Joined: 10 August 2009
She woke up with a start as the alarm rings with unexpected harshness as it seemed to her. As expected he wasn't there by her side on the bed. She felt a sharp pang deep down somewhere in her heart. She knew he had already left for work. Nowadays it had become quite usual but then why she cant get herself accustomed to it. Why she always expect those old days to return? Why she used to drift in those golden days of blissful happiness which now seemed to be a distant dreamland? Without even knowing it a lone tear escaped her eye and coming down her rosy cheek it fall on the back of her palm which was clenched tightly and was resting on her lap.
She sighed: "May be the love between us has faded with time. May be the distance between us has engulfed the affection and the need for each other. May be the love for which I craved has finally died off. (Sighed again) I don't know about you Armaan but as for me I need you in every phase of life. I miss those old days when you used to be always ready to make me laugh, make my special days even more special for me. I miss those days Armaan, I miss those beautiful moments I spent with you. I miss you Armaan."
As she said this tears prickle down her face. However, soon she was brought out of her reverie as her mobile started ringing. She quickly wiped off her tears and reached to get hold of her mobile.
She grabbed the phone and answered: "This is Dr.Riddhima Mallik."
A girl answered from the other side: "Hi Rids! Oye kaisi hain tu kuriye? Mujhe miss kiya na? Arey pata hain pata hain jaroor miss kiya hoga. Waise Armaan kaha hain? Abhi tak so raha hain kya sona munda? Accha yeh batao kaisi chal rahi tum dono ki happy shappy married life?"
Riddhima was happy to hear her voice but gulped a painful lump down her throat in the last question. However she managed somehow to conceal her state of mind and replied with forced smile: "Hey muskaan, tu wapas kab aayi? Aur Rahul kaha hain? Aur kaisi chal rahi hain tum dono ki life?"
Muskaan: "Oye sawal ke jawab mein sawal! Pehle maine poocha tha, isliye jawab bhi mujhe pehle hi chahiye."
Riddhima smiled: "Tu kabhie nehi badlegi Muski. Okay fine! Chal 1st ques se start karti hu. Main acchi hu. Tujhe sach mein bahut miss kiya yaar. Urm..Armaan Sanjeevani chala gaya. Usko kuch jaruri kaam tha. Humari married life? Acchi chal rahi hain."
Muskaan: "Sirf acchi? Bol bahut acchi yaar. After all tujhe tera sapno ka rajkumar jo mil gaya."
Riddhima bit her tears back as she thought: "Kash ki jindagi bhi ek sapney ki tarah hi hota. Ek khoobsurat sa sapna. Mujhe mera sapno ka rajkumar toh mil gaya par wo jo sapno ke tarah khoobsurat pal the wo shayad kahin kho gaye. Jis Sapno ki tarah khoobsurat jindagi ka sapna maine dekha tha aaj dil ki gehraiyon mein kahin wo sapna toot raha hain."
She was brought back to the world of reality with a thud by the loud, almost screaming voice of Muskaan which at first seemed to be coming from a very distant land but soon became clearer.
Muskaan (in an anxious tone): "Rids! Riddhima! Tu phone pe hain na? tu thik toh hain na?"
Riddhima (smacked herself in her mind for momentary loss of self control): "ha…haan…haan Muskaan. Main thik hu. Bas kuch soch rahi thi. Waise tu aaj Sanjeevani aa rahi hain na?"
Muskaan: "Thank God! main toh darr hi gayi thi ke pata nehi tujhe kya ho gaya. Sab thik hain na Rids?"
Riddhima: "Nehi muskaan main thik hu. Main bilkul thik hu. Tu fikar mat kar. Chal aaj Sanjeevani mein milte hain."
Riddhima disconnected the call and smiled. At least someone was still there who cared for her and her feelings. She got off the bed and went into the washroom. Within a matter of 10-15 minutes she came out, dressed in a simple yet elegant blue salwar kameez with her soft, silky hair left untied. She was looking just as she used to during her internship days, though a little fatigued which had nothing to do with physical hardships. A certain despondency was looming in her pretty black eyes. She opened her wardrobe and took out her labcoat, stetho and some important case files and again shut the wardrobe back. As she was about to leave the room, her gaze fall on the little calender which was there on the study table and what attracted her attention was the date on it. She gasped. It was her birthday. How come she forgot it and moreover, how come he forgot. It was supposed to be her 1st birthday after their marriage and she had so many dreams woven about it. She had been wondering all this time how he would make it special for her, just as he used to prior to their marriage or in some other rather unusual way. And now her dreams had all shattered. Never before had he forgot this very speacial day and never before had he failed to make it even more special for her. But today it seemed everything had changed and that too, perhaps, for the worst. She felt again a sharp pang of pain as well as anger. It seemed, she thought, he no longer cared for her. The very thought was unbearable for her and the tormenting thought caused tears to brim up in her eyes. She sqeezed her eyes tight and let the stream of tears flow down. However, soon enough she regained control over herself and wiped off her tears. Biting her lower lip she regained her composure and without wasting anymore time she strode out of the room.
She was driving the car with rather doleful mood. Just then her mobile buzzed and she picked it up. There was a message from her mother. Riddhima's mom wanted her to come home after her duty in Sanjeevani. She smiled and thinking that it would be a nice distraction, she agreed and messaged her mom her consent.
Within 15 more minutes she reached Sanjeevani. As she entered the hospital, she asked the nurse at the nurse station whether Dr. Armaan was still busy and to her utter surprise the nurse replied that he took a leave today and went away soon after his arrival. She was shocked to hear that. He didn't even utter a single word about his decision to take leave for a day. Then with a jolt she recalled that for past few months they hardly had any chance of proper conversation and no time at all to spend toghether since he used to leave before she woke up and return late at night after she used to immerse in the depth of sleep.
However, she again succeeded to come out of her thoughts and resume her control. She then resumed her daily duties as a doctor. However, to her utter surprise she didn't find Muskaan and Rahul either. She sighed, hoping to see them sometime soon.
After a long, tiring day of endless works she felt as if the last drop of life had been drained out of her. She felt even more tired that day. However, this had nothing to do with physical exhaustion but the doleful state of mind that she was going through. But a promise should always be kept, at least this was what she believed. So she, though much reluctantly, walked out of the hospital and reached her car.
She switched on her and Armaan's favourite music and drove away. While driving, the memories of those beautiful moments she had spent with him kept tormenting her. However finally which seemed to be a long time she reached her father's house. She was utterly surprised to see the house wrapped up in darkness. Wondering what might have happened, she hurried into the house.
She pushed the door open which wasn't locked and entered the living room which was wrapped in pitch black darkness. She had only started to get more worried when all of a sudden all the lights were switched on and the living room flooded with light. As soon as the lights turned on a collective voice of many people shouted "Happy Birthday" toghether. And rose petals were falling over her from a bucket just above her which was tied with wires and were tied with the door so that when she would push them open they would welcum her into the house. She just couldn't believe it. It all appeared too good to be reality. One moment earlier she was engrossed in the despondent thought of being left neglected by the person she loved the most in the whole world and at the next moment she was on the heights of ecstacy and rapture. She felt as if she was on the seventh heaven. All her friends, colleagues and aquaintances were there. And standing in the front row was her sister Anjali, her best friend Muskaan and muskaan's husband Rahul alongwith Riddhima's parents and grandmom. However her eyes were searching for someone, some very special one.
Just then someone hugged her and whispered from behind, causing a cold wave run down her spine: "Happy Birthday jaan. Kaisa laga surprise?"
She turned around with abrupt speed and embraced him tightly as if he would dissapear the moment she would let go of him. She sobbed in his embrace as if unleashing all her woes.
Armaan was at first baffled by this behaviour of his beloved wife but the next moment he understood her unspoken words. He let her sob for a while and finally when her sobs subsided, he gently pulled her out of the embrace and putting his fingers under her chin raised her face up to meet her gaze.
Armaan smiled at her sweetly and his eyes shone with immense love and care for Riddhima.
Armaan: "I know basket what is going on in your mind right now. Mujhe pata hain ke tum udaas thi aur tumne yeh socha hoga ki main tumhara birthday bhool jaunga. Par Basket main tumhein ya tumse juri hui choti se choti baat bhi nehi bhool sakta. Aur aaj ka din toh itna special hain. Toh bhala main kaise bhool sakta hu."
Riddhima choked over her words: "i…I'm sorry Arm…Armaan…wo mujhe laga tha ki…."
Armaan completed the sentence for her: "ki main tumse bahut dur chala gaya hu aur humari duriya itni bar gayi hain ki humara pyar bhi fika par gaya hain. Hain na?"
Riddhima nodded apologetically and smacked herself mentally as to how she could do that, how she could do that, how she could question his boundless love for her.
Riddhima: "I'm sorry Armaan."
Armaan: "No basket, I'm sorry. Actually main kuch dino se kaam mein itna busy ho gaya tha ki tumhein waqt hi nehi de paya. Agar main tumse bata deta toh yeh saari confusion hoti hi nehi. I'm sorry Basket."
Then Armaan stepped back one or two steps and professed in his typical Armaan type manner: "Main Armaan Mallik tum se yeh wada karta hu Mrs.Riddhima Mallik ki ab chahe kitna bhi kaam kyun na rahe ghar waqt pe lautunga aur tumhare saath is jindagi ke har khoobsurat pal ko mehsoos karunga aur humsaath un har khoobsurat lamhon ko jiyenge."
There were tears in Riddhima's eyes and yet there was the sweetest smile playing in her lips. Today she felt so contented, so enraptured, so proud to have a lifepartner who loved her more than anything in this world.
Armaan stepped forward again and cupped her face. Then gently he wiped off her tears and planted a gentle kiss on her forehead. Once again he pulled her into an embrace. And they lost into each other.
They were brought out of the trance by Muskaan's voice: "Arey Armaan, Ridzee agar romance shomance ho gaya ho toh ab cake bhi kato yaaro."
Anjali smiled: "Ya guys come on now. Baaki ka apne ghar ke liye choro. Ab tumhein koi rokne wala bhi nehi hain. Ab aake cake kaat lo."
Riddhima blushed at the comment and looked even more beautiful as she blushed. Armaan smiled at her and whispered appreciatively: "Oye hoye."
Then they both walked, hand in hand with fingers intertwined. Riddhima cut the cake and everyone wished her "Happy Birthday". She fed the first slice to Armaan who fed her in return. And then one by one she fed her parents, her sister Anjali, muskaan and others.
Now Armaan gestured the DJ and he played a soft romantic music. All the couple one by one went to the dance floor. Armaan offered Riddhima to dance and she happily consented. Both went to the dance floor. They started to twirl and swing with the rhythm of the music with her hands entangled around his neck and his hands around her shoulders. They both lost themselves in each other's eyes where there was only boundless love and respect for each other.
Riddhima whispered softly so that only Armaan could hear: "Is this a dream Armaan? If it is then I don't want to wake up ever again."
Armaan smiled and whispered back softly: "no basket. It isnt a dream. It is only the happy beginning of a blissfull life, of our life and I promise to make it more beautiful then your loveliest dream."
He pulled her closer and pecked on her cheek.
Riddhima smiled and moving closer, she put her head and right arm on his chest. She wanted to enjoy every single moment of that blissful evening.
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