Tuesday, 27 June 2017

part 23 : Tera Mera Rishta By Sangeeta

Back in the real world...

PART 23:

Armaan and Anjali returned to Mumbai after a few weeks. The change of scenery and state of the art treatment for her illness had helped Anjali a lot- she was much calmer and friendly. If one did not know about her illness, she came across as a normal person. Armaan was also relaxed after getting good rest and rejuvenated after his "honeymoon." He was dying to see his "real family" after he came back to Mumbai.

Padma and Shashank were also happy to see Anjali and Armaan together. "Meri beti ka jadoo hi aisa hai, Armaan uss sey khichaa chalaa gaya…" Shashank told Padma proudly. Padma was a little more practical, "Waise Armaan bahut achcha ladka hai….warna kaun Anjali jaisi ladki ke saath itni patience rakhta….but I am glad they both are together and happy…."

Armaan was in no mood to talk to the Gupta's after his return. "Anjali mujhe office jaakar apni mail wagarah check karni hai…..main chalta hoon….tum apna dhyaan rakhna…." he gave a hug to Anjali and left with his bag. Anjali did not hold him back; she was busy talking to someone on the phone.

"Kahan…chal diye….abhi tho aaye ho…." Shashank called him from behind.

Armaan closed his eyes and tried his best to be polite, "Mujhe office jaakar apna paper submit karna hai….aur mail wagarah check karni hai….main baad mein aaoonga….Anjali oopar hi hai…"

Shashank could not stop him; before he could say anything, Armaan had already started his car…..

He reached his "new home" and rang the bell but hid behind some shrubs outside the house. Riddhima came out, looking lovely in a yellow churidaar suit…."pata nahin kaun tha….." She was about to go back in but was suddenly grabbed from behind and blind folded by someone's hands and taken inside. She tried to protest but recognized the fingers once she touched them. She decided to play on…."Oh…tum ho?…Achcha hai Armaan nahin hai….warna problem ho jaati….main kab sey tumhara intezaar kar rahi thi darling…."

Armaan let go of her once he heard that, "kya matlab…..tum kiska intezar kar rahi thi…..?" he asked suspiciously.

Riddhima turned around and hugged him, "Dr. Insecure…… got you!!" she started laughing, "kitne possessive ho tum?"

Armaan understood her jest, "Riddhimaaa…….. mere saath aisa mazaak mat kiya karo….main tumhein chhodunga nahin…." He chased her all around the living room…they were like young teenagers playing around with each other. He finally caught up with her and kissed her passionately, "I missed you so much….ab kabhi itney dino ke liye apne se door mat bhejnaa mujhe…."

Riddhima responded back with another kiss and said, "andar aao, ek surprise hai tumhare liye…."

She held his hand and dragged him to Ishaan's room. He was walking on his own and playing with a ball. He saw Armaan at the door and ran to him. Armaan could not believe his eyes. Ishaan was running like any other kid….he was strong again….Armaan had tears in his eyes; he picked him up and showered him with his famous "surprise kissey's."

Ishaan was very proud of himself and got off his arms and went to another room. He came back with a real basketball….."Doctor uncle….no more video game basketball…..chaliye mere saath khelney chaliye…." he pulled Armaan by his hand and they both went outdoors to play.

Riddhima thought, "kaash main iss pal ko hamesha ke liye qaid karr ke rakh saku….." she joined them outside too. Armaan did not mind that at all…..he really loved playing a rough game….snatching and pulling the ball from Riddhima, or instead grabbing her at any given opportunity…… was definitely great ball game! They played basketball for an hour or so with Riddhima and Ishaan on one team, Armaan on the other. In the end the score read: Riddhima/Ishaan 10, Armaan 5!

"Doctor uncle….mama aur maine aapko haraa diya," Ishaan was in seventh heaven.

Armaan knelt down and kissed Ishaan's forehead, "wo tho tum dono kab ke kar chuke ho…..meri haar mein hi meri sabse badhi jeet hai beta," he glanced furtively at Riddhima as she blushed and went inside.

"Kya matlab uncle?" IShaan was confused, "haar mein jeet?"

"Something like that beta…..hum doctor log seedhe seedhe baat karna pasand nahin karte….chalo let's go in….I am hungry!" Armaan followed Riddhima inside the house.

After dinner and Ishaan's bedtime, Armaan and Riddhima sat around for hours in each other's arms.Aalthough they had been together just a couple of weeks ago, they always had a lot to talk with each other, and never ran out of topics.

Riddhima told him that she had started working at a nearby hospital on a part-time position. "Nahin…main Sanjeevani mein kabhi kaam nahi karoongi…" she said when Armaan asked her why she chose another hospital to work when she would have no problem getting a job at the prestigious SMI. Ishaan had also started first grade at a local school. Armaan did not want to interfere much with her decision. He finally left late in the night even though he did not have his fill of "family time"- he was practically pushed out of the house, especially since Dr Gupta had come unannounced just a few weeks ago!

Riddhima never mentioned her meeting with Dr Gupta, as she did not want Armaan to get upset when he had been so happy lately. She wanted to handle Dr Gupta herself, in her own way, without jeopardizing Armaan's career or life.

The next few weeks went by like a fairy tale. Armaan was more chilled out at work- he was rechristened "DrMcfriendly" or "Dr McSmiley" by the interns and residents. Anjali was not creating any trouble at home….she was a different woman after her stay in Ooty…more calm…. there were no enemies she could "see" or "hear"; in fact even her imaginary kids were no where. The new medications from Ooty were working well!

Anjali seemed to spend a lot of time on the phone; Armaan wondered whom she talked to for hours, but he left her alone as it gave him more time away from her. One day, when Armaan was working on his computer in the study, she came up to him, "Armaan….main Ooty wapas jaana chahti hoon….I really miss that place…"

Armaan looked up and smiled, "Anjali….abhi mere paas vacation nahin hai….baad mein chalengey…"

"Tumhey chalney ki zaroorat nahin hai….main khud chali jaaoongi…"

Armaan was hesitant to send her alone, "Achcha aisa kartey hain…main tumhey weekend paar chhod aaoonga….par tum apney parents ko kya bologee?"

"Mom, dad ko keh dena….main apney friend se milney jaa rahi hoon…." She gave him a kiss on his cheek, "Good night Armaan….tum kitney achche husband ho….meri har baat ka dhyaan rakhtey ho…." Armaan cringed at her kiss as she walked out of the study. He was pleased that Anjali had liked the 'Sarovar rehab center' in Ooty. He would make sure she got there safely!

Armaan dropped Anjali off the following weekend. He noticed that she was very pleased to see a particular doctor at the facility; his name was Dr Akash Mittal and was probably in his late twenties. He was very pleasant and seemed very articulate and well read. Armaan was happy to see that she had bonded well with this doctor- hopefully Dr Pathak would no longer be needed now. He thought if Anjali spent another 1 or 2 weeks at the center, she might get more stabilized with her treatment. He was confident that the doctors would take good care of her.

"Mera mobile phone # yeh raha….Dr Mittal please call me to update every so often…thank you.." Armaan bid goodbye to both Anjali and Dr Mittal.

Back in Mumbai, news about Armaan and Riddhima's 'affair' was not much of a secret at the the SMI campus. Once when she was waiting outside Ishaan's therapy sessions, she overheard people talking about them. As she poured tea for herself in the waiting area, she heard 2 nurses gossiping , "pata hai….hamara campus bhi Ekta Kapoor ke serial se kum nahin hai….ab dekho apney Dr Mallik….unki ek biwi tho ghar par hai par ek patient ki maa ke saath chakkar hai…..usey apney doosre ghar mein rakha hai……in doctors ka kuch pata nahin…..waise maine suna hai….wo Ishaan ki maa, pehle yahin medical college mein thi…..par uska bahut saare professors ke saath chakkar tha…..iss liye nikaal diya tha….." they both laughed as they made fun of Armaan and Riddhima.

Riddhima had tears in her eyes…how could they reduce their relationship to something that cheap……she turned around without a cup of tea and walked away. She did not care what they thought about her….but she was worried about Armaan's reputation.

That evening, Armaan found Riddhima very quiet. "Kya baat hai….aaj bahut chup ho…..?" he put his arm around her as she was cleaning up after dinner. Ishaan had gone to bed and Armaan wanted her to sit down and talk to him.
"Nahin….kuch nahin….mere sir mein dard hai…" she lied.

"Tho ghar ka doctor kab kaam aayega….aao tumhara sir dabaa deta hoon…" he started rubbing her head.

"Nahin…please mujhey akela chhod do…." She jerked away

"Is it that time of the month?" he teased her

She kept quiet for a little while but then finally gave in, "Armaan….main aaj…" she told him what she had overheard between the nurses.

"Riddhima….Riddhima……bas itni si baat hai?….I don't care what other people say…." he kissed her forehead and reassured her.

"Par…Armaan tumhari hospital mein reputation…..?"

"Riddhimaaa…ek surgeon ki reputation operation room mein banti hai….not in his bedroom…..samjhi….. achcha mere liye ek cup coffee bana do….and come sit with me…phir mujhe ek case dekhney hospital jaana hai….OK?"

When she came back with the coffee, she saw him playing a CD on the player….she knew, he wanted her to listen to this song… an old song but apt for this situation

"kuch tho log kahengey" from "amar prem"

kuchh to log kahenge, logaane kaa kaam hain kahanaa
chhodo, bekaar kee baato mein , kahee beet naa jaaye rainaa

kuchh reet jagat kee ayesee hai
har yek subah kee shaam huyee
too kaun hai, teraa naam hain kyaa
seetaa bhee yahaa badanaam huyee
fir kyo sansaar kee baaton se
bheeg gaye tere nainaa

hum ko jo taane dete hai
hum khoye hain in rang raliyon me
hum ne un ko bhee chhup chhup ke
aate dekhaa in galiyon me
ye sach hain zoothhee baat nahee
tum bolo ye sach hain naa

Riddhima understood what Armaan meant; she sat down close to him and buried her head in his chest…..she knew they would have to be strong and face the world together……their love would have to face many more hurdles….. this was just the beginning.

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

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