Joined: 20 May 2005
Living With The Stranger
Pyaar? Dosti? Balidaan'rishte, yeh sab kya hai? People have read about these in novels, visualised them with the help of films, but experiencing them? Well that differs from person to person. In today's day and age, people progress from dosti to pyaar. Kuch log to pyaar ko dosti bana lete hai. You know, wasn't working out, same old routine etc blah blah blah, so love becomes friendship. But within the bright, economically sound India people still have arranged marriages. Whether it is arranged by the pundit who eagerly matches their kundlis (only to benefit his own pocket ofcourse by adding a bit of mirch masala here and there), or either by dating agencies via the internet. Yahaan bhi kuch aisa hi hua tha. Two modern, educated and sophisticated individuals were, in a way forced to say farewell to their single status (they had no choice)! Both equally wealthy and spoilt by their respective parents. While the guy was cautioned by his parents to stop his awaaragi and settle down, the other was emotionally blackmailed to get married as this was a wish of her late mother.
Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to the wedding of Armaan Malik and Ridhima Gupta. They could both be as different as chalk and cheese, or as similar as two peas in a pod'who knows! That's for them to explore. But are they willing to give each other a chance? Hmm dekhte hai!
Both progress towards the alter with garlands in their hands. This is the first time they meet, their first ever encounter, that too in front of hundreds of guests. They exchange garlands and take a glimpse at one another with hundreds of questions running through their mind simultaneously. Both descend by the fire and let the pundit recite important mantras before the fire. Ridhima dressed in scarlet and gold while Armaan in a cream sherwani with a red dupatta around his neck. Onlookers couldn't help but gush about the pair. Two women who seemed to be in their early thirties conversed about Armaan Ridhima Jodi.
'Haaye sadke java! Kinni soni jodi hai ji!'
'Haan Vimo. Kya kismet paayi hai dono ne.'
'Haan Kamo. Ab kya chupaana. Dono ki aaj pehli mulaakaat hai. Aur jhat pat shaadi. Ab socho, agar dulha ada-teda hota to?'
'Sab Kripa jitni khush naseeb thodi na hai. Ab hum dono ko hi dekh lo. Hum dono ki shaadi bhi kuch aisi hi hui thi. Socha tha kismet chamak jaayegi. Par ulta hi par gaya sab kuch'
'Haan kamo, door se unhe dekha to laga jaise Shahid Kapur ke saath Vivah ho gayi''
'Aur jab paas aaya to pata chala ke woh Shakti Kapoor hai' both laughed out laugh.
'Armaan bhi kam nahin dikhta. Kripa ki to ab aish hai!'
'Arre aish Ridhima tab karegi na jab Angad use jaane dega. Mujhe nahin lagta yeh Kripa ko ek pal ke liye bhi apne se door rakhega'.
'Haan bhai, isi umar mein mauj masti nahin karenge to kab karenge? Humein to jaise zang lag gayi hai!'
'Kahaani ghar ghar ki Vimo, kahaani ghar ghar ki! Humari haalat kuch aisi hi hai. Ghar parivaar se fursat thodi na milti hai. Aur unke office'' they sighed and continued their animated conversation as the bride and groom took seven turns around the fire while making seven life long promises to one another.
People who believe that all love stories end in marriages, boy you're wrong! The journey of exploring love begins after marriage. Well in this case it does. Ridhima cries for one last time on her father's shoulder before heading towards the car with her new family. Walking towards the car, she throws rice over her head as a ritual, causing more tears to form in her eyes, but she refuses to look back, as she is aware that this would weaken her father even more and she did not want to see her father in that state at any cost.
As the car drives her and her groom to their destination, both think about what the future has in store for them, about the adjustments and sacrifices that are needed to be made' and about the fact that they were going to be living with a stranger for the rest of their lives.
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Ridhima sits on the edge of the bed that has been decorated with roses and jasmines. She looks at her mehndi decorated feet that are hurting with the weight of heavy paayals on them. "Uff! This seems more like a circus than a shaadi. Itne gehne aur make-up…so uncomfy!" She hopped her way to the dressing table, sitting down in front of the mirror. "Sheesh! What a freak show! What a waste of mascara…did I really cry that much?! Kya lag rahi thi main…ab kya lag rahi hoon! Is this what shaadi really does to you? Khair…jo bhi ho." She composed herself and started to take her bangles off when she heard the door being opened and closed. Armaan had entered the room. He was glad that she had stopped crying; someone would have mistaken that she was crying because someone had died if they hadn't seen her wedding outfit! Ridhima saw him through the mirror and he smiled at her reflection. Ridhima looked away and continued taking off her jewellery, as if Armaan's presence made no difference to her. He went and sat on the bed facing Ridhima.
"Erm, woh, ok ajeeb lag raha hai. You see, I've never been in a situation like this before na. As we are going to be living with each other for the rest of our lives, kyun na jaan pehchaan ho jaaye? Hi, I'm Armaan" and he put forward his hand, expecting a hand shake. She looked at him and rolled her eyes and turned back to face the mirror, answering him back while removing her earrings. "Maaloom hai. Wedding card mein likha hai!"
He was taken aback by her bluntness. He withdrew his hand back and replied, "oh ok. Well you see, maine nahin dekha na, isliye mujhe abhi tak tumhara naam pata nahin hai. What's your name?" asked politely, attempting to break the ice. Ridhima took the wedding card that was lying on the dressing table and threw it towards Armaan and said "padh lo". Armaan didn't expect such a response from her. He was confused and irritated now; he wanted to know what her problem was.
"Listen you…you…" he opened the card quickly and skipped to the names, "haan, Ridhima! What's your problem huh? Main kitne ache se tumse baat kar raha hoon. It takes effort you know?! I'm not used to all of this niceness and all. But I'm trying, trying kyunki ab zindagi bhar tumse hi naata rahega na. Narmi se nahin to kam se kam insaaniyat ki umeed to rakh sakta hoon tumse na?"
Ridhima got up without caring and put her foot on the bed beside Armaan and tried to remove her paayal. "Tell someone who cares! I'm really not interested". He was amazed now. "Kamaal hai. Itna bhaaw main apni ex girlfriends ko deta to shayad meri biwi ban jaate. Isko to koi parwa bhi nahin!" He could see she was struggling while removing her paayal. He smiled mischievously to himself and thought 'kya yeh mujhse darr rahi hai? Sherni dikhti hai. Chaahe sherni jitna bhi darre, woh thodi na apna darr dikhaayegi!' He touched her foot and removed the paayal for her. She was annoyed at him for doing that. She instantly went back and sat by the dressing table, removing the other paayal and throwing it at him. "Did I ask for your help?" He smirked and walked towards her, while she stood up and looked angrily at the opposite direction. "Nahin, but hamesha maangne ki zaroorat thodi na hai. Pati hoon tumhara. Tumhari help karna mera dharm hai. Ab yeh necklace hi dekh lo…" He went behind her and removed her necklace tenderly. She could feel his breath on her neck. He kissed the side of her neck softly to which she gasped and shut her eyes. He looked at her and smiled and continued to kiss her neck, making her breathe rapidly. She suddenly jerked and poked Armaan with her hair pin. "What the..??? huh? Hair pin? Why did you poke me?" That was the only object she had on her right then, but Ridhima being Ridhima, that would be enough to murder Armaan right now. "She moved back and showed the hair pin to Armaan, as if she was threatening him. "Dd..ddd don't…don't you dare come near me!"
"Arre Ridhima main to…ouch…Ridhima OUCH!" She continued to poke him whenever he advanced forward. "Paas aaoge? Touch karoge? Huh bolo?" She kept on poking Armaan as if her life depended on it. She ran after Armaan around the room and Armaan ran for his life, running round the sofa, jumping on the bed. He finally lay on the bed, clasping his hands in front of her begging for mercy. "Maaf kar do! Meri bhool thi!" "Ainda se khayal rahe! Main koi bhi batameezi bardaasht nahin karne waali". Saying this she threw the hair pin at Armaan and sat on the sofa.
Armaan picked up the hair pin and observed it. "Itni choti si cheez, aur itna lethal! Baap re, bachke rehna padega beta!"
Ridhima had decided to sleep on the sofa. She was no way going to share the bed with him. "Arre tum sofa pe kyun ho? Bed sajaavat ki cheez nahin hai you know. People usually sleep on these things you know". "Bakko mat! I don't want to be anywhere near you."
"Kyun, darrti ho kya?" Armaan smirked. "Main…aur darr? Huh! Nonsense!"
"well, it seems otherwise to me! Kahin tum mujhse…"
She got off the sofa and jumped on the bed next to him. "Darre meri jooti! Aur tumse? Huh! Main yehi soungi. Dekhte hai tum kya, tumhara bhoot bhi mera kuch nahin bigaad paayega!"
She lay down on the bed and Armaan mischievously put his arm around her and looked at her saying "you know, aaj hamari suhaagraat hai". She looked at him seductively and touched his face saying, "you know, I have plenty more hair pins in my hair right now". He instantly moved away in fear. "Ajeeb ladki hai. Kya musibat hai yeh!" They both went to sleep, sleeping by the edges on their side of the bed, trying not to even breathe on each other even by mistake. Both equally scared for their lives.
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The following morning around 5 am, Armaan and Ridhima headed off to their honeymoon (well for them it seemed like a journey to hell) via car. It was a long journey hence they decided it would be a wise idea if they left home early. They both sat in the car quietly. Armaan concentrated on driving while Ridhima looked uninterested, looking out the window and resting her eyes every now and then. She still couldn't believe she was married. She loved her father immensely and she was aware of how she had taken him for granted at many times. Being the only child, she was showered with unconditional love by her father. Her father tried his best not to make her miss the presence of her mother at all while she was growing up. All the love and attention from had started to spoil her which made her father apprehensive and wary of her future. She was 22 year old who had graduated a year ago but did nothing that seemed like she wanted a career ahead. She had been sitting at home, lazing around and going out whenever her heart desired. When he received the proposal for Ridhima's wedding from his best friend for their son Angad, he was more than elated. It was like God had answered his prayers. According to him, this was the best way to bring Ridhima back on track and sort her life out forever. Being a single dad wasn't easy for him. On top of that, he was a highly successful business man. He's been exhausted most of his life as he juggled between Ridhima and business but he made sure she never lacked his presence in her life.
Ridhima being head strong and stubborn would have never agreed for this wedding, but however rough and tough she seemed, she was an emotional sucker from within. Her father knew that if Ridhima's mother was alive, she would have wanted her to settle down. Her father mentioned this to Ridhima aur bas pighal gayi! She couldn't see her father so helpless, and that too because of her. Seeing her father pleading her to get married for the sake of her late mother made her realise what a carefree daughter she had been, always thought of herself and not about the happiness of her father. She had taken her father for granted and she wanted to give something in return to him. She agreed to get married not whole-heartedly. Her father, being her father of course was aware of how mischievous Ridhima can be and her agreeing to get married can spring many surprises in the future. He made her promise upon himself that she would try and make this marriage work out. Ridhima was now binded by this promise that she could not break at any cost.
As for Armaan, well he was a usual guy who would go club and spend his time with friends and not to forget girls. He was a 24 year old who had two degrees in his favour. It was about time he lived his life to the fullest. He seemed like a carefree person, which he was, but he respected and valued relationships very much. He knew the importance of marriage and would be totally committed when he gets married. But that was a reason why he didn't want to get married. He was not ready to commit himself to anyone as yet. He wanted to live his life and of course, the hot single girls out there were too tempting for him to even think about getting married. His parents were worried about him, especially his mother. He didn't want her only son, who she boar in her womb for nine months to end up in the gutter one day due to his carefree lifestyle. What made things worse for her was Armaan's straight no answers to her. This was the limit for her. She made up her mind that she would not utter a single word to Armaan until he changes his decision. Armaan cared about her and was desperate for his mother to speak to him again. He thought that maybe if he gave her some space, maybe she'll start to talk to him again. Little did he know that she was on a hunger strike too. After two days of rigorous fasting she was rushed to the hospital after having blacked out at home. Armaan was shaken by this incident. His mother was in this state all because of him. His dad finally intervened in this matter and being the disciplinarian that he is ordered Armaan to get married to his friend's daughter. Armaan had no option but to agree. This made his mother extremely happy and he could see the glint of hope within her eyes. He promised her that he wouldn't let her down.
Ridhima looked out of the car window thinking about life ahead. She glanced towards Armaan and studied his face. She thought to herself, 'socha tha ki koi shehzaada se shaadi hogi…lagta hai ab is langoor se hi kaam chalaana hoga!' She closed her eyes thinking about how it would have been like to have chosen someone of her choice for her marriage.
There was an assembly where the swayamvar of Princess Ridhima was being held. Around 20-50 young men were seated in rows, waiting for Princess Ridhima to come and make one of them her prince. They all were around the height of 6 feet and were extremely gorgeous (may I add, all had 6 pac abs) dressed in orange dhotis and nothing else but gold ornaments around their biceps and crown adorning their heads.
Her highness Princess Ridhima was seated on her thrown that was at the top of the staircase. She was draped with a saree tightly around her body that accentuated her tall curvaceous body. Like a princess, she too was loaded with jewellery on her body and an elegant crown on her head. She descended down the stairs with a garland made of flowers in her hands. She came down the stairs and inspected each man one by one, walking past them, looking at them, waiting for a spark to happen. After reviewing the 50th prince, Ridhima lost hope and turned to go back to her thrown in disappointment. Just as she turned, she heard someone approach. A new prince had arrived at the swayamvar. He stood their waiting by the door. A tall 6 foot 2 guy with a muscular frame and hazel eyes. Ridhima ran towards him in slow motion with the garland swinging from left to right in her hands. She approached the prince and was about to put the garland around his neck when she realised that this prince was none other than Armaan.
Ridhima woke up with a gasp. She could not believe this. She was dreaming about her fairy tale wedding…then where the hell did Armaancome from? Armaan looked at her curiously and asked, " kya hua? Tum theek ho?" She looked at him sharply replying sarcastically, "I'm married to you, of course I'm fine!" She looked out the window and thought to herself 'yeh langoor sapno mein bhi mera peecha nahin chodta! Uff!'
Armaan looked at her and thought, 'haan haan, jaise mere bhaag khul gaye is psycho se shaadi karke'.
Armaan could see that she was dozing off again and mischief was cropping into his mind. He blasted the stereo to full volume making Ridhima wake up in a jerk.
"Abey oye! Dimaag ke saath kaan bhi kharaab ho gaya hai kya?" Ridhima asked in anger.
"Haan, well dimaag mere shaadi ke mandap mein hi kharaab ho gaya tha, jab tumse shaadi hui. Aur jab dimaag hi kharaab ho gaya hai, kyun na kaan bhi kharaab kar doon".
Ridhima looked at him in disbelief. He had lost his nut to screw his brains with. To annoy Ridhima even further he started to drive the car fast and awkwardly. This had started to freak Kripa out and she insisted that he stops this at once. But Armaan was hell bent to drive fast.
"Armaan gaadi roko"
"Kyun? Humein aaj hi wahaan jaana hai…slow jaayenge to agle hafte tak nahin jaa paayenge"
"Armaan, I insist, gaadi roko", she screamed.
"Aha! Nothing doing princess!"
"ARMAAN PLEASE GAADI ROKO. MERI MAA AISE HI MARI THI!"
Hearing this he pressed the brakes instantly, stopping the car. "Kya?"
She stared ahead of her feeling numb and replied, "haan. Main 6 saal ki thi. Main beemaar thi isliye unhone mujhe Aaya ke paas rakha tha meri dekhbaal karne ke liye. They had gone for a conference in Pune. Woh jaldi mere paas aane ki koshish kar rahe the. Papa lost control of the car and crashed into an oncoming truck. Papa bach gaye, lekin maa bach nahin paayi".
Armaan looked at her feeling extremely guilty. He had taken the joke a bit too far.
Ridhima looked through the side window and said, "ab chalna nahin hai kya?" trying to cover up her pain. He started the car and continued to drive. He didn't know how to speak to her now, especially when she was in this type of mood. He had tried breaking the ice with her on several occasions in the past few days but to no amend. He tried to apologise to her about what he had just done. "Ridhima… I'm…I'm sorry".
Ridhima turned her head towards him instantly. "Kya…kya kaha tumne?"
"I'm sorry Kripa. Main mazaak kar raha tha. You see, tum theek hi kehti ho. Mujh mein koi samajh hai nahin. Main stupid hoon, duffer hoon, langoor hoon".
Hearing 'langoor' she laughed and replied, "haan, that I have to agree with".
They both continued to laugh and tried to speak to each other cordially for once.
"I'm sorry as well. I guess I've been quite difficult in the past few days".
"Oh yes! That you have been" Armaan winked at her.
"Hey! I'm being nice, don't screw your chances!"
"Ok as you say Princess!"
"Princess? What's with you calling me that?" asked Ridhima.
"Well I don't see you appreciating it if I called you a wicked witch now, would you?"
"OYE!" They both laughed and continued to joke about the events that had taken place in the past few days, such as the suhaagraat incident which neither of them would ever be able to forget.
Finally about 10 am they reached their villa in Goa. As soon as they reached their bedroom, the first thing they did was jumped on the bed for a quick nap. They had been knackered with the long drive to the place. This was just the beginning. They wondered how they'll survive seven days in this so called honeymoon.
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After two hours of napping, kisi par zor se baarish hui, well for Armaan it did. He was woken u by a big splash on his face (courtesy Ridhima of course). Armaan rubbed his eyes saying, "What the h…. SHAKALAKA BABY!!!"
He was flabbergasted by the sight before him. Ridhima was dressed (or you could say undressed) in a lime green bikini and a mini Hawaiian skirt wrapped around her hips, barely covering it. Her long curly hair covered her back and fell on her shoulders, giving her a seductress image while the red flower on top of her left ear gave her an innocent charm. He just couldn't digest this at all. He had seen her the other day in a saree and thought she looked sexy. Here she was now half naked, that too in front of him, looking murderous, well to him at least. His eyes were wide open and that had nothing to do with the water that was splashed to wake him up. His jaw had dropped as he tried to imbibe this image into his psyche. He scrutinised her slowly from head to toe.
She looked at him for a few seconds and got annoyed at him as he was gawking at her. She frowned and put her hands on her hips while snapping at him. "Kya hai? Pehle ladki kabhi dekhi nahin kya?"
He shook his head slowly, signifying a no as a reply, still staring at her when he suddenly snapped out of his trance, coughing. "Ahem ahem, mera matlab hai ke dekha hai, bohat se dekhe hai. Tum se zyaada ache bhi dekhe hai"
She turned her back towards him while playing with the ends of her hair, replying "Haan dekha hai, sirf dekha hai. Shayad khayalon mein right? Tum sirf gawk ke ilaawa aur kya kar sakte ho?"
"Aur bohat kuch kar sakta hoon. Tum chaaho to demonstration de sakta hoon." He replied casually while pulling off his wet shirt over his head.
She made a face and mocked him "aur bohat kuch kar sakta hoon! Hmph!" and turned around to see his bare torso. She looked at him casually as well. It wasn't a big deal for Ridhima to see a guy topless. It was a common thing with her generation. But she couldn't help but remember the swayamvar dream she had earlier on in the car. 'Wah kya dimaag hai tera Ridhima. Same to same body!' she thought to herself. She then gasped at seeing Armaan removing his trousers. "Yeh yeh…tum kya kar rahe ho? Sharam nahin aati?" Ridhima was aghast seeing Armaan removing his trousers in front of her. Ok, seeing someone topless was one thing, but seeing someone bottomless was another. Ridhima had never been in a situation with a guy like this before. Armaan doing a full monty in front of her right now was the last thing she wanted.
"Kyun, dikhai nahin deta kya?" Armaan retorted.
"Gosh, you're so sick Armaan. Maana ke main kam kapron mein hoon. Lekin iska yeh matlab nahin hai ke tum mere saath ashleelta se pesh aao! Tum…tum… tum mere saath…chi!" Ridhima looked away in disgust.
"Brake maar! Yeh kya anaap shanaap bak rahi ho? Kya kar raha hoon tumhare saath?"
She turned around to look at him and said "tum…" when she looked down to see that he had only removed his trousers. He was still wearing his black boxers. She looked down and sighed in relief. He followed her gaze and realised he was looking at his boxers. He felt exposed all of a sudden and covered his manhood with his hand and yelled "Oye! Ridhima yeh tum kya kar rahi ho? Itni bhi sharam nahin hai tujh mein?" he pretended to be shy and looked away.
"Gosh Armaan, aisa nahin hai! I wasn't looking at…at that, I was just…ahhh forget it."
He had his signature sly smile back onto his face and walked past her, going towards the bathroom. "Kyun kya hua? Have I turned you on?"
"What? Pehle tum mujhe ghoor ke dekhte ho, aur upar se mujhpar ilzaam laga rahe ho?"
"As I said before my dear bride, I've seen better!"
Ridhima retorted, "Yeah you may have seen better, but I've been with better!"
He turned back and looked at her, rather amused. "Hmm really?!"
He smiled and shook his head while going into the bathroom. Who was she kidding? Forget being involved with a guy, she hadn't even held a guy's hand yet; well excluding Armaan and her father of course. She grew up holding her father's hand and as for Armaan, she had no choice but to hold his hand during the marriage ceremony. If she had a choice she would have much preferred holding onto his neck while going round the fire, strangling him!
She may have been untouched, but that didn't stop her from fantasying. Just like her swayamvar dream, she had had several dreams in the past of her prince charming, who would come on a Harvey Davidson bike and zoom her away into another world. Ohh the thrill that captivated her senses!
Some time later Armaan came out of the bathroom wearing blue Bermuda shorts.
"Come, let's go surfing! You do know how to swim right?"
Ridhima raised her eyebrow and replied, "Do you think I acquired this body by paddling in the baby pool?"
He chuckled and reply, "you girl, there's no winning with you!"
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They had spent the next few days on the beach, roaming around, doing there on thing. In a way, they had become pals. They didn't want to admit it but they were having a good relaxing time in Goa. Compared to the stress and commotion from their wedding, this seemed like heaven to them. They didn't have to pretend to be something else; they didn't have to abide to parents' rules. In short, they could breathe the air of freedom. (That's sounds ajeeb na? This zanjeer named shaadi is making them feel free. Hmm aage aage dekho pyaare Armaan Ridhima.)
Just like their unpredictable personalities, the weather in Goa suddenly changed. From a radiant heat to now a drizzling atmosphere. It had rained non stop throughout the day which caused them to hammer their usual plans of chilling at the beach. They spent the evening in front of the TV while munching on Chinese food and pizzas (jeez so much food for two people! Think about the undernourished, you spoilt brats!)
Ridhima sat upside down on the couch while Armaan laid on the other half. Both watching Salaam-E-Ishq and both equally bored.
"Ajeeb dastaan hai yeh'kahaan shuru kahaan khatam'yeh manzilen hai kaunsi'na woh samajh sake na hum" crooned Ridhima.
"Tum yeh gaana kyun gaa rahi ho?" asked Armaan, lazily.
"Is film ko dekhar mujhe yeh gaana yaad aa jaata hai".
"Acha? Woh kaise? Is gaane ka film se kya lena dena hai?" question Armaan.
"The film makers must have been inspired by this song. No wonder ajeeb dastaano pe film likha, jo khatam lene ka naam hi nahin leta'aur in kahaniyon ke manzilen kya hai'na woh samajh sake na hum!"
"Pehle se to yeh saare-teen ghante ki film, upar se baarish, aur ab tum gaa rahi ho! Things couldn't get any worse!" Armaan moaned.
"Maine thodi na Nikhil Advani se kaha ke yeh Bore-E-Ishq film banaane ko. 6 ghisa pita kahaaniyon ka bhel puri banaa ke yeh film banaayi. These lousy love stories, sheesh!"
"I know what you mean. I hate these love stories as well".
"Err, excuse me, who said I hate love stories?" retorted Ridhima.
"Tumne hi to kaha tha, lousy love stories".
"Haan par I was referring to this film".
"What's the difference? Love stories are love stories after all. Sab ghisa pita, sab crying and all".
"Lagta hai is film ka asar hone laga hai tumpe. That's not my definition of love story" answered Ridhima quite annoyed.
"Acha, so what is your definition of love story then?" sniggered Armaan.
Ridhima got down from her upside down position and plonked herself straight next to Armaan which caused him to go back a bit in surprised.
"Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge'Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak'Romeo and Juliet, these are my type of love stories" Ridhima replied gleefully with excitement in her eyes.
"Err uh ok. Have you realised that in two of those films the protagonists die and in one of them they end up together and probably get married, in other words aise hi mar jaate hai?!"
"Offo Armaan! Think of the excitement, the adventure, the mischief, eloping'wow how exciting!" she gushed in excitement.
He looked at her quite worriedly thinking 'lagta hai sach mein ilaaj ki zaroorat hai' and said to Ridhima, "erm ok. I think I know why your Dad was in a rush to marry you off"
"Offo mazaak mat karo. Haven't you ever had these thoughts? Don't you believe in love?"
"Nope never had these thoughts."
"That means you don't believe in love?"
"No, I never said that!"
"But how can you not have these thoughts and believe in love?" asked Ridhima quite confused.
"Love isn't just about a girl and a boy; it's about love between friends, love for family members and for other people in general. I believe there's love everywhere. We are able to love because love is around us and within us. I don't believe in the fairy tale version of love."
"Hmm kaafi boring ho tum!" said Ridhima, in a matter of fact manner. "Well I believe in the drama and hysteria of love'the naach gaana, the emotions'oooo!"
"And I find this all hysterical. Let me guess, you believe in some so called Prince Charming, jo gadhe pe baith kar'I mean ghodi pe baithkar aayega aur tumhe duniya waalon ke saamne le jaayega, right?"
"Yes! Prince Charming, my Prince Charming who will come one day and sing'yehi sach hai, shayad maine pyaar kiya, haan haan tumse maine pyaar kiya" she sang loudly, out of tune.
"Well sorry to burst your bubble but I'm your husband now and as for Prince Charming, well, you'll have to make do with me".
"Oh Whatever" Ridhima stormed off angrily.
"Arre I was joking, kahaan jaa rahi ho?"
"Tumse door!" and walked into the kitchen.
About half an hour later, Armaan just could not force himself to watch this film anymore. He realised that it had been about 30 minutes that Ridhima hadn't returned. He decided to go look for her around the house. After having searched everywhere, he went into his bedroom. He saw that the door to the balcony was opened and the weather was still bad. He went forward to close the door when he saw a very wet Ridhima sitting on the balcony floor with a bottle of wine in her hand. She had consumed about half of the bottle. She was dressed in her white pyjama vest top and red shorts that were sticking onto her like second skin.
"Ridz! Yeh tum kya kar rahi ho? Beemaar ho jaaogi. Chalo, andar chalo!" He took away the bottle from her hand and tried carrying a very high Ridhima who wouldn't stop giggling.
He put the bottle on the side table and place Ridhima on the bed. As he got off the bed, Ridhima grabbed his arm, giggling. "Arre kahaan jaa rahe ho?"
"Ridz tumhare liye towel leke aata hoon."
He went and came back with a towel and started drying her hair for her. "Kitni bheeg gayi ho. Paagal ladki! Pata nahin kya karti rehti ho! Jao kapre badal ke aao nahin to beemar ho jaaogi."
She pushed him onto the bed and sat on top of him, shaking her hair in his face and giggling. "Arre Ridz!! Chodo, paagal ho gayi ho kya?"
"Haan main paagal ho gayi hoon!" she said while undoing his shirt buttons.
Armaan was concerned now. "Ridz yeh tum kya kar rahi ho?"
"Tumhara shirt utaar rahi hoon. Tum bhi to bheeg gaye ho na."
His abs were now exposed to her. She couldn't resist and had to feel them. She started rubbing her hands on his abs. "Wow, you're so hot! These feel so cool in reality!"
"Ridhima'get off'and stop this!"
"Nahin! Kya main sundar nahin?" she asked quite naively and dejectedly.
"Kya main achi nahin lagti?"
"Lagti ho baba. Bohat achi lagti ho. Bohat sundar ho. Khush?"
"Kya mujhe dekh kar tumhe kuch nahin hota?"
"Ridhima yeh tum'"
"Shh!" She whispered while placing her finger on his lips, gazing into his eyes intensely. She brought her face closer to his and was now centimetres away from his lips.
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