Posted: 29 October 2011 at 6:05am | IP Logged
hello friends, i think this one is a record, right? i know i am not so regular, but i am trying hard guys. its actually very difficult for me because of the net and hostel problems. neways, here's the next part, hope u all enjoy it.
As soon as Riddhima stepped inside the police station, she saw shock and surprise on everyone's face. People left their seats, some to oggle at her, and some to respect fo rher. She liked it, she'd worked very hard to earn all these glances. She directly moved towards the cabin of the incharge inspector, and knocked.
"Come in!", the voice came and she entered.
The inspector immediately got up, happiness visible in his genuine expressions.
"Oho! Riddhima Malhotra, welcome. I believe mera police station wo iklauta lucky 'Police Station' hai jahan tumne darshan diye hain, haina?"
"Sharma ji, aap bhi?", Riddhima gave an irritated frown at this teasing, but stopped the smile that threatened to adore her face.
"Areh bhai, pehle baitho tum araam se (she settled). Ab batao, ye poori duniya ko hila rakha hai tumne. Tum jaisi satki hui criminal lawyer ko kya sanak jaagi ki ye civil case ladne baith gayi? Bohut kuch sun ne ko mil raha hai tumhare baare mein aajkal, par sachai kya hai, tumhi bata sakti ho. Kahin wo Armaan Mallik se to...?"
"Sharma ji please, bewajah ke reasons mat dhundiye. Mr Mallik ki beti Anjali meri bohut achhi dost hai. Ye case maine usi ke liye liya hai. And waise bhi its a very interesting case, aapse better ye kaun jaan sakta hai. Kyun?"
"Haanji, ye bhi sahi bola. Chalo tumhara kaam karte hain. Waise yakeen maano, is case se tum linked ho, isliye iseh itni attention mil rahi hai, verna kaun is time pe kisi ko bail dene ka jhanjhat leta hai. Shindey! Mallik ji ko le aao"
"Amit! Cut it yaar! Kitni bar mana kiya hai, main koi khoosat budhi nahi hu, and we are college mates, remember. Itna ma'am and formality sirf meetings and all mein chahiye, waise ye sab mat kiya karo, main budhape ke darr se mar jaoongi"
"Ok Riddhima ji! Ye batao ki tum kyun aayi, tum to thak gayi hogi na? Maine kaha tha main sambhal lunga, ya phir bharosa hie nahi tha?", he showed fake anger.
"Amit! Bharose ki baat nai hai. Bharosa na hota to tumhe itna important kaam na deti. But you know na, Anjali is so much into the case. Samjha karo, meri jagah Atul aa jata, but he too has had a hectic day, so... freak! Bi ki call, just a sec Amit. Hello! Haan Bi, haan hawan khatam ho gaya, haan..."
Mr Balraj Mallik came out escorted by the constable. He was received by a young man, who helped him complete all the formalities.
"Hello Sir! Congratulations, i am Amit Mehta..."
"My lawyer?", the old man raised eyes of suspision. Somehow this man did not seem to have the aura to get Mr Mallik out of the jail at this time.
"Ji nahi, just a helping and assistant lawyer of your lawyer. Aapki lawyer wo hain, jo udhar phone pe baat kar rahi hain. Wo!"
Balraj Mallik moved in the direction where Amit had pointed. He looked here and there, but found no one. Then he heard a voice, and found that it belonged to a figure who was dressed up, certainly not for a police station.
"Haan Bi, sab gussa they aapke na aane se. Maine bataya aapki tabiyat ke baare mein, but aap to aanty ko jaanti ho na. Naraaz hain aapse, mana lena unhe. Haan baki sab aaraam se khatam hua. Anjali ko ghar chhod diya, aur main, wo Bi actually main police station mein hoon. Wo Mr Mallik... Beee, please, hum ghar par baat karenge, please samjho na..."
Riddhima heard the voice and turned back, only to see Mr Mallik standing there. She was startled to meet him in person, and unconsciously, she lost her balance, but Mr Mallik was in time to hold her by her shoulders. She released herself immediately from his hold.
"Bi! I'll talk to you later (cutting the call). Aapne mujhe kaise pehchana? Hum to pehle kabhi mile bhi nahi hain?", Riddhima asked.
"Anjie se tumhare baare mein itna suna hai, ki tumhari ek unique si image thi mann mein. Bhale hie newspaper mein tumhe dekha hai, lekin jo tasveer mann ne banayi thi, wo zaada sachi hai, tabhi to bina chehra dekhe bhi pehchaan gaya", he smiled. Riddhima was dazed by his deep reply, but she recovered soon.
"Uh congrats Mr Mallik! Ab case ki hearing monday ko hai, hum tab milenge. Amit aapko ghar chhod dega. Take care!"
"Tum bhi chalo, Anjie ko achha lagega"
"Mujhe abhi kuch urgent kaam hai, aap Amit ke saath jaeeye", saying this, Riddhima moved to talk to the inspector. She thanked him and left, and 10 minutes later, Mr Mallik also moved to settle in Amit's car.
"Oh! Mera cell andar reh gaya hai. Amit, tum 5 minute ruko, main abhi lekar aaya", Mr Mallik moved towards the inspector's cabin, and was about to enter, when he saw Riddhima there, with a young boy besides her.
"Sharma ji, I am so shocked, especially aap par. Aapke police station mein ye ho raha hai, aapke under, aur aapko kuch pata hie nahi, kaise maa lu main yeh. Wo to ye bachcha mujhe bahar dikh gaya. Aap bataeeye, ye kahaan se fair hai, kaisa insaaf hai? I know iska chori karna galat tha, lekin iski jagah iski bimar maa ko jail mein daalna, ye sahi hai kya? Kaunse inspector ke under hai ye case, zara bataeeye, main usi ko court lekar jaoongi.", Riddhima blasted at the inspector.
"Riddhima, i'm really sorry. Galti meri hai, maine is case par dhyaan nahi diya. Par tum shaant ho jao, i promise aagey se aisa kuch nahi hoga. Shindey! Bachche ki maa ko bahar lao"
"Aap par bharosa hai Sharma ji, isliye chhod rahi hu. Achha hua main bahar hi thi, verna pata nahi...", Riddhima stopped as she saw the child run upto his mom. A tear escaped her eye as the mother hugged him, and she wiped it off immediately, little knowing that Mr Mallik had observed it all. Riddhima now realised what she was actually missing in her life. Though Shehnaz Bi never loved her less, but somewhere in the corner of her heart, Riddhima did miss her mother. After a few minutes, she moved towards the kid, and settled on her knees to talk to him.
"Aapka naam kya hai?"
"Apun Leo!", he answered blatantly.
"Wow! Pata hai mera sunsign bhi Leo hai", Riddhima exclaimed like an excited child.
"Sun sen bole to?", he scratched his head.
"Hehehe, kuch nahi. Achha ye batao ki tumne chori kyu ki?"
"Apun ki maa bimar hai, subah se kuch nai khayela usne, isliye apun ne chori kiya. But tumko thank you hai, apni maa ko chhudane ke liye. Tu bohut achhi hai. Kabhi koi kaam ho to apun ko bolna", Leo smiled at her.
"Tu bolke to dekh, kabhi bi, kahi bi, kuch bi", Leo said proudly, flashing his dimples.
"School jaoge, padhne ke liye?"
"Tu mazaak kar reli hai na?"
"Jaaoge ya nahi, sachi mein pooch rahi hu. Padh likhke, bade aadmi banoge, apni maa ka khayal rakhoge?"
"Per paise kahan se...?"
"Uske liye main hoon na. Tum bas achhe se mann laga ke padhna, bol kya bolta hai?"
"Lekin apun tujhse...kaise?"
"Ohoo! Wo sab chhodo. Chalo tumhare liye books aur kapde khareedne chalte hain"
"Tujhe pata hai apna ek dost hai, uski ek badi sister hai jo usko school bhejti thi. To kya apun bi tere ko... sister bula sakta hai?", Leo hesitated. Riddhima hugged him tightly, and Leo got his answer, and he too hugged her back, unlike in the case of his mother who had been hugging him and not vice-versa, and this over-whelmed Riddhima. She turned to Leo's mother,
"Hum aapka samaan lene chalte hain. Aajse aap log mere saath rahoge. Manaa mat karna please, Leo ki khatir, usne mujhe behen maana hai, itna to main uske liye kar sakti hoon. Chaliye", and with this, Mr Mallik saw them all leave.
Balraj Mallik was extremely surprised. Riddhima had said that she had an urgent lie, and she had to leave, so was that a lie??? And all that he just witnessed, he was so very confused. Was Riddhima actually so cold natured as she'd behaved with him, or was it all a fluke? He left, as innumerable questions played in his mind, boggling him to the end.
Balraj reached home, and it was no less than a celebration foe everyone. And to add to his surprise, Armaan was heartily being a part of the whole celebration. Balraj had thought, that somewhere, because of the situations that had come along the way, he'd lost the emotional bond he had with Armaan. The way Armaan had always been under the pressure to follow Rahul's path, in studies, and then business, and excel like him, it felt as if he'd lost his cheerful Armaan. Even though Armaan had proven himself better than expected in whatever he did, better than Rahul infact, always a good son, a doting brother, a successful businessman, but he'd lost his childishness in all this, and Balraj blamed himself for this. But seeing the sparkle in Armaan's eye today, Balraj knew thal all hope wasnt lost, after all.
"Dad, i'm so glad aap wapis aa gayye. Aapke bina ghar kitna khali tha, missed you so much...", saying this, Anjali hugged him, and seeing the atmosphere get heavier, he decided to lighten it a bit.
"Awww my princess, you missed me, and i also missed you all. But see, mera unshaved face, unironed kapde, ye sab dikhate hain how much i missed you all. But look at you all, in top conditions, and you say you missed me. He laughed and Anjali left him with a frown.
"Dad! Aap bhi na???"
"Dad, ye sab Riddhima ka jadoo hai. Jabse humein pata chala hai ki aapka case wo ladegi, hum log aise ghoom rahe hain jaise aap already free ho and everything is back to normal", Rahul said this as he came forward with Muskaan to hug his dad. Balraj looked at his wife only to see her nod and reassure him through her eyes. Gradually, everyone except Armaan hugged Balraj, and had only one name on their lips, Riddhima. Balraj was surprised at this.
"Ok ok people, ab aap sab Riddhima ki itni taareef kar rahe ho to i believe humein useh ek thanks to bolna hie chahiye. Anjie, bete Riddhima ko call karo, and phone speaker per lagao"
Anjali happily hopped to pick her cell and speed dialled the number. After a few rings, the call was finally put through.
"Hey Ridzi, kya kar rahi thi?", excitement flowed in Anjali's words, but Riddhima's reply was a very muffed one.
"Party kar rahi hu, dance, drinks, food. Wanna join?"
"Seriously???" Anjali was quite shocked.
"Buzz off Anjali. Obviously not, is time per kis khushi mein party karungi? Its 2 o'clock at night, or morning to be precise, and main so rahi thi", an irritated sleepy Riddhima's reply came.
"Dont you dare aww me, you know how i so hate it jab tum raat ko mujhe faltu baaton ke liye uthati ho. Main koi tumhara boyfriend nai hu, jis se tum har roz raat ke is time baat karna chahti ho. Ek tum, aur ek Bi, dono meri neend ke peechhe padi ho. Maine kya bigada hai tum logo ka. Now i dont care what you have to say, as i'm already tired and very very sleepy, and dont you forget that you've invited trouble for tomorrow, that's my promise. Now have a bad night, as i shall sleep peacefully, dreaming of the look of shock on your face right now"
Click! With this, the phone went off. Anjali lifted her eyes to see everyone stare at her, and the phone, simultaneously, and as hard as they tried to stiffle their laughter, they burst off. No one had ever dared to cut Anjali Mallik's call, and threaten her, this was also a first one, and the whole family knew it. But here was this girl, who not only cut Anjali's call by threatning her, but had managed to actually scare off Anjali. Anjali turned to her dad for some help, but seeing him laugh away with the others, she huffed away, and he immediately came to make up with her.
"Anjie, beta dont be angry. Riddhima sachi thaki hui hai, police station mein bhi bohut thaki hui lag rahi thi"
Everyone's ears shot up at this piece of information, and the first one to speak, was Armaan.
"Riddhima aapke saath police station mein thi, par wo to kabhi kisi bhi police station mein nahi jaati naah?"
"Haan Dad! Aaj hum dono hawan pe gayye they, and hawan ke baad jab usne mujhe drop kiya, to wo already bohut tired thi. She said ki ghar jaate hie so jaayegi", Anjali perked up.
"Kya? Riddhima ghar tak aayi aur tumne useh aise hie jaane dia. Andar kyun nahi bulaya?", Ananya scolded Anjali, when Balraj spoke up to save her from his wife's wrath.
"Annie! Riddhima was actually very tired. Am sure Anjie thought it best to let her go and have some rest. But the shocking thing is ki why did Riddhima go to the police station, when she's never stepped into one, wo bhi at this time when she could just drop right anywhere because of tiredness? And you know wo saari formalities poori karwa kar gayi. No wonder the poor girl is so exhausted. Let her have some peace of mind now. Aur chalo ab hum bhi sote hain, common guys, off to bed. Its a long day tomorrow. Good Night"
All of them dispersed at this, and as Armaan entered his room, he went to his cupboard, took out Riddhima's jacket. He covered one of his pillow's with Riddhima's jacket, and made it stand next to his bedpost. He himself sat infront of it, and spoke tot he pillow,
"Miss Riddhima Malhotra! After all tum ho kya mystery? Kyun tumhe samajhna itna mushkil hai? Aakhir tumhara asli roop kya hai? Cold and professional but successful lawyer, ya wo tez taraar witty intelligent ladki, jise chhune per aag lag jaaye, aur jo apne indifference se mujhe bar bar chot pohunchati hai, jise mere hone na hone se koi farak hie nahi padta? Bi ki wo pampered bachchi, ya Anjie ki wo naughty par mature friend, ya wo caring ladki jo dad ke liye police station tak chali gayi, ya phir wo ladki jo mujhse itni nafrat karti hai, ki shayad hie utna kisi se pyaar kiya ho? Pata nahi kyun tum mujhe itna hate karti ho, aur ye bhi pata nahi ki mujhe is baat se kyun farak padta hai? Mujhe chot kyun lagti hai, jab tumhari baaton mein mere liye nafrat ke alawa kuch nazar nahi aata. Kyun mujhe itna hurt karti ho tum, Riddhima, aakhir galti kya hai meri? Kyun Riddhima, Kyun?", saying this, Armaan did not know when and how did he sleep, and that too hugging the pillow and the jacket.
This was how his Balraj found him when he came in the morning to wake Armaan. He saw the frown lines on Armaan's face as he lay there on the bed, but they disappeared as soon as he hugged the pillow closer. Balraj smiled at this and got in the process of waking up his son, who was unwilling as he smiled and pouted in sleep. After loads of efforts, Armaan realised that it was his dad who was waking him up, and not his mom, jinpar uske dimples and cute se pout ka magic hamesha chal jata hai. He immediately woke up with a start,
"Uh Dad! Aap yahaan? Good Morning! Kuch kaam tha aapko, mujhe bula lete, aap kyun aaye? Anyways, aap apne room mein chalo, main abhi laptop lekar aata hoon. I'll update you about all the recent contracts and transactions in the company...", Armaan said it all in a go, but was stopped by Balraj.
"Armaan chill! I am not here to talk about the office, or work. Tum bas jaldi se fresh hoke aao, balcony mein. I've got coffee for us, come on", he patted Armaan on his back. Armaan did as told, and after 5 minutes, joined his dad in his room's balcony. They settled on the bean bags lying there, and Balraj saw Armaan give a faraway look to the scenery outside. Balraj could see a few frown lines crowd his handsome son's face, and he'd guessed the reason for it too, so he spoke up.
"I wanted to talk to you about someone, Riddhima", Balraj saw the immediate effects of the name on Armaan, his ears shot up, as his body stiffened a bit.
"Riddhima? Kyun, kya hua Riddhima ko? I know Dad, aapko lagega ki she isnt good, but trust me dad, she's the best. I just know it, maine sab kuch check bhi kar liya hai. Useh ek chance deka dekho dad, uske liye koi bhi guarantee dega, main bhi. I can bet my life on her anyday...", Armaan spoke without a pause, with huge confidence, and with a little bit too much of care, which was not missed by Balraj's observation.
"Armaan, relax beta. Jaha tak mujhe pata hai, tum us se abhi mile ho. To fir uske liye itna defensive, itna cring, possesive kyun ho rahe ho? Aisa kya hua, ki tum itna change ho gayye ho? I've noticed the changes Armaan, not that i dont like them. Tum sabke saath zaada interact kar rahe ho, you seem so happy, and your ears go up like this (he made two horns with fingers on his ears) everytime someone talks about Riddhima. Aur jahaan tak mera experience bolta hai, wo pillow wali jacket, wo Riddhima ki hai, haina? I have this feeling, ki its all about Riddhima, main sahi hoon na Armaan? (Armaan just lowered his face at this). Dont keep it to youself Armaan, talk to me, please. Pehli baar dl mein ye ummeed hai ki I can get back that cheerful Ammy of mine, just like the older times, the old father-son relationship. (Armaan immediately looked at him with an accusatory glance) I know we lost it all because of my fault, because of all those ways i pressurised you, but you think i dont wanna set things right, i do son, i really want to make ammends in what i did. I know the past cannot be changed, but we can always start afresh, with a new present, cant we, please, come back, please. Talk your heart out Ammy", Balraj almost begged in a pleading tone.
This pulled the trigger of Armaan's feelings, and rushed up to hug his dad tightly. Armaan cried a tear or two, while Balraj just ran his hand up and down Armaan's back. After a few minutes, he finally spoke up.
"I dont know dad, i just have no idea ki aajkal kya raha hai, ki mujhe kya ho raha hai, why am i changing, i have no clue. I mean mere actions, mere reactions, meri habits, mera nature, everything, it changes when Riddhima is around. I have so many of these weird feelings in me, all since the day i met her. Its like in everything i do, i think about her. Would she approve of it, would she dislike it, would she be annoyed if i did this, would it make her happy if i go this way? Sote, jaagte, khaate, peete, gym mein, room mein, office mein, its like she's everywhere. Bohut filmy situation hai, but when i think of it that way, it all leads to one thing. But i know thats not it, i am not in love with her, i've met her just recently, i so cant be in love with her. And waise bhi she doesnt care if i exist or no, she's totally indifferent to me. Main kuch bhi karu, useh kaunsa fark padta hai. All she cares about is Anjie, and her Bi. I mean, i shouldnt care if she ignores me, i have so many people for me, right, but nahi, SHE is the one who matters the most. Her words tell she hates me, like anything, and that is what matters to me. Why does she hate me so much dad? Maine kya aisa kiya hai ki uske dil mein mere liye itni kadwahat hai? Aur ye mere mann ka wehem nahi hai, i know how she feels hatred so strongly for me. Maybe she hurt my ego by ignoring me, i mean i am used to so much attention from the female clan, right, yeah so maybe she hurt my ego after all. But because she effects me so bad, sometimes the world is like a hell, and sometimes i feel like i live in a place better than heaven. Its all so confusing, uske baare mein jo dikhta hai, jo wo khudko present karti hai, wo sach hai, ya phir jo mera dil mehsoos karta hai, wo sach hai, kuch samajh nahi aata. Help me find the answers dad, i'm so so stuck up", Armaan held up his head in his hands, while Balraj saw his inner frustration, the struggle between his heart and his mind.
"Armaan, do you know why i wanted to talk to you at this hour, and that too at this place? Come, i'll show you something (They both got up, and stood next to the railing) Now close your eyes (after 5 minutes) aur ab dheere dheere aankhein kholo"
Armaan did as his dad told him to, and slowly opened his eyes, to the beautiful scene infront of him. The sun was rising very slowly from behind the sea, and illuminating the bluish-green sea water with its orangish cum yellow red light. The sky brightened up with the mix of all the beautiful colours, and the water of the sea glistened up like bright sparkling diamonds. It was a heavenly and ethereal sight, and Armaan was left mesmerized by the enchanting beauty in front of him. He was spellbound at the picturesque scene, as he wondered of how could he ever have not noticed it before. Balraj saw his son gaping at the beauty of nature, and patted himself for his intelligence.
"Armaan, look at the things infront of you. You know that so many times the sun is cursed in the hot summers, for the scorching heat it emits, forgetting that we are able to see things only because of the sunlight. People aspire to reach the sky, and when they fail to do so, they hate it because of its height out of jealousy, because they cannot conquer it. They conveniently forget that it is the same sky that gives shelter to the sun, the moon and the stars, without which life is incomplete. Infact, these same people do not spare the seas and the oceans, because of the numerous lives it takes at the time of a tsunami, and other disasters, not considering the fact that the sea is not only a life giver to the millions of creatures that reside in it, but also to us human beings in so many ways.
My point behind all this logic is ki hum jo insaan hai na, we are very judgemental. We judge things according to our tastes and needs, according to our situations and observations, its always about our feelings, forgetting that the other's point of view may be totally different to ours. Riddhima ek mystery hai, mere liye bhi, since last night. Her behavior has confused me also, as to what to think of her. But i've found a way out, just for once, try to know the other side, instead of judging her from what she's shown you when you've met her. It will help you get through all your confusions. Try karke dekho, am sure you'll find your solution. Ek bar useh Armaan, ya Anjali, ya Balraj, aur most importantly, Riddhima ki nazar se mat dekho. Look at her like an unknown person, na tum useh jaante ho, na wo tumhe. See her behaviour with others, and am sure you'll know the real Riddhima, and that will be the end of all of your problems, pakka"
After this, Balraj told Armaan about the events at the police station, keeping back Leo's story, as he didnt want to put forward to Armaan his doubts about Riddhima, when he was already so full with his problems.
"Thanks dad, i think this might be the solution to everything. Waise you know i think ki Riddhima ki aadat hai ki jab bhi kisi Mallik se pehli bar milti hai to gir jaati hai, aur humein useh sambhalna padta hai. Anjie keh rahi thi Riddhima aur wo pehli bar milte hie takraaye they, ab main, phir mom, aur Muski ne to useh itni zor se hug kiya ki Rahul ko unhe pakadna pada, girne se bachaane ke liye, aur phir aapse mili tab bhi, hehehe", Armaan joked.
"Nahi Armaan, its not her, but all of us Malliks who need help and support, taaki hum na gir jaayein. Usne aaj tak Anjie ko sambhala, aur tum to Anjie ke nakhro ko jaante ho na. Tum aur baaki sab, befikar they kyunki tumhe pata tha ki Riddhima jo kehti hai, wo kar dikhati hai. Dont underestimate her, she's very independent, and an expert at taking care of herself, as well as of the people around her, and i realy respect and admire her for that. No, dont look so apologetic, tumhari koi galti nahi hai. I know you didnt mean it in that way, but i just want you to understand ki i am sure Riddhima is a person who has faced a lot, being alone all her life. Par phir bhi wo us mukaam per hai, ki humpar ehsaan kar sakti hai. Make sure you never hurt her Armaan, because of anything, be it her past, present, or future for that matter. Now go and get ready. Your mom needs to a delivery man to send the cake she plans to make, to Riddhima's house. Anjie told me Riddhima is a big time chocolate freak, am sure she'll love it"
Armaan hugged his dad as his face brightened up at the news of meeting Riddhima.
"I so love you dad, and sorry for not telling you earlier, but i missed you loads. I am glad you're back", Balraj too hugged his son, as Armaan's words settled in his heart.