Armaan smiled as sujal walked off to get kashish a glass of water as he knew they were making progress. Sujal had stopped being overly protective for the last two days of shilpa especially when he was around. Armaan smiled as he saw kashish make sujal jump through the hoops metaphorically that is. Today was the Mehendi and Sangeet ceremony of Maan and geet. Armaan stood around waiting for shilpa to show up he knew she was here but where that was another thing.
Today she had been quieter than usual after her session with the doctor. Shilpa had never talked about what she talked in her sessions with the doctor and armaan never asked. He knew if he asked she would tell him but he wanted her to sort her problems and talk about them if she wanted to not b'coz he wanted her to.
Suddenly he felt her behind him, he turned around to see her standing there looking like a diva. She was wearing a henna coloured lehenga with gold edgings and trimmings. Her gorgeous hair tumbled down her back in an array of bouncing curls. As she walked bangles clanged on her wrist, the jewels in her ear and throat sparkled but nothing could match the glow of her face or the shimmer of excitement in her eyes.
She walked up to him and twined her arm with his: missing me!(she said it like a statement not as a question)
Armaan with mischief dancing in his eyes: do you want me to show you how much?(he leaned in close closing the gap between their faces just as he was about to capture her lips with his shilpa pushed him away)
Shilpa trying to look stern: show some restrain we've got company!(true to her word the house was crowded with people)
She walked away as geet parents came along with geet. Some people would consider it weird for the bride to be coming over to the grooms house for all the rituals before the wedding. Geet's parents had tried to complain but maan had bulldozed all their objections. According to him he had a big enough house all the functions of both the parties could be performed together without having to go through the added expense of hiring a hall. Soon the mehendi rasm was to start.
As armaan gaze wandered around the room to ultimately land on shilpa he saw her standing alone and looking at maan and sujal, who were standing together arguing about something. Armaan walked around some people to get a clearer view of shilpa's face. Shilpa stood there with a heartwrenching expression on her face. Her face showed a multitude of emotions. On one part her eyes showed pride mixed in with joy but the most troubling emotion for armaan was the ultimate sadness that showed. Even though she turned around to smile at some lady who had come to congratulate her the brightness of her eyes had dimmed.
Armaan had started walking towards her before he even realized it. He stopped as she was surrounded by some women as they left armaan walked to her with a plan to make her smile.
Shilpa stood there mixing the mehndi as armaan walked over to stand behind her and whispered in her ear: purane zamne jin ladkiyon ke haath mein mehendi nahi lagi hoti thi chore log unhe utha ke le jaate hote the.
Shilpa turned her head and smiled: have you lost your mind?(saying that she moved away to go and place the bowl of mehendi in the centre of the room where most of the people were sitting)
The devil in armaan just got a wake up call from the dismissive way she had responded to his comment. He walked up to her in the middle of the room where she stood with guests all around her. She turned and saw him grin devilishly at her, shilpa rolled her eyes and tried to get past him.
Armaan grabbed her hand and in a loud voice to an elderly lady: aunty ji! purane zamne jin ladkiyon ke haath mein mehendi nahi lagi hoti thi chore log unhe utha ke le jaate hote the.(armaan lifted her hand to show it bare of any mehendi and then dropped it)
As everyone around them guffawed armaan cocked a brow at shilpa: phir kya khayal hai?
Shilpa waited for everyone to quieten down and then very sweetly with her head tilted to one side: koi rok raha hai kya?(for a second the room remained silent and then it erupted into laughter and hoot calls)
Armaan was sure his mouth must have been hanging open at shilpa's comment. Maan was chortling away. Geet and Kashish were also giggling and even the usual stoic sujal found the situation funny. Shilpa turned back to finish what she was doing in the first place. Armaan knew there was only one way to salvage pride. He hoisted shilpa on his shoulder and made his way out of the hall amidst more laughter and cat calls. He could hear shilpa laughing and made his way out the hall up the stairs knowing that he was creating a scene.
He continued up the stairs and made his way across to the rooms to the left.
Armaan: do you have any room preference? Before she could answer in any way he walked into a room at random and shut and lock the the door behind him. He walked over to the bed and dropped shilpa along with himself on top of her. Shilpa squirmed beneath him as she tried to control her laughter and get rid of his weight atop of her.
Shilpa between laughs: get off me! god!... you weigh a ton!
Armaan braced his arms on both side of her head to keep his weight off her top half. Shilpa tried again to buck his weight off but with the layers of cloth of lehenga and her dupatta tangled around her legs and armaan it made any maneuver difficult. Secondly the laughter that kept bubbling up her throat also mae it difficult for her to do anything. Armaan leaned down and pressed his lips to her laughing mouth. Her mouth clung to his, her tongue tangling with his, there was no room of pretense between the two, no coyness. They lay there absorbed in each other, armaan dragged his mouth away to press kisses to her eyes, temples, nose, cheeks and throat.
He lay there with his head pillowed on her chest and heard her heart slow down to its normal pace. He lifted his head to find shilpa looking at him.
Shilpa with a smile: what was this drama for? (Armaan lifted his eye brows as if saying he had no idea what she was talking about and turned his head)oh! No you don't!(pulling at his hair to make him look back at her) why?
Armaan looked into her eyes: you were sad earlier I wanted to make you smile.(shilpa's eyes became distant as she thought to herself how armaan was able to decipher her moods so easily. She hadn't expected anyone to notice the change in mood but the fact armaan had sensed her sadness made her go speechless)
Armaan looked into her eyes and saw them go distant and unfocused and a sudden restless came over him. He took her chin between his fingers and shifted her face towards his: don't you dare shut me out behind these distant eyes of yours. Talk to me! tell me what goes on inside that beautiful head of yours!(shilpa looked into his eyes and realized that he still felt unsure about himself and his hold on her) As they continued to look at each other armaan felt an unspeakable fear clutch a his heart.
Shilpa looked into his eyes and saw the fear and realized how her silence made him feel. Shilpa twisted so that they rolled and armaan was lying flat on the bed with shilpa draped over him: I'm sorry! I didn't go anywhere! And I was not trying to shut you out I was just surprised that you were able to sense what I was feeling.
Shilpa drew in a breath when he remained silent: I was looking at maan and sujal! I am so happy and proud of them, of the men they have become, of the women they have chosen to spend their lives with. I don't think I could've chosen anyone better than them and the best part is I love them already.
Armaan looked at her beautiful face and saw the sadness lurking: then why are you sad?
Shilpa who had been playing with the lose thread of the embellishment of armaan's kurta stilled as she looked up: I'm sad b'coz even though we have come a long way from those scared kids from the orphanage it makes me wonder why our own parents were unable to love us.
Armaan looked at her sad eyes and couldn't think of anything to say.
Shilpa continued: sujal was the lucky one! He belonged to a happy family his parents loved him but god took them away from him. Both maan and me we were the unlucky ones, our parents were just unable to love us. We were lucky to meet sujal, he always had the hero tendency, he saved us.
Shilpa smiled a sad smile: I know we had to go through our share of pain to reach this point where we could be together the three of us. We have proven that it is not necessary to be blood related to love one another our bond is stronger than any blood bond.
Armaan: then why are you sad?(unable to understand her pain)
Shilpa's shook her head: I don't understand! why so much pain? It would've been nice to have someone other than us to be happy for us! to celeberate our success! To cry over our failures!
Armaan shifted her so that he could sit up with shilpa in his lap: shilpa! I know I can never understand the pain you all had been through but you are forgetting that this shared pain is what makes your bond so strong. Why be sad over the absence of someone who never understood you. You three! You are a family!
Shilpa looked into his eyes and realized he understood her, he had listened to what was bothering her and understood. Shilpa blinked her eyes to clear the sting of tears and buried her face in his chest. Armaan wrapped his arms around her and willed himselfto breathe through the pain he had felt hearing her pain.
Shilpa pulled back with a smile on her lips and her eyes: ok! Dr. armaan! Enough of this romantic yet emotional interlude! People would be wondering what happened to us. Mere bhai ki mehendi hai. She got up and straightened her clothes and ran a hand through her hair to get rid of the tossled look. She looked at armaan and started to laugh.
Shilpa laughed: you are wearing my lipstick!(she reached up and rubbed the lipstick off with her fingers)
Both of them went downstairs amidst hoot calls and laughter. Shilpa was pulled by an aunty: beta your fianc is obviously besotted
Shilpa grinned: aunty ji he's not my fianc.
Shilpa had moved away to talk to kashish unaware of the whispers and glances that had startd behind her. Armaan was not oblivious to the whispers he saw kashish stiffen and geet's eyes shoot fire at him but shilpa continued to move around as if nothing had happened. Armaan was surprised not once did shilpa looked uncomfortable then realized she didn't care. As long as she believed that she was not doing anything wrong she didn't give a damn what anyone else thought.
Armaan stood there as the mehendi ceremony was about to start and looked at shilpa laugh at something maan said, he saw the quick look of love that passed between her and sujal as they both made kashish sit between maan and geet and thought what the hell he was doing.
Armaan quickly made his way towards shashank and padma who were standing observing the ceremony: maa, papa! Plz mere saath chaliye mujhe aap se buhat zaroori baat karni hai.(they left the room as armaan was insistent in talking alone)
Shilpa turned around to see armaan leaving with shashank and padma and was thoughtful for a moment but dimissed the thought knowing that if something was wrong armaan would let her know. As it is she didn't have the time to worry as the mehendi ceremony had started. The next time shilpa had the time to think about the topic was after an hour and half when the major chunk of the ceremony had passed and people were mostly laughing and enjoying the music.
Shilpa looked around for armaan and was surprised when she felt a tap on her shoulder.
She turned to find armaan: where were you? I was looking for you!
Armaan smiled: where are maan and sujal? I need to talk to them!
Shilpa looked behind her to where they were standing, armaan touched a finger to her cheek as he passed by her.
Armaan walked over to maan and sujal and stood infront of them: maan! Sujal! I need to talk to you.
Both turned towards him and waited expectantly.
Armaan squared his shoulders: sujal! Maan! I know you've got doubts about me, about my intentions towards shilpa and I don't blame you. If I would be in your place I would react in the same way. The truth is I'm in love with your sister, madly and irrevocably in love. Today I want to formally ask you for her hand in marriage.(there was stunned silence) you both are shilpa's family. There is no one else in the world who means more to her than you guys. So I'm asking you both to give your consent to my marrying shilpa.
Sujal stood up and walked over to armaan: shilpa is not only our sister, she's the glue that holds us together.
Maan added: she's what for years has kept us sane, she's the most precious person in our life.
Sujal: for years I've seen her shoulder her pain alone, prayed to god to bring happiness in her life.
Maan: then you came into her life, and I saw her eyes sparkle with happiness. Then you screwed up that was almost six years back.
Sujal: Armaan I look at you and I see the love for my sister in you eyes.
Maan: if shilpa wants we have no objection to you marrying her.
Armaan solemnly: I promise I'll keep her happy.
Shilpa stood there in stunned silence as she saw the scene unfold between her brothers and armaan. Armaan turned towards her and stood infront of her looking at her.
Shilpa with disbelief: you'
Armaan put a finger on her lips: just hear me out! (he gathere her face in his hands) I love you! I think I was born to love you. Every breath I take every beat of my heart just calls out your name.
Shilpa started to say something but armaan cut her: you are thinking of ridhima! I loved ridhima she's the first girl I ever fell in love with. She taught me what love is but you've taught me the true meaning of love. Love is not only about holding hands and saying the words but it means being there for one another. Our being together is meant to be, six years back I was a jerk but the truth is I was not ready for you. We both had to go through life to meet in this place in this time for us to finally come together. My love for ridhima, our relationship together was all a prep for you and me, why else all these years we either weren't able to meet or if we met something went wrong.
Shilpa stood there with the tips of her fingers pressed against her lips as if trying to hold back her emotions.
Her eyes shimmered with tears as she looked at him as he continued: shilpa don't you understand I see you, I see your failures and the hurt you have endured all these years. Shilpa!(pulling her close to him)I'm tired of your life and my life I want our life! Together!
Shilpa blinked her eyes to keep the tears from falling.
Armaan looked at her and pulled her closer yet: shilpa! marry me!
Shilpa couldn't help it fat tears slipped from her eyes and rolled down her cheeks.
Armaan tilted her head: don't cry!(pressing his forhead to hers oblivious to the people standing around her)don't cry I can't take your tears. Tell me! tell me what you're feeling?
Shilpa looked at his handsome face and felt scared: I'm scared(she whispered) I'm scared that I'll wake up and all this would be a dream
Armaan himself had tears in his eyes: this is not a dream! I love you and I want you in my life forever. The only way I'm going to let you go is that you tell me that you don't want this! So I'm asking again, will you marry me?
Shilpa swallowed: yes!(armaan stilled as she said the word)yes!(this time more forcefully.
Armaan crushed her to him, his mouth claiming hers in akiss so deep he felt as if their souls connected) Armaan pulled back to see those glorious eyes of her damp with tears as were her cheeks. Armaan smiled at her with tears in his eyes and wiped her tears with the back of his hand.
Edited by amaniM - 05 April 2011 at 4:03am