Monday, 19 June 2017

part 18 & 19 : Tera Mera Rishta By Sangeeta

Riddhima was a little shaken up by the incident with Armaan. She lay next to Ishaan and thought, "Kya Armaan aaj bhi mujh se hi pyaar karta hai? How is he going to explain his behavior to Anjali? Nahin….main aisa nahin kar sakti…..I cannot break someone's home….mujhey kal hi Armaan se baat karni padhegi…..we are here for Ishaan….Ishaan ke theek hote hi main yahan se chali jaaoongi." She dozed off with an arm around Ishaan.


Riddhima resumed her routine with Ishaan's physical therapy sessions and tried to act as normal as possible.

That evening, she wore a maroon chiffon sari and settled down with a book to read to Ishaan. As soon as the door bell rang, the events of the last night flooded her memory-she had goose bumps as she recalled Armaan's lips on her body; her heart pounded in her chest at the thought of him touching her sensuously. How could she act normal after what had happened between her and Armaan last night? But she had no choice; Ishaan was her first priority-she had to act normal, at least for her son's sake.

She answered the door bell.

Armaan stood at the door, dressed in a suit with his bag in one hand and flowers in his other hand.

He smiled at her, "kya andar aana bhi manaa hai?"

She smiled back, "aao…please come in."

"Yeh tumhare liye….." he gave her the flowers.

"Rajnigandha?…..My favorite flowers…..tumhein abhi tak yaad hai," she inhaled their fragrance and closed her eyes.

"Nahin…..yeh tho raaste par padhe the….iss liye utha laaya," he teased her and they both started laughing.

Armaan wanted to lighten up the air after last night's tense moments. Riddhima was relieved to see no tell tale signs of last night's passion in Armaan's eyes. He was back to his usual jovial and relaxed self.

After removing his coat and loosening his tie, he walked into Ishaan's room. To his surprise, Ishaan sat at the edge of the bed instead of laying. He was trying to stand on his own feet. Riddhima went to the kitchen to get a vase for the flowers.

"Good job…Ishaan….chalo ab aap mere paas apne aap walk karr ke aao." Armaan stood at the door and spread his arms for Ishaan to walk to.

"Nahin….main gir jaaoonga!" Ishaan was petrified, "please help me doctor uncle."

"Aap mere paas chal karr aaogey, tho main aapko surprise doonga," doctor uncle smiled with a twinkle in his eye.

Ishaan could not resist the incentive. Ishaan lifted his foot with all his effort and took a small step forward.

"Allright! Keep walking Ishaan!" Armaan encouraged him with his be dimpled smile.

Ishaan returned an equally endearing smile and took two more steps towards his dad.

"Shabash…Ishaan beta!" Armaan lunged forward and lifted Ishaan in his arms, "great job beta! Now here is your surprise," he hugged Ishaan and showered him with kisses. Ishaan looked up and had the biggest smile on his face….he kissed Armaan back on his cheeks, "itni achchi kissey tho mama ya Aditya papa ne bhi kabhi nahin di……doctor uncle aap mujhe roz roz aisi surprise kissey dogey? he asked innocently.

Armaan had tears in his eyes and replied, "zaroor….roz roz doonga …." and hugged him again.

Riddhima came back and found the father and son in a tight embrace; she smiled and went back to the kitchen as she did not want that tender moment to end because of her presence. She was lost in her thoughts when she heard, "Mama…bhookh lagi hai….." Armaan was still carrying Ishaan in his arms as they came into the kitchen.

"Aur mujhe bhi!" Armaan joined in and gave a high-five to Ishaan.

Riddhima shook her head and thought, "dono baap-bete ek jaise hain," and smiled again.

Ishaan was tucked away into bed soon after dinner. Armaan picked his coat and bag and decided to leave.

"Main….chalta hoon…." Suddenly the discomfort from the night before lingered in the air.

Riddhima hesitated but finally had the courage, "thodi der aur baitho please….mujhe tumsey kuch baat karni hai….."Armaan stood facing the door for a little while, then turned around and came into the living room.

He sat down on the sofa and rested his elbows on his knees. Riddhima sat down on the floor at his feet and to his surprise took his left hand in both her hands. She kissed his hand and said softly, "Armaan..….I am sorry about last night…..main tumhein aur mushkil mein nahin daalna chahti……jaanti hoon ek zamaane mein tumhara aur mera rishta kuch aur hi tha……par ab tum kissi aur ke ho chuke ho……ab wo rishte badal chuke hain."

Armaan sat silently without any expression on his face. He stared at his hands where her lips had just touched them, but did not react. After last night, he did not want to lose control over his emotions once again. He would probably not be able to survive another rejection from her.

Her gaze was fixated on his hands as she continued to caress them, "Armaan main tumhein Aditya ke baare mein bhi bataana chahti hoon…..Mumbai chhodne ke kuch din baad hi mujhe apni pregnancy ke baare mein pataa chala…..mere parents bahut naaraz huye mujhsey….unhone ne bhi mera saath chhod diya tha……mujhey abortion karne ke liye bhi force kiya tha…..main final year mein thi tab…..but I did not give up……hamare pyaar ki nishaani ko main apne se kabhie alag nahin kar sakti thi Armaan," she swallowed a lump in her throat, "Phir Ishaan ke hone ke baad maine Pediatrics ki training bhi shuroo kar di thi…..Sapna ki bua wahin hostel ke paas rehti thi…..wo Ishaan ko din mein aur kabhi kabhi raat ko bhi rakhney lagi thi….Aditya unhee ka beta tha…..wo aur Ishaan bahut nazdeek ho gaye the….meri night duties bahut hothi thi…..balki pehle 2-3 saal tho wo Aditya ke paas hi zyaada raha…..Aditya bahut achche insaan the…..unhone mere parents se bhi meri sulaah karwa di…..bas wo Ishaan ko apna beta banaana chahtey the…..iss liye humnein 3 saal pehle court marriage kar lee thi…..Ishaan….Ishaan Sharma se Ishaan Saxena ban gaya….par mein sirf Riddhima Sharma hi reh gayi…..Aditya mujhe bahut chahtey the…..parr Armaan, tumhari hone ke baad….main kissi ki nahin ho paayi………Riddhima Saxena kabhie nahin ban paayi," she buried her face in his hands and sobbed uncontrollably.

She looked up tearfully, "par lagta hai, hum dono kaa saath shaayad kismat ko hi pasand nahin tha…….tabhi 6 saal pehle bhi……"she paused.

Armaan's eyes welled up after listening to her heart wrenching story; he slid down from the sofa and sat next to her. He lifted her chin with his finger, "6 saal pehle aisa kya hua tha…Riddhima….kya majboori thi?…..Mujhey itna jaan ney ka tho haq hai…..please…..mujhey batao….kyun chali gayi thi tum mujhey aur is sheher ko chhod kar?" his eyes looked for answers.

Riddhima could not hold herself anymore and told him everything that had transpired between her and Dr Shashank Gupta. Armaan was stunned- the person who he respected like his father…..could do something like this? All this time he had thought that he was accepted to the Neurosurgery program for his merit…but it was actually a payoff to marry his ill daughter? Armaan knew Riddhima was telling the truth…there was no reason for her to make up that story…..everything was falling into place now…..HOW HE HATED DR SHASHANK GUPTA AT THAT MOMENT. The man he had worshipped more than God was his biggest enemy? He had ruined not one, but three lives with his conniving ways.

Armaan cupped her face and wiped her tears with his thumbs, "Jaanti ho Riddhima…..unhoney hamaare saath hi na-insaafi nahin ki…unhoney apni bimaar beti ke saath bhi galat kaam kiya hai….uski ek aise insaan ke saath shaadi karr di jo usse hamdardi tho de saktha hai…parr ek pati jaisa pyaar nahin…."

"Bimaar?…..yeh kya keh rahe ho tum Armaan?" She was puzzled.

Armaan buried his head in Riddhima's lap and told her everything about Anjali…..her delusions…her imagination….her fears….paranoia about Riddhima…..she was just like a child at times in an adult body…..she was not his wife…..he was just her caretaker…… "kahi baar mujhe Anjali par taras bhi aata hai….schizophrenia ney usey reality se bilkul door karr diya hai…..par ab mujhe lagta hai uske parents ney uske delusions aur imagination ko sach karney ke liye…kitni zindagiyon ke saath khilwaad kiya….HER PARENTS ARE HER ENEMIES!"

Riddhima could not believe what she had just heard. She could not control her tears….this was the first time she felt guilty about her decision. Over the last six years, she had consoled herself that by leaving Armaan, she had helped him attain his dreams but now that she knew the truth, she could not help thinking that HAD SHE REALLY HELPED HIM BY SACRIFICING THEIR LOVE??? She had left Mumbai for his happiness but was he really happy? By sacrificing their love, she had sacrificed not only her happiness but Armaan's happiness too. Perhaps, one needs to be selfish in love…..and not always selfless…..

"Par Riddhima…tumney aisa kaise samajh liya ki mere sapney sirf mere hain…..tumhare bina mera har sapna adhoora hai. "Armaan gazed at her tenderly.

"Armaan…..tum socho…agar main nahin jaati aur tumhey apni manzil nahin mil paati……tho main apney aap ko kabhi maaf nahin karr paati," She sobbed.

"Shayad kissi ke jaane ke baad hi uski kadar hoti hai…..ab mujhsey koyi poochey tho main tumhein paane ke liye sab kuch chhodney ko tayyar hoon…nothing else matters to me." Armaan got up and touched her face with his; their faces were so close that they could taste each other's tears.

Riddhima touched his cheek with her fingers and placed her other arm around his neck. She pulled him closer and kissed him softly. There was only one way to redeem herself from her guilt now…the guilt of leaving him six years ago without telling him……she was ready to surrender herself to the man she so dearly loved. She had deprived him of the happiness he deserved; he was as lonely as she was in this world…….and perhaps by offering herself to him she could ease some of their mutual pain.

Riddhima took the initiative as the two lovers surrendered to their passions on the living room floor.
Please enjoy this VM by Muniza on "baahon ke darmiyan" as Armaan and Riddhima discovered each other and were once again one body in one soul……

Baahon ke darmiyaan do pyaar mil rahe hain
Baahon ke darmiyaan do pyaar mil rahe hain
Jaane kya bole mann dole sunke badan
Dhadkan bani zubaan
Baahon ke darmiyaan do pyaar mil rahe hain
Jaane kya bole mann dole sunke badan
Dhadkan bani zubaan
Baahon ke darmiyaan
Khulte badn hote labhon ki ye ankahi
Khulte badn hote labhon ki ye ankahi
Mujhse keh rahi hai ki badhne de bekhudi
Mil yoon ki daud jaayein nas nas mein bijliyaan
Baahon ke darmiyaan do pyaar mil rahe hain
Jaane kya bole mann dole sunke badan
Dhadkan bani zubaan
Baahon ke darmiyaan
Aasmaan ko bhi ye haseen raaz hai pasand
Aasmaan ko bhi ye haseen raaz hai pasand
Uljhi uljhi saanson ki aawaaz hai pasand
Moti luta rahi hai saawan ki badliyaan
Baahon ke darmiyaan do pyaar mil rahe hain
Baahon ke darmiyaan do pyaar mil rahe hain
Jaane kya bole mann dole sunke badan
Dhadkan bani zubaan
Baahon ke darmiyaan .

… be continued… 

PART 19:

Armaan stayed with Riddhima all night. Their passions and desires overflowed as if a dam had just been broken……six years of pain and separation all melted away with the warmth of their breathes and their bodies……there were no more secrets left between them……they woke up early to find themselves wrapped around by the thin veil of her sari. Armaan stroked Riddima's hair, "Riddhima….iss ek raat ne mere 6 saal ke soonepan ko kahin dabaa diya….waada karo wo akelapan ab kabhi hamaari zindagi mein nahin aayega…." He kissed her hands and then her forehead.

Riddhima smiled and just nodded her head. After last night, she had decided that she was going to be Armaan's strength and not his weakness any more.

Armaan left before Ishaan was up. He felt like a different person; a rejuvenated man- a complete person.


As Armaan walked in, he saw someone standing at the top of the stairs. It was Shashank in his nightgown, his arms folded.

"Raat ko koyi emergency thi kya?…..Hospital mein tho nahin hogi….maine phone kiya tha…." Dr Gupta asked sardonically.

Armaan clenched his jaws, "Haan ek bahut badhi emergency thi……JISKA DIAGNOSIS AAJ 6 SAAL BAAD HUYA HAI…BAS AB TREATMENT PLAN BANAANA BAAKI HAI…..!" He answered sarcastically as he climbed the stairs and walked past him.

"ARMAAN!….what's happened to you…kaisi behkee-behkee si baatein kar rahe ho?"Dr Gupta was not used to seeing Armaan talk back to him like that. He had always respected him like a father figure and was an obedient son-in-law and employee of the SMI.

"Mujhey aaj hosh aaya hai….DR GUPTA….behkaa tho main pehle tha!"

"What rubbish are you talking?…..Tum raat ko pee kar tho nahin aaye ho?….Ya phir tumhari nayi patient Riddhima kaa kamaal hai? Aur yeh Dr Gupta-Dr Gupta kya lagaa rakha hai? DAD KAHO!" Shashank was shocked at Armaan's tone.

"Aap dad kehlaaney ke laayak nahin hain…..aapney dad wala koyi kaam hi nahin kiya…….and to set the record straight, Riddhima is here with her son-HE IS THE PATIENT- NOT RIDDHIMA….Now if you will excuse me, I need to get ready for work."

"Tumhey uss characterless ladki, Riddhima ne behkaa diya hai…..main jaanta hoon Anjali ki bimaari ki wajah se tumhari saari mardon waali zarooratein poori nahin hoti…..par don't get carried away by lust…..aisi ladkiyan sirf apne baare mein soch thi hain…..stay away from that selfish woman!"

"Dr Gupta….aap Riddhima kaa naam bhi apni zubaan par mat laaiye….and I wish Riddhima had only thought about herself…..tho aaj 3 zindagiyan aise barbaad nahin hoti…how I wish….Riddhima had been selfish!"Armaan was furious and tried to get away from Shashank.

"Armaan!….Tehro!….Tum ab shaadi shuda ho….you have some responsibilities," Dr Gupta blocked his way.

"Dr Gupta, I am very well aware of my responsibilities….you don't need to remind me of that."

"Tho Riddhima ko milnaa chhod do….I know you have been close to her since she got back to Mumbai."

"DR GUPTA….PLEASE UNDERSTAND THIS ONCE AND FOR ALL….ANJALI IS MY RESPONSIBILITY BUT RIDDHIMA IS MY HEART AND SOUL! Main apne shareer se alag ho saktha hoon….par dil aur rooh se nahin! I don't want any more arguments!" He shut the door behind as he entered his bedroom.

As he entered his bedroom, he saw Anjali was still in bed.

"Tum aa gaye…..Chintu aur Monu raat bhar tumhare bed parr soye the….ab school ke liye tayyar ho rahey hain…." Anjali said in a drowsy voice and then dozed off again.

Armaan had tears in his eyes …..he sat down beside Anjali and stroked her head….only if Dr Gupta had not been so conniving, things would have been so different, "Anjali….I am sorry I can never love you the way you deserve to be….kaash tum yeh samajh sakti." He knew he could never divorce her…..marriage was a commitment and leaving someone because of their handicap was not something Armaan would ever do…..and he also knew he could not live without Riddhima…..yeh kaisi kashmakash mein daal diya zindagi ne mujhey?

Armaan left for work in a short while, without saying goodbye to Padma or Shashank….the only reason he was going to stay there now was because of Anjali….he had emotionally broken all relationship with the Gupta's.

Dr Gupta had not forgotten his humiliation from the morning. He was not going to take it lying down; after all he was DR SHASHANK GUPTA, the Dean and head of this prestigious medical Institute. He knew that Anjali's relapses were often triggered by the mention of Riddhima's name or her reference. He had an idea…..if he could get Anjali all paranoid about Riddhima's presence on the campus; Armaan might ask Riddhima to leave himself. Shashank patted himself for coming up with this brilliant idea- aise saanp bhi maar jaayega aur laathi bhi nahin tootegi….he grinned slyly.

Shashank went to Anjali's room, "Hello Beta, kaise ho?"

"Hi Dad…bahut achchi…pata hai main uss din shopping gayi thi Armaan ke saath….Chintu aur Monu ke liye video games khareed ney…yahin the games….yeh raha football….par basketball waala kahan gaya? Aapne dekha hai dad?"

Shashank saw the video game in Anjali's hand but his sharp mind put 2 and 2 together.

"Hmm…tho Riddhima ke bachche ke liye gift bhi khareede jaa rahe hain? Yeh achcha tareeka dhoonda hai Riddhima tak pahunch ne kaa….wah Armaan…wah maan gaye tumhein!" Dr Gupta clenched his fists angrily.

"Dad….kahan hai basketball waala game?" Anjali whined as she searched every where.

"Anjali beta…..wo Armaan tumhare bachchon ke liye nahin…balki Riddhima ke bachche ke liye laaya tha…." Shashank did not really want to see Anjali's paranoid, aggressive phase but he justified it in his mind, "kya karoon….apni beti ki khushi ke liye….karna padh raha hai…."

As soon as Anjali heard Riddhima's name, her tender, innocent expression changed to one of fury and anger, "KYA KAHA AAPNEY…Riddhima ke bachche?…Main usse nahin chhodungi…" she got up and picked a scissors from the drawer… "kahan hai wo……?"

"Beta….calm down…shaam ko Armaan se baat kar lena….lao yeh scissors mujhe de do" Shashank took the weapon from her hand in case she could hurt herself and left the room- his job was done!

That evening, Armaan came home to change before going to meet Ishaan and Riddhima. He was planning to stay the night over there again. As he was packing his night bag, he saw Anjali sitting in a corner with a frightened expression.

He went up to her but Anjali screamed, "nahin Armaan…yahan mat aao….Riddhima mujhey maarne aa rahi hai!!" Armaan was really puzzled as Anjali had been doing relatively well the last few months. What triggered this relapse? He suddenly remembered his conversation with Dr Gupta that morning, but Anjali was asleep at that time, "I don't believe it….wo itnaa gir saktey hain…unhey pataa hai…..tho phir Riddhima ke baare mein Anjali ko kyon bataaya?….Dr Gupta aap apni beti ke sab se badhe dushman hain." Armaan knew Dr Gupta must have told Anjali about Riddhima's presence at the campus.

Armaan went and sat down beside Anjali. He put his arm around her and calmed her with his soothing voice. He helped her stand up and walked with her to the bed. It seemed like she had not eaten or had anything to drink all day. He fixed some dinner and brought it upstairs. He fed her with his hands, gave her medicine and put her down to sleep. He went to the balcony to make a phone call and shut the door behind him, so Anjali would not hear anything, "Riddhima……main aaj raat ko nahin aa sakoonga…please Ishaan ko samjhaa dena….I know you understand…tumhare alaawa kaun mujhe samajh sakta hai…bye…love you….good night." His voice cracked as he hung up.

He poured himself a drink and stood in the balcony reflecting on the recent events …..he did not know whether he was being unfaithful….or faithful? Were these two words, two sides of the same coin? …..was he unfaithful to Anjali?…or to Riddhima?…..He had filled Riddhima's maang with sindoor even before his legal marriage to Anjali……should he have looked harder for Riddhima six years ago and trusted his love rather than Dr Gupta and his coterie? He had no answers….except that Riddhima and he were inseparable now….even if it meant being unfaithful in people's eyes……

"kisi baat par mein kisi se khafa hoon…" from "bemisaal"

kisee baat par main kisee se khafaa hoon
mai jindaa hoon par jindagee se khafaa hoon
khafaa hoon, khafaa hoon, khafaa hoon ...

muze dosaton se shikaayat hain shaayad
muze dushmanon se mohabbat hain shaayad
mai is dostee dushmanee se khafaa hoon
khafaa hoon, khafaa hoon, khafaa hoon ...

n jaane kahaa kab kise dekhataa hoon
magar main jahaa jab jise dekhataa hoon
samazataa hain wo main usee se khafaa hoon
khafaa hoon, khafaa hoon, khafaa hoon ...

n jaagaa huaa hoon, naa soyaa huaa hoon
main dil ke andheron mein khoyaa hoon
kisee chaand kee chaandanee se khafaa hoon
khafaa hoon, khafaa hoon, khafaa hoon ...

……to be continued

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