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Tujhe Yaad Na Meri Aayi Prt 6-Pg 1 (13/07

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Naina123

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Naina123

Joined: 14 February 2008

Posts: 621

Posted: 06 April 2008 at 3:25pm | IP Logged
This FF is dedicated to meri pyaari bandarya zuzu...for putting up with my bak bak, and inspiring me to start another one...Love you zuzu Embarrassed


Tujhe Yaad Na Meri Aayi…


Wherever you go, whatever you do, I will be right here waiting for you. Whatever it takes, or even if my heart breaks, I will be right here waiting for you.

They say that we do not have the strength to recall our parted love, but if your own love doesn't recall you then what use is strength?

People come and go, time comes and goes but memories remain.

Not all the time…

If you lose the one you love, you still have their memories. If you lose your memories, you still have the one you love. But what happens when you lose both?

Departed memories never return, but the emptiness haunts our hearts.


Part 1

This is Bantry Bay (South Africa).

 

An elderly gentleman, say around 77, could be seen walking through the early morning mist of Bantry Bay (South Africa, Cape Town). As per his daily routine, everybody knew him around this area. As he walked through the silent streets, a few familiar faces greeted him. He nodded his head in acknowledgement and walked on. He looked up as the building came in view, his destination; since the past 5 years.

 

"Good morning" He said to the nurses that he had become familiar with. "Hey Suzie, how's my favourite nurse today?" He asked a young nurse as he headed towards her.

"Oh Hello gorgeous" Suzie said as they headed towards a room, like always. "I'm fine"

"How is she today?" He enquired knowing what the answer would be.

"Like she is everyday" Nurse Suzie said, she hated giving him that answer every single day.

"She's awake" Suzie said to him as she opened the door.

Nurse Suzie turned away from the elderly gentleman and looked towards the elderly lady, about 76, sitting on the chair. "This elderly gentleman here would like to read you a story; would you like to hear it?" Suzie asked tenderly

The aged lady nodded in agreement. The nurse left the room, softly shutting the door.

 

The aged man took his usual seat opposite the lady and asked

"How are you today?" He looked into her eyes to read them but instead of recognition, he found her eyes to be distant.

"Erm… I don't know, I think I'm okay" she said uncertainly "so the nurse said to me, you're going to read me a story, what kind of a story is it?"

He looked at her and smiled slightly. He stroked a book with a black velvet cover, gazing at the words inscribed on it. He took a deep breath, opened the book, and started.

"This is a story…well, you can call it a love story I suppose. Of two completely opposite people, they were doctors. They never knew that life had so much in store for them, and would lead them to this crossroad. Smooth, versatile and charming-his name was Dr Armaan Mallik. Whilst she was simple, innocent and caring- her name was Dr Ridhima Gupta…"



Part 2
 

This is Johannesburg hospital.

 


_..+*+.._The story_..+*+.._

 

There is always a silence before a storm. Like the silence at Johannesburg hospital; the new interns were arriving today. From the 24 interns, Dr Kristi's 6 interns had to assemble at her cabin. That's where the two had met the first time. It wasn't exactly a pleasant meeting. After taking the registers and showing them the locker room, Dr Kristi left to attend a call.  Leaving her interns to familiarise with each other.  As the other interns introduced themselves to each other, Riddhima turned to one of her fellow interns and asked

"Indian hau?"

The female intern she asked replied

"Haa mera naam Sapna hai, tum?"

"Ridhima" As the girls started talking; Armaan who was a few lockers away heard everything. He smirked to himself as he tried to open his locker, to no success. Out of frustration Armaan punched the locker.

"Damn this locker!"

"Yo dude!" one of his fellow interns said "Relax, take it easy" He helped Armaan open his locker and introduced himself "Hey my name's Yasir"

All the interns greeted each other and started talking. Sapna was talking to the other 3 interns meanwhile Riddhima walked up to Armaan and asked

   "Indian hau?"

"Andhi hau? Behri hau? Yes I'm Indian" Armaan said a bit rudely

Riddhima just stood there with her mouth open in shock

"I was just trying to be friendly…jeez you can't even ask a question without getting a witty reply" She said folding her arms, giving Armaan a dirty look

"Andhi hau, behri hau…kaash tum gungi bhi hoti" Armaan muttered. To his luck just then Doctor Kristi had walked in.

"Sorry interns I had an important call to attend, this should have given you enough time to get to know each other. You will be working in pairs for the whole internship year; you will all be doing a one month rotation at different wards" Dr Kristi then told them the pairs were as follow; Yasir and Nicola. Aaron was paired with Sapna and Armaan with Riddhima.

 

_..+*+.._Present_..+*+.._

 

"Armaan and Riddhima were shocked to hear that they were paired together. I mean after all they were going to be together for a year. But somehow they managed to control themselves. For their first months of rotation they were placed in the cardiology ward"

The old man said looking up at the lady. She looked a bit perplexed so she asked

"If they didn't get along then how did they fall in love?"

The old man smiled and said

"Every great love story starts off with the guy and the girl fighting; their love story was no different"

 

_..+*+.._The story_..+*+.._

 

Armaan and Riddhima were working under Doctor Atul Joshi; head of Cardiology.

"I will be giving you both Mr Ntini's case, he has angina" Dr Atul said as they walked to the patients' bed. "I want a briefing of this case at the end of the day" and with that he left. A person once said 'never mix your personal life with your professional life' and that's exactly what Armaan and Riddhima did. Forgetting their personal differences they worked professionally, and surprisingly they worked well as an entity. Before they knew it, break time had arrived.

 

There was a bit of a cold silence between them as they walked through the corridor to the canteen.

"Hey guys, how are you finding the hospital so far?" Atul asked as he approached them from behind. They both turned around, and greeted Dr Atul.

"So saali sahiba, kaisa tha tumhara pehla din?" Atul asked Riddhima nudging her "Hospital mein bhi mera peecha nahi chauda" he said winking at her "Tumhaari Di kau pata chala tau?

"Jiju!" Riddhima said hitting him playfully

Armaan looked from Atul to Riddhima, confused.

_..+*+.._Present_..+*+.._

 

"Dr Atul was Riddhima's brother-in-law" The old lady said "That must've come as a shock to Armaan" she asked the old man,

"Yeah, he was pretty shocked" He said laughing softly.

 

The old man looked around, stopping his gaze at the window. The early morning mist had cleared and the sun could be seen peeping through the thinning clouds.

He turned to look at her and continued his story…


Part 3

"A couple of days past, but they still didn't reconciliate the only time they acted like adults was when they were working together. Or else they were always at loggerheads with each other, if one was the north then the other south." The old man continued.

"What kind of things did they do to annoy each other?" The lady questioned as she took a sip of water.

The old man smiled at the question. 

_..+*+.._The Story_..+*+.._ 

Armaan and Riddhima were on a break, after another gruelling session with Dr Atul. Armaan did not see any familiar faces, so out of fatigue he slumped down on the closest chair that he found, only to realise that he sat next to Riddhima. He was too tired to change his seat, and she was too tired to start another fight. Whilst sipping her drink Riddhima muttered to herself
"I have to tell Di, to order jiju to cut me some slack; he can make Armaan his slave for all I care."
"Did you say something" Armaan said, even though he had heard her.
"Nothing, I was just talking to myself" Riddhima said rudely.
"First sign of insanity- talking to your self" Armaan snapped back.
"Looks like you are talking from first hand experience" She said moving her chair away.
There was a five minute silence; she had nothing to do so she reached for the sugar lying in the middle of the table. Armaan who wanted some sugar for his coffee put his hand forward at the same time as hers.
"Owww you scratched me with your long nails" He said pulling his hand back.
"They are not long" She said looking at her nails.
"Yea, they are, don't u ever cut your nails, you billi" He said looking at his hand.
"Billi, how can you call me a billi, have u seen your self, you act, dress and eat like a junglee" She said throwing a napkin at him.
He grabbed the napkin and put it around his collar and sang "Chahe koi mujhe junglee kahe, kehne doji kehta rahe"
"Oh tumhe Indian gaane aate hai?" She said looking bewildered.
"Of course I know Indian songs; you are testing my IQ level here billi." He said pretending to be outraged.
"You have no IQ level junglee" She said pulling a face at him.
"Whatever I have is definitely higher than yours billi" He said imitating her.
She started saying "Junglee, junglee, junglee" whilst he started chanting "Billi, billi billi" Although they both made sure that their voices were at moderate level.

"Stop" Sapna said, in all the bickering Armaan and Riddhima hadn't realised that Aaron and Sapna had been standing at the table for the past minute watching them call each other names.
"After working your butts off all day, you guys still have the energy to argue with each other, what coffee do you guys drink? Tell me as well" Aaron said taking a seat.
"This billi started it" Armaan said defensively.
"I did not, it was your fault junglee" Riddhima said accusingly.
"Just stop please, I am tired, can you please be quiet" Sapna said holding her head.
They all sat in silence, when Aaron asked "What's Billi and Junglee?" 

_..+*+.._Present_..+*+.._ 

"Billi and Junglee?" The old lady smiled. "Isn't that a bit mean?"
"It's all about the perception, from which one sees, it might seem mean now but those same words can be interpreted in completely new light in a different situation." The old man explained.
"What kind of situations?" She asked wanting to know more.
"You're in a bit of hurry, aren't you? It will surely be revealed" He said softly chuckling.
"So what else did Armaan do to annoy her?" The lady asked straightening her gown.
"Hmmm… now that's something that's quite funny" The old man said.
 

_..+*+.._The story_..+*+.._

The lounge more commonly known as 'the loft' was created for the comfort of interns and senior residents where they use to study, relax and just socialise. But the most convenient thing about it was the fact that it was like a refuge for the interns, where they could escape from the daily demands. Besides that it also helped to deal with their day to day hectic schedules. Apart from the lounge, it contained rooms, showers and changing rooms, which made it suitable for them, if they had a surgery or night shifts.

 Armaan decided to get her back for calling him a 'Junglee', if she wanted a 'Junglee' then that's what he would give her. Only a couple of days of the internship had gone by, so not of all the interns, were yet familiar with the loft Riddhima being one of them. Armaan used this fact to his advantage.
The loft was next to empty today, with the exception of Armaan, Sapna and Aaron. Riddhima was assisting Dr Atul in a surgery. It was 8:30 pm Armaan knew Riddhima's surgery should be finishing anytime soon. He looked around to double check whether the coast was clear. The loft was empty as it is, and Aaron and Sapna were too engrossed in a journal, to pay any attention. Armaan moved swiftly towards the girls changing room. He grinned as he pulled the sign placard which said 'female'. Still grinning impishly, he walked towards the men's changing room, which was opposite, and switched the placards. Armaan peeped inside the changing room and saw a couple of guys in there. "Even better" he muttered.

 Riddhima walked in just as Armaan sat down on a chair, from where he had a clear view of both the changing rooms.

After saying a brief hello to Aaron and Sapna, Riddhima grabbed her clothes and walked towards the changing room. Oblivious to the fact that although the sign read 'women' it was actually the men's changing room. She walked in.
After a minutes silence
"Aaaaaaaarrrrrrggggggggggghhhhhhhh!!!"  Riddhima screamed running out covering her face. Armaan fell off his chair due to incessant laughing. A bewildered Aaron and Sapna looked up from the journal to see a distressed Riddhima.
"What happened?" Sapna asked. But before Riddhima could say anything Yasir, came out. He was doing the buttons of his shirt
"Gosh Riddhima! What were you doing in the men's changing room? There were so many guys in there" Yasir said still red from embarrassment.
"But, but…the sign said 'female' "Riddhima said desperately defending herself. She pointed at the sign. Armaan who was watching the whole fiasco was rolling on the floor holding his stomach from laughing so hard.
"Who changed the signs?" Yasir asked looking at both the signs
Riddhima immediately knew who it was
"Armaan…you junglee! You moron! You saala ullu ka patha! Kamina kahi ka!" Riddhima said grabbing a pillow she threw it at him, he was still on the floor. Riddhima walked forward to strangle him, when Yasir pulled her back.
"Riddhima you're still in your scrubs go and change. Strangle him later" Yasir said "and erm the women's changing room is that way" he added pointing towards the other changing room. Sapna and Aaron started laughing with Armaan-who still hadn't stopped laughing.

Yasir made sure he changed the sign before any other women walked in to the men's changing room.

_..+*+.._Present_..+*+.._

The old man's frame was shaking with laughter. The old lady was giggling slightly as she said
"That Yasir guy seemed nice. Armaan was so mean, poor Riddhima"
"Oh you feel bad for Riddhima? Wait till you hear what she did to get back at Armaan" The old man said grinning broadly.
"What did she do?" She asked
 

_..+*+.._The Story_..+*+.._

A couple of days went by since Riddhima had sworn to get revenge on Armaan. Armaan who had been expecting Riddhima to grab his neck first thing, was surprised she hadn't done anything yet. Little did he know that Riddhima planned to get back at him when he least expected it.

"Gosh these stupid night duties" Armaan muttered to himself. He looked at the clock; 3:00 am. He decided to hit the showers.  

"Thande thande paani se nahaa chahiye, gaana aaye ya na aaye gaana chahiye" Armaan sang, scrubbing his back under the hot water. His voice echoed through the empty shower room. After a long stay under the shower, Armaan grabbed his towel and walked out of the stall. Only to find a note in place of his clothes.

Kya huwa junglee? Nange ghoom phir rahe hau besharam…I warned you that I'd get you when you least expect it.

"ARGH! That billi!" Armaan said scrunching up the note. Armaan heard loud laughter from the outside of the showers. He knew it had to be Riddhima, no one else was going to be in the loft at 3:30 am in the morning and only he and Riddhima had been given night duty.

"Oi billi! Give me back my clothes!" Armaan said towards the door.
"Nope!" Riddhima said "have fun roaming around half naked" she sounded like she was enjoying this
"Billi, I'm warning you. If you don't give me my clothes, I'm going to walk out in my towel" Armaan threatened
"Oh, but you can't come out…there are a lot of people in the loft" Riddhima said sarcastically. She obviously thought Armaan wasn't going to walk out.
"Yea rite billi…who's going to be in the loft at this time of the day" Armaan said annoyed "That's it, I'm coming out" He opened the door, and walked out into the loft, with just a towel wrapped around his waist.

"Arrgghh!" Riddhima screamed as she quickly covered her eyes "chee, you junglee. I can't believe you actually came out"
"I told you I would, now give me my clothes" Armaan demanded moving towards her
Riddhima uncovered her eyes, and looked at him. His hair was still dripping wet, water drops rolling down his neck to his chest. Armaan saw Riddhima lowering her gaze, her face flushed pink.
"I know I'm sexy Billi, but please have some shame and stop checking me out" Armaan said walking towards her.
Riddhima's mouth flew open in shock as she looked up at him walking towards her.
"Ergh! Why would I check out a junglee like you?" Riddhima said
She tried to run from him, but before she could do that, he grabbed her wrist and said
"Give me my clothes"
"No" Riddhima said stubbornly. She tried to free herself his grip. "As it is you are a junglee, and junglee's don't wear clothes. They wear leaves"
"Yeah yeah Billi, admit it. You just don't want to give my clothes because you want to see me like this" Armaan said not letting go of her
Riddhima turned around and said
"Chee! Your towel dropped down"
"WHAT!" Armaan looked down shocked, letting go of Riddhima; only to see that his towel was still there in place. He looked up again, but Riddhima wasn't there.
Armaan said to himself in frustration "Now what do I do!"
His prayers were answered in the form of Aaron

"Dude! What the hell! This is a public place not your bedroom!" Aaron said as he walked in the loft. Armaan explained how that 'billi' Riddhima ran off with his clothes. Aaron was laughing and helpfully gave Armaan his spare clothes.
 

_..+*+.._Present_..+*+.._ 

"Gosh she's evil!" The old lady said "but how did she get his clothes in the first place? Did she go into the men's showers?"

"Oh that…she got Yasir to do it for her, and when Armaan found out it was Yasir he threatened him for his life" The old man said beaming "This wasn't the only pranks they played on each other; Armaan used to call her up in the middle of the night and make weird noises over the phone. Riddhima used to order pizza's in his name and had them delivered to his house at weird times. There are many many more, but if i go into each and every detail, I'd be here for a very long time. They had a very bizarre relationship"

"I can tell…but why did they annoy each other so much?" she asked resting her chin on her palm.

"It was a love hate relationship where they loved to hate each other. Armaan loved annoying her because she got irritated. Riddhima annoyed him to get revenge for irritating her" The old man sighed

"Jeez, I'm surprised that they were able to get along professionally, when they didn't get along personally" she said curiously

"Professionally they were fine, what they didn't know was that it was this disagreements and arguments over little matters that would slowly bring them closer. That would change their personal lives forever" He said
"So what brought them close to each other?" The old lady asked.
"It happened when they were doing their night shift in the last week of the 1st month, before their rotation changed…"  The old man said looking out at the balcony.
  The old lady looked out the balcony too and asked
"What happened during that night that changed everything?"


Part 4

_..+*+.._The story_..+*+.._ 

Riddhima and Armaan started their night duty by following up their patients in the cardiac ward.

"Good evening Mr. Ntini, how are you feeling?" Armaan said as him and Riddhima approached Mr. Ntini's bedside.
"Evening popsie" Riddhima said giving him a peck on his cheek.
"How is my lovely puppy today?" He said patting her head, as Armaan smiled looking at both of them.

Mr Ntini and Riddhima had become very attached to each other in the short span of time that they had spent together. He never had a grand daughter of his own, so he always treated Riddhima like one, and she treated him with the same respect she would give to her own grandfather.

Armaan checked his case notes, while Riddhima chatted away with her popsie. He looked up from the case file and signalled Riddhima with his eyes to come up to him. Mr Ntini's ECG report had a lot of resting ischemic changes (Ischemia- a lack of blood and hence oxygen supply to the heart), even his coronary angiogram (X-ray of the coronary arteries) was not looking normal. His dosage of various medicines had also been increased; this was a major worry and could lead to a lot of problems. He studied her face as she read the file, her face dropped in an instant.

"Don't worry Riddhima these things happen, we both know his angina is very unstable, and especially at this age such complications are bound to arise. He'll be fine, I promise" He said placing a hand on her shoulder, passing her a small smile.
She looked up at his touch and reciprocated his smile back and murmured "Thanks"

In the short span of time, that he had known her he had noticed a professional flaw; she got emotionally attached to her patients, but this flaw was also one of her assets. He took one look at her and knew that no matter how collected she looked on the outside; on the inside she was broken. He saw a lone tear escape her eye.

"Have I ever told you that billi's don't look good crying" He said wiping away her tear.
"Compose yourself Riddhima, we have to attend other patients, and Mr Ntini wouldn't want to see his puppy crying" He said looking in to her eyes carefully for the first time.

They both said their goodbyes to Mr Ntini, Riddhima taking even longer than her usual time, as she hugged him tight, and kissed his forehead.  

They went about their usual routine, but this time a tensed silence hung in the air. Every passing moment seemed like an eternity to them, the night crawled by and slowly but surely it was time for their break. After a quick peek at Mr Ntini's bed side, they both made their way to canteen, it is said silence speaks louder than words. No words escaped their mouths, as they both sat sipping their drinks; he saw from the corner of his eyes that she was pretending to be engrossed in a journal, but he knew that her mind was elsewhere. To lighten up the mood he said

"What do cats read?"
She looked up from the journal to see him looking at her inquisitively
"huh kya?" she gave him a bizarre look.
"CAT-alog" He answered laughing at his own joke. She smiled slightly but it still never reached her eyes
"Junglee what a tacky joke." She said retreating back to her journal.
Seeing the slight smile, he thought to himself 'She has a nice smile… what are you thinking Armaan? And that too about this billi'

"EMERGENCY in the Cardiac ward, Dr Armaan and Riddhima report immediately," An announcement was made; they both rushed off. 

 Armaan saw the tension on her face as they ran to the ward, and knew immediately what she was thinking. As they hurried in, they immediately saw that curtains had been drawn at Mr Ntini's bedside.

The senior resident in charge of the ward Dr Smith was already present with another senior; Mr Ntini was already on the ventilator, and the ECG monitor was showing very less cardiac activity, they had already given him atropine (drug, used to revive low heart rate) to no avail. Armaan immediately joined him to check if there was any pulse, which was dropping very fast, he started to give CPR, but his heart was beating very erratically. Dr Smith took out the defibrillator paddles, and shocked him to try and revive Mr Ntini, but all efforts failed to stimulate his heart rhythm. They had tried their level best, but time and death awaits no one. Doctor Smith told Armaan to note down the time and the reason of death, as he covered Mr Ntini's body, and instructed the nurse to inform his family. Armaan looked around for Riddhima, but she was no where to be seen.

_..+*+.._Present_..+*+.._

"Oh God, was Riddhima ok? Where did she go from there? What did Armaan do? Did he go to find her? The old lady bombarded the man with questions.

"Armaan didn't see her anywhere in the ward, even none of the nurses knew about her whereabouts, then he remembered that her and Mr Ntini used to always go to their favourite garden; Lola gardens" The old man said softly "It was their sanctuary, away from all the worldly affairs. It brought solace to ones heart"
"Then what did Armaan do?" the old lady asked him.

The old man continued…

Lola Gardens


_..+*+.._The story_..+*+.._

Armaan stepped onto the lush green grass, the moon shining, reflecting light on his face. On a normal day a starry night like this would be a sign of romance; happiness. But rejoicing was the last thing he felt like doing tonight. Armaan saw Riddhima sitting in her favourite corner; they knew a lot about each other without saying anything. It was one of those things; which weren't meant to be said, just understood.

And right now Armaan understood that she just needed a shoulder to lean on. He sat down next to her on the bench, she was crying silently; her whole frame shaking. He didn't say anything; instead he wrapped his arm around her shoulder and let her weep. Riddhima leaned her head on Armaan's chest hugging him back and cried until her hearts content.

"You promised Armaan!" Riddhima cried in between sobs gripping him harder "You promised" she kept muttering 'you promised'

"I'm sorry Riddhima" Armaan cried silently with her "I'm sorry" he repeated patting her hair. No matter how hard they wished the night never seemed to end; waiting for the sun to rise again, bringing light back into their lives…because even the setting sun burns flame.

_..+*+.._Present_..+*+.._

"Poor girl, was she alright afterwards?" The old lady said "I'm sure the pain of departure left her after sometime"

"No…although Riddhima never tried to show it, she never was the same again. Pain doesn't heal over time, it just numbs the feeling" The old man said gazing at her intently until she looked away. "Something else also happened that night…which went unnoticed by Riddhima but didn't escape Armaan's eye" He said folding his hands

"What else happened?" the old lady asked looking perplexed

"When Armaan held Riddhima in his arms he felt content, he felt whole…like an entity. For the first time in his life, he didn't know what was going to happen when the sun rose again. Armaan knew he felt something for this crazy billi of his…the feeling had always been there, but that night's events had been the catalyst" The old man said pouring water into her empty glass. "He never knew he could feel like this; like he had never seen the sky before. He wanted to vanish inside her embrace, seasons change, winter to spring…and so did his feelings…from dislike to like then from like to love…love blossoms in elaborate measures"

"When did the love blossom from her side?" she asked
"Riddhima was a late bloomer" the man said laughing "it took her some time to understand him, and learn his different shades"
"Different shades?" The old lady gave him a questioning look.

_..+*+.._The story_..+*+.._ 

The next day crawled by and before they knew it was break. Armaan sat on the couch across Riddhima in the loft, he looked at her concerned; not a word out of her today. An unusual silence crept between them, and for the first time since they had met they hadn't argued. 

She was studying a case file; or at least pretending to. Armaan knew where her mind really was. He walked up to her
"Riddhima I want to talk to you" Armaan said softly in her ear.

Riddhima looked up dazed, as if she didn't understand what he had just said. Before she could react, he held her hand and pulled her up and took her out of the loft.

Before Riddhima could say anything he had dragged her to the children's play area in the hospital
"Why are we here Armaan?" She asked puzzled

He pulled her to one of the benches and they both sat down watching the children play for a minute. Armaan was staring at children playing catch, whilst running he fell down and hurt his knee, but the child got up forgetting his bruise and started to play again.

"Look at that Riddhima" Armaan said pointing to the child "children often have a better perception of the world than us adults…see how he fell but then he got right back up on his feet" He looked at Riddhima, her eyes were moist. "That's what you need to do… Riddhima look at these children. Life goes in circles Riddhima, one life ends but another starts…you've got to learn to move on"

Riddhima was staring at the children playing all around, as she heard Armaan's words. Tears were rolling down her eyes, Armaan gripped her hand tighter. "I don't want to see you crying now…your popsie would have wanted to see you smiling"

Riddhima wiped away the last of her tears and tried smiling but still the tears wouldn't stop. Armaan looked at her crying for the first time…she was struggling to smile through her tears and without realising it words escaped his mouth
"No smile is as beautiful as the one that struggles through the tears"
"Thank you for everything Armaan" Riddhima said hugging him. Armaan didn't say anything…he just held her, letting the unknown feeling take hold of him again.

_..+*+.._Present_..+*+.._

"The end of the month came and with that the end of their rotation in the cardiac ward…Armaan and Riddhima went back to their usual fighting and riffs, but there was now a mutual understanding between them; an unspoken relationship" The man said smiling faintly "a month was also enough for Armaan to realize what he felt for Riddhima"

"So did Armaan tell her what he felt for her?" The lady asked

The old man laughed and said "Poor Armaan was confused, he didn't know how she would react…did Riddhima like him or not, would she take him seriously and most importantly what kind of guy she liked? Those were just a couple of the question going on in Armaan's head"

"Poor guy, then what did he do?" She asked

"What else could he do? He went to his next rotation… little did he know that this time they'd be working under Riddhima's sister"

"Riddhima's sister?" she questioned

"Dr Anjali Joshi…"

_..+*+.._The Story_..+*+.._ 

"You both will be handling Ms Hudson's case, she has just recently been diagnosed with Thyroid cancer early stage…I would like you both to study this case and report back to me in an hour, in my cabin" Dr Anjali Joshi said. She was a senior resident of Johannesburg hospital, specializing in oral oncology. As Anjali made her way out she gave Riddhima a thumbs up signal and winked at her. After she left Armaan turned to Riddhima and said
"Billi, kya tum Woh types ki ladki hau?"
"Shut up junglee… she's my sister!" Riddhima said hitting him with the file
"She's Your sister?? The one that's married to that…kadhoos Dr Atul?" Armaan said remembering his slavery days in the cardiac ward "Lagta hain ye tumhara family business hain" he said sarcastically "Who are we going to be with in the next rotation? Your father?"
"Actually we might; seeing as dad is a neurologist here" Riddhima contemplated
Armaan stared at her in disbelief and said
"This is not happening to me" He walked out the ward
"Oye! Junglee… wait up, we need to work on this case together!" Riddhima said following him out  

_..+*+.._Present_..+*+.._  

"Poor Armaan!" The old lady said "I agree with him, it is a family business"
The old man laughed at her comment
"But I want to know, why didn't he ask her out? Maybe she did like him?" The old lady said
"Mmhh" The old man smiled sardonically and continued… 

_..+*+.._The Story_..+*+.._

After a lot of thought and hours of talking to himself Armaan worked up the courage to ask Riddhima out…
He walked towards the canteen speaking to himself

"Phew…calm down Armaan, you've asked out many girls before…this isn't going to be hard…you can do it…mard bann, be a man!"

He walked into the canteen to see Riddhima sitting with Yasir
"Ermm hi Yasir…hey Billi, can I talk to you in private?" Armaan asked hesitantly.
Yasir looked up at Armaan and smirked. Armaan looked at Yasir and thought 'Why is he smirking? Does he know'

"I'm going to get some coffee, so I'll go..you can sit and 'discuss' your 'important' matter" Yasir said emphasizing on the words 'discuss' and 'important'…he got up smirking to himself.

Armaan sat across Riddhima who was sipping on some coffee
"What's up Junglee?" she asked looking at him
He cleared his throat and wiped his brow
"Erm…. Billi….oh sorry Riddhima…erm"
"What's wrong? Why are you fiddling so much…are you okay?" she asked looking at him tapping his fingers on the table.
"Ermmm…..will you go out with me…like on a date?"


Part 5

"HAHAHAHAHA" Riddhima fell about laughing holding her stomach "Nice joke Armaan"
Armaan looked stunned and said "Joke? I wasn't joking"

"Okay Armaan I get it… enough of the joke" Ridz said sipping her coffee
"Ha-ha" Armaan laughed playing along "Yeah good joke Armaan" he said to himself

"And anyways I wouldn't date a guy like you, you're not my type" she continued after taking a sip "Anyways we have to report to Dr Anjali in 5 minutes…don't be late" and with that she left Armaan in the canteen sitting on the table.

Armaan sat there and hit his head "Great joke Armaan" he imitated.
"Sorry to say dude…but you're not that funny" Yasir said from behind him.
"Shut up" Armaan said as Yasir sat down in front of him.
"Sorry… better luck next time" he said "Shouldn't you be reporting to Dr Anjali right now?"
"Oh crap!" Armaan said as he rushed out of the canteen. 

_..+*+.._Present_..+*+.._

 "Aww…poor guy. How could she think it was a joke?" The old lady said "Well Riddhima didn't know that he was being serious" The man said
"Yeah I guess… but still she should've taken him a bit seriously" she said
"But why should she? I mean come on…Armaan was never serious, so she most probably thought he was playing a prank again" The old man said sticking up for Riddhima.
"Yeah, you're right…so then how did he get her to go out with him?" she asked.
"Dr Anjali…"

 _..+*+.._The Story_..+*+.._

"You're late Dr Armaan" Dr Anjali said as Armaan entered her cabin.

"Sorry Dr Anjali" he said looking around the room to see it was just him and her. Almost as if she had read his mind she said "I've already given Dr Riddhima her case"

"Oh…right" Armaan cleared his throat and waited for Anjali to give him his case.
"Why don't you sit down Armaan?" Anjali said gesturing him to take a seat.

Armaan sat down a bit hesitantly wondering what is happening. Anjali who was writing a report said "I'll just finish off this report…It will just be a minute" as she was writing off the report Armaan started thinking about Riddhima

"And anyways I wouldn't date a guy like you, you're not my type"
Her words echoed in his mind… 'Not her type' he kept thinking 'then what is her type? The first time I get nervous asking a girl out and what does she say? No…Yeh ladkiyaan tau hoti hi aisi hain…But I wonder what her type is?'

"So what is the problem in your case?" Anjali asked looking up as she signed the report.
"She said no, and took it as a joke" Armaan said absent mindedly.
"Sorry? I was talking about your case…but what were you talking about? Tell me" Anjali asked interested.
"Erm… Nothing"
"Is it girl problems? Go on…You know you can share with me" she said.

"Well if I shared this with you…I don't think you'd like me very much" he said a bit more comfortably.
"Okay that can only mean 3 things… It's either related to dad, but seeing as you haven't even met dad that's ruled off. Either Atul, but then again everybody complains about Atul; him being a bit of a mean doctor. Or it's to do with Ridzi…And I'm thinking the 3rd option is more likely" she said to herself more than him.
Armaan just lowered his gaze in response.

"Oh so I was right…So what's the problem with Ridz?" she asked, he was about to say when she cut in between him "No wait, let me guess…You like her?"
Armaan looked at her in amazement, wondering whether she was psychic.
"Well…er…Yeah, kind of" he said
"Well then why are you telling me? Go tell her" Anjie said
"I did…tell her, I mean" he said
"And…?" she asked "No wait, let me guess… she said no, and her excuse was that you weren't her type"
"Well she didn't say no in so many words…she thought I was playing a joke, but she did say I wasn't her types… how do you know all this stuff?" he asked, Armaan would never understand women, they just came in all sorts.

"Armaan, all girls use that excuse. Even I used that excuse with Atul years ago, and now look…me and him are married!" Anjali said knowingly
"Oh… so what kind of guy does she like?" he asked
"Well, she likes guys that are sensible, caring, sweet, smart, and helpful, has a good heart, the list could go on and on but you know what I'm trying to say right? The typical prince charming kind of guy" she said whilst Armaan was formulating plans inside his brain.

"Why do you want to know anyways?" Anjie asked
"Nah just wanted to know. Curiosity" he said waving it off with his hand
"You better not be planning to change yourself to be that Mr. Perfect. Please Armaan that would just be lying about yourself. Nobody is Mr. Perfect" Anjie said reading his face again
"Don't worry Anjie I won't" Armaan said
"Good you better not!" Anjie warned.
"Gosh you sound like Dr Atul when you threaten me" he laughed.
"Oi!" she said laughing with him.

"Thanks Anjie" Armaan said getting up to hug her. She hugged him back when Atul walked in.
"Hey Anjali-"
Atul looked at Armaan and Anjali who were about to break away from the hug.

"Oi you kamina, good for nothing…don't touch my wife!" Atul said pulling Anjali to him.
"Atul it's not what you-"
"No Anjali you don't know this good for nothing useless guy…when he was under me last month all he did was complain complain and complain…like an old nanny" Atul said glaring at Armaan who looked lost for words.
"Atul…everybody complains about you" Anjali said "and all I did was hug him"

Armaan slowly sneaked out not wanting to be a part of the family affairs episode.

_..+*+.._Present_..+*+.._  

"Why on earth did Anjali become a doctor? She should have been an agony aunt" the lady said.

"Yes Dr Anjali was very good at giving advice; Dr Atul was a different story"
"Dr Atul sounds like a nice guy" old lady said
"Nice? He was far from nice. He made poor Armaan work 16 hours for one shift" the man said sipping orange juice.
"16 hours for one shift? Wow that's a lot"
"Yeah poor guy had to work his butt off"

"But one thing I don't get, why did he even bother to find out what kind of guy Riddhima liked anyways? I thought she had just said 'you are not my type' as an excuse"
"Well guys are like that, you can't live with them you can't live without them" he said laughing.
"So what did he do next? To get her to agree for the date" she asked
"Armaan went about fulfilling his philosophy on girls" he said smiling "If she doesn't like you the way you are; then change. He thought that change was the best way to deal with this kind of situation"
"Don't tell me, he changed himself. But why though I mean all the attributes that Anjali described were already in him"

"Well Armaan was a bit of an idiot"
"So how did the change work out for him?" she asked
"I suppose well in the end, everything happens for a reason right?"

_..+*+.._The Story_..+*+.._ 

Change; it happens for the better or the worse. But a person never wilfully changes; change comes about on its own. But sometimes a person only learns by making the mistake, and Armaan had yet to face his.

"Good morning Riddhima" Armaan said sweetly as she joined him for duty in the oncology ward.
"Oh-Kay" Riddhima said a bit unsurely as she started walking down the corridor with him "Good morning to you too"

"Did you have a nice breakfast? After all it is the most important meal of the day, and as doctors we have to set an example" he said cheerfully
"Are you feeling okay?" she asked
"Oh me? Yes I'm perfect, never been better" he said smiling "Anyways I read the case files for Ms Hudson seems like she's progressing well. The notes you made were so clear and you used perfect diction" he smiled even wider.
"Okay, now I am officially scared. What is going on? Is this another one of your silly pranks like yesterday" she asked narrowing her eyes at him.
"Nope, why would I play a prank on you? Do I seem like that sort of guy?" Armaan asked pulling an angelic face.
"Right…" Riddhima said sarcastically "Anyways did you read up on Mrs Patel's case file?"
"Oh you mean the lady who has mouth cancer, yes I read up on it. I think we need to start treatment soon, otherwise the outcome doesn't look so good" he said stopping as they reached a patients bed.

After checking up their patients and doing a general round in the oncology ward they went for their break.

"What would you like?" Armaan asked pulling her chair out for her
"Erm thanks" Riddhima said taking a seat "I don't want anything"
"Are you sure?" he asked.
"Yeah I'm sure, erm, you know what I'm going to go to the loft. I don't want anything from the canteen" She said leaving from the canteen as fast as she could.

Armaan slouched down on the chair "Being your Mr. Perfect is hard work" he said as she left.
... 

Creeping behind a pillar in the loft trying to over hear a girl's conversation isn't exactly a situation Armaan was familiar with. He leaned around the pillar so that he could see what the girls were doing, without being noticed.
"Not bad" Armaan said as he saw them playing pool. 

"No way Sapna, guys look better with some muscle on them, and if they have a six pack, that's even better" Riddhima said, as she shot a ball in the hole.
"Nice shot Ridz… Hmm… I guess, lekin tum kis ke six packs ki baat kar rahi hau… you have someone in mind?" Sapna said as she aligned her cue stick, and looked up at Riddhima bobbing her eyebrows.

"What are you talking about? And I can't see how you can't like guys with muscle…Aaron has muscles too, and if you didn't like muscley men why would you go out with him?" Riddhima said poking Sapna with her cue stick, which made Sapna miss her shot.
"Oii you made me miss my shot…and stop avoiding my question will you? And tell me who this Mr six-pack is?" Sapna said looking at Riddhima.

But before Riddhima could answer, Sapna read her face
"No way…are you serious… but you two always arguing"
"Jeez it's not as if I said I want to marry him, and anyway you haven't seen him in just a towel…if you had then you'd be saying the same thing" Riddhima said nudging her.

He thought he would faint, not being able to believe that Riddhima was actually complimenting him. Armaan blushed slightly as he heard Riddhima describing him in a towel to Sapna, which left him in a dazed like state. He mumbled to himself "So billi does like me… but she told me that she would never go out with me, and now she says she likes my six-pack, man…women are so damn confusing"

 "Tell me about it" Aaron said from behind him.
Armaan got scared for a second and then quickly composed himself "Sssshhhhhh… I am trying to listen here, dude"
"You're not listening…you're eavesdropping dude"
"Sapna's there…" Armaan said
Aaron pushed Armaan out of the way to peek, to that Armaan said "Aren't you eavesdropping now…"
"This is not called eavesdropping… it's listening… now shut up and let's listen"
 

Sapna sipped strawberry banana milkshake as Riddhima took her shot and missed "Bad shot… I wonder how Aaron would look in a towel"
"I could do without that mental image in my brain…thank you very much" Riddhima said "I know you are dating him…but that's just gross"

"At least I am dating Aaron, so I am allowed to dream, you are not even dating him, and you've already seen him in a towel" Sapna said contemplating on which ball to line up next.
"Can we please stop talking about Armaan in a towel" Riddhima said, as her cheeks turned a slight shade of pink.
"Why? Are you getting flashacks…You, Armaan and the towel…turning red are we" She said as she potted the ball in.

"Sapnaaaaa…can we cut the towel talks… and anyways I really don't know what's gotten in to him, he's been acting so weird today…I bet you… its one of his stupid pranks yet again…junglee is acting like a gentlemen today" She said laughing slightly.

"Cut the guy some slack, and anyways I have a problem…parents want to meet Aaron" Sapna said shining the tip of her cue stick with a chalk.
"Awwww…mummy ne usko chaai pe bulaya hai" Riddhima said as she potted the white and her last ball.
 

"What the hell did Riddhima just say?" Aaron asked as he turned to look at Armaan.
"Good game billi…" He mumbled to himself and then turned towards Aaron "She said, her mum's called you for tea…you won't get it, it's a Hindi film song"

"God, what am I going to do? I mean this whole Asian parent thing. I've never met Asian parents before, dude you've got to help me…" Aaron said desperately.
"Asian parents are just like any other parents, but just a bit stricter and anyways I have my own problems to solve dude" Armaan said moving out of their little hiding place.
"Let's drown in our sorrows together"
"I can swim dude…" Armaan said as him and Aaron made their way out.
"This is not the time for a tacky joke" Aaron said following him out the door.
 
_..+*+.._Present_..+*+.._
 

"Its sweet what he did, but he should have known that changing one self makes you lose your own identity, when you like someone you both learn to adapt yourself for each other" the lady said as the man gazed at her.

As he heard her words, he looked at her intently, getting lost in his thoughts. The old lady looked at those grey eyes staring back at her lost in deep thinking "Are you alright?"

"Oh sorry, just remembered something" the man said as he came back to his sense. "Armaan was rash at making decisions most of the time, but in a relationship the drawback of one is completed by the other"

"Yea, you are right...I have to say though Armaan was one cheeky guy, listening to girl's conversation" The old lady said.

"Yea Aaron was no less though..." The old gentleman said smiling lightly.
"Yea…but the girls were no less either, talking about Armaan in a towel" she said "And when did Aaron and Sapna start dating?"

"Aaron asked Sapna out after a couple of weeks in to their internship" He said as he got up to open the windows. "The next few days passed with Armaan and his sugar coated act, after finishing off their duties, he would offer to drop her home, much to her dislike and insist on being the perfect gentleman by opening the car door for her. He decided not to call her 'billi' after all that was not very cordial, and many other such things that he thought a perfect prince charming would do"

"That must have irritated the poor girl; she must have been so annoyed with him"  

_..+*+.._The story_..+*+.._

 Armaan stepped out on to the 8th floor terrace, his eyes searching for her. Only to find her leaning on the railing, watching the sunset between two mountains.

"Beautiful isn't it?" he asked her watching the sunset with her.
"Yeah it is beautiful" Riddhima said without realising who was standing next to her.
"Watching the sunset makes me feel content, it spreads odd warmth through me like breathing for the soul" she said more to herself than Armaan. He stared at her face radiating from the sun rays hitting her face.

She turned around to look at him, her facial expressions changed from serene to a grimace

"YOU!"
"When you frown you look even better" he said grinning impishly
"Armaan please go, why are you doing this to me? Please enough of your prank" Riddhima moaned.

"Prank?!" He fumed "why do you always think whatever I am doing is a prank? Do you think I enjoy running around you all day? Being your Mr. Perfect is a hard job" he said frustrated.
"What are you talking about? Mr. Perfect?" she asked

"The other day when I asked you out, I wasn't joking. You were the one that said that I am not your type, so I'm just trying to be your type"

"But I don't want you changing yourself for me, that wouldn't be the real you. Armaan I like you for who you are" she said softening her tone "even when you say your tacky jokes" she added laughing a little.

"The setting sun makes you look more beautiful" he whispered.

A soft growing silence creeped between them, more comfortable than awkward; but nonetheless a silence, that spoke more than words. Standing near the railing of the terrace, the cold made its presence known as the breeze flew by.

"So…will you go out with me? Like on a date?" Riddhima stuttered
Armaan smiled at her choice of words "sure you line chor!" he laughed

And they laughed whole heartedly for no reason when Riddhima said "But don't be late junglee, I hate late comers"

 _..+*+.._Present_..+*+.._

 "So did Armaan come on time?" the lady asked smiling.
The old man looked at her grinning and said sardonically "What do you think?"


Part 6

_..+*+.._The story_..+*+.._

"The beach…no no, I'm sure she's been to many beaches in her life. Erm…maybe the Sahara desert, okay what am I saying. The Sahara desert? What am I nuts? Stupid question Armaan, you are nuts" Armaan said to himself as he was pacing around his room. "Then where should I take her? Think think think!" Armaan was too busy thinking about where to take Riddhima for his date that he never realised that if he didn't leave right now, there was going to be no date "The Eiffel tower…that's all the way in France Armaan how are you going to take her there?" he muttered to himself. "Heheheheh" Armaan started giggling as his phone started buzzing in his back pocket. 

"Bonjour" he greeted the person at the other end.
"You lousy good for nothing French speaking idiot! I told you not to be late. I have been waiting here for an hour, and there seems to be no trace of you. Have you even left home yet?" Riddhima demanded on the other line.  
"Oh er, yeah I have…I'm in the car it's just er, traffic you know" he stuttered as he ran out of his apartment to his car. "Now let me concentrate on my driving, and put the phone down…I'll see you in a few" He said quickly cutting of the call before Ridz could say anything else.
"Armaan, only God can help you now"

He gulped as he felt her wrath coming with just one look. Armaan was standing in her apartment almost 2 hours late.
"Where the hell were you junglee? Two hours I waited…You could have called me to tell me you were in traffic, but, No Mr Armaan Mallik doesn't do that. Do you always do this, I swear if you do then it's got to change, and even if you were stuck in traffic how come it took you so long to get here? It's only a 30 minute drive from your apartment to my apartment. I swear-"
"You Swear??" Armaan said in mock outrage
"Oh shut up junglee" Riddhima said glaring at him
"Okay, now has your little rant finished, can we go now?" Armaan said as he received more glares from her.
"Well we better be going some place good" Riddhima said as she locked up her apartment.
Armaan was thinking of places to take her as they walked silently, in the end he decided to not think too much about it and just follow his instincts.

 As they got in to his Range Rover, he looked at the frown on her face and knew the perfect place that would put a smile on her face.
"Mexican, Chinese, Italian or me?"
She gave him the death stare, and was about to reiterate when he said looking at her.
"Ok ok…I was just kidding…but seriously what is your preference ma'am?" putting on a posh accent, and smiling.
"Mr junglee trying to be a gentlemen again, ok then sir I would be obliged if you would be glad enough to provide this lady with some Mexican cuisine, if it's not too much hassle for you" She said responding with the same posh accent and passing him a sugar coated smile.
"Mexican it is then"

"Can we have two burritos, one quesadilla, one sprite, one coke and a tub of Haagen-Dazs crme brule ice cream please" He said to the intercom at the drive-in Mexican Palace takeaway. He knew she was getting frustrated by the minute, for the past 10 minutes she had been constantly asking him about what they were doing.

"Junglee will you please tell me what exactly are we doing?" She asked him yet again.
He gave her the same reply that he had been constantly giving her, for the past 10 minutes "Chill billi, have some patience"
"Yeah yeah patience is a virtue blah blah blah" Ridz said sticking her tongue out whilst Armaan laughed at her frustration.
 

_..+*+.._Present_..+*+.._

"Where did he take her? What did they do? And takeaway on their first date…don't tell me they had their date in his car." The lady asked all in one breathe.
"Calm down, have some patience"
"I know, I know patience is a virtue, but I really want to know where he took her, after he was so indecisive." The lady eagerly questioned.
"Copying Riddhima's lines are we?" He said as a cute smile played on his lips hearing the eagerness in her voice.
 

_..+*+.._The story_..+*+.._

Lavender Hill


The warm breeze of the night welcomed them as they stepped out of the car, onto the grassy plains. Lavender hill was Armaan's home away from home.
Armaan carefully viewed Riddhima's facial expression as they changed from shock to awe to joy.

"So does Her Royal Highness excuse this lumbering peasant from almost committing a royal mess of things" Armaan said bowing down like a gentlemen.
"Indeed her royal highness can forgive you peasant for almost causing me to throw a fit, now can we eat before I die of hunger?" Riddhima said.
"That tone is not very lady –like, is it young lady?" Armaan said shaking his head in fake disapproval.
"Junglee!" Riddhima warned
"Okay let's eat before you die and I go to jail and do some chakki peesing" Armaan said doing a 'chakki peesing' hand movement.
"This is not the time for a tacky joke Junglee"

Sitting themselves on the soft green grass, watching the panoramic view of the city and the radiant night sky, words alone failed to explain the essence that filled the air. A comforting warmth of a sweet embrace, stilling their hearts and halting their breath for the slightest of instants, as the amazement of the striking beauty could be soaked up.

"It's stunning… breathtakingly beautiful" Riddhima sighed as she took a bite from her burrito.
"It is…sometimes mere words seem so powerless when describing a true beauty" Armaan said. As always this place never failed to amaze him, every time he seemed to notice something striking and new. As he sipped his drink, he continued "Don't you think there is something majestic about this place?"
He turned to look at her face; she met his gaze and replied "Hmmm…it's very calming"
"This is like my second home, it has been since the first time I visited this place with my father, and it was a day after my 8th birthday. My parents had gifted me a bicycle, and father decided to teach me, and so he bought me here out of all places." He said looking away from her and staring ahead.

She followed his gaze ahead and questioned "Your dad bought you here to teach you?"
He smiled cutely and said "You see my father thought, the best way to learn is in the wilderness, not in your back garden or park…like the 'ways of the wild'. He said imitating Harrison Ford.
He saw her give him a weird look, and continued "Well, my father is the coach of South African cricket team" giving her an indifferent look.
"Yea sure he is, and my sister is Miss England" She said sarcastically. "Zach Mallik is your father…yea rite"

He passed her a small smile and turned to look at the city again.
"Oh my god, you are the son of Zach Mallik, but why didn't you mention anything before?" she said as she realised he was not joking.
"Would that have made a difference to you?" He asked looking back at her.
"If I told you tomorrow, that my father was a film star would that make a difference to you?" She questioned his question.
Within her question he had found his answer, to lighten the mood he said "Didn't your daddy ever tell you that you don't answer a question with a question"
"Who said I listened" she said with a cheeky grin, his smile widened bringing out his dimples. She lightly poked her finger in his dimple, while he looked slightly taken back.
"I've always wanted to do that, just to feel how deep my finger would go" she said, while both of them laughed slightly at her childishness.

He turned to look at her giggling, and he just kept on looking at her; the innocence in her laughter highlighted the slight dimple near her chin. Realising that Armaan's gaze was on her made Riddhima turn around.

He stared into her hazel eyes, a dull colour in comparison. But her hazel eyes had some sort of depth in them, un-deciphered feelings yet understandable emotions. Armaan made a mental note that her eyes came alive under the glow of the moon light, he could have sat there the whole night staring at her, had she not broke her gaze.

Noticing her discomfort he looked away and both of them turned to look at the city lights.
"So tell me about your mother" she said leaning her chin on the palm of her hand.
"Seriously billi you should watch the news more often" Armaan said jokily
"Shut up junglee" Riddhima said nudging him "Isn't it hard for your mother to cope with all the moving around, you know being the wife of the coach and everything. I mean, your dad just became coach last year right" she asked in earnest interest.
"No way, my mum's enjoying every minute of it" he said laughing slightly
"So your mum doesn't work?" she asked 
"Oh, she used to be a physiotherapist, but she retired a few years back" Armaan said taking a bite of his quesadilla.
"Are you an only child then? Any evil siblings I should be aware of" She said jokily.
"Billi if you really want to know about my family just Google it on the net" he said still unable to digest the fact that she was so interested in his family.
Seeing her give him a look he answered her question "I have one brother, his name's Rahul. He lives in Cape Town and before you ask for his bio-data I'll just tell you" Armaan said as he saw her opening her mouth "He's a computer engineer and is married to his childhood sweetheart and best friend Muskaan"
"Oh cool, a computer engineer he must get paid a lot" she said impressed
"Oi, he's married stop eyeing my brother up, and anyways I'm better looking" he said whilst she just rolled her eyes.

"So Miss Gupta now that you have done a thorough investigation into my life, may I interrogate your life"
"Go on" She said grabbing his quesadilla and taking a bite from it.
"So who are there in your family, any other gorgeous siblings I should be aware of?" he asked winking, taking back his quesadilla from her hand.
"Shut up Junglee. It's just Dad, Anjali di, Atul jiju and me" she said with a distant look in here eyes.
"And your mother?" he asked a bit cautiously
"She passed away 3 years ago" she said, her voice cracked giving away her emotions.
"Oh, then how come you don't live with your dad?" he asked
"Armaan can we drop this subject" she said a bit frustrated

She stood up from where they were sitting and walked forward to get some air.
 He looked at her, and knew he wasn't wrong in his assumptions about her. There was always a barrier she held up from the world; sharing others happiness and pain yet never revealing her own.


_..+*+.._Present_..+*+.._ 

The old woman looked at him in surprise as he stopped.
"Why did you stop?"
"Because you are hungry" The old man simply said, like stating a fact.
"No I am not" The old lady said scrunching her nose.
The old gentleman picked up the phone as he said to her "Those who can't lie shouldn't lie"
He then said to the person on the other side of the phone "Can you please send an orange juice, a pomegranate juice, scrambled eggs and two toasts to room no 123 please, thank you very much"

He sat back down on his seat, as she said "The place Armaan took her to sounds really beautiful, I'll like to go there some day"
The man was looking at her but not really seeing her, his mind preoccupied with thoughts.
"One day"
She looked at him registering what he said, but not quite understanding it.  She was about to ask what he meant, when he said "Now is not the time" looking right in her eyes.
"Ok…" She turned her gaze to the balcony and then after a couple of moment's silence, she turned back towards him and asked "Why do I get a feeling that not everything was right between Armaan and his dad?"

"They had a strange relationship; they were very similar to each other, which was the reason why they never got along" He said passing her a shawl from the bed, as he saw her trying to warm herself.
"Thanks for the shawl, but wouldn't it be easier to get along with the person who is similar to you." She said wrapping the shawl around her.

"What a person fears the most is coming to terms with their own reality, and Armaan's father was his reality, which he did not want to come to terms with." The old man said as he recited the lines once said to him.
She gave him a bewildered look as he said those lines, when she remembered Riddhima's apprehension "Armaan deciphered Riddhima really well; she was very eager to know about his family, but not to reveal much about her own."
"She was easy to read, but hard to understand" He explained.
Before she could say any further, a knock on the door interrupted them
"Come in" He said

A nurse walked in pushing a tray cart, she unloaded the tray on the table and passing a small smile to the old man, left the room closing the door.
"What happened next?" The old lady asked sincerely.
The old man smiled at her request, and passing her the orange juice said "At least eat something first"
She took a sip of her juice, listening carefully to his narration.
 

_..+*+.._The story_..+*+.._ 

Riddhima stood there looking out for a couple of minutes, staring into space when Armaan's voice cut into her thoughts. "You can see the stars better when lying down"

She turned around to see him sitting on the bonnet of his range rover. Smiling slightly she joined him.
Like an automatic reaction he put his arm around her as she lay next to him staring at the stars, and she leaned her head on his shoulder.

 The best thing about tonight's that we're not fighting
Could it be that we have been this way before
I know you don't think that I am trying
I know you're wearing thin down to the core

But hold your breath
Because tonight will be the night that I will fall for you
Over again
Don't make me change my mind
Or I won't live to see another day
I swear it's true
Because a girl like you is impossible to find
Your impossible to find

"Where's this music coming from?" Riddhima asked looking at him perplexed.
Armaan looked at her sheepishly and showed her the cars stereo remote he had in his hand "technology baby, technology"
"Right…" she gave him a look "it's a nice song" she said listening to it carefully "who is it by?" she asked
"Shhh you're talking through the song, listen to the lyrics. It has hidden meaning" he said smiling his cheesy smile.

But hold your breath
Because tonight will be the night that I will fall for you
Over again
Don't make me change my mind
Or I won't live to see another day
I swear it's true
Because a girl like you is impossible to find
It's impossible

to breathe in so deep
Breathe me in
I'm yours to keep
And hold onto your words
Cause talk is cheap
And remember me tonight
When you're asleep

Because tonight will be the night that I will fall for you
Over again
Don't make me change my mind
Or I won't live to see another day
I swear it's true
Because a girl like you is impossible to find
Tonight will be the night that I will fall for you
Over again
Don't make me change my mind
Or I won't live to see another day
I swear it's true
Because a girl like you is impossible to find
Your impossible to find


"Secondhand Serenade" He said
"huh?" She said
"You asked who it was by, and I am telling you it is by Secondhand Serenade"
"Wow they are really good" She said fiddling with his fingers.
"Correction, HE is really good, it's a one man band"
"Impressive"
"You are getting impressed by everyone, first it was Mr Zach Mallik, then bro, and now   John Vesely" He said moaning.
"Who's John Vesely?"
"Secondhand Serenade guy, you know him" he said a bit irritated.
"How was I meant to know?" She said still fiddling with his fingers.
"But that's the not the point, you are meant to be impressed by me, I did all this for you, I bought you here to such a wonderful place" He said gesturing around with his free hand.
"Junglee stop lying, I know you didn't plan any of this, I knew it the instant you ordered the takeaway" She said poking his nose.

He gave her a cheeky look, as she continued "but I am happy that you didn't plan it, you think better on your feet"
"What did you say?" Armaan asked confused  
"I said you think better on your feet…why?" she asked
"Oh I thought you said 'you stink better than your feet'" he said scratching his head embarrassed as she laughed.
"This is why, I am impressed with you the most!" she said hugging him. They lay there like that for a couple of moments.

"Armaan" Riddhima said softly in his ear
"Mmhhh?" he replied smiling slightly
"WHERE'S THE ICECREAM??" she shouted, as he jumped startled by the loud volume of her voice. Riddhima started laughing so hard that she fell off the bonnet of his car.
"Ridddhiiimaaaaa!!" Armaan whined "that hurt my ear!" he said rubbing his ear.
"Oh stop moaning…now seriously tell me where the ice cream is, it's most probably melted by now" she said
"Nope it hasn't melted" Armaan said getting off his car and opening the car door.
"What makes you say that?" she asked challenging his confidence.
"I have a portable freezer box" he said taking it out from the car
"Clever…" Riddhima said impressed "you seriously carry that around everywhere?" she asked amused.
"Well, I like camping and mountain climbing and hiking. So I always need to be prepared" he said putting the box on the hood of the car and leaning back into the car to get something else out.
"What are you getting out now? A tent?" Riddhima asked jokily
"Yep" he said taking out a folded, transparent tent.
"Wow, you really do come prepared"

They laughed and joked as they set up the tent; both knowing that even if their relationship never worked out, their friendship would, and within minutes the tent was set out with both of them settled in it comfortably eating their Haagen-Dazs crme brulee ice cream.

"Look there's Orion's belt" Armaan said pointing to the stars in the sky "and there's Sirius, it's the brightest star that we can see from earth" he said pointing to another star.
Riddhima laughed and said "For a second I thought you saw Sirius Black from Harry Potter"
"Billi" Armaan said "leave the tacky jokes to me"
Riddhima put their empty tub down the side and said "I'm full"
"Me too"

Stretching her arms she lay down on her back looking at the stars through the transparent hood of the tent. Armaan placed his head in her lap, without realising it Riddhima started to play with his hair. They both lay there in the stillness, as the cool breeze blew by. After a while Armaan grabbed a hold of Riddhima's hand that was touching his hair, and started fiddling with it.

"Yo billi lets play a game"
"Mhhh…what game?" she asked
"In this game, what you have to do is just try and find an object in the stars, like for example those stars there look like a bucket" he said pointing at the stars.
"Okay let's play"

Armaan had to admit Riddhima was good at the game, in a couple of minutes they had found a witches hat, a spade, a spoon…and
"Look that one looks like Harry Potters glasses" Armaan said
"Er...No, you need glasses" Ridz said ruffling his hair with her free hand

Armaan got off her lap and went to lie beside her and she leaned her head on his chest, so he put his arm around her as she snuggled closer, and in that position they drifted off to sleep.

 
_..+*+.._Present_..+*+.._

"Awww how cute that was so adorable" The old lady said as she took a bite from her toast.
"What was?" The old man asked as he sipped his pomegranate juice.
"Everything, from the sweet little talks, to the game, to the tent romance" She said not able to hide her excitement.

The old man laughed slightly and said "Yea, though Armaan never liked to admit it, but he was a true romantic at heart, they fell asleep in each others arm that night" putting down his empty glass on the table he continued.
"As the dawn broke out, they still lay there in the tent in each others arm unaware of their position or their surrounding…"

 
_..+*+.._The Story_..+*+.._  

Armaan was whistling merrily as he packed the tent into his car. Riddhima in the meanwhile was sitting on the bonnet of the car watching the city in the day light.
"You know you're right, there is something majestic about this place"

Armaan smiled at her as he opened the car door and placed the freezer box inside, Riddhima sidled off the car bonnet, watching him. Tired from sleeping on the floor all night Armaan stretched his arms breathing in the fresh air, when under a sudden impulse Riddhima ran up to him and kissed him on the cheek and hugged him not letting go.
Armaan got caught a bit unaware, but wrapped his arms around her waist and lifting her off her feet spun her around. He felt her grip on him getting tighter, hearing her giggle made him smile.

He stopped spinning after a while, putting her down he said
"Phew I don't need to go gym today"
"Huh?"
"I've already done my weight lifting today" He said winking at her.
"Jungleeeeee" She said smacking him lightly on his chest.
He smiled and kissed her nose.
"Shall we?" He said gesturing towards his car.
… 

"Aaj phir jeene ki tamanna hai…nahi marne ka iraada hai…"Armaan sang as he drove the car cheerfully.
Hearing his phone ring, noticing Aaron's name on the screen, he told Riddhima to put it on loudspeaker.

"Hey dude" Aaron's voice greeted them.
"Hey" Armaan replied back.
"So how was your date then?"

Armaan looked towards Riddhima and grinned; she smiled back and turned to face the window.
"I am not one to kiss and tell dude" He said as he saw her turn back around and eye him.

"Yea whatever dude, you're coming with me in the evening right?" Aaron asked
"What?" Armaan said a bit shocked "Dude, you and I both have girlfriends, and I only see you as a friend"
He heard Riddhima giggling to herself, and whispered "what" to her.
"Eurgh dude, I mean you are coming with me to Sapna's place… remember" He heard Aaron say.

"I have other plans" He said looking at Riddhima
"Plan your date with Ridz for some other day, and anyway she's coming to Sapna's"
He looked at Riddhima, who nodded in confirmation; he dejectedly agreed to go with Aaron.

After finishing the call, he turned to Riddhima and moaned "Why do we have to go?"
She laughed at his reluctance.


Authors Note: Zach Mallik is not actually the coach of South African Team, I think in real life it's Mickey Arthur! Oh and Zach Mallik is Half-white, half-indian but you will get to know more about him later on.


Hello you Beautiful patient poeple!!!

Yes it's me, after such a lambaaaaaaa time!! So so sorry for the delay, my exmas ended last week but I got busy with work and all...But here is the part!! Hope you enjoy it, I am a bit worried it might be abit boring. Oh and I want to thank NJ because the 'star game' was loosely inspired by her 'cloud game' Wink Do tell me whether you liked the part or not and criticisms are always welcome.

Luv Nainu (Bakri...my nikname)Wink
XxX









 



Edited by Naina123 - 13 July 2008 at 7:37am

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ArmiandRidz4eva

Goldie

ArmiandRidz4eva

Joined: 09 December 2007

Posts: 1393

Posted: 06 April 2008 at 3:27pm | IP Logged
hi,
It sounds interesting, will be waiting for your update

Sania Big smile

maaha16

Groupbie

maaha16

Joined: 03 January 2008

Posts: 177

Posted: 06 April 2008 at 4:12pm | IP Logged
sounds intriguing..............cant wait

123abc123

IF-Rockerz

123abc123

Joined: 06 November 2007

Posts: 5957

Posted: 06 April 2008 at 4:12pm | IP Logged
sounds great
updt nx part soon
cnt wait Big smile Clap

hinz

Viewbie

hinz

Joined: 13 September 2005

Posts: 25770

Posted: 06 April 2008 at 4:20pm | IP Logged
Sounds sad,but interesting
I do wanna know how this shapes up
Plz update

heenaz

IF-Dazzler

heenaz

Joined: 13 February 2006

Posts: 3367

Posted: 06 April 2008 at 4:24pm | IP Logged
really nice yaar, sounds interesting
plz update soon

hira_786

IF-Dazzler

hira_786

Joined: 26 February 2007

Posts: 3507

Posted: 06 April 2008 at 4:54pm | IP Logged
wow Nainu!!
its wonderful yar..
luvv da beginingEmbarrassed
Plzz cont soon n dun forget to Pm me kBig smile

Lotssa luv:HiraTongue

Veiledbeauty

IF-Dazzler

Veiledbeauty

Joined: 04 December 2007

Posts: 3706

Posted: 06 April 2008 at 7:33pm | IP Logged
Gosh bakri Confused Why did you have to make it so short   Angry Angry

Next part lamba like you, khambaa!! LOL LOL LOL

But it's awesome!! I wonder what the mystery behind it is... Confused

Jaldi continue karo, bakri!!

XX
ZuZu

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