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The coldness of the red and white bangles touched her tender skin, it was the day she had been waiting for so long and it was finally here. Her hands felt heavy as her uncle put on those bangles on her wrist. Ayaz mama or Yaz as ridhima called him, had been really close to Ridhima from her childhood days even he had been living in USA for the past 17 years, Ridhima was 10 when he left and it had left Ridhima really upset for the next two weeks but soon she discovered things to be in touch with him.
She was to 2 years old when she had started speaking, and the first word she spoke was 'ma' like any other child. Smiti, her step mother was overjoyed and of course she had to tell Padma about this, she was her real mother. Smiti's brother Ayaz, being the closest to Smiti, was always the first one to discover new things about Ridhima, and came rushing to Gupta house that very moment. Just like any other parent Smiti's excitement knew no bounds, and they of course tried get more words out of those baby lips. But she didn't say anything, all their hopes were flushed. When the beautiful baby girl spat out 'Yaz'. And this is how he got the name.
Her hands felt even heavy as those golden hangings were being tied by the girls to the single silver bangle, as another tradition. Ayaz's eyes welled up as he saw his niece take another step in her life, entering a new life. He still saw the same little girl in front him who always used to fight with him for a new teddy bear, always asking him to take for an ice-cream after dinner and he never denied although it took half an hour for him to reach place but he was willing to do anything for her. But the truth was she was no more the same little stubborn girl, she had matured a lot, she had become even beautiful, she had become more suave but she never gave up her stubbornness, as she had already asked him to bring a big teddy bear for her, how costly it may be.
Padma pecked her forehead as she applied the cold haldi on her feet, then her knees and her cheeks. Now all her relatives, her aunties, her friends just weren't going to spare her and covered her with haldi, now the only alien Ridhima could be seen, that too yellow in colour.
Ridhima was not the only alien, but the same was with Armaan and he didn't like it even a bit as his friends took full advantage of this thing and turned him totally yellow, but the rituals at his place got over soon and he wasn't going to miss her lady in yellow and ran to her place.
As he entered her room as usual from the window only to find it empty, he thought she was still downstairs and he didn't have the energy to climb down again and ring the doorbell, so he thought of waiting. He waited for a few minutes, but was he that patient? And that too when it came to Ridhima? Nah, so he thought of something to pass his time, well how could he forget Ridhima's book shelf stacked with a bundle of novels and took one out, but closed it after reading the first 10 pages.
He started roaming here there, when he entered the bathroom, as it was open. He started staring at himself in the mirror and setting his hair. And he turned around to the bathtub, which had a curtain in front of it, he opened it and stuck his head between the left and right curtain, only to see Ridhima inside it with white bubbles as her only attire. His eyes popped out with sight in front of him.
"Armaan?" shouted a shocked Ridhima. Not only for because he was here, but also because she was thinking about Armaan and the events that took place on his bachelor party, 2 weeks ago.
"uh'..i'.i am sorry Ridhima" He turned away embarrassed.
"T'..tum yaha kya kar rahe ho? Wo bhi mere bathroom mai?"
"wo basket darwaza khula tha toh'.."
"toh tum andar aa gaye?"
"haan toh Ridhima, darwaza khula hone ka matlab hota hai koi andar nahi hai"
"toh? Mujhe bathroom ka darwaza khol ke nahana pasand karti hu"
"kya? Aur koi andar aa jaye toh?"
"Armaaan, mera room locked hai, par tumhe toh khidki se aane ki aadat hai"
"ab tum bahar jaane ka kya loge Armaan?" He was about to leave when, his dirty mind thought of teasing her. Come on he is Armaan Mallik and he won't leave a chance to irritate Ridhima. He stopped in his tracks and turned around.
"wese, basket" she peeped out of the curtain only to see Armaan facing her.
"Armaan, jao na"
"aur agar main a jau toh?"
"what? Armaan please t'..tum yaha se jao"
"nah mood nahi hai, wese basket tumhe kya lagta hai, mere liye iss bathtub mai jagah hogi?" And he started proceeding towards the bathtub, he knew his lines were totally lame, but were enough to pull the act.
"Armaan, ye ye tum k'.kya kar rahe ho? Please jao yaha se" she was getting nervous as he came closer and in order to stop him, she started throwing water on him.
"uh'..arre basket'..kya kar rahi ho?" He used his hands to defend himself but she didn't stop. Kneeling down he held her hands to stop her only to be lost in her eyes, and she herself couldn't stop being lost in his blue ones.
He just couldn't keep himself from going closer to her lips which always attracted him. Their breaths touched each others, and his face came more closer. The plethora of their proximity were visible through their nervous long breaths that met each other, a bit too soon to define the speed of the breath and the closeness between the two. Ridhima had expected Armaan to kiss her but Armaan had swore to pull her leg forever.
"Basket" he whispered.
"hm?" she could manage to speak only this.
"tumhe sharam nahi aati ek paraye mard ke samne nahate hue?"
Her eyes pop open to his comment, and her jaw dropped.
"Armaaan!" she shouted in disbelief and her hand forward in order to hit him but he had already fled which landed the poor girl's hand on her bathtub, making her wave her hand furiously up and down in the air.
"mai shaadi kar rahi hu Yaz" she said in excitement and gave a side hug to her uncle.
"hm'..my small rocket science has grown up now" he said pulling her cheek softly. Rocket science, that's what he called her as she was a big time nerd when she was a child, the only time she left her nerdy side and held to on her naughty side was with Yaz only, they were great friends.
"oh c'mon yaz I am not the same nerd anymore stop calling me that."
"so? Tum mere liye toh wahi rocket science rahogi"
"yaz" she said hugging him "wese yaz aap abhi tak Armaan se nahi mile na?"
"nahi aur milna bhi nahi, wo meri rocket science ko mujhse door kar raha hai"
"wo mujhe door kar raha hai apse? Aur wo mai thi na jo USA chali gayi thi" she said turning away her face the other side.
"Ridhima, you know na mujhe kaam se jaana tha"
"haan I know, chalo choro in sab ko ye batao mami kab aayengi?"
"uski flight agle ek do ghante mai land ho jayegi, phir aa jayegi wo tumhari mami aur tumhara butterscotch"
"Oh! Haan mai toh bhul hi thi, wow! Mera butterscotch aa raha hai, aaj mai use pehli baar milungi" she said clapping her hands in excitement, bringing the memories of the old and bringing tears down Yaz's cheeks which didn't went unnoticed by her.
"Yaz'.no rona-dhona please, you know mai aasuon ki dukaan hu" she said wiping his tears.
He patted her head lovingly "ice-cream khayegi?" she smiled and just nodded.
She came out of the washroom after washing her face and walking to her almirah, the first thing her eyes caught attention was her beautiful golden lehnga, with heavy embroidery and shimmery sequences. Her eyes glowed looking at the beautiful sight in front of her, her excitement knew no bounds this day. She just prayed to god that everything went well. She changed into the beautiful lehnga, looking stunning as ever, she sat in front of her dressing table. She looked at herself in the mirror and a sense of satisfaction passed her, as she smiled looking at herself.
She picked up the comb and gently stroked her soft black hair, wondering what kind of hair-stlye would she keep, it was her marriage she had to look her best when she heard a knock on her door and let the person in. It was her make-up and hair artist, she had completely forgotten about that. Well one could say the bride was a real princess, but it was not her who had thought about all this instead she wanted to keep it simple but Anjali being Anjali wanted to this for her sister.
In half an hour or so she was already and set for her marriage. On the other hand mr. busy-staring-at-her-would-be-wife's-picture, had not even changes yet. He was so lost staring at her picture that he didn't realise the baraat had to leave in another half and hour or so. He dialled her number.
"Hello?" came a nervous voice.
"oyye hoyye, itna nervous? Mai samne aaunga toh kya hoga?"
"Armaan, shut up! Bol toh aise rahe ho jese tum nervous nahi ho"
"mai aur nervous? Shaadi hi toh hai meri, isme nervous hone ki kya baat hai?"
"huh? Tumhari shaadi? Hamari shaadi Armaan, aur tumhe koi farak nahi padta?"
"nah! Basket shaadi kar raha hu pahad se nahi kood raha"
"Armaan, tum na'.."
"mai na kya basket?"
"but I love you"
"hate you hate you hate you"
"love you love you love you" Ridhima could no longer stop herself from blushing and hiding from Armaan was even impossible.
"hayeee, maar hi daloge itna sharmaoge toh" She was shocked as how did he know she was blushing
"acha kherr wo sab choro, ye batao tum kab aa rahe ho?"
"arrey abhi toh time hai abhi toh mai tayya bhi nahi hua"
"kya?" she was shocked "Armaan hamari shaadi ko 45 minutes bache hai"
"what?" he checked the time only to realise her was heck late "basket tum mujhe pehle nahi bata sakti thi? Bye" He said in a hurry and hung up to get ready
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