Sunday, 1 October 2017

PART 28 :Ehsaas


Armaan made regular house calls to see his VIP patient, Anjali. Anjali was very pleased with the outcome of her surgery. She could not stop raving about how beautiful and pointed her nose looked now!

"Dr Armaan Malik, I am very happy with my face….you have done a fantastic job! Wait till all the producers and cameramen go nuts! I have some song sequences to shoot next week; I can't wait! Thanks a lot! Meri friend hai Rani Chopra….you must have heard her name…she won the filmfare last year….wo bhi tum se milna chahti hai," Anjali commented

"It would be my pleasure Anjali ji! Aap jab kahiye, main un se milne ko tayyar hoon," Armaan said proudly

"Aap Dr Modi ki party mein aa rahe hai na? Wahan kaafi celebrities aayenge….you can meet her there," Anjali said as she continued to check her nose closely with her hand held mirror.

"Very well then….main chalta hoon Anjali ji….see you later," Armaan picked his bag to leave

"Armaan! You don't mind if I call you Armaan, haina? We are friends after all," Anjali smiled and stretched her hand to shake his, "and you can call me Anjali!"

Armaan grinned and shook her hand, "OK Anjali, my friend!" and left.

Anjali raised an eyebrow as he turned his back, "chalo Armaan….meri dosti tho kabool kar lee…..lage raho Anjali Rai….aage aage dekho hota hai kya???"


The party was held at the banquet hall of JW Marriott in Mumbai. The who's who of Mumbai was invited to this grand affair. Film stars, politicians, cricketers, famous doctors….you name it and they were on the guest list.

Abhimanyu and his band, "SUKOON" was going to perform live. Abhimanyu wanted to use this opportunity to showcase his band in front of the movie and music moguls of the industry.

Armaan wore a navy blue suit with a light blue shirt and dark tie. Riddhima looked ethereal in a black saree with silver sequin work, matching jewelry and long dangling earrings. Armaan commented on her looks, "lagta hai bahut logon ka dil thodne ka iraada hai aaj?"

Riddhima blushed and came near him, "tum bhi kuch kum nahin lag rahe doctor sahib! Kahin kisi movie star ka dil tum par na aa jaaye?"

Armaan grabbed her and kissed the back of her neck, "yeh dil ab sirf tumhara hai….koi isey cheen nahin sakta."

"Sach? Promise?" she asked

Armaan held his palm in pledge, "promise! Yeh dil sirf Riddhima ka hai aur hamesha rahega. Ab khush?" He chuckled.

"Jaanti hoon," she interlocked her fingers with his fingers, "chalo ab chalein?"

They took a taxi to the venue. The banquet hall was decorated very tastefully. Dr Modi and some of his staff members to the "ANNUAL MODI SURGICAL CENTER BASH" greeted them at the entrance.

"Hello Armaan! This must be your lovely wife? Hello I am Dr Modi!"

"Namaste uncle!" Riddhima greeted him with folded hands. Her greeting bemused Dr Modi; no one said 'Namaste Uncle' these days, especially in the high society circles he was used to.

"Lagta hai Dr Modi ko tumhey Namaste Uncle nahin kehna chahiye tha!" Armaan whispered into Riddhima's ears as they walked in.

"Tho kya namaste auntie kehti?" Riddhima giggled

"Nahin…nahin…I don't think he wants a pretty girl like you calling him uncle!" Armaan giggled back.

"Hey Armaan! How are you!" a middle aged boisterous gentleman came up.

"Hello sir! Kaise hain aap? Meet my wife Riddhima….Riddhima this is Dr Mittal, one of the surgeons at our clinic," Armaan introduced them to each other. As they kept walking through the crowd, many colleagues and other staff members stopped Armaan. Riddhima politely greeted and talked to all of them.

"Hello stranger!" Anjali tapped Armaan's shoulder and gave him a gentle hug. Armaan hugged her back, "Hello Anjali! How are you?"

Riddhima was a little taken aback by their sudden friendliness; Armaan had not mentioned Anjali's name after the initial surgery, but Riddhima being the understanding wife just took it in stride. Armaan walked ahead to talk to some other people.

"Hello Riddhima! How are you?" Anjali beamed a smile at Riddhima. Riddhima reciprocated with a polite smile, "I am fine…aap kaisi hain? Aapki surgery theek ho gayi?"

"Of course, aapke pati jaise honhaar surgeon ka haath jo lagaa tha….see can you tell?" Anjali stuck out her face a little.

"Oh…I really can't tell anything," Riddhima said innocently

"Kya matlab? Don't you see how beautiful my nose looks now," Anjali was a little offended by Riddhima's straighforwardness.

"Oh..I am sorry….I didn't realize you had surgery on your nose," Riddhima said.

"Well, lagta hai aapke pati abhi bhi aapko sab kuch bataa te nahin hain!" Anjali raised an eyebrow and remarked.

"Mere pati apni professional aur personal life ko mix karne mein believe nahin karte Anjali ji!" Riddhima snapped back.

"Oh really? Waise soch lo Riddhima? Kahin tum Armaan ki professional life se door rahi, tho personal life mein bhi door na ho jaao?" Anjali said with a smug expression.

"Anjali ji… log khud insecure hote hain, wo hi apni professional aur personal life alag nahin rakh paate, bhagwan ki daya se mere pati apni personal aur professional life dono mein bahut satisfied hain, iss liye mujhey unsey door hone ka bilkul darr nahin hai," Riddhima smiled sarcastically and walked off.

Anjali was not happy with Riddhima's answer, "bahut vishwaas hai apne pati par? Chalo dekhti hoon kitne din is jhoote vishwaas ke saath rahogi," she muttered to herself.

Anjali caught up with Armaan and introduced him to some of her movie industry friends. Armaan was soon surrounded by a number of gorgeous beauties. They were all dying to meet the handsome plastic surgeon, who could make anyone look beautiful! Anjali had certainly marketed Armaan's skills very well. They all came up with their wish list. Armaan was floored and honored to be so popular and in demand, that he lost track of Riddhima.

Riddhima tried to tear her way through the crowd around Armaan, but held back.

She took a soft drink and sat down in a corner.

"Hi Riddhima!" Abhimanyu came and sat next to Riddhima, "kaisi ho? You look gorgeous in black too!"

"Thanks," Riddhima smiled politely, "aap kaise hain Abhimanyu?"

"Fantastic….jaanti ho aaj hamara band yahan perform karega…you can get an idea of the kind of music we make….in fact I am going to sing and play the guitar both today," Abhimanyu said excitedly.

"Really? I would love to see your performance," Riddhima said enthusiastically.

"Great! Do you want something else to drink? Some wine or a martini or something?" Abhimanyu asked

"Nahin…main sharaab nahin peeti..," she said

"OH that's right! Koi baat nahin…thode dino mein in society parties mein aati rahi tho aadat ho jaayegi," Abhimanyu smiled.

"Aadat? Nahin Abhimanyu, aadat tho tab hogi jab main shuru karoongi peena," Riddhima said

"You are right! A lot of self control uh?" Abhimanyu got up, "chaliye main apni performance ki tayyari karta hoon," and left.

Riddhima noticed that Armaan was still busy talking to some more beautiful women. Riddhima could recognize some of them from the big screen, but she had no desire to go and meet them or try and get an autograph. She was surrounded by beauty, glamour and wealth everywhere, but for some reason she felt really out of place and lonely in this 'artificial' and 'plastic' world! It was so different from Ramgarh….and so different from what she had envisioned her life would be one day…….

Some wives of big-shot doctors introduced themselves to her. They turned out to be more boring than the egoistic doctors themselves. The doctor's wives had the most swollen heads; they wore gaudy clothes and jewelry with pancakes of make up on their faces. Their favorite topic of discussion was who got the most expensive jewelry set for their birthday, or which exotic vacation they were going to take next, or whose dog won the latest pet show, or worse who was cheating on who. They talked about the last wife-swapping night they had and how Dr Patel had started seeing a Mrs Gupta since then; Riddhima was aghast when she heard about that. She quietly slipped away from that crowd and looked for Abhimanyu instead-at least she could talk about music with him!

Just then there was an announcement, "The band SUKOON will now perform a piece for all of you!"

Riddhima's eyes wandered around for Armaan. She spotted him at the bar area with a drink in his hand. Riddhima was aware that once in a while Armaan would drink hard liquor and she had no problem with an occasional social drink, but she was disappointed that Armaan did not even bother to look around for her.

Riddhima reasoned to herself, "busy hoga….kitne log hain uske paas…main hi chali jaati hoon"

As Riddhima approached Armaan, Anjali and her friend, Rani Chopra caught hold of him. Armaan was then engaged in a conversation with the two actresses. Riddhima just shrugged her shoulders and sat down to enjoy the performance herself.

Abhimanyu started strumming the guitar and sang this song:

"teri tamanna" from "the train"

teri tamanna aa aa aa.......
teri justjoo hai
(mujhe aaj bas ek teri - 2), (teri aarjoo hai - 2)
mere jehan mein, khayaalon mein tu hai
yeh itanisi duri bhi hai, (gar toh?? kyun hai - 2)

Abhimanyu kept his gaze fixated at Riddhima as he sang the song. Riddhima did not notice as she had her eyes closed to the foot tapping music.

abb kuchh aaj aise tu muhjme sama ja
soyese ehsaas saare jaga ja
tujhe kya pata main pyaasa hoon kabse
abb tu aaj banake ghata mujhko bhiga ja
teri tamanna - 2
teri justjoo hai
mujhe aaj bas ek teri, (teri aarjoo hai - 2)

Anjali's roving eyes, however, noticed that Abhimanyu was besotted with Mrs Malik! She could not have seen a better sight!

Armaan went and sat down next to Riddhima. Riddhima opened her eyes as he placed his arm around her. She smiled at him and rested her head on his shoulder.

yeh teri julfon se khushboo jo aaye
toh meri saanson ko paagal banaaye
uff mere dil mein yeh kaisa junoon hai
jo tere honto ko nazdik chaahe
teri tamanna - 2
teri justjoo hai
mujhe aaj bas ek teri, (teri aarjoo hai - 2)
mere jehan mein, khayaalon mein tu hai
yeh itanisi duri bhi hai, (gar toh?? kyun hai - 2)
mujhe aaj bas ek teri, (teri aarjoo hai - 2)
teri aarjoo hai....

Abhimanyu and his band received a standing ovation from the crowd.

Abhimanyu then made an announcement, "I would like to introduce you to another wonderful singer with a lot of hidden talent- Mrs Riddhima Malik! Please come on the stage and sing a song for us in your beautiful melodious voice…please Riddhima!"

Armaan nudged Riddhima to go, but Riddhima resisted. Abhimanyu came down from the stage and held out his hand, "aaj tho gaana padhega Riddhima…no excuses"

Riddhima looked at Armaan, who nodded his head in approval.

Riddhima shyly took the mike; closed her eyes and sang this beautiful romantic song for her husband. She opened her eyes and had her gaze fixated on Armaan as she sang:

"mohabbat zindagi hai" from "Nazar" by Shreya Ghoshal

mohabbat zindagi hain aur tum meri mohabbat ho
mohabbat zindagi hain aur tum meri mohabbat ho
tumhi ho bandagi meri tumhi meri ibadat ho
mohabbat zindagi hain aur tum meri mohabbat ho
tumhi ho bandagi meri tumhi meri ibadat ho

tumhare pyar ne dil main umango ko jagaya hain
tumhare pyar ne dil main umango ko jagaya hain
tumhari muskurahat ne mujhe jeena sikhaya hain
tumhi ho jeene ki wajah tumhi meri jaroorat ho
tumhi ho bandagi meri tumhi meri ibadat ho
mohabbat zindagi hain aur tum meri mohabbat ho
tumhi ho bandagi meri tumhi meri ibadat ho

Midway through the song, Armaan was asked to meet another celebrity by Anjali. Armaan obliged and started talking to the new actress. Riddhima's loving eyes still rested on Armaan, but Armaan was looking everywhere but at his loving wife. This was the first time since Armaan and Riddhima had known each other, when Armaan was lost or preoccupied with something else rather than Riddhima's voice- a voice which had always aroused him and stirred his heart in the past, was as good as background noise for him that evening…….

nahi ab koi bhi armaan mere dil main tumhe pakar
nahi ab koi bhi armaan mere dil main tumhe pakar
main yeh ikraar karti hu mohabbat ki kasam khakar
mujhe jo waqt ne baksha woh lamha khubsurat ho
tumhi ho bandagi meri tumhi meri ibadat ho
mohabbat zindagi hain aur tum meri mohabbat ho
tumhi ho bandagi meri tumhi meri ibadat ho

Riddhima's performance was received very well; there was a huge applause at the end of her performance. Armaan finally looked up and joined in the applause. He was certainly proud of his wife and happy for her.

Anjali went up to Abhimanyu, "Hello Abhimanyu! How are you? Nice performance!"

"Hey Anjali, kya haal hai? You look smashing as usual, I love your new nose!" Abhimanyu chuckled

Anjali grinned and looked at him, "lagta hai hum dono ki manzil ek hi hai!"

"Manzil?" Abhimanyu asked as he wrapped up his instruments.

"Hmmm…..Dr and Mrs Malik! Kyon?"

"OH…I get it! Anjali tum bhi na….mere dost ko tho chhod do….he loves his wife very much and vice versa…wahan kuch nahin milega tumhey"

"Oh yeah? What about Riddhima? I saw the hunger in your eyes…you are smitten by her…itney tho tum mujhse bhi nahin the ek zamaane mein!"

"Yes, she is beautiful and very attractive! I would love to be with her no doubt, but I don't think hamari daal galegi wahan." Abhimanyu cautioned her

"You know Abhimanyu…Anjali is an expert at all kinds of daals and biryanis," she laughed.

"Yes, but Anjali, Armaan loves Riddhima a lot and Riddhima virtually worships him!"

"Worship? Tho kaam aur bhi aasaan ho jaayega….insaan ko devta ki tarah poojna aasaan hai, par agar yahi devta insaan ban jaaye, tho bahut zor se girta hai nazron se….yahi haal Armaan ka hai…..ek baar Riddhima usey poojna bandh kar de…tho hum dono ko apni manzil mil jaayegi," Anjali smiled slyly

"Anjali….mujehy bahut ladkiyan mil jaayengi…why should I waste time on Riddhima, when I know she can never be mine?" Abhimanyu scoffed at Anjali's suggestion

"Aur agar main kahoon ki meri next 5 films mein tumhare band SUKOON ka hi music hoga, tab? Tab bhi koshish nahin karoge?" Anjali challenged him

Abhimanyu paused for a moment and grinned at Anjali, "You are a shrewd business woman Anjali! Tho kya karna hoga mujhey?"

"Shak! Bas Armaan ke andar shak ka keedha daalna hoga…..aadmi ke andar ek baar shak ka keedha aa jaaye, tho bahut mushkil hai us keedhe ko nikaalna….that's it…yahi karna hoga tumhey….baaki main sambhaal loongi!" Anjali held out her hand.

"OK! Pehla contract mere ghar Monday tak aa jaana chaahiye….then I will work on your proposal," Abhimanyu shook her hand.

"You are pretty shrewd yourself Abhimanyu!" Anjali smiled and squeezed his hand.

…to be continued…


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