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Mere Apne4(AR) - Epi71-88 - Note on Pg147

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Wild.Aimee

Goldie

Wild.Aimee

Joined: 31 August 2008

Posts: 2040

Posted: 16 April 2010 at 5:04pm | IP Logged

Hi friends! Aimee here. Oh god, I didnt even realize and its the foruth thread I am starting. All thanks again to you people who take so much interest in my story. And to those too, who take OVER-interest in posting morcha-shots on my threads LOL... Thank you sooo much for the support. As you all can seee this is the fourth thread of the series called Mere Apne. Please continue to support me as always.


NOTE -  Friends I will use a lot of Imaginary stuff specially places in my FF, coz I havent travelled many places and have a poor geographic knowledge... so things related to the places will be purely or mostly my imagination... I may use names of the places I have heard, but their description would not be realistic... I am really sorry, please forgive me if I use any idiotic or unrealistic description in my FF...  



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EPISODE INDEX  

Thread One - Mere Apne1(AR) --- Episode 1 to 31
  


http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=1027788
 
 
 
Thread Two - Mere Apne2(AR) --- Episode 32 to 50 

http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=1068691


 
 
Thread Three - Mere Apne3(AR) --- Episode 51 to 70 

http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=1216434

 
 
Thread Four (This one)  -   
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Edited by Wild.Aimee - 11 July 2012 at 8:25am

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Wild.Aimee

Goldie

Wild.Aimee

Joined: 31 August 2008

Posts: 2040

Posted: 16 April 2010 at 5:04pm | IP Logged
 
 

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EPISODE SEVENTY-ONE

 

That day as well when Riddhima arrived 3 hours late, and forgot to inform anyone about it, he didnt behave the way she thought. She was expecting him to start another blasty session with her. Conversely, instead of shouting on her, he let her to herself all day and didnt say anything. He didnt even call her for any work, not even to ask about the day's schedule.

 

When she went to see him in his cabin for some work, he didnt even look up at her, and replied just in monosyllables. A few times when she could manage to look at his face, she found a strange and different look on his face... strange coz it emoted guilt and pain. Why was that? What is he guilty about? And what is this pain for? Is something bothering him? After that, it became a routine for him to behave aloof.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

A few days later, that day, Riddhima was sitting in her cabin doing some work when Armaan called her. Taking her notepad and a pen, she went to him. He was sitting in his chair working on his Laptop. He has removed his Jacket and loosened his tie and first button of his shirt. His eyes looked a little swollen as if he hadnt had a proper sleep in many days.

 

He instructed her a few things which she noted down carefully. It was less than half an hour long professional interaction between them. While instructing her, not even once he looked at her and didnt utter a single word apart from the things related to work. She didnt feel good. His behavior has started worrying her.

 

Even her other colleagues noticed it and have been asking her about it. She couldnt reply as she herself didnt have an answer. Earlier she used to be aware of everything related to him, his work, his schedules, even the reason behind his cranky behaviors at some occasions. Taking it as a part of her job, she always defended his behavior. But now, she didnt know anything. She knew that something was definitely wrong, but what?

 

Once he finished instructing her, he engrossed himself in his Laptop. Riddhima kept standing there for next five minutes, thinking that he might get annoyed at her and say something. However nothing came. He used to get annoyed or tease her earlier at such occasions, then today why is he not saying anything? She decided to break the silence herself.

 

Same time, after instructing Riddhima, Armaan got back to his work, but soon realized that she havent left and was still standing there. He realized that she might have noticed his indifferent behavior. But he still wasnt ready to face her. He didnt look up and kept working, thinking maybe she will go back herself when he wont react to her presence. But it didnt happen. Instead he heard her clear her throat, as if trying to get his attention.

 

"Ahem-Ahem..." Riddhima cleared her throat to grab his attention. Armaan looked up with a questioning look. She started fumbling, "Sir wo... wo mujhe... mujhe aapse..."

Armaan left his Laptop and sat straight, "Hmm..." he looked at her urging her to continue.

"Sir, actually... mujhe aapse kuchh puchhna tha..."

 

"Hmm..." he nodded again.

"Sir... a-are you alright?" she asked and saw his brows wrinkle. She continued quickly, "I mean, aap pichle kuchh dino se bhot chup-chaap ho..."

"I just spoke to you Miss. Gupta..." he replied in an unusually cold tone.

 

"Nahi sir, wo nahi. Aap pehle jaise..." she paused thinking that he might get angry, but he kept staring at her, "M-mera matlab... aap kuchh pareshaan se lag rahe ho. You look lost and tired too. Sab kuchh theek hai na? Koi serious problem to nahi...?"

Armaan gave her a tired half-smile and blinked slowly, "I am fine..."

 

Thats it.

Again she was astounded at his petite reply when she expected something more. He didnt utter another word after that. They kept staring at each other blankly for another minute followed by a two minutes of further silence and then she saw him turning back to his Laptop. Getting the clue, she left his cabin dejectedly.

 

As soon as the door of her cabin closed, he stopped typing and looked in her direction.

Why Riddhima? Why are you so concerned about my well-being? He thought tearfully. Please stay away from me. I dont want to bother you with anything.

Slumping back in his chair, he closed his eyes as her face flashed in front of his eyes yet again.

 

For the last few days, the frequency of his dreams has increased. Every- night, he could not sleep properly. And even when he manages to get some, her dreams start haunting him. Yes, he has seen her in his dreams. Recently his blurry dreams have turned into clear flashes... obvious pictures of a live human... better say Riddhima.

 

The girl he has been seeing in his dreams, who has been his support through those dreams, the one he was always curious to know about, is none other than Riddhima. His imagination, who was searching for a face to fill in that space, has unconsciously painted the picture with hers'. She IS his so-called dream girl. And this is not only it...

 

He also knows that the girl he met in Hotel Regal was Riddhima herself.

How he came to know about it? Well, a few days ago, he got a clue when they were discussing about the meeting for which he and Rahul went to Hotel Regal few months back. Fortuitously, Rahul told him that Riddhima was the one who delivered the file to them that day. Rest he figured out himself.

 

Riddhima's dressing style matched exactly with the girl he saw in that Hotel. When he pondered over it again, he realized that he has even seen her wearing the same suit once in the office. His doubt was confirmed when, luckily, next day once again he saw her wearing the same dress.

 

Then again, the biggest proof was her eyes... the beautiful pair of those captivating green eyes he had seen that day in the Hotel... the eyes that were the only thing he could see in his dreams till her face was revealed. After their official introduction, till now, he has not been able to see her eyes once again without glasses, but he has already recognized them that day on the river bank in Raogunj. So it has always been her...

 

Now he knew the reason, why her eyes always made him curious. Why he always has this urge to see them closely. Why he always wanted to push those glass barriers away and reveal the gorgeous secret behind them. Its coz he knew that he has started feeling something very deep for her. Something he has never felt for anyone before this.

 

Everything seems to be linking with each other now. Earlier he was confused with three girls in his life. First one, he has been always been watching in his dreams; second one was the girl he saw in Hotel Regal, about whom he couldnt stop thinking at times. And finally the third one was none other than Riddhima, who is in front of his eyes all the time.

 

Now, as the mysteries have started to unfold, he knows that they are not three, but actually they all are the same single girl... Riddhima. She was the one he saw in Hotel Regal, she is his dream-girl. It has never been anyone else, but always been her... forever.

 

However, the pain he was still holding due to his past, was keeping him under denial mode. He is also aware that its only Riddhima who can rescue him from that pain, but knowing that she is already involved with someone else, he kept backing off from his own feelings. Destiny was giving him clue-after-clue, but he was too blind with his preoccupied thoughts and pain to notice the connection between himself and her.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Riddhima felt dejected with his short response. She really wanted to know the reason of his quietness and help him in any ways if she could. She doesnt like him this way. Being so habitual of his tantrums and teasing, now the sound of his cheerless silence troubled her. His weak and tired eyes bothered her. It doesnt suits his charming persona.

 

Though from the very start, when they met for the first time, he has always surprised her with his behavior. In the beginning when she expected him to behave sophisticated and smartly like other businessmen, he acted like a typical angry boy in his teenage.

 

When they become professional associates, she thought he will behave like a boss, but again he never acted like one. Like other bosses she thought, maybe he will also be a professional and stiff-headed boss, moreover for her he stayed the same annoying man everywhere, both at office as well as outside office. Even at Minnie's marriage, his actions and reactions werent anything as per her notion.

 

Then just before their visit to Raogunj, he started behaving livid and grumpily with her. Many times he blasted at her for no reason. His sarcastic comments have always been out of her understanding abilities. He even threw tantrums by pointing out her mistakes in front of Atul intentionally, which otherwise he has never done earlier.

 

But she didnt minded any of it. It could be due to pressure of work, she thought. For some reason she was aware that he was doing all this intentionally. However her knowledge of him being over-loaded with work at that time was also another reason for her not retorting to any of his remarks.

 

Now... now for last 3-4 days, its like he has turned into an absolutely different person. He is aloof, he is irresponsive to her mistakes, he is softer in a different sense, he is cold and he has become extremely-quite, a man with a few words. Be it be work, their arguments, or anything else, earlier he used to be very animated and interactive in everything. Now she was seeing him working voicelessly. His face, his body-language, his every activity told her that something is wrong. Even though it has been only for the last 3-4 days, it still hassles her.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

That evening, when they winded up from their work, Riddhima was waiting for her office cab, but the driver informed her that there is some problem with the car and asked her if she could was for a while till the next cab is made available. Since she was feeling tired and wanted to go home and rest ASAP, she told him that she will manage with an outside taki for the day

 

There was no use of waiting for either Rahul or Atul (who also sometimes drops her home), coz Rahul has already left earlier as he had to visit Muskaan's doctor and Atul was also out for some meeting. Of course, all of it was a part of their plan to bring her and Armaan closer.

 

She walked out of the office premises to search for a taxi. As she was walking through the lane leading toward the main gate of the Office bulding, she saw a car over-pass her and stop at some distance ahead. When she reached near it, the window glass rolled down and she saw him.

 

Armaan drove out of the underground parking of his office building and was going past through the outside path, when his eyes fell on the back-view mirror. He realized that the girl he has just over-passed is Riddhima. He stopped immediately.

 

Where is she going? Why is she all alone and where is Rahul? Then he recalled that Rahul has left earlier for Muskaan's checkup. But then why is she not using an office cab? He saw her walking quietly through the lane.

Stopping his car near her, he rolled down the window glass he called her. "Riddhima..." he saw her turn to him, "Err... I mean Miss. Gupta..."

 

"Oh..." Riddhima saw him bending over the passenger seat to speak to her, "Sir aap?"

"Where are you going?" he asked.

"Wo main, ghar ja rahi thi..."

"Ohh... Lekin tum akeli kyon jaa rahi ho? Office cab kahaan hai?"

 

"Actually, office cab achanak kharaab ho gayi aur next cab wapis aane mein time lagega, to maine socha ki baahar se koi taxi kar lungi..." she replied softly.

"Hmm..." he nodded, then after a momentry pause, he opened the door of the passenger on her side, "Aao baitho, main tumhe ghar drop kar deta hu..."

 

"Nahi sir, its ok, main khud chali jaungi. Aapko bekaar mein problem hogi..."

"I request... Please..." he pleaded.

She looked at him for a moment. His eyes pleaded genuinely. The concern in them was evident. How could she deny such a compassionate gesture? She nodded slowly, "Ok..." and sat inside the car without arguing further.

 

They drove in silence towards Riddhima's house. The space in the car wasnt too much, still the distance between them seemed to be far stretched for no reason at all. Both wanted to talk to each other. Riddhima wanted to know what was troubling him, while he wanted to know how her relationship was going with her boyfriend. But none could say anything.

 

After driving a few kilometers, they stopped at a particular road. It looked like the traffic signal was turned red. Armaan couldn't see the signal as it was out of his visual range. There was a huge traffic jam, due to which vehicles were moving very slowly. Armaan rolled down the window glass of his side and kept driving at the snail's pace in sync with the slow moving traffic. He sighed looking around.

 

Suddenly he heard her name. When he looked back through his window, he saw two men sitting in a car driving slowly on his side talking to each other. They were discussing something about Riddhima. First he thought it could be any random Riddhima, but his ears shot alert towards them when he realized that its not only about Riddhima, their discussion involved him as well.

 

Was it merely a coincidence that these two guys were talking about another girl whose name is Riddhima and also a man who is incidently known as Armaan? Or were they actually talking about him and his Riddhima? He thought. Curiousity took over as he tried to hear their conversation properly.

 

First Guy : Arey yaar, suna tune...

Second Guy : Kya?

First Guy : Wohi, Armaan Malik aur uski Secretary ke baare mein...

Second Guy asked curiously : Kaun Armaan Malik?

 

First Guy (he sounded shocked) : Abey kaun Armaan Malik matlab? Kitne aur Armaan Malik ke baare mein sun ne mein interested hoga tu?

Second Guy (he asked after a brief pause) : Tu kahin Marvels Industries ke Chairman Armaan Malik ki baat kar raha hai kya?

 

First guy : Ab pakda tune sahi naam. Haan usi ke baare mein.

Second Guy (he laughed) : Oh, to aaj ki khabar uske baare mein hai.

First Guy : Bilkul.

Second Guy : Achchha unke baare mein kya?

First Guy : Arey unke affair ke baare mein.

 

Armaan's head jerked with shock. Their AFFAIR... What the hell? Who are these people discussing about his personal life? He thought. And how they know him and Riddhima? He tried to see their faces, but since it was late-evening and due to the dim getting light and their half-open tinted window glass, he couldnt see them. Their discussion continued.

 

Second Guy : Kya? Armaan Malik ka affair apni secretary ke saath chal raha hai?

First Guy : haan...

Second Guy : lekin tujhe kaise pata?

First Guy : bas pata chal gaya... aisi baatein chhupi thode hi rahti hain.

 

Second Guy : Wo to hai. Lekin maine to suna tha ki wo bada shareef aadmi hai. Buzurgon aur aurton ki badi izzat karta hai. Aur aurat agar uske saath kaam karne waali ho to apni maryada ka pura dhyaan rakhta hai. Unhe maa-behen ki tarah treat karta hai.

 

First Guy : Suna to maine bhi bhot hai, par ye izzat-wizzat to sab kahne ki baatein hain... Sab dikhawa hai society mein image banaane ke liye... Ye bade log jaise hi koi khubsurat ladki dekhte hain, inki saari sharaafat udan-chhu (disappear) ho jaati hai. (the guy laughed)

 

Second Guy : Achchha? To kya uski secretary itni khubsurat hai?

First Guy : Style thoda purana hai uska, par badi balaa ki khubsurat hai yaar. Maine dekha hai, ekdum swarg ki apsara lagti hai.

Second Guy : Par tujhe kaise pata wo kaisi dikhti hai?

 

First Guy : Arey ek nahi do baar dekha hai use maine. Pehli baar ek hotel mein dekh tha, jahan wo Malik ke saath shayad kisi meeting mein aayi thi. Aur dusri baar ek shopping Mall mein, do aurtein bhi thi uske saath. Kya lagti hai yaar, kya bataun...

Second Guy : Ooo, agar wo itni khubsurat hai tab to phir bechaare Armaan Malik ka kya dosh...

 

First Guy : haan, sahi kaha... uski jagah agar koi bhi hota to bechara phisal hi jata...

Second Guy : Haan... Waise bhi ye aajkal ki ladkiyaan, dikhti seedhi hain, lekin hoti badi tez hain boss. Apni khubsurati ko achchhe se istemaal (use) karna jaanti hain. Ameer aadmi dekha nahi, inka sharaafat ka naatak chaalu... Ho sakta hai ye secretary bhi unhi mein se ek ho.

 

First Guy : Zaroor ho sakta hai dost. Aaj ki duniya mein sab kuchh ho sakta hai.

Second Guy : Hmm... sahi bakra phansaya hai usne.

First Guy : Bilkul... dekhne mein badi masoom lagti hai wo ladki, aur usi ka fayeda utha rahi hai... Ab dekhna kuchh din dono ka affair chalega, phir jab dono ka kaam nikal jayega, to dono apne-apne raste... (he laughed loudly again)

 

Here Armaan was now burning with anger. How dare they speak about Riddhima in that way? She is not a girl like that. What do they know about her? Nothing, nothing at all. Then how can they put her in that nasty category? His grip on the stearing-wheel tightened.

 

Second Guy : Haan, Malik ko 'wo' mil jaayega, aur us ladki ko hare-hare noton (currency) ki hariyaali... bas aur kya chaahiye dono ko... (he laughed too)

First Guy : Arey waah, kya baat kahi hai. Kaash humaari life bhi aisi hoti yaar...

 

That's it... Armaan couldnt control anymore. He opened the door of his car and was about to step out to get those bas****, but the driver of the car behind him honked loudly asking him to move. And before he could do anything, that car drove away as the traffic cleared out. Due to anger and traffic madness, he couldnt even note the number of the car.

 

Still huffing with anger, he sat back in his car. Then as he was tieing his seatbelt, he saw Riddhima on the next seat. In his fury, he has completely forgotten that she was with him. When he looked carefully, he found her sleeping in her seat. It means she couldnt hear any of that. He sighed relievingly and thanked god. He drove hurriedly towards her house after that.

 

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As he stopped his car in front of her house, he saw that she was still sleeping. Instead of waking her up, he waited for a few minutes, thinking that maybe she will wake up herself. Armaan kept staring at her face for a while. His heart seemed to utter his feelings for her through his deaccelerating heartbeat - 

 

"Armaan hai tujhe Paane ka,
Teri Rooh mein uttar jaane ka,

Armaan hai teri Saason mein samaane ka,
Tere Sajde mein sar jhukaane ka,
Armaan hai tere Dil mein basne ka,
Tera Deewana ban jaane ka,
Armaan hai teri Preet nibhaane ka,
Tera Jogi Ban jaane ka,
Armaan hai tera meri Baahaon mein simat jaane ka,
Tujh mein hi Fanna ho jaane ka......"

 

# Note ' Thanks to Nidha for letting me modify her work and use it in my FF.

 

Minutes later, he was snapped out of his lost-poetic state when the street-light fluttered due to electric fluctuation. He inhaled again and waited for her to move or wake up. But when she didnt, he nudged her, "Riddhima... Riddhima..."

 

Her head that was turned on the other side, dropped on his side as she shifted in her sleep. He balked, feeling her hair under his chin. The frangrance of hair filled his nostrils as he inhaled. Moving a little back in his seat, he pulled back to see her face.

 

Her glasses were tilted on one side. Her long lashes resting on her smooth soft cheeks. A few tendrils that came loose of her braid flew lightly as the air hit them due to her light breathing. Her cheeks seem to have turned red, he didnt know why. He moved a little closer to her face. Inadvertently, his hand rose as he drew those disturbing tendrils away from her nose.

 

She sneezed as she felt something moving under her nose. Due to sneeze, her head shot ahead and hit his. "Ouch..." she shrieked as she felt something hit her head. Rubbing her head, when she looked up, she saw him rubbing his own head as well, "Sir, aap?" she realized that accidently she has hit his head. "Oh, I am sorry sir, I didnt realize ki aap ho..."

 

"Achchha? Agar pata hota ki main hu to kya tum apna sir kahin aur maarti?" he replied annoyingly. For the time he forgot that he was keeping a distance from her.

She was not only surprised, but also pleased at his comment. But thought of playing along thinking that maybe this will open him up. "Mera wo matlab nahi tha..."

 

"To kya matlab tha tumhara. Tum bina kisi adventure ke mere saath shaanti se nahi rah sakti na. Jab dekho tab koi naye type ka dhamaka karti rahti ho..." he commented again.

"Ye dhamaka nahi hota agar aap theek se baithe hote, aur meri naak ke neeche kuchh khujli nahi hui hoti... snif-snif..." she rubbed her finger under her nose sniffing indicatedly.

 

Armaan saw her rubbing her under-nose with her index finger as her nose wrinkled cutely. Her eylids were dropped as she tried to look at her own nose. Those long lashes of her beautiful eyes stood out more prominently on her cheek as she blinked continuously. His annoyance vanished as he smiled shaking his head.

 

Seconds later, when Riddhima looked at him and found him smiling, she smiled back taking her hand away. She looked out of her window smiling and saw that they were parked outside her house. "Arey, hum ghar pahunch bhi gaye..." she said. Armaan just nodded. She turned to him, "Thanks for the lift Sir." She stepped out of the car, "Sir, aaiye na, ek coffee peeke jaiyega..."

 

"Nahi, mujhe thodi der ho rahi hai. But thanks for the offer..." he smiled again.

"Oh..." she was a little disappointed, but then said, "Ok sir, Good night..."

"Good night..." bidding her bye, he drove away.

Riddhima kept standing there till his car disappeared. Then smiling to herself she went inside. She didnt know, someone was watching her and Armaan all this time.

 

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She smiled watching the scene in front. Muskaan was watching the interaction between Armaan and Riddhima from the window of Yash's room on the first floor of their house. From Yash's room, the main-gate of their house was clearly visible. She was arranging Yash's cloths in his closet when she heard sound of a car stopping in front of their gate. When she peeked outside, she saw that its Armaan's car.

 

Even though it wasnt unusual for him to visit their house, but Muskaan was surprised to see his car there at this time. What is he doing there at this time? He prefers to visit them on weekends, unless there is some urgent work. Else he always comes during the day time. Besides he has not visited them regularly in the last few months.

 

Then as her eyes fell on another figure sitting beside him on the passenger seat, she recalled their plan. The car was parked very close to their main-gate. Since the street-lights, the night lamps mounted on their Main-gate as well as the lights inside Armaan's car were all turned on, she could see clearly what was happening inside. Their faces might not be clear from her position, but even a fool could guess what is happening in the car.

 

She felt a hand over her shoulder and turned around.

"Kya kar rahi ho?" He asked as he saw her watching something very intently out of the window.

"Shh Rahul... Thodi der chup raho na... Keep quite." Muskaan commanded.

 

"Par tum dekh kya rahi ho?" he asked.

She kept her hand on his mouth and then holding his chin turned his head outside window to show him the what is happening outside, in Armaan's car.

So, both Rahul and Muskaan saw everything with their own eyes.

 

First nothing happened for a few minutes. They saw that Riddhima's head was dropped on window glass on her side. She seems to be sleeping. Then, Armaan touched Riddhima's shoulder to wake her up. Riddhima shifted in her sleep and her head fell on the other side, where Armaan was sitting. Another few seconds, nothing happened.

 

They saw Armaan's head in front of Riddhima's face. Looked like he was staring at the sleeping beauty. Five more minutes passed. Armaan raised his hand to do something after which they saw him jolting backward. He was rubbing his forehead while Riddhima too was doing the same. Then, they saw them say something to each other, maybe they were arguing... again.

 

After another five minutes or so, Riddhima stepped out of the car. She bowed over the window of passenger seat and said something to Armaan. Armaan must have replied accordingly. Then he was driving away leaving a smiling Riddhima behind. A minute later, she was walking inside with a cute smile playing on her lips.

 

Muskaan and Rahul smiled seeing the little interaction between them. As per their plan, Atul has asked Rahul to leave Riddhima behind at the office by making an excuse, which Rahul did. After that, they also instructed the transport incharge to make sure Riddhima doesnt take an office cab to go back home. They also made sure that Armaan leaves at almost the same time as Riddhima, so that he sees her going back alone.

 

They were sure about Armaan's feeling towards Riddhima by now. They knew that he will never leave her alone in any situation. Even though, they were noticing Armaan is trying to keep a safe distance from Riddhima; his care, his feelings and his affection towards her was still evident in his every little gesture.

 

Rahul called Atul and told him that this move was also successful. Atul imformed him that he just recieved a call from Kabir Khan to inform that his men have made their move as per the plan. They knew what is to come next and discussed how they have to handle the situation next day. If things keep going as per their plan, they will succeed very soon.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

That night, when Riddhima entered the house, Padma noticed that cute little smile on her face. It was not that she didnt stay happy otherwise. She was a girl who always keep smiling. But for the last few days, she wasnt doing so and smiled only when they nudged her asking if she is alright. She seems lost. But now, Padma was happy to see her daughter looking cheerful after so many days. Little did she knew that the reason behind this cute smile of her daughter is none other than their son-in-law to be.

 

While on the dinner table, Muskaan and Rahul smiled at each other, when they too noticed the same thing. Their baby was smiling like always after many days. They knew the reason. They knew that Riddhima might not be aware 'what love is...', but she likes Armaan. She unknowingly keeps prattling about him ever so often. She would make those cute faces while talking about him, and call him by different names, but never has she despised him. This was another reason for them to consider Armaan as the best choice for her.

 

Riddhima had a better sleep that night. Armaan's smiling face after such a long time, made her smile too. His gestures, his words, his actions, his reactions, all of it have started to matter her. She didnt know that, but she too has started liking him in a different way. Oblivious of the facts about her heart felt emotions, she drifted off to sleep thinking about him.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Next day, Armaan was back to his old quite self. Previous night, after getting back home, he kept thinking about Riddhima for hours, but as soon as he recalled the conversation of the two guys he heard while their way back to Riddhima's house, he felt guilty. It was all happening because of him. Just coz of his stupid behavior, people have started getting ideas about 'them' being involved in a romantic affair.

 

He wouldnt have bothered about it if it was just a passing rumor. But the reason he felt guilty was that, he knew that somewhere deep inside, he has started to see Riddhima in the same way. Maybe his gestures have been visible enough for people to notice it.

 

Another reason was he was scared if Riddhima's boyfriend got to know about it, he might misunderstand her and leave her heart-broken. She will be inconsolable. Who knows better but him, of the pain one has to through on getting dumped or betrayed by the ones you trust and that too when you are not at fault. He has gone through that pain twice and didnt want same thing happening with Riddhima.

 

He was afraid for her pain. That's why he was trying to keep distance from her. Maybe this way the rumors will die soon and everything gets back to normal.

Normal... he sighed thinking about the word. He knew nothing could be 'normal' for him ever again no matter what. His feelings for her were not going to go away.

 

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At her end, seeing Armaan back to his quietness, Riddhima herself once again felt sad. He didnt know that his behavior was affecting her in a way he never imagined. She tried her best not to give him a chance to be angry on anyone. She herself didnt know that she was trying to make him happy. But she was... And this time, Sunaina noticed it.

 

Sunaina informed Atul about it, who further told this to Rahul. Rahul and Muskaan were also keeping a close eye on her at home as well. They have to talk to her about this some or the other day. But before that, they were trying to figure out if she also feels positively about Armaan or not, which they concluded... she did.

 

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Its been almost a week and Armaan still havent got any information from Kabir. He called him several times to ask if he has gotten some news, but everytime he got the same negative answer. Kabir, who was now another character of drama, was obviously playing his part well enough by doing absolutely 'nothing' about it.

 

Armaan worries were increasing with every passing day. His efforts of staying away from her were also going into vain. He has heard more than expected number of people whispering about him and Riddhima at various occasions and different places. Seems like the rumor was spreading faster than he imagined it to be.

 

To his misery, not even once he got to know who these people are, who were gossiping about them. On hearing the nasty whispers, whenever he would turn back to catch them, the gossip-gooses would disappear like ghosts. His frustration rose every day and that day it crossed its limits, when once again, he heard another group of people talking rubbish about Riddhima.

 

Inside, he was burning with anger. Unfortunately, he couldnt show that to anyone as it might ignite the fire more. If he wanted he would have beaten those gossip-gooses black and blue. However his conscious stopped him from doing so, as it will only give them another reason to talk crap about her. Besides, if Riddhima came to know about it, what will he tell her.

 

But this needs to end. He has to do something before things get out of hand and ruin everything.

It was now around 6:30pm. Most of the office staff has already left. In a few minutes, Riddhima too left after winding up her work. Strolling in his cabin, he was thinking about what to do. His brain seems to have stopped working.

 

***KNOCK-KNOCK***

He heard a knock on his door and almost yelled, "Who is that?"

"Armaan..." Atul peeked in.

"Bhai... you are still there?"

"Tu bhi to abhi tak nahi gaya..." Atul replied.

 

"Wo... main to bas..." Armaan looked away trying to hide his worried face. Then picking up a file from his table said, "ye thoda kaam kar raha tha..."

Atul saw him turning the pages of the file carelessly. Since the file he held in his hand was turned over, anyone could tell that he was lying, "Wo to dikh hi raha hai..." he mocked squinting.

 

"Huh?" Armaan looked up.

"Maine kaha..." Atul came forwards and turned the file in his hand in correct position, "Wo to dikh hi raha hai..."

Armaan looked down at the file and realized that he was holding it upside-down, "Errr... Oh..." he sighed regretfully on being caught.

 

Atul gestured him to sit down taking his own place in front. "Kya baat hai? Tu kuchh pareshaan lag raha hai..."

"Nahi bhai, aisi koi baat nahi hai..." Armaan tried to drop the topic.

"Armaan?" Atul glared at him.

 

Armaan sighed. He knew that he shouldnt evade this anymore, "I am sorry Bhai... wo main bas kuchh soch raha tha..."

"Hmm..." Atul shook his head urging him to continue.

Armaan paused for a moment and then started, "Wo main Riddhima... err... I mean us envelop ke baare mein soch raha tha..."

 

"Envelop?"

"Haan, wo... ahem... meri aur Riddhima ki pictures wala envelop... wo... bas..."

Atul smiled inwardly, then asked in a serious tone, "Kabir ne kuchh pata lagaya ab tak?"

"Nahi... he couldnt find anything till now..." Armaan sighed, "But I am worried about something else Bhai..." he mumbled.

 

"Something else?" he raised brow.

"Haan..." Armaan nodded. He looked and found Atul sitting attentively as if asking the reason of his worry, "Wo..." Armaan didnt know where to start, "Wo... Bhai, actually pichle kuchh dino se... I mean wo... kuchh... kuchh baat..."

 

"Armaan, fumble karna band kar aur theek-theek bol na kya baat hai?" Atul said.

"Bhai..." Armaan started carefully, "tujhe kya lagta hai, agar ye baat logon ko pata chal gayi... I mean ye pictures wali baat, to unka kya reaction hoga? Mera matlab... ahem, wo Riddhima ke liye kuchh problem to..." he trailed.

 

"Armaan..." Atul sighed, "actually mujhe bhi tujhse kuchh baat karni thi isi baare mein..."

"Kya? Tujhe is baare mein kya baat karni thi?" Armaan blinked surprisingly.

"Haan... darasal mujhe lagta hai, ye baat ab raaz nahi rahi..."

"KYA? Kya matlab raaz nahi rahi?"

 

"Main kal jab Hotel Galaxy gaya tha meeting ke liye, to maine wahaan kuchh logon ko... maine wahaan kuchh logon ko tere aur Riddhima ke baare mein..." Atul paused for a moment and saw the horrified look on his face. This was the first time he has seen that expression on his face. Yes he wasnt scared, but this terror held concerned for someone... for Riddhima.

 

Armaan held his breath. He knew his fear has come true. The rumors were on roll. They were spreading quick like jungle's fire. "To tune bhi..." he uttered.

"Kya hua? Tune bhi matlab? Kya tune bhi aisa kuchh..." Atul trailed meaningfully. Armaan looked up and nodded, as Atul sighed again, "Oh..."

 

"Mujhe apni parwaah nahi hai Bhai, main ye sab sambhal lunga... par bas ye chinta hai Bhai, ki jab ye baat Riddhima ke kaano mein padegi to kya hoga? Kya beetegi uke dil pe? Wo kaise handle kar paayegi ye sab? Wo mujhe kahin galat na samajh baithe... Uska bharosa tut jayega mujhe pe se..." Armaan said worriedly.

 

"Main bhi wohi soch raha hu..." Atul agreed glumly. He observed Armaan's lost and worried face and knew that its the time when they should go for the kill. Hiding from Armaan's eyes, he messaged something to Rahul. A minute later his phone rang. He spoke to the person on the line, "Hello... haan bol... KYA? K-kab?... Kaise?... K-kaun?... Oh... ye to bhot chinta ki baat hai... achchha theek hai, kal milke sochte hain ki kya karna hai is baare mein... theek hai... Bye..." Atul closed the call looking extremely worried.

 

Armaan noticed the worried look and asked, "Kya hua Bhai? Tu achanak preshaan lag raha hai. Is everything alright? Kiska phone tha?"

Atul nodded in no, "Nahi... Rahul ka phone tha. Wo... ek aur problem ho gayi hai. Maine use kal milke baat karne ko kaha hai. Kal Blue-Star mein milkar wahin baat karenge."

 

"Baat kya hai? Meri kuchh help chaahiye ho to kya main bhi chalu kya?"

"Tujhe to chalna hi padega..."

"Kya matlab?"

"Baat tujhse hi related hai, to tujhe to chalna hi padega na..." Atul informed.

"K-kya?" Armaan asked, even though he had an idea what could it be. "Hmm..." he nodded.

 

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Hi Friends... I know i am late, but here is Episode 71. I am sure you must have been pleased to read atleast some AR scene in this one. I can see that morche-baazi bhi chalu hai, Morcha-Gang ki. I havent even updated one episode and 8 pages have already been killed. All thanks to the Morcha-Girls *sigh*...LOL I guess this cools you all a little...

Next Episode will bring something big for you all. Till then enjoy this light episode.
 
Thanks to all my silent readers, who pressed Like button for the previous episode.
 
Please comment after reading to tell me how was it and let me know if there has been any mistake. Like button pe click kar dena agar ho sake to...
 
 
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Edited by Wild.Aimee - 02 May 2010 at 11:07am

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Posted: 16 April 2010 at 5:05pm | IP Logged

Episode 71 - Thread 4 - Page 1 - http://india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=1379093&PID=29390320&#29390320

 

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EPISODE SEVENTY-TWO

 

"Main bhi wohi soch raha hu..." Atul agreed glumly. He observed Armaan's lost and worried face and knew that its the time when they should go for the kill. Hiding from Armaan's eyes, he messaged something to Rahul. A minute later his phone rang. He spoke to the person on the line, "Hello... haan bol... KYA? K-kab?... Kaise?... K-kaun?... Oh... ye to bhot chinta ki baat hai... achchha theek hai, kal milke sochte hain ki kya karna hai is baare mein... theek hai... Bye..." Atul closed the call looking extremely worried.

 

Armaan noticed the worried look and asked, "Kya hua Bhai? Tu achanak preshaan lag raha hai. Is everything alright? Kiska phone tha?"

Atul nodded in no, "Nahi... Rahul ka phone tha. Wo... ek aur problem ho gayi hai. Maine use kal milke baat karne ko kaha hai. Kal Blue-Star mein milkar wahin baat karenge."

 

"Baat kya hai? Meri kuchh help chaahiye ho to main bhi chalu kya?"

"Tujhe to chalna hi padega..."

"Kya matlab?"

"Baat tujhse hi related hai, to tujhe to chalna hi padega na..." Atul informed.

"K-kya?" Armaan asked, even though he had an idea what could it be. "Hmm..." he nodded.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

In the night, once again, Armaan couldnt sleep. Whole night he kept thinking about Riddhima and this problem. The matter was getting more serious now. He has received another envelop two days ago with some more pictures. This time it was sent to his home, but luckily before anyone else could see, his eyes fell on it.

 

He informed Rahul to stay alert fearing that the blackmailer might send some more pictures to his place as well. He also instructed his guards and Mail help-desk to send all the mails directly to his office instead of sending them to Riddhima. Everyday, as soon he reaches office, the first thing he would do was to check the mail for any more suspicious envelops.

 

Today when Rahul called Atul, he knew that something has happened once again. He didnt know what exactly, but Atul's face told the whole story that things were getting out of hand at Rahul's end as well. He didnt know what was coming his way and his night passed trying to prepare himself for the worst.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Even though it was a Saturday next day, he had an early morning meeting, so he went straight to that. Atul had asked him to come over to Blue-Star Restaurant after his meeting was over. He agreed. He could barely concentrate on the meeting that day, but somehow he finished his work and left for Blue-Star restaurant.

 

In the meanwhile, Atul-Anjali and Rahul-Muskaan, all of them reached the restaurant and discussed how to coax Armaan further. For the last one week, they have been using ways to make him mentally weak on this front, so that they can take advantage of his state and convince him to admit his feelings or atleast agree to marry Riddhima. Today was the day when finally they were going to ask Armaan to Marry Riddhima. As per their plan, the four rehearsed their dialogues and waited for Armaan.

 

Armaan reached just before the lunch-time. He was surprised to see that Anjali and Muskan were also there, coz he thought it will be only Atul and Rahul.

"Bhabhi? Muskaan? Aap dono yahaan?" He asked in surprise as he joined them.

"Kyun? Kya hum yahaan nahi aa sakte?" Anjali questioned back.

 

"Nahi aisi baat nahi hai... " he sat on the chair in front.

"To kaisi baat hai Armaan?" Muskaan butted in.

Armaan was taken aback at their cold tone. Why are they talking like this? "Wo... err, actually... Its just I wasnt expecting you both. Mujhe laga ki sirf Bhai aur Rahul honge yahaan."

 

"Even we didnt expect you to do something like that..." Muskaan mumbled.

His head shot up, Do they know? "Kya?"

"Tum achchhi tarah se jaante ho 'kya'?" Anjali added curtly.

Armaan glanced at Atul and Rahul who sat there quietly with glum faces looking down.

 

"Unki taraf kya dekh rahe ho Armaan, hum bhi sab jaante hain." Muskaan said coldly.

"Tum... tum dono bhi... j-jaante ho?" he uttered devastatingly.

"Haan, hum dono bhi jaante hain un envelops ke baare mein..." Anjali added confirming his fear. Armaan once again looked towards Atul as if asking 'how'?

 

Rahul spoke this time, "Darasal Armaan, do din pehle mujhe ek aur envelop ghar pe bheja gaya tha, bilkul pehle jaisa hi. Main ghar pe nahi tha us waqt to Muskaan ne hi receive kiya..."

"Haan, aur jab maine wo khola to..." Muskaan added, "Ye sab kya hai Armaan? Maine tumse ye sab expect nahi kiya tha. I mean tum aur Riddhima... aise..." she made a face.

 

"Muskaan, aisa kuchh nahi hai, jaisa tum soch rahi ho. Wo to bas..." Armaan interrupted.

"Wo to bas kya Armaan?" Anjali said, "Wo to bas kya? Un pictures ko dekh ke koi bewakuf bhi yehi kahega ki kuchh to hai tum dono ke beech, aur tum kah rahe ho ki aisa kuchh nahi hai..."

"Bhabhi, mera vishwaas karo, maine aisa kuchh nahi kiya jis se Riddhima, uske parivaar ya phir humaare parivaar ki izaat pe koi ungali (finger) uthaaye..." Armaan spoke desperately.

 

"Lekin wo pictures dekh ke to aise nahi lagta..." Anjali accused again.

"Bhabhi... ahh..." Armaan became really tensed now. He was being questioned by his own family. He knew that they were not actually accusing him, and just trying to make him understand how serious this matter is. But the point was that he already knows... and has decided to do anything and everything to sort this problem. He looked at Atul for help.

 

Before Atul could say anything, Rahul who was feeling bad for putting Armaan in such position, decided to support him, "Anjali..." Anjali looked towards him, "Wo theek kah raha hai. Use is baare mein kuchh nahi pata tha. Humne tumhe bataya na ki ye sab koi aur kar raha hai. Shaayad Armaan ka koi business rival, jo uski image ko kharaab karna chaahta hai..."

 

"Haan Rahul, lekin in pictures mein kuchh to sachchaayi hogi. Agar kisi ne ye pictures ise blackmail karne ke liye hain, tab bhi, jo kuchh bhi unmein dikh raha hai, wo samajhne ke liye kisi special interpreter ki zaroorat nahi hai. Koi nadaan bhi asaani se samajh sakta hai. Koi to baat hogi na iske peeche..." Muskaan argued.

 

"Mus..." Rahul wanted to say something, but Atul interrupted.

"Guys... guys, stop... Hum yahaan ye behas karne nahi, is problem ka solution nikaalne ke liye aaye hain. So, can we please concentrate on that." All others fell silent. Atul turned to Rahul and asked, "Haan, to Rahul, kal tune mujhe phone pe bataya ki kuchh nayi problem ho gayi hai... Could you please elaborate now?"

 

"Haan... wo actually..." Rahul hesitated, "Wo... ah..."

Muskaan sensed Rahul's hesitation. Even though Rahul has agreed on the plan, but he was never very happy with the idea of pushing Armaan into the guilt-pit. But they needed to so what was required. So before he ruins everything, she decided to tke over. "Main bataati hu..."

 

"Tum?" Atul raised his brow.

"Haan..." She replied. "Actually, maine hi Rahul ko kaha tha ki tumhe phone kare. Jo bhi problem hui, wo mere saamne hi hui thi..."

"Oh... To kya problem hui hai batao..." Atul said.

 

"Parso (day before yesterday) shaam ko main aur Mummyji jab walk ke liye beach pe gaye the, to wahaan maine kuchh logon ko Armaan aur Riddhima ke is 'so-called-affair' ke baare mein gossip karte hue suna. Mere to hosh ud gaye the. Maine wo pictures dekhi thi, lekin ye nahi jaanti thi ki ye baat sirf pictures tak limited nahi rah gayi hai..." she informed.

 

Armaan obviously looked horrified while other too pretended to be shocked. To add to his misery, Anjali decided to hit the nail further, "Tumne bhi suna?" she asked Muskaan, then looking worried she continued, "Aur maine bhi. Main jab Women's club ki party mein gayi thi, to wahaan maine bhi kuchh aurton ko aisi hi kuchh baatein karte hue suna... Pahle to mujhe vishwaas hi nahi hua, par phir kal raat maine wo pictures Atul ke drawer mein dekhe, tab mujhe samajh aya ki kuchh na kuchh to chal raha hai. Isliye to main yahaan aayi hu aaj."

 

Rahul, Mukaan, Atul and Anjali, all of them looked towards Armaan, who was looking down with guilty face. Even though he didnt do anything, the fact that Riddhima's was being victimised of this baseless gossip, bothered him to the core. He was very disturbed and ashamed of being the reason for ruining her image. Her relationship with her boyfriend is definitely going to get into trouble because of this stupid rumor.

 

"Armaan..." Rahul kept a hand over his shoulder making him look up.

When Armaan looked up, the other four were astonished to see his eyes wet. They never meant to hurt him so much to make him cry. All felt bad for making him feel guilty of no fault. However, they decided to carry on, as the stubborn needed to get some sense knocked.

 

"Sorry..." Armaan mumbled wiping his eyes looking away.

"We are also sorry Armaan, humein tumhe aise..." Rahul apologized.

Muskaan interrupted him when she realized what Rahul was going to do, "Humein tumpe aise ilzaam nahi lagana chaahiye tha..."

 

Rahul glared at Muskaan for cutting him, but ignoring him Mukaan winked at Anjali to continue, unaffected by her husband's glares.

"Haan, humara maksad tumhe hurt karna nahi tha. Hum to bas is baat se pareshaan the, ki agar ghar pe dusro ko ye baat pata chali to kya hoga..."

 

As soon as Armaan heard the word 'ghar' he jerked up, "Muskaan kahin ye sab Aunty ne to..."

Muskaan understood his question, "Nahi... Luckily, unhone kuchh nahi suna. Wo Yash ke saath khelne mein busy thi aur mein ek jagah baithi hui thi, jab maine ye sab suna." She lied.

"Thank god..." Armaan mumbled sighing with relief.

 

"Haan, lekin ab humein iska koi solution nikaalna hoga. Ye baat haath se nikalti jaa rahi hai, aur aise hi chalta raha, to jaldi hi ghar ke baaki sab logon ko bhi pata chal jaayegi. Phir pata nahi kya hoga? Aakhir kab tak hum unse ye sab chhupaate rahenge?" Atul suggested.

"Bilkul... Kuchh na kuchh to karna hi padega..." Anjali added.

 

"Mujhe to Riddhima ki chinta hai. Pata nahi wo bechaari kaise in saare be-buniyaad ilzaamo ko sahegi..." Muskaan added morosely.

Armaan looked at her piteous face. This is what he has been worried about the most. How would Riddhima handle this? How will she react to all these hideous comments?

 

Anjali-Atul, Rahul-Muskaan and Armaan, all of them sat in silence for the next 10 minutes. Except Armaan, all others were purposely silent to add more drama to the already dramatic environment. They kept signaling each other things about their next move, observing Armaan's every little movement.

 

Armaan on the other hand sat there looking down, silently thinking about everything. But his brain has really been jammed with pain and guilt. What will happen now? This rumor was all over the city. And its quite possible that Riddhima's boyfriend has either already heard that and if not, he will come to know about it very soon.

 

"Meri to kuchh samajh mein nahi aa raha ki ab kya karein..." Atul initiated after a while.

"Lekin maine soch liya hai, ki hum kya kar sakte hain..." As Armaan spoke, all head turned to him. He continued, "Humein Riddhima ki shaadi karwa deni chaahiye..."

"WHAT?" Muskaan, Anjali, Atul spoke in unison while Rahul gaped at him in shock.

 

"Haan... agar Riddhima ko koi aitraaz na ho to, humein uski shaadi karwa deni chaahiye..." he repeated while others blinked with surprise.

A minute later, Atul added, smiling widely, "To iska matlab tujhe ismein koi aitraaz nahi?"

"Bhai, mujhe ismein kyun koi aitraaz hoga? Bas Riddhima ki marzi jaanni hai..." Armaan said.

 

"To kya hum apne ghar pe sabse baat karein?" Anjali asked excitedly.

Armaan looked at her strangely, "Bhabhi, aap kyun ghar pe baat karogi, baat to Rahul aur Muskaan ko karni chaahiye. Aakhir ye Riddhima ki shaadi ki baare mein hai na. Rahi baat uske boyfriend ki, to agar zaroorat padi to main us se khud baat karunga..."

 

"Kya? Riddhima ka boyfriend?" Rahul looked at him confused, Muskaan slapped her head, Atul made a stupid face, while Anjali rolled her eyes. The shock on their faces earlied wasn't the part of their act; it was the real expression as they weren't expecting that Armaan will agree to marrying Riddhima so soon. Obviously, earlier they thought that Armaan have agreed to marry Riddhima at his own, but no... he was still living in his stupid illusion. Riddhima's boyfriend? Huh, idiot...

 

"Haan, uska boyfriend..." Armaan said as-a-matter-of-factly.

"Ismein Riddhima ka boyfriend kahaan se aya?" Rahul was still confused. He hadnt registered the fact that Armaan still didnt know that Riddhima's boyfriend is none other than Vaibhav. Muskaan glared at him for his slow processing speed, however his brain was too occupied to understand her gestures.

 

Armaan interpreted his confused state thinking that maybe Rahul doesnt know anything about Riddhima's boyfriend, "Haan, tujhe nahi pata is baare mein?" Rahul nodded lamely still dazed. Armaan continued, "Oh..." he decided to defend her, "Shayad Riddhima ne is darr se tumhe nahi bataya ki pata nahi tum log kaise react karoge..."

"Haan aur tujhe bata diya..." Atul muttered sarcastically, that Armaan could hear.

 

"Bhai..." Armaan signaled him to keep quite, "Rahul... Actually, usne mujhe bhi nahi bataya. By-chance ek din maine use apne boyfriend se phone pe baat karte hue sun liya tha, tabhi mujhe bhi pata chala..." he placed his hand over Rahul's who blinked back stupidly, "Its ok Rahul. I am sure wo ladka jo koi bhi hai, wo is baat ko samajh jaayega. Main khud use samjhaaunga. Aur phir kaun bewakuf Riddhima jaisi ladki se shaadi karne ko na kahega..."

 

"Tu... aur kaun..." Atul mumbled again, but this time Armaan couldnt hear.

Muskaan looked horrified now. Their plan was about to go into depression. None of them have actually thought of this possibility. This was definitely a surprise. If things got out of hand, where will they get this 'boyfriend' of Riddhima? They really need to do something ASAP, else Armaan Malik will hang them all to death. What should they do?

 

Atul saw everyone going numb. None of them were even moving but just staring at Armaan. Even his own brain seems to have jammed, Atul scratched his head to find a solution, and then out of the blue words came out of his mouth, "Lekin uska to breakup ho gaya..."

"KYA?" Armaan turned to him in surprise. Others too looked at Atul, equally surprised, waiting for how was he going to handle this now.

 

Atul gulped as he realized what he has done. But he could take his words back now. This has to be taken futher. He needed to amend his mistake before everything falls apart, "H-haan... uska to breakup ho gaya..." he repeated.

"Ye kab hua?" Rahul questioned rubbing his chin.

"Rahul..." Muskaan slapped him signaling him to keep quite.

"Haan, ye kab hua, aur tujhe ye sab kaise pata Bhai?" Armaan asked.

 

Atul glanced helplessly towards Muskaan and Anjali for help.

Muskaan's wicked brain has already started working how to make this work. Before he could say something, she butted in, "Use maine bataya..." Obviously heads turned to her as they waited for Muskaan to continue further.

"Tune?" Armaan squinted.

 

"Haan, maine bataya. A-aur Anjie ko bhi bataya tha..." she nudged Anjali, "Hai na Anjie?"

"Huh?" Anjali jerked, and nodded vigorously, "Haan, bataya tha, mujhe isne..." Armaan thought may be she is going to reveal the story now, so he kept staring at her. Anjali didnt know what to say, so she nudged Muskaan again, "Muskaan... yaar baaki ki baat bhi to bata ki aur kya-kya bataya tha tune mujhe..."

 

Rahul smiled inwardly looking at Muskaan, knowing his wife, he was aware that she will come up with a perfect story. She was a master in such drama.

Muskaan glared at Anjali for pushing her into this trouble, but then continued, "Bataati hu..." she took a deep breath and started, "Actually, ek hafta ho gaya hai ab to is baat ko. Err... I mean, Riddhima ne hi mujhe bataya tha ki uska boyfriend bhot ajeeb si harkatein kar raha tha pichle kuchh dino se. Aur achaanak usne kaha ki wo breakup karna chaahta hai..."

 

"Ohh..." Armaan looked down, "Kahin ye meri wajah se to nahi hua?" he asked.

"Teri wajah se kyun?" Atul asked.

"Ye sab rumors and all. I mean, ho sakta hai ki usne bhi ye sab baatein suni ho aur isliye usne..." Armaan trailed thoughtfully.

 

"Arey nahi yaar aisa kuchh nahi hai..." Muskaan replied casually. Armaan again looked up at her hearing her cusual tone. When she saw him staring at her perplexed, she added, "Mera matlab, unka breakup to hona hi tha. Wo ladka hai hi bhot ajeeb. Baby ko bhi wo bewakuf hi mila tha poori duniya mein apna boyfriend banaane ke liye..." She made a face while Anjali glared at her for calling her son 'Ajeeb and Bewakuf'. If Riddhima has a boyfriend, that's only Vaibhav. Muskaan made a puppy face and signaled her to play along, so she kept quite. Muskaan continued carefully, "Wo... Riddhima se uska kaafi dino se jhagda chal raha tha'"

 

"Lekin maine to Riddhima ko humesha hi apne boyfriend se haste hue baat karte hue hi dekha hai. Phir ye sab..." he looked confused.

"Arey, Baby to apne dushmano se bhi hanske baat karti hai, phir ye to uska boyfriend hai, I mean 'tha'..." she stressed, "Lekin un dono ka to pichle kayi hafton se aise hi chal raha tha... On and Off... you know what I mean..." Muskaan shrugged.

 

"Hmm..." Armaan looked convinced this time. Other sighed with relief, but it was a little quick reaction as his next words made them grouch inwardly once again. Armaan said, "Koi baat nahi, atleast Riddhima to ab bhi use pasand karti hai na. Main baat karunga us ladke se, use samjhaaunga ki Riddhima se behtar ladki use nahi milegi... after all humaare liye to uski khushi hi sabse jyada maayne rakhti hai. Uske liye hum itna to kar hi sakte hain."

 

Atul almost chocked at his suggestion, "Tu? Tu baat karega us se?"

Before Armaan could say something, Muskaan butted again, "Nahi Armaan, tum aisa kuchh nahi karoge. Kyunki hum nahi chaahte ki Riddhima ki shaadi us ladke se ho..."

 

"Lekin kyun?" He questioned. "Pahle mujhe thoda ajeeb laga tha ye jaanke ki tum logon ko uske relationship ke baare mein kuchh nahi pata. Par phir mujhe doubt hua ki shaayad isi darr se Riddhima kabhi khul ke apne boyfriend ke baare mein baat nahi karti, ki tum log use support nahi karoge... And I can see that maybe her fear was right." he pointed towards them defending Riddhima, "Agar Riddhima ki khushi us ladke ke saath hai, to tum logon ko is shaadi se inkaar kyun hai? Ismein harj hi kya hai?"

 

"Kyunki wo ladka Riddhima ke laayak nahi hai." Muskaan replied. Armaan just gaped at her, "Mana ki wo apne boyfriend ke baare mein jyada baat nahi karti, par wo mujhse kabhi kuchh nahi chhupaati. Riddhima ko maine kayi baar pareshaan dekha tha pehle bhi. Dus (10) din pehle jab uska breakup hua, to baaton-baaton mein usne mujhe bataya ki uska boyfriend humesha us se ajeeb sa behave karta hai. Use kayi baar alag-alag tareekon se pareshaan bhi karta tha. Isliye wo aksar pareshaan rahti thi..."

 

"Par, maine to use kabhi pareshaan nahi dekha..." Armaan laid another fact.

Muskaan groaned inwardly. He has all questions ready on the tip of his mouth. Why don't he just agree to marry her? Rolling her eyes, she said, "Baby aise hi hai. Wo kisi ko pata nahi chalne deti ki wo pareshaan hai. Aur professional environment mein to bilkul bhi nahi. She prefer to keep her personal and personal life separate..."

"Hmm..." Armaan shook dazely. This could be true.

 

Muskaan continued, "Aur maan lo ki ek baar tumhaare kahne pe wo ladka maan bhi jaaye shaadi le liye, lekin iski kya guarantee hai ki wo Riddhima ko humesha khush hi rakhega? Zara socho Armaan, jo ladka shaadi se pehle hi use itna pareshaan karta hai, uski kadr (value) nahi karta, uspe vishvaas nahi karta, use itna pareshaan karta hai, wo shaadi ke baad kya uska khayaal rakhega?" she made a dramatically sentimental face.

 

Rahul glanced at his lovely-smart wife proudly, while Atul stared in amazement at her smart reasoning. Anjali mentally patted her for coming up with such a great excuse.

"Haan, mujhe bhi lagta hai ki Riddhima deserves better than that moron, whoever he is... Achchha hi hua ki uska us ladke ke saath breakup ho gaya..." Atul said making a face.

 

"Bhai, its not about who that guy is and what is he, its about Riddhima. Its about her feelings towards him..." he paused for a moment and then continued looking in space, "Sachcha pyaar karne waale apne partner ko waise hi sweekaar karte hain, jaise wo hai. Wo use uski buraaiyon ke saath accept karte hain, naaki sirf uski achchhi-achchhi baaton ke liye. Aur jitna main Riddhima ko samajh paya hu, us hisaab se main guarantee se kah sakta hu ki wo agar is ladke se pyaar karti hai to wo use uski buraaiyon ke saath pasand karti hai. Riddhima un ladkiyon mein se nahi hai jo sirf baahri beauty ya phir materialistic cheezon ke peeche bhaagti ho. She is different..." he finished still thinking about Riddhima.

 

Atul, Rahul, Anjali and Muskaan, listen to his every word attentively. They all smiled glancing at each other. They were now sure that their decision to bring Armaan-Riddhima together is absolutely right. Rahul was happy to know that how much Armaan respects Riddhima, Muskaan and Anjali felt relaxed while Atul was happy to see that even though unintentionally, for the first time, Armaan has expressed his feelings towards Riddhima in front of other people than only him.

 

This time, Anjali broke the silence, "Jo tum kah rahe ho wo bhi theek hai Armaan. Lekin how can you be so sure that Riddhima loves that guy? Maybe its just an infatuation... some kind of timely attraction..." she shrugged.

"Kya matlab?" Armaan asked.

 

"Main batata hu..." this time Rahul spoke, "Riddhima humse kabhi kuchh nahi chhupaati, especially Muskaan se. Agar wo us ladke ko sachmein pyaar karti, to kya wo kabhi Muski se is baat ka zikr (discuss) nahi karti? Tum yehi kahna chaahti thi na Anjali?" Anjali nodded.

 

Armaan looked at him thoughtfully. "Tum kahna kya chaahte ho?"

"Armaan, Rahul ka kahne ka matlab hai, ki mana wo ladka Riddhima ka boyfriend hai. Par kya tumhe lagta hai ki use ye maalum bhi hai ki boyfriend ka matlab kya hota hai?" Anjali said.

"Bhabhi, please keep your puzzles aside. Main pehle hi bhot confused hu..." Armaan groaned.

 

"Achchha theek hai. Tu agar kahta hai hum straight point pe aate hain." Muskaan took over now, "Dekh Armaan, Riddhima ko sabse jyada agar koi jaanta hai to wo ya to Rahul hai ya main. Aur main ye yakeen se kah sakti hu ke wo us ladke ki dost zaroor hai, lekin wo use, us tareeke se pyaar nahi karti... I mean it's not pyaar-wala-pyaar, but its dosti-wala-pyaar. Us buddhu ko to ye bhi nahi pata ki pyaar hota kya hai... Aur FYI, let me tell you ki ek baar maine jab us se puchha ki kya tu us ladke se pyaar karti hai, to usne saaf-saaf kaha, ki Bhabhi mujhe wo ladka achchha lagta hai, lekin pyaar kya hota hai mujhe nahi malum..." she added the last bit lying expertly.

 

"Arey abhi to Rahul ne kaha ki Riddhima ne tumse is baare mein kabhi zikr nahi kiya, ab tum kah rahi ho ki tumne us se is baare mein puchha ki kya wo us ladke se pyaar karti hai ya nahi... yaar, ye sab kya bol rahe tum log? Meri to kuchh samajh mein nahi aa raha..." Armaan was getting all jumbled up.

 

"Offo..." Muskaan slapped her head. How many questions will he ask? She thought. They both are same on this... Riddhima as well as Armaan... Question-bugs... arghh, "Arey, uska matlab pyaar ki baat se tha. Riddhima ne kabhi mujhse is baat ka zikr nahi kiya ki wo us ladke se pyaar karti hai... Us ladke ke baare mein baaki sab wo mujhse dicuss karti hai. Aur tujhe iski baat badi samajh mein aa rahi hai..." she pointed towards Rahul, "...main jo bol rahi hu, wo sun bhi raha hai tujhe? Maine tujhe ye bhi to bataya na, ki wo mujhse kabhi kuchh nahi chhupaati."

 

"Oh..." he looked a little convinced, "Lekin Muskaan, ye bhi to ho sakta hai na ki use khud hi na pata ho ki wo use pyaar karti hai..." Armaan argued again.

"Haan, jaise tujhe nahi pata..." Atul mumbled again while Anjali smirked under her breath.

"Kuchh kaha tune Bhai?" Armaan squinted.

"Nahi to..." Atul replied blankly. Tunring his attention towards Muskaan he asked, "Haan to kya kah rahi thi tum Muskaan?"

 

Muskaan continued in a little sarcastic and complaining tone, "Armaan, ab is pyaar waale issue pe to tum humse argue na hi karo to achchha hai. Sorry to say this, lekin tumhe khud bhi is Pyaar naam ki feeling ka koi experience nahi hai. Jabki hum sab..." she pointed towards herself and other three, "...yahaan is department mein tumse kaafi jyada senior aur experienced hain... Hum tumse jyada pyaar ko pahchaante hain..."

Armaan looked down embarrassed, "Uhh... Sorry."

 

"Ismein embarrass hone ki koi baat nahi hai Armaan. Main to bas ye kahna chaahti hu, ki agar Riddhima us ladke se pyaar karti to wo pyaar humein uski baaton ya phir uski aankhon mein thoda to mahsus hota..." He looked up again as she started again. "Sach to ye hai, ki wo hardly kabhi us ladke ke baare mein baat karti hai. Aur jab karti bhi hai, to bhot hi casually baat karti hai, as if he is just another guy. Jab hum kisi se pyaar karte hain, kisi ko pasand karte hain, to aksar humaari baaton mein directly ya indirectly uska zikr zaroor hota hai... iska matlab Riddhima ki baaton mein bhi hona chaahoye. Wo aisi ladkiyon mein se hai, jo jinhe pyaar karti hai, unke baare mein baat kiye bagair rah hi nahi sakti..."

 

Armaan looked at the glass on his table while listening to her every word carefully. He knew that this is absolutely right about Riddhima. She loves her family like he does his. Even he has noticed it that she cant live without talking about her family. Most of her yapping includes them. Muskaan is indeed right on this, there is no doubt that she is certainly a girl who can never stop talking about those whom she loves.

 

Muskaan continued, "Lekin uske saath aisa kuchh nahi hai. Uski baaton mein hardly kabhi us ladke ka zikr hota hai. Wo uske baare mein sirf tab baat karti hai, jab main us se kuchh puchhti hu. Aur maine observe kiya hai ki wo to us ladke ke baare mein ek casual friend ki tarah baat karti hai... bas. Nothing more, nothing less. What do you say Anjali?"

 

"I agree... Muskaan is absolutely right." Anjali said, "Aur Muskaan aur Rahul ko chhodo, Riddhima to kabhi bhi Atul se bhi kuchh nahi chhupati. In fact wo to itni bholi hai, ki jaane-anjaane mein mere saamne bhi sab kuchh bol deti hai. Aur hum mein se kisi ne bhi aaj tak uski kisi baat mein us 'dusre' ladke ka kabhi naam nahi suna..."

"Correct..." Atul agreed.

 

Armaan glanced at all the four one-by-one. They all wore the same convincing expression with a slight smile playing on their lips. He sighed, "Theek hai, mana ki jo tum log kah rahe ho, wo sab sahi hai. Tum log us ladke ko aur unke relationship ke baare mein mujhse jyada jaante ho. Tum sab theek hi kah rahe hoge... Lekin shayad tum bhul gaye ki hum yahaan ek serious problem dicuss karne aaye the, naaki Riddhima kise pyaar karti hai aur kise nahi ye discuss karne..."

 

"Well, hum to wohi discuss kar rahe the, tune hi ye baat uthaayi. To humne socha ki tere dimaag ko thoda sterilize kar dein... Pata nahi kya uut-pataang sochta rahta ha tu..." Atul commented.

"Bhai, be serious..." Armaan glared, Atul made a straight face, "...aur mujhe lagta hai ki ye sab khud decide karne se pehle achchha hoga ki tum log Riddhima se bhi puchh lo ki wo kya chaahti hai. Wo kise pasand karti hai, aur kis se shaadi karna chaahti hai... Ye uski zindagi ka sawaal hai, tum sabko nahi lagta ki uske dil ki baat bhi jaanni zaroori hai..." he asked again.

 

"Arey bataya na abhi to..." Muskaan butted in, "...maine puchha tha us se, wo us ladke se shaadi nahi karna chaahti ab..."

"Kya? Usne khud aise kaha?" Armaan questioned.

 

"H-haan, aur nahi to kya? After all uska break-up ho gaya hai. Aur phir wo use pyaar bhi to nahi karti. Waise bhi Riddhima ki bhi kuchh self-respect hai, wo kyun aise ladke se shaadi karegi jo uski value hi nahi samajhta, uski respect nahi karta, aur uski family ki bhi parwaah nahi karta..." Muskaan added vividly.

 

"Hmm..." Armaan nodded, "Par ab kya karein? Agar ye solution nahi to ab kya?"

"Well, mere paas ek solution hai..." Anjali said.

"Kya?" he asked eagerly.

"Well, itna to humein bhi samajh aa gaya hai, ki agar is baat ka koi ilaaj hai, to wo sirf aur sirf shaadi hai..." Anjali said.

 

"Lekin Bhabhi, agar Riddhima ki shaadi uske boyfriend se nahi ho sakti, to ye solution to useless ho gaya na... humein kuchh aur sochna padega..." Armaan replied.

"Nahi, shaadi ke alawa aur koi ilaaz nahi hai is problem ka. Aur tumhaari baat sunke mujhe kuchh sujha hai, ekdum full-proof. Agar humne waisa hi kiya to, I am sure it will be more than enough to shut people's mouth. Sab kuchh automatically theek ho jaayega." She replied.

 

"To kya baat hai, jaldi batao na Bhabhi..." Armaan asked curiously.

She glanced at Atul then again at Armaan, "Armaan, solution to hai... lekin..." she paused.

"Lekin kya Bhabhi? Bolo na?"

"Solution to hai, lekin usmein humein kuchh nahi karna, jo karna hai... wo tumhe karna hoga." she added carefully.

 

"Bhabhi, Riddhima ko is problem se bachaane ke liye main kuchh bhi karne ko tayyar hu. After all ye sab meri wajah se ho raha hai... meri wajah se ho aaj uski reputation kharaab ho rahi hai. Ab mera farz hai ki main hi is problem ko solve karu." he asserted. He has already decided that he would do anything to save her from any sort of humiliation.

 

"Soch lo Armaan, kahin baad mein mukar mat jana apni baat se..." Muskaan raised her brow.

"Soch liya Muskaan. You know me, I am not the one to back off from my words. Ab jo bhi hoga, dekha jaayega..." he was determined

"Theek hai..." Anjali said, "But promise me that you wont freak-out..."

"Bhabhi... aap bas kaho ki mujhe kya karna hai..." he blinked assuringly.

 

"You have to Marry Riddhima..." Anjali said hurriedly.

"Ok, I will do that..." Armaan replied hastily. The four gaped at his reply as if they have seen a ghost. They still were not sure that Armaan will agree. They were expecting more discussion over it. When none of them said anything, Armaan observed the strange and shocked look on their faces. "What?" he shrugged.

 

"You mean... ahem... you WILL marry her? I mean for real...?" Atul asked.

"Of co..." Armaan was about to say of course, but then stopped as soon as he realized what he has uttered. He jerked up standing from his chair throwing it backward, "WHAT?"

The four gawked at him getting confused now. First he agrees then he react as if they have asked him to jump down from the Everest.

 

Atul understood that as usual, Armaan has said yes in hurry, without actually hearing Anjali's suggestion. He asked, "Haan, iska matlab tune Riddhima se shaadi karne ko tayyar hai..."

"Bhai, stop it. I asked you not to start it again." Armaan replied peeved.

"Lekin Armaan, that's what Anjali asked..." Atul shrugged.

 

Armaan looked at Anjali, who too nodded in agreement. He looked back at Atul and then again at Anjali, "No... no-no-no... tum logon ka dimaag kharaab ho gaya hai kya? How can I... I mean..." he trailed running his palm through his hair frustratingly.

"Kyun Armaan, kya tum Riddhima ko is laayak nahi samjhte?" Muskaan asked annoyed.

 

Armaan turned to her, then after a brief pause, he sat back, "Nahi Muskaan aisi baat nahi hai..."

"To kaisi baat hai Armaan?" Anjali got furious.

"Rahne de Muskaan, Anjali... Agar wo Riddhima se shaadi nahi karna chaahta to theek hai. Hum use force nahi kar sakte... after all, ye uski bhi zindagi ka sawaal hai. Aur phir wo humara boss jo hai..." Rahul too jumped into the emotional drama.

 

"Rahul, yaar aisa mat bol. Tu jaanta hai na ki mujhe is baat se koi fark nahi padta. Aur maine kabhi tujhe ya Riddhima ko apna employee nahi mana..." Armaan said dreadfully, "...main to bas ye kahna chaahta hu, ki... ki she likes someone else. She deserves the one who loves her back, the one who is best for her. Aur mujhe nahi maalum ke main use khush rakh bhi paaunga ya nahi. I have never been good with such relationships..." he added the last bit painfully.

 

All four looked at his morose face. They knew what he means. They wanted him to come out of that shell, and the only way to do so was to make him marry Riddhima. After all, he loves her. Also Riddhima is the only one who could convince him that he is not a failure with relationships, but the other parties who hurt him were the actual losers. They knew that he is not ready to listen to anything and is just interested in running away from his own feelings coz of this complex he has developed due to his past. And its time to shake him out of it.

 

Ignoring his pain, Muskaan decided to push further, "Ye sab bahaane hain Armaan. Tu chaahe kuchh bhi kahe, result to yehi hai na, ki tu shaadi se mana kar raha hai." Muskaan made a face, "Tu chaahe ya na chaahe, Riddhima ka naam tujhse jud chukka hai. Log to uspe hi ungali uthaayenge na, aakhir sahna to ladkiyon ko hi padta hai jyada. Phir agar wo ladki kisi chhote parivaar se ho, to log aur bhi jeena mushkil kar dete hain uska."

 

Hearing Muskaan's words, all those words he heard from those gossipers about Riddhima, once again rang in his ear. Their accusations, their hateful comments, their evil laughter, their cheap thoughts about Riddhima's character, all of it. He visualized people commenting fouls about Riddhima and her innocent face drenched in tears, which further made him furious and guilty.

 

Muskaan observed the play of emotions on his face and knew that he is finally falling into their trap, under their control. She continued, "Aur ab jab tere aur Riddhima ke baare mein itne saare log baatein karne lage hain, uski to poori zindagi kharaab ho jaayegi. Ab kaun karega us se shaadi?" she completed the last one tearfully sobbing like a typical daily-soup drama queen.

 

Armaan glanced at her tearful face and then at Rahul's, who was looking equally glum. He thought about every word they have said. His mind wandered around Riddhima once again. Her tear-smeared face flashed again leaving his heart aching. He finally came to a firm decision. If this is what he has to do to save her from any shame or humiliation, then he would do it. "Main Karunga us se shaadi..."

 

Atul turned to him to make sure he has heard it right. This time, Armaan's expression told him that it wasnt a hasty reply, but it was a decision he took with a completely resolute heart. The determination on his face was the evidence that he has finally decided and would not back off from it at any cost. He has agreed to MARRY Riddhima.

 

"Sach?" Anjali asked.

"Haan Bhabhi. Main karunga Riddhima se shaadi..." he reiterated. The four of them squealed happily hugging each other. But stopped when they heard him again, "Lekin meri ek shart hai..."

"Shart? Kaisi shart?" Rahul asked worriedly.

 

"Main Riddhima se tabhi shaadi karunga, agar humaari families bhi iski izaazat de-de. Unki permission ke bina main ye shaadi nahi karunga. Aur ye jo kuchh bhi hua hai, ye problem wageraah... main chaahta hu ki ye sab bhi humaari families se na chhupaya jaaye..."

"Lekin Armaan, ye sab unhe bataane ki kya zaroorat hai. Wo log bekaar mein pareshaan ho jaayenge..." Muskaan added.

 

"Zaroorat hai Muskaan. Zara socho, agar kal ko unhe kahin aur se ye baatein pata chali to kya hoga? Kya unhe nahi lagega ki hum unse itni sensitive baatein chhupaate hain? Phir dusre log humesha badha-chadha kar sab bataate hain. And I dont want any misunderstandings on this issue in future. Humaare bade humpe itna bharosa karte hain, to humara bhi ye farz banta hai ki hum unhe wo sab bataaye, jis se humaare parivaar ka kuchh bhi relation ho..."

 

Muskaan was about to retort, but Rahul helf her hand to stop and replied "Theek hai Armaan, humein manzoor hai..." As others gaped at him, he blinked assuringly towards others as well indicating that they will take care of it later.

"Ek baat aur..." Armaan said again.

 

"Ab aur kya chaahiye tujhe?" Anjali groaned.

"Tum log pehle is baare mein Riddhima se bhi puchh lo. I dont want her to marry me forcefully. Agar wo apni marzi se ye shaadi karne ko tayyar hoti hai to mujhe bhi koi aitraaz nahi. But I dont want any of you to force her using any of your tactics..." he warned.

 

Rahul looked at his determined face. Today he felt really proud of his choice for his sister. Armaan was a true gentle man. He smiled, "Dont worry Armaan, Nobody will force her into this. Hum bhi kabhi nahi chaahenge ki tum dono kisi ke dabaav mein aake ye shaadi karo."

Armaan smiled back.

 

Just then Armaan's phone rang, "Yes... ok... Alright, I will be there in half an hour..." placing his mobile in his pocket, he said, "Bhai, mujhe jana hai, kuchh kaam hai." Atul nodded. After that he left the place leaving the gang of four behind who cheered and celebrated their ultimate victory once he was out of sight.

 

A few minutes later Rahul said, "Yaar, ab jab Armaan shaadi ke liye tayyar ho hi gaya hai, to humein use sab sach bata dena chaahiye..."

"Tum paagal ho gaye ho kya? Armaan ko bata diya to saari mehnat pe paani phir jaayega..." Anjali spatted disagreeing with him.

 

"Lekin Anjali, humne jis maqsad se ye sab plan banaya tha, ab wo to successful ho gaya hai. To ab ise secret rakhne ki kya zaroorat hai?" Rahul asked.

"Zaroorat hai. Tum Armaan ko jaante hoge, par utna nahi jitna hum use jaante hain. Use zara bhi bhanak lagi to, we will be back to square one." Anjali argued.

"Anjali I don't understand. Mana ki Armaan thoda ziddi hai..." Rahul started.

 

Anjali interrupted again, "THODA?" she laughed, "Wo bhot jyada ziddi hai."

"Achchha theek hai yaar, wo bhot jyada ziddi hai. Par ab to sab line pe hai..." Rahil said.

"Agar use abhi sab bata diya to ye shaadi kabhi nahi ho paayegi phir..." Anjali interrupted again.

"Tum kahna kya chaahti ho Anjali, ki armaan apni baat se mukar jaayega?" Rahul questioned.

"Nahi, wo apni baat se to nahi mukarega, par kuchh na kuchh aisa zaroor kar baithega, jis se ye shaadi ruk jaaye..." Anjali asserted.

 

"I still don't understand. Mujhe to bas itna samajh aa raha hai ki wo shaadi ke liye tayyar ho gaya hai. Mujhe lagta hai ki ab to hum use ye bata sakte hain na ki Riddhima ka koi bhi real boyfriend nahi hai. Ab hum uski galatfahmi dur kar sakte hain. Bekaar mein use kyun pareshaan karna. Dekha nahi wo kaise tadap raha hai... Is naatak se uske dil pe kya beet rahi hai, ye to tum sab bhi dekh hi rahe ho na..."

 

"Rahul tu..." Anjali was about to say something when Atul placed his hand on her shoulder to stop her. She looked at him tired. Why does he not understand? She thought.

Atul said, "Anjie, Rahul apni jagah theek kah raha hai. Armaan in sab baaton se pareshaan to hai. Uski aise udaas aankhen to mujhse bhi nahi dekhi jaati..."

 

"Maanti hu, aur main bhi use aisi haalat mein nahi dekh sakti. Aur use zindagi bhar aise akele dard se na guzarna pade, isliye to hum ye sab kar rahe hai na. Par Rahul wo nahi samajh raha jo main ise samjhana chaah rahi hu. Tum to jaante ho na Atul main kya kahna chaahti hu..." Anjali replied while Atul nodded understanding what she wants to say.

 

"Kya nahi samajh raha ye Anjie?" Muskaan asked.

"Muskaan tu zara..." Rahul was interrupted by Muskaan this time.

"Rahul, tum thodi der chup karke baithoge. Apni smart advise baad mein de lena. Pahle wo kya kahna chaahti hai, ye to sun lo..." Muskaan stopped him while Anjali looked at her gratefully.

 

Atul noticed Rahul's confusion and troubled face, "Rahul, Main batata hu ki hum ye sab filhaal Armaan ko kyun nahi batana chaahte..." Rahul looked at him attentively, "Armaan ka experience aise relationships ke saath kaisa raha hai, ye to tum jaante ho na'" Rahul nodded, "Hum jo bhi kar rahe hain, ye sab usi ki wajah se kar rahe hain..."

"Kya matlab?" Muskaan questioned.

 

"Achchha ek baat batao, tum logon ko kya lagta hai, ki Armaan apni feelings se kyun bhaag raha hai?" he asked all of a sudden.

Rahul looked at him for a moment thinking where did this question come from. Then shrugged, "Isliye, kyunki use lagta hai ki Riddhima ka already ek boyfriend hai, aur wo samjhta hai ki Baby kisi aur se pyaar karti hai..."

 

"Wrong." Atul said while Rahul gaped at him in confusion, "Rahul, wo Riddhima ke liye apni feelings se isliye nahi bhaag raha kyunki use lagta hai ki Riddhima ka koi boyfriend hai..." Rahul opened his mouth to say something, but he stopped him raising his hand, "Nahi main ye nahi kahta ki ye koi wajah nahi hai... par, its just one of the reasons. Sachchaayi ye hai ki wo apne-aap se bhaag raha hai..."

 

"Apne aap se?" Rahul muttered.

"Haan apne aap se..." Atul sighed, "Uske past mein jo kuchh bhi hua, uski wajah se usne khud ko aise kisi bhi relationship se emotionally dur kar liya. Do baar dhokha khaane ke baad, use lagne laga ki wo khud hi aise kisi rishtey ke kaabil nahi hai..."

 

"What rubbish? Agar Armaan aise rishtey ke kaabil nahi hai, to phir duniya ka koi bhi insaan iske kaabil nahi..." Muskaan interrupted.

"Exactly. Bilkul sahi kaha tune Muskaan. Armaan se jyada rishton ki importance koi jaan hi nahi sakta..." Anjali agreed with Muskaan.

 

"Absolutely right..." Atul too nodded, "Par uske dil mein ye baat baith gayi hai ki wo khud iske kaabil nahi hai. Logon ko sunke thoda ajeeb lage, par sach ye hai ki pata nahi kyun aur kaise, use ye complex ho gaya hai..." the two ladies rolled their eyes while Rahul still kept quite, "Maine use kayi baar samjhaane ki koshish kari ki jo kuchh bhi hua usmein uski koi galti nahi thi, par wo samajhne ko tayyar ho nahi hai. Shaayad isliye kyunki uske aas paas ke sab logon ko unka pyaar mila, par sirf wo..." Atul trailed sadly, "Armaan kisi se jealous nahi hai, par jab wo dekhta hai ki duniya ke itne saare log, jinki us se koi barabari nahi ki jaa sakti, unke paas bhi koi pyaar karne wala ya pyaar karne waali hai, to use lagta hai ki usmein hi khud kuchh kami hai jiski wajah se use pyaar mein dhokha mila... wo bhi ek nahi do-do baar."

 

Atul paused looking into space, while Rahul placed a hand on his that was on the table. Atul continued still looking elsewhere, "Uske saath jo bhi hua, uski wajah wo khud ko maan ne laga hai. He blamed none but himself. Use lagta hai ki wo khud kisi bhi ladki ko khush nahi rakh sakta. Aur isliye, do baar use ye dard jhelna pada. Do baar use dhokha mila..." he repeated, "Dekha jaaye to ismein uski galti bhi nahi hai... Insaan jab kisi pe vishwaas karta hai aur uska vishwaas wohi shaks (person) todhta hai, to aur kya kar sakta hai wo." Atul stopped.

 

Rahul questioned a little apprehensively, "To kya... kya wo ab bhi unmein se kisi ladki se..."

"Nahi..." Atul denied understanding his query, "...Aisa kuchh bhi nahi hai. Balki jitna main use jaanta hu, uske basis pe daave se kah sakta hu ki use kabhi bhi unmein se kisi ladki se kabhi pyaar tha hi nahi... Wo to bas unpe vishwaas karta tha." Rahul looked him questioningly, "Tum yehi soch rahe ho na, ki phir Armaan itna kyun hurt ho gaya?"

"Hmm..." Rahul mumbled.

 

"Darasal, apne family aur business ko sambhaalne ke chakkar mein use kabhi time hi nahi mila ki wo bhi dusre ladkon ki tarah ladkiyon ko jaane... relationships, I mean pyaar wageraah jaise relationships ko kareeb se samajhe. Uske liye to bas uski family aur uska kaam hi important the. Phir dheere-dheere logon ke saath uske experience ne use sikhaya ki duniya mein agar sabse jyada kuchh important hai, to wo hai vishwaas, bharosa... Uske hisaab se, Pyaar jaise rishtey ke liye bhi vishwaas hona bhot zaroori hai. Pyaar ka experience to use hua hi nahi kabhi..." His jaw tightened all of sudden, "Hota bhi kaise, un ladkiyon ne kabhi use pyaar kiya hi nahi. Wo to uski naam aur paise ke peeche padi thi... Usne unpe poora bharosa kiya, unki har khwaahish, har khushi ka khayaal rakha, per wo dono... unhe to kuchh aur hi chaahiye tha'"

 

Anjali placed a hand on Atul's shoulder as his fist tightened, "Atul..."

He smiled back at her gulping his anger, then continued again, "Aisi do ladkiyon se apna bharosa tutne ke baad, jo claim karti thi ki wo use bhot pyaar karti hain, uska aise rishtom ke liye nazariya badal gaya. Armaan duniya ki nazar mein bhot hi tough kism ka insaan hai, par andar se wo utna hi sensitive bhi hai. Ab tum hi batao Rahul, aise mein uske aise behave karna kya koi galat hai?"

 

Rahul looked at him glancing back at himself, "Nahi, uska behavior bilkul galat nahi hai... Par wo to uska beeta hua kal hai na. Ab use aage badhna hoga. Warna kab tak wo aise hi is galatfehmi aur dard ke saath jeeta rahega." Muskaan had tears in her eyes by the time.

"Yehi to hum bhi kah rahe hain, aur isliye to ye sab plan kiya hai." Anjali spoke.

 

"Theek hai Anjali, par use sachchhayi batane se iska kya relation?" Rahul questioned again.

Muskaan now slapped her head. She has understood what were Atul and Anjali trying to explain, "Hey bhagwaan... Rahul, tum kitne slow ho." She glared at him.

"Muskaan?" he called while Anjali interrupted him.

 

"Rahul, humara kahne ka matlab ye hai, ki Armaan apne is complex ya galatfehmi, jo bhi tum ise kaho, iski wajah se jaan-bujh ke shaadi aur relationships se bhaagta hai. Agar use pata chal bhi gaya ki Riddhima is absolutely single, tab bhi uske liye apni feelings ko wo kabhi admit nahi karega. Use bas bahana chaahiye in sab baaton se bachne ka."

 

"Anjie theek kah rahi hai Rahul..." Atul added, "Use dard de ke humein koi khushi nahi mil rahi. Par zindagi bhar wo aise bekaar ke complex aur dard mein jeeta rahe, us se achchha to ye hai na, ki aaj kuchh dino ke dard sah le... Riddhima se ek baar uski shaadi ho jaayegi, to I am sure uski galatfehmi apne aap dur ho jaayegi jo use mile dhokhon ki wajah se uske dil mein ghar kar gayi hain..." Atul played with his fingers.

 

Sighing, Rahul held his hands, "Uski zindagi mein ab aur dhokha nahi aayega Atul. Ab use, uske haq ki khushi zaroor milegi..."

Atul looked at him greatfully, "Hmm, pata hai mujhe."

"Haan aur ye sab Riddhima ki wajah se possible hoga..." Muskaan added.

 

"Correct..." Anjali agreed, "Aur hum log filhaal nahi chaahte ki Armaan ke is saalon puraane stupid-se complex ko koi bhi mauka de, is shaadi se haath peeche khinchne ka. Wo khud ke liye bhale hi kuchh na kare, par jinse wo pyaar karta hai, unke liye wo kuchh bhi kar sakta hai. Yahaan tak ki, apne saalon puraane darr aur complex se bhi lad sakta hai. Aur jaisa hum jaante hi hain, ki wo Riddhima ko pasand karta hai, to uske liye to use aisa karna hi padega. Use kaabu karne ke liye isliye to humne emotional blackmailing ka sahara liya."

 

"Wow, phir to theek hi hai. Humein Armaan ko sach mein filhaal kuchh bhi nahi batana chaahiye..." Muskaan smiled elatedly.

"Haan, tum log theek hi kah rahe ho. Waise bhi, shaadi ke baad mauka milte hi hum use bata hi denge..." Rahul agreed finally.

Atul gaped at him for a moment and then smiled, "Bilkul... Aur ab, shaadi ho jaane tak, humein aisa koi risk nahi uthana hai jiski wajah se wo humaari gardan pakad le..."

 

All laughed at his comment.

The four discussed what to do next. It was decided that they will talk to their parents first and then to Riddhima. Atul, Anjali, Rahul and Muskaan, all of them decided to face this together, coz they knew if they didnt tell what they have done to their parents, then Armaan will definitely tell them about the blackmailing and all, and it might be the end of their superb plan. Minnie was also informed about Armaan's decision who was very happy to know about it.

 
 

********************************************************************

********************************************************************

 

 

Hey Friends,

I know I kept you waiting for episode 72 for long, so here it is. Though not much action was there in this one, but I made it a little longer and tried to make things clearer from other characters' POV, coz I could see many of you had question about things.

Anyways, I guess the inference of this episode must have made you happy enough. Now that Armaan is on the right track, things will go happy for you all. I am planning some more for upcoming episodes as well. I don't claim that it will be something very exotic or flashy, but like always, its gonna be simple and light hearted and I will try my best to keep that smile on your faces. Hope you all like them as well...

 

Friends, since I am busy these days, so it might not be possible for me to reply to every comment. Due to limitation of time, if I reply to your comments, then I wont be able to read and reply to the other FF writers who send me the PMs.

But that doesn't mean that I don't appreciate my readers. Its ONLY due to the most adorable readers in the world, that Mere Apne has become what it is today. Your love and support is the only thing that has kept it going. Thanks to all of you for reading and commenting. Please don't leave this habit of yours as it not only prompts but also encourages me to write and update. Don't forget that even though I am not being able to reply to your comments, but I still read them.

 

I saw that this time there has been many new readers who commented. Though I missed the old ones, but nevermind. Thanks to everyone who has been here to comment, and even to those who pressed Like button. Especial thanks to all those who has been spending don't know how many hours to continue Morchas here on this thread... And I guess Nruti went a little too crazy of the Morcha-Lot... LOL.

 

Please comment after reading to tell me how was it and let me know if there has been any mistake. Like button pe click kar dena agar ho sake to...
 
 
IMPORTANT NOTE - Friends this is to inform you all that unfortunately due to some reason, i cant stay on IF for too long, and it will be just to post the updates of this FF. So i wont be able to send PMs from now on. Please bear with me for this. Whoever has requested for the PMs, i apologize to them especially. I dont mind if you dont wish to continue reading this FF or not reply.
But I will try my level best to keep up with the story now onwards.
 
 
 
********************************************************************
 
 

 
 


Edited by Wild.Aimee - 30 July 2011 at 3:31am

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suhasishankararismirnapsruthisuhana01rash.guptaRuhuGarimaSureshammy_amnanksweetgirlparthvimari92rinku28sl032597k3g55navtinderone_ashishazaadnidz nsrihari_phoenixSuper.womanhablilookwhosheresagaaarrmaaansonakap1deadly-kissflaming_saphireNiksAngelAnokheeryka_27destinationndiyachillMistiofMistzInkyCupiddmg_roks_antara.Suhasini.MaNaLoVeKaShAmoon.88** L.U.S.H **mansibhartiambrynsweetanu2314maanuakshadsoniarahejabushrayousweet_mittalmaggie131984aangelisbismazaman2000sweetssanjana25rtjksSujata77archieliciousSuvarna....namita18frnd.of.frndzkrazy4kashaaroraSunainaTM007stonexIqbal Neha1prernawaghrayRadiantTreasurebd670816Kamal_23dhruvikaluvsKSGshonagudiahnishaFiregurlsearchoffriendsnyxxprincess52ARKJ_4EVERksasiRobin_Mdebby_11dazzling_armaanarshluver_15Ethereal-Path-ArohaAngel-Norznidha1983chahat_armaan-Amby-MeghzzMedha.OkThanksByeaamirkhanfananumeha_rajat

dhruvikaluvsKSG

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dhruvikaluvsKSG

Joined: 21 December 2009

Posts: 2567

Posted: 16 April 2010 at 5:15pm | IP Logged

CONGO FOR THE NEW THREAD

ClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClapClap
 
**edited**
 
episode 71
awesome part
loving the plan of masterminds
n the care, love, concern of armaan for ridhima is just amazing
loved it
cont soon
luv dhruvika


Edited by dhruvikaluvsKSG - 18 April 2010 at 5:48pm

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sanjana25dazzling_armaan

Robin_M

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Robin_M

Joined: 23 August 2006

Posts: 5717

Posted: 16 April 2010 at 5:16pm | IP Logged
congrats on the new thread aimee! cant believe we are on the 4th one! looking forward to the update!

princess4120

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princess4120

Joined: 28 December 2006

Posts: 853

Posted: 16 April 2010 at 5:18pm | IP Logged
congrats on fourth thread.. waiting to read new part..

simran1285

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simran1285

Joined: 16 May 2006

Posts: 4128

Posted: 16 April 2010 at 5:33pm | IP Logged
Congratulations Aimee, I am so happy and proud to know you have made it to the 4th thread. Keep up the brilliant work!!

Iqbal Neha1

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Iqbal Neha1

Joined: 01 February 2006

Posts: 4104

Posted: 16 April 2010 at 5:51pm | IP Logged
congrats on da 4th thread

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