Friday, 9 June 2017

part 13 : Tera Mera Rishta By Sangeeta

My story is now going to take a 6-year leap but before I do that, I 
just want to give you a quick update on what happened after Riddhima's 
sudden departure.

Riddhima quietly left Mumbai and went back to Delhi. As you can
imagine, Armaan went crazy looking for her….he even called all medical
colleges in India but Riddhima had told her college administration in
Delhi not reveal her identity to anyone as she knew Armaan would try to
find her.

Unfortunately, Armaan and everyone else at the SMI were made to
believe that Riddhima had been asked to leave the college as she had
used some unethical ways- Shashank Gupta had convinced everyone that
Riddhima was a characterless girl and had tried to sleep with various
professors and faculty member just to get good grades on exams!

Ofcourse, Drs Karthik Pandey and some other faculty members seconded
that statement when Armaan asked for proof. As one would expect, Armaan
was devastated. He had loved Riddhima with all his heart; he could not
believe that she would betray him like that? She did not even have the
courtesy to leave a note for him about her departure, "tho kya wo sab ek
mazaak tha? Ek dhokha tha? Kya mila usey mera dil thod kar?" Armaan
cried for days after she left. He persuaded Sapna to tell him about
Riddhima's whereabouts but Riddhima had sworn her to secrecy before her

It is then that he decided to put all his energy into getting
accepted to the Neurosurgery program and move on in life. As numb as he
was emotionally, he agreed to marry Anjali soon after he was accepted
into the coveted Neurosurgery program. Just before the wedding, Dr Gupta
told him in confidence about Anjali's illness. Armaan was shocked as
all her behavior made sense to him now. He did not want to shy away from
his commitment at that stage as he also felt a lot of obligation to
both Padma and Dr Gupta for helping him out of another crisis, this time
being his separation from Riddhima.

If you are wondering about Armaan and Anjali's relationship- well it
was more a parent-child or doctor-patient kind of relationship rather
than a true husband-wife relationship. Anjali would go in and out of her
Schizophrenic relapses; all her medications had dampened her libido and
she seemed happy in her own imaginary world where she was a mother of 2
kids and Armaan and her were always traveling all over the world! She
was still paranoid about Riddhima and would often 'see' Riddhima chasing
her or trying to kill her!

Armaan had no desire to have a physical relationship with Anjali
either as he could never feel that way for any other woman after
Riddhima. He knew he still loved Riddhima, even though she had betrayed
him…..he often thought about what she would be doing….where would she
be…..did she still remember him….???? Armaan was committed to his
Neurosurgery residency and to Anjali's needs. He made sure she took all
her medications, kept her doctor's appointments, took her out for walks
and humored her as needed. He lived with the Gupta's as it was just a
convenient arrangement, with him being gone for hours or sometimes days
when he was at work…..

Armaan graduated with flying colors and was soon one of the most
sought after Neurosurgeons in the city. He became one of the youngest
and brightest brain surgeons, not only in Mumbai, but also in the

Unfortunately, Armaan's endearing dimpled smile had left him forever
now…….he was a very lonely man…..his existence was purely robotic at
this stage in his life….his staff and residents called him "Dr
McMachine" or "Dr McTerror". He expected everyone to perform to his high
standards and would lose his temper easily……but was brilliant at his


Armaan at 28 was one of the youngest assistant professor's in
Neurosurgery. One morning as he was making rounds with his residents and
interns on the neurosurgical floor, they stopped outside a patient's

"Sir, ek naya admission hai….he is a 5-51/2 year old boy, Ishaan
Saxena from Delhi….newly diagnosed brain tumor in the cerebellum ( part
of the brain important for movement and coordination)….his mother has
brought him here for surgery….here are his MRI's sir…."the intern
presented the case to Armaan.

Armaan looked at the MRI films and agreed, "Hmm looks like the
diagnosis is right…..but surgery could be a little tricky….see the tumor
is very close to his visual cortex (part of brain required for
seeing)……it could be hard to save his vision if one is not careful……hmm"
Armaan pondered with his hand resting on his chin.

"OK, let's see the boy now…." Armaan walked towards room 408 which

"Hello, Ishaan…." He saw a sad looking boy lying on the bed with no
expression. There was no one else in the room. Armaan thought the boy
was really cute-something about him was very attractive but he could not
point his finger to what it was. The boy was extremely fair with
greenish blue eyes, kinda like his own but a very morose expression-
probably like his own expression on most days.

Armaan smiled at the boy. The residents and interns mumbled amongst
themselves, "Dr McTerror is smiling today…wow!"

The boy just stared at him blankly and looked away.

Armaan sat down on a chair beside him, "Hello beta! Aapke mom aur dad kahan hain?"

Ishaan did not answer.

Armaan looked up at the residents and asked, "Isske saath kaun hai yahan?"

"Sir, inki mother yahin thi kuch hi der pehle…she must have just
stepped outside….in fact she is a doctor too…a Pediatrician….she told us
that after Ishaan's dad died in an accident few months ago, Ishaan's
behavior changed drastically. Initially she thought, he was just
grieving but then he started having headaches and early morning
vomiting, and became clumsy….she is the one who ordered an
MRI…..sir….and found out about his tumor," the resident said.

"Well, it pays to have a doctor in the family!" Armaan finished his
exam and got up as he was not getting any response from Ishaan.

"OK guys, please order another MRI….I would like one from our
hospital….sometimes you never know what outside hospitals do…..sahi
patient ka MRI bhi hai ya nahin….chalo….next patient" the team walked
out. Armaan looked behind to have another glimpse at the boy as he left
his room. There was something very attractive about the boy besides his
blue eyes-something that tugged his heart…..something deeper than those
cute looks thought Armaan. He dismissed it to 'too much coffee this
morning,' and walked away.

As they were discussing their next patient in the hallway, Armaan
noticed a woman walking towards them- she looked elegant in a cream
saree, beige shawl on one shoulder and shoulder length hair….why was he
looking at her…he thought…..she looked so familiar…..till she was a few
yards away….."OH MY GOD! She looks even more beautiful now…..why is she
here?" he thought as he recognized her- she was talking on the phone and
her eyes were staring at the floor. He saw her walk into room 408; his
eyes following her just as they used to 6 years ago.

"Sir…..what happened?" the intern tried to get Armaan's attention.

Armaan came out of a trance as he thought, "why is she going to
Ishaan's room?….why is she here?" as his initial tender thoughts about
her changed into anger.

"Is that lady Ishaan's mother?" he asked

"Yes sir…would you like to meet her….she is a nice lady…." The
intern started walking towards Ishaan's room to ask his mom to step out
of the room to meet the Neurosurgeon. Before she could come out, Armaan
came and stood at the door, "Hello Dr RIDDHIMA Sharma….oh sorry, Dr
Saxena should I say?…..How are you?"

She looked up and did not miss the sarcastic undertone in his voice.
She saw those pair of deep blue eyes once again…..those intense eyes
which were always full of love for her, were now reflecting pain…
arrogance…and a lot of anger……

She composed herself and said, "I am fine….tum kaise ho Armaan?" her
voice cracked as she said his name. "Dr Mani nahin hain kya….?"

"I am sorry Dr Mani is on vacation; if you want him on the case, you
will have to wait 2-3 days but I am an assistant professor in
Neurosurgery, also very capable of handling YOUR son's case" Armaan said

"Iss duniya mein sirf do hi aise log hain jinhey main apne bete ki
surgery karney doongi- Dr Mani ya ….ya….tum…..mera matlab hai……aap, Dr
Armaan Mallik," she said trying to hold her tears.

Armaan looked at Ishaan and then at her, "OK, then we will repeat
another MRI today….surgery tomorrow after pre op is cleared." He turned
around and started to leave but then looked back and softly added, "I am
glad you still trust me…..Riddhima…." and walked away trying to hide
the moisture in his eyes.

to be cont...........................

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