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Joined: 16 December 2008
Riddhima walked up to Gappu and sitting down beside him, said,
"Mumma says hi! She'll call you back later."
Armaan followed Riddhima with a puzzled look.
"Di was asking a lot of questions about me? What questions?"
Riddhima didn't seem to hear, she pulled a Archie comics and carelessly flipped through the pages.
"Riddhima? What was Di asking?"
Suddenly both Gappu and Riddhima started shouting together, "Foul, foul!! That's a foul and an offside!!"
Riddhima was still shouting and pointing at the tv screen, when suddenly her eyes fell on Gappu. Gappu was staring at her, mouth agape. She turned to look at Armaan and he had the exact same expression.
"What?" Riddhima shrugged, "It was a foul! Look, the referee showed a yellow card!"
Gappu and Armaan still kept staring at her.
"What? Why are you guys staring at me like a couple of goldfishes?"
Gappu finally found his voice, "Riddhima didi, you know about football?"
"But, you are a girl?"
"Good observation Gappu," Riddhima grinned, "But, so what? Who says, girls can't be interested in football?"
"Armaan mama says!" Gappu said, pointing at Armaan, as if saying the name wasn't enough, "He says that girls liking football is like fishes liking cycling!"
Riddhima cocked an eyebrow at Armaan. "He says that now, does he?"
Armaan managed an awkward grin. "Now, now Gappu, when did I say all that?"
Seemingly unaware of Armaan's discomfort, Gappu droned on.
"Mama also says that we should never talk about football in front of a girl, they will never become your girlfriend, if you do. He says'"
Armaan decided that Gappu had spoken enough. He jumped over and clamped his hand over Gappu's mouth before he could spill anymore beans. His hand securely clamped over Gappu's mouth, Armaan gave a silly grin.
Riddhima fought the urge to laugh and said with a raised eyebrow,
"That was an interesting narration and a very thoughtful insight indeed. I hope'" She was interrupted as her cell phone rang. Armaan sighed in relief and silently admonished Gappu with his eyes as Riddhima picked up the call.
"Hello? Oh'.Okay? Hmm'I'll be there."
Riddhima disconnected the call and looked at Gappu and Armaan with a frown.
"There's an emergency at the hospital, I'll have to go."
"What? Now?"Armaan and Gappu both exclaimed in unison.
Riddhima smiled at both of them and nodded.
"But, you just came,"Gappu complained.
"I know," Armaan agreed, "Can't you go later? Whatever it is, can't it wait?"
"It's an 'emergency', Armaan, it can't wait! I have to go." Riddhima bent in front of Gappu and held him by the shoulders. "I am sorry, Gappu, I have to go."
Gappu nodded reluctantly. Riddhima smiled and hugged him. She looked up to see Armaan still sulking and was wondering if she had sit him down too and explain matters when he spoke up.
"If you have to go. you have to go. I understand. Let's go, I'll drop you off at the hospital."
Riddhima stood up and smiled, "Thanks Armaan."
Armaan just nodded and without even looking at Riddhima walked towards the door.
(Armaan, think of something, quick! She is going back to the hospital even before you could invite her for dinner. Think of something or you might not meet her again until someone falls sick. Come on dude, do something.)
Armaan and Riddhima stopped to look at Gappu.
"Umm'Riddhima didi, will you come to my birthday party, day after tomorrow?"
Armaan had never ever felt so very proud of Gappu. He made a mental note to buy the biggest bar of chocolate he could find for Gappu. After all the genius deserved it!
Riddhima again bent down in front of Gappu and smiled,
"It's your birthday, day after tomorrow?"
"A very happy birthday in advance!"
"Thank You," Gappu said, "Will you come to the party, please?"
"But the party is for your friends, right? What will I do there?"
"But, you are my friend too!! The party will be lots of fun, there will be games and cake and food. Please come na Riddhima didi."
"Come on Riddhima didi, you won't get bored. Even Armaan mama will be there. Please, please, please!!"
Seeing Gappu's earnest expression, Riddhima didn't have the heart to refuse. She smiled and nodded,
"Okay, Gappu, I'll try my best. If I don't have duty at the hospital, I'll surely come!"
Gappu grinned, and giving Riddhima a quick hug said, "Great! See you at the party then."
"See you! Bye!"
The drive to the hospital was a quiet one, with both Armaan and Riddhima lost in their thoughts. Armaan parked the car in front of Sanjeevani and Riddhima got out.
"Thanks, Armaan, I had a good time!"
"Me too," Armaan smiled, "So see you at the party?"
"I'll try Armaan, but I might get duty, or there might be an emergency'.."
"Oh come on Riddhima, please? You can't leave me alone with two dozen ten year olds!! You have to help me out. Handling Gappu is bad enough, imagine handling two dozen Gappus," Armaan shuddered, "Please come Riddhima, I need you!"
Riddhima giggled, "Okay Armaan, I'll be there, now go back home, Gappu will be waiting for you."
Armaan smiled, "Good night, see you on Saturday!"
"See you Saturday, good night!"
Riddhima turned around to go into the hospital when Armaan called,
Riddhima shook her head and laughed, "Now what, Armaan?"
"Nothing, its just, ummm, I'', you', er'., you make really good bhelpuri!"
Riddhima looked at him doubtfully, "But, you didn't have, I mean, I didn't get you any'"
Armaan grinned smugly, "I begged some off Gappu. He didn't want to give, but you'll find I can be very persuasive!"
"Really! Just that I had to barter my favourite copy of superman comics, but I consider it a fair deal. Anyways, gotta go, you go take care of your 'emergency'. Good night!"
And before Riddhima could say anything Armaan waved and drove off.
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