circular on Diwali whose copies will be distributed among all our 4th class workers. And they will ge their surprise in it... And as far as Ashraya is concerned, I will go there myself to give the good news of reconstruction and renovation of their new house."
"Well that's a great idea. Mujhe kya karna hai ye bol?" Atul asked him.
"Tu Workers ko jo circular bhejna hai, use ready kara lena bhai... waise bhi tujhe sab kuch pata to hai hi... Just keep it in mind that there will be 2 circulars. One will be the common for everyone and the other will include particular orders about the special gifts and will be referred to some of our most deserving workers. Ask Sunaina to get their copies prepared by the HR Department and hand them over to Accounts Department thereafter, so that the circular is set on the roll with worker's salary and bonus." he said.
"Hmm... theek hai... Oh yes I remembered did you speak to some Estate Agent?"
"Yeah I have done it... I have a friend, he knows this Agent guy who showed me a place. I quite liked it. Not completely, but yet comfy. Its a multi-storey building, but I think its ok. Kids and all the oldies are gonna be fine. I know Oldies might have some problem, but we will do something about it. And its just a temporary accommodation for next few months until Ashraya's renovation is done. After that they will be back home."
"Correct... Now that you have already approved Nigam's plan it wont take too long to start the work. Riddhima is also working very hard and she taking care of each and every diminutive thing very nicely." Atul said.
"Yes I know, thats why I left it on her. She is very well aware of Ashraya's people's needs."
"Really? And how do you know that she knows it all?" Atul said rolling his tongue.
"Bhai?" Armaan made a face "Arey... wo aksar jaati hai wahan... isliye..." he stated trying to sound least annoyed or effected.
"Theek hai-theek hai... mujhe pata hai..."
"Kya? kya pata hai?" Armaan glared at him.
"kuch nahi... waise Ashraya kab tak khaali ho jayega? Mujhe Builder ko inform karna hai."
"Diwali wale din main renovation announce ho jayega, and I am sure do din mein wo sab packing wagerah kar lenge...Tayee ko maine pahle hi bata diya hai aur unhone kaafi kuch to pahle hi tayyari kar li hai, ab bas ye samajh lo ki sabko apne kapde wagerah hi pack karne hain... I am sure Bhai duj ke next din builder apne kaam shuru kar sakta hai..."
"Ok... lekin main soch raha hu ke apne Construction department ke kuch log builder ke saath laga du, taaki wo log kaam time se khatam kar de... tujhe to pata hai, agar sir pe na baitho to ye saale builders bhi dheele pad jaate hain..."
"Haan theek hai, tu jo theek samjhe bhai, aur kisi ki help chahiye to bata dena." Armaan replied.
"Mujhe nahi lagta ki kisi aur ki zaroorat padegi, Riddhima to hai hi, wo kaam ki quality check karke mujhe inform karti rahegi. Main bhi time-to-time jaake dekhta rahunga, aur achcha hoga ki tu bhi wahan jaata rahe, builder ke upar pressure rahega."
"Wo to main karunga hi... I don't want to to get it done ASAP."
"Theek hai phir main chalta hu..." Atul got up and left.
Time went on and one day before Diwali, workers were handed over their most awaited surprise which Armaan had promised them on Holi ealier that year. As per the surprise, Marvels had bought a piece of land on which they were going to build a small colony for its workers. There will be one flat gifted to some deserving and Loyal workers, who had been working with them for a long time, and have contributed in Marvel's success. This gift was specifically for those who supported Armaan and Marvels, ever since their bad times. It was a gesture of thanks from him.
There are going to be quite big number of flats build under this plan, so other workers may apply to rent rest of the flats on comparatively cheaper rates than city's. Armaan also started a new plan under which every worker could easily apply for a loan from the company on least interest for their kids' education. The compensation amount for the injuries occurring during work was also raised. Apart from that a few more facilities were to be started for workers.
Workers of course were on the 7th heaven. What else they needed. They were getting a house of their own in return to their loyality. It was almost impossible for them to buy one at their own in a city like Mumbai. Also no other employer had ever done anything like that for their workers before this, atleast not for the Low grade workers. Marvel's workers had always respected Armaan, but now there was another reason for them to worship him.
On Diwali Morning after some family pujas, Armaan went to Ashraya and informed everyone about the renovation of Ashraya. He promised them to provide more facilities in their newly planned house. Undoubtfully, everyone was happy. They were all excited about the fact that their house will be molded again into a better and beautiful one. Armaan told them to pack their belongings so that they can move to their temporary accommodation. Not only Kids, but even Oldies were equally excited. They all helped each other in their packing. Armaan had to leave for some work after that.
Later that afternoon Girija Tayee called Riddhima for help who gladly came to help and even Anjali and Atul came to help them. Muskaan wanted to come there too, but Anjali refused strictly as she was almost into her 7th month now. Muskaan made a face, but had to agree. She couldn't disobey Anjali, her best friend. So she sent Rahul for help. Rahul was more than happy to offer his hand. With their help everyone's packing was done a little earlier than expected.
Once everything was done, they went back to their houses.
In the evening, Atul, Anjali went to Rahul's house as per the invitation. Rahul and Muskaan had invited them with the whole family including Armaan. Dadi, Omang and Aarti couldn't come coz of some guest, and Armaan hadn't returned from his emergency work for which he left earlier that day. Aarti wasn't happy at all with this, but what could she do except getting angry or at the most scolding him. His work was also important, especially coz it was related to the Diwali gift he had promised to his workers. She knew how important it was for Armaan. He was the guy who never cared about his own celebrations or enjoyment when it came to his promises. He always kept them.
Padma and Shashank were very happy to see Anjali and Atul at their place. They have met Anjali many times, but it was the first time they were meeting Atul. They found Atul just like Rahul. Atul had also gotten very close to Riddhima.
Vaibhav, Yash and Riddhima did a lot of masti. They played numerous games, burnt a lot of crackers, had sweets and messed up in the whole house. Vaibhav as usual forgot his disappointment and anger for Armaan not being with him on Diwali. Atleast he had his Girlfriend with him.
Two days later on Bhai Duj finally the renovation of Ashraya started while all the dwellers had already shifted to their temporary lodging on the previous evening.
Riddhima got busy with the work starting the same day. She couldnt spend her day with Rahul on Bhai duj coz of work. Rahul encouraged her and asked not to be sad and said they have many more Bhai duj to celebrate together, but it's the time for her to take care of her commitment.
Armaan somehow took out some time to visit Muskaan in the afternoon and then to Minnie on the occasion of Bhai duj. He also bought some gifts for them as per their likings. He bought some new toys for Yash and for Muskaan's going-to-be-born baby as well. Minnie got what she wanted. She had asked him for an expensive designer dress and a Latest Mobile.
Around 4 days later Minnie took Riddhima her home. She told everything about herself and Harsh to her parents while Riddhima supported her.
"Ji Aunty... I have met Harsh. He is a very nice boy..."
"Ok... if you are saying that Riddhima, then we dont have any problem... but we still need to meet him..." Kirti said.
"Oh mom you are the best..." Minnie hugged her. She called Harsh and told him to come her home to meet her parents.
Harsh came to their house that evening and everything went smoothly. But Kirti was still a little worried. Minnie never had a good friend circle. Before she met Riddhima, all her friends were rich spoilt ones. Minnie being their only daughter was also something like them. After meeting Riddhima she changed a lot. Yet, that doesnt mean that her friends also changed. Kirti talked to Shubhankar about it who assured her that he will find out Harsh and his family.
Minnie observed that though her parents had agreed, but they were still not completely convinced. At this time she remembered someone whom not only she but even her parents could believe blindly. Armaan... yes how could she forget him. He knew everything about Harsh and her relationship. He can be a great help. She decided to talk to him ASAP. She called him immediately.
Minnie -- "Hello... Armaan bhaiya?"
Armaan -- "Hey Minnie... how are you?"
Minnie -- "I am fine but not very fine bhaiya..."
Armaan -- "Kyun kya hua?"
Minnie -- "I need your help."
Armaan -- "Haan bol... kya baat hai?"
Minnie -- "Can you please meet today me at Caf Souvenir, its urgent?"
Armaan -- "Ya sure... what time?"
Minnie -- "1:30pm at lunch?"
Armaan -- "Fine I will be there."
Minnie -- "Thanks bhaiya..."
Then she called Harsh and asked him to come there too so that they can talk to Armaan face-to-face. Harsh agreed immediately.
At 1:20pm --- Caf Souvenir
"Kya hua yaar ye bhaiya kahan rah gaye?" Minnie fussed.
"Relax Minnie, you called him at 1:30pm, and its only 1:20... he is very punctual... wo aa jayenge..." Harsh consoled her.
"but I told him that its urgent, I am sure he has also sensed the importance of it himself... then he should have come earlier na..."
"Minnie, dont be such a kid... you know how many responsibilities he has..." He reminded her.
"I know but still..." she whinned waiting for Armaan impatiently.
5 minutes later Armaan arrived.
"Hi guys... hope I am not late..." Armaan greeted them taking his seat.
"No bhaiya, not at all, you are on time... as always." Harsh grinned.
"Ok..." he gazed at Minnie "Tujhe kya hua? Ye football ke jaise muh kyun fula ke rakha hai? Any problem?" he asked.
"Mera mu football ke jaisa nahi hai... aur problem nahi hoti to aapko is tarah itna urgently nahi bulate... Mr.Busy man." She replied angrily.
"Oh... baap re... itna gussa... achcha theek hai, I am sorry..." he gripped her hand "Ab bata kya baat hai?"
Seeing Minnie still sulking Harsh said "Main batata hu bhaiya... actually we want to get married..." He came straight to the point.
"Finally... I knew it... to ismein problem kya hai? Tumhare parent nahi maan rahe kya?"
"They are ready..." Harsh replied.
"Then? whats the problem?" Armaan asked.
"Mom-Dad, especially mom..." Minnie intervened.
"Shubhankar uncle aur Kirti Aunty? Kyun? Whats their objection?"
"They are still doubtful about our relationship... they think I am still the same old Minnie who used to hang around with those rich spoilt brats, and so they think Harsh might also be one of those..." she explained.
"Oh... then I dont think its their fault..." Minnie looked at him confusingly as he continued "I mean you still are the same old 'spoilt' Minnie, there is not doubt about it..."
"Bhaiya..." she glared at him.
"Ok baba ok... sorry..." he held his ear "jokes apart... bas itni si problem hai... mujhe laga tha pata nahi kya baat hai... Minnie tumhaari rayee ka pahaad banaane ki aadat kab jayegi..."Armaan chuckled and hi-fived Harsh.
"Haan has lo... its your time... jab mera time aayega to main dekh lungi aapko... zara meri bhabhi ko aa jaane do, tab main unke saath milke aapko achchi tarah sabak sikhaongi..." she challenged him.
"Bhabhi ke saath milke bhi tum kuch nahi kar sakogi... Anjali bhabhi ko patana main achchi tarah se janta hu" Armaan replied.
"Main Anjali bhabhi ki baat nahi kar rahi... main apni future bhabhi ki baat kar rahi hu... 'aapki wife'... samajhe..."
"Ab... yaar ye ab meri shaadi ki baat kahan se aa gayi?" Armaan fortified.
"Kyun nahi... Sabki shaadiyaan ho gayi hain. Main aapse 6 saal choti hu, aur ab meri shaadi bhi kuch dino mein ho jayegi. Sirf aap hi rah gaye ho... aap kya zindagi bhar bachelor rahne waale ho... its not gonna happen... WE wont let it happen... shaadi to aapko karni hi padegi..."
"Minnie..." Now Armaan was sulking "If you continue this, I wont help you... aur main Uncle-Aunty ko jaake kah dunga ki Harsh is a very bad boy..." He warned her.
"Arey... ye kya? bhaiya aap mujhe kyun fasa rahe ho ismein... maine kya kiya jo mujhe bura bana rahe ho?" Harsh defended himself.
"Tu chup kar... aur tere liye to achcha hi hoga... tu is Foolan devi se bach jayega..." Armaan said.
"Haan wo to hai..." Harsh giggled.
"I hate you... I hate you both..." Minnie threw her cold drink straw on Harsh.
"The feeling is mutual darling..." Harsh said hugging her sideways.
"Bhaiya! Aap bolo, help karoge na?" she asked again.
"Of course I will Minnie... you don't have to ask." Armaan replied.
"Theek hai phir chalo ghar." She got up and tugged his hand.
"Haan abhi..." she replied.
"Minnie... abhi mujhe bahut kaam hai. Office mein sab kuch beech mein chod ke aya hu... abhi nahi... please..." he requested.
"To theek hai phir aaj shaam ko?" she asked again.
"Uffffffffff... tujhe kuch jyada hi jaldi hai..." he sighed. "Alright phulan devi... shaam ko... "
"Wow bhaiya thank you... thank you soooo much." She hugged him tightly.
That evening Armaan went to see Shubhankar and Kirti.
"Hi Uncle... hi aunty..." he greeted them.
"Arey hello Armaan... kaise ho?" Kirti hugged him.
"Bas main theek hu..." he hugged her back.
"Bade dino baad aaye ho I baar..." they broke from their hug.
"Sorry Aunty... wo nayaa project shuru hone wala hai, aur kuch aur bhi kaam the, phir Diwali and all, to usi ke liye bhaag-daud lagi rahti hai..."
"Ok... aur sunao sab kaise hain ghar pe..." she asked while sitting on the sofa.
"O... they all are fine... lekin aaj mujhe aapse ek zaroori baat karne ayaa hu..."
"Haan-haan kaho na... tumne shaadi karne ka faisla kar liya kya?" She asked him excitedly.
"Aunty aap phir se shuru ho gayi..." he sighed "Actually main shaadi ki baat hi karne ayaa hu... lekin apni nahi..." he paused.
"Apni nahi to phir kiski?" Shubhankar joined them too.
Armaan glanced towards Minnie who was standing behind a wall towards the kitchen listening to them and then said "Minnie ki..."
"Minnie ki?" they both asked in unison.
"Ji... Minnie ki... maine suna ki you have met this guy Minnie want to marry... Harsh"
"haan hum mile us ladke se... lekin tumhe kaise pata?" Kirti asked him.
"Kaise sawaal puch rahi ho Kirti? Minnie ne bataya hoga..." Shubhankar added.
"Ji uncle... Minnie ne bataya... and she also told me that you are not quite convinced about the boy..." he asked them.
"Yes Armaan... tum to jaante ho Minnie ke sab dost kaise hain... bade ghar ki bigdi auladein... hum nahi chahate ke jaldbaazi main Minnie kisi galat ko chun le..." she stated.
"Lekin Aunty, aap hi to us din kah rahi thi ki Minnie pichle 5-6 mahine se responsible ho gayi hai... it means she also understands who is right and who is wrong to make friends with..."
"Yes, but still... it's not about only friendship we are talking about, its about her life Armaan... I cant ler her to spoil her life. I am her mother." Kirti fussed.
"Aunty..." he held her hand "I know how difficult it is for parents to do this... to believe a stranger with their daughter's life... but do you trust me?" he asked.
"Tumpe to apne se jyada bharosa hai Armaan..." Kirti smiled touching his cheek in motherly affection with her other hand.
"To phir I guarantee you about Harsh..."
"What?" Kirti stared at him suspiciously. "Armaan... you knew about this... didnt you?" She asked him shaking her finger towards him.
"Yep... I did..." he grinned.
"Oh... to ye baat hai..." she held his ear. "To dono bhai-behen ne aapas mein hi sab decide kar liya aur humein ab bataya jaa raha hai?" she scolded him holding his ear.
"Mumma... mere bhiaya ke kaan mat khincho..." Minnie came to his rescue and removed Kirti's hand from his ear. "Mere Armaan bhaiya to sabse achche hain..." she hugged him by waist.
"Achcha... ab teri marzi ki baat ho rahi hai to ab ye sabse achcha bhai ho gaya, aur tab kya tha jab us din ispe gussa ho rahi thi?" Shubhankar asked her.
"Dad... wo humare aapas ki baat hai... I have a complete right to be angry with him... isnt it bhaiya?" she looked at Armaan who hugged her back and nodded.
"Yep..." Armaan nodded. "aur ab I think we should call him inside... bechara kitni der se bahar khada hai..." Armaan added.
"Kya? Harsh tumhare saath aaya hai?" Shubhankar asked him.
"Ji... actually wo thoda nervous tha, isliye andar nahi aaya..." he replied.
"Tum bhi na pagal ho Armaan, bechare ko bahar khada karke rakha hai kitni der se..." Kirti said and went out to bring Harsh in.
She came back with Harsh smiling while Harsh followed her still worried about what is gonna happen. Armaan nodded positively so he relaxed.
"To tum Harsh ko pahle se jante ho?" Kirti asked Armaan as they sat on the sofa.
"Bhaiya to Harsh ko shuru se jante hain..." Minnie buzzed in.
"Shuru se?" Shubhankar tapped his chin. "Hmm..."
"Haan... maine sabse pahle bhaiya ko hi bataya tha..." Minnie added lowering his eyes while others laughed.
"Harsh bete we are sorry, humne tumpe doubt kiya..." Shubhankar said as they sat on the couch in the living room.
"Its ok uncle, I understand..." he smiled.
"To phir kab mila rahe ho apne parents se..."
"Jab aap kahein..." Harsh replied politely.
"Theek hai to phir kal hi hum unse milne chalte hain..." Armaan suggested.
"No Problem... I will tell my parents that you are coming... Ok Aunty ab main chalta hu" Harsh got up to leave.
"Theek hai bete... we will see you tommorow." Shubhankar hugged him.
Harsh glanced towards Minnie who blushed back looking at him.
She looked up as Armaan nudged her "Ab yahan statue ki tarah isi pose mein khadi rahegi ya use bahar see off bhi karke ayegi... jaa..." he pushed her.
"Main abhi aati hu..." Minnie lowered her eyes and went out leaving others laughing.
"Lo bhai, ab hamari phulan devi bhi sharmaana seekh gayi..." Shubhankar laughed loudly.
"Uncle aapko kaise pata chala Minnie ka naya naam?" Armaan asked while Kirti slapped his arm laughing with them.
After that neither Kirti nor Shubhankar questioned Minnie further about Harsh. Armaan knew the boy and they trusted him blindly for Minnie. They were sure that if Armaan has approved Harsh for Minnie, it clearly means that Harsh is a good boy.
Next day Minnie's parents met Harsh's and by mutual consent they agreed to get them engaged after 10 days and their marriage was fixed 2 weeks after that. Minnie informed Riddhima about the good news, who jumped in joy and congratulated her.
"Wow... it's a great news Minnie... ab to tu khush hai na?"
"Bahut di... main bahut-bahut-bahut khush hu..." She hugged her tightly. "Di aapko mere saath shopping karne chalna hoga... chalogi na?"
"Zaroor... aur hum Anjali bhabhi ko bh saath le lenge... unhe in sab cheezon ki bahut achchi samajh hai..." Riddhima said "I wish we could take Muskaan bhabhi as well, but its her 7th month, so it wont be good for her to take too much stress..." she sighed.
"Haan ye theek rahega... main mumma se baat karti hu..." Minnie called Kirti to inform her about their plan. After that they also called Anjali who happily agreed to accompany her, shoping was also her favorite time-pass after all.
A few days later, Omang was thinking something while his cigar held in between his finger when he heard a soft knock on his door. He immediately crushed his cigar under his feet and waved his hand in air to clear the smoke.
"Hi Uncle..." Riddhima peeped in.
"Oh Riddhima aao na... kaisi ho?"
"I am fine uncle... main aapke liye ye halwa layi thi..."
"Wow..." He held the tiffin and opened it excitedly, but soon his phone rang and he had to go out for some work. "Riddhima I am sorry beta, I have to leave immediately... but I will take this halwa with me... ok"
"No problem..." she smiled and saw him go out leaving her alone in his cabin.
As soon as he left she got up and went to the other side of the table where Omang sat. She bent down to see under his table. Picking up a crushed Cigar she nodded and spoke,
"Hmm... to ye baat hai... ye chupa rahe the mujhse..." she threw it in the bin and went out.
His stopped his car and waited for the signal to clear. Tapping on the stearing, he changed the disc to turn it to a soft number. As the music floated in the car he turned his head and saw her sitting in the passenger seat of a car on his right side, with a man besides her. He stretched his head a little to get a clear picture. His view cleared making him cring. He saw the debauched man sitting next to her. His grip on the stearing wheel tightened, his heart agonized. What is she doing with 'THAT' man? Before he could do anything, the car moved.
Joined: 31 August 2008
His stopped his car and waited for the signal to clear. Tapping on the stearing, he changed the disc to turn it to a soft number. As the music floated in the car he turned his head and saw her sitting in the passenger seat of a car on his right side, with a man besides her. He stretched his head a little to get a clear picture. His view cleared making him cring. He saw the debauched man sitting next to her. His grip on the stearing wheel tightened, his heart agonized. What is she doing with 'THAT' man?
Before he could do anything, the car moved. He put his car in gear and decided to follow them. He couldnt let her go with that man. Its not safe. Armaan knew what kind of man Vivek Chaudhary was? His car roared the road following carefully, leaving no chance for suspicions of being followed. Vivek's car halted in front of a Mall. He saw Vivek come out of the car and talk to someone on his phone. After cutting the call, he smiled wickedly and got back in driving seat.
He saw him driving towards his house. Armaan knew where did Vivek lived. As his car stopped in front of his banglow, Vivek came out of his car and after saying something to her, he went inside his Banglow leaving his car still parked outside the gate with her still sitting in it.
Seeing the opportunity Armaan immediately stepped out of his car and rushed towards his. He opened door of the passenger seat with a vigorous jolt. Riddhima was stunned to see him there.
Without waiting for a moment, he pulled her hand "Come with me..." he commanded.
"What?" she looked at his hands and then again at his face.
"I said come with me... didnt you hear that?" he scowled at her.
"But why? And what are you doing here?" she questioned him still sitting in the seat.
He pushed her a little backward and opened her seat belt and pulled her outside. "Its not time to argue, just come with me..."
"Ahh... stop it..." she shouted trying to push him away with her other hand as he pulled her upper arm forcefully. "Why should i? Who are you to tell me what to do and what not to? And leave my hand... you are hurting me." She slapped his hand trying to shake it away.
His grip lightened a little as he looked at her arm, but then again he gripped her firmly and said "Listen I am not telling you, I am ordering you and you will do as I say... did you get that?" he shook his finger ragely & imperiously.
"AND WHY SHOULD I?" she yelled back.
"Because I dont want 'YOU' to be here... is that enough reason? Now come on..." he pulled her again but she somehow managed to draw her hand out of his strong grip.
"Listen, I am not your subordinate here... I will go wherever 'I' want to..." she emphasized "Dont try to command me... its none of your business..." she pushed him away. Before he could say anything she picked her phone "Yes... ok... I am coming sir..." she flipped her phone close, picked her bag from the car and rushed in the Banglow.
He stood there looking really mad. Why is she so stubborn? And what is she doing here with that dirty man? What took her here? What if something bad happens? Doesnt she know what kind of man Vivek is? Thousands of questions flooded his mind. But he knew its not the time to just stand there and hunt for answers. It could be done later. He has to do something immediately. He couldnt just leave her there and go. He took his phone again to make some calls. Closing the phone, he settled on waiting for a while.
He looked down at his watch. It was around 7:15pm. Then he looked around right and left towards the road. It was all derelict there. There was not even a sign of any human, only a few stray dogs were wandering here and there. What raised Armaan's suspicion on Vivek's intentions more was the fact he has brought Riddhima to this particular place. Vivek had many banglows, but this one was situated at one of the remote place of the city which was surrounded by farmhouses. One could hardly see any human population. Sometimes only caretakers or Gardners of the farmhouses could be seen walking on the streets, but during this hour of the day, even they were nowhere in sight.
He kept checking his watch every minute and every passing minute added to his anxiety. His heartbeat was leaping harshly and his palms were sweating. He was feeling suffocated even standing in open road which was all surrounded by greenery and sights of beautiful gardens. He rubbed his jawline while his legs were aching to run inside and drag out Riddhima from there. He was getting restless as there wasnt any symptom of either Riddhima or Vivek coming out.
Finally after waiting for about 20 minutes, he got a worried as she still didnt come out. He gave up. I cant wait anymore, what if something bad happens to her? I should go inside; he concluded and knocked the gate. The guard peeped out.
"Chaudhary saab ghar pe hain?" he asked the guard.
"Saab to nahi hain... aap kaun?" The guard lied. He was strictly instructed by Vivek not to allow anyone to enter the Banglow or even tell anyone that he is in there.
Armaan immediately knew something horrible is to happen, his fear was right about Vivek's vile intentions, otherwise why would the guard lie under his tooth. He could see Vivek's car still parked outside the gate. He played along.
"Par unki car to yahan bahar parked hai..." he said pointing towards Vivek's car.
"Kya?..." the guard peeked out "Amm... wo... wo..." he fumbled, then getting an idea he added "Wo to mechanic chod ke gaya hai abhi thodi der pahle... haan mechanic... saab to dusari gaadi leke gaye hain..." he lied again.
"Lekin unhone mujhe bulaya hai, ek khaas appointment hai aur abhi main unke saath-saath hi aya tha, wo andar chale gaye, main zara wahan shop tak gaya tha phone recharge karwaane..." he pointed towards a shop at the end of the road. Then bending a little towards the guard he spoke in loud whisper "main unka khaas dost hu. Wo jo zaroori kaam andar kar rahe hain, main usi silsile mein aya hu. Unhone khud mujhe invite kiya tha... maze lutne ke liye.... Mere paas unka approval letter bhi hai..." he smiled differently and took out a paper from his pocked "Ye lo check kar lo..."
The guard bit his tongue. So the man in front of him knew what was Vivek upto. It means he really came with Vivek and was his friend. He had seen some of Vivek's friends also visiting the banglow many times to enjoy and spend nights with the girls he used to accompany with. Though most of the girls accompanying Vivek were of prostitute types, but he also often came with respectable looking girls as well. But never had he seen Vivek with any girl who would be dressed as simple as Riddhima was. And today, thats what surprised him when he saw Riddhima entering the gate.
She surely was from some very good family, but then now days; girls from good families too do anything for money and promotions. She might have come for the same... to give herself to Vivek and get what she wants in return. But the innocence of her face, the way she spoke to him before going inside and her simplicity twisted something in his heart. Though he met her just for a few seconds, but it did left some imprints on the middle man's heart. No girl who visited there had ever spoken to him in such polite and gracefully respectable manner like she did. She was different, he understood. But what could he do. He was the servant and Vivek was his boss. Also he shrugged off his twisting feelings as he himself was not a very clean man.
He opened the gate and came out to check the paper. Armaan slided a little towards his back as he bent down to read it, and then immediately yanked on the back of his neck. The guard fell unconscious instantly. Armaan dragged him in the guard room. He layed him inside, and stuffed a cloth in his mouth lightly as he didnt want the guard die as a result of choking his breath and tied his hand at his back. He locked the guard room's door from outside and snatched the telephone cable connected to the intercom breaking it so that in case guard gains conscious and frees himself, he can not inform Vivek immediately.
He picked up the phone and heard his angry voice. "Atul Bhai! Rahul kahan hai? Uska phone kyun busy aa raha hai?" Armaan groaned angrily.
"Rahul yahin hoga apne cabin mein... par kya hua? Tu bahut gusse mein lag raha hai..." Atul asked him sensing rage and harshness of his voice.
"Yeh sab baatien baad mein... I need to talk to him urgently..." Armaan glowered restlessly.
"I SAID RIGHT NOW." he finalized.
Atul instantly got up and went to Rahul's cabin. He knew there was something urgent. Armaan never spoke to him like this until or unless its something really critical and important. His voice told him that, this time, it was something more than just important. He sounded as if it was a matter of death and life. He walked hurriedly to Rahul's cabin and rushed in without even knocking the door. He saw Rahul busy on his phone talking to someone.
"Rahul... Armaan wanna talk to you immediately." He said holding his phone in front of Rahul. As Rahul signaled him that he is busy with some clients Atul added "Its urgent..."
Rahul nodded seeing the serious expression on Atul's face and then spoke to the client he was talking to "Mr. Shashtri I am sorry do you mind if I call you later, something important has come up... yes my secretary will let you know about it... thanks." he cut the call and looked up towards Atul who was still standing there holding his phone "What happened?" he asked taking his phone.
"I dont know... he said he wanna talk to you immediately and... he is very-very angry..." Atul handed him the phone "Be careful." he warned him.
Rahul kept the phone on his ear apprehensively thinking what could be wrong "H...Hi... Armaan..." he paused and heard what Armaan told him carefully "WHAT? w-Where?..." he stuttered "Alright... I am coming... no, I will be there as soon as possible." putting down the phone he picked up his coat and ran out, while Atul followed him.
"What happened Rahul?" Atul asked concerned.
"Armaan ne bulaya hai... abhi jana hai..." Rahul said.
"Par hua kya?" Atul asked following him to the elevator.
"Wo Vivek... Riddhima..."
But before Rahul could finish Atul understood what was it about. Placing his hand on his arm he said, "Main bhi chalta hu."
Thankfully he & Rahul were both at office as they were working late today on a project. Atul called one of the staff that he and Rahul a leaving for some urgent meeting so that nobody gets worried about anything.
They sat in Rahul's car and drove hurriedly. But to their bad luck traffic held them up. Mumbai is more than a crowded place during late evening hours. If one look at the roads at this time, it will appear as if the whole country has come down to the road.
"Damn! Ye traffic..." Rahul cursed loudly honking his car's horn stressfully. It had been almost 10 minutes and the traffic hasnt moved a foot.
"Relax Rahul... we will reach there on time." Atul consoled him.
"I hope that ba***** doesnt do anything to Riddhima." Rahul fussed.
"He wont... he will 'NOT' be able to do anything... Armaan hai na wahan, he will take care of it." Atul reassured him.
"I know, but I am just... I guess Armaan too doesnt land into any trouble." Rahul replied.
"Tu chinta kyun kar raha hai? Vivek Riddhima ko chu bhi nahi payega... Uski himmat nahi hai Armaan ka samna karne ki... Armaan se bahut darta hai wo... Batya than a tujhe, ek baar Armaan ke haathon pit chukka hai wo. Armaan sab sambhal lega." Atul placed a hand on his shoulder while Rahul sighed blinking to his assuring words. He knew Atul was right and somehow he also believed that till the time Armaan is there with Riddhima, nothing could happen to her. But a brother's heart still cared.
But somewhere inside Atul was also worried about Armaan and Riddhima. He knew if it had been any other place, things would have been a little easier for Armaan to handle. But Vivek has taken Riddhima to his Farmhouse banglow. It was an isolated place. Armaan wouldnt get any help from anywhere and knowing the man Vivek was, he knew Armaan will have to face a number of hurdles. Vivek must have gotten quite many thugs at his guard. It was a place known for his misdoings. He prayed to god silently, to take care of both Armaan and Riddhima.
He crawled towards the banglow carefully through the garden area looking left, right, front and back, up and down, while hiding behind shrubs so as to make sure nobody sees him. As he neared to the main door he saw a huge man standing there watching the door. Armaan hid behind a pillar. He saw another guy standing at some distance smoking with his back towards him. Armaan looked around to find an appropriate entry inside the banglow and saw a path going towards the back of the banglow. Secretively, he jogged at the backside.
As he reached back side of the banglow he saw a few doors. He tried to open one, but it was locked. He tried other doors as well as some windows, but all of them were closed from inside. He moved away. He could have broken any of the doors or windows easily, they werent very strong, but he didnt want to alert them. First of all he needed to check the situation inside and find where Riddhima is. He looked around again and then seeing a drain-water pipe he climbed on it making his way towards a room on the first floor.
Reaching up to the room's balcony, he found its door closed and tried to open it but couldnt. He peeked in and found the room empty. Then he saw another Balcony towards his left which was a few feet away from the one on which he was standing. From there he saw a dim light turned on in the room through the glass doors. Then suddenly it became brighter. It means someone has just entered that room. Who it could be? He thought. It could be any of the thugs or Vivek. Yes it could be Vivek. His intuition told him that possibility of Vivek being there is higher.
Then he thought again. What if Riddhima is accompanying him? No she cant. She is not that type of girl. She is... she is... she is simple... and... and cute... WHAT?... YOU IDIOT... Armaan, its time for the action and what you are thinking? She is CUTE? CONCENTRATE! He commanded himself to focus on his current target and shrugged off his stupid occupying thoughts.
But what if she is forced in there? I mean its not important that she walked into that at her own, but Vivek could do anything. He visualized Vivek carrying Riddhima in his arms. He trembled at the idea. No I cant let this happen. Without thinking for even a second, he clambered on the parapet and holding the corner of a wall. He carefully jumped into the other balcony trying his best not to make any noise.
As he landed on the balcony, he felt the door was open. He sighed, thanking god and his luck for it. He opened the door at a snail's pace and was about to step in but stopped as a piece of soft cloth fell on his face covering it. Somebody has thrown it towards him. It was a dupatta. Armaan realized it was Riddhima's. He removed it from his face and the view in front of him stoned him for the instance. Riddhima was laying on a king size bed, while Vivek was leaning on her with his clothes stripped off. He had only his boxers on.
Without wasting another moment, Armaan striked in and dashed towards him. Vivek was about to touch her, when he was pulled back with a strong force. Armaan hauled him back and turning him around, gave him a strong blow on his face. Vivek fell back at some distance away due to the high intensity blow. It took him a while to shake the blow off.
Turning back, Armaan instantly walked towards her "Riddhima... Riddhima..." he shook her vigorously by her shoulder, but she was not in her senses. He evaluated by her condition that she was drugged. He tried to pick her up in his arms, but Vivek hit his back with a small wooden table. Armaan lost his balance coz of the sudden waft but manage not to fall. Leaving Riddhima, he turned around to see Vivek standing with the table in his hand.
He hopped towards him and grabbed his neck thrusting him back towards the wall. His eyes reddened with anger. As soon as he hit the wall, Vivek felt his throat choking. Armaan's fingers were digging deep into his throat jamming his Larynx. Vivek struggled in his tough grip trying to free himself but nothing worked. He saw a metallic statue lying on the showcase besides throught the corner of his eyes. His hands fumbled, but he managed to grab it and smacked Armaan's stomach with it.
Armaan was thrown back, but not far away. He straightened once again and moved towards Vivek with his his jaw tightened in rage.
Looking in his blood shot eyes, Vivek gasped knowing that he was caught. He was very well aware of Armaan's might and knew he could never fight him. Armaan was atleast 50 times stronger. There was no escape now. He ran towards the couch lying there and pressed a button behind it on the side wall. The security alarms were buzzed.
Armaan looked up hearing loud scream of alarms and understood instantaneously that now there are more obstacles in his way. He slowly removed his jacket and wrist watch and placed it besides Riddhima on the bed. Then he loosened his tie, opened first few buttons of his shirt and folded his sleeves upto his upper arm exhibiting his strong toned biceps. His muscles made a soft crackling sound as he stretched his body. He was prepared to face what may come.
Vivek gasped loudly seeing his strong casted muscles jutting out of his sleeves. His legs shruddered violently in fear. He was terrified to death. Just then, the door flew open and 2 tall, dark and muscular men wearing rugged jeans and t-shirt barged in. Vivek signaled towards Armaan understanding which they pounced towards Armaan, but Armaan dodged them and stood aside now facing them straight for real.
Armaan took his usual position of half Karate-half Taekwondo back stance pose with his legs 2 feet apart, slightly bend on knees. 70% of his weight on his back foot and rest 30% on his front one. Both his hands fisted tightly near his tightened face, one slightly behind the other, while his biceps looked pumped up for the action. He observed the men's foot movements as they walked a little closer and then his eyes looked directly into his preys' with his lips twisting into a smirk.
First man, who was a little taller than other and even Armaan, came forward and tried to hit him on his face, but Armaan blocked his hands with an upper block and twisting his wrist grasped it into his own with briskly. The man tried to punch him in his stomach with his other hand but was stopped instantly by a lower block. Armaan gave him a hard side kick on one side of his rib cage under his arm. The man jerked a little sideways as Armaan left his hand to let him fall. But then immediately he gave him a front kick his chest making him fall completely on his back while the man fell knocking off some of the articles lying on a table behind him.
The other man jumped towards him with an iron rod and hit Armaan's back with it. Armaan was tossed hard towards a wall. His back ached, but he twisted his shoulders smoothening the pain and stood up. He turned around and stopped another blow by giving that man a lower front kick in his stomach and then with the electrifying speed he twirled to slap a round kick on right side of his face. A few droplets of blood flew from man's nose and he was thrown on his left.
Now both the goons stood up and paced to catch Armaan, but he was too smart for them. He docked them again whacking one punch after the other. Though the thugs were trained to assassin but Armaan's kicks were hard to handle. His punches were stronger than titanium, and his velocity was more than that of light in vacuum. Armaan used best of Taekwondo and Kick boxing techniques to confront them. Soon the men layed on the floor half dead, but to their good luck 4 more rushed in to help them.
Their car halted making a loud screeching sound in front of the Banglow and found the main gate open. Running hurriedly inside, they stopped at the guard room and peeked inside only to find the Guard lying unconscious with his mouth jammed by cloth, his hands tied backward and the door was closed from outside, which clearly indicated them about the seriousness of the matter.
Atul and Rahul looked at each other trying to make out what to do next. Suddenly they heard loud crackling sound made by a breaking glass. Their heads turned towards the source of sound.
Running towards the Banglow Rahul shouted "Atul, call the Police..." and with that he entered the main door. Atul nodded and took out his phone. The guard who was standing at the main door earlier has already gone to help his nasty companions.
Hearing commotion upstairs Rahul strode up with his full speed skipping one step each time. He was stunned to see the view inside. It was a large room, almost 30x40 sq feet. Riddhima was laying lifelessly on a huge bed placed in one corner, while Armaan was wrestling 6 strong beefy men with his full strength, not allowing any one reach or touch her. He was guarding Riddhima with all his might. Rahul ran for his help.
Armaan glanced towards him while punching a man. Rahul too punched a goon and glanced back at Armaan. They gave each other an assuring look ensuring each other their full support and confronted the men. Riddhima's saviours tackled the goons in the best possible way. Atul also joined them a few minutes later after calling the police.
Soon the trio was surrounded by around 11 men. Armaan blew off a few of them making them fall unconscious on the floor using his fighting techniques while saving his friends as well as Riddhima at the same time from the blows of the hooligans. His kept slamming one man after the other, pulping them to rotten meat. Rahul and Atul kept supporting him with all the strength they had. Within few minutes all the men were mashed into almost dead bodies and laid on the floor like squashed pieces of mutton, bleeding here and there, groaning loudly in pain.
Armaan, Rahul and Atul, all three of them too got injured slightly during the action sequence. Atul looked around to see if anyone else was left underworked. He walked from one man to the other kicking them one by one checking if any of them still need a further dose. But all of them seem to be licking the floor with all their energy and strength wasted.
Armaan went to Rahul to support him as Rahul limped a little walking towards Riddhima. Rahul held his hand while Armaan placed it on his shoulder for support. Right at the moment they heard shrilling sound of Police sirens as a number of Police jeeps came and halted in the banglow premises. The trio walked downstair and saw cops jogging around surrounding the place. Atul informed the Inspector about the goons who went up with his constables and arrested them all.
The Inspector was shocked to see their (Goon's) miserable state. But then sobered knowing they deserved it. They have had a fight with Armaan Malik... THE Armaan Malik. Armaan Malik, who is never wrong. Armaan Malik whom people respected like god. Of course he knew Armaan. Armaan has helped police many times. Obviously he was respected even by the Police department. He was known to the people not only as one of the topmost businessmen of the country, but also as a responsible citizen, a man with a golden heart and invincible strength, both mental as well as physical.
The Inspector checked all the men and sighed. There was nothing left for him to do. He didnt have anyone to smash tonight. The ruffians were already into a miserable state. He signaled his juniors and Constables to pick up the mass of troddened bodies. Unfortunately, Vivek Chaudhary has managed to absconder in the meanwhile. After taking Armaan, Atul and Rahul's statements and the Inspector called the forensic department. Then he started checking everything to collect some evidences, while 2 Constables stood outside to look after the place.
Rahul went to the bedroom again to see his little sister lying there helplessly unaware of all the mishap. She looked pale-lifeless and her frail body seems to be loosing its color. His heart skipped thinking of loosing her and he was about to panick when Armaan came there and understading his concern informed him,
"Its probably because of the effect of drugs..." Rahul looked at him as he added "I think she has been drugged..."
"Oh god... ise kuch hoga to nahi?" Rahul was worried about her.
"Dont worry... she will be fine." Armaan tried to assure him though he himself wasnt too sure. But something in his heart told him that nothing will happen to her.
"Lets take her home and then we can call the doctor to check her Rahul." Atul advised looking her condition.
"Yes..." Rahul nodded. He went to pick her, but his foot which was already injured got twisted badly. "Aahhh..." he cried in pain.
Atul held him before he fall "Are you ok Rahul?" Rahul nodded holding his ankle sitting on a couch nearby.
Armaan went to him and touched his foot pressing it on sides checking what has happened "I think its twisted." He guessed.
Atul also bent to check him too. "Hmm, you are right... Let me help you Rahul..." he lend a hand to Rahul to stand and walk "Armaan..." he signaled Armaan to carry Riddhima.
********************************************************************Hey friends So this was the action-packed Episode 37. I know nothing much happened. But i am sure you must have understood why i said that it will be different. This part will be responsible for changes in many people and their behavior. HOW? You will know it soon. Hope you like it.
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