Joined: 21 January 2009
I'm absolutely overwhelmed seeing so many congratulatory messages here. Thank you so much, friends. It means a lot to me. As you know this is my first ff. When I started posting QSS, I found writing a tension, because I wasn't confident. I thought once I get done with this, I won't ever write. When I wound up QSS with 24 parts, many of my friends here, who write ffs, had warned me that "writing is an addiction and it grows on you. You'll start writing again soon." Just as they said, once I stopped writing I started missing Armaan and Riddhima, because they had almost become a part of my life by then. So I started QSS II, and now it seems I can keep writing this story endlessly. But I know too much of anything is boring, so when this ff gets to being that, feel free to tell me, so that I can wind it up. Once again a very very BIG thanks to all the readers. Love, Shardha
Riddhima woke up and the first thing she did was to touch Ani's forehead to check his fever. The temperature seemed to be down though his nose and cheeks were still rosy. Seeing Armaan asleep, she put Ani close to him to watch his reaction. He hugged the baby and slept on and she just kept staring at both of them.
After a few minutes Ani started twisting and turning searching for his food source. Armaan opened his eyes disturbed by Ani's movements. When he rubbed his nose against the little one's, he saw him open mouthed and close eyed, searching for his feed. Smiling, he picked him up and said "Buddu, do hafte ka ho gaya, ab tak dad aur mama mein farak nahi samajta. Lekin dad bhi to buddu hai na? Tumhe itni takleef pahunchayi. Cholly beta, kaan pakalke cholly," and handed him to Riddhima for his feed.
Riddhima sensed the sadness in Armaan's voice and said "it's ok Armaan, don't blame yourself so much. Falling sick is a natural part of a baby's growing up. We being doctors are so worried, imagine what other parents may be going through when their children fall sick. See, he is feeding easily now. That means he is better. I'm sure if we just give a few doses more he'll be fine."
A: Riddhima when Akshat used to fall ill, how did you handle it alone? You were younger and inexperienced then?
R: Abhi's mother was quite helpful with household remedies, but I still used to get very tensed. He was all that I had, so I couldn't let anything happen to him and most of all he was a part of you. I had lost you but couldn't afford to''.
Her voice choked and she couldn't continue. He immediately moved to sit behind her and put his arms around her from the back. She leaned back on his body and continued, "You know Armaan, many nights I've cried myself to sleep. Even though I was a doctor, the mother in me was always terrified when Akshat fell ill. I used to pray, beseech God not to punish my baby for my faults. I used to always feel, because I didn't accept your love, he would punish me by taking away the most precious and loved thing from me."
By then Ani had finished his feed. Armaan took him and put him on his shoulder. She turned round, hid her face on his other shoulder and broke down crying. Even the memory of those days, were so torturous. Armaan felt her shudder, so he pulled her closer and kissed her forehead. "I'm sorry for reminding you of those hard days. God will never punish you because you have puinshed yourself enough by taking the blame for everything. One minute let me put him in the cradle," he said and got up.
She wiped her tears. He came back and pulled her back in his arms and held her tightly in an embrace, resting his chin on her head. He knew that's what gave her maximum comfort, mental and physical. After a few minutes he moved away from her and asked "Coffee?" "let me make it please", she requested. He nodded and both went to the kitchen. He kept her in the circle of his arms while she made the coffee.
"Mmm lovely," he said. They chatted for sometime.
A: I'm getting used to being a house-husband. It's boring thinking I have to get back to hospital duty from Monday.
R: I also liked having you at home all the time. As for me, I have totally forgotten what it's like to be a doctor, (she laughed). Armaan, I seriously need to think about my career.
A: What's the hurry?
R: I don't mean immediately, but in a few months.
A: Tell you what, take up some online or distance-learning post-grad course from the next academic year. By then Ani also will be 8-9 months old.
R: Ya, I should surf the net and find out about what courses are available.
A: Let's call up Atul and see what they are doing.
The gang was cruising on the Periyaar river when they called up. They were all praises for the natural beauty there and immediately sent some pictures through MMS.
Armaan and Riddhima were awestruck seeing the beautiful pictures. They vowed to visit Thekaddy sometime soon.
Both were really enjoying the time they were spending with each other, even if it was just chatting because it was a rare oppurtunity for them. Ani's cold improved with the next dose and his temperature also came to normal, but his nose was still a little clogged. To let him have fitfull sleep they had to use the nasal drops prescribed by the pediatrician.
That evening, Armaan was bent on surprising Riddhima. So he quietly went into the kitchen and managed to whip up a nice omlette for his darling wife. Riddhima was feeding Ani then, and the aroma wafting from the kitchen, made her wonder what Armaan was up to.
Riddhima was changing Ani's nappy as he had messed himself, when Armaan entered and said that he would clean him up. He followed her instructions and cleaned him using the wet wipes. She knew that even mothers found it an imposition to do this dirty job, but was surprised to see that he did it as if it was the most ordinary work.
After he had cleaned him up and put him in the cradle, he said "Come let's attack our dinner, I'm ravished."
R: The aroma itself is so tempting, what have you made?
A: Come, see for yourself.
The omlette was really soft and tasty. After they had finished eating she gave him a kiss saying "This is the payment for the fantastic dinner."
A: So am I forgiven for burning the dosa?
R: Yes, if you let me prepare the lunch tomorrow.
A: No Riddhima, you need to rest for a few days more.
R: I'll just make some pulav and dal. It won't take even an hour.
A: Remember what akka said? If you don't take proper rest now, you will end up having aches and pains later in life. So one month rest is a must.
R: After Akshat's delivery, in two weeks I had started doing almost all my usual household duties.
A: Let's not go there now. You give instructions and I'll make it.
She just walked away without replying.
Armaan finished cleaning up the kitchen and came to their room. She was sitting in front of the mirror combing her hair. When he went near her she just got up and moved towards the bed.
A: Mujse naaraz ho.
"Nahi," she said without even looking at him. When he tried to hug her, she moved away and walked towards the window to watch the rain. He switched music player on his mobile and played this song. He knew this was one of her favourite songs and would get her into the mood he wanted her to be.
duur rah kar na karo baat, qariib aa jaao
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