Posted: 03 April 2010 at 12:05pm
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Riddhima - draped in wedding finery that had been slapped onto her as though to poke fun at the wedding attire that she had worn the day she had gotten married to Siddhanth. Her eyes were frozen and the tears that were swimming in them had stopped there like a glacier. She was almost staggering into her father's cabin - her legs were giving away and her mind had gone numb. Riddhima was holding on to things to support herself and to walk properly. Her head was still reeling from the shock of what had just happened in the cafeteria.
Flashes of monster mom-in-law goading her to sit next to Armaan after forcing her to wear this dress and all this finery - Sid looking at her as though he had gone numb in the veins - Armaan smiling at her and holding her hand - monster mom-in-law making a live joke out of the vows of marriage - Riddhima sitting like a clown for everyone to laugh - Armaan holding the mangalsutra in front of her and then ....both Riddhima and Siddhanth getting up - a sad smile on Armaan's face saying that he had heard them and that he knew Sid-Riddz were married - all these flashes send Riddhima's head into a frenzy.
But no.... that is not what she remembers....She only remembers Sid's tearful lowered eyes and Armaan's words " When Sid sent you to see me in Pune......" Riddhima doesn't really remember what Armaan said after that. Her brain nerves froze at those words and her eyes never left Sid's face. Had she heard Armaan right? She had looked at Sid and simply asked him - Is that true? Sid said nothing - he didn't even lift his eyes to meet her's and Riddhima read his silence. Yes, he had indeed done that. And Riddhima ran out of that circus . She doesn't remember anybody trying to stop her or take her name - she only remembers the silence she had heard -Siddhanth's silence.
Riddhima felt safe in here - in her father's warm cabin. Riddhima looked at her image in the oval mirror in her father's room and it only infuriated her. She plucked the jewelery off herself and threw it away and as she literally tore the drape stole off her head, she screamed.
Riddhima ( cries out )- Why Siddhanth! Why? How could you do this to me?...
And as she seethed in rage and her wounded dignity and more than that her heart , she heard the door open slowly. And a gentle but pained voice took her name softly. Riddhima froze in her place as she sensed the man coming closer. Siddhanth. Like always he had found his way to her. He looked tongue-tied , concerned , guilty , ashamed , vulnerable - all at one go in a single moment. Riddhima had her back turned towards him but her troubled breathing and her shivering indicated how much she was erupting inside. Sid put ahead his hand to touch her shoulder but he remembers the tears he saw in her stunned eyes and how she had run off - he draws his hand away....
Sid ( meekly)- Riddhima I.....
But even before Sid can finish taking Riddhima's name, his furious wife turns around and delivers a stinging slap across his face.
Riddhima ( her voice shaking)- WHY?
Sid can feel the throbbing of nerves on his cheek , warm from the emotion whip that Riddhima had just thrashed him with. He closed his eyes and took control of himself. He couldn't cry right now - no - not with Riddhima in this state in front of him - he needed to take control of this situation.
Sid (calmly)- Riddhima....slap me again if you want. Again. And again. But please , please stop crying and listen to me.
Riddhima ( bellows and moves away from him)- NO! First you answer my question, Siddhanth! Why did you lie to me when I asked you that why didn't you show up at Pune? Why did you send Armaan to see me in your place?
Sid ( goes closer )- I ... I don't know. I really don't know. All along , till now I felt I thought I knew why I was doing what ... but today when you asked me the same question, my voice couldn't find it's way to me....(gently holds her by her shoulders)....I know that I have hurt you , Riddhhima but I wanted to make the decision easier for you.
Riddhima jerks his hands off her shoulders and pushes him away.
Riddhima ( devastated)- Siddhanth! You don't make decisions easy for people by throwing them towards decisions that you have already made - you threw me towards Armaan , not for your Mom but yourself ! You sent Armaan to me to TEST me! To see if I will go zip-zap-zooming into his arms! To see If I......
Riddhima's lips quiver and her voices struggle and whimpers as Sid looks at her , surprised at her sudden frozen tongue.
Sid ( looks at her with a sharp intense look)- To see if you?
Riddhima reads and understands that signature Siddhanth Modi look in Sid's eyes. That is the same look that she had seen in Sid's eyes when he had threatened to kiss her in the BB court , when he had married her , when he had dragged her to the Holi party , when he had come so close to her for the first time - that familiar look which usually unsettled the tigress in her.
Riddz ( backing away )- NOTHING!
Sid , as though , pulled by an emotional magnet goes closer to her and Riddhima begins to lose balance. She is furious at him but she finds herself unable to break her look away from Sid's suddenly emotionally wrought face. Sid comes close enough to invade her personal space and taking her face in his hands , he looks at her with a stern angst-ridden face.
Sid ( in a shaky emotional voice )- To see if you what?
Riddhima looks away in anger but Sid jerks her face back to face his face. Riddhima understands she has to answer him - but she needs to pull away from him first.Sid's proximity had begun to shred her defences to pieces and with her current emotional state , she REFUSED to break into his arms.
Sid (stubbornly)- To see if you what , Riddhima?
Riddz ( breaking away from him angrily )- TO SEE IF I LOVE YOU OR NOT! ....To see if I will throw away this marriage and my bond with you for the man whom you saw me die and yearn for to the limits of insanity! That is what you were trying to do, Sid! ....( shrugs her shoulders helplessly as she cries)....and look what you have done to me! I am such a joke today, Sid! All this while I was being eaten up inside because i did not tell you that I had met Armaan! For what? To know that my own husband sent him to meet me?
Sid hated to see her like that. He wanted to hug her and keep saying sorry until her cries melted into peace and until she forgave him. But at this moment of agony , he stood a man with his emotions unleashed.
Siddhanth ( his temper rising)- You did not tell me, nevertheless.
Riddz(defiantly)- You did not ask me!
Siddhanth ( angry and hurt)- Why should have I asked you? You never gave me those rights!
Riddz ( stung)- You had all the rights , Sid! It is because of your stupid fears that you never asked me anything! And look at me, Sid. I got ready to convert myself into a joke JUST FOR YOU!....( haughtily)... but why am i telling you all this. What difference does it make to you?
Sid is stung at this and clutching her by her shoulders and pulling her close , he speaks to her with tears rising in his eyes.
Sid(seething)- What difference does it make? The thought of you going away has kept me awake every single night and the fear of losing you numbed me so much that i think i will never feel anything again!
Riddhima( looking into his eyes with angry tears)- Why bother? You are convinced that am going to fly off , right? Then , why bother so much about taking exams? Why don't you tell me right away to go to Armaan.....(holds him by his collar and jerks him)... tell me! Tell me to go to Armaan!
Sid ( jerking away Riddhima's hands)- I CANNOT! Because I....( voice loses tempo and he moves away).... forget it. I don't know what you are thinking Riddhima. But even if now , you have doubts regarding how I feel about you, I have nothing to say......I am sorry.
Riddhima stands , still hurt and wounded where Sid has left her standing. Sid looks at her with moist eyes and then , bends down and picks up her embroidered drape stole. He comes to her and without meeting her eyes, he gently wraps the cloth around her shoulders. Riddhima looks at him with a stern face but tender eyes. Sid doesn't look at her and turning on his heels , he quietly walks out of the cabin . He is closing the door and then, he stops.
Sid ( looking here and there deliberately)- Mom wants to take you home with all the rituals......I hope you....( he doesn't finish the sentence) ......
Sid goes away closing the door. As soon as the door latches, Riddhima runs to the door and feeling the wooden door as though holding on to the man who had just walked out of it , Riddhima closes her eyes and tears roll down her cheeks. On the other side of the door , Sid puts both his hands on the door and rests his forehead on it , closing his eyes as though to convey to his wife that they will always be like a thorn-rose - inseparable.
Edited by Pocahontas - 03 April 2010 at 3:33pm
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