Wednesday, 11 February 2015

part 28: An Arranged Love Marriage


He had gone away but made it a point to make a call as soon as the flight landed.
She could finally breathe in some fresh air as he was finally at least talking to her. Not angry anymore; and had given her a chance!

But was that a good thing? Because the chance was going to be of no help anyways! He had given her time so that when he comes back he would confront her. But what would she say?

Another lie; to cover up the previous one?

But what when he would find out that she was lying only; again!
All the happiness that she had earned after his call went down the drain within seconds!
But it felt as though finally God had some mercy on her; today she felt really fresh.

Ananya had come back in the afternoon and had seen the dark circles under Riddhima’s eyes.

An: Beta; teri neend poori nahi hui kya? Bohot thak hui lag rahi hai? 
Tu theek hai na?

R: Nahi mummy; aisa kuch nahi. Main bilkul theek hu; haan bas neend theek se nahi ho paayi thi.....par aap fikar mat keejiye; abhi khaana khake so jaungi thodi der toh bilkul theek ho jaungi!
Armaan on the other hand had been too busy with his work. Still he couldn’t stop thinking of whatever that had happened last night. He even remembered her face which pleaded him to not to go away from her and that kept making him restless. It felt as though her eyes were saying much more than he could read and this fact was suffocating!

What was it that was right in front of his eyes but he wasn’t able to decipher?

Rahul had been observing Armaan as well. He did not make any attempts of spilling the beans here; as he knew that last night was already a hectic one for Armaan. His mind must already be preoccupied with too many things; he did not wish to trouble him anymore; but time was slipping out of hands and it was necessary to win this race against time.

Because he knew that if they had lost this race; he would not lose 1 but 2 friends very near to his heart!
He remembered Riddhima’s words; when something struck him hard and his bulb finally lit!

Ofcourse Rahul; tumne ye pehle kyu nahi socha?

He quickly made his way to Armaan with jet speed.

Armaan wa sitting in his room busy with his phone when Rahul entered the room so swiftly and unpredictably that Armaan had to play a small juggling game with his phone in order to save it!
Abey oye Rahul ke bacche; dimaag kharabhai tera? Aise kyu dauda chala aa raha hai jaise koi teri izzat ke peeche padha ho?
Rahul stood in front of Armaan silently for 2 minutes panting hard trying to hold his breath!
Mujhe.....kuch baat........ karni....... hai tujhse!

A: Saans toh le le pehle; aisa kya bolne aaya hai tu jo paaglon jaise haaf raha hai?

Rahul sat down and gulped down huge glass of water to calm his nerves.
Ra: Sun main jo kehne aaya hu tujhse; acha hoga agar tu jara dhyaan se thande dimaag se sune meri baat!

A: Abey aisa kya ho gaya jo tu itna utawla ho raha hai? Kahi propose vegera karne ki toh nahi soch raha tu jo tujhse raha nahi ja raha?

Ra: Exactly vohi baat karne toh aaya hu!

A: Kyaaaa?

Ra: Abey saale......mera matlab......
here he was having such an important conversation and this idiot chose to crack jokes. And as if that was not enough; he was now busy staring at his phone!

Ra: Armaan yaar please concentrate; I am talking to you dude! What the hell are you doing on your phone? Will you please keep it aside for a while!

He snatched the cell and was about to keep it down when he saw Riddhima’s picture on the screen.
A: Areey.....mera phone......

Ra: Ohh; ye baat hai.......
acha tu aaram se isko dekh le; par mere jaane ke baad theek hai. Vaise bhi main isi ke barein main baat karne aaya hu tujhse!

A: oye tu.....please ab tu vapas shuru mat ho; tera pravachan suna maine subh aur usse baat bhi karke aaya hu!

Ra: Toh? Koi ehssan nahi kiya; teri biwi hai; usse baat kar lega toh koi out of the world achievement nahi karlega tu!

A: Areey yaar....tu na; chal bol kya kehne aaya tha aur dafa ho! Mujhe aur bhi kaam hai!

Ra: Acha mujhe ek baat bata; tu aise Jerry ki photo ko ghur kyu raha tha?

A: Aise koi baat nahi main toh bas aise hi........

Ra: Kaisi koi bhi baat nahi hai?

A: Tch....main bas; kuch check kar raha tha......vo photo......

Ra: Hmm.....you mean check out kar raha tha?
Haan vaise Jerry is black saree main bohot hot dikh rahi hai!
Armaan turned around and found Rahul smirking looking at her picture!

He instantly grabbed his cell back into his hands and locked it.
A: Tu ab batayega kya bolne aaya hai ya main tujhe dhakke maarke bahar phikwau room ke?

Ra: Haan bata hu par tu ghussa kyu ho raha hai?

A: Main koi ghussa nahi ho raha!

Ra: Acha toh jal raha hai?

A: Abey yaar main kyu jalne laga?

Ra: Kyunki maine Jerry ko hot.......

A: Saale kuch toh sharam kar; bhabhi hai vo teri!

Ra: Toh? Bhabhi hot nahi ho sakti?
Armaan grabbed his collar and tried to drag him to the door when he whisked his hand from his collar.

Ra: Oye ruk.....bina vajah ghussa mat kar gabbar ki chati aulaad! Aur ab Meri baat sun!
Vaha toh mujhe aur Jerry ko 100 batein suna di tune jhut bolne ke liye; par tera kya?

A: Kya bolna chahta hai tu?

Ra: Tu khud bhi toh sach se bhaag hi raha hai! Uska kya?

A: Kya sach....aur main kyu bhagunga?

Ra: Yahi sach ki tu Riddhima se pyaar karta hai!

A: Main?? Pyaar??.......Rahul tu.........ye kya?

Ra: Abey kya main vo tu ye kar raha hai? Aur kya matlab tu aur pyar?
Jaanta hu kit u insaano ki tarah normal nahi hai; par pyaar toh aaj kal jaanwar bhi karte hai yaar! It’s ok; accept it!

A: Dekh Rahul; main bohot thak gaya hu; raat bhar soya nahi hu; toh majak ka waqt nahi hai ye....

Ra: Toh majak kar kaun raha hai? Tujhe pyaar majak lagta hai?
Aur jara mujhe bata raat bhar kyu nahi soya tu? Haan haan; bata na?

A: Vo main......

Ra: Armaan; mere bhai baat ko samajh!

Dekh main samjhta hu ki tu pyaar main yakeen nahi karta; par tu pyaar karne laga hai Riddhima se is baat ko maan bhi le yaar!
Jaanta hu kit u kyun bhaag raha hai is sach se; isi liye na kyunki bachpan se jis pyaar ke liye tu tarsa; apnepan ke liye tadpta raha vo tujhe nahi mila; par ab agar khud pyaar teri chaukat par khada hai toh tu use najar andaaz toh nahi kar sakta na?

Ananya aunty aur Billy uncle kabhi tujhe waqt nahi de paaye; tere hisse ka pyaar tujhe nahi de paaye kyunki unki majboori thi; par iska ye matlab nahi hai ki pyaar exist nahi karta!

A: Rahul tu.....

Ra: Haan main.......main achi tarah jaanta hu ki tu kabhi shaadi nahi karna chahta tha; par Riddhima se milne ke baad achanak tera iraada badal gaya!
Kyun?

Tune kabhi khud ko dekha hai jab tu uske saath hota hai; kitna khush hota hai tu!

Hajar ladkiyon ke saath ghum chuka hai tu; par maine tujhe kabhi kisi ladki ke barein main us tarah sochte hue nahi dekha jaise tu Riddhima ke khayalon main khoya hua hota hai!

Uski choti se choti pareshani tujhe paagal kar deti hai! Jo Armaan kabhi chutti ke din bhi rest na kare; vo ghar jaldi jaane laga hai! Bina vajah sirf Riddhima kehne par uske saath waqt bitane ke liye off lene laga hai!

Tere bajai kabhi vo meri; yane tere best friend ki bhi agar side le toh tu jal ke hara ho jata hai! Tujhe kya lagta hai; I haven’t seen that green monster whenever she is by my side?

Armaan just kept staring at him not having any words to reply!
Ra: Kameene teri shaadi ko 3 MAHINE ho gaye hai! Riddhima ke bare main bhi toh soch! Vo bhi toh tujhse; is shaadi se kuch umeedein lagaye baithi hogi!
Armaan’s head shot up at that.

Ra: Vo shayad tujhse kuch na kahe; par feelings toh hongi hi na uski bhi kuch?

A: Usne......
umm....Riddhima ne tujhse kuch kaha?
Vo.....mujhse pyaar........

Ra: Iska jawab tu dhund! Main kuch nahi kehne wala!
Par ab is sach se mat bhaag Armaan. Usko baat keh kyu nahi deta apne dil ki? Agar aaj tere ghusse ko koi shant kar sakta hai; teri zindagi main koi khushiyaan bhar sakta hai toh vo sirf Riddhima hai!

Main jaanta hu tu usse beintehaan pyaar karta hai; aur use ye baat jaanne ka poora haq hai!
She also must be wanting to be loved Armaan; by her husband; by you! Aur main sirf tujhse ye is liye nahi keh raha kyunki Riddhima bohot achi ladki hai; ya vo tujhe khush rakhegi toh is liye tujhe aisa karna chahiye.

I am telling you to confess your feelings; kyunki maine teri aankhon main uske liye vo pyaar dekha hai Armaan. Aur yahi sahi waqt hai usse ye sab kehne ka!

Yakeen maan; agar tune der kar di na ye kehne main toh zindagi bhar bohot pachtayega! Tera is waqt usse ye sab kehna shayad teri zindagi ka sabse acha decision hoga trust me! Shayad tujhe is sach sunne ke baad; badle main aisa koi sach vo bata paaye jo shayad tere liye janna bohot jaruri hai; aur uske liye bhi!

As Rahul was thinking over his conversation with Riddhima he realized that Riddhima still thought that Armaan did not love her which wasn’t the truth! So he thought that “maybe” if she had come to know that even Armaan loves her than probably she would tell him the truth. Hopefully that would give her the strength to fight for her life!

Armaan on the other hand sensed Rahul turning serious all of a sudden; going in some deep thoughts.
A: Kya hua tujhe? Tu achanak aise....I mean I am sure tune ye sab bohot din se notice kiya hoga; toh aaj achanak kyu ye sab?

Ra: Haan samajh toh bohot pehle gaya tha; par kya hai agar tere bharose raha toh tum dono ki story aage badhne se rahi; agle 10/20 saal tak pata chaala tum dono aise hi chori chupe pyaar karte raho bina kuch kahe!

Par abhi humare paas itna waqt nahi hai na!

A: Kya matlab?

Rahul sighed sadly and looked at Armaan with a lot of hopes that he would get his point and just act NOW!
Armaan bas itna samajh le ki is waqt Riddhima ke liye tere dil ki baatein jaanna bohot jaruri hai!

Saying just enough to make him realize his love for Riddhima; Rahul walked out of the room.

Armaan sat thinking over everything that Rahul said. Of course she must be having some hopes regarding this marriage.
He had shown his affection, care, trust even vented out his anger on her; but had never ever expressed love. Had never said something that would assure that he loved her!

But that was only because he hadn’t admitted the love to himself yet; then how would he confess it to her?

He remembered the day he had seen her in the bridal attire; the blush that perfectly adored her cheeks. He could never ever forget that image of hers. He had met so many girls; much more beautiful; been with them; and he was pretty much aware that each of them had desired him! But never had he felt anything for any girl before.

But Riddhima.....she was different! She was so naive; so delicate. Even though she would blush on slightest of his touch but yet melt into a puddle in his arms and just give in. And that made her so desirable. He had never wanted any girl so badly before.

He remembered her one smile could erase all his worries; her one hug was capable enough to soothe all his tiredness! He had not shared even a single kiss with her yt; had not been physical with her; yes some intimate encounters did happen and as he remembered them his pulse had accelerated instantly. She was the only girl who could do this to him! Her mere touch; was more than enough to set him into frenzy!

And Rahul was absolutely right; he did not love her because she was so good; but maybe because he had already fallen in love; so could he find all his comforts in her and ONLY her!
Yes HE WAS IN LOVE. He LOVED Riddhima. No infatuation; no attraction; it was PURE LOVE!

Making up his mind he decided to do exactly what Rahul had suggested! Confess his feelings to her. He picked up his cell phone to have a chat with her but then dropped the idea. Though he did not want to hold his feelings anymore; but confessing through a phone conversation seemed so unromantic! She was too special and deserved a SPECIAL proposal!

Something she must have not even dreamt of!
So the plan was set and the meeting was called immediately
--------------
The sun had just set; and everyone was out of the meeting room happy with the presentation. But the person who had just sacked the deal seemed much more than happy  and that did not go unnoticed by a single person!

Finally unable to hold back Rahul approached him;
Kya hua; bada khush lag raha hai? It’s the deal or....
Armaan turned towards him giving him a knowing smile.
Rahul.....thanks; thanks a lot!

He took him in a rib crushing hug and Rahul felt a left out on some important info! He couldn’t understand his friend’s sudden outburst.
A: Thanks for making me realize.....

I am in Love Rahul! Haan....you were right; main Riddhima se bohot pyaar karta hu; and I very much intend to let he know asap!
Rahul heaved a sigh of relief and took Armaan in a tighter hug! He couldn’t have felt happier than this on any other news today!

Ra: I am so happy for you buddy!
Toh use kab batane ka iraada hai?

A: Aaj.....
I can’t wait to meet her and confess. But Rahul.....
He suddenly turned a little sad;
vo bhi mujhse pyaar karti hai ya nahi mujhe nahi pata! I will really be shattered if.....

Ra: Oye tu jyaada soch mat; ye agar magar ki baatein tu kab se karne laga! I thought you were too good in charming girls; ye buddho jaise baatein kyun kar raha hai!

A: I maybe good yaar; par Riddhima un ladkiyon jaisi nahi hai na!

Ra: Tu apne dimaag ke ghode jyaada dauda mat; chup chap jaakar usse baat kar. Aise kuch karne se pehle hi haar mat maan yaar! 
Par tu aaj use kaise bolega; kal subah toh humari meeting....

A: Haan jaanta hu; actually isi liye maine kal ka presentation prepond karke aaj karwa liya; kyunki meeting ke liye toh main nahi bhi hua toh chalega right?
I hope tu.........

Ra: Absolutely dude; tu jaa main yaha sab sambhal lunga. Tu jaakar Jeeru ko apne dil ki baat bol; baki sab mujhpe chod de. Aur sun.......aage jo kuch bhi ho; I am with you in it....ok?

A: Kya.....matlab? Tu aaj kal badi ajeeb baatein karne laga hai; I don’t get you!

Ra: Kuch nahi; tu jaldi nikal isse pehle kit era iraada badal jaaye; best of luck! I am sure Jerry would be more than happy ki finally bhagwaan ne tujhe thodi akal de hi di!

He mockingly punched Rahul’s shoulder and hugging him one last time; left to get things ready!

Rahul silently thanked God for this happy realization and prayed to set everything right now!
But what he did not know was; God had already planned to set EVERYTHING right in his way!

Armaan reached his room and grabbing all his things headed to the airport. He made sure Riddhima had no idea of his early return! As soon as the flight landed; he thought of finally making a call; but only after checking if all his arrangements were set!

Armaan had called Ananya and informed her that he was going to be back but was not allowed to open her mouth in front of her dear bahu! He instructed her to take Riddhima out with some or the other reason and had told Joseph and Sophia to make some special arrangements for a special evening on their terrace!

Ananya was very happy as she could hear the excitement in his voice. She too knew that he loved Riddhima and was happy that her son was planning some surprise for her as it wasn’t like Armaan to do anything as such for anyone; 
but SOMEONE SPECIAL tends to make you forget your rules!
Armaan halted his car near a florist and bought a beautiful bouquet of baby pink lilies. He did not know if she liked lilies or not; but the bouquet just reminded of her cheeks which always flushed exactly to match this colour whenever he was around!
Once that he was sure that everything was all set he finally called her.

Riddhima who was just back from a 2 hour long shopping with her lovely mother in law; was resting on the bed when she heard the shrill of her mobile! She wasn’t really interested to have a conversation with anybody for now; but as soon as she saw Armaan’s name flashing she sat up straight on the bed. All tiredness out of the window!

R: Hello.....Armaan? Kaise hai aap?

A: Main bilkul thhek hu; infact bohhot khush hu!

R: Acha? Ye toh bohot achi baat hai....par kyu vo toh bataiye?

A: Vo sab tum chodo; aur meri baat suno.....
tumhe yaad hai maine tumhe ek black and red saree di thi just after our marriage?

R: Haan Armaan; bilkul yaad hai; use kaise bhul sakti hu?

A: Good....toh tum bas fatafat vo saree pehenke tayyar ho jao!

R: Abhi....par??

A: Please ab kyu kab kaise mat puchna.....just get ready; bas samjh lo tumhare liye ek surprise bhijwa raha hu!

R: Par mujhe koi surprise nahi chahiye; bas aap apna kaam khatam karke jaldi se vapas aa jaiye Armaan!

He couldn’t help but smile at her words.  How her few words always made him adore her!

A: Main bhi jaldi hi apna kaam poora karke aa jaunga; apr abhi tum ready ho jao aur apna surprise receive karo. Just get ready soon ok?

A: Theek hai!
He cut the call and kissed her photo that still adored his screen.
On my way love; just a little wait!

He was about to get into his car and get going to meet his wife; when he heard some familiar voice!
Armaaan? Armaan Mallik?

He turned around and couldn’t believe his eyes!
A: Oh my God....I just don’t believe this! Tu.....yaha??

Friend: Dude.....it’s actually you!

The guy hugged Armaan tightly and both of them had their usual friendship handshake!
A: Tu India kab vapas aaya....aur yaha kya kar raha hai?

Friend: Yaar abhi 2 hafte pehle hi lauta hu par kuch kaam se Hyderabad gaya tha; par yaha actually vo meri car kharab ho gayi aur taxi mil hi nahi rahi kabse toh isi liye khada tha!

A: Chal acha hi hua na; isi bahane tu mujhse mila! Chal tujhe chod deta hu! Kyunki yaha toh tujhe taxi milne se rahi.

Friend: Thanks....par maine suna tha teri shaadi ho gayi hai lekin ye sab kya hai!

A: Kya....bouquet hai toh!

Friend: Toh ab bhi tu bouquet leke ghumm raha hai? Bhabhi ko pata chala toh?

A: Oye kameene; ye teri habhi ke liye hi hai. Chal baith gaadi main jyaada bakwaas na kar!

The guy laughed at his friend’s angry face!
A: Toh kaha jana hai tujhe bata?

Friend: Holy care hospital.

A: Abhi tujhe hospital kyu jaana hai?

Friend: Kyunki main vaha kaam karta hu; vaise toh ghar hi jaana tha; par kuch jaruri kaam hai toh pehle vo nipta lu fir ghar chala jaunga!

A: Hmm par vo hospital toh......
Armaan’s face fell as it was on the opposite road and dropping his friend meant a little more delay to meet Riddhima!
A: Chal koi nahi! But Holy care hospital....umm.....

Friend: Kya hua.....anything wrong with the name?

A: Nahi yaar; recently kahi suna tha ye naam....par kaha yaad nahi aa raha.....umm......
.....
haan right....yaad aaya!

Friend: Kaha?

A: Actually meri wife apni kisi dost ke saath aayi thi kuch din pehle; koi blood donation camp chal raha than a tum logon ka; usi liye!
Friend: Blood donation? Nahi toh? Kab?

A: Arey abhi peechle hafte hi toh aayi thi yaar!   

friend: Umm.....pata nahi....shayad kuch aur naam bola hoga yaar usne; humare hospital main toh koi blood donation nahi hua! Anyways ye sab chod; tu bata teri life kaisi chal rahi hai?
And teri wife se milwane ka koi iraada hai?

A: Haan haan kyu nahi; ab tohh tu yahi hai na?

Friend: Yes!

A: Great toh fir; kisi din aa ja lunch ya dinner pe; we will catch up!
Friend Guy: Haan tujhe pata hai....
His words were cut by the vibrating cell placed right next to him on the console. He unintentionally looked down at the screen and saw a number flashing; but when he saw the face that was in the background he was stunned.

Before he could react or think of anything; Armaan picked the call. 
A: Haan......bolo?

R: Kya hua Armaan? Peechle aadhe ghante se baithi hu main tayyar hoke; aap kis surprise ki baat kar rahe the bol bhi deejiye ab!

A: Haan baba....just kuch der aur; bas thode waqt main pohooch jaayega tumhare paas! Little patience baby!

R: Par.....

A: Acha suno; main kuch busy hut oh I’ll call you back in a while ok?

R: Hmm...ok!
Though there wasn’t a lot of traffic around but he did not want Riddhima to get suspicious about him been back in Mumbai by the outside noise so he quickly cut the call.

He turned towards his friend who to his surprise was looking back at him a little bewildered!
A: Tujhe kya hua? Aise kyu dekh raha hai mujhe? Don’t worry apni biwi se hi baat kar raha tha yaar! Tub hi na......

Friend (thinking): No this can’t be......kya vo Riddhima ka photo tha? Nahi......please God don’t let this be true. Par uska surname bhi toh.......

A: Oye....kya soch raha hai tu ab? Ye le tera hospital aa gaya!
Friend: Armaan teri wife.....wife ka naam kya hai?

A: Naam? Riddhima!
Kyu?
He saw his face turn white like a ghost as if he had said something totally unbelievable!

Friend: Armaan...tu....please....
please...... mujhe uski photo dikha sakta hai?

A: Photo? Haan hain mere paas par.....

Friend: Tu photo dikhayega please.....

Armaan was a little taken aback by his behaviour but nonetheless opened his phone lock and her photo appeared crystal clear! Colour completely drained away from his friend’s face seeing the picture leaving Armaan in a pool of questions on his reaction.
A: Kya hua tujhe....dekh yaar mujhe already late ho raha hai tu.....
Friend: Armaan....ruk. Mere saath andar chal; we need to have a word!

A: Arey yaar abhi nahi yaar; kal baat.......

Friend: Armaan main teri wife ko jaanta hu; Riddhima....Riddhima Mallik? Aur tujhe bata du us din vo kisi dost ke saath blood donate nahi karne aaye thi; yaha koi blood donation nahi hua Armaan she lied to you! Balki vo toh apna check up karwane aayi thi. Meri patient hai vo. I am her attending doctor since 2 weeks now! Ab tu andar chalega ya yahi pe baatein karna chahta hai? 

Jennifer

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