Posted: 01 April 2010 at 3:34pm
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Sid enters the corridors of Sanjivani , with slow footsteps. He is soaking wet as he leaves the stormy winds , thunder storm , lightening and the rains outside and comes into the warm interiors of the hospital. He had driven madly like a madman from Armaan's house. Armaan's words and Riddhima's sad and baleful eyes when he had dropped her off at Armaan's house flashed through his head as he headed towards the staircase. The doctors and nurses passing by him were asking him if he was okay, what has he been doing in the rains in this stormy night? Why was he at Sanjivani at this hour when it is not even his duty time. Dr. Siddhanth? Dr.Siddhanth? But Sid was not listening to anyone. Dr. Keerti saw Sid go up the stairs through the shutters of the window of her cabin. There was a pensive expression on her face and tears rose in her eyes slowly and Yuvi who had been discussing a case with her followed her gaze and saw Sid.
Yuvi ( worried )- Sid! What is wrong with him?....(turns to rush to him )...I must see if he is okay.
Keerti holds Yuvi's arm and makes him stay back.
Keerti ( calmly)- You need not worry, Dr. Yuvraj. Sid... I mean, Dr.Siddhanth is fine... FINE....
Yuvi tries to read the pensiveness in Keerti's eyes but doesn't understand much. He stays back and doesn't go behind Sid.
Sid climbs the steps of the staircase , slowly. His journey with Riddhima from the day he bumped into her at the airport to the time he let go of her so that she could be with Armaan hammered through his head so hard that he felt his heart would explode . Armaan's healing words, his hug , his smile , his tears rang in between like a beautiful symphony. Sid was feeling something totally surreal at this time. Riddhima was beating so hard in his heart that he could hear his own heart beat. Armaan's words of healing were playing so softly in his head that he was feeling as though he hadn't heard anything this beautiful in his entire life......Armaan had told him what had led him here - Follow Your Heart.
Sid reached the terrace and slowly , he opened the door. It was still windy but the thunder had calmed down by now and it was only drizzling - water kissing earth's skin and whatever it fell on. And as Sid stepped onto the terrace , he saw what he had been dying to see every single second since he had opened the door for her to walk up the pathway to Armaan's house - Sid's wife Riddhima......
Riddhima stood at a distance , standing near the parapet wall , her hands resting on the parapet , her eyes looking out into the beautifully lit up city but her vision blinded by slow tears and the drizzling water pouring from the sky. The vision of Sid shaking hands with her and closing the car door, leaving her standing at Armaan's door hadn't left her yet. Sid had shook his warm hands with her frigid ones and bid goodbye to her.... did she see tears in his eyes or was it her imagination. Oh, it must have been her imagination , Sid cared but he never cared enough to ask her once... just once that what she wanted or how she felt. Why would he? From day one , he had it hammered it into his system that she wants to be with Armaan. Riddhima was a defeated woman and it's her husband who had defeated her ...Riddhima shut her eyes and as Sid stepped closer , she opened her eyes. It seemed as though she had sensed that familiar presence - presence of Siddhanth , the man who was not only always around to wipe her tears but now was also the man who had made her cry the most.
Riddhima ( her pretty jaw tightening hard)- Stop right there , Siddhanth Modi. Stop. Don't you dare come anywhere near me.
Sid froze in his steps as Riddhima's icy but emotion-ridden voice cut through his skin and then, his heart.
Riddhima turned around and looked at Sid. Sid looked at Riddhima. While there was temper and grief written all over Riddhima's face , there was gentle hope and intensity in Sid's eyes.....
The water snaking down their skins and tears drying up on their wet faces , they stood face-to-face.
Sid ( softly )- Riddhima.....
Riddhima ( wounded and angry )- Riddhima? What Riddhima? Why have you come here after me? Just go! And if you are here to repeat your role of a stupid sacrificing husband and take me back to Armaan again , I am going to slap your face ! GET LOST!
Sid was stung by Riddhima's words and her tone. She had never sounded so injurious , not even during the days when they both hated the very sight of each-other. There was something else in her voice that had just pricked his heart.
Sid ( taking a step closer to her )- Riddhima... I... ( shakes his head )... I was only trying to...
Riddhima ( her voice quivering with emotion ) - Trying to do what , Siddhanth? Tell me. Trying to do what , huh?.... ( tears glistening in her eyes even through the mild rain)....That is the whole problem, Sid. You never had any idea what you were trying to do. You believed what you wanted to believe and that's why you did what you thought I wanted, Armaan wanted , the whole world wanted! First you turned yourself into a puppet and then, your wife !
Sid ( stung )- That is not true, Riddhima! That is so not true. !... ( goes ahead and clutches Riddhima by her shoulders , his fingertips almost digging into her skin)... Do you think I am the kind of man who will make a mockery of his marriage , of the feelings that I have for you or the innocence of a man like Armaan? NO! I AM SO NOT THAT!
Riddhima looks into Sid's angry limpid brown pools and his wounded expression. She looks away and Sid lets go of her with a slight jerk. Sid walks to the parapet wall and stands where Riddhima was standing a few minutes ago....
Sid ( in an emotion-ridden hoarse voice )- You will never know Riddhima ... you will never know what it is like to be married to a person whose heart belongs elsewhere. How hard it is to convince and reassure yourself every single day that maybe... just maybe that person will open her arms to you someday.... But I lived with it and lived with it until the day I felt we could have a life together... and then, Armaan came back. I ... more than anyone else in this world, I know the kind of love you have had for that man, then, how could I hold you back? How could I not see the reflection of him in your eyes? ..... There was no point in keeping you to myself when you yourself didn't know where you wanted to be! I just gave you a choice.
Riddz goes to him and yanking him by his arm turns him to face her , her face livid and bright with turbulent emotions.
Riddhima ( screaming at him )- That ! That is your whole problem, Siddhant Modi! From day 1 ! You see what you want to see! You believe what you want to believe! You never bother to ask the other person anything! Choice? What choice? You never gave me any choice , Sid! You pushed me towards Armaan with all the force! You had decided that I wanted to be with him and don't you dare deny that , i could actually push you off the parapet wall right now! ... What kind of a woman did you think I was? A woman who would throw away a husband she has come to care about , a marriage that she values so much and go running into the arms of Armaan?
Sid could see the pain and angst on Riddhima's face and it got to him. Had he really hurt her so much? Did she really care so much about him and his marriage? She looked so vulnerable right now that he just wanted to hug her and stop her from shivering with fury and hurt.
Riddhima looked at Sid's soft features that seemed to have shriveled due to all the strain that he had been through. And he was looking at her so gently right now.
Sid ( in a soft tender voice )- If I ask you something , will you have a straight answer?
Riddz ( her voice beginning to crack and her anger beginning to melt )- Don't ask me anything stupid, Sid. I will definitely slap you... and stop looking at me like that.
Sid takes a step closer to Riddhima and very tenderly he lifts his hands and holds her face. He wipes her tears off with his thumbs and looks at her as though she was the most precious thing in the world. Riddhima unconsciously holds his arms with her delicate hands....
Sid ( looking at her intensely)- Why do you want to stay in this marriage?
Riddz ( covering his hands with hers and looking down) - Because I want to hear you take my name and search for me all over your house night and day. Because I want you to break glasses so that I can make you clean them. Because I want to scare you every morning when you wake up and see me the first thing every morning. Because I want the whole gang to make stupid plans and resolve our fights again and again. Because I want to slap you once in a while so that I can keep you in check....( looks up at him like a child)... because I no longer know how to take a single step ahead without you.
Sid has a marvelous smile on his face. He bends over and kisses her cheek warmly , wrapping his arms around her. Tears roll down Riddhima's cheeks as she hugs him back.
Riddz ( clinging to him for dear life )- Now, you give me a straight answer. Why do you want to stay with me in this marriage?
Sid ( hugging her )- Because I don't know any other way to be.....
At this Riddz pulls away from Sid and looks at him with so much of love and emotion that it brings tears to Sid's eyes again.
Sid ( cupping Riddhima's face in his hands )- If this is what they call love , then, so be it. .....(runs his fingers over her face).....I love you, Riddhima Modi.
Riddhima looked stirred in the soul upon hearing those magical words from Sid . A beautiful smile comes over her face as she hugs Sid again and murmurs into his ears...
Riddhima ( closing her tearful eyes )- Keep saying that to me, Sid. Keep saying that to me all our lives .... keep loving me like this to my afterlife......and don't you ever ever ever go anywhere away from my eyes.... I ....I love you, Sid and finally, I know it.
Sid ( a pensive smile and holding his wife close)- I love you, I love you, I love you and if i ever go inches away from your eyes , you can always slap me.... like you always have, haven't you?
Riddhima pulls away at this , looks at her husband's loving mischievous face and raises her hand as though to slap him and as Sid shuts his eyes , she looks at him lovingly and placing her hand warmly on his wet cheek , she kisses his cheek and he opens his eyes. With the most beautiful expressions on their faces and holding each-other , they both burst out laughing - they laugh so hard hugging each-other that their healing laughter echoes in the cloudy sky and water begins to pour again with full force.
And as Siddhanth-Riddhima cry and laugh together in each-others' arms , a man watches them through the glass window. A pensive smile comes over his face as he runs a hand over the glass at the spot where Siddhanth-Riddhima are standing.... as though trying to touch the precious union of that man and his wife.He runs his hand tenderly over the glass again and goes away......He would forever carry this thorn-rose in his heart. Armaan would never forget the two people who changed his life in a bitter-sweet way - Siddhanth-Riddhima. All said and done , they were special to him and they would always be.......
Edited by Pocahontas - 02 April 2010 at 4:53am
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