Joined: 06 January 2009
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Joined: 06 January 2009
Big D CD and Baby
" Armaan.. Armaan !! " Sid came rushing in cafeteria
" Kya hai ? Dheere nahi bol sakta main behra nahi hun.." Armaan sipped on his coffee
" Junior kahan hai ? " he asked
" Arre Ridhhima.."
He didn't let him complete " Maine Ridhhima ko abhi jaate hue dekha junior uske paas nahi tha. Armaan do din ho gaye maine apne bete ki shakal nahi dekhi. Ab tum wahan aise baith kar apni wo kadwi coffee hi peete rahoge ya bataoge bhi " irritated seeing him sitting casually
" Abe kadwi coffee nahi cappuccino " he said irritated
" Bhad main jaaye tumhari cappechhino. Uski pram khali hai, wo Ridhhima ke paas nahi hai aur tum aaram se baith kar mujhse is kadwi coffee ke liye behas kar rahe ho. Just tell me where he is ? Tumhe to uski kuch fikar hi nahi hai "
" Fikar nahi hai ?! Abe I'm the big D samjha " indignated
" Big D honge apne ghar main. Agar tum Big D ho to main bhi CD hun samjhe " he looked at him in the eye
" CD ?! "
" Haan ' Chhota Daddy '. Ab tum bataoge bhi ki junior kahan hai " totally irritated
" Abe O akal ke mote Chotte.." Sid glared at him and Armaan changed his tone " Daddy.. tu chup hoga tab main kuch bolunga naa. Ab muh band kar aur yahaan aa.." Sid made a face but still came to him " Yeh raha junior " showing him a smiling baby busy chewing his fist all covered in a cute blue blanket in his lap, a broad smile crept on Sid's face seeing him " Abhi so kar utha hai, pram main laat maar maar ke blanket hata raha tha, thand na lag jaaye isliye maine yahaan apne paas liya hua tha samjhe. Ridhhima abhi papa se milne gayi hai, hum aaj unke saath dinner karne ghar jaayenge isliye " he explained
" To itna chuppane ki kya zarurat thi huh... oolle olle mera beta come to CD. Aahhh thand pad gayi..." he hugged Arhaan lovingly ,who happily pulled his hair
" Hey guys.." the gang came in " Arre aaj to Arhaan bhi aaya hai " Suv said excitedly seeing Arhaan in Sid's arms " Hey bro. Mujhe do naa, mujhe bhi Arhaan ko lena hai.."
" No way mujhe bhi abhi mila hai. Tum abhi wait karo.." he turned away from her
" Arre aise kaise hum kitne dino ke baad mil rahe hai isse hamara bhi haq banta hai ,after all main chacha hun uska.." UV now jumped in ,claiming his right over him.
Armaan just sat back and watched them fight over his baby boy. After that day Sid realized that he never could match Armaan's love and Ridhhima well... She never actually forgot Armaan, he was very much part of her existence... So here they were, married for the past two years and now with a six month old cutest baby ever who had instantly claimed everybody's heart... His name was unique too it had an alphabet of all three.. A-Armaan..R- Ridhhima..and H from Sidhhant, Who refused to be addressed as uncle and wanted no less footage than Armaan... So, he came up with the idea.. CP.. Chhote Papa...which now changed to CD. Since then life has been like a beautiful dream from which he never wanted to wake up... His love with him and with the coming of their little angel it got even better... He came to present with Suv shouting
" UV plz huh main bhi bua hun uski wo mere paas aayega pehle "
" Forget it guys wo mere paas rahega." Sid said to both
" Lado lado abhi thodi daer main pata chal jayega.." Armaan grinned evilly
Suddenly JP shouted out " Sid bhaiyya ! Waterfall ! "
" Susu !! " all four cried out looking down
" Hehe UV yeh lo, tumhe Arhaan ko khilana tha naa. Dekho kaise tumhare paas aane ke liye machal raha hai... Jao beta chachu ke paas jao.." Sid handed Arhaan to UV
" Umm hehe actually pehla right to Suv. Ka banta hai aakhir wo bua hai, hai naa Suv.. Lo tum Arhaan ko le lo.." he quickly transferred the wet baby to a surprised Suv
" Achha susu karte hi bua ka haq pehla ho gaya ,ab chacha ko pyaar nahi aa raha.." Arhaan on the other hand was thoroughly enjoying this ride from one arm to another especially after his wetting his nappy, he chuckled loudly
" Guys guys stop it ! Tum aise hi ladte rahe to usko geeli nappy main thand lag jaayegi..." Armaan finally stepped in
" Haan Armaan you're great with kids, tum Arhaan ki nappy change karo tab tak main kuch order karke aata hun " Sid said walking towards the counter
" Oh hello.. Daddy banne ka bahut shouk hai naa ab idhar aao aur kuch responsibility lo... Aur tum, bua ji aur chacha ji, tum log bhagne ki sochna bhi mat warna pure hafte ke rectal exams.." he threatened the gang
" Nahi nahi hum aa rahe hai naa..." said JP, like they had any choice
All five stood around the table pondering deeply on a deep problem
" Yaar yeh nappy to jab main chhota tha tab maine bhi kabhi nahi pehni.." said UV trying to figure out which end goes where
" Maine apni life main aaj tak nappy nahi dekhi " said equally confused Suv
" Main to bachpan main nanga ghumta tha..." said JP, getting a slap on shoulder by Suv and a shout from Arhaan
" Shut up, tumhare size ki nappy kahin manufacture nahi hoti JP. Ab yeh dekho ki yeh nappy khulta kahan se hai..." said Sid
" Yes ! Instructions ! Read the instructions.." Said suddenly enlightened UV
" Haha. stupid ! wo to main bhi padh leta agar hote to " Armaan said
" Matlab " Sid asked
" Matlab yeh ki Ridhhima yeh extra nappy to laayi hai magar nappy bag nahi.." he explained
" Oh shit ! " all said and looked at naked Arhaan who kicked his legs happily mocking at 5 confused adults
After 15 minutes of confused struggle they managed to fix something of a nappy " Ah ! Ho gaya ! " but, as soon as they picked up Arhaan it slipped down his legs and a giggling naked baby mocked at them
" Oh noo..." all groaned
" Yaar yeh operation nappy to kisi real surgery se bhi jyada tough hai.." Sid wiped his non existant sweat " I'm never getting married aur karunga bhi to bachhe kabhi nahi karunga "
" Sid bhaiyya bachhe aapko nahi aapki dhrampatni ko honge waise aaj ke modern zamane main to aap bhi bachhe paida kar sakte hain magar uske liye aapko China jaana padega " all burst out laughing hearing it, Armaan patted JP's back for his wit
" JPPP " Sid ran after JP to strangle him
" Doctors yahan kya ho raha hai ? " they stopped hearing the stern voice
" Oh dr. Keerti. Wo wo hum bas.." all turned around and UV tried to explain
" Thank god Dr. Keerti aap aa gayi hamein aapki expertise ki sakht zarurat hai.." Armaan ran to her
" Yes dr.keerti ek bahut bada operation hai.." Suv said
"Achha ,theek hai mujhe case history batayiye. Problem kya hai "
" Susu "
" Susu ?? What ?! Aapka dimaag kharab to nahi ho gaya Dr. J.P "
" Nahi ma'am wo actually Arhaan ne susu kar diya hai aur hamein nappy change karna nahi aata..." Suv explained
" Itne bade doctors ho kar.." she looked at the gang " Aur ek bachhe ke baap ho kar " she turned to Armaan, who bowed his head " aapko itna sa kaam nahi aata... Hatiye..." she made way to the baby " Oolle Arhaan ! Aaj aap bhi aaye hain mumma ke saath.." she picked up the nappy " Bachhe ke saath baat karte rehne se aapka uske saath bond badhta hai.." showing them the way to change diaper " Wo aapko pehchanta hai... Shaare buddhu hai, ek nappy change nahi karna aata baby ka..." she talked in babyish to everybody's surprise " Lijiye ho gaya.."
" Thanks dr. Keerti " Said Armaan smilingly
" No problem, hota hai " she smiled giving Arhaan to him " Shubhankar ko bhi mujhe sikhana pada tha. Arhaan ko blanket main le lijiye kaafi thand hai "
Just then there was a call for the gang and Dr. Keerti " Aww yeh call bhi naa, bro hum abhi aa rahe hai aur is baar it's going to be my turn.. Bye baby muah, bua loves you..." She kissed Arhaan
" Chachu loves you too.." UV too kissed him
" JP chachu loves you three.." and all went off quickly. Now only three were left Armaan, Sid and Arhaan
" Hey Armaan "
" Ab Kya hai ? "
" Arhaan ko mujhe do.."
" Kyun ? ab kya tu yeh check karega ki usne potty ki hai ya nahi.. Itna excited hai nappy lesson ko le kar "
" Chhii ! kitna ganda insaan hai tu. Mujhe kuch kaam hai, aur yeh mere aur Arhaan ke beech ki baat hai " taking Arhaan from him he got up
" Magar saale tu mere bete ko le kahan jaa raha hai ? " he called after him
" Le aaunga abhi. Kidnap nahi kar raha. Aur waise bhi yeh mera bhi beta hai " he shouted back, sticking out his tongue at him
" Haan haan whatever.. Aur blanket theek se udana.."
But he was too curious to know that why all of a sudden he went off with Arhaan.. Walking stealthily he saw that Sid stood with his back towards a beautiful girl, pretending to look into a file, As planned Arhaan pulled that girl's hair
" Achha to yeh chalak insaan mere bete ke sahare ladki pata raha hai. Not bad Sid, sudhar raha hai "
Meanwhile Arhaan flattened the girl with his dimpled smile , yes just like his father's " Awww what a cute baby..."
" Oh hi.." Sid turned feigning innocence
" It's such a cute baby " the lady cooed
" Yeah he is "
" aww, what's his name ? "
" He's Arhaan. Arhaan Malik "
" Aww Can I hold him plz.." she begged
" Sure " the girl blushed as their fingers brushed
" Hi Arhaan. How are you little prince. Is he your son ? "
" My son ? not exactly but he's like my son. You know, I'm his godfather, yeh mere do bestest buddies ka beta hai. Un becharo ko ek dusre ke saath time nahi mil paata, you know their duty as doctors, then a baby... To maine socha ki unko thoda aaraam de dun. Isliye Arhaan ki duty aaj maine le li "
" Saala nautanki, mere bete ke bharose apne prem ki naiyya chala raha hai.."
" How thoughtful of you. But itna chhota baby how do you manage ? "
" Arre we share very good repo. Hai naa Arhaan, Aur phir baby ko bottle se feed karana ho, sulana ho ya nappy change karwani ho I can do it all. " he bragged
" Really waoo. It's rare to hear such things from a man..." the lady was flat
" I guess it's my love for babies.."
" Love for babies ..saale ab tu aa next time Arhaan potty karega to dekhunga kitna pyaar hai, teri nappy changing expertise hi kaam main launga, Mr. Know it all.. tera saara pyaar ka bhuut utarta hun.." Armaan mumbled
The girl chatted for a while and then gave Arhaan back to Sid with a very visible lipstick mark on his cheek " Bye Arhaan.. Bye Sid, call me.."
" Byeee " verryy happy He came back to Armaan who went back to his place before he came " Yeh le aa gaye hum. Darr to aise raha tha jaise main leke kahin bhaag jaunga.." storing the number in his mobile
" Kamine abhi ek hi hai, koi football team nahi hai mere paas.. Aur wahan jo tu kar raha tha na wo maine sab dekha. Abhi aane de Ridhhima ko aur gang ko sab batata hun. Saale khud se to himmat nahi hoti ladki ko approach karne ki aur mere maasoom bete ko bigad raha hai.."
" Oo hello, wo tera beta hai wo already bigda hua hai. Dekha nahi kaise khoobsurat ladki ko dekhte hi usse chipak gaya " he made a fake angry face to Arhaan who just gigled and gurgled
" Achha bigda to mera sudhra to tera ! wah wah, wo bechara to wo hi kar raha tha jo uske pyaare chhote papa karna chah rahe the.." Armaan wiped off the lipstick mark from his cheek
" Kaun kya karna chahta hai ? " came a stern male voice
" K..kuch nahi sir wo bas hum hum ek operation ki baat kar rahe the.. Hai na Armaan.." Sid got up ,hiding his mobile behind his back
" Theek hai tum dono khade kyun ho gaye main to bas puuch raha tha.. Aur kahan hai hamara nanha shaitan.. Aha yeh raha, naanu kabse aapko milna chahte the.."
He took Arhaan from Sid, kissing the baby lovingly. Ridhhima who stood by her father's side came to Armaan's side ,he put a hand around her shoulder,she was super delighted seeing her father and her son together
The dinner was a fun family affair. Returning home, Riddhima put sleeping Arhaan in the cot..Armaan came from behind and engulfed her in his arms " Armaaann, kya kar rahe ho..?? "
" Kya ab koi apni khoobsurat biwi ke saath romance bhi nahi kar sakta.." he pouted
" Bilkul kar sakte hai Armaan ji magar yahan nahi, agar Aru jaag gaya to aapka saare romance ka plan chaupat ho jayega.." she kissed his nose gigling
" Yeah you're absolutely right wifey " he then picked her up in his arms and took her to their bedroom gently placing her on the bed. He showered her with kisses all over making her go wild " Ridhhima " he whispered
" Hmm " kissing his chest
"Main soch raha tha ki Aru kitna lonely feel karta hoga naa.." she suddenly stopped and looked at him
" Lonely ?? Armaan main saara din uske saath rehti hun..."
" Nahi I mean tum to mummy ho naa usko apne umar ka koi nahi milta hoga naa " he explained
" Armaan wo abhi 6 mahine ka hai.. Use abhi apne haath paer ka theek se nahi pata aur tum company ki baat kar rahe ho.." she rolled her eyes
" Arre tumhe nahi pata wo mera beta hai, he's super intelligent. wo sab jaanta hai "
" Ohh I see. Aur tumhare khyaal se hamein is mamle main kya karna chahiye..? "
" I think he needs a brother or sister or both.." he kissed her earlobe sensuously
Ridhhima pushed him little away hearing it " Mr. Malik Arhaan abhi sirf 6 mahine ka hai aur aap dusre baby ke baare main plan kar hain ? Are you all right ? "
" Arre main bilkul theek soch raha hun. Dekho dono hamumar honge, saath khenge , ek dusre ko company denge, saath school jaayenge.. Aur wo ek dusre ke saath busy rahenge to hamein bhi romance ka thoda aur time mil jayega.." pulling her close
" Ohh I see to yeh aapka thoda aur romance time lene ka plan hai..."
" Nahi... Haan.. Nahi..." he finally gave up and she laughed at his cute confused face. He was just like Arhaan in some ways
" Mr. Malik forget it. Abhi mera saara time Aru aur apne husband ka hai... Aur rahi romance ki baat" she pulled him closer and whispered in his ear " to I'm right here jitna romance karna hai kar lo, kisne mana kiya hai.."
" Oye hoye " Armaan hugged her rolling over under the sheets
" But don't forget this. " she handed him a small packet
" You really don't want another baby.." taking it
" Not now may be in few years. But for now I only want my super hot, sexy husband.. And don't forget more baby means more nappy changing and less romance time.."
The time in cafeteria flashed " Yes yes you're right. Let's forget the 2nd baby for now.. Abhi to it's romance time.."
Before he could say anything else ,She kissed him passionately
" Oye hoyee " was all he could manage when they broke the kiss and rest of the night was spent happily romancing...
Taming the Wild
With My Love, For My Love
Recap : Ridhhima leaves Malik mansion ,Armaan fears that she might not come back. Sapna talks to Ridhhima trying to make her think about her marriage. Armaan decide to confess his love but hears Ridhhima and Sapna's conversation and goes away. Ridhhima realizes that she misses Armaan.
Almost 4-5 days passed since that talk she had with Sapna. At that time she had no answer to her questions, except that she indeed missed Armaan, but to other things ,she deliberately kept herself away from them. Sapna didn't said anything after that talk in the mall but the way she looked at her made it clear that she was just giving her time and expected her to do the right thing...
The right thing... What was the right thing ? She expected her to do something. Was doing that the right thing ? Should she do it ?.
Not a day passed without her thinking about it, and everytime she landed with something that scared her a little, confused her a little and left her in circles. What if she's just assuming things ? What if they are not like what Sapna thinks ?. She asked herself questions and ended everytime with his face and Sapna's words echoing in her mind. Sighing she gave up on thinking for a while, maybe in Anjali's company she'll freshen up and would be able to think clearly.
" Diii " she hugged Anjali excitedly. The glow of expecting mother clearly visible on Anjali's face and Atul looked smug, obviously verryy happy. Everybody knew that he had great love for children and when it comes to his own.. No wonder he looked at himself like an Olympic winner.
" Awww Ridhhuu I missed you soo much "
" Excuse me, saali sahiba. I'm here too " Atul tried to get some attention. Padma and Shashank laughed at his pouting face
" Of course jijs, or soon to be proud Papa " she hugged Atul too
" Hey Ridhhi. Armaan nahi aaya ? " he asked
Her face fell a little but she quickly hid her emotions " Nahi jijs. Wo actually unhe kuch bahut zaruri kaam aa gaya to wo aa nahi paaye. but he told me he'd come as soon as possible " she lied, she had infact tried to call him but he didn't picked up the phone. Calling at office was no use either, he was always busy with one thing or the other, not knowing what to say she lied.
" Arre Armaan aa jayega meri aaj hi baat hui hai usse, usne mujhe kaha tha ki wo jald se jald kaam khatam karke aane ki koshish karega " said Padma
Ridhhima turned to her, surprised " Aapki Armaan se kab baat hui ? "
" Aaj subah. Kyun usne bataya nahi ? " Padma asked casually
" H..haan wo bas aise hi puuch rahi thi " she was puzzled and bit hurt too. He talked to Padma but not her, she was trying so hard just to contact him. Why was he behaving so weird all of a sudden ? What got into him now ?
But she didn't got much time to ponder upon her thoughts, With Anjali's return ,showing her around the house how they set it for her and all ,she almost forgot about everything. there were so many things to tell and ask that time just flew away when sisters sat down to chat. First she'd thanked God for diversion, she was in no condition to talk to Armaan, with her head all muddled up, and thankfully he didn't call either. But now with almost a week gone without a single call from him, it felt weird...
Since her coming to her parents house he made it a point that he called at least twice a day, even if it was just to ask something as trivial as ' Had she reached home ? ' or 'had her dinner ?' never lingering on the talk for more than five minutes but now, even those five minutes were gone... She wondered what happened. And then an image flashed before her..
Sitting behind his desk, eyes glued to the laptop, 2-3 files open before him, the clock showing nearly 1'o clock at night and having a least effect on him...
She sighed, it must be the case. He acts like a total baby, forgetting everything else with the work in hand, someone has to be there to keep reminding him what to do and what not... Calling BP confirmed her doubts. He has buried himself in work. With no Rahul or Muski around and BP and Virendra who ,she knew, must be helpless before his stubbornness, there was noone to keep a check on him. She sighed bit uneasy and worried...
Armaan sat at the corner of the bed staring at the tie in his hand. He'd literally dragged himself out of bed today coughing, sniffing and sneezing. Getting wet in the rain wasn't the best idea but he didn't regret it, until now. Every part of his body cried of ache but staying in the room with her essence all around made him restless. He needed to keep himself busy. Away from her thoughts, and that he can't do staying at home. He sighed popping two pills, as usual he hadn't told anyone and was surviving on the pills. He hadn't even called her since that mall day.. and decided not to talk to her in case she called. But there was no need, she hadn't called either... Maybe she's already enjoying her freedom. But what he forgot was when she did he didn't took her call feeling sullen. A sudden surge of anger and frustration engulfed him again. He threw away the tie on the floor..
" Martin ! Martin ! " he yelled ,Martin came in quickly " tie up another tie for me "
" But sir that.." looking at the discarded tie on the floor
" I said another one ! " he shouted back. Seeing his rough mood Martin didn't said anything. He just pulled another one from the case... Within minute it was ready. Putting it on he went out without another word.
" Baba, breakfast " Maria called
" I'm not hungry " he growled and went out without as much as a glance in her direction
Martin came and stood by surprised Maria " Someone is real cranky today. I hope Madam comes back soon or..." Maria nodded " He's missing her badly "
He quickly walked towards his room ,barking orders at the secretary and managers who followed him, almost running to match his pace, working hard not to collide with each other or trip, Noting furiously.. Finally he reached his office room,and dispersed all of them.
Settling on the chair he looked around. Her words were echoing in his mind ' I'm not ready yet ' ' I don't think I can do it ' he sat up and clenched his fist
" What else should I do ? What else does she expect me to do ? Damn ! Enough of this nonsense. I have suffered enough. This love is a stupid thing. I should've never got into this mess at the first place. She wants to be friends , good friends. Well now I'll show what friends are like " he picked up the receiver " Kavita "
Hearing his almost shouting voice ,the poor secretary stood up from her seat " Yes sir "
" In case my wife calls tell her that I'm busy."
" But if she insists sir, then ? " she asked hesitatingly
" Then tell anything that comes to your mind ,just don't give me the calls okay " he shouted out " and that's an order. Who pays you woman ?! "
" Yes, yes sir " she said gulping " and.. And what about others sir.."
" What others ? "
" Other calls sir "
" Of course I would take them , did I say anything about them ? I specified you, isn't it ? Now stop acting dumb "
" Y..yes.. Si..r " but before she could even finish he banged the phone down and sneezed loudly... Kavita slumped down on her chair wiping the beads of sweat ,breathing in " men ! "
Sitting in her room alone she reflected upon the past week. It had brought a big change in her. She started with the time she came back from the outing with Sapna. Her words echoed in her mind and she definitely pointed out to some things to which she was deliberately blind.
Like this worry wasn't enough, within days of her arrival ,Anjali and Padma were again getting to 'We-are-hoping-that-you-are-going-to-announce-something-soon ' mode. Anjali asked her outright ,making her fumble for correct words. Rest was fine except these talks and it always left her dwindling in between. She really hoped that she was with Armaan, atleast he didn't let her worry about anything... Then suddenly realized what she's wishing for... Not a day passed when she hadn't thought about him, their relationship, how they met, became friends, then enemies, then friends and then best friends and now... Has he become more than that to her ??
Again flashes of time before, clouded her... From the time they went to Mr.And Mrs. Paul's party and danced together... that was the first day she saw the intensity in his eyes... She still remembered the look, What was that ? It scared her that day as if he could see straight into her heart and then the day before she met Vivek when they danced together again... going back a little, to the time she remembered the way he took care of her when she was sick after that unfortunate scene between them...
Then his apology and coming of Leo, wondering how the two were managing together. Then the time spent in Manali came to her, their soul mate game. She smiled at the memory, that was indeed genius of her and thank God for gifting him those cute dimples... And then in Australia... What would she have done without him, his support... And now she was missing him... Terribly.. heck ! she was even missing his morning sneezes !. Her mind then went to another thought, Would he be careful enough to sleep properly... Or not to eat ice cream in the middle of the night... Or to work too much... Who would be taking care of him now...? She sighed, all these thoughts made her restless... She closed her eyes hoping the sleep would take over her, now spinning, mind.
" Hey di, oh my ! Di itne saare toys ! Ek hi din main puri dukaan khareed li kya ? Jarur jiju laye honge " picking up a big soft bear she sat on the couch, Atul was super excited with the baby news. He counted days, hours.. even minutes ! waiting for the day.
Anjali smiled broadly and supporting her, getting bigger everyday, six month pregnant tummy sat down beside her. " You are wrong "
" Huh ? " she looked surprised " yeh jiju nahi laaye ? " Anjali shook her head smiling " to phir aap ? " she shook her head again " to Mom and Dad ? "
" Still wrong, yeh sab Armaan laaya hai "
" Armaan ?! " she got up looking here and there expecting to see him trying to hide behind a pillar " kahan hai wo ? "
" Chill ! Aur baith jaa ,wo chala gaya "
" Chala gaya ? Mujhse mile bina ? " her face fell
" Ohho dus din ki judai bardasht nahi hoti huh " she teased " well wo aaya to tha yeh soch kar ki tum yahan milogi magar kal aap ruke nahi to milte kahan se ? wo hamein lene airport nahi aa paaya tha naa isliye milne aaya tha " she said looking at a cute baby dress brought by him
She remembered, mentally smacking herself, that Anjali did asked her to stay but her mind changed at the last moment and she went back with Padma.
Anjali saw her sad face " Ohho ab isme itna udaas hone ki kya baat hai ?, Tu ghar to jayegi hi naa phir jee bhar ke mil lena. I'm sure is baar tu bahut lamba phone bill laane waali hai " she chuckled
Ridhhima too forced a smile. Little did she knew that she hadn't heard his voice for the whole week. The thought again made her restless.. Everytime she called him his phone gave the message of being out of reach, calling at office Kavita informed her that he's busy with one thing or the other and sometimes wasn't in the office itself... She could not bring herself to ask BP or Virendra to call him fearing that they would ask her questions making her position awkward. Moreover, unlike other times, he wasn't even around whenever she called... She sighed, Should she visit him in the office personally ??
" Di, main chalti hun. Hospital jaana hai. Shaam ko milti hun okay " hugging her she came out
He blankly looked at the words he wrote in his diary... He felt lot better after pouring it all out. He hadn't called her since the day he had heard her conversation with Sapna, first he tried to convince himself to give her some time but then it felt frustrating. Why he has to suffer all the time ? Why doesn't she understand ? Well, it's time that she realizes that... And if she doesn't want to be with him... The thought shook him, then fine ! so be it.
He looked at the words again, staring at them for a while and then with a stern face closed the diary.
She was standing at the reporting desk going through some files,when someone snapped them close and pulled her by her hand. She was about to shout" Oh no need to shout Ridhhi. It's just me "
" Sapnnaa ! Kya hua ? Kahan le jaa rahi hai mujhe ?? " she didn't answer until they were in her room she pushed her into a chair sitting opposite her
" Sapnnaaa ! Are you okay ? Yeh kya tha ? "
" Coming to the point Ridhhima. Why are you still at your parents house ? What have you decided ? " she raised her eyebrows
She sighed slumping back " Oh plz. I am already so messed up "
" God what should I do with you Ridhhi ?! What can anyone do with you when you are so adamant on playing blind ! Why don't you two talk ?! "
" Talk ?! Yeah ,right ! " she laughed sarcastically " you want me to think about it, to talk about it with him, who hadn't even bothered to call me during the whole week ! " she crossed her arms " I'm sure he must be enjoying his new found freedom, so much that he has forgotten all about me " though she said the words yet her heart said that it can't be true but she put that thought away, she was angry right now " I'm not even sure if he wants to be in this relationship " she added little subdued
" But that can not be true. " said Sapna " Did you two had a fight. Again ? "
" Fight ?!! ,Sapna. Read my lips. WE HAVEN'T TALKED FOR THE PAST TEN DAYS ! " she fell back on the chair crossing her arms, clearly irritated
" Fine ! I get it. But what if he hasn't called, you can call him "
She looked at Sapna bending forward " Like you said Sapna 'try' so I 'tried' and guess what..? He never returned my calls, he never answered my messages and when I did manage to have a 'talk', if that's what you call a 32 sec. Convo, then I did that too , and what do I get as an answer ' Hi Ridhhima, how are you ? Look I'm slightly busy .I'll talk to you later. bye ' imitating him " now what am I suppose to think after that ? Does he sound interested to you ? " the frustration and anger she was holding back came all out
Sapna was surprised hearing it " when did this happen ? "
Sullen ,she replied " I was talking to BP when I heard him at the background and asked for him "
" So you didn't actually called him. He just happen to be there at the time you called "
" Does it matter ? "
" Of course it matters silly ! And technically, it doesn't even count. You should know him better than that by now. His pride would never allow him to be taken for granted or secondary. I think he thought that you were just obliging him with that convo. Men want to feel important Ridhhi, especially by the woman they love, and men like Armaan can never bear their women not paying attention to them "
" He has attention disorder " suddenly Muskaan's words echoed in her ears
Sapna soften up a little " I know he likes you too. Just like you do " she opened her mouth to say something " listen to me first. Who says that it always had to be boy first ?. It's your marriage too, he has done his part till now, all you need to do is to take a little initiative and if the signs are good ,which I am sure they are, then go ahead, a very happy life awaits you "
Ridhhima looked at her unsure " And what if they are not ?? "
Sapna held her hand and smiled " Don't worry that is not the case, Believe me, in this matter I have a Ph.d and you are in junior college..."
Ridhhima sighed hearing it. It was true to an extent, she hadn't really taken any particular step in this direction trying to bring him on phone wasn't exactly the idea of how you improve your relationship. Everytime she'd felt something, she'd backed away... The pull ,the weird feelings ... They scared her, but she can't run from them any more...
" Like you realized that you miss him, care for him, I'm sure if you two sit down together you are going to realize much more... Just open up your heart Ridhhima... Don't loose hope. Do the right thing " Ridhhima just stared at her face...
" Armaan, Armaan sir ?! " Sameer called again seeing him lost
" Yeah, I'm listening Sameer " He took a deep painful breath and walked to the window
" So as I was saying, if we imply to the new recommendations then we have to pay up more than what we have already given "
" And how much that would cost us ? "
Sameer consulted some sheets " That would be around 572 crores more "
" Wonder what Ridhhima would be doing now..." He thought, he didn't wanted to be here, for the first time probably, even work couldn't hold his attention. He went to meet Atul and Anjali. Hoping to see her, he just could not make his heart understand. But she wasn't there, only he knew how he had kept himself away from her, from hearing her voice, for these ten days. Not a word from her, she can call BP n Dad but me. Fine he was angry earlier and didn't returned any of her calls or messages but the very brief talk that day melted away all his anger, made him realize how much he was missing her, now he craved for her like a thirsty man in a desert craving for water. It seemed the time was against them too, it was cloudy outside and he was sure a nice breeze was blowing, seeing the trees that swayed. It again reminded him of her... Rain... Her favourite season. He would rather be out there, the drops of water somehow made him feel connected to her. He had enjoyed every shower till now remembering that day on beach on her birthday, even at the cost of that terrible cold which surprisingly vanished as suddenly as it came... He inhaled deeply feeling the pain again, but for now this new problem at office needed his attention. Maybe after this meeting..., he felt guilty for throwing away the tie she left for him... And writing those angry words in his diary. He made a mental note to tear away that page, it was a lie he told to himself..
" Sir ?! " Sameer called again. The other two directors exchanged glances, they haven't seen him so distracted.ever.
" Yes." he knew why they were here, he'd pondered over the issue all night, whatever time he could manage from her thoughts " Don't worry, arrange a meeting with communication minister. I'll have a word with him, they can't hike the fee, the spectrum was allotted two years back at the fixed fee. Maybe they forgot to check it. Also contact with other service providers we may need to lobby up, in case they try to revise the contract. Which they obviously can't..." The directors looked bit relaxed, but Sameer's eyes were still scanning him. Something was wrong today. " That will be all for now gentlemen. Thank you. " Still not looking at them.
The two directors left, but Sameer stayed on " Armaan.. I know the rise in the 2G spectrum fee is unjustified but it's not something we can't handle. Even if we had to pay up it would effect our profit margins just slightly and we can very well cover them up within 3-4 months "
" I know Sameer. And thank you very much for your concern. I'm fine " Sameer, like him could not come up with something direct and yet he was concerned seeing him. Armaan knew him well and cleared out his doubts behind his clarification of the situation.
Sameer nodded, it was clear that it was something he won't share " And about the service providers. Do you need 'All' the providers ? " he asked
Armaan turned his head, unclear what he meant " I am talking about Abhimanyu Modi here. They are second only to ours in telecom world, if two biggies come together it would definitely put some pressure on them and considering the past.."
Armaan cut him off in between " Fine. Contact him. We'll need him here, but contact others too. How much time do we have for this ? "
" Well ,they have given us four months "
" Hmm, plenty of time then. Arrange the meeting and let me know. Thanks " and with that he turned his back again. Sameer found that odd, he was indeed not his usual self today but he knew better than to poke this croc. He would just snap and swallow him whole. There were times when it was wise to leave him to himself, and this was one such situation. With these thoughts he moved to the door
" Sameer.." he called
" Yes.. "
" Don't bring up that past thing again " Sameer looked at him for a brief moment then nodding went out.
The night was cool and the fresh breeze blew softly... The house was quiet and still. He got up closing the file in hand, few minutes later came out all geared up. He walked at a rather slower pace than usual, the hectic day had tired him badly but he didn't wanted to stay inside, then there was this dull pain inside which never left him these days...
" Martin, I'm going out. Will be late " he said walking out
" What about dinner sir ? "
" Dinner ! Umm " he walked to the table " what's there today ? "
" Your favourite chicken Afghani, Dal Bukhara , rice.."
" No thanks Martin, I think I'll pass " Martin shook his head and threw the napkin on the table
" Oh now you're telling me ! Thank you very much sir. You saved me lot of time by telling that you'll not have dinner ! '"
He grinned at him sheepishly " sorry Martin but I'll let you know beforehand tomorrow "
" So you won't have any ? " he folded his arms
He looked at the food on the table " uuunnn , It looks great Martin but..." there was no use eating , he'd just vomit it out anyway. Nothing felt nice, nothing got digested, he guessed that even his stomach was so used to her cooking that nothing else was accepted by it, he shrugged his shoulders at Martin
" You haven't had dinner this whole week. I think someone need to know about this, I wonder where I kept my contacts diary " he picked up a glass pretending to clean it
Armaan's eyes widened ,he knew instantly he was talking of Ridhhima " you wouldn't do that ! "
" Oh who knows, it might slip. I'm just an old man you see "
" Martin. If that slips out of your mouth then. Then " he tried to think of an appropriate threat " yes ! then I'll slip into your kitchen "
Martin froze " you wouldn't do that. You're not allowed there ! "
" Oh who knows, I might drop by to see you " he grinned
" You're evil ! " Martin huffed giving in, Armaan laughed victoriously " you're all dressed up. Going somewhere ? Should I inform the driver ? "
" Martin " he rolled his eyes " do I look like I'm going to a party or something ? I've a date with my darling " he winked
" Wasn't that cold enough that now you're going out with your 'darling' in such a weather ?! What would ma'am say ? "
Armaan thought over it for a moment, he'd spent last 3-4 days sneezing, coughing.. Thanks to getting soaked in rain. That was his new found love for the season's reward, but still he didn't wanted to stay at home. And Ridhhima.. She didn't bothered to enquire about him then, then why would she bother now ,brushing away her thoughts he came to present
" It's okay Martin. Who's going to tell her. You ? " raising his brows questioningly
" Your wish, you're the boss. I'm not going to tell her but if she asks me, I'm telling you, I'm not going to lie either " he picked up the bowls of food to take them back " and you're indeed a devil ! "
Armaan laughed hearing it " And I love you too Martin " the butler just rolled his eyes moving away
Sitting in the room she watched the rain pelting down, the turbulent sky was reflecting the turbulence in her heart, she felt extremely restless all she wanted to do was to just see him once. Only she knew how she had kept herself from going and meeting him at office itself, to shake him ,yell at him for teasing her, behaving weirdly. She exhaled ,he was hardly at home and too busy at office something told her that he might be angry. But for what ? She knew perfectly well that he knew that she was trying to talk to him then why he was acting so strange ? she felt angry and gave out few names to to him that included stupid donkey monkey baboon etc. The phone never left her hand and she dare not let anyone use her landline lest he calls but he still haven't. She herself was amazed at the sudden restlessness she felt, it was there before too but now it seems to multiply manifold. Sapna was right she spent almost a year without Vivek and never once felt this way and ten days, just ten days ! And it feels as if she has been deprived of the very air she breathes.
" Does that means.. Means that I.. I.."
" Ridhhima " her chain of thought broke with Padma's voice " kitna achha mausam hai naa. ab bahar ja kar baarish main kuudne mat lag jaana, thand lag jaayegi " she knew perfectly well that it was her favourite season " achha Murli yeh briefcase laaya tha. Armaan ise Anjali ke ghar bhuul gaya tha. Murli paagal ko Anjali ne kaha tha ki Armaan ko de kar aana phir bhi budhhu yahaan de gaya " Padma shook her head at the silliness of Anjali's servant " Armaan ko bata dena nahi to wo pareshaan hoga "
Ridhhima noded and took the bag. Sitting on the bed she looked at it, it had number lock system. A childlike curiosity gripped her. Smiling she started making combinations randomly... She spent 20 minutes at it trying everything from birthdays to address few digits of phone numbers... None worked it was still locked.. She gave up and kept it aside angrily
" Stupid bag ! I'm sure now that you are Armaan's huh " then something clicked and she picked it up again " just one last try " she now put the numbers of their marriage. The date, month and year and...
The lock opened with a click. She threw her hands in the air at her victory " Yesss ! I got it ! "
She looked into the briefcase. It had his ususal stuff few files, a notepad, few official looking papers. Seeing the boring stuff she was about to close it when her eyes fell on something hidden under the files. Taking it out she looked at it as if it was a treasure chest. It was... his diary..
A smile crept on his face seeing his love. He walked to her standing in a corner and smiled broadly...
" Hey beautiful. Seeing you after a long time. Missed me ? Well I missed you a lot. Would you go on a date with me ?... I'll take your silence as yes. Let's go Baby "
He came out with his bike, his birthday present. The heavy clouds rumbled, lightening flashed and a gush of cold wind hit him making him shiver lightly. Suddenly the dull pain he was feeling came with a stabbing force. He stood there for few minutes closing his eyes... He opened them feeling tiny droplets of water on his face. It had started raining... " lovely night. Isn't it ? " he said looking up in the sky speaking to someone who wasn't there, and turned to his lovely. Getting on the bike he was out with his darling... Connecting with someone ,remembering someone...
With a beating heart she opened the diary. It wasn't the one she read the first time, this one had it's pages filled randomly, she turned to last page and found that it was last writtten on the day they reached Australia. It had a strip of pics thay got clicked in a poloroid cubicle in the amusement park. She came to first page again. The diary had no threats which she read earlier, it was definitely the other one. Unable to restrain herself any longer she sat down to read it. Hesitating for a moment, it was his personal diary afterall but then what he doesn't know won't hurt him isn't it. Keeping away all the moralistic thoughts she continued. A sense of thrill and excitement engulfed her.. An unexplainable feeling ,who knows what it's going to reveal...
" Aaj Ridhhima ko wahan dekha... apne room main, ek pal ke liye saans ruk gayi. Wo wahan gayi kyun ? Aur Martin ko to pata tha phir bhi usne usko jaane diya. Aaj Martin par bhi chilla pada... I think I should apologise to him. Main jaanta hun usne jaan kar nahi kiya. Aur Ridhhima... Usko bata to diya hope ki ab wo wahan kabhi na jaaye, kabhi nahi... Usne puchha to kya kahunga... Ki mujhe khud nahi pata..."
She remembered the day now, how she saw Martin cleaning his childhood room and he suddenly came there. The way he yelled for no reason at all, it was so surprising... She turned the page and continued
" Pata nahi kyun magar Ridhhima ko chhede bina raha hi nahi jaata. Aaj walk ke bahane uska haath pakad liya, kya karun dil se majboor ho gaya aur Ridhhima huh... She tripped me ! pata nahi sabse jyada kya dukha chhot ya uske saaf karne ka tarika.. Jaanta hun Ridhhima ka dard uski nafrat ki wajah hai magar main bhi kya karu main majboor hun.. but thank god atleast usne mujhe blood to nahi dekhne diya meri to himmat hi nahi hoti ki main khud dressing kar lun..."
She felt terribly guilty reading it, remembering the time when she mercilessly cleaned his wound. How much she'd tortured him and here he was, thanking her for not letting him see the blood ! She knew it disturbed him but...
" Aaj bahut badi baat hone se bach gayi. Ridhhima agar America chali jaati to... Abhi sahi waqt nahi hai. Wo Vivek ke baare main jaan kar apne aapko hi dukh pahuchayegi aur wo main kabhi nahi hone dunga... Mujhe Vivek ko uske dil dimaag se mitana hi hoga main use har uss jagah se duur rakhunga jo use Vivek ki yaad dilati ho, chahe fir wo hospital ho ya kuch aur. Jaanta hun aisa karke main uski nazro main apne liye aur nafrat hi paida karunga magar koi baat nahi main ek din uski nafrat ko pyaar main badal dunga..."
She was amazed, speechless reading this ,he was so worried about her gettting hurt and what about what she did to him...
" Ridhhima is my true lucky charm agar wo aaj mujhe us meeting main jaane se nahi rokti to kitna nuksaan ho jaata. Hmm aage se main uski har baat manunga well almost saari..."
She smiled a little remembering him with a running nose.. What a workaholic he was ! She read on...
" Maana maine Ridhhima ko pura sach bataye bina usse shaadi kar li magar kya main itna bura insaan hun ki wo mujhe ek mauka bhi nahi dena chahti, main pati nahi ek dost ke naate itni umeed to karta tha ki wo mujhe itna to jaanti hai magar uski nazar main main sirf ladkiyo ko apne jaal phansane waala ek egoistic insaan hun "
The words made her feel guilty again ,how wrong she was. What she thought of him , hardly anything was true but that was more because of her anger rather than any proven fact.
" Mujhse bahut badi bhuul ho gayi... Maine jo Ridhhima ke saath harkat ki agar uske baad wo mujhe zindagi bhar bhi maaf naa kare to bhi main usse koi shikayat nahi kar sakta, main apni saari had paar kar jaata. Damn ! Main gusse main kya karne chala tha. Mujhe Ridhhima se maafi maangni hogi aaj jo uski haalat hai uska zimmedar sirf aur airf main hun.. "
That night flashed before her eyes but surprisingly what she remembered more was how he made up for it. She just could not forget his sad guilt ridden face, he was not completely at fault she was the one who pushed him to the brink but it was him that apologised that tried to make it up and she just accepted it, forgetting her share of fault... Now that she thought of it , the picture got clearer and she was able to see both the sides and one thing was for sure. She was guilty as charged.
It was sad that that happened but the good thing was it all turned out to be good.. Better, much better
" Aaj main bata nahi sakta ki main kitna khush hun Ridhhima ne mera dosti ka tohfa accept kar liya, I hope ki yeh hamare rishte ki ek nayee shuruat ho. Main ab use shikayat ka koi mauka nahi dena chahta... "
Her eyes moistened at this. How can anyone be so good.. " I'm sorry Armaan. Shayad tumhe dosh dene main yeh bhuul gayi ki galti meri bhi thi... "
In between she found the peices missing. The diary was no bigger than a medium pocket size one and it seemed that he kept it with him to write while he was away from home coz it didn't had those parts which she managed to read earlier, obviously the diary worked as filler and there were more.
She read on turning the page
" Ridhhima itni udaas rehti hai, Shashank uncle se, khud se waada to kar diya ki uske chehre par hamesha hansi rahegi, muskurahat rahegi magar ab kya karun wo to theek se mujhse baat bhi nahi karti... Maana galti meri hai magar hai to uske liye naa ab kya karun...
Got it ! Jokes ... Girls like men who make them laugh... Main Ridhhima ko khuub hasaunga phir dekhta hun wo kaise mujhse naaraaz rehti hai..."
She shook her head reading it a smile made it's way on her face now she came to know why all of a sudden he had that joke mania " Hey bhagwaan ,Armaan tumhara idea to itna bura nahi tha magar kya tum utne achhe jokes nahi dhund sakte the..."
She continued... " Ab jokes kaun sikhayega...? No problem main joke book le aauynga... No main kisi si mangwa lunga best joke book.. Yupp "
Shaking her head she turned the page
" Hey bhagwaan ! ya to yeh jokes bekaar hain ya mujhe theek se sunana nahi aata... Ab mujhe to itni hansi aati hai phir pata nahi Ridhhima kaise nahi hansti..."
She chuckled " Wo isliye kyunki tum khud itna hans dete ho pehle hi aur sunne waale se jyada agar sunane waala hasega to hansi kahan se aayegi.."
" Huuh koi baat nahi main phir se try karunga, chahe kuch bhi ho... Main Ridhhima ko udaas nahi dekh sakta.."
She melted reading those last words and hugged the diary with misty eyes.." Main bhi Armaan, main bhi kabhi tumhe udaas nahi dekh sakti..."
She turned and read on further
" Yeh waqt kisi sapne sa lagta hai dil to chah raha tha ki sab yahin ruk jaaye aur hum eksaath aise hi baithe rahein. Kal jab Ridhhima ne mere chehre ko chhua to ek alag sa ehsaas hua bas dil kiya ki uska ehsaas hamesha aise hi mere saath bana rahe , khud ko ek pal ke liye bhuul gaya aur phir jis mushkil se apne dil par kaabu paaya wo main hi jaanta hun. Pehle to bahut hairani hui ki Ridhhima ne mujhe kaise pehchana jab koi bhi aisa nahi kar paaya, laga ki shayad yehi dil ka connection hai magar phir Ridhhima ne raaz khola aur saara credit diya mere dimples ko... Ab main samjha ki wo mujhe bas muskurate rehne ko kyun keh rahi thi, wah kya kamaal ka dimag paaya hai "
She chuckled " Thank you very much Mr. Malik . Ab to maante ho naa ki I'm brilliant "
" Ridhhi " Padma came in sleepily " itni raat ho gayi beta 2 baj rahe hain, aap kya kar rahe ho abhi tak ? "
" huh ! 2 baj gaye ? " she looked at the watch and Padma was right. She was so engrossed in reading his diary that she forgot all about time .
" Chalo band karo yeh sab aur so jao. Good night " she tried to protest but it was vain. She had to close the diary but she didn't put it away. She lied down still clutching it, her eyes fell on the moon peeping in from her window and the past six months rolled by before her eyes ,something set on loop.
He came back with soaked cloathes shivering, handing the keys to the gate keeper to park the bike he walked towards the house but then stopped and looked up at the sky. The bright moon held his gaze. Filling in the beautiful sight ,He closed his eyes for a moment remembering her " Ridhhima.." he whispered
" Armaan..." she whispered. With his diary in her hands gazing at moon she fell asleep and for the first time in ten days.. slept peacefully, she wasn't alone today. And moon witnessed two people who were far yet so close to each other...
He woke up rather late than usual, and lay there for a while trying to gather some energy to get up. It was full half an hour before he could actually get off the bed and that too with great difficulty. It just not felt right but he had to go. BP and Virendra were off for some work to HongKong and won't be back for few days. Rahul and Muskaan were still away, and he... He was so lonely. Atleast in office he could find some diversion.
" Damn ! " he winced with pain as he tried to get up ,the pain had now become almost unbearable. He need to take another dose, he walked groggily to the drawer and took out two pills..
Ridhhima woke up with a start, she had slept on. It was late but the sleep was refreshing. She would have gone back to reading immediately but Padma insisted that she come for breakfast quickly as Anjali and Atul would be joining them too. She had no choice but to obey...
After breakfast, Anjali and Atul went for their baby and mother care lessons which Atul insisted on taking. Anjali who was basking in everybody's love and attention didn't refused, though she told Ridhhima that whatever the lady taught Padma and her Mother-in-law could do that already and much better it was only coz her paranoid husband she's going through that stupidity. Anjali was called ten times a day by her in laws and Ridhhima just wondered if she had seen any other baby crazy family than this one. But she was happy for her sister, she was a wondeful person and deserved all the love she was getting...
With Atul and Anjali gone, she quickly rushed to her room and grabbed the diary. She sat on a rocking chair by the window and read on...
" Aaj Ridhhima se jaana ki aisa kya hai jo use aur Vivek ko jodta hai ek dusre se.. Socha, aur darra ki wo yehi kahegi ki unka pyaar ek dusre ke liye magar hairaani aur usse jyada khushi hui jab usne kaha ki sab Vivek ko chahte hain isliye aur wo use chahta hai magar ek chhoti si baat par usne shayad gaur nahi kiya... Usne yeh nahi kaha ki kyunki wo usse pyaar karti hai.. Aur isi ek chhoti si baat ne ek baat to bilkul saaf kar di hai. She may be impressed or even infatuated by him but it's not love... Aaj main behad khush hun kyunki ab main use mehsoos karwaunga ki sachhe pyar ka ehsaas kya hota hai..."
She again fell into whirlpool of thoughts... His efforts to make her smile, his concern, those intense gazes and those touches which always sent chill down her spine raising goosebums... She never had any such feelings with Vivek, but his slightest touch raised her heartbeat, his gazes always held her in their spell... And then his hold always had that soothing, fuzzy feeling... Always made her feel that she can't be more secure anywhere else in the world.
With every page she felt she knew him little more. There was so much he never spoke of and so much she never thought of...
" Aaj Vivek se baat hui, mann to kiya jis zabaan se wo Ridhhima ka naam le raha hai use kheench lun. Kis haq se ab wo Ridhhima ke baare main pucch raha hai, he don't deserve her . Magar main ab soch chuka hun ki aage kya karna hai. Vivek ab zindagi bhar Armaan Malik ka naam yaad rakhega.. Rahi baat Ridhhima ki to wo meri hai... I won't loose her at any cost..."
She sighed deeply, her meeting with Vivek flashed before her and so did her birthday, when she broke down in his arms, his support his love and care... And that walk on the beach. She could be strong that day because she knew he was there with her... For her... No matter what...
" You really did made me realize something Armaan, tumhara har ehsaas pyaar ka ehsaas hi tha magar.. Magar main hi nahi samajh paayi aur naa hi koshish ki... I'm sorry Armaan, I'm so sorry that I did not see this before... Didn't realize this before..." her eyes moistened, the soft breeze turned the page and her eyes fell on something he had written...
"... Shayad kabhi to kahunga ki Ridhhima, When I first met you...I never imagined that I would have such strong feelings for you.. I never thought that I would have dreams about you or miss being by your side or get buttterflies in my stomach when somone mentions your name... when I first met you I never thought that I'd love you as I do now "
She sat still staring at the page, stunned reading the last line. Her heart beat suddenly accelerated..
" Love me..!? " she whispered and read on
" I thought my heart was as strong as iron before I met her and then...
I found my magnet... All the strength was unable to keep me from the pull I
She smiled reading it, the words were simple yet they touched her to the core of her heart. She smiled with tears welling in her eyes. It was one of those moment of life, the one when you have tears in your eyes, yet you feel you were never so happy ever in your life...
" I... I.. My iron man " she chuckled lightly at her thoughts ,wiping her happy tears.
" Duniya main taqat se kya nahi kiya ja sakta magar saari duniya ki takat kisi ke mann main kisi le liye pyaar paida nahi kar sakti..
...Kitna asaan hota hai ek jhuti hansi dikhana aur kitna mushkil hai apne aansoo rokna. Kitna asaan hai ki keh dena ki I don't miss you aur utna hi mushkil hai iss baat ko accept karna. Kitna asaan hai kisi se duur ho jaana magar sabse mushkil hai uske bina jeena..."
" Haan Armaan, bahut mushkil hai... Bahut mushkil hai aise jeena... Tumhare bina... I give up Armaan, I give up... Main haar gayi... Main nahi reh sakti tumhare bina... I need you, I need you everyday of my life..."
There was no doubt now.Everything cleared.. She didn't like Armaan... She loved him...
" Yes, Armaan I love you... Only you "
Everything cleared now ,as clear as crystal... She loved him from day one and this was the thing that was scaring her. Being in relationship with one and loving the other... But she didn't loved Vivek, now that she thought of it she never did. It was Armaan all along...
She held the diary close to her heart tears dropped down her eyes...but she was happy today
This little diary did that for her which noone could. Every page was a reflection of his thoughts, every word was a part of his heart. She could feel what he felt, it was as if she was witnessing every day every moment with new eyes with new perspective. It was totally him in those words. She laughed ,she cried ,she loved ,she felt sad, guilty, could feel his pain, his joy, the trouble he went through all for her and all she wanted now was to see him... Resting back on the chair she closed her eyes... Feeling at peace after days...
Another breath and with that came another wave of stabbing pain. He had already suffered cold n cough and sneezes were never so painful. It felt like they would take away his life ,the pain was now unbearable, every breath was a struggle... The headache never left no matter what, every part of his body was crying out in pain, along with his heart...
" kavita.." he could barely manage to speak " cancel all my meetings for today... Yes all... Ask Sameer to handle them... Tell them that when senior Maliks return they will talk to them... No... I told you I won't meet anyone..." he closed his eyes with pain " no, nothing for tomorrow I think I will be away for one or two days... And tell the driver to be ready, I am coming. I need to go home..." he put the phone down gasping for breath, the head spinned and the pain hit him again...
It was a beautiful garden. The birds chirruped, butterflies fluttered on blooming buds and the soft sun rays filtered through the trees which swayed with the soft wind... The grass felt soft under her feet but why was she here ? She thought. She looked around but there was noone except her... Walking few steps she heard someone calling her name softly...
" Ridhhima.." she turned quickly but saw noone. " Ridhhima " again someone called but this time she saw a shadow, someone was hiding behind a tree. She ran there to check but there was noone, disappointed she turned huffing and then heard a soft laugh. Her eyes scanned the place to locate it's source and then she saw...
He was standing under a tree leaning on it with arms folded, a dimpled grin on his face and twinkle in his eyes, obviously enjoying her annoyance...
" Huh, Armaan ! To yeh tum the ? " he didn't said anything just stood there " tum yahaan kya kar rahe ho ? "
" Main ? Bas aise hi tumse milne aaya tha "
" Mujhse milne ? To itna chupp kar mujhe pareshan kyun kar rahe the ? " she made a face
He smiled at her " Main chuppa kahan tha, yahin to tha tumhare saamne, magar tumne dekha hi nahi. Kitni to awaaz di tumhe " his tone suddenly became deeper
He sat down in his bed covered with quilts. It was so cold, he could barely manage to come to his room . He'd already asked Martin not to let anyone disturb him for anything... He could not lie down it made breathing even more difficult, though the condition was there for past few days but he'd ignored it as usual not being very careful in particular about it, scared of going to doc. And even Ridhhima was not there.
" Armaan tum itna duur kyun khade ho ? Yahaan aao na "
He looked at her " I've walked too much Ridhhima.. All the steps... I'm tired ,now it's your turn "
" My turn ?! " she asked confused
" Yes, don't be late Ridhhima " his voice was a mixture of plea and warning. He started stepping back.
" Armaan ! Stop ! " she was scared he was leaving her. " see I'm coming Armaan " she shouted, scared " see I'm coming to you " but he vanished. She ran around searching him. There was a shadow that was following her ,scaring her further ,she ran faster calling his name... The shadow came nearer and nearer, she looked back and was about to trip and fall when a pair of strong hands held her. The shadow took a form and it was him..
She saw a pair of grey eyes, a set of smiling lips and then she saw him clearly... It was indeed him.
" Armaan.." she whispered, breathing in. She cupped his face to make sure it was him.
" Yes princess " he whispered back smiling
" It was you ? You scared me. "
" It was always me Princess " he tucked a strand of hair behind her ear still holding her in his arms. Slowly he made her stand up.
" Stay with me Armaan " she whispered
But he simply smiled his eyes had a pained look " I've to go princess "
" Go ?!! Why ? " he detangled his arms around her " Armaan wait ! " she streached her hand to hold him but he was already moving away. She was scared, she wanted to stop him but the distance kept on increasing " if you didn't wanted to stay why did you come at all ? " hoping that her anger will stop him
He stopped and said softly " to see you " he smiled and again started moving away " don't be late Princess " he disappeared in the sudden mist, only his voice echoed
" Don't be late, for what ? Armaan ?! " she shouted but he was gone
On the other hand there again came a wave of stabbing pain as he tried to take a deeper breath, he clutched the frame he was holding.. it had their picture..
" Ridhhima..." her name escaped his lips...
Ridhhima woke up with a jerk. she'd fallen asleep while reading his diary, it was the last page... Her heart was racing as if she had run miles . she looked around ,everything was same as before. But the dream... She could not put away the words that echoed still and the eyes... She was so sure that someone called her name, she looked around to locate the source but noone was there...
Something was not right and the dream, it kind of terrified her... She glanced at the clock it was 1 o'clock Her thoughts went immediately to Armaan. Picking up the phone she dialled his number...
" Kavita. It's me, Ridhhima Malik. I need to talk to Armaan "
" Afternoon maam, but sir.."
" No excuses Kavita. I don't care if he's in a meeting or in a conference just get him on line " she said firmly. Today no one can stop her.
" But maam sir is not in the office. He's gone home "
She was surprised " Home ?!Armaan is waqt ghar..." She asked " did he say why ? "
She said " No, he just said to cancel all the meetings for today and he's going home..."
" Thanks " she put the phone down.This was it. It was so unlike Armaan. she tried his number but he didn't picked up the phone. She immediately got up and ran to Padma...
" Mom main ghar ja rahi hun.."
" Ghar ?? kya hua Ridhhi ? sab theek hai naa beta...? " asked Padma ,worried
" Haan mumma, magar pata nahi... kuch theek nahi lag raha. Mujhe Armaan se milna hai, abhi " grabbing the car keys
" Magar.. " Padma came after her
" Mumma plz.. Main aapko phone kar dungi ghar pahunch kar, bye. " And rushed out...
She picked up her ringing cell phone and saw that it was Sapna
" Ridhhiii main kabse phone kar rahi hun ,tu utha kyun nahi rahi thi ? And where are you ? "
" One question at a time Sapna. Main drive kar rahi hun isliye nahi uthaya tha. And.. Main ghar ja rahi hun "
" Oh, so you're not at home. Anjali se milne gayi thi kya ? "
" Nahi Sapna, main ghar jaa rahi hun.. Apne ghar, Armaan ke paas.."
Sapna jumped with joy " What ?! Really ! Oh my god ! How ? Oh my god ! that's great Ridhhi. Did you two had a talk ? When ? "
" Sapna again you've started. Meri abhi Armaan se baat nahi hui hai but I know one thing.. He loves me Sapna, he loves me ! " she said it aloud happily
" Oh Ridhhi, I'm so happy for you " Ridhhima knew she was " you took a wise decision Ridhhima. Don't fear anything. Don't worry about loosing him. He's your husband after all "
" Nahi Sapna I don't think I'm worried about loosing him. That I won't let happen..." She said determined " my worry is that if I go away from him who would love him as much as I do..." smiling now with a new understanding, she was indeed right coz she knew that nobody can love him as much she does and will.." yes I love him ! " It's indeed her turn now, Sapna hung up after wishing her all the best and ofcourse to fill her with details later
But amongst all this happiness and realization there was an unsettling feeling in her heart, something was not right. But what ?. A soft whisper echoed " Don't be late Princess "
On reaching home she saw Martin... " Martin is Armaan home ?..."
" Oh Madam ! you are back...yes, he's at home, in his room..."
" Is he okay Martin ? "
" I didn't see him coming, he just called. He did sound haggered and had asked not to disturb him for anything..."
Ridhhima rushed to the room and saw Armaan half lying half sitting on the bed covered with quilts eyes closed. She was surprised, Armaan in quilts !. He was so still and calm that it scared her, she went up to him quietly and saw his face was red he was shivering lightly and was breathing shortly... She quietly sat by his side.. And whispered
" Armaan " he didn't open his eyes she came closer and put her hand on his ,her worries were confermed it was burning... She touched his forehead it worried her more.
The touch woke him ,he turned his head opening his eyes, a weak smile came up to his lips...
" R..Ridhhima.." he sat up clumsily and hugged her " tum aa gayi..." closing his eyes again... her eyes welled with tears seeing him after such a long time, she hugged him back holding him tight, she'd missed him so much...
" Haan Armaan, main aa gayi.. Tumhare paas, hamesha ke liye.. Ab to khush ho naa.. Armaan.. " there came no reply " Armaan..?! " Puzzled she turned her head a bit, his head still on her shoulder but his hands didn't had same grip around her... She broke the hug and realized that he was unconscious...
Alarmed, she quickly made him lie back supporting his head with her hand and called Martin, Checking his temprature worried her further it was 104 !.
She sat by his side changing cold wet towels intermittantly. How worried she was ,One look at him and she knew that it must be pneumonia the reports later confirmed it. He was stable now but the fever was still high. Seeing him in such a condition shook her from within, she even yelled at Martin and Maria for being negligent and not informing her before. Martin apologised and was constantly there she knew he too was feeling terrible, she knew Armaan was very dear to him. To both...
She'd immidiately called Shashank who took care of everything, bringing everything required at home itself, she'd refused to take him to hospital, it would only worsen his condition coz of his fear of that place. She had witnessed it herself especially after that accident.
Later seeing him bit better she'd cooled down and apologised to Maria and Martin for yelling at them. Maria just patted her hand with an understanding smile and The wise old man generously forgave her saying he would have been alarmed if she hadn't yelled at him and it was indeed his fault too, he had known him for so long and yet he could not see this coming. He said that he was cranky but they thought that was because he was missing her, he never gave any indication of having any problem.
Her heart felt kind of nice hearing it, he was missing her... But then why didn't he talk to her... May be because he didn't wanted to trouble her. Martin filled her with details of his routine. He had been throughly careless ,workaholic skipping meals and not to forget his new hobby of getting soaked in rain ! And his date with his darling especially after that terrible cold.
Now she knew what triggered his pneumonia and Rain ?! She wondered since when he started liking the rain ?! But whatever she'd feared for him came to be... She never left his side, only now she realized how much she had missed him. He had become so pale and weak in just 10 days. But no more, she will look after him nurture him to health and will fill him with all the love he should've got much earlier, she's going to make up for all the time lost...
He groaned with pain as he tried to move and change side. Ridhhima who was preparing his next dose of medication came rushing to him
" Armaan, kya hua ? " she kept her hand on his face. He said nothing ,couldn't even open his eyes. He felt terribly weak, unable to move even a finger let alone speak. Every part of the body was in pain and the head was aching and spinning badly, everything seemed to float he couldn't focus on anything...
She sat by his side brushing his hair with her fingers lightly. He was frowning in his sleep. She glanced at the clock it was the time for his medication ,he was probably in painHow right she was coz the next moment he twisted his head groaning
" No, plz... Stop " he twisted his head, murmuring
" Armaan,kya hua koi kuch nahi kar raha.." she said softly, she knew he was probably seeing a nightmare again
" Noo.. " he still groaned " Let me go.. Mooomm. I want... To go.. "
" Mom ?! " this was probably the first time she had heard him calling out for her " Kahan jaana hai Armaan ? " She caressed his hair ,it was probably due to his temprature that was too high, she quickly placed a cold wet towel on his forehead " Armaan.. Armaan see. Look at me. Dekho main hun Ridhhima..." he didn't said anything ,she pulled out his medicine bag
He opened his eyes slowly with great effort but with his hazy vision and watery eyes all he could see was a pointy thing in her hand. Ridhhima was preparing an injection.
He shut his eyes again " Noo, l..lea..ve me.. It hurts "
She was worried now " Armaan, kahan dard hai ? Bolo " she asked " where is it hurting Armaan ? "
" It hurts... everywhere... Needles... So many... It hurts... Plz stop..." he still groaned. she was bit puzzled wheather it was nightmare he was seeing or was actually feeling pain.
" Armaan.. Armaan, dekho koi needle nahi hai..." he tried to look but his eyes watered and vision blurred " Tumhe injection nahi lagwana na.." He shook his head weakly ,she changed the towel, putting on a brave smile for him " koi baat nahi ,koi injection nahi lagayega..." trying to comfort him " Bas tum aaraam karo ok " he was quiet again
She injected the medicine in his IV, weak as he already was he could not even keep his eyes open and quickly fell asleep. She wondered what he would say to the IV in his arm when he gains consciousness and the injections which she'd already injected... He wasn't in a condition to take medicines orally, but that was for later. She sat by his side, holding his hand caressing his hair...
Sapna's words echoed in her mind " Armaan tera hai Ridhhima,haq hai tera us par aur apni hi cheez par adhikar jamane main kaisi jijhak ? Cmmon Ridhhima claim him . Before it gets late. He's your husband... Your love... "
She no longer hesitated " Yes he's mine. Only mine and I'm not going to loose him " she bent down and planted a soft kiss on his forehead
It was the second day and his condition was still not good enough. She'd ruled out Shashank's idea of shifting him to the hospital she knew once he get bit better he would think of nothing else but to run away. Moreover, as long as she is there ,she would look after him each and every moment. Padma offered to stay but she declined considering Anjali's condition who was alone. Padma had no doubt that her daughter will handle everything well but she was concerned. Shashank here sided with Padma but she declined and told them that she would let them know if she needed anything and BP and Virendra would be back soon so they don't have to worry, but all she actually wanted was ,some time alone with him. They had to give in.
She didn't know when she fell asleep sitting by his side but woke up with his stirring. He was shivering badly. She quickly brought an extra quilt and covered him up. He was hardly aware of anything she on the other hand was worried, and called to bring hot water bottles, placing them beside him she tucked him up again but it wasn't much help. His hands and feet were cold, she had to do something. Without wasting another minute she lied down next to him..
She hugged him ,tucking him from all sides. He held her finding the comfortable warmth. She covered him nicely leaving only his face uncovered. He crept nearer, eyes closed with pain in ribs, shaking due to cold. she held him close a hand under his head which now rested on her chest and an arm around her waist, she rubbed his back and caressed his hair,comforting him... It took a while but the shivers subsided a little
" R.. Ri.dhim..a "
" Haan Armaan " she said softly looking at him, his eyes were closed. He didn't said anything for a moment " Armaan..." she called again
" Stay.. With me..." she could barely hear him whisper
" I will Armaan.. I'll be with you ,for you.. For us.. Forever..." she whispered hugging him resting her cheek on his head, enveloping him in her loving embrace. Promising her love to him, Forever...
She wasn't sure if he'd heard or understood coz of the state he was in, but she really wanted to say this... And she did... A little late, but she did...
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" Hmmm, it feels so nice.. Huuuhh Peaceful..." It was comfortably warm
and the soft cool breeze was so soothing. He felt light, lying there with eyes
closed... " The grass, is it grass ? Don't actually feel like it's too soft and
even but I don't want to think about it, just want to feel it. It's smooth...
soft and that heavenly smell... are there flowers nearby ?... And why I have my
eyes closed ? I should atleast see where I am ? Doesn't seem to be the
bedroom..." He tried to open his eyes... " Aahh the light ! It's too bright...
Leave it Armaan, just stay ,lay back, it's peaceful... so nice and comfortable.
When was the last time you felt so relaxed..." He took a deep breath " Wish
Ridhhima was here..."
Again he felt drowsy knowing little that he was infact resting in her
very arms... This was the best sleep he had in what felt like ages
Ridhhima woke up with his stirring. The sun rays filtered in the room making it glow softly. She looked at him, sleeping peacefully with his head resting on her chest and an arm around her waist. She checked his forehead lightly so that he doesn't get disturbed, it was still warm but atleast not burning like yesterday. Breathing in with relief, she carefully placed a pillow under his head and freed herself smiling and blushing a little, it was a new feeling ,a different one. She had stayed the whole night like this holding him in her arms giving him the warmth of her body and love... Only now he seemed to be sleeping peacefully. What a scary night it was. She got up to prepare something for him, it was obvious that in her absence he had been very careless about his health but now she was here, she will take care of everything...
She looked at him lovingly, the gentle rise and fall of his chest, the peace on his face brought her immense relief... The fever was low and there were no traces of shivering or any kind of pain. She caressed his hair and with another loving look got off the bed tucking him properly.
No longer that softness could be felt, the sweet smell fainted to almost vanishing. He opened his eyes with some efforts, the light ! Argh, it was little too bright for his comfort but not like before, the curtains were drawn which were flowing as the soft breeze blew... He sat up with some difficulty supporting himself at the back of bed, looking around squinting his eyes, Everything looked just the same as before except, there were few medicines kept by the bedside table and his arm and ribs hurt...
He remembered telling Martin not to disturb him and then that terrible
chill and pain had engulfed him. But what happened after that..?? May be Martin
called for a doctor seeing the marks in his hand where needle pierced. And then
he suddenly recalled something ,but it was vague
" Was I dreaming or did I.. Did I actually see Ridhhima ? " Her thought woke him up from his partial slumber, he again looked around carefully but there were no traces of her... May be he was actually dreaming. How would she know anyway... Feeling the need to freshen up he groggily got off the bed. The head spinned and he felt terribly weak...
" Gosh just a day of illness and it feels like hell ! I should've been more careful. Bhai and Muski are going to eat me up alive ! What would I say to BP and dad.. That I suddenly felt like getting wet in rain... Everytime it rained ! " He sighed he was in a mess. But then felt a ray of hope..
" If Ridhhima comes to know would she come ? " " Naah ,why are you
troubling her ? " A voice spoke up. It was his heart and mind again " No I was
just wondering..." " You were wondering if you can use your illness as an excuse
to bring her back..." " No, but..." " It's no use Armaan even if she comes back
that would be temporary and only sympathetically, not because she suddenly
realized your love..."
His heart sank at this thought... It was indeed true... He wanted her to come back on her own without any excuse... Except for love. He came out changed and freshen up, only that it did not bring any energy back, infact he felt even more drained...
" Armaaann kahan the tum ? Bed se kyun uthe ? Kuch chahiye tha to kaha kyun nahi ? Awaaz de dete.." She fussed over him. He just stood there stupified.
" Oh god now I have started hallucinating. I must be really sick ! "
" Armaaan chalo. Aise kya dekh rahe ho ? Dus din main mujhe bhuul gaye kya ? " She held his arm directing him to the bed
" Ridhhima tum ? Tum.. Tum.. You're real ?! " the touch couldn't be a dream , he felt it.
" Huh, ofcourse I am real ! Kya main tumhe koi bhuut lag rahi hun ? " She said tucking him, placing pillows behind his back.
" But.. tum to.. Tum.." sitting up with surprise
" Main kya Armaan ? " she gently pushed him back handing him the soup bowl
" Magar tum kab aayi ? "
" Main to kabki aa gayi thi "
" Magar kal to tum yahaan nahi thi "
" kal ? Armaan mujhe aaye hue do din ho gaye hain "
" Do din ! Magar kal jab main office se aaya tab to.. "
" Armaan tumhe office gaye hue do din ho gaye hain. " then said softly " tumhari tabiyat bahut kharaab thi. Jab main aayi tab tum bukhar main tap rahe the. And mister aapko pata hai aapko pneumonia ho gaya hai "
" What ?! Pneumonia ! " he rested his head back sighing " do din ho gaye aur mujhe pata bhi nahi chala " bit surprised
" That's because you were unconscious " she explained
Then it suddenly struck him " Ridhhima tum.. Tum yahan... kya tumne soch liya ki..." she could see thousand questions swarming in his eyes
She thought of saying everything right now. Of how she felt, how much she missed him, how much she loved him... But for now it would be better to go one step at a time " haan Armaan maine iss baare main bahut socha... Magar jaante ho, main galat thi.. Yeh faisla mere akele ka nahi hai, aage kya karna hai iska faisla mujhe nahi hamein lena hai..." she could see that he was trying to read the meaning behind her words ,her heart beat rose " aur apni zindagi ka itna important decision lene main I think mere best friend se jyada kaun help kar sakta hai. Hai naa " she smiled
He nodded smiling a little disappointed, still 'best friends' but atleast she's back I have another chance " I told you I'll be there whenever you need me " he said ,her presence near him waving away all the disappointments
And she knew he will " And so will I ,forever " his eyes shot up hearing it, she lowered her gaze stirring the soup " pata hai Armaan maine itne din har pal yahi socha ki ab kya ? Aur har baar bas tumhari hi baat yaad aayi.." again their eyes met, but this time she didn't look away " you were right Armaan.. I think I'll give love another chance " and for a moment the world stopped
And would have continued so if Leo hadn't barked right on his ear and with Martin knocking at the door with a glass of juice. A perfect disruption to a perfect moment. She turned and asked Martin to come in
" Ridhhima.." she looked at him " I'm glad you are back.." she smiled blinking softly, she knew he was and so was she. Extremely happy
" Here Madam. Fresh orange juice "
" Thanks Martin " he bowed a little
" Ah, so you are awake sir. How are you feeling now ? You scared all of us "
" I'm fine martin, thank you " he inhaled deeply suddenly feeling tired
She saw it and quickly picked up the juice glass handing it to him " Lo drink it up..." he didn't protest he was feeling thirsty the atmosphere was light now
" And your Darling has been sent for a refill and a bath. To be ready for your next Date " Armaan's eyes widened and he desperately tried to signal Martin to keep quiet but either he couldn't understand or deliberately didn't. He doubted that it was latter.
" No Martin there will be no other dates " she narrowed her eyes looking at Armaan who gave a toothy smile " don't give me that smile. It won't work. what is this huh ? A date with your darling ?! "
That wiped off the smile on his face.He glared at Martin the man can give any woman a challenge in gossip, blabbermouth ! " Whaat ? she asked me. And I told you I'm not going to lie. " Martin replied with an innocent face. His work was done, he knew Ridhhima would take care of the rest
" Martin ko kuch kehne ki jarurat nahi hai " he was still glaring at Martin " You look here, bahut ho gayi tumhari manmaani ab chup chap jo main kahu wo karo. No more working late. No more ice creams for you or skipping meals. And just no more rain dance or dates okay Just proper food and rest samjhe " He just nodded making a cute puppy face at all her orders. She was in a strict wife mode, she knew perfectly well how to tame this wild creature.
After making him eat and drink she gave him his medicines asking him to lie down and sleep. He just gazed at the beautiful sight before his eyes unwilling to even blink lest he miss a second of seeing her. She on the other hand was oblivious to it busy tucking him she suddenly looked up and their eyes met. He did not break the contact she felt conscious of his intent gaze and her eyes dropped, she could see his hearts desire in his eyes. There was Ridhhima written all over, suddenly she felt very shy and wanted to go away from there to steady her erratic heartbeat but her legs seemed to refuse to obey her. Armaan could sense her dilemma and decided to relieve her of it..
" Ridhhima, " she looked up again " I'm really glad you took the decision, the other decision " she knew he meant her decision of giving love another chance. Had he understood what she was trying to say, she thought " I'm sure you'll get the one who loves you the most " his eyes pierced hers again
' I don't want anyone Armaan. I want you ' she thought but words just didn't came out of her mouth. She felt like a teenager standing before her love confessing for the first time without any clue what to say. She could just manage a smile
He smiled back. Things are going to be fine now, he really hope so. He took a deep breath and winced ,breathing was still bit painful. Seeing the flash of pain she immediately became conscious " Armaan, are you okay ? Does it hurt ? "
" A little " he replied gaining back his control
" Don't talk okay. Abhi dawai khayi hai thodi daer main aaram aa jayega " she pulled up the covers with an assuring smile. He nodded the weakness started showing it's effects and though his heart felt light his head started to feel heavy
" just rest baatein karne ke liye bahut time time pada hai hamare pass "
" Yes, a lifetime.. " he thought happily
He was just thinking when he heard someone talking or rather shouting in a high pitch tone, he looked at her and her puzzled expression confirmed that he was not alone in noticing that. They were just wondering when the door as if blasted open and a very angry Muskaan and Rahul entered...
He knew at once he was in for a biigg lecture now, not to forget scolding " uh-o.. " sitting up slightly he put on a brave and cute smile " hey bhaii Muski ! you guys are back ! " Muski and Rahul didn't look amused " bhai plz Angel ko yahaan mat lao I don't want her to catch any infection " seeing a sleeping baby in Rahul's arms
She smiled inwardly seeing that he cared for everyone so much. Rahul gave the baby to Maria who took her away.
" Khotte nalayak, yeh kya kar liya tune huh ? " Muskaan blasted off instantly she was in her one of the best scolding moods " tu chotta bachha hai jo har baar instructions chhod kar jaana padega. Itna bada ho gaya hai magar zara bhi akal nahi aayi "
" Muski maine kuch nahi kiya " he looked sheepishly trying to defend himself, Ridhhima raised her brows at his smooth lie
" Haan haan tune kuch kahan kiya. Baarish hi aayi thi tujhe zabardasti bahar le jaane " Rahul added fuel to fire
" Bhai wo.." cursing Martin again for his indigestion
" Aur biking par jaane ke liye kisne kaha tha " he groaned making a mental note to definitely strangle Martin
" Khotte tu to chup hi kar. Yeh bike ka idea tera hi tha naa. Chacha ji theek kehte hain tune bigada hai isko " Muskaan slapped Rahul's arm who was surprised at suddenly becoming the target of his fuming wife's scoldings
" Muski yaar main.."
Muskaan paid no attention to him " Aur Ridhhima. Where were you ? Tumne hamein usi time inform kyun nahi kiya ? "
" Muski isme Ridhhima ki kya galti hai wo to yahan thi bhi nahi aur wo kabse meri dekhbhal.." Armaan tried to defend her
" Main jaanti hun. Mujhe dikhayi deta hai magar tujhe kuch dikhta hai ya nahi. Shakal dekhi hai uski kitni utar gayi hai teri fikar main " he looked at her she indeed looked little pale, he felt bad...
" Bhabhi main aapko kaise inform karti Armaan ne to mujhe tak inform nahi kiya. Wo to agar main khud nahi aati to pata nahi kya ho jaata " she shuddered, the thought of that day seeing him in that condition still scared her.
Muskaan continued " Ridhhi main keh rahi hun isko thoda tight karke rakh warna yeh tujhe bahut pareshan karne waala hai aur hamein bhi. He needs someone to look after him all the time " Armaan knew better than to interrupt in between
" Bhaabhii " she hugged her " cool down bhabhi. He's fine. Bas thoda rest karega to he'll be just perfect. Don't worry " she consoled her
She knew both Rahul and Muskaan cared for him like their son and were obviously very shocked and worried to hear the news of his being unwell. As if this wasn't enough BP and Virendra who came back soon after gave him an additional lecture for being careless. For a while she let them scold him ,he needed it very much. He'd almost scared her to death but when he pleaded through his eyes for his rescue she melted down and thinking about his poor health saved him from further scoldings.
He lay there with his eyes closed Muskaan and Ridhhima both by his side busy chatting. Rahul had gone to office along with Virendra and BP but for him even calling out the word office was banned... His two guards never left his side..
He pondered upon her words. He knew that if she'd come merely for sympathy sake she'd have gone long back but there was no such reason. She was back and remembering what she's said about giving love another chance, he knew that somewhere she'd realised his feelings for her and may be she's still just afraid to accept them. But so was he, what if he assumes things on his own and they don't turn out to be ? That scared him. He obviously didn't wanted to loose her but wanted to make her realise that it is he who she loves and it's him who love her like no one ever will in this world...
He sighed " I love you Ridhhima. I always have, I know your coming back is a part of your realization of my love but this time you'll have to take the first step. Just the first Ridhhima and I promise I will cover all the rest... It's time that you realize yourself that you love me and I love you and we are made for each other " he took a deep breath, it was only a matter of time now he thought smiling inwardly and then... He then got lost in the beautiful dreams of their future together...
Muskaan left after a while to have a look at Angel , she saw that he was sleeping peacefully. She never left his side for more than few minutes but she wanted to be closer to him, much more... She wanted to say so many things that she felt but all the words and her courage seem to desert her as soon as she came near him. And with those deep peicing gazes she had little chance to think properly let alone speak. She sighed gosh this love thing is soo weird ! Whom to go for help... She thought and then instantly found the answer
She hadn't got the chance to talk to Sapna properly though she'd filled her with summary of the situation until now... She dialled her number and poured her heart out...
" Sapna tu to jaanti hai naa ki hamari shaadi kaise hui... Aur itna sab jo hua, maana ki glati meri hai magar... aaj uski jo haalat hai uski bhi zimmedar main hi hun..." she was still sad about his condition
" Ridhhi apne aapko dosh dena band kar us waqt jo tune kiya tu apni jagah theek thi, jo mayene rakhta hai wo hai tum dono ka saath. Jaa aur use apne dil ki baat bol de " she encouraged her
" Magar Sapna aise... ab main jaa kar Armaan se kya kahun ki Armaan pichhle dino main tumse duur rehkar ehsaas hua ki tum mere liye kya maayne rakhte ho..mujhe aur jabse maine tumhari diary padhi hai tabse main tumhare aur kareeb aa gayi hun.."
" Absolutely ! yahi sab jaa kar use bol de Ridhhi.."
" Sapnaa yahaan baat karna kuch aur hai aur Armaan se kehna alag.. Pata nahi magar uske saamne jaate hi aisa lagta hai jaise.. Jaise I have 1000 butterflies in my stomach aur shabd muh main hi atak jaate hain saari duniya bhar ki baat main kar leti hun magar yahi nahi bol paa rahi hun.."
Sapna laughed " Oh I see. welcome to the world of love... But my dear you are behaving like a teenager cmmon, tum dono samajhdaar log ho ek dusre ke sabse achhe dost ho ek dusre ko chahte ho phir problem kya hai.."
" Sapnaa, plzz yaar you're not helping " she groaned
" Okay fine. let's do it traditional way. Agar tu Armaan ko kehne main sharma rahi hai to use hints to de sakti hai naa.. Let him tell you that he loves you and when he does you can hug him and say yes you too feel the same about him . Simple. Ab yeh to kar sakti hai naa ya isme bhi sharam aa rahi hai ? "
Her face lighted up at the idea " No no ! I think this would be best thing. Thanks Sapna meri ek badi problem solve ho gayi muah muah muah.." she blew kisses on the phone
" Thanks. magar kuch Armaan ke liye bhi bacha kar rakhegi ya sab mujhe hi de degi.."
" Sapnaaa " but she was thankful that she couldn't see her blushing or she would have teased her even more..
" Haha koi baat nahi I'm with you "
" Yeah. Thanks Sapna "
And after a while cut the call happily thinking about the day to come...
Feeling better and bit bored he came out looking for Ridhhima when he saw Martin passing by" Hello Martin "
" Good evening sir " he said politely walking away
And then he saw he was carrying something " Hold on ! Where do you think you are going old man ? with all my favourites ! " seeing ice cream boxes in his hand
" Oh these ? well ma'am said to take them away " replying coolly
" What ?? "
" Yes " he just loved that expression ,no one in years could make Armaan Malik scare or shout in surprise like that... Until now..
" Wait a minute. you re lying, why would she say that !? " he couldn't believe it. But then came a voice from behind
" He's right Armaan. Thank you Martin plz take these too I found them hidden in the vegetable box " giving him few cups glaring at Armaan, who made an innocent face as if he knew nothing about them. But those infact were his doings...
" God yeh bhi gaye " he thought,looking longingly at them " Ridhhima tumne Martin se yeh kyun kaha ki wo saari icecream le jaaye " coming to present
She glared back " tumhari wajah se. Kya abhi aur bimaar hona reh gaya hai jo tum har baar ek nayi muskil khadi karne ki sochte ho ? "
" Magar... Magar maine icecream nahi khayi " he defended
" Achha jab main yahaan nahi thi tab ? Cmmon Mr Malik speak up tab bhi raat ko icecream nahi khayi ? " glaring at him with hands on hips
" Wo.. woo bas thodi si.." he knew he couldn't lie. He sucked at that, only before her...
" Exactly my point, tumhari thodi si kitni hoti hai wo mujhe achhi tarah se pata hai aur tum to sudharne se rahe to maine is baat ka yahi solution nikala hai ki abse ghar main koi icecream nahi aayegi. Na icecream hogi na tum raat ko khaoge. Kam se kam iss chakkar main bimar to nahi padoge.."
He was horrified ' No ice cream ?!' " Ridhhima Ridhhima look I'm sorry mujhe nahi pata tha ki yeh sab ho jayega... Look plz sach main main ab raat ko icecream nahi khaunga " she looked at him with narrowed eyes... " Okay.. Main... Main ab tumse.. " he gulped " puchhe bina ice cream nahi kahunga plz..." he begged. Martin the devil just stood there with that irritating smile plastered on his face. He knew he was enjoying this begging session throughly.
" Huh Mr Armaan Malik jitna maine tumhe samjhaya hai naa agar utna main Angel ko samjhati to wo bhi samajh jaati.." she said moving away from there paying no attention to his pleas, he followed her to the kitchen
" Angel is hardly six months old ! " indignant
She turned now facing him " Exactly my point Mr Malik, you are worse than a six month old " he pouted knowing very well that being addressed as Mr. Malik was never a good sign, it always meant that she means business but he still tried " no way ! no making of puppy face that won't melt me ! " And with that, plan bombed
" God duniya ki koi bhi ladki iss cute face ko resist nahi kar sakti magar why it doesn't work on her " he thought " Ridhhima plz.. Main.. I swear ab raat ko bina bataye icecream nahi khaunga... Plzzz.. " he begged
Now she melted a bit but still kept a straight face, then after a stern glare she decided to give in a little " You promise ? "
" Pakka waala " he said enthusiastically ,anything to save his favourites.
" Fine ,but till you get completely fine no one is going to bring even a spoonful of icecream in the house okay ! " tough condition, but atleast something was better than nothing
" Aye aye madam " he saluted her ,she rolled her eyes and got back to work
Abhimanyu entered his room and found Sameer waiting for him. As soon as his secretary informed that a certain Sameer Purohit was here to meet him he asked her to take extra care of the visitor and make him wait in his room unlike other visitors who'd wait in the lounge. She'd raised a brow at that, noone ever and that meant 'ever' waited for Abhimanyu Modi in his room. This man must be really important.
" Sameer. What a surprise " Sameer stood up and both shook hands taking seats opposite each other. Abhimanyu studied him, he was same, atleast appearance wise but Sameer Purohit, Armaan Malik's right hand, here.. in Abhimanyu Modi's office, there has to be something. Has he got something more ? he thought.. Everybody knew he was Armaan's man through and through yet he was full of surprises especially after what he did... He continued " And when I say that I'm surprised then I am. So, had he come to know about that ? "
" No. If you are talking about that then no. He don't. Not yet " Sameer remained poised
Abhimanyu rested back in the chair " Hmm, I see. So what brings Sameer Purohit to Abhimanyu Modi. A return favour..? " a crooked smile crept on his lips
Sameer boiled up at the implication of his words " Sameer Purohit don't need any favour from you Mr. Abhimanyu Modi. I think you need to brush up your memory. I am infact here to do a favour to you. I came with a proposal for the benefit of both the companies but I guess you're not interested. Thank you very much for your time Mr. Modi " he stood up to leave
Abhimanyu too stood up. He knew if it was coming from Sameer it must be something worth listening and heeding to. He shouldn't have rubbed his wrong side, knowing him a little by now " Sameer plz. Wait. I apologise. That was thoughtless of me " Sameer looked at him. Return favour ! huh ! what does he think of himself..?! He thought " Plz sit down and tell me what brought you here " seeing him bit cooled he continued " by now you must have understood that Armaan Malik and I are not exactly in a friendly category, so seeing you here doesn't brings any warm feelings "
Sameer glanced back " I know. But my reason for coming here is entirely official " his tone making it clear that his visit and purpose was no secret to Armaan
" Would you have come so openly otherwise ? " Sameer shifted in his seat, it did not go unnoticed by Abhimanyu
" I have a proposal and message from Mr. Malik "
" A proposal and a message?? " mildly surprised " That should be interesting. Go on "
" It's about the recent 2G problem and the coming up 3G bid. You are well aware of that I guess "
Abhimanyu turned to his business mode " Yes, I am. So what does he have to propose.."
With that they started the discussion, with every passing minute Abhimanyu found that his troubles related to the recent problem were almost reduced to nothing a quick calculation told him that if they deal up he would land up in considerable profit.not bad after all...
" Hmm, I can see the strategy is not bad. Fine, I'll meet Armaan and we can discuss it throughly then. Count me in. " Sameer jumped in his heart, satisfied " why don't we meet for lunch tomorrow " he suggested
" No, that's not possible. He's unwell and would be away for 3-4 days "
" Unwell ?! what happened ? " he asked ' Niki will be worried to hear it ', he thought
" Pneumonia " Sameer said flatly
" But you just said that he planned this all out "
" He did. Before falling ill. I think he knew that it was going to happen so he planned out everything in advance, by the time he comes back everything will be in the final stage and all you have to do is to put your signatures " Abhimanyu looked at him and felt... What.. Admiration.. Yes ,may be. He thought. The man was sick yet planned everything to run on smoothly, that too such a delicate deal. No wonder he leads...
He was busy with his laptop getting updates on the recent developments in the work front. Sameer had called giving details, skipping some, about the meeting with Abhimanyu. He was pleased with the outcome he knew Abhimanyu can't say no to the offer even he was facing the same problem their being together in this matter will help both the companies. He had also asked Sameer to keep him updated about evrything asking him to upload files on the computer. He was just going through some when Ridhhima entered with a bowl in her hand..
" Hey Ridhhima " eyes still glued to the screen
" Armaan tum kya kar rahe ho ? " he completely missed the implication of her tone
" Umm kuch nahi bas kuch files check kar raha hun " keeping the bowl by the bedside she snatched away the laptop " R..Ridhhimaaa "
" Armaan are you crazy ! Abhi thodi tabiyat theek hui hai aur tum phir kaam main lag gaye. Maine kaha tha naa jab tak main na kahun office ko bhuul jao "
" Magar.. Wo important hai " he tried to make her understand
" Chahe kitna bhi important ho, tumse jyada to nahi hai naa " she shut away his laptop ,not even realising what she'd said he on the other hand hearing those words forgot all the arguments in his favour. She picked up the bowl again and gave it to him " yeh lo. I want this finished without any excuses or argument "
" Yeh kya hai ? " he made a face looking at the brownish stuff
" Ise khichdi kehte hain. It's very tasty and very light so start eating "
" Main yeh nahi kahne waala. Yeh bimaro waala khana " he put the bowl aside making a face
" Armaan tum bimaar ho. So yeh khana padega. Aur bina khaye tumhe kaise pata chalege ki achha hai ya nahi " he was still reluctant
" It looks funny " crinkling his nose
" Mchh, koi excuse nahi kha kar to dekho. Maine specially tumhare liye banayi hai " this melted him a bit but why only khichdi !. He still didn't took a bite and kept playing with it buying time, Ridhhima saw through him " tum aise nahi manoge " she took a spoonful and stuffed it into his mouth ignoring his protests. He hated to admit it but it wasn't bad, it was actually nice but the worst part was that she made him eat the whole bowl and he had little choice but to obey. What could a man who is hopelessly in love do anyway...
Feeling satisfied that he'd eaten properly she gave him an appreciative smile " that's like a good boy. Ab aaraam karo aur laptop ki taraf dekhna bhi mat " warning him she went away.
He now sat there with eyes glued to the T.V. Ridhhima came in with a bowl of popcorn and slumped by his side...
" Kya kar rahe ho ? "
He made a face, still annoyed that she snatched away his laptop and made him eat that khichdi !, ok it was kind of nice but still.. " Football khel raha hun. Dekh nahi rahi I'm watching a cricket match " he turned to TV again
She smiled inwardly at his cute face " Oh I see ,but tum isme kya dekh rahe ho, it's so boring and India is not even playing "
He again made a face " Tumhe kya pata ,girls don't know anything about cricket "
" Ohh to tumhe sab pata hai ? "
" Yes, I'm a big cricket fan. Main aur bhai saare match dekhte hain "
" Achha agar tumhe sab pata hai to zara batana India main cricket kab aaya ? " she munched on popcorn
He looked at her for a second unsure if she was serious. She stared back raising her brows " When Britishers came to India they brought cricket with them "
" Ha ! Bas ! Itna hi pata hai "
He was surprised " This is not true ?? No, this is true . I know. "
" Then you are wrong mister. Cricket to Mughals khelte the "
" Mughals ?! What are you talking ! "
" Mchh, dekho " she turned to him " tumne kabhi Mughal empire ka naam suna hai ? "
He looked perplexed " Mughal empire ! Haan ,but how are they connected "
" Phir se socho.. Mughal empire..um-pire.. Ab umpire to cricket main hi hoga naa. To hua naa cricket Mughal period ka game. " she shook her head " and you say tumhe sab pata hai. Silly "
He opened his mouth, this was the first time she had cracked a PJ. Seeing him gaping at her ,she stuffed some popcorn in his mouth " popcorn khao popcorn " and went away gigling
He kept looking at her retreating back and then burst out laughing " Mughal umpire ! Hahaha "
The match was quiet exciting and ended with an exciting turn. He sighed smiling closing his eyes, remembering Ridhhima's PJ trying to drift off to sleep. His head was pounding again. He exhaled being ill never suited him. He was frowning when a soft hand covered his forehead pressing it gently. He knew who it was...
" Armaan kya hua ? Sar main dard hai kya ? " She touched his forehead and found it warm, the fever was rising again. She scolded herself mentally she shouldn't have let him exert so much " koi baat nahi abhi thodi daer main theek ho jayega " she took his medicine " lo pehle dawai kha lo "
she was surprised when he quietly got up and had his medicine without any excuse, he must've have a terrible headache she thought. He lied down again
" Bas abhi thodi daer main theek ho jayega okay " she then gently started pressing his forehead
" Ridhhima it's okay. I'll be fine tum.."
" Shhh " she placed a finger on his lips quietening him. Like he could utter another word after her touch on his lips " Bas aankhein band karo aur araam karo hmm " She kept pressing his forehead and gently messaged his head. He exaled a sigh of relief. It was total bliss, Ridhhima smiled seeing relief coming back on his face.
He opened his eyes with a bit of surprise " Tumhe kaise pata chala ki mere sar main dard hai.." suddenly wondering
She smiled " Mujhe pata hai bas, kisne kaha tha itna T.V dekhne ke liye hmm. Ab apni aankhein band karo aur so jao " she gently closed his eyes
He sighed again, her soft touch and beautiful fragrance.. They were so soothing... She kept sitting by his side gently messaging his head, the look of peace that came on his face told her that he was feeling better this way. He kept drifting in and out of sleep, he wanted to keep feeling her touch but his weakness did not let him stay awake..
After a while he was still, Ridhhima looked at him and caressed his hair lovingly. Thinking that he was asleep she quietly got up to go to prepare something for him
" Ridhhima " she turned surprised to find him awake
" Armaan ?! Kya hua ? tum soye nahi ? " coming to him
" Tum kahan ja rahi ho ? " though trying best yet he could not hide the look of worry mixed with panic from her " are you going back ? "
She could sense the fear and apprehension in his voice. She knew he was waiting for her reply with breath held.. And at that moment she just wanted to hold his hand hug him and assure him with all the heartfelt loving words that she wasn't leaving him for anything. She smiled and said playfully " Do you want me to go ? "
" Me ?! No !! No way ! " he blurted out immediately but then was suddenly conscious of what he'd said " I.. I mean why would I ask my... best friend to go " he looked at her
For a moment she felt disapointed , she thought he would say his love but guess that had to wait for a while " I Know. Ab tum aaraam karo okay main bas kitchen tak jaa rahi hun " she got up to go
" Ridhhima " she turned " you'll be here na.. I mean.. I mean I'll feel lonely.. To.. To jab tum aa jaogi main tab so jaunga "
She knew what he meant, he was still scared that she'll go away. She sat by his side again with an assuring smile, ge was still scared of loosing her " Main yahin hun Armaan, tumhare paas. And I'm not going anywhere " she said softly looking into his eyes trying to convey that she meant what she'd said.
" But I can't sleep. My head feels heavy " he finally told her
" Koi baat nahi abhi theek ho jayega. Tum aankhein band karo aur sone ki koshish karo " she gently closed his eyes and started messaging his head lightly. He let out a sigh of relief ,savouring her touch, her nearness... She kept stroking his head and within few minutes of that heavenly touch he was asleep. She quietly got up and placed his favourite long pillow under his arm pulling up the covers. And with another loving look she went out..
It was yet another lovely day, both chatted away sitting together, sharing some nice moments together when suddenly Ridhhima sat up and turned to him excitedly. Folding a leg she now faced him...
" Achha Armaan, let me test your I.Q " he grinned and agreed " okay tell me the full form of M.B.N.P "
" M.B.N.P ?! Ummm " he thought for a moment ,raked his brain made few guesses but they were all wrong " okay I give up. Tum batao "
" Simple buddhu. Mujhe Bhi Nahi Pata " he laughed out loud when the meaning sank in but she did not stop here
" Achha ek aur theek hai, last one. Paagal khane main saare paagal dance kar rahe the, do chup chap baithe the. Doctor ne socha ki wo theek ho gaye hain usne unse puchha ' aap dono dance kyun nahi kar rahe ? ' to unhone kaha ' ki hum dono to dulha dulhan hai naa '
And both burst out lauhing. He cried out " bas bas Ridhhima I can't laugh any more.. it hurts..." clutching his stomach
" Dard ho raha hai ... Kahan ?? " Suddenly worried
" Ohho it's okay. I'm fine but tumhe kya ho gaya hai ?? Itne deadly jokes ! " trying to control his laugh
She gigled " kya karu I think sangat ka asar hai..."
He laughed at it then looked at her as if trying to make out something " Ridhhima pata nahi magar jabse tum waapas aayi ho naa aisa lag raha hai jaise.. Jaise something 's changed "
" Really.. what ? " she asked amused, her heartbeat raised. She tried not to show it...
" I don't know but something is there. You.. you look glowing.."he said, ' cm'mon Ridhhima say it...' He thought
" Ohh you are right. Something has indeed changed but... that's a secret " She ruffled his hair and went away smiling, he sat there smiling happily surprised. The sun was indeed shining...
He stood before the mirror grinning foolishly to himself, remembering his favourite morning scene. She'd wake him up bent over a little, smiling, that smile was enough to brighten up his day.
" Armaan, abhi tayar nahi hue ? Phir baad main chillaoge ki late ho raha hun " she came to him " feeling okay ? " she asked seeing him little lost
" Absolutely perfect " he replied happily
She started knotting his tie " Hmmm but still be careful okay no skipping of meals samjhe. Medicine time par leni hai.. Mchh tum to rehne do tumhe kuch yaad nahi rehta main Kavita ko bata dungi she'll give them to you theek hai. Jyada exertion nahi karna remember you promised me " he nodded obediently, smiling as she fussed over him. It was after almost a week that he was going to office. She'd made him promise her that he would listen to each and every instruction and do as she says, and though he wanted to stay with her yet he knew he couldn't she had hospital to go to and his own work at office demanded attention. What he wondered now was that if he could be able to pay any attention to work, he would miss her being by his side. He sighed inwardly he'd enjoyed each and every moment with her wishing the time would just stop but...
At the time of leaving she came to see him off again loading him with instructions, warnings and even threats ! to not to be careless or over smart as she'd be keeping a check on him. He's just smiled broadly at all and agreed, hardly aware of what she was saying as he was way too busy admiring her beautiful face... The time at the office passed rather slowly, he kept glancing at the watch and the only consolation during this was her calls which broke away the monotony of the day leaving him in his presonal haven where he was with her and their love for each other in their heart. Virendra then asked him to leave a little early as he didn't wanted him to exert too much and he grabbed the oppertunity excited to be back with her again...
He came back from the office and throwing away his coat rushed to the kitchen...
" Hey RIdimba " he said jokingly " Hmmm kya khushboo hai.." inhaling the aroma " kya ban raha hai ?? I'm hungry.."
" Red alert people !! Mr. I-can-get- hurt-by-anything is here. Away with everything..." Armaan glared at Martin and Ridhhima chuckled, she was happy that he himself asked for food he had grown quiet pale after his illness
" Martiin !! Plss.." She said hiding her laugh " hey Armaan.." she greeted him smilingly " tum aaj jaldi aa gaye, abhi to khana banne main thoda time lagega tum tab tak fruits kha lo... Main abhi kaat deti hun "
" Fruits..!! Mujhe fruits nahi khane I want food..." he made a face...
" Armaan plsss... Bas thodi daer. Mujhe pata nahi tha tum aaj jaldi aa jaoge nahi to main pehle hi tayar kar deti " she picked up an apple and gave it to him... " Tum yeh finish karo, hath muh dho lo kapde change kar lo tab tak khana bhi tayar ho jayega..." She said sweetly trying to make him understand...
" Kitnii der lagegi ? " He asked again impatiently
" Arre bas 15-20 minute..." She said and pushed him from his back sending him out of the kitchen..." jab tak aaoge sab tayar milega okay "
He came back in just 5 minutes
" Ho gaya ?? " He asked again impatiently and picking up an apple and orange starts juggling
" Offoh abhi kahaan?? Abhi to.." She find him juggling " Armaan stop it... Yeh koi khelne ki jagah nahi hai... And plz be careful wahaan bowl main garam tael rakha hai..." He continued with his act paying no attentiion to what she said...
" Cmmon jaldi karo I'm hungry... Ridhhima look maine ek new style seekha hai.." Ridhhima again reminded him...
" Armaaann !! Tum sun..." She couldn't even finish her sentence when
" Aaahhh... Ssshhh ouch ouch... !!! " He jumped clutching his hand.. While juggling apple slipped from his hands and hit the rim of the hot oil bowl,the hot oil landas a result landed on his hand burning it...
" Armaaann..." she came rushing towards him... " Maine kaha tha naa mat karo... Oh my god ! "
" Aaahhh Ridhhimaaa..." He shut his eyes with pain. Ridhhima took him to the water tap and turned it on...
" Martin... Martttiinn !! " She shouted out...
" Yes ma'am " he came in quickly and see the disaster... " Oh my god not again ! "
" Martin quickly bring some ice and first aid box..."
" Yes ma'am " he rushed out...
" Hey bhagwan Armaan yeh kya kiya huh " She kept his hand under running water and kept on scolding him but Armaan wasn't listening he was lost looking at her... The pain the discomfort and worry for him was clear on her face... She closed the tap and wiping his hand gently with a clean towel blowing air on it she took him to the hall... Armaan had long back stopped shouting though his hand was stinging now but seeing Ridhhima worried he forgot everything. It looked as if she needed consolation more than him...
" Ridhhima.. It's ok I'm fine bus zara sa burn hai theek ho jayega..." He tried to pacify her... But instead of calming down she stared at him he saw that her eyes were little moist but she controlled herself
" Armaan chup. Bilkul chup... Kaha tha maine ki kitchen main harkatein mat karo.. Magar nahi tumhe kisi ki nahi sunni hoti... Jab dekho koi na koi ulta pulta kaam karte rehte ho " she now look at his hand... " Hath dekha hai apna kitna laal ho gaya hai.. Kitna jal gaya hai... Kaha tha na maine ki..."
" Arre main to bas khane ki wait kar raha tha..." Little subdued due to her scolding... " Aur.."
" Aur kya Armaan ? kaha tha na maine ki main khana laa rahi hun do minute ruk nahi sakte the.. Ab dekha naa kya kar liya... Aur yeh Martin kahan reh gaya ... Martin... Maaartiin " she yelled he came running with the first aid box and ice Ridhhima put the ice on his burns...
" Sss.. Aaah..." she just glared at him and continue to apply ice... After some time she applied the ointment angry boils now started to appear on his hand...
" Ab chup chap yahaan baitho..." Martin placed soup bowl before him
" Madam can you pls have a look at the dinner.."
" Yes Martin I'm coming.." She got up Armaan too was about to get up.. " Khabardar agar yahaan se hile bhi to.. Chup chap yahin baithe raho jab tak main na aa jaun..." She ordered
" Main..main to bas wo remote.." he said meekly pointing at the remote control of T.V. She got up and giving him the remote control went into the kitchen giving a stern look as if warning him through eyes not to move anywhere...
In few minutes she came back and saw that he was trying to hold the spoon but was unable to do so due to burnt hand
" Rakho use niche..." She ordered sitting down little forcibly next to him... Picking up the soup bowl she took a spoonful of soup " Muh kholo.." he followed obediantly. He could see that she was angry...
" Ridhhima tum naraz ho mujhse ? " She didn't speak anything just kept on feeding him the soup.. After few minutes when she brought a spoonful near his mouth.. he didn't open the mouth just kept looking at her intently " Ridhhima I'm sorry.. Mujhe wahan juggling nahi karni chahiye thi Plz tum naraz mat ho " She still didn't speak anything... Just brought another spoonful to him.. " Hath mera jala hai aur gussa tum ho rahi ho.. Jab tak tum bologi nahi main kuch nahi khaunga kuch nahi piyunga..." he turned away his face with fake anger
" Armaan tumne phir apni zid shuru kar di..." exasperated
" Maine..?? Abhi to gussa tum ho rahi thi.."
" Ab tumhari in harkaton par gussa nahi karu to kya karu... Tumhe is baat ka zara bhi andaza hai ki tumhe zara si bhi chot lagti hai to meri..." Ridhhima stopped realising she had said to much whereas he looked at her expectantly.
She placed the empty soup bowl down " Main abhi aati hun "
" Mujhe chot lagti hai to tumhe kya Ridhhima..?? " he looked into her eyes
She was at loss of words " Main khana le kar aati hun.." She got up to go when he held her wrist...
" Nahi pehle apni baat puri karke jao.."
Ridhhima turned, her heart thumping, she closed her eyes for a moment gaining some control,then turned to him with a smile " to kuch nahi.. tumhe chot lagti hai to meri pareshani badh jaati hai... After all papa Rahul bhaiyya Muski BP sab mujhe hi to kahenge naa ki maine unke laadle ka dhyaan nahi rakha..." She smiled raising her eyebrows lying.. Or rather chickening out again.
Armaan smiled too he knew she was lying..
" Arre kisne hamare laadle ka dhyaan nahi rakha... Kisne kisko pareshan kar rakha hai "Muski came in shouting as usual.. Ridhhima quickly freed her hand and Armaan cursed Muskaan's super timing
" Aapke is laadle ne mujhe..." Pointing at him she now stood with Muski with arms folded...
" Kyun ab kya kiya is khotte ne.. ?? " narrowing her brows
" Main kya karu Muski bhabhi.. Zara sa bhi chain nahi hai... Saari ulti harkatein hai ab dekho naa hath jalaa liya.." she complained
" Hath jaala liya.." Muski was all worried now.. " Kaise ?? "
" Khane ke peeche... Chaliye khana khate hai main batati hun kaise.." she started narrating everything Armaan kept quiet as when he tried to speak Ridhhima glared at him and all the courage left him then and there... They now sat at the table she put the food in a plate
" Chalo muh kholo..." She ordered. He felt like being on seventh heaven " Ridhhima use apne hath se khana khila rahi hai " he thanked god for the accident it was a blessing in disguise " agar hath jalne se Ridhhima mujhe apne hath se khana khilayegi to main sau baar haath jalane ko tayar hun..." he thought. Trying to make a straight face whereas Muskaan continued
" Main keh rahi hu naa Ridhhi yeh dono bhai kitchen main bas tufaan machane ke alawa kuch nahi karte..Kuch mamloo main bilkul ek se hain kuch main bilkul ulte... Yeh jo itna rough and tough bante hain zara bhi khayal nahi ki saari pareshani hum biwion ki hoti hai.."
" Bilkul bhabhi " Ridhhima agreed putting a spoonful of rice in his mouth..
" Ab yeh dekho Rahul ko garmi bilkul bardasht nahi hoti zara dhoop main khada ho jaaye to sar main dard ho jaata hai aur yeh khotta isko sardi bardasht nahi hoti pata hai ek baar hamari gaadi kharab ho gayi mausam bada achha tha maine kaha chalo ghar jyada duur nahi hai barish ka maza lete hue chalte hain.. Aur tum vishvaas nahi karogi 25 minute sirf 25 minute aur isko pneumonia ho gaya... !! " Ridhhima looked at him surprised
" Haan to !? mujhe lagti hai thand to main kya karun..." he said defending himself
" Haan haan pata hai.. Ab to usko teri subah waali cheeko ki aadat ho gayi hogi.. iske room ka temprature itna jyada hota hai naa ki penguin ko bhi zukham ho jaaye kitni baar kaha hai temprature control kar liya kar magar nahi, har bar kehta hai har baar bhul jaata hai... Aur agar koi aur kar de to ikso garmi lagti hai... Kaise bhi chain nahi hai isko... Ab jab subah thand ho jaati hai to bas shuru iski non stop cheekein..." Ridz just rolled her eyes at him now she understood why he sneezed so much in the morning she made a mental note not to let that happen from tomorrow
At night when he felt restless due to burn she got up with him and again put ice and ointment comforting him till he fell asleep basking in the warmth of her loving soothing touch. Who needed ointment when she was there with him and that magical touch. The next day was no good he just sat there lost again ,this time happily staring ar his hand smiling foolishly to himself. He sighed deeply, gosh he was missing her terribly even when she had called him twenty times asking how he was, he wished he could just say that he wasn't okay, he missed her, wanted her and now. Thinking about her wishing that she was there with him he rested back on his chair closing his eyes...
Knock * knock
" Come in " he called frowning, ,now who the hell was there to disturb his sweet day dream
" Armaan.. Hey, are you okay ? " he sat up straight hearing Rahul's voice
" Bhai ! Nahi I'm fine. Perfect .. Wo bas aise hi kuch soch raha tha "
Rahul looked at him suspiciously but then brushed the thoughts away " Achha yeh coming up bid ke details hai.." Rahul set off with the details and Armaan for a moment forgot everything
" Yes, come in " Armaan called again with another knock, not looking up..
" Wow that's some welcome " both turned hearing the voice and saw Ridhhima standing there with a hint of a smile on her face
" Ridhhima tum yahaan !? " Armaan almost jumped up in surprise, happy surprise. It was not hidden from Ridhhima and she felt really glad that she made the decision of coming here. She'd decided that she'll take a step ahead and decided to go for lunch with him. Who knows may be...
" Aap dono to aise surprise ho rahe hai jaise main yahaan pehli baar aayi hun. Kya main yahaan nahi aa sakti ? " making a cute face
" Nahi nahi ofcourse tum aa sakti ho. Haq hai tumhara " Rahul said happily giving her a side hug " magar aaj yeh achhe waala surprise kaise hmm " Armaan was speechless, busy admiring her. She looked sooo beautiful . Hot ! In that yellow saree and those sexy curves it showed looking absolutely stunning with her hair thrown loose. God how would he manage to think let alone speak !
" Bhaiyya wo actually main thoda bore ho rahi thi ghar par to socha aaj lunch par kahin baahar chala jaaye. Bhabhi bhi nahi thi ghar par to.. Chaliye saath main lunch karte hain " though she prayed that Rahul would say no
" Tum dono ke saath lunch ! " he laughed " bhai main kabab main haddi nahi banna chahta "
Armaan suddenly came to present " nahi bhai we'll love to have you with us " he lied
" Armaan I know you love me but if I hadn't known you better I'd have believed you " Armaan was caught and Rdhhima stifled her laugh " waise bhi I just had my lunch, so you two out of here now. Okay " he ordered and turned to Ridhhima " Ridhhima take him. And have a nice time " she nodded happily
He grabbed his coat and came to her " to chalein ? " giving her his arm, which she happily took. Boy, was he happy !
They had a nice cozy lunch, he filled her with all the details of what was going on ,even the most insignificant one. She listened to all patiently and surprisingly she didn't even feel bored. Then they talked about movies, politics debated and even argued. There were times when their hands met trying to pick the serving spoon and their eyes got locked. He could feel a kind of spark running though and that blush that rose on her cheeks. Huuuhhh he sighed he could just keep on looking at it till eternity...
He decided to take the rest of the day off and was happy to see that even she was excited about it. She asked him to go to a mall first as her watch broke down and she wanted a new one.
Walking in they suddenly bumped into Sapna and Amit who were there shopping too. Amit was just back from a tour and wouldn't be joining the office till tomorrow so there he was pleasing his lady love by taking her for shopping
Both the couples went in a shop and he started looking for a watch for her. Sapna cleverly took him little away from Ridhhima
" Achha to phir tum logon ne kya decide kiya hai ?? " she asked casually, looking at a pair. His head jerked at her direction, he knew that Sapna was aware from the very start of their situation but this took him by surprise
" Decide kis baare main ? " Asked Armaan, faking ignorance
" Yahi ki aage future main kya karna hai... you know your initial thoughts about divorcing each other... Maana ki tum ab dost ho magar jis rishte main tum bandhe ho wo sirf dosti ka to nahi reh sakta naa..." Armaan looked at her but could not find anything to say.
She noticed his dilemma and suddenly changed the topic " so tell me how's everything going on ?
" Well she's your friend I guess usne tumhe kuch to kaha hi hoga " expecting to know something from her
" Hhmm nothing special I guess she's still working out on her feelings " she lied
" Feelings ? For..." his ears shot up and he looked eager
" Oh well you know after that great shock, it obvious that it'll take some time for her to accept someone but one thing is for sure.."
" And that is ? " he asked, his excitement growing
" That she's over Vivek thing now. Anyway I never thought she loved him anyway " she said wryly, his hope died a bit but not entirely
" Really ! "
" Of course "
He felt relieved " even I thought so " Sapna cocked a brow hearing it but didn't said anything
" So that's why I'm asking how's it going.. You know.." she tried to sound casual
" It's great ,Ridhhima to itni badal gayi hai . mujhe to pata hi nahi tha ki she had a funny side too " smiling now remembering her deadly jokes
" Yeah she's quiet a wonderful creature isn't it. Full of surprises "
" Yeah, a wonderful friend anyone can ask for " he didn't meet her eyes
" Friends ? To kya tum saari umar aise hi rehne waale ho ? " He looked at her " jaisa maine kaha ki jis rishte main tum bandhe ho wo sirf dosti ka to nahi reh sakta na..."
He was again lost ,how to explain it to her that he was dying to be her everything and dying to hear the same from her... he looked at Ridhhima who was chatting with Amit... Laughing... Just then she turned and their eyes met. She smiled softly at him, He too returned it..
" Kitni pyaari hai naa..." Sapna said
" Hmmm " he sighed dreamily
" Kitni sundar.."
" Kitni keemti.. Koi nazar naa laga de.."
" Tumhe pasand hai ? "
" Bahut..sabse jyada.."
" To phir, pack karwa dun..? "
" Haan.. W..what ?! Pack ?! " he came back to present as suddenly as a car gets jolted coz of a pothole in the road
" Haan abhi to kaha ki achhi hai sundar hai... To yehi le lete hain " she said innocently trying extremely hard to hide her grin
" Kya ? " he asked confused
" Yeh ghadi aur kya ?! "
" Ghadi ?! What ghadi ?! "
" Arre wohi ghadi jisko le kar tum itna confuse ho rahe the.."
" Tum ab tak iss ghadi ki baat kar rahi thi... ?! " incredulous
" Haan aur kya ? Tumhe kya laga main kiski baat kar rahi hun ?? "
" Mujhe laga ki tum... Tum.." Sapna looked at him with raised eyebrows waiting for his answer " huuh leave it... Plz pack this one.." Ordering the salesman " Chalo ab " and both went back... Sapna smiled invardly looking at him...
That night Sapna's words echoed in his mind. He had long back resolved that he's not going to lose her at any cost and then he thought about the things which Sapna said he turned and was now lying face to face, she was in deep slumber. He smiled at his sleeping beauty, yes she's the most precious of all, most beautiful of all and she's going to be his... Afterall.
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Joined: 06 January 2009
She was as usual tying the knot of his tie and he was busy admiring
her. She looked up, their eyes met and she caught him staring at her. He quickly
came out of his dazed state as she raised her brows questioningly. Smiling
" Umm, ehem " he cleared his throat gaining back his composure " wo Ridhhima.. actually wo.. main tumhe kal batana bhuul gaya tha. You know Pam naa.."
" Pam ? " bit confused
" Haan, remember Manali.. Party "
" Oh haan that Pam " remembering now. How can she forget Armaan-is-mine-Pam. She wondered what she'll do now, poor soul will have a heart attack. Grinning at the thought.
" Well, wo actually Delhi aayi hui hai and she's also working for company's ad campaign so.. Ehem " he felt awkward not sure how she'll react " she's coming for dinner on thursday " he said it in one go exhaling with relief. He looked so cute with that expression that she wanted to just pull his cheeks, but controlled.
" Oh, I see. That's two days from now " he nodded " To itna pareshaan kyun ho rahe ho ? After all she's your favourite model and jaisa ki lag hi raha tha, your best buddy too " she faked her displeasure at the news.
' Oh no ' he thought ' Ridhhima to naraz ho gayi ' he tailed after her
as she picked and folded his clothes hiding her smile " R.. Ridhhima wo maine
use invite nahi kiya, usne khud ko " she turned abruptly, he stepped back
hesitating seeing that non amused expression " invite.. Kar... Liya.." gulping
She stared at him for a moment, he gave a nervous grin and then.. unable to control any longer " Ohh Armaan tum naa.." she laughed , feeling at a loss for words she did what she wanted to. Pulled his cheeks " it's okay. Let her come, she's most welcome. Tum itna kyun ghabra rahe ho " he ran his fingers on his cheeks pleasently surprised
" To.. To tum naraaz nahi ho ? " confirming it again
" Armaann don't be silly, why would I be angry huh. Don't worry I'll make something nice for her. Without poison okay " he grinned at it " Tum ab chalo bhi nahi to fir aadha breakfast chhod kar bhagoge ki late ho raha hun " and pushed him from behind. He smiled broadly all fears vanished...
Since her realization of her love a new feeling of belonging came to
her, feeling of fully being the part of everything which is his. It was as if
she was now looking at everything with a completely new perspective feeling like
a proper family member now, this is where she truly belongs... But there was a
task to be done.
" Hmmm, my silly husband ji ab bhi agar aap nahi samjhe to dekh lena " she grinned looking at their wedding photograph which turned into a loving smile. Husband... The word automatically gave her the sense of oneness, the right over him ,his love. Running her fingers over his face she kissed it and hung the picture where it was easily visible. Taking the other pic. That was her birthday present she for a moment was lost in the fond memories when they were together. What time that was, there was truth, trust, and belief, and still is, that the other would be there whenever the need be. Smiling broadly hung that picture too.
" Hmm, task one complete. Now let's see Mr. Super Intelligent Malik ki aap samajhte hain ya nahi " satisfied she glanced at the watch, there was still time for his return,to quieten her restlessness decided to have a round of the house, which she felt now truly was hers...
Stuffing the earplugs of her Ipod she came out of the room. Walking through the corridors she remembered the day when she came to the house for the first time and he took her to show around. Her eyes fell on a painting ,she smiled remembering how he told that he tried to be clever with that after breaking it and was caught by Virendra. Laughing softly, Modern Art ! Something which still went over his head... crossing through another corridor she saw the tree with the swing in the garden. A smile crept on her face ,remembering when she first felt the security of being in his strong arms. Gazing at it she rubbed her arms trying to feel the warmth again. Her heart told her that her.. No their, wait was soon going to be over. It was Leo's bark which brought her out of her dreamland.
" You know you just spoiled my super romantic dream " Leo just made a
sad noise as if saying ' That's why I disturbed you. It wasn't about me ' she
sighed seeing that hurt innocent look on his face " God ! You are one jealous
dog. Cmmon " she moved on with her shadow following her, wagging his tail.
Changing the song on her Ipod her attention suddenly diverted to Leo who barked
standing before a room, getting close she saw Martin inside, and then she
She was standing before Armaan's childhood room. Martin was dusting around keeping things in order with another servant. Leo barged in sniffing things trying to get hold of the toys kept there. The sudden appearance caught Martin's eye.
" Leo ! " he shouted pulling away the toy he was trying to chew, his
eyes then fell on Ridhhima who stood behind Leo " Ma'am.. " an unsure expression
came over his face seeing her there. The room brought some other memories
back... He'd yelled at Martin the first day she came here and then the other
day after their marriage.
She felt really strange that he asked her straightaway not to come here. Something was not right, it was hard for her to understand that what could be here in such a beautiful room that scared him. Yes ,the look that he had on his face was of pure shock and fear. She decided to get it clear with him later, but for now she wanted to have a closer look at the room, everytime she came here the visit was disrupted by one thing or the other.
" Ma'am.. Do you need anything ? Let me make some coffee for you. Plz. Come it's.. Dusty in here " she could see Martin was just trying to get her out of here, he was clearly feeling uneasy to see her there and his eyes darted from her to the door.
" No, thank you Martin. I want to have a look at the room before he comes back " she smiled at him easing his discomfort a bit. He still looked bit unsure, with Leo's collar in one hand who was struggling hard to get hold of some delicious looking toys..
" Leo ! " he scolded the overenthusiastic dog " Hari take him out plz, before he breaks or eat up something. " the other servant took Leo out. Ridhhima looked at Martin who looked as if wanted to say something but didn't knew how to.
" What is it Martin ? "
" Ma'am plz excuse me, but sir have specifically asked.. Ordered, not to let anyone in this room and I need to go out so if you could.. "
" I know Martin but I want to have a look around. " she could see Martin was debating how to make her understand " Don't worry Martin he won't be back so early, you can carry on with your work "
" But ma'am.."
" No Martin. I'm not leaving. " she said firmly looking at Martin and he knew he had to drop it. " Very well then, I need to get the lock repaired it doesn't open from the inside. Plz don't remove the box from there " he pointed to a box working as a stopper, she nodded and Martin left with a glance at the watch. It was still time for him to return the repairs could be done easily in the meanwhile.
Fate, destiny have unusual knack of taking sudden turns and twists and
it so happened that day too.
He stepped out of the car happily, coming lot earlier than usual to spend time with her, he had to clear out things as soon as possible the distance was getting unbearable now...
Rushing to the room with the bouquet of her favourites- orange roses, this time splattered with red, the colour of love... He opened the door quietly. wanting to surprise her and then as planned his eyes fell on the pics on the wall, gaze fixed on them he walked to them...
" Yeh photos to pehle yahaan nahi thi... Kya yeh Ridhhima ne... Is she trying to say something..." his mind worked at super fast pace " No. First confirm Armaan. Nahi to... Don't assume anything " he was still cautious, not aware that his dream was minutes or rather few words away from getting fulfilled... " but where is she ? " he looked all around in the room but she wasn't there " may be she's out. I wasn't suppose to be back for next three hours, it's just four now " explaining to himself he came out looking for her..
Ridhhima stood before the wall looking at the pictures. He was there
with different people some she knew and some she didn't. It had pictures of his
birthday where he stood blowing candles with that angelic dimpled smile. Even
her father was there in some, of course he and Virendra are best friends.
He rushed from one place to another looking for her. Finding Hari on
the way he asked if he'd seen her Hari pointed out the way. Happily he climbed
the flight of stairs to reach his love running through the corridor looking for
her. He looked in all the rooms but she wasn't in any of them his smile
turned into a little worry as he closed on his room. He stopped on his tracks,
the light from the open door cleared that it was open and someone was probably
there. With beating heart he stepped ahead hoping that it wasn't her there.
But his fears came to be true. She was inside. Suddenly some flashes came before his eyes, they weren't clear but were enough to raise his heartbeat, scaring him... shutting his eyes he jerked his head to clear them off and for a moment they stopped. He have to go away, take her away from here... It wasn't good place to be...
" Ridhhima " he called, not daring to step inside. Ridhhima was busy admiring the wall of pictures with Earplugs stuffed enjoying music. His restlessness grew by seconds, beads of sweat formed on the forehead " Riidhhiimaa " he shouted louder but still it didn't reached her. His temper rose now. Why wasn't she listening ? Why was she here in the first place ? Who the hell gave her the key ?Bloody hell, Where is this Martin ? He felt helpless ,didn't knew whether to look for Martin or bring her out, calling was definitely not working.
Desperation and helplessness gave rise to anger, dropping the bunch he took a deep breath, he have to bring her out. With fists clenched he took angry steps inside kicking the box in the way and stood by her side.
" Ridhhima " he grabbed her wrist, startling her
" Armaan.." surprised to find him there suddenly " tum kab aaye ? tumne to mujhe daraa hi diya.." pulling out the earplugs, but she could see that he wasn't smiling. Infact he looked worried " Armaan.. Kya hua ? Is everything okay ? " but she knew the reason. He wasn't happy to see her here.
He was kind of breathing shortly " come out " pulling her away, not even glancing anywhere" but..." she tried to explain but he wasn't listening, he turned the knob. The door didn't open, dropping the hand he tried to pull it open but it didn't budge. Multiplying his efforts he now tried frantically.
" Damn ! Why isn't this opening ? why this damned door not opening !? " trying desperately making her worry
" Armaan.. Armaan calm down. Meri baat to suno.."
" OPEN THE DOOR !! " he turned to look for an exit and then his eyes fell on the wall. The pictures...
Immediately his head was filled with screams, loud painful ones... There were people... There were masks.. They were laughing, loudly.He covered his ears... His head throbbed.. Ridhhima was very worried now.
He looked at her pleading " Plz open this door, get me out "
" Armaan. Stop " trying to make him listen but he was beyond any explaination. She'd never seen him like this ever.. the situation got worse by every passing second.
Before she could think of anything he fell on his knees covering his
ears " stoopp, plz. Stoooppp "
" Armaaann, listen.. Stop what ? " trying hard to make him look at her
" Mujhe.. Main pagal ho jaunga Ridhhima I'm going to go mad... plz.plz. Stop that woman from screaming... Un logon se bolo ki wo chup ho jaayein... Main aur bardasht nahi kar sakta... Plz..." He covered his ears begging her hiding his face in his knees... Tears rolled down from his eyes...
Ridhhima was bewildered seeing this she didn't knew what to do...
Sitting by his side she held his hands that covered his ears, trying to stop the
non existing screams " Armaan look at me." knowing perfectly well that she had
to keep her calm " kaun si aurat ? kaun se log ? yahaan koi nahi hai Armaan..."
trying to make him look at her but He still didn't, his eyes tightly shut head
bowed down " Armaan meri taraf dekho, Armaan.." trying her best to make him open
his eyes and look at her but was unable to do so. Finally she grabbed him by his
shoulders and shook him... " Armaan. Armaan look at me..." hearing her loud
voice he opened his eyes slowly ,he was panting and beads of sweat formed on his
forehead. She cupped his face and said lovingly yet firmly " yahaan koi nahi hai
Armaan. Koi nahi... It's just you and me.. Door ka lock kharab hai isliye wo
band ho gaya, abhi Martin aa kar khulwa dega ok.. Yahaan koi nahi chilla raha
,koi nahi hai " still breathing shortly he looked around as if seeing everything
for the first time... " Armaan sab theek hai.."
Unsure still scared, he suddenly hugged her tightly. For a moment it took her by surprise but then held him close knowing well that he needed it very much ,kicking into the doctor mode she kept whispering softly assuring him. Picking up the phone she called Martin to come quick. He was back in minutes, the door was thrown open.
She was still sitting on the floor, holding him tight. His head buried in her neck.
" Ma'am.." Martin called softly. He was worried, a look of guilt on his face, she signaled him to be quiet. He understood " I'll be right outside " she nodded
" Armaan " calling softly " cmmon let's go. Darwaza khul gaya "
Breaking the embrace she tried to make him get up, he was shaking and
didn't spoke a word. Gathering his strength he stood up but his knees felt weak
Ridhhima quickly supported him taking him out...
Back in the room she made him lie on the bed, he was shivering badly
suddenly cold as if was drenched in ice cold water. Covering him immediately she
sat by his side trying to comfort him but all was in vain. He didn't uttered a
word and kept his eyes tightly shut as if trying to stop seeing something scary,
the look of pain clear on his face.
Being a doctor she knew that he must relax and calm down. The sleep was the best medicine at this point of time but it was impossible to make him sleep on his own now. She decided to call Rahul and Virendra, even Muskaan was not at home but as she was about to get up she realized that he was holding her hand firmly she sat down again beside him..
" Armaan main yahin hun bas phone lene jaa rahi hun " he didn't utter a
word just tightened his hold she knew that she could not leave him now sitting
by his side she kept on stroking his hair " kuch nahi hua Armaan, kuch nahi hua,
sab theek hai..." She cursed herself for going to his room... he still was
awake, no more shutting his eyes he looked at nothing in particular, it was
almost an hour after the outbreak that she felt his grip lightened a little she
said softly " Armaan main paani pi kar abhi aati hun " this time he let her go
Rushing to her bag she prepared an injection and sat beside him " Armaan so jao naa..." trying once again
No reply... she gently rubbed his arm and prayed to god that he don't react to the prick... She was deft with the injection and probably he didn't feel anything as there was no reaction at all slowly the medicine started to show it's effect and his eyelids became heavy... finally they closed down to give him much needed sleep... she kept caressing his hair for a while ,covering him properly, she got up...
She had decided that it was time to have some serious discussion about his nightmares... his fear of blood, needles, his room and most of all... even of his mother's picture.
She didn't had to wait long. Martin had already informed Virendra and others, she met them as they rushed to see him. Seeing that he was fine and was sleeping peacefully, they all took a breath of relief.
" Papa.. Aaj jo hua, I need to know everything. It's not okay. In sabki
koi wajah to zarur hai. Aisa kya hai us room main jo use itna dara deta hai aur
yahi nahi aap jaante hain ki.."
" Haan main jaanta hun ki wo apne room main nahi jaata, na pehle na ab.. Accident ke baad hospital main rakhne main hamein kitni mushkil hui thi... Injections ya needles se darta hai, khoon se aur... Yahan tak ki Naina ki tasveer se bhi..." Virendra added. He stood by the window of the library where all of them gathered to have the family discussion. He knew this was bound to come up but what he didn't anticipated was it would be in such a manner. BP placed his hand over Virendra's shoulder giving it a gentle squeeze.
Seeing that Virendra could not speak further he added " Beta main
maanta hun ki hamein yeh baat aapko khud bahut pehle bata deni chahiye thi
magar.. I guess we were selfish. Wo itna khush tha ki hamein laga ki wo darr ab
beeti baat ho chuka hai aur ab hamare Armaan ko koi pareshani chuu nahi sakti..
hamein laga ki shayad usne khud us hadse ke baare main bataa diya hoga magar.."
he paused for a moment " I think we were wrong "
" But, papa aakhir aisa hua kya tha ? "
Virendra turned, looking at her he sighed deeply, bracing himself " Armaan and Naina were kidnapped. The day after his 10th birthday "
" What ?! " she was shocked. For a moment there was complete silence. None spoke. Her eyes moved from one face to another. Muskaan was holding Rahul's hand both faces realized with pain they still felt. BP was no different and Virendra, it seemed was gathering every ounce of effort to speak further. Even Martin for whom it was unusual to display any emotion stood in the corner like a terribly sad statue.
Virendra continued " it all started on his 10th birthday. It was something of a double celebration for us. Uske kuch din pehle hi hamein ek bahut badi jeet haasil hui thi, hamari company ke naam par jo frauds nakli medicines supply kar rahe the wo pakde gaye the... Kisko pataa tha ki agla din hamari zindagi badalne waala tha... " his eyes got moist and a lump choked the words
BP took the turn " Armaan Naina ke saath agle din shopping par gaya tha. Main aur Virendra office main the jab Vibha ka phone aaya aur usne bataya ki Armaan aur Naina ko kuch log kidnap karke le gaye hain. We rushed home. Ghar aa kar pata chala ki Armaan aur Naina shopping ke liye gaye the aur wahan se kuch logon ne unhe kidnap kar liya, wahaan ke guard aur unke beech firing bhi hui magar wo un dono ko le jaane main kaamyab rahe " BP paused for a moment " kya kya nahi kiya humne police ,detectives sab, magar kuch pata nahi chal paaya aur hairani to tab hui jab koi ransom call bhi nahi aayi. kamyabi chahe anchahe bahut dushman babaa deti hai, hum kisi ek par ungli nahi utha paaye "
" Aur phir achanak hafte baad ek phone aaya. Aaj tak mujhe wo shabd
yaad hai " Virendra said
" Kyun Virendra Malik kaisa lag raha hai apni biwi bete ke bina " said a cold voice
" Kaun.. You bas***d ! Who are you ? Tum aakhir chahte kya ho ? Meri biwi kahan hai mera beta... Agar unhe kuch bhi hua to.."
" Awaaz neechi Virendra Malik jitna chillaoge usse kahin jyada uunchi
chikhein tumhe sunne ko milengi " I was stunned to hear it.
" Dekho tumhe jitna paisa chahiye main dunga bas mere biwi bete ko jaane do "
" Jayenge to sahi wo Malik. Bahut duur " and the man laughed a chilling cold laugh, " abhi to shuruat hai Malik zara tum bhi dard seh kar dekho "
" You.." but the call was disconnected " You bas***d ! "
" Feeling helpless all my anger was taken out on the phone which went flying across the room... We continued our search, the most terrible was the time when we started getting a blood soaked peice of cloth everyday. The police suspected it was someone from within who was involved but we could point at none. It continued for a week when one day we got a call from the commissioner that they have found Armaan and Naina. Iss khabar ne jaise ek murde main jaan daal di..." Virendra was lost again for a moment before continuing
" Police ko kisi tarah khabar mili ki ek accident hua hai, ek car jisme kuch log jaa rahe the uski ek truck se takkar ho gayi. Us car main 6 log the, aur un 6 logon main se ek Armaan aur Naina bhi the. Baaki 4 main se teen ki mauke par hi maut ho gayi thi. Khabar milte hi hum us jagah bhage. Armaan jab hamein mila tab Naina ka sar uski goud main tha, wo ek paed ke sahare baitha hua tha, ek hath Naina ki gardan par lagi chot par tha... Wo khoon behne se rok raha tha... Main wo samay aaj tak nahi bhul sakta..." again a lump formed in his throat but now tears fell from his eyes " mera 10 saal ka beta, jo khud itni buri tarah ghayal tha apni maa ko bachane ki koshish kar raha tha..."
Tears dropped from Ridhhima's eyes imagining it. This time BP continued " hamein laga ki ab sab theek ho jayega. Naina aur Armaan ab hamare saath the. Badi mushkil se hum use Naina se alag kar paaye. Wo use chhodne ko tayar hi nahi tha huh, aur aaj dekho uski tasveer tak nahi dekhta... Magar jaisa hum soch rahe the waisa hua nahi. The real testing time was ahead... Armaan aur Naina ko hospital le jaaya gaya. Ek baat jo hum nahi jaante the wo yeh ki jin logon ne un dono ko kidnap kiya tha marne waalo main unka boss nahi tha. Wo bach kar bhaag chuka tha. Aur uss din..." he trailed off
Sunil was there in Naina's room as Virendra went to meet the doctors,
he dozed off reading a magazine when suddenly he felt something sharp hit his
head and before he could react his hands were tied and mouth gagged. Gaining
some control he looked at his attacker... They were attackers. Three in all,
dressed as doctors with their masks on they must have succeeded in fooling the
guards. He tried to struggle free and was shocked when one of them pulled out a
big knife and stepped toward resting Naina.
The commotion woke Naina up her eyes widened with horror ,stunned to see the men before her. They obviously intended to kill her. She tried to get up but the other two held her back and then there was a flash. The man stabbed her. She could not even scream as her mouth was covered. Sunil who was lying on the ground behind the curtain could only see the flash of blood soaked knife. He was too stunned to utter anything. Naina was stabbed... Killed...
Just then the knob turned they quickly hid behind the door it was Armaan, he came there limping.
" Mumma..." Sunil tried calling out to warn him but couldn't. He went to Naina's side and found her breathing heavily " mumma, kya hua mumma ?? " worried
She held his hand " A..ar.. Armaan... Run beta... go.." but it was too
late. The door was already shut, he turned and saw three men, their faces
covered. One of them covering his mouth grabbed him from behind, it was then one
of them again pulled a knife Armaan struggled to get free of that man's hold but
what chances did a ten yr old had in front of that burly man.
One of the man covered Naina's face with pillow and stabbed her brutally many times. His eyes widened with shock and horror, he bit the man's hand hard who let him go instantly..
" Mooommm " He screamed , Sunil was stupefied. Armaan saw his mother being killed right in front of his eyes... he rushed to her all he could see through his teary eyes was a blood soaked hand that held his... " Mumma.. Mummaa " was all he could manage when he was roughly pulled away from her..
Their other target was right there. Sunil struggled hard to get free but it was Armaan's scream that caught the attention of the guards outside. Meanwhile, he saw them. Terrified, their faces covered with white masks, they grabbed his arm, he was utterly shocked so much that no voice came out of his mouth... They were about to kill him too when the door burst open and guards came in there shouting warnings.
They saw the man with the knife about to stab Armaan and fired at him. He died on the spot but the other two used him as a shield. Virendra rushed there and was horrified to see what was going on. Hiding behind Armaan the men came out of the room. Sunil was freed quickly ,now both Sunil and Virendra went after the men..
He limped painfully as they pulled him with them, crying to go back to his mother and father. Sunil, Virendra and policemen rushed after them. There was firing and more shouting.. He tripped but they didn't wait for him to get up keeping a firm hold on his hand they dragged him to a distance. He screamed with pain.
" Leave my son ! " Virendra roared but they hardly bothered till they found an emergency exit then one of them pulled him up using him as his sheild. The police felt helpless they couldn't close on them as they had Armaan. Then Sunil called on their personal guards, they were sharp shooters...
Armaan was still in that man's arms who was running with him they were now outside the hospital on their way to main gates where other people of the gang were waiting for them. The man who was now running blindly with him was looking back when he was suddenly hit by an approaching ambulance... They both fell down almost face to face and then there was a noise as if someone had burst a loud cracker.
Armaan's face was splattered with blood... The man's grip on his hand
slowly loosened ,he lay still lifeless on the ground his eyes staring at him
behind his mask that still covered his face, now red due to blood ..the bullet
peirced through his head... Armaan stood up looking at the building and others.
Everything was running in slow motion his father and BP running to him.. But he
could not hear what they were saying he looked at his hands covered with
blood... touched his face, fresh blood dripped from there... The man's blood,
who now lay lifeless near his feet... He looked at the building with it's big
red plus sign... People looking at him scared, terrified... His head started to
spin and everything went blank...
" It was two days later that he gained consciousness " BP said " hum
sab tab wahin the. Naina.. Ja chuki thi hamein chhod kar..."
Virendra came and sat on the chair beside her " Us haadse ke baad hamne
Armaan ko wahaan rakhna theek nahi samjha aur hum use ghar le aaye, hosh aane ke
baad usne sabse pehle Naina ke baare main hi puchha hamme se kisi ki himmat nahi
hui use sach batane ki..."
Virendra stood quietly by the window. Sunil and Vibha were there too. She was sitting near his bed.
" Virendra " all looked at her, Armaan was stirring now. Tears of
relief filled their eyes. Sunil thanked God in his heart. Armaan slowly opened
his eyes as if he was waking up from a sleep everybody was happy seeing him
" Hey Tiger. How are you ? " Virendra asked smiling at his son
" I'm fine.." then he looked at the bandages on his body " yeh kya hua papa ? " puzzled
" Yeh ? Aapko nahi pata ? " surprised at his question. He looked at his father as if he didn't understand what language he was speaking. He turned to BP
" BP mumma kahaan hai ? "
" Beta wo.. Wo " they all looked at each other helplessly, he didn't knew that she was no more
" Beta wo kisi bahut zaruri kaam se baahar gayi hain..." Vibha lied controlling her tears
" Mera toy laane jo kal tuut gaya tha ?! " He asked happily excited at the prospect of getting his favourite toy again... " Magar mumma ne kaha tha ki wo mere saath jaayengi... Wo akeli kyun gayi ? "
Everybody was surprised " beta kya kaha aapne kal toy tuuta tha ? " Virendra asked him
" Haan kal birthday par jo mila tha mera favourite... Mcch aapko nahi pata mumma ko pata hai..." He picked up his videogame
" Beta birthday kal to nahi tha... Wo to.."
" Kya papa aapko nahi pata birthday kal hi to tha aap bhul gaye aap hi to mera favourite cake laaye the phir hamne cake kaata tha phir meri ladayi hui thi aur mera toy tuuta tha... Arre jab mumma gussa ho rahi thi aur phir aapne hi to mumma se kaha tha ki mujhe waisa hi toy laake dene ko... Aapko yaad nahi..."
All were stunned " But beta..."
" Sir some policemen are here to meet you..." Martin announced
" Yeah, I'm coming..."
" Mr.Malik him aapke bete se kuch puuchna chahte hain... Un logon ke
" Kya kuch pata chal paaya officer ? "
" Abhi bas itna hi ki unka hamle ke pichhe bas yahi wajah thi ki wo apni pehchaan chuppana chahte the. Armaan aur aapki wife hi wo do log hain jinhone us insaan ko, unke boss ko dekha hai. Baaki sab kiraye ke gunde the jo paise ke liye kuch bhi karne se darte nahi "
He looked at Armaan who was busy playing his video game " Well.. Aap Armaan se baat kar sakte hain magar jyada daer tak nahi he needs rest " still puzzled about what happened few minutes ago...
" Hello beta " an inspector went up to him ,he looked at them puzzled " beta hum aapse kuch puchhna chahte hain. Aap hamein sach sach batayenge okay, darne ki koi zarurat nahi hai theek hai.." Armaan was still puzzled " Beta inme se aap kisi ko pehchante hain..." Showing him some photographs one by one... All were dead people. He just stared at all of them saying nothing... " Do you remember any of these people ? " he was still staring at the photographs his expressions changing...
" Where did they take you ?? Yeh log aapki mumma ko aur aapko kahaan le gaye the ?? Aur koi bhi tha kya inke saath ?? Bolo beta cmmon "
" Mumma ke saath ?? "
" Haan beta "
" Mujhe nahi pata "
" Cmmon beta yaad karne ki koshish karo, kya in logon ke alawa bhi aapne kisi ko wahaan dekha ?? "
" Kisko ?! Mujhe nahi pata... Daddy mumma kahaan hai ??? Mujhe mumma ke paas jaana hai..." he demanded
" Armaan " he held him in his arms " kuch nahi beta just relax kuch nahi hua, just answer what uncle is asking..." consoling him
" Mujhe nahi pata... I want mommy. I want mommmyyy..." he got unconscious crying for her
" We were really scared doctors denied any kind of talking about that incident for the time being. Jab hosh aaya to he cried a lot... that day we were stunned to hear his answer... he didn't knew what happened with him or Naina in the past two weeks... Even at the hospital..."
" In fact he didn't knew that two weeks had already passed... we
consulted the best doctors psychiatrists.." BP said " Sabki yahi rai thi ki uske
dil dimaag ka us haadse ka itna asar hua hai ki uske dimaag ne ek tarah se uss
hisse ko band kar diya hai jahaan uski un dino ki yaad thi, uski chotton ko hamne
yeh keh kar taal diya ki wo stairs se gir gaya tha... Agle kuch din hamne Naina
ki baat usse chuppa kar rakhi magar ek din usne wo pucch hi liya. "
" BP mumma kahan hain ? " He remembered the day, " we were stunned with
his sudden question "
" Beta wo.. Wo mumma.." " I fought very badly to hold my tears but it was like fighting a lost battle..."
Vibha tried to divert him " she.. She is fine beta achha aapko pata hai Rahul bhai aapke liye ek game laaya hai aur is sunday hum sab kahin bahar chalenge Kitne dino se hum kahin ghumne nahi gaye..."
" Mumma is dead." He looked straight into Vibha's eyes. We were stunned... " Hai na badi maa..."
" It was statement not question. She could say no more embracing him
again that day she wept bitterly... Infact everybody did, we weren't hiding
Virendra continued " Aur wo shuruaat thi Armaan ke daraawane sapno
ki... Har raat wo cheekh kar uth jaata tha... aur kabhi kabhi raat bhar jaagta
rehta... Doctors ya hospital ke naam se kaanp uthta tha aur aaj bhi darta hai...
Uske iss darr ki wajah to shayad hum jaante hain " now she understood why he
never entered the hospital gates, and why the sight of blood troubled him. but what about the needles and Naina's pic.
" Din ba din wo udaas rehne lagaa... Aur apne kamre main to jaana usne
band kar diya... Kehta tha ki wahaan use daraawane sapne aate hain... Lekin yeh
nahi pata ki un sapno main aakhir usne dekha kya... Naina ki maut ke baad mera
mann bhi nahi lagta tha aur Armaan ki haalat dekhte hue socha ki jagah badal lun
aur phir baaki sabne bhi hamein yahi sujhaav diya hum use har us baat se duur
rakhte jo use pareshaan karti thi... Dheere dheere hamne yeh jaana ki wo Naina
ki tasveer dekh kar bhi pareshaan ho jaata hai... Uski udaasi aur akelepan ke
saathi bas Rahul Muskaan Sunil bhaisaab aur Vibha bhabhi hi thi... paanch saal
lag gaye usko phir se hasta khelta Armaan banane main... Phir Vibha bhabhi ke
jaane ke baad laga ki kahin phir se... magar iss baar wo Rahul aur Sunil
bhaisaab ka sahara ban kar khada hua... Aur tabse wo aisa hi hai... Usne us din
ke baad se aaj tak kabhi un dino ki baat nahi ki... Aur wo yaadein aaj bhi uske
dil dimaag main kahin gehri dabi hui hai jo kabhi bahar aa jaati hai aur use
andar tak hila deti hain... Pata nahi kya kya saha hoga usne kya kya dekha
" Doctors ne kya kaha papa ? "
" Doctors bhi kuch nahi kar paaye unhone bhi yahi kahaa ki kuch baatein samay ke saath hi baahar aati hain... wo agar jyaada zor denge to ho sakta hai isme nuksaan Armaan ka hi ho. uske aaraam ke liye bas kuch medicines ke alawa wo kuch nahi kar paaye, kuch waqt baad usne kisi bhi doctor se milne se saaf manaa kar diya... Aur main ab apne bachhe ko koi pareshaani main nahi dekhna chahta tha isliye hamne wohi kiya jisme usko chain mile..."
" Aapne kaha ki police ko shak tha ki un logon ke saath koi ghar ka hi mila hua tha..."
" Yes, that bloody bas***d was, unfortunately my uncle. My mother's brother " Rahul spoke up after a long time his hatered and anger clear by his tone..
" What ?! " shocked to hear it
" Yes. lekin uska sach hamein bahut daer ke baad pataa chala aur iss baat ka fayeda uthate hue wo yahan se bhaag gaya. We still don't know why he did that probably it was for money " he banged his fist on the table.
" Hamne bahut koshish kari ki kisi tarah uska ya un logon ka pata lag paaye ki kaun the wo log magar usko kuch bhi yaad nahi unka ek aadmi us din bhaag jaane main kamyaab ho gaya aur jo pakda gaya tha uski maut ho gayi..." BP said
" Aapne baad main Armaan se jaanne ki koshish nahi kari ? " she asked
" Haan ki, magar aisa lagta hai maano jaise koi use rok raha hai use wo
sab yaad karne se jab bhi koshish kari tab tab wo itna darr gaya ki hamne fir
koi baat nahi chhedi... Usne apne kamre main jaane se saaf manaa kar diya aur
ekdum chup ho gaya tha... Aaj jo tum Armaan dekh rahi ho naa Rahul Muskaan
bhaisaab bhabhi ki mehnat hai warna main to apne hi gam main itna duub gaya tha
ki apna beta bhi kho deta, aur ab wo baatein zaruri bhi nahi hai, mera beta to
kam se kam mere paas hai... ,magar Jahan tak main jaanta hun Armaan abhi bhi us
sadme se ubar nahi paaya hai... is haste
khelte chehre ke peeche bahut dard chuupa hai. Armaan andar se chahe jitna bhi
udaas ho, tuta hua ho main jaanta hun wo apni feelings kabhi kisi se itni aasani se
share nahi karta tum ab uske sabse kareeb ho wo tumhe bahut chahta hai... Us
haadse ke zakmo ko bharne ke liye use bahut pyaar chahiye aur sabse zaruri
tumhara sath... is waqt agar uski koi madad kar sakta hai to wo tum ho...
Hamesha uske sath rehna, he needs you..."
Ridhhima kept a hand over his assuring him " I will papa.. don't worry
" now everything got cleared it was that accident which had left a deep scar in
his heart and mind... But to take away all the pain and fear from his heart she
needed to know everything that happened during the time he was kidnapped
all knew was just a part of it and the real truth lied deep in his mind to which his mind had tightly shut the
doors... She resolved that she will make him free of all fears and it's time
that those scary shadows leave him forever... She will be his strength... She
won't let him get hurt in any way...
That night she sat by his side caressing his hair, remembering the time in the room. She sighed deeply kissing his forehead lightly " I'm sorry Armaan. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you... I just didn't knew... But I'm here with you ,I won't let anything hurt you. I promise " it was a promise to him... To herself.
He twisted in his sleep. The masks were back, those cold eyes were staring hungrily at him. He ran from them but it wasn't clear, everything was red... Blood red, it was suffocating.. His hands were covered with blood, he rubbed them on his clothes trying to wipe them clean but more he tried more the blood spread all over. The footsteps were closing in, he ran again panting but there was a wall ahead. A big red brick wall, there was no where to go he was stuck in that alley. The men found him, the cold eyes were back. They ran towards him shouting, a scream peirced through and suddenly there was a booming laugh which grew in pitch every second. He covered his ears falling on the ground, the men were still closing in they are going to kill him.. They had weapons..
He woke up " Noo stoopp stop..." Ridhhima was out in the balcony when he heard his shout, rushing in she found him awake, he was panting. She knew it was the nightmare, sitting by his side she cupped his face.
" Armaan. Kya hua ? It's okay. Everything is fine " she assured him
lovingly " koi bura sapna dekha kya hmm " For a moment he was glad that she was
there, he looked around to see if he was really awake. He was. " Armaan " he
looked back " kya dekha sapne main ? "
" Sapne main.." he frowned ,it was something scary but... Now that he tried to recall it nothing came to him " pata nahi... I.. I don't remember " she knew he wasn't lying. But then yesterday evening came back to him and suddenly his expressions changed " Ridhhima, tum.. You were in that room "
' so he remember ' she thought though hoping that he didn't but she was
prepared for his whiplash " haan wo main kal aise hi ghuum rahi thi to..."
" And you went in " his eyes narrowed ,she could see his temper rising again
" H..haan wo actually Martin was cleaning and I was curious so.."
" What ?! You were curious ! Great ! Kya tumhe itni si baat yaad nahi rahi ki I told you NOT to go in there. Just a simple instruction ya phir tumne meri baat naa maanne ki kasam khayi hai " he roared " bahut achha laga hoga naa tumhe wahan jaa kar ,mujhe takleef de kar "
" Armaan, I can never hurt you " she was hurt by his words but then consoled herself remembering what he had been through. He didn't reply but got up and went away. She could hear the bathroom door slammed shut.
She sighed, it was expected but now she had to cool him down. Seeing that he was going to get ready for work she quickly decided to make something nice for him. His favourite paranthas after all age old saying that way to husband's heart goes through his stomach can't be false.
Quickly preparing everything she came back to the room. Thanks to 3 M's
- Muskaan, Maria and Martin who helped her with everything in the kitchen.
Grabbing a tie she came out smiling to herself, how can he run away from her
loving embrace... But was surprised when he came out, this time he wore no shirt
but was wearing a V-neck T-shirt under the jacket. Without glancing at her he
sat down tying the shoe laces.
" Armaan maine tumhare kapde nikaal diye the phir yeh "
" Thanks " he said dryly " but main apne kapde khud select kar sakta hun " he turned and found Leo sniffing his briefcase probably grading it on his Chew-O-meter " Leo ! " Armaan shouted ,poor dog was taken aback for a moment, but it seemed he could sense that today was just not the day to be on the wrong side of this cranky croc. Leo backed away and ran out of the room whining. Grabbing his briefcase he strode out leaving a surprised Ridhhima.
She quickly came to her senses " breakfast ! " and rushed after him "
Armaan breakfast, maine tumhare favourite paranthe banaye hain "
" Haan Armaan " Muskaan inhaled the beautiful aroma " chal aa baith yahaan " with Rahul and others forcing him he had no choice. No body spoke of yesterday's event, rather they all tried to be cheerful and casual. But it had no effect on him he hardly spoke anything, ate minimum and was up before anyone else.
" Aap log breakfast karke aa jaana, mujhe kuch important kaam hai. I have to leave early " before anyone could stop him he was out. Ridhhima watched his retreating back.
" Koi baat nahi Ridhhi, thodi daer main uska mood theek hi jayega. Main dekhta hun okay " Rahul and others consoled her.
" Papa.. " she turned to look at Virendra.
" Haan beta "
" Aapka beta ek number ka sadu hai "
" I know beta but... What ?! " it took him a moment to register what she'd said. They all were expecting a teary outburst but...
" Yes, subah se manane ki koshish kar rahi hun aur wo hai ki itna bhaav kha raha hai " crossing her arms she faked anger.
This brought smile on everybody's face who a moment ago were gloomy and anxious. BP and others laughed out and the atmosphere eased, the suffocation vanished " Veeru, you were right. She's the perfect choice " Rahul gave her a side hug as if saying everything will be okay, Muskaan stood by her side BP hi fived and Virendra kissed her forehead
" Now I'm sure everything will be okay. You are here. You two are the best decision of my life " looking at Muskaan, Ridhhima felt truly loved and thanked God that the elders took the decision. Armaan was her life she can't imagine a minute without him now.
She wasn't surprised that the lunch she sent for him came back as it is. It worried her a bit coz he was just recovering from illness, she would have gone herself if she hadn't got that emergency call. Sighing she came out of the kitchen, Rahul had called her to inform that he tried his best but he slipped in pretext of one thing or the other. She knew he would have but he had - The Armaan to handle which wasn't an easy task.
He was back from the office and she found him playing with Angel... He
was smiling, but now looking at him again she saw that, that smile didn't really
reach his eyes it was a delibrate effort when he laughed at Muskaan and Rahul's
banter... And somehow she knew that he was forcing himself into this, he was
covering something... Trying to run away from something and that secret was
hidden deep inside his heart which haunted him still , something even he himself
was not aware of... He had shut himself from it so tightly that noone was able
to break that lock till now...
" Lekin kuch to hai jo un dabi hui yadoon ko bahar aane par majboor kar deta hai aur jise soch kar bhi wo darr jata hai... I will get to know about it " she thought. Muskaan told her that the recent outburst was the first and worst in years.
The dinner was quiet affair he ate minimum and talked even less, and to her not a word, not directly atleast. When she came to the room she found him gulping a glass of water, her eyes fell on the bottle. He was back to the pills, she was late. He gave her a cold glance and went to bed switching off his side of lamp. A clear indication that he was not interest in any conversation with her. She sighed, her plans of making him talk went down the drain. Tomorrow she would definitely talk to him, apologize. It was just a day that he hadn't talked to her and it felt suffocating, to see him right in front of her and not talk.. The thing which hurt the most was his coldness, aloofness suddenly she felt far away from him, very far...
She took a deep breath. She can't let this carry on, it wasn't good
neither for him nor for their relationship. She didn't wanted to loose his
trust. Everytime she thought of that day it filled her with guilt, she should've
been careful but noone knew that he would come back so early. It was very late
when sleep finally visited her till then she kept staring at his back hoping he
would turn and look at her, but that happened only in her dreams...
The next day was no different, it was as if she wasn't there at all. He
didn't talk to her, stopped wearing shirts so no need of tie. It seemed he was
punishing her for that day. It had been two days since he had talked to her and
she was trying super hard she'd even apologized but there was no response from
his side, there was a change in his behaviour too, sometimes he looked scared
even at the slightest noise, loud voices irritated him his appetite almost
vanished and along with that went away the happy, carefree, loving Armaan. He
spent most of his time in either office or with files at home. Had Rahul not
pushed him out of the office he would have stayed there all night.
Looking for him everywhere she found him sitting in the library again
busy with some files. He was alone and it was a perfect place to initiate a
" Hey Armaan. Hmm library.." she went around looking at the shelves " you know I just love books "
She didn't knew what to do now, Suddenly something striked, she sat by his side with a smile on her face.
" Pata hai Armaan when I was in school my teachers always used to wear sunglasses in the class.. You know why ?
No reply. He didn't even look at her kept turning the pages of the
file. Hiding her disappointment she continued
" Coz I was such a bright student " and laughed but he just stared at her not even a flicker of smile came to his lips.. closing his file he got up to go but this time she wasn't going to let him. She held his hand stopping him.
" Armaan plz. Meri galti ki itni badi sazaa mat do. I'm sorry Armaan. Plz talk to me, gussa karo, danto, jhagda karo kuch bhi magar plz don't be quiet. Your silence is killing me plz. Main jaanti hun tum pareshan ho mujhse galti hui hai and I'm sorry. Really sorry for it. Plz aise mujhse naraz mat raho, I can't bear it any more." he looked into her eyes " I want my old Armaan back... Plz.." she pleaded softly
Her last words caught him' my Armaan...' but then that day flashed
again and suddenly he was back in the same mood
" Kya kahun Ridhhima. I don't have anything to say. "
" Plz don't say this Armaan. I know tumne mujhe manaa kiya tha magar..."
He turned facing her now and held her by her shoulders " magar kya
Ridhhima. Ek cheez. Sirf ek cheez maangi thi maine tumse aur tumse itna bhi nahi
hua... Kyun gayi tum wahaan ?? Why you have to do this to me ? Why ? Why are you
hell bent on doing the things which I specifically tell you not to. Why do you
hurt me so much ? " He shrugged away her shoulders in exasperation..
" Armaan I.." she could see the pain he felt in his eyes. She raised
her hand to caress away the worries on his face but he stepped back
" Plz Ridhhima. I don't want to talk about it. I don't want to talk about anything, just leave me alone " he turned away and walked out
A tear rolled down her eye. It was pain of being with him and yet far
away, this incident had created distance between them which she was trying to
reduce. Suddenly he felt too far away. She knew his reaction was just. He had
been through so much and still suffers from the past... The one which he can't
even speak of... The one which still haunts him. she stood there watching his
retreating back, not stopping there to listen to her..
" I would never hurt you Armaan. In anyway.." She whispered back quickly wiping it off a tear when she saw Virendra coming in, he'd seen Armaan storming out. He kept a hand on her shoulder
" Still angry ? " she nodded " koi baat nahi beta main jaanta hun usko uska gussa jyada daer ka nahi hai aur tumse to wo gussa reh hi nahi sakta. Just give him some time he'll be back to his normal self again. Hmm " he patted her head lovingly planting a small fatherly kiss. She smiled weakly but then resolved that she's not going to give up . She will bring back her old Armaan, the one who used to laugh, tease , love, the one she fell in love with...
She was true to her words. Her PJ attacks became severe and more
frequent, everyone rolled with laughter but surprisingly it had little almost no
effect on him. But she won't let him run away from her it was neither the option
nor the solution. And for a moment she felt his anger subside a little, he was
staring at his bottle of pills, Virendra told her that they were prescribed by
the doctor anti-depressent and sleeping ones, only to be used in emergencies...
" Armaan plz. Not again. You don't need these " sitting by his side
He was quiet for a moment " let me decide if I need them or not, unlike you I don't have the privilege of easy peaceful sleep " he didn't look at her and walked to the table
Before she could say anything he gulped down two. She so wanted to hug him and make him sleep in her arms like that day giving the warmth of her love wishing to take away all his pain but it seemed impossible right now. Sometime later he was asleep...
The next morning she was as usual getting ready for the day, but this time she found him stealing glances at her. Her heart immediately got hopeful, that was a start atleast... But she could see that he was hesitating ,delebrating somethimg so to relieve him of his dilemma she decided to ask herself.
" Armaan " she called softly, he looked up from tying his shoelaces " kuch kehna tha kya ? " she could see him debating " kya baat hai Armaan ? " little worried now
He stood up but didn't said anything for a while " wo.." finally he spoke " aaj Pam ghar aa rahi hai dinner par " he looked at her now
" ohh bas yehi baat thi " she felt so relieved " mujhe yaad hai ki Pam ne aaj aana hai, tumne bataya to tha. Don't worry everything will be perfect " she smiled assuring him. He too looked relieved and muttering a small thanks went out. She felt like jumping, this was first non angry, sarcastic sullen talk they had in two days ! The anger was definitely ebbing away...
The evening finally came and with that came - The Pam. Ridhhima could see that she was same anorexic ,haughty, egoistic Parminder. She almost laughed aloud when she remembered her reaction on hearing her real name, making a mental note to share this with Muskaan later. But within few moments she found out little more about her, Pam was not the same she was renewed beautiful more arrogant snob who disliked her and wanted to possess Armaan .Ridhhima was furious at her attempts.. She openly flirted with Armaan and tried to make Ridhhima look like a fool before the family, she had to control Muskaan from saying something to her out loud..
" Ridhhi tu kyun uski harkatein seh rahi hai. Mann to kar raha hai ki ek kheech kar chanta maru uske muh par. Just what does she mean by that look ' oh you don't know about Australian and French wine difference ' sharabi kahin ki. Aur Armaan se kaise chipak rahi hai " said a very angry Muskaan
" Bhabhi cool down, main sab dekh rahi hun aur samajh bhi rahi hun, magar wo hamari mehmaan hai bhabhi aur mujhe bolne ki zarurat hi nahi Armaan ne meri taraf se jawaab de to diya naa " hearing Pam sarcasm about Ridhhima's ignorance about wines Armaan gave her a snapping polite reply that being a doctor she knows better what's good for her and what's not. After all healthy living is what matters... It brought her smile back and she no longer worried about Pam's jibes. But what irritated her was her attempts to get close.. A bit too close to Armaan.
Pam's advances even raised some brows and Rahul looked at Armaan as if saying ' Were you out of your mind to invite her ! ' But poor Armaan was trying to save himself from her. Ridhhima could bear no longer. As soon as she got the oppertunity to be alone with Pam she decided to clear it out with her.
" Pam don't think ki tum jo kar rahi ho wo mujhe samajh nahi aa raha. Main sirf Armaan ki wajah se chup hun. Mehmaan ho mehmaan ki tarah raho " she warned
Pam smirked " oh really ! Mehmaan main nahi mehmaan to tum ho. Armaan
ko bhool jao Ridhhima yeh mat sochna ki main kuch dekh nahi sakti, the way he is
behaving with you, so aloof." so she noticed, Ridhhima thought ,but she hardly
knew the reason why he was so " wo tumhara na kabhi tha naa kabhi hoga, he's
bored of you... Tum uske layak hi nahi ho, you can't keep him happy. kabhi dekha
hai apne aapko sheeshe main... Yeh suit sari pehan kar tum kya sochti ho ki tum
Armaan ko apna banaa logi... You are so wrong sweety, jo tum ab tak nahi kar
paayi wo ab kya karogi. Armaan aaj ka modern ladka hai wo tum jaisi behenji se
majburi main shaadi to kar sakta hai magar pyaar nahi... Tum dekhti jao main
kaise use tumse chhinti hun... He will be mine " she smiled evilly at her...
Ridhhima fumed with anger but kept quiet as she didn't wanted to create a scene
in front of the family...
She replied calmly " You are wrong Pam. Armaan is my husband, he loves me and only me... And yes I might not wear the kind of clothes you wear but the truth is that he loves me for what I am and I don't pretend Pam... I love him for what he is and he loves me for what I am that is it ... But leave it you won't understand... You never loved anyone except yourself "
" Oh really.. You live in a dream world Ridhhima... Prove it if you can..." she challenged
" Oh I very well can prove it to you... But the thing is I don't find you important enough to go through the trouble.." replying calmly again
" Ha other way of saying you can't.."
" We'll see "
" Yeah we will " Pam sipped her wine and picked up the bunch of roses that Armaan gifted her earlier in the evening and caressed them by her cheeks looking slyly at her... Ridhhima just didn't wanted anything more at that moment but to poke her eyes out with the fork she had in her hand...
And as if God heard her. Pam gave a loud shriek...
" Aaa " her hand on her cheek
" Pam what happened ? " Ridhhima asked her in mock concern... Rahul and
Muski too came there
" Oh my god... Angelica..." She called her secretary... " Call the doctor call the skin specialist... Bring the mirror oh my god ! I got a scratch om my face... oh my god ! oh my god..! Angelicccaaa " she screamed again and her poor secretary came running with a small mirror which she grabbed instantly Rahul and Muskaan tried to console her.. Armaan was away to make a call.
" Hey Pam don't worry it's very minor it will be all right " Rahul said
looking at the scratch
" It's not even visible.. You are just panicking for nothing " Said Muski which somehow infuriated Pam even more
" It is not 'just a minor thing' it's a scratch ! that too on my face oh my god ! I have a shoot tomorrow and a party to attend, how can I go with a scratch on my face what will people think... Oh my god..."
" Yeah people will think you had a really wild night " Rahul sniggered,Muskaan rolled her eyes and make a sign of throttling her.. Which Ridhhima somehow caught hold of in time...
" Hey Pam... Take me as a guranter it's really not that big and if you worry there might be creases on your forehead and eyes which will not look so nice..." He said in a mock serious tone and it worked...
" Oh yeah you are right Rahul... I must not worry, are you sure it's really not visible " looking her cheek again in the mirror...everybody specially her secretary took a breath of relief...
In the meantime Armaan came back and they started with the dinner...
Pam kept talking to Armaan in a flirtatious manner sometimes it even made Rahul
to raise an eyebrow and Armaan too felt slightly embarressed but he somehow
managed to divert the talk... Thankfully the dinner got over... But not Pam's
" Hey guys let's have a cup of coffee. Come Pam " He got up giving her his arm. Pam gave Ridhhima an arrogant look and Ridhhima looked at her daggers...
Hardly a minute or two had passed since Martin brought the coffee.when Ridhhima heard Armaan shout..
" Aaa Ridhhiiimaa..." Ridhhima got up instantly rushing to him. He clutched his left hand with the right... " Ridhhimmaa.." Pam spilled steaming hot coffee on his hand while she was busy giving evil snares to Ridhhima. Now Ridhhima wanted to strangle her for causing him pain coz of her carelessness.
" Oh I'm so sorry Armaan. I'm really sorry pata nahi kaise mere haath se cup slip ho gaya.." Pam looked apologetic
" Armaan dikhao mujhe.." she took his hand in hers
" Oh Armaan... You got hurt..." Pam sat next to him seeing his hand turning red, meanwhile Martin brought the first aid box and gave it to Ridhhima...
" Oh let me do it..." She snatched the box from Ridhhima's hand " Cmmon Ammy show me your hand..." Rahul and Muskaan didn't like her behaviour at all and Rahul was about to say something when Ridhhima stopped him signalling through her eyes...
" Pam. plz give the box back to Ridhhima..." Pam was surprised to hear it...
" What..?! " but she quickly controlled herself " Armaan... Oh cmmon I won't hurt you. It's just an ointment "
" No Pam.." He said in an authoratative tone... " I want Ridhhima to put the ointment... She knows way more than you... And when Ridhhima does it, it never hurts..."
Pam was stunned to hear it... It was a big blow on her ego... She controlled her anger somehow and with a forced smile gave the box to Ridhhima... Rahul and Muskaan gave an appreciative smile to Armaan Ridhhima for a second looked at Pam, her eyes conveyed all.. It was Ridhhimas turn to smile now...
" Sss ... Bas ho gaya..." blowing air on the burn... " thank god jyada nahi jalaa... Ek do din main theek ho jayega... Dard to nahi ho raha naa.." Asking super lovingly and Pam by now was as white as a charcoal.
He smiled and shook his head, she was so relieved to see that smile back on his face. That was something she was really hoping to see for so long... Pam was furious seeing their bonding and also how rudely Armaan spoke to her... But she somehow managed to keep the fake smile all through the evening...
Later Pam got up to leave thanking everyone for their hospitality deliberately leaving Ridhhima which Armaan noticed and was not very happy about it... As they were moving out Rahul called Armaan for a minute and Muskaan left in pretext of looking after Angel... She just could not jhelofy this Pam any longer... Which left Pam and Ridhhima alone...
" So Pam... I hope you got your answer... And your doubts are cleared "
" What answer ..?? " She replied rudely
" That Armaan loves me..."
" What..?? "
Ridhhima smiled " Let me explain.. When you got a scratch from that rose thorn which name did you thought of first... your doctor, mirror.. your secretary... That's because Pam you are obssessed with yourself and when Armaan burnt his hand he called out my name, that's because he know I will be there for him in an instant no matter what... He didn't let you put ointment on his hand because he don't trust you... He know that no matter what I won't let him feel any kind of pain... It's the trust which I have earned Pam but you won't understand it's value because you love no one and trust no one. You are no threat to me Pam, I trust Armaan completely... More than myself and I love him more than my life. "
Pam's car arrived in the mean while... She turned to it scowling,
stomping. She didn't had any answer to Ridhhima's words..
" And yes, ek aur baat. Tum mujhse kabhi Armaan ko cheen nahi sakti... Maine use haasil kiya hai, wo mera hai, hamesha rahega aur main use kisi keemat par khoungi nahi..."
" You.. You.." Pam could think of nothing to say in return. Ridhhima raised a hand stopping her midway
" Jaane se pehle tumhe ek thanks jaroor kahungi " Pam looked puzzled " You gave me the reason to bring back his smile "
" What smile ? " she asked confused
" His real smile. But you won't understand. Your self obsession has made you blind " she smiled poor Pam could say nothing but frown. Furious she sat in her car and ordered the driver to drive away... Seeing it Ridhhima could not stop her laugh ,shaking her head she turned to go in when she bumped into Armaan. She was about to fall loosing her balance when he held her firmly in his arms. Their eyes met and everything felt just right at the moment. He didn't let go of her holding her from her waist being veryy close to her, hearing her heartbeat feeling her warmth and softness, mesmerised by her beauty...
" Ehem " Rahul cleared his throat bringing them back to reality " Pam chali gayi..? " he left her
" Ji bhaiyya ,usko kuch zaruri kaam yaad aa gaya tha..." she lied
" Phheww thank god gayi... Paka hi daala tha... Thanks Ridhhima tumne sambhal liya warna wo to aaj isko biryani samajh kar kha hi jaati... Tumne dekha kaise chipak rahi thi... Uuugghh " Rahul shuddered..Ridhhima chuckled.
" Yeh hai hi itna cute ki koi bhi ladki ise dekh kar fisal jaaye..."
Muskaan added all laughed and he just rolled his eyes. With this the evening
came to a pleasant end. Both the couples then retired to their rooms. Armaan was
in a lighter mood, she was relieved that though he didn't talk much he wasn't
that aloof now. The best thing... That night he didn't took pills and
straightaway went to bed.
" Armaan " she called softly lying by his side, he didn't say anything
just turned his head a little in her direction " good night "
He turned his head back again. For a moment there was silence and then came his reply " Good night Ridhhima " they were simple words but she felt as if he'd said ' I Love You ' to her. With a contented smile she closed her eyes feeling relieved after days. Pam's visit wasn't a bad idea at all...
A surprise awaited her the next morning, coming out drying her hair she found a steaming cup of coffee waiting for, she knew, her. it brought a big smile on her face her heart knew immediately that the anger was now fading.. Glad, happy beyond wotds she was about to go looking for him when there was a knock at the door...
" Good morning ma'am " It was Martin
" Good morning Martin. Have you seen Armaan ? "
" Yes, he's coming here, he was with Rahul sir " Just then he came in already dressed, stopping on his tracks seeing her. She looked stunningly beautiful, little drops of water dripped from her hair, her rosy cheeks, those pink lips. His heart skipped a beat. Martin looked at both and knew he was probably at wrong place.
" I'll take leave then I've some packing to do " bringing both to present world
" Yeah, Martin plz keep these files in the bag too "
" Bag ? What bag ? Tum kahin jaa rahe ho Armaan ? " her happiness fading
He just went around picking few things not meeting her gaze steadying his heartbeat in the process " haan, I have to go to Manali. Official work "
She didn't said anything just picked the phone and called Maria ,who
came within minutes " Maria, plz pack my bags too " he stopped directing Martin
what to keep and what not and looked at her.
" Bags ? Ridhhima where are you going ? " she could see the flash of fear on his face and worry clear in his voice.
" I'm not ' going ' Armaan, I'm ' coming ' with you " she said firmly, taking him by surprise
" What ?! With me ! But.." before he could complete his sentence Virendra came in
" Good morning " he said smiling
" Good morning papa " Ridhhima touched his feet and he blessed her lovingly " Ridhhima beta yeh aisa ajeeb sa muh banaa kar kyun khada hai ? " Armaan quickly adjusted his expressions
" Papa main Armaan ke saath Manali jaana chahti hun, magar lagta hai Armaan ko koi problem hai " she made a fake annoyed, hurt face
" What ?! But... Dad it's official trip you know. Ridhhima wahan kya karegi. You'll get bored " turning to her
" kyun aisa bhi kya kaam hai, bid to ek din main khatam ho jayegi agar wo aana chahti hai to tumhe isme kya problem hai in fact I think it's a very good idea " he sided with Ridhhima
" But... But.." trying to think of something
" No but's Armaan. Ab to papa ne bhi keh diya hai, I'm coming with you and that's final " he was surprised at her authoritative tone, with Virendra supporting her he had no choice and somewhere he was happy about it..
" Fine " he gave in " we'll leave at 11 today " she smiled happily,he turned away hiding his faint smile " Martin keep these too " she saw it was his medicines
" I'll have these " taking them from his hands " Armaan why do you need these there ? "
He waited for a moment before answering " I always take them when I go for trips, I.. I can't sleep at new place " he confessed
She softened a little " theek hai but yeh mere paas rahengi " he didn't argue, she knew it was his way of giving her back the rights over him. She was overjoyed with this realisation.
She knew that they were back on track. This trip would give her the perfect opportunity to gain back what she's lost and that too in Manali where they shared some very happy memories. A perfect setting for meeting of two hearts...
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Avani_9412, scorpio95, Cytherea, sweetdesire, sjain,
Joined: 06 January 2009
Recap :- Armaan gets furious on seeing Ridhhima in the forbidden room ,it brings out his painful memories. Virendra and others sit for family council revealing the painful past. Pam visits, a blessing in disguise. Ridhhima declares that she will go with Armaan on his Manali trip.
The driver closed the door as she sat by his side waving the family goodbye. Turning she caught him looking at her, she asked through her eyes what it was, but he simply turned his head away hiding behind a file. Ridhhima smiled ,she knew he was caught and though the thought raised her heartbeat now ,she felt glad, very glad. They needed some time together and this trip would give them exactly the same. She'll bring him back from his distant self letting him know that she loves him... Only him ,Very much...
He still sat hidden behind the file, she sighed " How long are
you going to hide mister. Aana to yahin hai mere paas..." smiling again
at the thought, remembering yesterday when he held her in his arms, she
saw the glimpse of his longing, his love in his eyes for her... The way
he kept holding her not letting go... Her heart raced again thinking of
the closeness they shared for the brief moment ,wondering what it would
be like when...
Heat rose to her cheeks making them rosy, She was really unable
to get his sexy image from the time in the pool out of her mind and
lately she'd imagined and dream of him with her... Close.. Really close..
She wanted to make him hers and him to claim her as his own. Her heart
beat erratically at the thought, she closed her eyes momentarily to get
them away, feeling glad that he was busy with his file.
It was a while since either of them spoke. Ridhhima ,now in control of herself, decided it was enough now, " Armaan " hearing her call he looked up from his file " main kaafi time se tumse kuch kehna chahti thi " he pulled down his file a little, now looking at her ,she got what she wanted. His attention.
She continued ,her tone grave " Mujhe aaj hi bataya ki I... I..." hesitating
His eyebrows shot up questioningly " Ki tum..?? "
" Ki main..." she made a worried face. Armaan kept his file aside turning to her. A worried look on his face.
" Kya baat hai Ridhhima ? sab theek to hai naa ? "
" Armaan mujhe pata chala ki main.. Main.."
" Ki tum kya Ridhhima ?? " worried
" Ki Muskaan bhabhi theek keh rahi thi, main sach main bahut bore hone waali hun. " saying it in one go
" Don't wor... What ?!! " he stopped midway when the words sank in
" Haan, kyunki wo jaanti thi ki tum files main busy rahoge aur mujhe bore hone ke liye chhod doge " complaining with fake anger, pouting.
For a moment he kept looking at her face probably confused whether to scold or laugh, she almost took his breath away. But her face did the trick and even before he could speak she laughed out infecting him and though he tried to control hard a smile made it's way to his lips. Shaking his head he picked up his file again hiding his smile behind it before she could see it..
" Well, it was your choice. Maine to pehle hi kaha tha it's an official trip ab pachta kar kya fayeda " again being his serious self
" Tumhe kisne kaha ki main aa kar pachta rahi hun. " he turned to her again ,she straightaway looked into his eyes " I don't regret my decision at all " he kept looking at her, until their trance was broken by the ring of his cell phone.
She couldn't remember if she'd cursed any caller this much, she
was just about gathering enough courage to hint him big but... Huuhh
,neway there will be plenty of time and chances which she decided she's
not going to miss... He was again engrossed with his phone and laptop.
Shaking her head at this workaholic husband of her's she stuffed her
Ipod earplugs giving him some time to finish off the work, which she
knew would otherwise keep disturbing them.
It was a while since he paid attention to anything , well not until he felt something on his shoulder. It was Ridhhima. She'd fallen asleep and was now moving closer to him, her hand entwined with his, he quickly supported her head as the car took a sharp turn. Her sweet face held in his hand. Closing his file and laptop he tilted his shoulder down a bit to her side to give her a better support... But soon he held his breath, in her sleep she shifted, slipping her head from his shoulder to his chest to finally resting it in his lap. He just sat still, waiting, till she made herself comfortable enough, after a while she was quiet again. He was lost, mesmerized by this sleeping beauty in his lap...
A smile made it's way to his face, this time, he didn't required to hide it. Gently putting his hand over her head, caressing it very lightly ,he got lost in his thoughts. The past started sprouting, the sweet memories of them, being together...
These days it seemed she was practicing giving shocks to him. The
way she declared that she was not 'going' but 'coming' with him, His
smile broadened at the thought not to forget her new found talent in
telling PJ's. Grinning softly, he took a deep breath still admiring her.
Sitting by his side, he knew, she had no idea that he was just staring
at his laptop and file, now a days he always felt that he might spill
out his heart any time but only the fear that. What if all that he's
thinking and seeing, is merely his imagination ? What if it is not what
it looks like ?, Had kept him on hold.Her coming back, those pics. her
authority.. It could be friendly concern and those pics could be put up
under someone else's request or pressure. Muskaan can be really pushy
sometimes... But then something was really different in her since her
return, he couldn't point it out exactly but it was there. His heart
raced at the thought that what if it is because of... Love...
Coming back to present, he thought of what happened a little while ago. He was sure that she didn't knew that he was looking at her through the rear view mirror, stealing glances since the time she sat in the car, also when she was lost somewhere in her thoughts, he wondered what she was thinking that brought that rosiness to her cheeks. He had hidden himself behind the file to control himself, to keep his hands to himself and not to touch those rosy soft cheeks ,she looked like a pure pinkish rose, he longed to take her in his arms,touch that blush with his lips... not to forget those two rose petals... And now, she's there... Here, right in his lap... His princess, the queen of his heart... He smiled lovingly at her.
But the smile then faded a little thinking about the past two
days,the thought then was accompanied by the feeling of guilt. How much
he'd made her suffer in these two days... But he didn't mean to, may be
someday he'll be able to explain the pain and horror he felt, will be
able to say that he feared what if she suffered in any way... he won't
be able to bear it. He looked at her sleeping peacefully in his lap, a
flash of pain crossed his face imagining any kind of pain or trouble to
her. She frowned a little,a lock fell on her face,He smiled at his sweet
frown, softly he tucked the strand of hair behind her ear lest her
sleep got disturbed. They had now been traveling for about four hours,
leaving two hours earlier, at 9, than the original plan and were now on
the highway with beautiful green fields and mountains within sight,
looking quiet near. It got bit cold now, she curled up a little, making
him concerned. Picking up a blanket he covered her nicely,she shifted
her head a little getting more comfortable in his lap. He just sat there
watching her sweet innocent face. He could sit like that admiring her
His thoughts again trailed back to past two days. They were terrible. He suffered double, first those nightmares which didn't left him in peace ,let him sleep or even close his eyes... and then the distance from Ridhhima. How patient she'd been with him, enduring everything without a word of complain and her attempts to make him smile with her PJ's, he was really lucky to have her in his life. His anger and frustration had kept him away from her making him feel so helpless ,totally at loss at how to explain it to her what he felt and was going through... How could he, When he himself didn't knew... What he knew was just those dark corridors, those screams and those masked faces... And those cold eyes, all of which still haunted him... He shuddered a little at the thought but then shook his head, as if trying to shake away those bad dreams like a bug disturbing him. But that would've been too easy and he knew this was just not a bug he can shake off.
A bug.. Suddenly his thoughts trailed to Pam. What a bug she was !
He laughed softly... He knew very well Pam's desire to lay her hands on
him, but then poor girl hardly knew that he was beyond her reach now,
beyond anyone's reach, he belonged only to one. Ridhhima and none. He was
very much aware that Pam could sense his aloofness from Ridhhima and
tried to take advantage of it, but she crossed her limit when she tried
to insult Ridhhima that too before him. How dare she !. He knew that he
too tried to take advantage of Pam to make Ridhhima a bit jealous and it
worked. The way she came to him when Pam spilled coffee on his hand but
what she didn't knew was that he saw Pam giving that evil I- Win snare
to Ridhhima and that did it, he won't let Ridhhima loose to anyone. He
knew Pam needed a reminder that Ridhhima is his wife ,his life and
that's why he answered back to that arrogant snob. How dare she even
try, even 'think' of taking Ridhhima's place... Fool !. He frowned but
then, it turned out all for the best, it brought out the old Armaan,
even if that was for a short while. At that moment he felt nothing but
love from her... But this time he'd thought... Decided, that he won't
say anything but let her sort it and come to him. Trailing back his
thoughts went to the time when he wasn't speaking to her and she caught
him in the library. The way she said 'My Armaan' it
shouted of love in
every syllable... May be... he was just thinking too much. The words
themselves shouted love... and authority over other that branches from
Yes, may be he's right, may be she's already sorted out everything.
Maybe he's thinking too much, overlooking the things he should see,
maybe she has indeed, after all, fallen in love with him. At this
,if his heart could jump it would definitely have reached the Moon.
He closed his eyes taking a deep breath steadying his heart, remembering that sweet moment when she was in his arms. Rahul had perfect timing to disturb the perfect moment... He didn't wanted to let her go, could still feel her softness... Those eyes which for a moment were scared and then were lost in his... The way she held him, he suddenly felt restless, wanting to feel that closeness again. Since the day he'd seen her in the pool and shower, it was a test of his control over himself almost everyday. At first things were different but since her return and her attempts to be closer to him, yes, definitely closer ,it was getting harder. He wanted her to be his, in everyway... But for now he just wanted to hear from her, that he has a place in her heart. A special one... Or better, her heart belonged to him...
Little did he knew at that moment that he now owned her heart...
He woke up with a start hearing a knock on the window, looking down he found Ridhhima wasn't there, the driver wasn't there too and they'd stopped, he must've dozed off. With another knock he turned to window. Relief came back to him seeing her smiling at him, gesturing to come out and something else which he could not understand in his half drowsy state. Coming out he stretched himself looking around. They were at some restaurant by the road, not the kind he would prefer to go but all in all it wasn't as bad as the one they stopped last time they came here. The only consolation then was the food she made for him. Freshening up he looked around for her, if she had any idea of sleeping with her head in his lap she didn't gave any hint, and certainly didn't look embarrassed. The driver informed that she went to see the manager of the place. He smiled, imagining the poor man before this Hitler of his. She must be busy lecturing him on the cleanliness or hygiene, ordering him around. His attention then diverted to the beautiful deep valley before him, the view was magnificent, with a stream flowing deep down, greenery everywhere contrasting with the soft blue sky a sun playing hide and seek with clouds and the fresh air so rare in cities, there were small houses sprinkled here and there on the hills, some with smoking chimneys indicating afternoon cooking in progress and then came a grumbling sound which reminded that he too was hungry. He was wondering about it when came a loud sneeze, the air was definitely cold here.
" Armaan " came the stern voice, turning he found her standing with his jacket glaring at him " jab pata hai yahaan thand hai to bina jacket ke kyun aaye ? Bola tha na maine, aur saamne rakhi bhi thi fir bhi..." ' oh so this was what she was trying to say ' he thought. She kept on scolding him but he was too busy admiring her rosy face to listen what she was saying " there you go. Ab theek hai. " more to herself than him, satisfied that he now was wearing something warm " chalo, I've talked to the manager and he's got us a nice place. Don't worry it's clean and safe. Trust me " she knew from her past experience how big a tantrum he can throw.
" I trust you " he replied, surprising her with his words.
" And so do I." She spoke after a moment, smiling, those simple
words created an unexplainable warmth in his heart. " Cmmon I've ordered
something for you, bhuuk lagi hogi naa " pulling him by his arm she
took him in.
Sitting on a table by a window with breathtaking view, he sipped on his hot chocolate. At first he wasn't sure this was something he would like, it was kind of girly drink... but on her insistence he took it anyway and it was not bad. Not bad at all, especially after she told him that she'd made it for him knowing his tendency to catch cold easily, plus the food was packed by Martin so no worries there...
" It's really nice now, a big relief " she said
" Yeah, " he said looking out of the window " yeh sukun cities main kahan milta hai "
" Main uski baat nahi kar rahi Armaan. I'm talking about you " he turned to her questioningly " aaj itne dino baad I'm seeing you so relaxed and for a change, smiling "
He understood immediately what she was trying to say, his smile faded a little, a grave look replacing it, but not completely. Absently stirring his cup's contents he fell quiet. She knew he was trying to figure out the words to speak. She decided to continue
" You know Armaan, itne duur tum mujhse tab bhi nahi the jab hum
ek dusre ke saamne nahi the, jitna tab the when I was right there in
front of you and you ignored me..." he looked at her momentarily she
caught a flash of pain in his eyes, knowing well that he'd suffered even
more but all she wanted from him was to share his pain... To take it
all away and instead fill his heart with all her love...
" Ridhhima " he spoke after a moment, now raising his eyes to meet hers " I'm sorry too... I know main bahut rude tha but... I told you.. I told you it was a bad place to be, agar tumhe.. " he stopped closing his eyes momentarily as if stopping himself from recalling something. She placed her hand over his giving it an assuring loving squeeze
" It's okay Armaan, it's okay... I'm sorry, galti meri thi. Let
it go plz. Don't think about it, ab sab theek hai " relieved he nodded
,the thought was still troublesome and he didn't wanted to trouble
himself with it. She decided to divert the topic lest it disturbs him
again " Achha wo sab chhodo aur yeh batao yeh hot chocolate kaisa laga ?
it's the best medicine you know. Thand lagi ho to hot chocolate, bhuuk
lagi ho to hot chocolate, neend nahi aa rahi ho to hot chocolate.
Atleast it's much better then those pills you take, but I'm happy that
you didn't take them yesterday "
Relieved with the change " hmm, this is not bad but.." he looked sheepishly " actually, to tell you the truth, I did took the pills after you slept " her smile faded a little replaced with open mouthed surprise " I couldn't sleep yaar ! " he explained innocently
She thought of saying something but then remembered his condition, sighing she brought an assuring smile on her lips " it's okay, Main tumhari pareshani samjhti hun magar ek baat puchna chahti hun " he looked at her apprehensively, unsure what she's going to ask and more than that if he had any answer to her questions..
" Maine itni mehnat se itne bure jokes dhunde. How did you resist to laugh ? " she asked so sweetly with that straight face that it brought immediate laugh, she was so glad to see it. It was after days she was seeing, hearing him laugh freely. Getting infected, she too joined in.
" Tum yeh puchhna chahti thi ? " controlling his fit a bit, she nodded " well jokes to bahut achhe the, but I think I was in too much of a grave mood to enjoy them thoroughly. But hey, now I'm free so bring them on... But you and others must have enjoyed them, I saw Muski and bhai rolling on the floor "
" Yes, they did. But I didn't enjoyed them. "
" Hunn. Why not ? " perplexed
" Because.. No matter how funny the joke is, it's useless without the person you want to laugh with..." He stopped sipping his chocolate looking up at her, she didn't shifted her gaze wanting him to know what she went through without him, what she feels for him...
He exhaled " I know. And from now on I promise I will share every laugh with you, starting from this very moment. " she knew that he meant it. The shadows were now past, the sun was out again.
The remaining one hour journey was thoroughly enjoyable, they laughed, teased, pulled each others leg. It was like nothing was ever wrong. An hour passed by like seconds and before they knew they were at the hotel. Sameer was there informed beforehand by Armaan.
" Ma'am, good to see you. A pleasant surprise " Sameer said shaking hands with her
" Yes Sameer, it wasn't planned but then thought to take a break. Nice place " she said looking around, pleased with the serenity of the place
" Yes, it's the best here " he turned to Armaan " sir aaj shaam ko ek welcome party organize ki gayi hai. Sabhi bidders aayenge with all the officials and... Mr. Modi will be there too "
" Modi's ? " she asked happily " is Nikki coming too ? "
" I don't know. I don't think so. It's official you see. Who bring wives to such places ? "
" You did. " she said flatly raising her brows stopping him from saying anything further " anyway I hope she comes too, it'll be fun " she said " so, where's the room ? "
Sameer called the porter asking him to guide her to the suite.
Armaan then whispered to him " Never put a question before your wife of
whose answer you are not sure of, they are walking encyclopedias and
would never let you win "
" Tell me !, I'm married for past 12 years " Sameer said, both men empathized with each other moving to their rooms
Coming to the room he found her already unpacking. Little
surprised as he thought she would ask for an arrangement like before but
she didn't even brought up the topic ! He wasn't complaining though.
Every moment his heart confirmed that whatever he'd thought earlier was
indeed true, probably he is going to return with more than a deal...
Seeing him back she asked him to take a nap before the evening, giving
him clothes to change. Coming out after the shower he found the bed
comfortably ready with extra fluffy pillows.
" So she remembers " he thought smiling. She knew well that he
needs his pillow to hold on to for sleep, it wasn't here and he wasn't
sure he could sleep without the pills, on top of it he knew she won't
let him have any... But for her sake he was ready to try.
And it was as he'd assumed. He couldn't sleep a wink and spent the whole time admiring her napping by his side... Of course first pretending to be asleep till she did.
Thanks to absence of sleep, he was up before her. Fresh after the rest they started to get ready for the party. He came out dressed ,all ready. Looking for her he found her before the mirror frowning fighting with an earring which probably unafraid, refused to obey her. Grinning he came standing right behind her. She looked so pretty even with that frown...
" Main kuch help karu ? " he said softly
She was sure frustrated with that " haan plz. Pata nahi lag hi nahi raha " giving him the earring. It wasn't difficult for him to put it but he took his time,feeling the softness of her skin. She could see him admiring her but chose not to let him know, it was already difficult to control herself but yes, tomorrow, after the bid when they'll have all the time in the world for each other she would definitely let him know. Even if she'd to say it straight forward, to hell with hints. She was still lost in her thoughts when his voice brought her back.
" Lo ho gaya " taking a step back to have a better look
" Thank you Mr. Malik " looking at him from top to bottom. And Oh-My- God she thought she'll have a really tough time keeping all the girls away from him. He looked sooo devilishly handsome in that black suit, sighing inwardly she thought ' more then that Ridhhima how would you control yourself ?! ' " hmm, not bad. You look quiet handsome. Are you sure that official work was the only reason you were not bringing me along. Kahin koi girlfriend to..." raising a brow questioningly
He laughed " Oh so you got that, you're so smart Ridhhima. You caught me. " she hit his arm playfully joining in
" To batao kaisi lag rahi hun main ? " turning to look herself in the mirror giving final touches to her saree.
He fell quiet, just gazing at her softly. Getting no reply she raised her brows asking him again " I'm just looking for words which can describe how beautiful you look, but I guess those haven't been created yet. Would ' purest rosy pearl ' do for the time being, princess ? " a small smile came to his lips with all the love of the world filling up in his eyes.
Taken by surprise she was speechless, turning to face him she
just looked into his eyes. Touched at his beautiful words. She was swept
away by his charm again. Taking a step towards him she covered the
distance between them. Their eyes fixed at each other, She raised her
hand cupping his face a beautiful smile on her face and her hearts
desire on her lips.
" I love you Armaan " she whispered at last with love brimming in her eyes
The knock at the door brought her back to reality. She realized that she was still standing at the same spot. He was right where he was looking questioningly at her.
" Hey Princess, kahan kho gayi ? " she shook her head " lagta hai kuch jyada taarif kar di.. Chalo Sameer has come to call " he gave her his arm which she took gladly, still playing that dream in her memory...
The party was just as she'd thought and he'd said. Less of wives and more of arm candies. Thankfully she found some acquaintances and was happy to get some company when Armaan went to meet some people. Though they were busy with others yet their eyes followed each other. A moment later she again turned to have a look at him but couldn't find him anywhere, excusing herself she searched for him and found him standing by the bar. Surrounded by girls. She burned with envy seeing him talking to them, laughing... More than that the girls were practically drooling over him...
She was prepared for that, but this time it was different. They
must know something. Cooling herself & putting on a pleasing smile
on her face ,she walked upto them and encircled her arm around
Armaan's, smiling broadly at the girls as if declaring her authority
over him, Armaan just looked at her surprised, with what ease she
slipped her hand into his, but before he could say anything she spoke
" Hey Armaan, tum yahan ho aur main tumhe har jagah dekh rahi thi
" the shine that came to his eyes did not go unnoticed by her and it
felt nice. Very nice. She diverted her attention to the girls who were
looking at her like she was an intruder " apni friends se introduce nahi
karwaoge ? "
" H..haan.. meet them.." He said gaining his control introducing the girls who were obviously were getting the message " Yeh hain Riya, Shreya, Meenal, Amita and Kritika "
" Hi I'm Ridhhima. Ridhhima- Armaan- Malik." stressing on the second, surprising Armaan totally, pleasantly ofcourse, more by her manner than introduction. She looked into each girls eyes intimidating them conveying it very clearly ' He's mine, so just back off ! '. The girls smiled giving polite reply but it took less than two minutes for all to clear away.
Seeing them disappearing she gave a small laugh shaking her head " Lo gayi tumhari musibat " but when she turned to him he was still staring at her, she knew immediately what might be coming next...
" Musibat, meri ya tumhari ? " looking into her eyes, she said nothing hoping he know why " Ridhhima mujhe tumse kuch baat karni thi..." her heart skipped a beat. The most awaited moment had finally arrived. She could see the intensity in his eyes. " wo main actually.."
" Ridhhimaa !? " she turned to see a surprised Niki behind her.
Armaan just looked at sky above as if thanking god for the perfect time
to spoil his moment. The ladies were hugging each other. Niki was
telling her that Abhimanyu asked her to come and she agreed Ridhhima on
the other hand complained that she wasn't so lucky as someone did not
even bothered to ask throwing a glare at his direction, as if it was
criminal to do that. After a customary Hi from Niki he was totally
forgotten. Giving up the hope for getting some attention, he moved on to
other 'intellectuals' who were discussing business. At last, a subject
which he knew about !.
As he stood there chatting with some people his eyes fell on a
figure passing by. The man gave an acknowledging smile surprising him. He
turned to Sameer who was standing by his side
" Did Abhimanyu Modi just smiled at me ?? "
Sameer glanced at Abhimanyu's direction to get the same knowing look " Umm, may be it was a mistake. He mistook you for someone else. "
He wasn't satisfied " Sameer, this is Modi we are talking of ,he is not the one who commits mistake when it comes to his favourite enemy.. I mean I am Armaan Malik man !."
Sameer said nothing, Armaan then found Niki talking happily with Ridhhima he quickly went up to her. Sameer let out a sigh of relief.
" Niki. Niki..."
" Kya hua Armaan ? "
" I think your husband has gone mad."
" What ?! "
" Armaan tum kya keh rahe ho ? Tum theek to ho naa ". Ridhhima was surprised too
" I'm all right it's him who has something gone loose in his brain. He passed me a smile. Imagine a smile ! What is he trying to do ? Plz tell him that I am not like him, I'm a happily married straight man. Ouch ! Heyyy " he got slap on both his arms from both the ladies
On the other hand Sameer took Abhimanyu to a corner
" Are you crazy !? What do you think you are trying to do ? Smiling at Armaan ! "
" What am I seeing, huh ?! the cool Sameer Purohit scared ! cool down " Abhimanyu said lightly sipping his champagne
" I'm not scared. But the man you passed a smile to, is Armaan Malik and he's not a fool. He's already doubting. "
" It's okay Sameer, we are going to do business together and he will come to know of it if not today then tomorrow. Why are you so scared ? Plus I was just being polite " still cool about it
" I know this thing is going to come out one day but just be sure
that he's in a good mood, lately he wasn't himself and trust me there
can be nothing worse than cranky Armaan Malik. So polite or no polite
just don't disturb him "
Abhimanyu laughed out " oh Sameer, let me handle it okay "
" Abhimanyu.. Abhi " but he moved on " oh god help me " Sameer prayed
Armaan was still trying to convince that Abhimanyu had gone nuts " main keh raha hun Niki just control your crazy husband. He's gone mad, I tell you. " Ridhhima just hit her forehead hearing it, along with Niki who rolled her eyes
" Armaan Malik " they all turned to the voice " main paagal nahi hua hun, just thode paagal logon ko deal karna seekh gaya hun " all four stood together now
" Tum.. Tum mujhe indirectly paagal keh rahe ho ? " turning to him
Abhimanyu didn't even flinched ,a small smile played on his lips " Nahi, directly bhi keh sakta hun... Pagal. happy ? "
" You are so gone Modi..." Armaan took a step towards him threateningly but Ridhhima held him back apologizing to Niki through her eyes. On the other hand Niki tried to divert Abhimanyu from there, surprised at what got into him today he was pulling Armaan's leg !
Both ladies talked through their eyes. Ridhhima took Armaan away and Niki pulled Abhimanyu to the opposite direction. The party was just not the venue for the M&M fight.
Ridhhima pulled him away from Abhimanyu to a corner, turning to him with angry eyes.
" Armaan, yeh tum kya kar rahe the wahan, Aise koi baat karta hai kisi se ? Tum hamesha ladne ke bahane kyun dhundte rehte ho ? " not allowing him to speak she blasted off
" Main..? Main lad raha tha ? Aur wo jo kar raha tha. Tum hamesha dusro ki side liya karo " pouting
Sighing she threw her hands in air " main kisi ki side nahi le rahi Armaan but Niki is your friend, my friend. Aur tum uske saamne uske husband ko ulta bol kar apne aur mere liye kitni embarrassing situation khadi kar rahe the "
" Achha to main embarrass kar raha tha ? Aur wo jo keh raha tha wo theek tha, wo tumhare husband ko kuch bhi kahe wo embarrassing nahi hoga, hai naa " turning away from there he sat on the nearby table, still pouting
Ridhhima sighed heavily. It's really tough to make him understand. ' cool down Ridhhima agar aaj Armaan ne muh fula liya to saara time manaane main hi nikal jayega ' coming to him she sat by his side.
" Achha baba maan liya ki galti Abhimanyu ki bhi thi, magar Niki ki khatir tum chup bhi to reh sakte the naa " he opened his mouth to say something but she stopped him " bas. Ab iss baare main aur koi baat nahi. Ab aise chhote bachhe ki tarah muh fulana chhodo aur chalo khana khate hain. I'm starving " this melted him and everything was forgotten within a minute.
The dinner was almost finished when he coughed suddenly, something spicy got stuck in his throat, concerned and not waiting for the waiter she rushed to bring the water herself.
She was hardly gone for few seconds when she saw a lady in a
black gown, which was trying it's best to cover her essets... And was
doing poorly, standing by his side. She let out a sigh looking up at
heaven " Kya bhagwaan ji saari chudailein ek saath, ek hi din main ! "
shaking her head she walked to the table, Armaan saw her coming and
looked helplessly, trying to convey that it wasn't him. She knew it
wasn't his fault he just happened to be a girl magnet.
Coming to the table her scowl suddenly turned into a smile, ' O-oo ' Armaan thought. He knew that smile, something was coming up. And he was right
" Hey, are you okay ? " asking Armaan first, who just nodded nervously. Then she turned to the lady who gave her a haughty look " oh .thanks for the water, you can pick up the dishes now we're done with the dinner. Excellent service " picking up a plate she thrust it into lady's hand who looked agaped
" Excuse me ! I'm not the waitress here ! " Indignant
Ridhhima smiled mockingly " Oh really ! I'm so sorry, actually I got confused with your dress. They are all quiet similar you see " the lady opened her mouth to say something but seeing Armaan hiding his face to control his laugh and a mocking Ridhhima, she couldn't find anything to say so stomping her feet went away. As soon as she was gone he burst out laughing
" Gosh ! Ridhhimaaa !! You are the best " he didn't knew what came over him but getting up he hugged her. She was taken by surprise but then felt the warmth of his embrace and that fuzzy feeling was back again. Unknowingly her hands encircled him, resting her head on his firm chest listening to his heart beat ,inhaling his masculine fragrance she lost herself, praying for the moment to never end... He was no different, feeling her silky soft skin ,the delicate frame which was supported by his mascular one, he got his wish. To feel her in his arms again, his eyes closed letting the heart feel and convey everything.
But then, there was divine intervention. Sameer, along with Niki,
came calling, his voice broke the trance and suddenly both very very
conscious, unsure about the other, broke the hug. But none regretted. He
muttered a small 'I'll be back soon' leaving her with Nikki. That
moment was enough for her to pass her time then. Though it left
her...them, longing for more...
Riddhima's eyes popped open. she sat up and saw him sleeping by her side clutching the pillow. She'd again dream of Armaan being very close to her, touching her cheeks she found them warm,the dream had again left her breathless with a racing heart. To cool herself, quietly she got up moving out in the balcony which glowed in the full moonlight. She was only gone for few minutes when Armaan sleepily turned and not sensing her near him woke up. Looking around in the dark room he was about to call when he saw a figure standing in the moonlight. Picking up her shawl he came out quietly.
Putting it around her shoulders he stood by her side. She was
startled but then knew who it was from the light brush of his fingers "
Are you okay ? " he asked softly, she nodded a yes. Both stood still
quietly looking at the moon, then she spoke up
" Sometimes I wonder what are dreams ? "
There was a moments silence and then he spoke up " Dreams.. dreams are the answers to the questions we haven't figured out how to ask " She jerked her head to him, he was still looking at the sky, the soft moonlight on his face made him glow like an angel, on the other hand when he turned his gaze to her he thought the same for her. " Kya hua ? Kya soch rahi ho ? "
" Kuch nahi bas yahi ki..." She stopped ,his nearness now was again causing her heartbeat to go zip zap " yahi ki thand badh rahi hai hamein andar chalna chahiiye.." He could sense that she felt shy, smiling inwardly he agreed.. She was about to move in when he, still standing there, asked
" Ridhhima.. have you figured out your question ? "
" My question ? " she turned
" Yes, the one whose answer you got in your dream..." their eyes met and for a moment there was silence, both knew the question and more than that the answer...
" Yes, I think I have "
" You have ? " She nodded, he took a step closer now just inches
away from her. She could breathe his maculine smell, it always drived
" And may I know the question." She didn't knew what to say. What
could she say, that all she wanted was to kiss him and all that which
can be done and not said... Glad that it was dark enough to hide her
" Yes, the question was that should we move in now coz now I'm freezing.. And you better get inside too warna kal saara din chinkte rahoge." He laughed softly, knowing perfectly well that it wasn't the truth but did not force her further, she just shook his head and both moved in... To dream of each other again...
Armaan was waiting for Sameer to join him for the last minute discussions when he saw Niki coming over, waving at him.
" Excuse me. Do you know who I am ? " he asked as she sat opposite him
" Kya ?! Are you alright ? "
" Main to theek hun magar tumhe kya hua hai ? Kal to you were acting as if tum mujhe jaanti hi nahi "
" Not again Armaan ! And I was seeing Riddhima after a long time. " she explained rolling her eyes, he was pouting coz she didn't gave him more attention !
" Yeah yeah. Tum ladkiyan jahan bhi mil jaati ho wahin shuru ho jaati ho. Nonstop. Aur isse pehle ki tum dubara puccho ki Ridhhima kahan hai to main hi bata deta hun ki wo tayaar ho rahi hai abhi aane hi waali hai "
" Thanks for Informing, we'd planned for an outing already " again surprising, he just sighed ' women you just can't keep them from shopping ! '
Soon Sameer too joined them informing that they would be leaving in few minutes. Saying so he left for some work asking Armaan to meet him outside.
Armaan got up to leave when Niki called " Armaan.. Dekho ladna
mat and plz mujhe abhi manager ne bataya ki mausam aaj kal aksar kharaab
ho jaata hai to.. To tum apna khayal rakhna and.. And..." She wanted to
say more but fumbled
Knowing what she wanted to say he decided to tease her a
little.." Yaar Niki, agar main uska itna hi khayal rakhunga naa to log
kahin mujhe gay na samajh lein..." Niki's mouth fell open with surprise
and she hit him playfully but then both laughed out, Armaan hugged her
lovingly.. " Don't worry I will. But just for you. "
Abhimanyu then, who was coming there saw Armaan hugging Niki, he turned green with envy... Taking quick steps he came to them
" Ehem ehem.." they broke the hug, Armaan was delighted to see his scowling face " yeh kya ho raha hai ? "
" Don't you know ? It's called hug. I was giving my dear friend a hug koi problem ? "
Abhimanyu pulled Niki away to his side, who was thinking frantically of something to cool the atmosphere " The dear friend you were hugging is my wife. "
" Really ?! What a pity ! Huur ke saath langoor " Abhimanyu tried to think of a smart reply but his jealousy closed all the doors for any repartee, huffing he just grabbed Niki's hand and walked away from there. To make him burn even more he shouted a loud good bye to Niki, only to get a threatning glare from Abhimanyu. Seeing it he laughed heartily.
The world was stunned to see the two well known rivals coming together for what was now the biggest winning bid in the telecom world. Together Malik and Modi won not only the major 3G centres but also the bid for the all over country rights. With no one even close to challenge them they made a clean sweep. That moment rivalry was kept aside and both behaved in a total professional manner, almost giving heart attacks to those who were hoping to take advantage of their so called rivalry. After the announcement of the closing of the deal and finalising of names both shook hands with each other congratulating for the win. Media had a field day seeing two titans shaking hands instead of going after each other. Sameer had to face some difficulty seeing to it that Armaan got out of the place without media bothering him. On the other hand Abhimanyu's advisor, Nitish, did same for him. Advising them to take another vehicle instead of the one they came in as some reporters found them obviously intending to get hold on them for some tiring questions. But all the comradeship was left in the bidding hall. Seeing Armaan's car which was taking some time to arrive, the organiser asked him to go in the same car with Abhimanyu as they were going to the same hotel, but Armaan flatly refused. The man was taken by surprise, were they the same people who were so well cordinated and absolute perfect professional gentlemen inside ?!.
Another surprise came when Abhimanyu offered Armaan a lift, but Armaan, adament, refused. Shrugging his shoulders Abhimanyu sat in the car and drove off. Armaan watched his car fading away at the distance, he was really surprised, Abhimanyu Modi was behaving weirdly, first he agreed with his conditions for the bid then at the party he smiled at him, then was behaving in a bearable manner without usual sting and now... He offered him a lift ! Something was wrong. Sameer was too busy completing the formalities to be disturbed right now, but he made a mental note to have a word with him, he wanted to know the reason behind Modi's sudden change of behaviour towards him.
Though the bidding got over by the time they expected, yet it was
only till late afternoon that Armaan and Abhimanyu could manage to
leave. The manager had informed that it was rainy season and landslide
was common, and so did the organiser at the bid .Abhimanyu managed to
leave little early and few minutes later Armaan too followed.
Unfortunately, leaving early did not help Abhimanyu who got stuck due to
a flat tyre and no spare.
Passing by his car Armaan smirked at him, he was in no mood to stop for anyone,wanting to be with Ridhhima, to share his success and to let her know what she means to him. He really wanted to leave with something more than this deal. Abhimanyu saw it was Armaan's car and just shook his head in disappointment, he didn't expected him to stop by either. He was taken by surprise when he found that the car was slowly reversing to him finally stopping by his side. The door opened, he saw Armaan sitting in with his usual grave face.
" Hurry up. I don't have whole day to wait here " said Armaan. Directing the driver, Abhimanyu got in
" Thanks " Abhimanyu said only to get a grunt in return . As expected.
The journey back to the hotel was two hours long, both sat in silence, dreaming about their lady loves. Armaan decided that he'll spend some quality time with Ridhhima and get more close to her, but the odd thing was that Abhimanyu Modi sitting by his side looked as if he was trying to say something to him, he even tried to make small talk with him but Armaan choose to reply in monosyllables which quietened him. He would have left him standing there with a car fault if he hadn't promised Niki to take care of him for her. Huhh what all this friendship makes you do. A sudden jolt brought them both out of their world of thoughts..
" Kya hua ? " Armaan asked
" Sa'ab aage raasta jam hai " looking ahead they found few vehicles with owners out. " main pata karke aata hun " the driver got out to enquire, returning after few minutes he informed that due to land slide the way is blocked, it was going to take few hours and coz of poor weather only onfooters are allowed.
" Fish ! Yeh bhi abhi hona tha " he banged his fist on the seat but he wasn't willing to stay there " yahaan se hotel kitna duur hai ? "
" Sir mausam bhi kharaab hai aur agar aap paidal (onfoot) jaoge to aapko aaraam se 4-5 ghante to lag jaayenge, gaadi se hi do ghante lagte hain " driver explained
Armaan looked at his watch it showed 4:30, cursing the organiser to choose a location so far away,outside the dark clouds rumbled. It was definitely going to rain but he didn't wanted to stay. Abhimanyu saw this and knew immediately what he was thinking. " are you planning to go on foot ? "
" Yes I am. Tum car main aa jaana. I have to reach the hotel "
saying so he got off the car. But heard the other door closing " where
are you going ? "
" Same place you are. I have to reach back too, Niki is alone. " Armaan looked at him for a moment before walking away
" Suit yourself "
For about an hour both kept walking but hardly spoke to each other. Abhimanyu was walking little ahead of Armaan lost in his thought when a sudden shout of his name startled him. Looking up he saw a big rock with a small tree rolling down to him. Too stunned to move he watched as the boulder and sliding tree neared him. He was so sure that it was going to crush him when a hand pulled him throwing him back on the ground.
There was a loud noise and boulder rolled further down into the valley by the road the tree however fell in the middle. Abhimanyu winced with pain. A sharp rock cut through his arm and blood oozed out of it. Armaan who fell of little away quickly rushed to him.
" Abhimanyu, are you okay ? " helping him sit up
" Y..yeah " wincing again as he held his bleeding arm. Armaan
quickly took out his hankerchief tying it around his arm, relaxing a bit
to see that it wasn't a deep wound and then.. He burst out.
" Modi do these " pointing to his eyes " really work or are just for show ? "
" What ?! " Abhimanyu said incredulous
" Yeah, couldn't you see that rock coming, that you were standing right in it's way ! What were you thinking huh ?. It would have crushed you like a tomato. I told Niki that you are a gone case but no. Why would anyone believe me ! Don't you even care for Niki ? " Abhimanyu tried to say and explain something but Armaan went on non stop.
" Armaan !! Shut up. " he shouted making him fall quiet immediately " I'm sorry. Mera dhyaan kahin aur tha, I agree I should've been more careful. And thank you." he added softly now " You just.. Saved my life." Armaan who wasn't expecting this, stood up brushing his clothes
" Yeah yeah. I know " he then gave Abhimanyu a hand. He was surprised for a moment, he took it and got up." now hurry up "
" Armaan..." but Armaan wasn't listening, he already started walking away.
" Armaan.." Abhimanyu catched up with him " tum itna attitude kyon dikhate ho ? " Armaan glared at him but didn't stop and kept walking
" Main attitute dikhata nahi Modi. This is how I am "
" Of course. My mistake. Pata nahi Niki kaise tumhari itni taarif karti hai. Especially the insensitive guy like you jisne uske baare main kuch jaanna bhi zaruri nahi samjha "
" Main. I am the insensitive guy !? Maybe i should've let you get crushed under that boulder. How sensitive that would have been ? Aur tum. Do you think you are 'sensitive' ? Kya main nahi jaanta tumne Niki se shaadi kyun ki, just because who wanted to take away my friend from me. " he said angrily looking into his eyes " and the only reason I bear you Modi is Niki "
Abhimanyu looked back at him firmly " I know Malik. But let me tell you one don't regret my decision of marrying Niki, though to be honest... Yes, you are right, I wanted to snatch her away from you " trying to control his Urge to punch Abhimanyu, Armaan walked few paces ahead, Abhimanyu followed " but only because I was jealous that you had such good and loyal friends. The way they love you.. And you love them, something which I'd always admired " hearing this Armaan cooled down a bit.
" You really have a novel way of aquiring friends " he said sarcastically, still moving ahead.
For few minutes both walked in silence..." Armaan " he turned to Abhi " thanks "
" Agar tum abhi jo hua uske liye keh raho to it's okay... Waise bhi maine yeh tumhare liye nahi apne liye kiya hai, agar tumhe kuch ho jaata to sab yahi sochte ki maine tumhe.."
" Main uss baare main baat nahi kar raha Armaan " Armaan looked slightly puzzled " I wanted to say this earlier but, anyway , mujhe pata chal gaya hai... Us fraud company ki information tumne hi bhijwayi thi naa... Aur wo contract jo meri company ko mila... You didn't cheated jabki tum aasani se use haasil kar sakte the " this totally astonished Armaan ' how come he know ? ' Armaan thought
But he controlled himself " Well pehla maine tumhare liye nahi Niki ke liye kiya... Tumhe dukhi dekh kar wo khush nahi reh paati ,wo fraud to tumhe barbaad kar deta aur.."
" Aur kya tum yeh nahi chahte the.. Hamesha se mujhe barbaad kar dena " Abhi said
Armaan didn't look at him, not speaking for a while " haan main chahta tha... Lekin... Main galat tha, kuch baaton ne ehsaas dilaya ki business main emotions mix nahi karne chahiye.. especially negative ones "
" To phir tumne wo contract kyun nahi le liya tum apni quotes aasani se change kar sakte the.. Tumhe meri quotes pata thi "
" Haan ,but I believe in fair game.. That's why I'm Armaan Malik samjhe " he said with conviction
" Aur isliye tumne mere manager ko pakadwa diya " Abhi added
' Damn ! He knows this too ! Sameer you fool, I told you to be careful ' he thought " You should be thankful to me "
" Aur tumhe kisne kaha ki main nahi hun " Armaan felt bit uneasy ,he didn't knew that he knew everything
" Waise... tumhe yeh sab kisne bataya ? "
Abhi gave a small laugh " business world main kuch sources mere
bhi hain Mr. Malik. Aur tum bhuul rahe ho that I own a telecom company
too. Your dear Sameer made a slight mistake which gave out everything "
" Idiot ! " he cursed Sameer
" Don't be harsh on him. Till the last moment he kept denying that he had any association with the calls I got until I pushed the proof right before his eyes "
" Proof ? What proof ? "
" The first time he called was from a number that was temporarily activated by bribing but the other calls really gave out " a triumphant smile came to his lips " he was probably too sure that I won't come after the caller or simply lazy " he saw confusion in Armaan's eyes " He used a number of my company to call me from a local booth, not far away from his house. Rest was cakewalk "
" Stupid ! Idiot ! I'm going to kill him "
" This is not all. I would have actually settled down if after
getting that deal Mr. Varshney, another fan of yours, hadn't pointed out
that you let the deal go to me when you could have easily won just coz
you were about six months short of required experince which they could
have easily waved off in your favour but you said no. Then getting my
manger arrested, it was he who took your name first. That you caught him
with those fraud dealers in the hotel and threatened him to let you
know all the secrets but you never cheated except the first deal. Why
win that and leave the rest Armaan ? Others were more lucrative "
" I had to win that " Armaan said suddenly " otherwise that khanna would have doubted on my intentions "
" Which was to help me "
Armaan didn't meet his gaze " I hate cheaters. You did nothing to
deserve that, khanna was rotten and he deserved what he got... I needed
to warn you but... You can see how friendly we are... I wasn't going
to help you but then after meeting Niki I realised that it was not only
for you but for my best friend... That's why I asked Sameer to call you
secretly without letting you know who can be behind it. I'm sure I was
the last person on earth who would have come to your mind "
Abhimanyu knew he was right, never in his dreams he thought Armaan would go to such an extent for him. An understanding came to Abhimanyu's face " I confronted Sameer and told him to let you know that I know everything, but he wasn't very convinced of the idea. I was surprised to see him in my office that day, I thought you have come to know everything but you surprised me again with the proposal. It was really a wonderful plan, a total win-win for us "
" hmm, that's why not only you but Sameer was acting wierdly " now understanding everything, Abhimanyu nodded. Armaan let out a sigh, everything was out now and nothing was bad.
Both men walked in silence of understanding. A little later
Abhimanyu spoke up " Armaan.. Tum jaante ho main tumse jalta tha..."
Armaan looked at him ,the conversation was taking unexpected turn "
kyunki shayad main tumhare jaisa banna chahta tha... College se hi maine
dekha tumhe har jagah baazi maarte hue... Sabse popular.. Sabke
favourite... Aur main hamesha us jagah pahuchna chahta tha wo pyaar
paana chahta tha jo sab tumhe dete the... Ladkiyan paagal thi tum par
aur ladke to us zameen ko chumne ko tayaar rehte the jahan tumhare kadam
pade. Professors were flat on you "
Armaan looked smug " Well this is the Armaan Malik's charm I'd say.. " but he became sober again " magar shayad tum yeh bhul gaye ki unme se sab dost nahi the... Kayi to sirf dikhawe ke liye the aur kuch sirf popular company ke liye aur kuch sirf paise ki wajah se.." he was quiet for a moment " par pata hai... main bhi tumse jalta tha "
" Tum ?? mujhse ? "
Armaan nodded " kyunki tum hi ek akele the jisne Armaan Malik ko challenge karne ki usse ladne ki himmat dikhayi... But to tell you the truth... I admired your courage aur kahin na kahin main tumhe hi apne takkar ka maanta tha... Aur shayad aaj bhi aisa hi hai.. Aur agar tum mujhse ladte nahi to kya pata aaj hum shayad dost hote..."
Abhi was surprised then smiled " well, I don't know about friends but you were and are my best opponent ever "
" Well, I can say the same for you. Waise Modi... tum itne bhi bure nahi ho jitna main samajhta tha... though I still don't like you that much "
" Oh it's okay. Tum bhi itne bure nahi ho Malik. And I too, don't like you that much "
" Good "
" Good "
" But you still won.. Stole something from me "
Abhi looked at him " what ? "
" Niki "
" Don't tell me... You gave me competition there too.." Armaan turned to him unable to understand what he meant " she loved you "
" What ?? " he stopped on his tracks
" Yeah, You played villian there too " Armaan surprised to hear it Abhi then told how Niki liked him rather loved him...
" No way ! you are kidding man ! we are just friends..."
" No, it's true I have to compete you even when you were not there..."
Armaan looked happy " well you see you just can't be Armaan
Malik..." Abhi looked at him daggers " Oh okay ... Let me tell you
one thing you should go and get these buttons " pointing to his eyes "
tested. Niki loves you and if you can't see that then you must be
either worlds biggest fool or blind " Abhimanyu looked confused.
" No buts man, when I met her she was happy but she is happier
when you are with her and when we were together her eyes were searching
for you... you know when we were about to leave this morning and she
came to know of the bad weather she asked me take care of you and not to
kill you.." Abhimanyu looked at him unbelievingly " okay I made up
the killing part... But rest is true..."
" Really! she asked you that.."
" Indirectly, but yes.. I'm no fool man and trust me I have way more experience with girls than you and Niki is my very dear friend I know her inside out..." Abhi was very happy to know this his doubts about Armaan got cleared today.
They continued to walk and talk, having a rare friendly chat.
Armaan told Abhimanyu about Niki and in return told him he about the
problems they faced, how wrong he was about her and how he loves her but
is unable to express. Armaan encouraged him to go ahead as he knew that
they both loved each other, he also gave him tips on Niki's likes and
dislikes telling loads about her.
They shared, they laughed, they wondered and looked at each other
like they never have before. The male bonding grew stronger by minute
and the long way seemed short and enjoyable. Now that everything was
clear, they were equals. And definitely not enemies...
They reached hotel tired and hungry and in Abhimanyu's case little injured, but happy... Niki was pacing near the reception area with Ridhhima both women worried after the news of landslide thanks to perfect weather even signals to cell phone were out. A feeling of immense relief swept over them seeing their husbands back safe...
Niki rushed and hugged Abhimanyu with teary eyes, who was pleasantly surprised. Armaan who was pacifying a worried Ridhhima winked at Abhimanyu getting an understanding nod in return.
" Abhi yeh tumhare hath par kya hua ? Yeh chot kaise lagi ? " Niki's eyes fell on his injured arm
" It's okay Niki. It's nothing "
" Abhi it's bleeding ! Aur tum keh rahe ho it's nothing " Abhi didn't argue, he was just too tired and too happy to see her concern, yes maybe Armaan was right, I was blind. He thought. In the mean while Armaan and Ridhhima too came to them, asking to call a doctor the Manager then said that due to bad whether and landslide the doctor won't be able to come till morning, adding to Niki's worry
" Don't worry Niki we have a doctor " Niki looked hopeful " Ridhhima, can you plz. Have a Look at Abhimanyu's wound " yes, how can they forget ! The doctor was right there.
By the time she got finished with Abhi's wound almost quarter of an hour passed away. She was worried about Armaan who himself was looking very tired and worn out. Abhi told her that they didn't wanted to stay on road so had to walk for more than four hours to reach here, no wonder they were so tired. She was relived to know that Armaan was alright, yet she wanted to be with him as quickly as possible. Giving medicines and injection, which thankfully were available in the hotel's doctor's kit, to Abhi she took their leave.
Coming back to the room she found the food which she'd ordered
kept as it is, her gaze then fell on the figure on bed lying on his
stomach. He was all curled up obviously feeling cold, the duvet was as
usual half under him. Quickly coming to him she covered him up with the
warm covers. He was obviously very tired after walking for so long and
she worried as he did not even take the food... It was getting cold now
with the rain pelting down, getting up she put some logs in the fire and
then picking up the phone ordered for a glass of hot milk and more
covers. He was still feeling cold, she could see.
Coming to him she sat by his side tucking him up properly. He twisted his head side to side uneasily, eyes still closed with a very visible frown. Ridhhima knew that he must be feeling restless coz of tiredness but then another thought came to her mind, seeing the closet door open.
" Armaan " she said softly " did you take the pills ? " he shook his head not opening his eyes but turned it to her side. A frown of uncomfort on his face, she knew she have to do something soon or there would be a damand of pills which, seeing the condition, she won't be able to refuse, remembering his words that he can't sleep at new places.
" Kya hua, thak gaye ? " he shook his head in yes, he had been out for the whole day, and then without another word she started rubbing his back and shoulders, he was too tired and too sleepy to say anything. But soon the frown vanished and he felt relaxed. Her touch always felt magical, he took a deep breath, at that moment she knew what he needed. Happy to see him comfortable now. She was admiring his peaceful face when there was a knock at the door. It was room service.
Putting on extra covers on him she then picked up the glass of milk,shaking him gently she called " Armaan "
" Uuunn " turning away his head, irritated at being disturbed, he
slept again. She tried again.. " Armaan, Armaaan utho, lo dudh pi
lo..." He again make some noise reluctant to get up feeling too sleepy
and tired.. " Armaan plzz. achha dekho dudh pi lo phir so jaana. Dekho
tumne khana bhi nahi khaya..." After many tries he woke up but kept his
head on her shoulder. Ridhhima smiled at this big baby of hers. With
some efforts she made him drink the milk which he drank without even
opening his eyes let alone hold the glass. Ridhhima kept on tilting the
glass till all it's content were gulped down.
As soon as he finished drinking he slumped back on the bed again. Ridhhima shook her head smiling, he didn't even wiped his mouth ... bending a little she wiped the white line with her hand... an amazing sensation filled her when she touched his lips,mesmerised she kept looking at him intently unable to take her eyes off him, sitting by his side she was lost admiring him..
But now because his sleep got disturbed he was kind of restless again, frowning he crept close to her and was probably too sleepy to know anything or forgot all inhibitions at that moment. With eyes closed he searched for her hand and when found it, he kept it on his head. A clear signal that he wanted his head to be messaged. Happiness took place of surprise, this was the first time he had so rightfully asked her to do something and she was more than glad to do it. She started messaging his silky hair softly.
Though terribly tired and sleepy Armaan knew at the back of his
mind that who was near him but was unable to control himself. He wanted
to feel her touch, her warmth and that beautiful fragrance which wafted
from her. He dared not open his eyes lest his eyes spill what his heart
felt. He just savoured the touch and her closeness... and in no time
was deep in slumber again.
Ridhhima at that moment found something for his sleep even stronger than those sleeping pills- her head message. Something she decided then and there to practice everyday...
On the other hand Abhi and Niki were alone, she was definitely relived to see him all right...
" Ouch " Abhi let out a cry as he tried to raise his hand
" Abhi kya hua ?? Mujhse kyun nahi kaha ? " Niki said looking at his arm
" It's okay Niki, I'm fine... Mujhe tumse ek bahut zaruri baat karni hai, yahaan aao " she came and sat next to him... He gently and lovingly held her hand ,she was totally surprised... This was not her usual Abhi something was changed but what ??... May be the way he looked and is now holding her hand... She thought
" Niki ek baat ka saaf saaf aur seedha seedha jawab dOgi ? " She nodded too puzzled to say anything " Niki main tumse bahut pyaar karta hun, main jaanta hun main thoda late hun yeh baat mujhe bahut pehle hi keh deni chahiye thi magar main apni hi ego main tha.. Aur phir himmat nahi juta paaya... Magar aaj saaf saaf puuch raha hun. Do you love me ? " he didn't wanted to waste any more time, especially after what Armaan told him today, so he came directly to the point.
Her heartbeat stopped at the most unexpected question " bolo Niki, plz... Main tumhare muh se sunna chahta hun... Ab aur sabr nahi hota mujhse.. Plz kuch to bolo do you love me or not ? Ya phir abhi bhi tum Armaan...? " knowing well that it wasn't so.
She jerked her head up " nahi Abhi I love you "
A smile crept on his face which got deeper... He raised her hand to his heart and cupped her face with another..." to itni daer kyun laga di Niki... Pehle kyun nahi kaha pata hai kitna tarsa hun main shabd sunne ke liye..."
" Abhi main wo..." she blushed badly realising what she said " main nahi jaanti thi ki tum... Mujhe laga ki shayad tum mujhe pyaar nahi karte.." he placed a finger on her lips
" Shh aisa kabhi tha hi nahi Niki... Hum dono ne ek dusre se apne dil ki baat chuppa kar bahut sa khubsurat samay nikaal diya, ab main tumse waada karta hun ki ek pal bhi tumhe apne se duur nahi hone dunga... I'll make it up to you.." his thumb caressed her cheek and she hugged him joyfully tears in her eyes suddenly god gifted her the most desired wish...
" Heyy no crying aaj sirf khush hone ka din hai... Oops I mean raat hai..."
She chuckled a little, he planted a soft kiss on her ear, she shivered " I love you " he whispered softly ,his lips tracing her cheeks sensuously raising her heartbeat
" Abhi.." this was all she could say before his lips covered hers in a passionate yet loving kiss... Atlast two were truly together. That night they slept in each others arms, happy and relieved.
Armaan was banned by Ridhhima to get out of bed until she feels satisfied that he'd rested enough,
It was only in the afternoon that he was allowed off the bed, otherwise he just ate and slept, ridhhima was really concerened and didn't wanted him to fall sick due to cold and tiredness seeing that he'd just recovered from pneumonia. He woke up fresh and happy, and why not after all he got that magical head message from an enchantress.now all he wished was if only he could keep his head in her lap... Huuuhhh he sighed deeply, he would have never got up from there but... Happy to be by each others side they talked about everything including that he sorted out few things with Abhimanyu on their way back but didn't go though all the details, feeling awkward he decided to skip how he helped Abhi. They had lunch together remembering the last time they came here, laughing at the sweet memories, especially Pam and how he slept yesterday with that white line under his nose. Sameer informed that there was another Party in the evening for celebrating the victory. she, not in a mood to go anywhere, decided to sleep in and then as soon as she started his head message within five minutes he was asleep. Happy to know that she got something even stronger than his sleeping pills plus another reason to be close to him.
Ready for the evening and again getting floored by the beauty and mesmerised by his magnetism they walked in the party hall arm in arm, giving severe burns to some. Ridhhima quickly spotted Niki who was already there and looked... radient and visibly very happy. ' hmm, something's changed ' Ridhhima thought
But this wasn't enough, the surprise element came when Abhimanyu and Armaan shook hands with each other. If yesterday was surprise, this was shock! Niki and Ridhhima's jaw almost touched the floor and so did many others.
" Cmmon yaar ! " Abhi said " don't look so surprised, hota hai. Right Armaan "
" Of course " Armaan added, both ladies just looked at each other as their men joined each other at the bar.
In the meanwhile recovering from this pleasent shock Ridhhima turned to Niki who told her how all the diffrences and misunderstandings got cleared yesterday when Abhi spilled out his heart before her and she already ready, just went with the flow. Ridhhima was lost hearing her, wondering when the day will come when she too will feel complete with him... her gaze then fell on Armaan who was laughing with Sameer, Abhimanyu and others, she noticed again, how handsome he looked when he laughed, those mesmerising eyes, those devilishly handsome features, those heavenly dimples and those strong firm arms... She was totally lost admiring him and then as if it was telepathic Armaan too turned to her, their eyes met. It seemed everything else stopped, the light breeze blew and he smiled blinking lightly. Ridhhima's heart skipped a beat... that smile was so infectious that she could not help but join and where did that blush came from... And then the spell broke... An aquaintance took her to introduce her to someone. Seeing her going away Armaan, excusing himself, came to Niki
" Yeh Ridhhima kahan chali gayi ? "
" Stop worrying so much Armaan. Mrs. Dhamija le gayi hain abhi aa jayegi aur.." she suddenly stopped, Armaan looled at her to see why she stopped suddenly and found her staring at Abhi who was hugging another woman who rather, was clinging to him. As soon as his eyes fell on now fuming Niki he quickly let go ,forcing the reluctant lady away. Conveying his apology and helplessness through his eyes.
Seeing the girl away Niki relaxed her stern gaze. Armaan who noticed this laughed out " Gosh Niki ! You scared him. You know you just reminded me of Ridhhima at the party before.." he then told her how she behaved, surprising him, with those girls who were flocking around " I just wonder what got into her ?! " he said sipping his champagne
" You don't know ? " the look on his face confirmed that she was
right," simple budhhu, she was jealous, seeing you with other girls "
Niki smiled " A little jealousy in a relationship is good Armaan, it
always feels good to know that someone is afraid to loose you " Armaan
could only look at Niki who sipped her wine coolly. Indeed he felt nice,
very nice, she was scared of loosing him...
" How well you girls understand each other, How do you do that ? " wondering
" Agle janam main agar ladki bane to samajh jaoge, for now don't waste time, it's way over your understanding " he laughed at her turning his gaze back to Ridhhima who was now talking to some other women along with Abhi. How strange that he felt less scared and more close to her, may be it was the magic of this place, the things she said to him... Then something came to his mind...
" Yes Armaan, what else do you want ? She's here,, you're here, you love her and obviously she likes you more than a friend, loves you... she's ready to give this marriage a chance why are you waiting then ?! tell her that you love her... Claim her heart and love... It's your's idiot and hurry before someone else drops in and she gets second thoughts " " No no I won't let that happen "
" Hmm kuch kaha tumne " Niki asked
" H..hun nahi kuch nahi " he realised that he'd said that aloud.
Meanwhile Niki left for the washroom, he looked around and couldn't spot
Ridhhima anywhere, then a moment later he felt a tap on his shoulder
" Hey Armaan, kise dekh rahe ho ?.. Wo Mrs. Dhamija to jaane hi nahi de rahi thi " Ridhhima said, taking a chair by his side
" Ridhhima ! Yaar where were you ? Main akele kitna bore ho raha tha " he complained
" Main yahin to thi Armaan. So, you were missing me ? " trying to hide her smile
" Haan of course ! " not cautious enough he blurted out the truth
immediately, only to realise it a moment later " I mean wo main.. Main "
" It's okay, itna pareshaan kyun ho rahe ho." she smiled then adding softly looking into his eyes " You know.. sometimes missing is more precious than being together, because we miss only those special ones with whom we always want to be together " feeling at loss of words he nodded happily " Aur isliye I have a surprise for you "
" For me ? " Excited now " what ? "
" Ladies and gentlemen a spl song for a special couple here, everybody on the floor plz. The song goes to Mr & Mrs. Malik "
" That's us, chalein.." She extended her hand which he held immediately, with a heart jumping with joy, taking her to the dance floor...
kylie minouge's especially for you.. spl recommendation from me plz do listen its beautiful...
And that night was really special for them. They were still in each others arms when the song got over... Truly for each other, especially for each other...
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