Part 11: Nuptial Night
I looked at her as she gingerly wiped her cheeks. I reached under the seat for a tissue and
handed it to her.
"Th-Thanks" She whispered.
"Are you alright?" I asked her. She froze for a couple of seconds and looked
at me from the corner of her eyes. "Right...stupid
"It's alright." She said.
I didn't know what to say so I simply looked outside the
window. This was awkward...and a
half. She seemed like she was thinking
about something so I let her, obviously.
Besides, there was no way for me to even imagine what she must be feeling.
So here I was. Sitting in the
car, Next to my wife, twiddling my thumbs.
Nothing to say. Nothing to
I was staring at blankness outside when she sniffed. Oh God,
was she still crying? I looked at her
and indeed she was crying again. I moved closer a little bit and she stiffened so I stopped. I was so unsure when I lifted my hand and put
it on her shoulder. I'm sure she noticed
that I hesitated right before putting my hand on her shoulder. I patted her shoulder, unsure of what else to
I was very very very
surprised when she slowly rested her head on my shoulder. I sat there, unmoving, for a couple of
minutes before I put my arm around her shoulder. My worry level decreased as her breathing
became normal and smooth. And believe me...it wasn't until we got to the house
that I realized that she'd fallen asleep.
I nudged my shoulder lightly to wake her up. She stirred a little but that was it.
"Riddhima?" I said with another nudge. She jerked right up. Head was off my shoulder, her body as far
from mine as possible.
Then the door opened.
Muskaan helped Riddhima out of the car while I got out and made my way
around the car. We walked towards the
new house that was supposed to be a wedding gift for Riddhima and me.
"How did you guys get here before us?" I whispered to
"Simple Armaan...we told the drive to take the longest
way here." Muskaan beamed at me.
I rolled my eyes.
As we stopped at the entrance, my awesome mother did the same thing
Padma mom had done for me. Aarti. Except this time, it was Riddhima who was
Mom placed a vessel filled with rice in the middle of the
doorway. Riddhima tipped it over with a
nudge from her right foot. And then she
placed a plate full of red water in front of Riddhima. Oh no...
Riddhima looked at it.
My mother, along with other ladies giggled. I was so damned confused.
"Oh my god, my idiotic brother...give her your hand!"
I glared at her. I
was sure if Kripa was here, she wouldn't say something so stupid. I thought since Muskaan is Riddhima's friend,
she'd understand that Riddhima wasn't completely comfortable with me yet.
Hesitantly, I extended my hand to her and just as
hesitantly, she put her hand in mine. As
usual, a funny shiver ran down my spine and I didn't pay much attention to
it. She stepped into the platter of red
liquid while two ladies rolled a long white cloth...sort of like a white
carpet...only it wasn't a carpet.
Riddhima stepped onto the cloth and walked into our new
home, holding my hand. It made me
happy. I looked at her and promised
myself that I'll always keep her happy, I'll always love her and protect
her. I just hope that she realizes that
I am her husband now and that she doesn't have to be so uncomfortable around
They sat us down across from each other again and Angad
slapped my back in encouragement.
"You've got to win this my friend." He said to me. I realized that everyone around us was
chatting. Riddhima was sort of chatting
Lots of teasing and chatting later, mom placed another
deep dish on front of us filled with milk and flowers. The girls started cheering for Riddhima while
my friends cheered for me. Mom put a
ring in a handful of flowers, put everything in the milk and swirled it around.
My eyes were set on Riddhima while my hand searched for
the ring. She was smiling. Blushing at the teases that came from the
watching crowd. The whole game lasted a
few minutes and then my hand found the ring.
Smiling proudly, I pulled it out and held it up for everyone to
see. The guys behind me went crazy
Riddhima gave me a tight smile and extended her hand to
me. I put on the ring while trying to
not touch her as much as possible. I
guess Angad noticed, because he squeezed my shoulder as if he were consoling
Then soon, after more chatting and such, distant
relatives started dissipating. Before I
knew it, it was just us guys in the big room.
"Oh shut up Rahul!" Angad exclaimed.
"No, it's true he must show her that he's the man'" Rahul
said, slapping my back. I swear to god,
at that moment I was thinking that whoever slapped my back again was going to
get it from me.
"You sound like you live in the freaking 1970s'show her
who's the man??? Come on'these are days of equality'if
anything'I feel women are more superior to us." Angad said.
"You're just greatly influenced by Ms. Flight Patel."
Rahul teased him.
I thanked my stars when Billy and mom came there.
"Lets go my boy'its time to get you started on your
miserable married life'I'll miss you son." Billy wiped imaginary tears.
Mom slapped his arm.
"Don't teach my baby wrong things'he's not like you'he'll love his married life'I'm sure of it'Armaan'.Beta let's
I took a deep breath and got up. Angad and Rahul got up as well. I got escorted up until my bedroom where
Muskaan and a few other distant cousin sisters blocked my way.
"You don't get to get in here so easy brother!" Muskaan
stuck her tongue out at me.
"What do you want?"
Cash." She crossed her arms and smiled smugly.
I was so tired, I just wanted to go and sleep. Well, I wanted to have a conversation with
Riddhima first, obviously. I was in no
mood to argue with the girls so I turned to Billy.
"Billy? Pay them
now and I'll pay you tomorrow morning." I said.
"You got it son." He said pulling out his wallet. I swear weddings were a way for the girls to
earn some money by robbing the groom.
First for his own shoes and now to enter his own room.
Once Billy gave them the money, they all ran off
squealing while I rolled my eyes. Mom
pated my head lovingly and left, pulling Billy along. Billy was winking at me and giving me thumbs
up suggestively. I groaned and turned to
Angad. Rahul did the same goofy thing
with the smile, wink, and thumbs up as Billy.
Then he gave me a hug and ran after Muskaan. I turned to Angad'better get done with all
the goofy expressions at once. But Angad
was looking at me quite seriously.
"What?" I demanded.
"Nothing'don't let them get to you'they're just being
typical men. Look, Kripa asked me to
tell you something'she said that Riddhima may act a little strange. She's not too good at being in an unfamiliar
people with new people'she takes her time opening up. And as far as I know you'if you're not
talking to a woman to have a one night stand, you take your time getting to
know them well too'.."
I nodded. Angad
was right. I'd already guessed that
tonight was going to be a little difficult.
"I don't know what to do'honestly" I confessed to
Angad. I could tell him anything because
he was mature for a guy his age. He was
a good friend who always knew where I was coming from or where my thoughts were
"I know you're starting to fall in love with her'and you
two are married but this is pretty much like a first blind date. Keep it like one. Don't hold back a lot of info but don't cross
the line. Do you see what I'm seeing?"
He touched my shoulder in encouragement while I nodded.
He gave me a brotherly hug and his phone rang as we
pulled apart. He looked at the screen
and turned his phone so that I could see the screen. It was Kripa.
I took the phone from him and took the call. "Hello?"
"Hey!...Armaan?" She asked unsure.
"That's right. How
are mamma and papa there?" I asked.
"Aww how adorable! You're
worried about Padma aunty and uncle!
They're alright. Just dealing
with post wedding stuff. How's Riddhima? I hope she's not giving you a hard time."
"She seems a little bothered but I guess she'll be fine
soon'" I told her honestly. Why not'I
mean'She is Riddhima's best friend.
"Yeah'I'm sorry about that'she takes her sweet time to
open up'and I wish there was something I could do to help'" she sounded
genuinely disappointed as she said this.
"Don't worry Kripa'just be there for her'.so that she has
someone to talk to'" I said.
I bid her goodbye and handed the phone to Angad who gave
me a brotherly pat on the shoulder and left.
I hoped that Angad and Kripa got together soon. They were perfect for each other in every
I turned to the door, took a deep breath to calm myself
and opened the door.
Armaan entered the room, nervous, expecting to find her
sitting on the bed like the brides did in the movie. But he saw no one. She wasn't there! Then the door to the washroom opened.
She stepped out wearing a black set of night suit. All her bridal wear, bridal jewellery except
for the mangalsutra was gone. She froze
when she saw him. He looked at her
carefully, taking in the lowered eyes, heavy breathing, and her fiddling with
her fingers, her left foot toes being crushed by her right foot toes. He sighed.
"Relax'" he didn't know what else to say.
Armaan took the scarf from around his neck and tossed it
onto the bed. He walked towards the
cupboard, and pulled out his own PJs.
"Um'I'll just go and change." He said to Riddhima who was
standing in between the door and him.
She nodded and moved out of his way.
She breathed out once the bathroom door locker and put
her hand on her forehead. She looked at
the decorated bed and her eyes widened.
She was supposed to share the
bed with him? There was no way. Absolutely no way.
After a few minutes, when Armaan stepped out of the room,
he was surprised to see a pillow and a blanket set up on the couch. She was in front of the mirror, brushing her
hair. Armaan walked up to her and put
his hand on her shoulder to get her attention.
She jerked her shoulder back, away from his touch before turning to
him. Armaan frowned. What the heck?
"Can I talk to you for a minute?" Armaan asked her.
Riddhima's eyes flickered to the couch once before she
looked at him nervously. "Yeah?"
"Why are there a pillow and a blanket on the couch?" He
"Because'..I'm going to'.Sleep there'" Riddhima answered
He felt sorry for her.
He truly did. He extended a hand
but saw her stiffen so he pulled his hand back.
"Look'I understand that this is hard for you'I know that
it feels awkward and weird but believe me'it is just as hard for me'." He said.
"No its not!" She snapped, taking him by surprise. "It's not as hard for you'.you're a guy."
She walked off towards the couch. Armaan had to admit that it hurt a little bit
that she won't even acknowledge that they were in the same position'the only
difference was that he was genuinely trying
to make it easier for the both of them. Someone had to break the ice.
"Wait Riddhima'" He called out. She paused in her steps but didn't turn
When she didn't say anything, Armaan continued. "You sleep on the bed'I'll sleep on the
couch'Please. And no. I'm not trying to
put you on a guilt trip."
He walked past her and sat on the couch. She walked to the bed and sat down gingerly. His elbows were resting on his knees, his
hands held together as he looked at her, wondering whether or not he should say
what was on his mind.
"Kripa called'.she was asking if you were fine'and mamma and papa are alright,
she said'" Armaan told her.
She just nodded and moved back on the bed, getting ready
Right before she turned off the lights, Armaan
interrupted again. "you know Riddhima'I
understand that my proximity scares you a little bit because you don't know
me...but I am your husband'I
promised to protect you all my life and I will
even if it's from myself. But please'please understand that this is just as
difficult for me as it is for you. And I
want you to know that you can trust me.
Have a good night."
"Good night" she replied and turned the lights off.
Armaan lay there thinking about how to make this easier
for Riddhima, while Riddhima lay in bed thinking about how unfortunate she was for
being married to a guy she didn't even know and how she was ever going to deal
with this her entire life. Right before
they went to sleep, they concluded one thing: It sure as hell won't be easy.
Next Part: Page 51
EXAMS DONE! Here you go guys. This is update 11. I guess from here you can see where Armaan-Riddhima's story is headed. Will Armaan be able to make her understand? Will Riddhima at least attempt to make this marriage work? Will anything happen between Angad and Kripa? Stay tuned to find out! Love you all!