Joined: 16 December 2008
Fate and Co-incidences
Chapter 1: Interactions
"Hi Riddhima, I am Armaan Mallik. It is so nice to meet you!" He grinned and added, "Finally!"
Riddhima glared at Armaan unable to speak, while her brain did a quick rewind, "Oh no! This can't be happening."
57 minutes back
Riddhima looked at her watch and squealed, "Shit, I am late." She hurriedly stuffed her notebook in her bag and rushed out of her apartment, banging the door behind her. She was just in time to see a guy in white shirt enter the elevator before it went down. "No!" she exclaimed, before running for the stairs.
"I'd better get something to eat," she thought, reaching the corner cafe on a sprint, "Have no idea when I'll get to see food again." She ran to the counter and ordered her favourite, "A latte and a cucumber sandwich to go please, and please make it quick, I am in a bit of a hurry."
"Sorry miss, you'll have to wait for the next batch," the lady at the counter apologised, "That guy just took the last one."
Riddhima watched the retreating back of the previous customer and sighed, "Damn you, white shirt!"
She chanced another glance at her watch as she ran out of the cafe with her latte. "8:55, jeez! I hope I get a taxi." As if an answer to her prayer she spotted an empty cab just across the street. "Taxi," she called and was about to cross the road but jumped back on the pavement just in time as a black car whizzed by. "Oh no, no, no!" she moaned, as another passenger jumped into the empty taxi, the same guy with the white shirt!Riddhima watched helplessly as the taxi took a U-turn and went past her. She distinctly saw the guy look at her and did he smirk? She should have expected it, keeping in mind the rest of the horrible morning, nonetheless she was pretty shocked when the rear tires of the taxi hit a pot hole and next thing she knew, she was drenched.
It took Riddhima exactly 3 seconds to get over her shock and another 2 sec to reach the peak of her anger. In 5 seconds she was running behind the speeding taxi ignoring the blatant stares of passers.
"Hey you!Taxi! Stop! Stop! Stop you stealing, thieving cow!"
Riddhima noticed the taxi slowing down and doubled her speed until she was standing right in front of the cause of all her trouble since morning. The damn guy with the damn white shirt!
"I am so sorr'."
"Save it!" Riddhima cut him off, "Who the hell you think you are?"
"You think you're a king of some sorts?" Riddhima cut him off again, "Stealing cabs and elevators and taking away the last cucumber sandwich and'"
"Shut up! I don't want to hear another word! All this might be alright where you come from, the ill-mannered pig land, but remember, you do not mess with Riddhima Gupta!Guys like you prove it, chivalry is dead!" And with that finality in her tone she turned around and marched away!
" Riddhima Gupta!" Armaan mouthed and grinned.
"Hello," Riddhima managed finally through gritted teeth, consciously avoiding Armaan's outstretched hand. "Riddhima, you have to be the biggest idiot on the planet." Dr.Kirti interrupted her silent self-admonition.
"Riddhima, you are very lucky to have Dr.Armaan as your senior associate. He was our best intern last year and.."
"Please Dr.Kirti," Armaan interrupted, "You are biased!"
Riddhima couldn't believe her eyes. Did he just wink at Dr.Kirti and did she blush?? Oh my!
"Armaan," Dr.Kirti smiled, "It is true. You were the best intern! Riddima, Dr.Armaan specifically chose you as his associate. He was mighty impressed with your final year thesis."
"It was very good work," Armaan smiled at Riddhima but she kept frowning.
"Armaan, even you are lucky to have Riddhima as your associate. She comes highly recommended. Her professors told me she is sincere, hardworking and dedicated. She is quite the no-nonsense doctor.
"Then I shouldn't mess with Dr.Riddhima Gupta," Armaan smirked, clearly enjoying Riddhima'sdiscomfiture. "Right Doctor?"
21 minutes ago
"I am sorry Riddhima Gupta," Armaan whispered, well aware that she was out of earshot, "I hadn't expected our first meeting to be such a disaster Doc."
He watched her walking away, her long hair blowing in the breeze, her pink duppatta trailing behind. Even during their short and fiery interaction he couldn't help but notice how beautiful she was. "Beauty with brains," he thought, "Judging by her analysis and recommendations in her thesis. She seems to be very clear in her concepts." As if reading his thoughts about her, Riddhima turned around shooting him a look of the deepest loathing and he couldn't help but smile. He was lucky that he had smiled after she had turned around or he might have been facing another showdown. Armaangrinned, "See you at Sanjeevani, Dr.Riddhima Gupta."
Sitting in the speeding cab, he replayed in his head what Riddhima had said in her passionate little discourse.
"Elevator?"Armaan thought back and realised he had seen a glimpse of a pink dupatta just before the elevator door closed. "Uh-oh, the cucumber sandwich," Armaan remembered the lady at the counter handing him over the last piece. " And then the cab, no wonder the lady is so mad at me." He grinned as he glanced at his watch, "And now she is going to be late on her first day!"
"Not if I can help it," he corrected himself with determination, "Driver, step on it!"
Armaan reached Sanjeevani and called his best friend and colleague.
"Rahul, dude, where are you? Fine, meet me in front of Dr.Kirti's office, now!"
Armaan ran towards Dr.Kirti's office going over his plan in his head. He was just in time to see Dr.Kirti enter her office when Rahul called out to him.
Armaan turned around to find Rahul running towards him.
"Dude, I need your help."
"Any time Armaan," Rahul said, rolling up his sleeves, "Who are we beating up today?"
"Rahul, we are not beating up anybody, I need you to help me keep Dr.Kirti busy for half an hour."
Rahul turned around to leave immediately but Armaan caught him by his shirt.
"Come on Dude! Help me out. Coffee on me."
"But Armaan," Rahul groaned, "I don't want to talk to her early in the morning. It is going to spoil my entire day."
"Rahul please, it's important!"
"Fine," Rahul agreed reluctantly, "But you'd better tell me why I am spending a good 30 minutes of my life keeping Dr.Kirti busy. I can think of a million other ways that I can amuse myself."
"All in good time Rahul," Armaan promised pushing him towards Dr.Kirti's room, "For the time being however, turn up your irresistible charm." He knocked on the door, "Dr.Kirti, may we come in?"
"Oh yes," Dr.Kirti smiled, looking up from her paperwork, "Dr.Armaan, Dr. Rahul, Please come in."
"Thank You Dr.Kirti. We were just wondering if you could help us out with a little thing. Or are you too busy?"
"Umm," Dr.Kirti hesitated, "I am supposed to go for the briefing of the first year interns, but I still have some time. Tell me, what is it?"
"Ah, the first year interns," Rahul spoke up, getting a nudge from Armaan, "Are they coming today?"
"Yes, I told you yester'"
"I can't believe we are seniors now," Armaan cut her off, "Seems like yesterday when we were waiting for our briefing as first year interns."
"Yes, I know, it was'"
"Dr.Kirti you gave such an inspirational briefing," Rahul commented.
"Yeah, I couldn't wait to start working," Armaan added.
"Oh, thanks, I .."
"We are doctors, that means putting our patients lives before anything else!" Rahul dramatized, "Oh Dr.Kirti, I remember every word you said!"
"And I remember how beautiful you looked in the yellow saree, maam," Armaan added, "I can never forget that."
Armaan and Rahul shook hands behind their back as they saw Dr.Kirti blush. She was so easy to flatter.
"Oh, you two!"Dr.Kirti smiled, "Please sit. Tell me what it is that you wanted to talk to me about?"
"Sure Dr.Kirti, but before that, would you like to have a cup of coffee with us please?"
"Umm, I am already a little late, so.."
"Please Dr.Kirti, it would mean a lot."
"Ah'.okay, fine," Dr.Kirti finally relented seeing the sad faces, "I guess I can spare 5 minutes!"
At the same time, a few kilometres away from Sanjeevani
"I can't believe I just did that! The poor guy!"Riddhima remembered his face and felt guilty, "I wish I could apologise.Maybe when I meet him later. I might bump into him if we live in the same building."Riddhima looked at her watch and everything else seemed to vaporise from her mind, "9:35! On my first day! Oh, I hate being late!"
She nearly jumped off the taxi when it stopped in front of the gates of Sanjeevani and ran inside. It took her another 10 seconds to reach the conference room where she plonked herself on a seat and sighed in relief. "The briefing has still not started! Thank God!"
She was just catching her breath when a slender girl with a shock of curly hair joined her.
"Hey, I am Muskaan, MuskaanChaddha. Are you an intern here?"
"Hi, Muskaan, I am Riddhima Gupta, " Riddhima smiled, "I am so glad I made it on time for the briefing."
"Well you are lucky, the briefing should have already started. From what I have heard, Dr.Kirti is never late, today seems to be an exception!" Muskaan giggled, "Maybe, someone was looking out for you!"
"Maybe," Riddhima agreed with a smile, "Muskaan, Dr.Kirti is here!"
As the five interns stood up to greet their senior doctor, Dr.Kirti went up to the stage.
"Good morning interns. I am here to welcome you all to Sanjeevani and we are all very happy to have you here. I am sure you are well aware of it, but it is my duty to mention that Sanjeevani is known as one of the best medical facilities that this country has to offer. To achieve this recognition, people here at Sanjeevani have worked very very hard. And now, that you are a part of Sanjeevani, we expect you to deliver the same amount of dedication and sincerity in treating your patients. Sanjeevani chooses only the best doctors from across the country to join their staff and now you can be sure that you are one of the best! Heartiest congratulations to all of you and Welcome to Sanjeevani!"
Riddhima listened intently to Dr.Kirti's briefing and couldn't help feeling proud. All her efforts had finally paid off and she was to start working with India's best doctors. A dream come true!
"Okay, now that I have given you a fair idea about your duties, I would now like to tell you about your projects. At the end of the year, each one of you is supposed to submit a project report on a topic of your choice. This is very important as it decides the scholarships. To help you with this project, we have paired you up with our senior residents. I am sure your seniors will be very happy to help you with the projects and also provide invaluable advice on life at Sanjeevani, which I might have overlooked." Dr.Kirti smiled at the indistinct murmurs, "I am going to call out the pairs now. Juniors, please meet your senior partners. Dr.Riddhima Gupta, you have been paired with Dr.Armaan Mallik!"
"Hi Riddhima, I am ArmaanMallik. It is so nice to meet you!" He grinned and added, "Finally!"
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