Joined: 07 August 2010
Armaan's pain and agony seemed to only increase with every passing day...Riddhima's deep concern and unmistakable affection for him convinced Siddhant that she was still deeply in love with Armaan...She was deliberately suppressing her heart, her pain, her desire, he felt...Guilt and sorrow clouded his mind..What should he do now?? Should he pretend that it's not love??...Should he force himself to believe that his wife just belongs to him?? If he does that he would be ruining 3 lives at a go. Armaan, who can't think of anything other than Riddhima. Riddhima, who's trapped in a marriage with someone whom she perhaps likes but doesn't love!! And lastly himself who would have to live with the realization that his wife can never truly be his!!
So what option was left before him?? He can't force Riddhima to leave him and go back to Armaan...And nor could he force her to love him...But then just as he couldn't force her to love him, he couldn't force himself from loving her...Each time he saw Riddhima, both fear and guilt overpowered him...Fear of losing his beloved and Guilt of standing in the way of her love, her happiness.....Why did she come in my life?? Why did I even meet her?? Why?? He asked, knowing very well that no one would answer his questions....
As his fears impaled him, Someone helped to fuel the fire....Someone from deep within him...A voice, a being which off late drew strange sadistic pleasure in screaming merciless truths on Siddhant...."Remember what she said just before your marriage?? She can love only Armaan!!! Remember, she swallowed poison?? She preferred to die than to marry you!!!...Dr. Siddhant Modi...You are a mere burden forced upon her by fate! An unwanted and unloved creature!!...And remember what Tamanna said while she left you...That you are a kid...An overgrown kid!!...Worthy of pity....Not love.....Your wife loves Armaan not you....She can never be yours!!" spoke the cold hearted sadist..."Then why is she with me?? Why didn't she go to Armaan when her ways were open??" asked Siddhant.."Just because you saved her life...Don't you understand, you fool, why she's with you?? She's merely paying off your debts; sacrificing her happiness...And you think she loves you??? I really feel sorry for you"....."Please Stop it" gasped Siddhant...But the voice was unforgiving...."Be a man...If you truly care for her happiness, then leave her for Armaan....Her only desire, her love...Be a man and face the facts you coward!!!"...He often woke up in the late night groaning and panting...Life became a nightmare for him. He started spending sleepless nights...The feeling became intolerable now. Something decisive had to be done. He knew Armaan would attempt his best to make others feel that he's fine...Riddhima too would never let him realize that she's still in love with Armaan..A full scale war was on within Siddhant...A clash between his heart and mind...And finally his calm mind successfully dominated his volatile heart....He got the answer...Siddhant Modi realized that it's time to exchange his shoes with Armaan...
One silent night, after Riddhima had fallen asleep, Sid quietly walked into her room...He had a leaflet and an envelope clipped to it in his hands...He went around her bed carefully stepping in, noiselessly; not to wake her up...The Chudail who had slapped him thrice on their first encounter was now in deep slumber, completely unaware of his presence!!
He gave a last glance to that pretty face..So innocent, so beautiful, so serene...How I wish I could, for one last time, browse those green eyes ...Wish, for once I could kiss her forehead, only if I could stroke those dark brown hairs sheathing half her face, he thought ...But he could afford neither...His feet couldn't tremble now....He must be firm in his resolve...Too much damage had already been done. He left the letter and the envelope on Riddhima's side table and quietly moved out of the room...He wanted her to get her first sight on the letter when she gets up in the morning...The letter which read....
When you get up and find this, I'll be gone far away from you. I don't know how will you forgive me for this..But I had to do it...Because I want you to be happy in your life..You have been through pain and suffering of a lifetime and it seems not to end as long as I am around you..Me and this marriage would continue to burden your soul and prevent you from listening to your heart.
I have realized that Armaan can never be happy without you and You can merely pretend to be happy without him..I never wanted you to spend your entire life in a half hearted compromise...But then I myself had been the cause and catalyst of that dilemma...I had been the biggest obstacle in your way to your love, your happiness..All my apologies would fall short for that...But the best thing I can do is to open the door of your happiness..The door which leads both of you to each other..The door which I and this loveless marriage had blocked ever since we tied knots...But now it's time that I move away from your ways..
Armaan is a stronger person and worthier partner than I am...I had never been strong or brave like him...I barely had the spine to accept the fact that we are not suppose to be together...That your heart and happiness lies in Armaan, not me!...And if I remain in your life my foolishness will make you suffer even more..I can't let that happen anymore...I cannot let you both to pay the price of my weakness..That's in best interest of all.
I would consider myself fortunate even if I had found a place in your heart as a friend. Please forgive me for all those pain I had caused you both knowingly and unknowingly...And please listen to your heart..Because it never lies and it's never wrong..And I wish both of you and Armaan a happy married life in advance!!"
The letter was clipped to the large envelope which enclosed the Agreement of Divorce signed and attested by Dr. Siddhant Modi...
PART - 2
Four years had passed. Siddhant had shifted to London near Tower Hamlets. It looked like another era of his life...Four years of loneliness...Four years of emptiness...It was a self imposed exile. He was the loneliest bystander in the most crowded streets. His features had changed beyond recognition. Barely anyone could now relate him to the flamboyant over-pampered spoilt overgrown brat. He was now soft spoken, reserved, disciplined and focused. He had grown a sharper look...His uncut jet-black hairs were now combed smoothly to the back of his head. Rectangular frameless spectacles adorned his eyes.
He had snapped all ties with every living friend and relative..He was an island in his own right...But there was one single face that still floated before him day and night...A pair of green eyes...The most beautiful smiling lips...The mirth of innocence...Barely any moment had passed in these years when he didn't think about her. Riddhima, who dwelt in his heart, now inhabits his soul as well...
A strange fear always haunted him in past four years. It was guilt perhaps.... Guilt of abandoning his wife. Every time the thought overwhelmed him that what Riddhima might have underwent after she got his letter and those divorce papers. Every time he tried not to think anything bad, he remembered that Riddhima had reduced herself to a breathing corpse when Armaan had left him similarly...What if this time too..? But this time she wasn't alone...He argued with himself! She'll be fine...This time her love Armaan himself was there to stand by her...They love each other irrevocably and would have probably married ages ago and are living like a perfectly happy married couple... he assured himself every time...She had even perhaps forgotten me by this time... he often thought with a sad smile. But despite all these, something.... some unknown fear - kept his heart from being appeased in full means.
He had started practicing as a surgeon in the Nelson's
Institute of Medical Research in Kingston...Siddhant didn't have much friends..He chose to engage himself in work as much as possible...This was a safe passage to escape those feelings, he wanted to avoid...Apparently, he was hardworking, competent and successful bachelor...But in real, he was an empty shell..Friendless, lonely and an introvert..An escapist..As he himself believed...
That day began normally as any other day. Steve Richards was Siddhant's immediate neighbor and colleague. Dr. Steve had been off to Edinburgh for a week...Dr. Siddhant had to take up his patients for that time. He was sitting in his office which was a oval room all in white marble. The door flung open.
"Good morning Hannah, What's the matter....You're panting" said Siddhant curtly.
"Morning Sir. There's a guy looking for Dr.Richards. I asked him to wait" said a young blond girl as she came in hastily... She was Siddhant's secretary Hannah Jones.
"But he's not here...Off to Edinburgh to see his parents. I'm seeing his cases...But I don't remember he had any appointment today" replied Siddhant in a soft voice.
"No Sir, the man didn't have any appointment. He's with his wife...She's 7 months pregnant. Untimely labor pain. They want to see a doctor as soon as possible. Dr. Rickman and Dr. Godson are unavailable. So I thought perhaps you.." briefed Hannah.
"OK then...I will see them...Where are they?"
"First floor. Opposite Reception. The woman is in Dr. Sarah's chambers."
Siddhant and Hannah moved towards the door...Hannah led the way.."By the way Sir, I think they are Indians...The couple, I mean" said Hannah turning her head'
"Are they?" asked Siddhant looking into her eyes. All these years Siddhant had, for some unknown reason, eschewed almost all Indian cases...Perhaps he didn't want to leave any scope of connecting to the world he had long left behind.
Hannah parted from him and hasted towards the ICU after bidding him farewell. Siddhant turned left and took a short flight of step down to first floor. He could see a man dressed all in black turning his back towards him, perhaps in an argument with the Receptionist...As he heard the man's voice from a distance, something stirred up some old memories, but nevertheless, Siddhant confirmed his identity from a ward boy and proceeded towards him..
Merely few feet from the man, he spoke in a soft voice..."Sorry, you had to wait...I'm Dr. Si-"
Siddhant froze as the man turned his head towards him...The man too seemed petrified at his sight... As if time itself had stopped. The Black eyes gazed blankly into the Grey eyes and the Grey ones retaliated back with equal hollowness...Both stood still in disbelief and shock..The moment which Siddhant had secretly feared all these years had approached.
The man in the dark suit was Armaan Malik....
PART - 3
Siddhant didn't know what to say..Or even how to say.....He could barely believe whom he was seeing before his eyes...He, blankly and cluelessly, stared into Armaan's face....It was Armaan who broke the silence.
"Sid?? You?? I don't believe this...Is it you?" said Armaan catching his breath.
Siddhant did not speak....It took him some time to believe that his old friend, his brother Armaan was standing in front of him....But there was no excitement in his face. There was only fear. That fear which had chased him till this day. He avoided looking into his eyes...
"We searched you everywhere...Every goddamn place....Your family, your parents...Your friends. No one had a clue about your whereabouts....And finally we meet here?? Why did you do it?? Why??" asked Armaan trying to suppress his compassion with a mask of wrath.
Siddhant still did not speak...His eyes were red and wet....
"What do you think you were playing at? Do you know how all felt? How Riddh-"
"I did it for her, as you very well know....And I am happy that finally you two are together" Siddhant burst out in a sobbing voice. Her name was a spark..."Is...Is she inside? I- I heard she's pregnant?"....his lips were terribly trembling as he said those words....
"Well yes My wife is inside and yeah my wife is pregnant..." said Armaan in a rather calculated subtle tone....Both the times, Armaan gave a careful stress to the words 'My wife'....Though he did not understand why, he continued to speak...."So when did you both get married?" he tried hard to sound as much casual as possible.
"Two years back." Replied Armaan sharply. "Everyone was so disgusted with your actions...Especially Dr. Shashank." he added coldly."He could never believe that you would do something like this"
"I had to do it....For his daughter....And I recon if I had not done it, how could he have got you for his daughter?? Someone worthier than I..I ever was. A better husband and a better lover" replied Siddhant feebly...
"Oh indeed...How true! Dr. Shashank was more than pleased to get me as a son in law" said Armaan; his voice heavy and colder than ever.
"How is she?? I hope she's fine..." said Siddhant still avoiding his eyes..
"Oh yeah she is...I thought you would like to meet her....She's sitting in that room" replied Armaan..
"Of course not!...No Armaan...You very well know that it won't be appropriate...She has moved on with you....She's your wife now and I am an unwanted memory, which perhaps, she has forgotten.....She's happy with you and her family....Why do you want her to be in turmoil once again?" said Siddhant without grabbing a breath.."I don't want her to see me after all this..."
"Or perhaps you are trying to hide your face...You are running away from your deeds as always. You are too cowardly to face her...Isn't it?" taunted Armaan harshly...
Why was he being so rude?? So insensitive?? Didn't he realize my pain?? My trauma??? Armaan himself had been through all this....So why was he not realizing the difficulty of my position?? - Siddhant thought blankly as Armaan so mercilessly asked a nurse to escort his wife out of Dr. Sarah's cabin.
"Please Armaan...I beg of you....Don't do it...Don't call her...I don't want her to see me...It will once again disturb her mental balance...She's your wife now, for heaven's sake" pleaded Siddhant...But Armaan seemed adamant and careless. As if he was enjoying this. But why?? Armaan was never like this...I thought he would know how it feels when you get see your love as someone else's wife...Riddhima is his wife now...She's going to be the mother of his child...How can I face her now?? How will I meet her eyes?? How will she react to my appearance?? Once more she'll be in trauma...Once more she'll be in pain on my account...Riddhima is only few step away from me...Just behind that door...Any moment she would come before me...Siddhant's heart was hammering against his ribs..As if it would tear open his chest...Thoughts pierced him like iron nails...It was an excruciating pain...Something which crippled his heart and soul before the moment finally came....Siddhant tried to back off his steps, as if it would help...If only he could run away from the place!! He looked stricken and colorless when he heard the cracking noise of the door...
A salwar suit clad woman came out of the room...Large eyes...Dark brown hairs...An enlarged abdomen...As her first sight fell on Siddhant, she sighed "Oh my god, It's you....Sid??"...She covered her mouth with her hands...Her voice was familiar but not the one he had expected...Siddhant looked up at her with utter shock...
"You? Shilpa??" gasped Siddhant.....
The woman was not the one he had anticipated....She was not Riddhima...She was Shilpa...Shilpa Malhotra....His old friend and colleague...Siddhant looked from Shilpa to Armaan...Armaan twisted his lips into an omniscient smile...
PART - 4
What was this suppose to mean?? Shilpa?? Not Riddhima?? Armaan's wife?? Armaan hadn't married Riddhima??? But why?? Siddhant's mind was engulfed in questions...Shilpa came out of the room and exclaimed delightedly "I really don't believe this Sid...Its you!! After all these years...You have changed so much!"....
"What?? But how?? How is this possible?? I thought y-you and Ridh-Riddhima...You didn't marry Riddhima??"said Siddhant, his heart pounding faster than ever...He looked terrified and pale and mad...He could not comprehend what he was seeing...What was all happening before his eyes?
"How could I have married a girl who loved someone else??" replied Armaan
"W-What? What do you mean?" bellowed Siddhant..
"You know what I mean...She loves a fool...An idiot, who abandoned her years ago" said Armaan swiftly
"Me? This can't be true....She loved you, not me......She always loved-"
"She cared for me....She was concerned, she was affectionate....That need not be love" cut Armaan through his words....Siddhant could not believe his eyes or ears....It seemed to him as if he had fallen into one of his weird nightmares....He tightly shut his eye lids and after a moment or two when he opened them, Shilpa was standing by him, her hands on his shoulders with a most compassionate look....
"Armaan is right Sid....She loves you...She always loved you...But she herself realized that only after you left her.....After she lost you!!....Riddhima di blames herself for everything....She believes that she is responsible for not conveying to you that she actually loved you....For not making you realize how much, how deeply and how madly had she grown to love you...." said Shilpa..Her voice was rather soothing and forgiving....
Shilpa's words took some time to reach Siddhant....But she continued.."Riddhima di has not forgiven herself....She had tortured herself a lot ever since she got your letter....She had locked herself up in your room for days, without food, without water....She wept endlessly...She had punished herself severely for it.."
"But why??? I always felt that I was a burden on her...That her true happiness lies in Armaan....That she was living a compromised life with me!!And now you tell me this?? How can this be true??" wept Siddhant...He had fallen upon his knees, taken off his spectacles, grabbing his own hair , trying to imagine those horrific sights Shilpa was telling....As if it was happening in front of his eyes..It did not take him much trouble to imagine a pain stricken Riddhima....He had seen her so closely....Why this had to happen?? Why??
"It is true Sid" Armaan spoke softly after a while..."It is true mate!!....Even we did not realized that she loved you so much...Riddhima was indeed in a deep worry about my life....My happiness..Perhaps she felt responsible for me....But you mistook it for love....You left her without even asking her what she felt...You repeated the very mistake I had once made ...The day after you left her..When she got those divorce papers you left, she was like a mad animal..Howling and screaming!....As if she had been torn into million pieces...I had never seen her in such condition"
"She needs you Siddhant....You are the key to her happiness.." said Shilpa
Finally Siddhant mastered his breath and gained control of himself...He thrust his spectacles back into his eyes, stood up and looked into Armaan's eyes....Armaan and Shilpa exchanged uncertain looks...
"But where is she?? Is she fine?" asked Siddhant turning his red eyes to Shilpa as some strange feeling stirred up some of his worst fears....
"She's still there where you left her.....She still lives in your house....But she's really in miserable condition...She pretends to be strong....She shows all of us that she's fine. But trust me, she's anything but fine....She locks herself up in her room and refrains from meeting anyone...weeps for hours, I guess...She has reduced herself to a pitiable condition....Go Sid, go back to her...She can't live without you!!! " said Shilpa, tears rolled down her cheeks, as Armaan comforted her..
"But how will I go before her?? How can I ever face her?? She will hate my appearance...I caused her so much pain....I-I wish I were d-dead..."
"Don't be a fool...She wants you...She needs you...Yeah ofcourse...She'll be angry at you...You can expect that...But then is there any other way? Do you want her to suffer all her life?" said Armaan..
Siddhant gave a slight nod biting his lower lips....
"But wait..Hang on!! You said that Dr. Shashank was pleased to get you as his son in law....What's that suppose to mean?? You lied right??" asked Siddhant as he recalled Armaan's words..
"I haven't lied a bit so far...I am indeed Dr. Shashank's son in law" said Armaan looking at Shilpa...
"What? How is that possible?? She's your wife. Right?" asked Siddhant...
"Well Shilpa is Dr. Shashank's estranged daughter....Riddhima's half sister...I know it's a bit shocking...But that's the fact...We came to know of it after you went away..."
"What?? Dr. Shashank's daughter?? Riddhima's Sister?? What's all this?? And anyway, how did you both ended up together? I thought you loathed each other" asked Siddhant curiously, shocked and amused...For the first time he smiled..Though only a little.
"Well, you see..as it happened-" started Armaan but Shilpa interrupted.."Long story...We'll tell you some other time. Now you have other priorities Jeeja ji..." ...She seemed more excited at speaking about Riddhima than herself...Siddhant seemed not to enquire further...Indeed he had other priorities....
"So you are going back aren't you?" asked Armaan to which Siddhant replied with a curt nod....
"Good....She is now the deputy head of Sanjeevani...She's busy in training interns these days... She's grown pretty strict, everyone's scared of her...They all call her Lady Hitler.." said Armaan smiling..
Finally Siddhant realized that his way ahead was clear...He knew it won't be easy meeting Riddhima..But he was not weak anymore... He was not alone now...He had Riddhima's love with him....He was finally assured that it was not a compromise afterall...It was not a mistake...It was Love...His love was not one-sided...His love was not unrequited...He looked towards Armaan and Shilpa with eyes full of gratitude...And they nodded to him with approval...
"Know what Sid, if we have a boy, we'll name him Siddhant and if a girl, she'll be Riddhima..." said Shilpa bidding farewell to Siddhant and wishing him luck...
PART - 5
Siddhant hurried back to his home, wasted no time and headed off to the airport...He spend that night at the Airport, impatiently awaiting clearance for his passport...Next morning, he literally snatched his air ticket from the Air staff at the Heathrow Airport.....They were reluctant to give him a pass to India that week...But he could not wait a day longer...Four years later he would be stepping into that land where he won and lost his love..His life...Now he must be back to undo those things which should not have been done...There was a new spring in his every step...For him it was a journey of nothing to something...To give back himself a reason to live...
From the Mumbai airport, he drove directly to Sanjeevani...Like Siddhant, Sanjeevani too seemed to have undergone metamorphosis...Except the old ensign, almost everything had changed....The Hospital Complex had grown two stories taller...It was much grander and busier place than what he had left...
But as he walked in, Sanjeevani's familiar breeze cut across his face...Siddhant passed by the Nurse station...The place where he and his old gang stood awaiting Dr. Kirti's briefing...The Locker room..The Cafeteria...He could visualize himself and his friends...Tamanna...Yuvraj...Naina...JP and Jiggy...Their frolics still managed a smile on his face; their antics wetted his eyes; their presence though missed; their laughter still echoed in the air...
"Do you want to see someone??" asked a nurse who found Siddhant browsing the place curiously.
"Yeah!!...No, I mean...Thanks..." replied Siddhant carelessly...
As he walked ahead, he came across a place which was so dear, so close to his heart...It was a hollow passage, an exit...It was the very place where he had for the first time opened up his heart to Riddhima...It was the Fire Escape...A strange but familiar feeling struck him as he stepped across its doors...It was his old fear...The same one which had abetted him into doing all this...Into deserting his beloved...He had not yet triumphed it...But he won't allow it win this time...He will face her...
As he stepped out of the door and squarely turned left, he stopped dead...A figure of a woman was before him...Thin, fair, clad in midnight blue Salwar suit, with an apron and Stethoscope tugged in her left arm.... Though still perfectly beautiful, she was no more the same...Her skin was paler...Her eyes looked dull... The childish innocence had been wiped out of her face ...Perhaps Siddhant himself was responsible for that...Riddhima stared at Siddhant, without winking an eye, at the height of disbelief...It was like seeing someone back from the dead...Her lips were shaking, her eyes still fixed at Siddhant's...The Stethoscope slipped out of her hand!!...
They were merely a couple of feet away from each other...Siddhant could feel her breath, he could sense her heart beating against her chest...He had wanted to apologize...To seek her forgiveness...For not trusting her...For not believing in her...For causing her unbearable pain...For everything, every pain every wound, which he had initiated and catalyzed...He had expected harsh words from her...He had expected her refusal to forgive him...Or perhaps she would refuse to recognize him and his love...
All the way from London to Mumbai, he had planned to say so many things when he meets her...But when the moment finally came, all he could manage was "Hi...I--I--"
Riddhima swiftly slapped Siddhant on his face..Not once but twice..And then before Siddhant could even speak a word, she gave him the tightest hug he had ever had...And then, when she could not wait longer, she burst out in tears...As if she had saved all of them for this day..
"You said you will wait!! Why...Why did you do it???" asked a sobbing Riddhima as the doctors and Sanjeevani staff gazed at them with utter amazement and wonder...Their otherwise strict disciplinarian was hugging a stranger and weeping!!
"And what did you write?? 'Listen to your heart'?? You didn't even think once..Gone??Leaving me alone?"
"I-I thought you...you loved Ar-" started Sid, whose eyes too were full of tears, but was stopped by Riddhima "I love you...I always loved you"...What the hell is going on- thought the doctors and staff of Sanjeevani...Who's this guy?? Hitler loves him?? Ms. Hitler and Love??? The idea itself seemed so horrible to them...
But Siddhant wept tears of joy, of pain and of love.."Know something?? Now I can safely call you 'Auntie'!! You've grown so old!"
"How dare you say that?? I am just -"
"Thirty one?" interjected Siddhant...
"TWENTY NINE"...asserted Riddhima firmly...
A dozen of onlookers, including patients, doctors and Hospital staff, gazed at them giggling and exchanging looks of amusement...But Siddhant and Riddhima were too deeply immersed in each other to care for the rest of the world...
(Please comment in case you like it...Constructive Criticism is welcomed)
Joined: 04 May 2010
Joined: 23 July 2010
Awesome OS yaar....
Joined: 01 March 2006
Joined: 17 February 2010
Joined: 07 August 2010
Joined: 15 July 2010
Joined: 27 May 2010
But Plzz make a happy ending as I don't like sad endings..
Keep it up
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