Friday, 4 August 2017

PART 16: Ehsaas

Riddhima woke up early next morning and found Armaan fast asleep. The wood in the fireplace was still simmering, not enough to keep the room warm. She got up and wrapped herself with the shawl, still on the floor from last night and covered Armaan with the blanket.

 She stared at her husband's face adoringly and thought, "Armaan tumney mujhey kitni khushi aur pyaar diya hai……main vaada karti hoon ki zindagi mein hamesha tumhara saath doongi…..tumhari khushi hi ab meri khushi hai….tumhare bina main adhoori hoon. Chaahe koi bhi baadha aaye, main tumhara saath kabhie nahin chodungi."

She got up and walked to the window. The sunrise on the Nilgiri mountains gave the horizon a breathtaking view. She looked around for Armaan's camera, but could not find it, "pataa nahin kahan rakh diya camera? Kitna achha view hai."

She stood at the window, absorbing the early rays of the sun when she felt someone slip inside her shawl and hold her tightly, "Armaan? Tum uth gaye? Sorry….shayad tumhey disturb kar diya maine.." Riddhima said as Armaan snuggled with her inside her shawl.

 "Wo tho hai! Tumney meri poori life hi disturb kar di hai…..aur phir thand mein akeli chhod gayi mujhey!" Armaan pretended he was upset.

Riddhima touched his face with her hand and said, "shaadi se pehle kya karte the jab thand lagti thi?"

"Jab se tumhey mila hoon, tab se hi zyaada thand lagti hai," he snuggled closer to her, "aur garmi bhi!" he grinned mischievously.

"Log mujhey badnaam karte hain ki main baatooni hoon, par tumhare jaisa baatein karne waala maine aaj tak nahin dekha….kisi ko bhi apni baaton se rijhaa sakte ho!" Riddhima laughed.

Armaan moaned and started nibbling at her ears and neck.
"Armaan, please aaj tho breakfast kar lein…..kal lunch ke baad kuch nahin khaaya hum logon ne….mere tho pait mein chuhey daud rahe hain," Riddhima complained.

"Wo hi tho kar raha hoon."

As Riddhima reciprocated his groans, Armaan's mobile rang, "Uffo…itni subah subah kaun phone kar raha hai?"

Being a doctor, he was used to his phone ringing at all odd times; as a rule, he never ignored any calls, but today he really wanted to ignore the call.
The phone kept ringing and he finally decided to answer it. He picked Riddhima with one arm, so that they were still wrapped in the shawl and walked to the table, "Hello! Yes…this is Dr Malik… can I help you?"

It was Anjali Rai's manager on the other line: "Dr Malik…..Anjali ji aapse milna chahti hain."

Armaan: " Koyi emergency hai?"

Manager: "Dr Malik…..agar Anjali ji aapse milna chahti hain, tho wo EMERGENCY HAI!"

Armaan: "I am sorry….I cannot help her unless it is a medical emergency!"

Anjali grabbed the phone from her manager, "Good morning Doctor Malik," she spoke in her sultriest voice, "kya apne favorite patient ko dekhne nahin aayenge?"
Armaan: "Oh ….Ms Rai… are you doing? Aapka haath kaisa hai?"

Anjali: "aapke healing touch ke bina shayad theek na ho….please can you check out the plaster? Raat ko neend nahin aayi"

Armaan was annoyed, "aapke doctor aane waale the na? Unka kya opinion hai?"

Anjali: "Mujhey unka opinion pasand nahin hai! I want YOUR opinion Dr Malik…please can you check me this morning? I owe you two dinners now….imagine exclusive dinner with the sensational Anjali Rai!"

Armaan relented, "Theek hai, main aata hoon. Par aap kahan thehri hain?"
Anjali: "As a matter of fact, I am in the same hotel as you are, cottage # 12….jaldi kee jiye, kyonki mujhey press conference ke liye jaana hai." she hung up.

Armaan gave a dirty look to his phone and then looked at Riddhima, who had her head resting on his chest with her arms around his body, "sorry Riddhima…..main abhi aaya ……yeh celebrities bhi na!"

Riddhima released her grip, "koi baat nahin Armaan….tum jao, utney mein main bhi tayyar ho jaaoongi…"

Armaan had a quick shower and left to see Anjali Rai.
He was greeted at the door by Anjali's manager, Manek Verma, "aaiye doctor sahib…madam bedroom mein hai."

Armaan nodded and walked into her bedroom. She was sitting with her back resting against to headboard and talking to someone on the phone. Armaan was a little embarrassed as Anjali was still in her nightie….it was more a negligee with a short silk robe loosely tied on top. It was revealing more than Armaan was comfortable seeing. He sat down on the sofa and picked up the morning paper. It seemed Anjali was arguing with the producer about her fall and threatening to sue him; she claimed that the producer should have hired a double or have better trained horses for the stars.

Armaan waited impatiently for almost 45 minutes; finally she hung up, "Hello Doctor! How are you this morning? Kal raat ko neend kaisi aayi?" she spread out her sexy long legs on the bed and asked.

"I am alright madam….aapki dua se neend bhi bahut achhi aayi." he replied

"Oh really? Mujhey tho bilkul neend nahin aayi! Waise aap tho apne honeymoon par hai na? Phir bhi neend aa gayi aapko?" she laughed.

Armaan clenched his teeth and asked, "aapka haath dekhne aaya tha….kya kal X ray hua aapka?"

Anjali got of the bed and came and sat next to him on the sofa; her robe was falling off her shoulders, exposing her bare shoulders. She had the X ray films in her other hand.

Armaan just looked at her hand and arm, "yeh plaster tho theek hai…zyaada tight bhi nahin hai….aapko pareshaani tho nahin honi chahiye…..bas aadat ho jaayegi thode dino mein."

He took the copies of the X ray and walked over to the window to read them, "Hmm….yes Ms Rai…yeh raha aapka fracture….but it should heal well…it is well aligned," he was pointing at the film when she came and stood behind him with her hand on his shoulder.

"Really? See that is why I needed your opinion dr….mere doctor ne tho kaha tha ki mujhey naya plaster chadhaana padhega…I think that idiot just wants to make money off me….he was upset that I had another doctor take care of me!" Anjali said angrily.

Armaan managed to slip out of her grip and said, "well….Anjali ji ab aap dekh lee jiye jo aapko karna hai….maine apna opinion de diya hai….main chalta hoon," he turned around to leave, averting his gaze from her.

"Thank you Dr Malik…..main jaanti thi ki aap bahut hoshiyaar hain, aur ek jaadugar bhi…," she came close to him and held his arm.

Armaan walked towards the door, "Thanks Anjali ji…..let me know if I can help you again…Bye!"

Anjali interrupted, "jaane se pehle yeh 2 invitations lete jaaiye…..aaj shaam ko hotel mein ek musical program hai….I am the chief guest there……I would like it if you could join us… will have fun!"

Armaan took the invitations and said, "thanks madam…..Riddhima aur main zaroor aayenge."

Anjali just stared at his back longingly, "Riddhima! Tho yeh naam hai uski biwi ka? khair aaj tak Anjali ke jadoo se koi bhi handsome aadmi bach nahin paaya hai…..dekhte hain Riddhima ka bhoot kitne din sawaar rehta hai is doctor pe?" she gave an evil smile and walked towards the bathroom.

Her manager knocked on her door, "madam….yeh Dr sahib ka camera…kal wo shooting par hi chhod gaye the….aaj phir dena bhool gaya main"

Anjali took the camera from Manek, "mujhey de do….aaj shaam ko return kar doongi"

Anjali checked out the photographs on the LED display, "this guy is obsessed with his wife….aisa kya hai usmey? I am way better than that girl next door," Anjali could not stand it anymore; she pressed the ERASE button and got rid of all their honeymoon pictures.

While Armaan was away attending to Anjali, Riddhima had changed up into a green churidaar suit and settled with a book in the hammock outdoors. She had talked to everyone in Ramgarh and also to Keerti and Atul. They were all doing well and were happy for Riddhima and Armaan.

Armaan saw his lovely wife reading a book lazily. He quietly went towards her and climbed into the hammock with her. He put his arm around her and whispered, "ab main aa gaya hoon…chahe tho mujhey padh lo," he took her book away and threw it on the grass.

"Armaan! Kya kiya? Itna romantic scene chal raha tha!" Riddhima whined as she saw her book on the ground.

"I can provide a live demonstration for you meri jaan," he said in a husky tone and snuggled into her thick hair.

"Itni der kyon laga di?" Riddhima asked

"kyon did you miss me?" he asked as he kissed her neck

"Main jaanti hoon Armaan ki aage jaakar bhi tumhey kaam ki wajah se mujh se kai baar door jaana padhega, par mann nahin maanta…..kaash tum hamesha mere paas hi rehte." she said seriously.

"Main tumsey door gaya hi kab tha? You are always there with me," he said romantically, "chalo, let's get something to eat and do some sight seeing for a change, warna zindagi bhar complain karti rahogi."

They ordered breakfast by room service and sat out on the patio.
As they were eating, Armaan remembered, "mera camera kahan gaya? It is such a nice day, I would love to take some pictures"

"Mujhey bhi nahin mila morning mein…..kahan rakh diya tumney?" Riddhima asked as she sipped her tea.

"OH…yaad aaya….d***! I left it at the shooting place yesterday…..God! I will have to call Anjali again….actually aaj shaam ko yahan ek musical program hai," he took out the invitation and gave it to Riddhima, "are you interested?"
Riddhima's face lit up," Wow! Roop Kumar Rathod! Wo tho bahut ache singer hain…..I would love to go!"

"Theek hai…main tabhi apna camera maang loonga…..I don't want to call her right now," Armaan was not looking forward to another encounter with Anjali yet.

"Lagta hai Dr sahib ko apni celebrity patient zyaada pasand nahin hai?" Riddhima teased him

"Nahin aisa nahin hai….a patient is a patient! She is just too….just too," he growled, unable to describe his feelings in words.

"She is quite glamorous!" Riddhima said, "kahin doctor sahib ka dil tho nahi aa gaya unpar?" she chided with him.

Armaan got upset; he stood up angrily, "RIDDHIMA! Mujh se kabhie aisi baat phir mat karna! I am a professional, I deal with all types of people…..main itna giraa hua nahin hoon ki kisi bhi khubsoorat aurat ke liye apna imaan kho doon," he flung his napkin on the floor and walked indoors.

Riddhima was taken aback at his outburst. She followed him inside and hugged him from behind, "I am sorry Armaan…… main tho sirf mazaak kar rahi thi…..main jaanti hoon tum kabhie aisa nahin kar sakte!"

"Phir kabhie ais mazaak mat karna!" Armaan pulled her over and hugged her tightly.

"Nahin karoongi," she said. Riddhima held him close for a while, but was a little disturbed, "Armaan itna over react kyon kar raha hai? Ek ajnabee ladki ki wajah se mujh par itna gussa kyn ho gaya? Shayad uska gussa mere par nikaal raha hai….ab tho aadat ho jaani chaahiye mujhey….doosro ka gussa hamesha mujh par hi nikaal tha hai!"


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