Thursday, 14 September 2017

PART 23 :Ehsaas


Armaan held Riddhima in his arms till her sobs started to die down.

"Mujhey bataaya kyon nahin? Bahut takleef huyi hogi na tumhey? Bahut dard hua hoga……kaash main tumhare saath hota," Armaan caressed her tearfully. He could count on his fingers the times in his life when he had shed a tear. More than the loss of the baby, he felt worse about not being with Riddhima when she needed him the most.

Riddhima just nodded gently and kept quiet.

"Riddhima…..kya tumhey lagta hai main itna khudgarz hoon ki mera exam mere liye tumse bhi zyaada maayne rakhta hai?" he brushed his face against her hair.

"I am sorry Armaan….galti meri hai….mujhey pehle bataana chaaiye tha tumhey…..kai dino se mujhey bleeding ho rahi thi, par mujhey laga theek ho jaayegi….mujhsey bahut badhi galti ho gayi…..hamare bacche ko main….main," she started sobbing as she felt guilty about her carelessness.

"Koi baat nahin Riddhima……tum theek ho, mujhey aur kuch nahin chaahiye…..warna tumhey kuch ho jaata na, tab main tumsey sach much naaraz ho jaata," he tried to smile through his tears and wiped hers with his finger.

"Armaan….I really missed you," she hugged him again

"Riddhima……ek baat boloon? Waise medical point of view se dekha jaaye tho 1 st trimester miscarriages are nature's way of dealing with the problem…..more than half of first trimester miscarriages are due to a problem in the baby….so don't feel guilty," he kissed her forehead and reassured her.

"Par Armaan….yeh hamara baccha tha! Koi medical statistic nahin!" Riddhima scorned him tearfully.

Armaan knew she was right; he felt equally guilty about the loss- may be if he had not insisted on her working with him, she would still be content as a school teacher and would not have stressed her body as much as she did after becoming his "assistant"

May be, if he had put his foot down and not let her strain her body after the fire, things would be different… retrospect things are always 20/20. But one thing was clear to him about his future now…..he was not going to stay in Ramgarh anymore…..if they were in Mumbai, Riddhima might have gotten better medical care and not lost the baby…..THEY WERE GOING TO MOVE TO MUMBAI……he would call Dilip Modi ASAP!

Lovely knocked on their door, "Dr Malik….aapke patients wait kar rahe hain"

Armaan answered the door, "Maasi….please aaj ki saari appointments cancel kar dee jiye….call me if there is an emergency only…..aaj main Riddhima ko akele nahin chhod sakta," he looked at his frail wife, who was barely standing with the support of the window ledge.

Armaan stayed with Riddhima all day; he made sure she rested and ate properly. Padma also joined them a little later and was relieved to see Riddhima acting more or less normal after Armaan's arrival.

"Achha hua bete tum wapas aa gaye…..warna Riddhima na tho kisi se bol rahi thi aur na hi kuch khaa rahi thi…..Riddhima bahut bhaagyashaali hai, usey tumhare jaisa pati mila," Padma blessed her son-in-law

"Maa…mujhey aapse kuch kehna hai."

 Riddhima was in the bathroom, and could not hear their conversation.

"Haan, bolo beta," Padma said

"Maa….meri ab training khatam ho gayi hai…..main chahta hoon ki main ab wapas Mumbai chala jaaoon…aur Riddhima ko bhi saath le jaaoon."

Padma's worst fear was coming true; she always feared that one day Armaan would want to go back to Mumbai, but she had no idea it would happen that soon.

"L..Lekin beta abhi Riddhima is halat mein nahin hai ki wo kahin aa jaa sake….aur Mumbai jaana itna aasan nahin hai," Padma looked worried.

"Jaanta hoon maa….problem yeh hai ki mujhey 2 hafte mein hi join karna hoga….aur ho sakta hai tab tak Riddhima travel karne ke laayak na ho….aur waise bhi wahan uski dekh baal kaun karega? Yahan tho aap sab log hain," Armaan agreed.

"Beta tumney agar faisla kar hi liya hai, tho main kya keh sakti hoon," Padma sounded disappointed

"Maa….kaun sa faisla?" Riddhima asked as she came back to the room

Padma and Armaan just looked at each other and kept silent.

"Riddhima….main soch raha hoon ki hum log Mumbai shift kar lein….main aage apni training karna chahta hoon….aur aur," he hesitated to say anything else.

Riddhima's eyes welled up, "lekin achanak? Armaan…..yeh faisla kab liya? Tum tho kehte the ki yahin kaam karoge." His comments came as a rude shock. She was not ready for this yet.

"Riddhima, please don't take this to heart. Chalo ab aaraam kar lo tum," Armaan held her arms and led her to the bedroom. She remained silent; still shell shocked by Armaan's one sided decision.

Armaan helped her back to her bed, "Riddhima… hum hamesha ke liye nahin jaa rahe….kuch saalon baad wapas aa jaayenge…… maine yeh faisla abhi issi waqt liya hai…..main nahin chahta ki hamare saath phir se aisa haadsa ho…..ho sakta hai agar hum Mumbai mein hote tho shayad tumhara miscarriage nahin hota….aaj kal gynecologists ke paas naye tareeke hain first trimester miscarriage rokne ke ."

"Lekin Armaan tum tho keh rahe the ki yeh nature ka faisla hota hai….phir….why do we have to go to Mumbai?" Riddhima asked

Armaan did not have an answer. He knew deep down, that he had been toying with the idea of moving back to Mumbai over the last few weeks; the miscarriage was probably the last straw and had tipped the scales for him in favor of moving. Was he using Riddhima's miscarriage as an excuse for them to move, when deep down he wanted to do that anyways?

Sometimes, we make decisions for others saying that we are doing it for them, but in reality it is our own desire.

Riddhima had a lump in her throat, "Armaan…jab tumney faisla kar hi liya hai tho meri rai kyon le rahe ho?" Riddhima knew that she had no right to argue with him anymore; her carelessness had cost them their baby, and Armaan was probably right-may be if they had access to better care, she would still be pregnant today!

"Beta…lekin Riddhima ko kam se kam 4-6 hafte aaram ki zaroorat hai…wo kaise jaayegi abhi?" Padma asked.

"Riddhima…..tum yahin maa ke saath ek mahina reh lo….in the mean time, I will find a place and settle down before you come……it will take some time for me to get my bearings there. After all, I have been away from Mumbai for the past year," Armaan added.

Riddhima was unable to say anything else. She just closed her eyes and lay down on her pillow.

"Mujhey lagta hai, aisa hi karna chahiye…Armaan beta tum pehle akele hi chale jao….Riddhima ki dekh baal main kar loongi," Padma got up and left.

"Theek hai maa…aap Riddhima ko apne ghar hi rakhiyega……aur usey sirf rest karne dee jiye ga….no clinic or house work….main chahta hoon wo Mumbai aane se pehle bilkul achhi health mein ho," Armaan replied as he saw Padma off.

Armaan knelt down beside Riddhima, stroking her forehead, "Riddhima….trust me…this is the best decision for us."

Riddhima opened her tearful eyes and looked at him, "Armaan…mujhey Mumbai jaane mein koi problem nahin hai, par itne din tumhare bina….main bhi chaloongi tumhare saath."

Armaan kissed her hand, "Nahin Riddhima! Is baare mein zidd mat karo…..I want you to be well before you come to Mumbai….I will be too busy to take care of you….you need to stay here…..main tumhari ek nahin sunoonga…..samjhi?"

Riddhima knew she would lose this argument with him too; she just wiped her tears and nodded in the affirmative.

So, within two weeks Armaan left Ramgarh. Dr Misra was disappointed; all his dreams of retiring and playing with a little grand baby were dashed- he had to continue slogging like he did before. His health had deteriorated over the last few months and he was barely able to keep up with his patient load. Armaan's sudden decision came as a hard blow for him, but he was not entirely surprised- he kind of expected that someday Armaan would pack his bags and go back, just like so many other young doctors had done in the past. He was hoping Armaan would be an exception, especially after marrying his niece, but he was sadly mistaken once again…….

Riddhima moved in with Padma and as per Armaan's instructions stayed home most of the time.

Padma saw the change in Riddhima- she had become very quiet and forgetful these days, she seemed to be lost in her own thoughts most of the time. She missed her chirpy, talkative daughter who could remember the minutest of details about her mother, her uncle, her home….who could multi-task and be so efficient that things were done, before one could even ask her to do anything.

Padma knew that Riddhima really missed Armaan, "kaash, Armaan kuch din aur theher jaata….saath saath chale jaate tho mujhey bhi tassalli rehti….Riddhima ne apna kya haal banaa liya hai?" Her mom lamented.

"Laa…main tere baal banaa doon….kitne din ho gaye hain maine tere baalon mein tel bhi nahin lagaya," Padma sat her down one day, trying to cheer her, reminding her of her old days.

Riddhima obediently sat down, but just answered Padma's questions in monosyllables.

"Armaan ka phone aaya kya?" Padma tried to make a conversation

"haan,,,aaya tha…keh raha tha bahut busy hai…..zyaada baat nahin ho paayi," Riddhima answered sadly.


Armaan had managed to rent a one bedroom flat near the Surgery Center. He was immersed in work from day 1. He loved what he was doing and kept reminding himself, that this was the best decision he had ever taken. He was learning a lot of new techniques and skills. He was of course working like a dog….but the harder he worked, the more energized he felt.

He missed Riddhima a lot, but his days were so packed that he could barely talk to her on the phone even.

One day, Dilip Modi summoned Armaan, "Armaan…I want you to take care of this case….this is a special request from a celebrity…wo chahti hain ki unki Rhinoplasty (nose job) tum hi karo."

Armaan checked the file: ANJALI RAI!

"Lekin sir….main tho abhi training mein hi hoon….itni badhi filmstar ka treatment main kaise kar sakta hoon?" Armaan protested.

"Well, I can't help it….she has full confidence in you…..tum aaj unke ghar jaakar unka medical check up kar lo…it's just a formality before the surgery….she does not have time to come here….so she has asked you to go to her house," Dilip ordered.

Armaan was stunned. He was not prepared for this…..he knew Anjali would play some tricks……but not that soon!


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