Tuesday, 17 October 2017

PART 36:Ehsaas

Next morning, Riddhima was ready and raring to go back to the music studio.

"Subah subah kahan jaa rahi ho?" Armaan asked as he put on his shoes to go to work

"Mandir jaa rahi hoon…aaj se main kaam shuru kar rahi hoon na….maa Saraswati ka aashirwaad lene jaa rahi hoon," Riddhima picked her bag and keys.

Armaan got up and came closer, "aur apne bhagwan jaise pati ka aashirwaad nahin logi baalikey?" he asked animatedly.

"Pati aur bhagwan mein bahut farak hai Armaan….apne pati se sirf mujhey pyaar chaahiye, aashirwaad bhagwan se hi le loongi!" she kissed his cheek and headed for the door.

Armaan laughed at that comment, "lagta hai tum phir se wo puraani waali Ramgarh ki Basanti banti ja rahi ho….ab meri har baat aaraam se nahin maan leti."

Riddhima thought about the recent events between them; yes Armaan was right. She had stopped taking Armaan's words as the gospel truth anymore. She just knew that she loved him with her whole heart despite his shortcomings-his anger, impulsivity, his arrogance sometimes bothered her, but deep down he was a very caring and compassionate person and that is what had attracted her to him in the first place, and above all HE LOVED HER like no man could ever love her.

"Armaan aaj shaam ko meri pehli recording hai, tum aa sakoge? Main chahti hoon tum bhi wahan ho," Riddhima said before she left.

"Zaroor aaoonga….aakhir meri biwi ki request hai, kaise manaa kar sakta hoon…bataao kitne baje aana hai?" he grabbed her and held her close to him.

"Kaam ke baad seedha aa jaana….main tumhara intezaar karoongi," she gave him a peck on his cheek and left.

Riddhima called Padma and Dr Misra from her car. They gave their blessings and were pleased with Riddhima's decision.

Riddhima reached the music studio promptly after offering her prayers at the mandir. She rehearsed all day with the musicians. Abhimanyu and Sid were pleased with her rehearsals.

"I think we are ready to record," Abhimanyu said

"Abhimanyu, if you don't mind…recording thodi der mein kar lein? Main chahti thi ki Armaan bhi yahan ho….is that OK?" Riddhima asked politely
"Sure, sure Riddhima!" Sid intervened, "chal Abhimanyu hum wo doosre gaane ki recording kar lete hain."

Abhimanyu was not very pleased with the idea, but relented.

Armaan was leaving his office in the evening and planning to head to the studio. As he was leaving, he remembered, "Oh, mujhey tho Yuvraaj ke saath Anjali ke yahan jaana tha….wo kaise bhool gaya? Oh God, I will have to figure something out."

Armaan and Yuvraaj took a taxi to Anjali's house. Armaan dialed Riddhima's number a few times, but Riddhima was in a rehearsal room. Her phone was lying in the lobby, next to her bag. Abhimanyu was walking by and heard the phone go off repeatedly. He picked it up, "Hello! This is Riddhima's phone, may I take a message?"

"Yaar…acchha hua tuney phone utha liya….zara Riddhima ko kehna mujhey aane mein bas thodi si der ho jaayegi….par mere bina recording na kare…tell her I have a meeting at Anjali's house…but I will just introduce myself and head to the studio," Armaan informed Abhimanyu

"Don't worry Armaan….main sambhaal loonga," Abhimanyu hung up with a devilish smile on his face.

Abhimanyu went to the rehearsal room, "Riddhima! Armaan ka phone tha…..wo Anjali ke yahan hai, aur recording mein nahin aa paayega, kyunki wahan bahut der ho jaayegi….usne kaha hai ki tum recording uske bina hi kar lo."

Riddhima's color faded; she was disappointed as Armaan had seemed so enthusiastic about coming, "zaroor koi important meeting hogi…..lekin phir Anjali ke saath? Wo hamesha uske ghar par hi kyon milta hai?" Riddhima was a little disturbed at the thought, but had no choice but to record her first song:

"boondon se baatein" from "thakshak"


Armaan and Yuvraaj introduced themselves to Anjali's friends. Armaan was barely there for 20 minutes; he got up and excused himself, "Ladies…..Dr Yuvraaj will explain you the rest of the procedures….I have to leave."

Anjali gave him a scornful look, "Dr Malik….aisa kya important kaam hai? These ladies have come here specially to meet you."

Armaan grinned and looked at all the women, "ladies, aaj meri wife ki pehli music recording hai….I promised her I will be there….I hope you will understand."

Anjali clenched her teeth and smiled, "You know girls, Dr Armaan Malik aur kisi ko naaraz kar dein, par apni biwi ko kabhie naaraz nahin karte…HOW SWEET?" she said sourly.

The women giggled and said, "Jaaiye Dr Malik….warna aaj khaana bhi nahin milega aapko…..lagta hai nai nai shaadi huyi hai,"they made fun of him.

Armaan felt a little offended, but picked his bag and excused himself. Anjali stared at him hatefully, as he exited the house.

Riddhima's recording went very well as expected. After the recording, she was packing up to leave, when Armaan walked in, "sorry Riddhima thodi der ho gayi…chalo I want to hear your recording."

"Recording tho ho gayi Armaan!" Riddhima was a little perplexed as he himself had asked her to go ahead with the recording.

"Ho gayi? Main sirf recording ki wajah se itni jaldi aaya wahan se!" Armaan remarked

"Hello Armaan! Naraaz mat ho….abhi tho Riddhima bahut se gaane gaayegi….so how was your evening with Anjali?" Abhimanyu joined them and patted Armaan's back.

"Yaar aisi koi baat nahin thi…we were just briefing her and some of her friends about some new procedures," Armaan clarified.

"Ya…Ya I know…..but you really missed Riddhima's recording….kya talent paaya hai teri wife ne…dekhna ek din yeh top singer banegi."Abhimanyu complimented her.

Riddhima smiled and thanked Abhimanyu, but noticed that Armaan was still a little upset.

Abhimanyu sensed the tension between them, "Yaar…hota hai…hota hai….just chill…..ab tu bhi itna busy rehta hai…..you will not be able to keep up with her recordings."

Riddhima thanked Abhimanyu again and said, "Abhimanyu, ab humein chalna chaahiye….I will see you tomorrow."

Armaan and Riddhima maintained a cold silence in the car for sometime.

Finally, Riddhima spoke, "Armaan…..I am sorry, mujhey laga tumhey aane mein der ho jaayegi….koi baat nahin phir kabhie aa jaana."

Armaan just clenched his teeth and said angrily, "jaanti ho main sirf tumhari liye jaldi aaya tha, you could not wait a little?"

"Armaan, you are over reacting! Aakhir itne logon ko main kab tak intezaar karne ko kehti, Anjali ke saath waise bhi tumhari meetings bahut lambi chalti hain!"

"So that is the main problem! You are jealous of Anjali!"

"Armaan! Why should I be jealous of her? Haan itna zaroor hai ki wo hamesha apne ghar par hi tumhey kyon bulaati hai? It it is a professional meeting, why can't she meet you in the office?"

"You don't understand Riddhima! These superstars have no time! We have to go to them, they don't come to us!"

"Armaan, tum ek achhe surgeon ho, why do you have to depend on a few celebrities for you success? Tum dekhna ek din door door se tumhare paas log aayenge."

"Riddhima, if I have to become a partner in this business, I have to network with celebrities, they are the ones who bring in the big bucks for our center…..par tum nahin samjhogi!" he took a sharp turn on the road, which threw Riddhima off a little.

"Armaan….gaadi par gussa kyon nikaal rahe ho?" Riddhima sat back into her seat.

"Riddhima….agli baar mere saath aisa mat karna…..aaj pehli baar main meeting adhoori chhod kar aaya tha…..you need to value my time!"

Riddhima was a little hurt by his statement, "Kya Armaan mujhey bhi ek appointment hi samajhta hai?"

"I am sorry Armaan," she said softly, her voice breaking up as she felt a painful lump in her throat.

They got back to their apartment, but kept their cold distance from each other.

They ate their dinner silently, without saying a word.

So many women had hurt Armaan's ego today! Yuvraaj must have stolen the limelight with Anjali's friends tonight, Anjali and her friends must be making fun of the hen-pecked Dr Malik, and to top it all, Riddhima did not have the courtesy to wait for him before her recording. Armaan sat in front of the TV with the remote in his hand. He kept flipping channels all evening.

Riddhima left him alone and settled with a book in her room.

Armaan got more upset, when he saw Riddhima resting on the bed with a book. He thought, "meri galti nahin hoti, tab bhi main Riddhima ko manaa leta hoon, par Riddhima ne ek baar bhi koshish nahin ki hai mujhey manaane ki."

He changed into his night suit and went off to sleep with his back facing Riddhima. Riddhima turned the lights off and closed her eyes.

They both had a restless night, waiting for the other person to come closer and thaw the ice…..

…to be continued…

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