Saturday, 7 October 2017

PART 31:Ehsaas


4.30 PM AT SURGICAL CENTER:

 Armaan packed his bag and shut off his computer, checked his watch and got up from his seat to leave. He could not wait to get home to his 'dulhan.' He felt bad about leaving in such a rush that morning, "Riddhima, I will really make it up to you this evening…..I am dying to see you jaan," he said to himself. He was about to call Riddhima from his mobile, when Dr Modi entered his cabin, "Hey Armaan…..I need to talk to you!" Dr Modi looked very excited.




Armaan hung up, "yes sir….boliye"



"Armaan….jaante ho US ki ek team hum logon ko kuch latest burn management techniques ke baare mein demonstration dena chaah rahi thi…they are in Mumbai this evening and I have asked them to be here in half an hour…..so let's get ready to receive them…..we can't let go of this opportunity. Dr Parker is a world renowned Plastic surgeon and he is leaving for Malaysia early tomorrow….his time is very valuable…..make sure you get our conference room ready and notify Dr Tripathi and Dr Gupta also….I don't want a crowd there, so the four of us should suffice."


"B…but sir!" Armaan interrupted



"But what Armaan? If you have any cases scheduled, just cancel them! This is too important for us and I really want you to be there as you are the future of our center….tum se mujhey bahut umeedein hain," Dilip Modi smiled and patted Anagd's back, "in fact next week board meeting mein main tumhara naam recommend karna chahta hoon…..I would like to shorten your training period to 6 months and hire you as a full time staff right away! You are a bright star in our horizon…..we are proud to have you here!" He nodded his head and left Armaan to prepare for the visitors.



Armaan was speechless; what was he to do? Give up once in a lifetime opportunity or not spend his first wedding anniversary with his beloved wife?


He was in a quandary. He sat down and buried his head in his hands. He decided to call Riddhima, "Hello Riddhima? Haan jaan….ek emergency aa gayi hai….main 1-2 ghante mein aa jaaoonga….please don't mind…….you are so nice Riddhima…..main jaanta tha tum samajh jaaogi…..we will go out for a nice romantic dinner….just the two of us…promise…bye!"



Armaan hung up the phone and sighed, "thanks Riddhima! I am the luckiest guy in this world." He got up and got down to his assigned job.



Riddhima hung up, a little disappointed. She put her memory box away and stood at the window. She watched the Mumbai traffic go back and forth, 'yahan sab itni jaldi mein hain…shayad kisi ke paas rukne ka time bhi nahin hai….kahin Armaan bhi tho is bheedh mein kahin kho tho nahin raha?"


The doorbell rang.



She was surprised, 'is waqt kaun hoga? Ho sakta Muskaan ho," Riddhima was happy at the thought of Muskaan visiting her. Muskaan and Riddhima had become really close lately. Muskaan seemed so different from all the other big city doctors she had met. Muskaan was so down to earth, compassionate, and most of all had no airs about being such a successful professional.


"Happy Anniversary!" It was Abhimanyu with a bunch of red roses.


"Oh Abhimanyu aap? Aap ko kaise pata ki hamari anniversary hai aaj?" Riddhima welcomed Abhimanyu into the apartment, "nice flowers!"



"I am sure they are not better than what Armaan must have gotten you." Abhimanyu smiled, but surveyed the room to look for another arrangement of flowers.


"Yeh tho aap ne sach kaha Abhimanyu! Armaan jaise phool mujhey koi nahin de sakta," Riddhima defended her husband and thought of all the wilted flowers, he had presented to her so far.



"May I?" Abhimanyu gestured to sit down. He could not take his eyes off Riddhima, 'you look like a bride tonight….Armaan ka kya haal hoga bechaare ka?"
Riddhima just blushed and thanked him.


"Please…." Riddhima politely offered for him to take a seat

"Tho Armaan aaj late aayega kya?"


"Haan…ek emergency aa gayi hai…..thodi der mein aata hoga, aap kuch peeyenge?"


"No thanks….mujhey abhi Anjali Rai ki nayi movie ke premier mein jaana hai….tum log nahin jaa rahe?"



"Hum? Nahin….hum unhey itni achhi tarah nahin jaante, theater mein hi dekh lenge unki movie," Riddhima replied



"Oh really? I thought Armaan was good friends with Anjali…..I see them together often." Abhimanyu added and waited for her response.



Riddhima was a little taken aback, but composed herself, "Wo Armaan ne unki surgery ki thi na…shayad usi silsilay mein dekha hoga aapne."



Abhimanyu just twisted his lips, "well, I hope you are right…..main aaj kal Anjali ke yahan kaafi aata jaata rehta hoon…you know for the recording, I often see Armaan there…..that is why I was thinking they must be good friends"



Riddhima almost skipped a heartbeat; she felt a heavy sensation in her chest, "main aapke liye paani tho le aati hoon," she got up and turned her face away. She did not want Abhimanyu to notice the little mist in her eyes.




She walked into the kitchen and poured 2 glasses of water, "nahin aisa kuch bhi nahin hai….main kyon shak kar rahi hoon….Armaan apne kaam se hi jaata hoga….Armaan ke baare mein galat sochna mere liye paap hai….mera Armaan kabhie mujhsey kuch nahin chupaayega." She shut her eyes, took a deep breath and went back to the living room with the glasses of water.




Abhimanyu took the glass of water and sat around for an hour or so. He tried to talk Riddhima into joining his group again, but as usual she refused.



Finally, he took leave around 6.30pm, "OK Riddhima….have a great time tonight!"
Riddhima waited for Armaan all evening. She dozed off on the sofa while waiting.
The American surgeons arrived around 6 pm and their demonstration took about 3 hours or so. After seeing the visitors off, Armaan checked his watch, 'Oh God! 9 baj gaye…I need to go."


"Armaan! Kahan jaa rahe ho?" Dilip Modi asked him


"Sir ghar jaa raha tha."


"OH OK…..actually my driver will drop you…..come with me….i need to talk to you about tomorrow's case…..we can chat in the car."


"Sir…mera ghar tho bahut paas hai….i don't need a ride."


"Jaanta hoon…..but I really have to brief you on this case tonight as this is a complicated case….chalo it will only be a 20 minute detour….let's go!" Dr Modi insisted.


Armaan reluctantly agreed. He decided to call Riddhima on their way to the car. Riddhima's phone was in her bedroom; she did not hear the ring, as she was half asleep on the couch.

Armaan hung up in frustration, "phone kyon nahin utha rahi?"

Dr Modi and Armaan discussed their case in the car as they finally arrived at the 'majestic theater'

"Aao Armaan…tum bhi chalo….aaj yahan Anjali ke film ka premier hai…wo tho miss ho gaya…par after premier party ho rahi hogi….come have a drink with me." Dilip insisted.



"Nahin sir! Actually, I need to be home ….it is my first wedding anniversary." Armaan finally mustered some courage to tell the truth.


"OH is that right? Pehle bataana chaahiye tha tumhey! OK….my driver will drop you back," Dr Modi said.

"Hey Armaan!" Abhimanyu came out of the theater to receive his dad, "happy anniversary yaar!"

"tujhey badha yaad raha!" Armaan was surprised

"Arre…aaj poori shaam Riddhima ke saath tha na….tabhi pata chala…." Abhimanyu said


"Oh really?" Armaan was surprised


"Haan bas abhi aaya hoon wahan se…tu tho emergency mein busy tha, tho socha main hi company de deta hoon Riddhima ko…..we had a great time……your wife is quite a conversationalist" Abhimanyu lied.


Armaan was taken aback a little, " that is true! She is quite a chatterbox!"



"tho shayad iss liye phone nahin suna mera….well at least she stayed busy," he reasoned with himself. "Thanks for keeping her company Abhimanyu! Chalo main chalta hoon," there was a sudden sense of urgency in Armaan's voice now. He was dying to get back home.


"Good night Armaan!" Dilip and Abhimanyu waved back


"Dad….ap kal kya kar rahe hain? I want you to come for our recording," Abhimanyu asked Dilip


"Nahin kal nahin beta….I have to play golf with Dr Parker and his team, after all they were nice enough to do their demonstration tonight instead of tomorrow, as was originally scheduled!" Dilip said as they walked to the theater.



Dilip Modi walked into the party and headed to meet Anjali. Anjali was the center of attraction at the party. She was surrounded by hoards of admirers. Dilip managed to squeeze his way through and whispered in her ear, "tumhara kaam ho gaya Anjali!"



"Thanks Dr Modi! Kal donation cheque pahunch jaayega aapke office mein….lekin abi sirf 10 baje hain!" Anjali spoke under her breath.


"Anjali….main sab intezaam karke aaya hoon….don't worry!" Dilip whispered back.



It was 10.30 pm by the time Armaan reached home. He entered the apartment; hung his keys and turned the lights on, "arre Riddhima…tum yahan so rahi ho?"



Armaan loosened his tie, put his bag down and knelt down beside the couch. Riddhima was fast asleep. She looked like an angel, decked as a bride. Her mehndi laden hands and feet enhanced her beauty. He touched her payal on her ankles and gently caressed her feet, 'sorry Riddhima,' he said softly.


Riddhima opened her eyes and got up, "Armaan? Kab aaye tum?"



Armaan sat down beside her and touched her face, "sorry jaan…..bahut der ho gayi…..mujhey chaahe jo punishment do wo kum hai."



Riddhima smiled and took his hand in hers, "emergency bataa kar thode hi aati hai…..koi baat nahin….hamari anniversary tho phir aa jaayegi."


Armaan cupped her face in his hands, "you are so understanding…..chalo let's grab some dinner somewhere."



Riddhima looked at the clock, "Armaan ghar par hi rehtey hain…itni raat ko kahan jaayenge?"



"Theek hai jaisa tum chaaho….main freshen up ho kar aata hoon….," Armaan got up and went to their bedroom



Riddhima had already cooked for them, just in case their dinner plans fell through.
She heated up the dinner, laid the table with candles. She turned the lights off and lit the candles.

"Wow! Romantic candle light dinner?" Armaan's eyes lit up as he walked into the dining room.


He grabbed Riddhima's wrist and pulled her over, "so jaan are you ready for the main course? Ab tho neend bhi poori kar lee tumney…..be ready to stay up all night!" he kissed her lips passionately.



"Armaan…..main tho tumhare liye har raat jaagney ko tayyar hoon…tum hukum tho do," she said romantically.


Armaan was about to kiss her again when he saw the bouquet of roses, "Oh…nice roses…..kaun laaya yeh?"



"Kyon tumhare sivaay mera aur koi admirer nahin ho sakta?" Riddhima chuckled.
Armaan felt a little stab in his heart, he tensed up a little and said, "actually red rose dene ka haq sirf mujhey hai….kaun laaya yeh?"


"Abhimanyu aaya tha shaam ko," Riddhima replied


"Oh…OK…," he said with a faint smile and kissed her again, "mmmm….god I missed you all day," he said as they sat down for dinner, "come sit in my lap," he pulled her on his lap.



Armaan started feeding her with his hands, "aaj tum yahin baith kar khaana khaaogi….aur sirf mere haathon se….samjhi?"



Riddhima circled her arms around his neck, "jo hukum doctor sahib!"



Just as they were enjoying their dinner together, Armaan's mobile went off.


Armaan was a little irritated, "Uffo….kiska phone hai?"


"Hello…this is Dr Malik! Yes nurse Mary….kya hua?"


Nurse: "Dr Malik 304 number patient ko bleeding ho rahi hai."



Armaan: "lekin sister, meri aaj duty nahin hai…please call Dr Mittal, he is on call…"


Nurse: "Sir, Dr Modi ke instructions the ki agar 304 ke saath koi bhi problem ho tho aap ko hi bulaaye."

Armaan: "No there is a mistake sister! Please call Dr Mittal, he is very capable of handling this!"


Nurse: "Sir….mujhey nahin pata….Dr Modi naaraaz ho jaayenge…..yahan chart par saaf saaf likha hai ki aapko hi bulaaya jaaye."



Armaan clenched his teeth and said, "Ok…I will be there!" He remembered what Dr Modi had said earlier that evening; there was no way he could disobey Dr Modi's wishes if he wanted the recommendation to the Board to go through.


Riddhima's color faded as she realized that Armaan had to go back, but as always, she was very patient and understanding, "jao Armaan…main tumhara intezaar kar loongi….I will be right here when you come back," she kissed his cheek and got up from his lap.

Armaan looked at her and got up, "Riddhima…I am so sorry…," Riddhima put her hand on his mouth, "jaldi jao….aur jaldi wapas aao…baaton mein time waste mat karo!"

Armaan smiled and kissed her, "Ok jaan…..jo hukum sarkar!"


Sangeeta

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