Wednesday, 25 October 2017

PART 40: Ehsaas

                        
Armaan got back from the hospital after resuscitating the Finance Minister back to life. Armaan was exhausted from the sleepless nights; he collapsed into his bed as soon as he reached home. He had flashbacks of his evening with Anjali. He was disgusted with himself and thanked the Finance minister from saving him from committing a sin- a sin even he would not have forgiven himself for.


After the conference was over, Armaan decided to leave for Ramgarh. Anjali had bribed Dr Modi into keeping Armaan in Mumbai at some pretext. Dr Modi insisted that Armaan stay back in town as they had some major surgeries scheduled that week, "Armaan…..i cannot perform these surgeries without you….you are my right hand man! Agar tum nahin huye, tho yeh surgeries ki success kum ho jaayegi…..you have to understand Armaan……ek surgeon ki zindagi uski nahin hoti….apne patients ki hoti hai…..theek usi tarah jaise ek sipaahi ki zindagi uski nahin, balki desh ki hoti hai."


Armaan fell trap to Dr Modi's emotional blackmail and cancelled his plan to go to Ramgarh. He called Riddhima several times, but she just answered his calls in monosyllables and reassured him that she would be back after the 13 th day ceremony. She had become a little bitter after Armaan's brief visit to Ramgarh. She knew that she had no choice but to go back to Armaan, after all that is what she had heard all her life…..pati ka ghar hi sab kuch hota hai….



Riddhima insisted that Padma accompany her to Mumbai, but her mother refused. She would not leave Ramgarh, come what may. They finally decided to lock Dr Misra's home; Padma moved back to her own house. Tamanna promised to take care of Padma maasi after Riddhima was gone.




Abhimanyu and Riddhima returned to Mumbai after completing all the ceremonies. Riddhima kept her distance from Abhimanyu, after Shubhankar had warned her. Abhimanyu was very considerate and compassionate with Riddhima. He did not probe into her personal affairs; he offered his help wherever she needed help and held back when Riddhima needed to be alone.



Armaan was home when Riddhima walked in with Abhimanyu. Riddhima paused when she saw Armaan sitting in front of the TV, flipping channels. He had not shaved in a few days, his hair was unkempt and his eyes were red from insomnia. He smiled at Riddhima's sight and got up. He saw Abhimanyu following with Riddhima's bag in his hand.



"Thanks Abhimanyu!" Armaan said and met him at the door, indirectly asking Abhimanyu to leave and not enter the apartment.



Riddhima turned around and smiled at Abhimanyu tearfully, "thanks for everything Abhimanyu….I will be grateful to you forever…..you are a great friend," she held his hand and squeezed it with her hands. Abhimanyu came forward and gave her a friendly hug, "take care of yourself Riddhima!" Abhimanyu shook hands with Armaan and took leave. Armaan's nostrils flared when he saw Riddhima hold Abhimanyu's hand and clenched his fists as Abhimanyu hugged Riddhima.



Riddhima picked her bag and walked into her bedroom

Armaan followed her, "Riddhima….kaise hain sab Ramgarh mein?"


Riddhima replied dryly, "agar formality mein poonch rahe ho, tho rehne do….aur agar genuinely poonch rahe ho, tho tumhey poonch ne ki zaroorat nahin honi chaahiye…..apne aap samajh jaana chaahiye," she took out a change of clothes from the closet and headed to the bathroom.



Armaan grabbed her wrist, "Riddhima….please aise baat mat karo…..main majboor tha….please mere saath thodi der baith jao….I need to talk to you."



Riddhima pulled away, "Armaan….please leave me alone for sometime…..I am not in a mood to talk," she went to the bathroom and shut the door behind her.

Armaan tried to follow her, but she had locked the door.



He just kicked the floor in frustration and said to himself, "jab Abhimanyu se itni baatein kar li, tho mujhse kyon karogi?" he left the room and went back to the TV remote.

Armaan and Riddhima lived like strangers for the next few weeks. They did not even communicate through their post-it notes. Armaan was upset about the whole Abhimanyu issue; he expected Riddhima to come to him and clear any misunderstandings about Abhimanyu. He expected her to run into his arms and tell him how much she missed and loved him- just like he did, but would not say it.



Riddhima was of course hurt by the fact that Armaan had not even bothered to spend anytime in Ramgarh with her family after the tragedy, but was more hurt by the fact that Armaan had not shown any respect for the late Dr Misra. She did not pay much heed to Armaan's jealousy about Abhimanyu. Riddhima would have forgiven Armaan, if he had shown even a little compassion and tried to understand her grief, and above all shown some respect to her family back in Ramgarh.




Riddhima resumed her recordings for her album. Armaan immersed himself in work and would not return till late at night. Riddhima was usually fast asleep by the time he came back. They barely touched each other; they were like perfect strangers in their tiny apartment leading parallel lives.

Riddhima's emotions are very well expressed in this song:

"ek daur wo bhi tha" from "yeh nazdeekiyan"

http://www.dishant.com/lyrics/song-3624.html

ek daur vo bhi tha
ek daur ye bhi hai, ek daur ye bhi hai

ek daur vo bhi tha
ham jo kah na paate the aap vo bhi sunate the
kaanton ko pare karake ek phool chunate the
ek kvaab bunate the
ek daur vo bhi tha

ek daur ye bhi hai
jo bhi kahana sunana hai kud se kahate sunate hain
phool hon ke kaante hon apane aap hi chunate the
jitane sapane toote hain utane sapane bunate hain
ek daur ye bhi hai, ye bhi hai, ye bhi hai

ek daur vo bhi tha
ham jahaan bhi jaate the saath saath jaate the
saath ladakhadaate the
saath ladakahadaate to ham sanbhal bhi jaate the -2
ek daur vo bhi tha

ek daur ye bhi hai
ab jahaan bhi jaate hain poochhate hain raste bhi
kyon akele phirate ho
is tarah sanbhalana kya lagata hai ke girate ho
ek daur ye bhi hai -2 ye bhi hai, ye bhi hai

ek daur vo bhi tha jab bahut thi nazadeeki
ek daur ye bhi hai jab hai utani hi doori
kisako dosh de koi vaqt ki ye majaboori
raat baaqi hai lekin neend ho chuki poori

ek daur vo bhi thaa, vo bhi thaa, vo bhi tha
ek daur ye bhi hai, ye bhi hai, ye bhi hai



One day, Armaan decided to appease Riddhima. He met with a realtor and took possession of a house near Juhu beach. It was a beautiful two-storey mansion with a sprawling front and backyard. It was an ex movie star's home.



"Riddhima….aaj mere saath chalo….ek surprise hai," Armaan tried to thaw the ice between them.

Riddhima stayed silent and kept doing her work.



"RIDDHIMA! For heaven sakes, please chalo mere saath…..uske baad tumhara saara gussa thanda ho jaayega….main jaanta hoon main tumhara gunahgaar hoon…..please come for my sake."



Riddhima relented and went with Armaan, "theek hai…..kahan chalna hai?" she asked dryly.



They arrived at the mansion. Armaan helped Riddhima out of the car, "Yeh raha tumhara naya ghar!"



Riddhima did not show any signs of elation. She replied sardonically, "You mean makaan? I am sorry Armaan, I don't see any point in moving to a bigger house, we are strangers in our small apartment as it is…….do you think this house will bring us closer?"



Armaan frowned and said angrily, "aakhir tum chaahti kya ho Riddhima? Har aurat ki khwaaish hoti hai ki uska ek ghar ho….aur phir tum hi tho chaahti ho ki hamara ek bachha bhi ho…..maine jee jaan lagaa ke yeh ghar khareeda hai….sirf tumhari khushi ke liye…."



Riddhima gave him an angry look, "Armaan……kaash tumne kabhie yeh socha hota ki mujhey sach much kya chaahiye…..yeh ghar tumney apne liye khareeda hai…..tumney aaj tak har cheez sirf apne liye ki hai…..kabhie kisi aur ke liye kuch kar ke dekhoge, tab pataa chalega ki khushi kise kehte hain."




Armaan held her hand, "What the hell? Yeh sab tumhare liye hi tho kar raha hoon main……please andar chalo."



Riddhima relented and just followed him. She accepted the new house as her fate; she helped Armaan move to their new house. She had lost the desire to decorate or convert the four walls of the house into a home. She had almost become stone like in her emotions.



Sid had noticed the change in Riddhima at work. Riddhima was not her usual cheerful self. She still sang with all her heart, but hardly interacted with anyone at work. She declined Abhimanyu's offers to go out for dinners or lunches.



Armaan kept his distance from Anjali after her seduction act. Anjali was also busy with her out door shooting these days. Abhimanyu and Anjali were content that Armaan and Riddhima were not as intimate with each other as they used to be. Anjali knew that it was just a matter of time before their marriage would crumble. At that point, Anjali would move into Armaan's life and his new bungalow!



Sid contacted Muskaan one day and talked to her about Armaan and Riddhima. They both wanted to help their dear friends. They knew that Armaan and Riddhima still yearned for each other; they just needed a catalyst to ignite their chemistry again.



Muskaan and Rahul had gotten married recently at a quiet ceremony, but had not thrown a post wedding reception yet.



"Riddhima….kal shaam ko Muskaan aur Rahul ka reception hai…..please tayyar rehna….wahan jaane se inkaar mat karna," Armaan pleaded.



"Theek hai!" Riddhima replied. Her replies were usually brief and to the point these days. Armaan had given up on trying to please her…..if a huge mansion could not please her, what would? He forgot those days, when Riddhima would melt at the sight of a wilted flower, as long as it was accompanied with a genuine apology. Armaan had become so possessed by materialism and a sense of fake happiness that he did not realize what Riddhima really needed and wanted.



The reception party was held at Rahul's family's farmhouse. Rahul came from a well to do family and was now a practicing general physician. Muskaan and Rahul made a perfect pair- they were unassuming, compassionate and down to earth people. Riddhima was very fond of both of them. Despite her differences with Armaan, Riddhima had managed to keep in touch with most of his friends. She hosted large parties for his colleagues and for networking purposes. On the outside, she was an ideal wife- devoted, kind and polite who looked after all her husband's needs. No one but people close to her like Muskaan and Sid could tell that Riddhima was unhappy.



At the party, Armaan mingled with the other physicians and their spouses. Anjali was not invited to the party, but Abhimanyu and Sid were present with their band.



Riddhima hung out with Muskaan and Abhimanyu most of the time. Armaan kept an eye on her and cringed every time she whispered something into Abhimanyu's ears. He wanted to take Abhimanyu to the side and beat him up black and blue.



Sid's trained eyes were not oblivious to the dynamics between Armaan, Riddhima and Abhimanyu.



After drinks and dinner, Sid announced, "I would like to congratulate the newly wed couple, Muskaan and Rahul and would like to dedicate this song to all the lovely couples here….mera saath dengi hamari nai singer, Naina Singh! I urge all the couples to come to the dance floor and dance to this evergreen number"



They both started crooning this beautiful, romantic song : "jab koi baat bigad jaaye" from "jurm"



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCgtJjWwqHY&feature=related

(AR VM by neelu21)

Jab koi baat bigad jaaye jab koi mushkil pad jaaye
Tum dena saath mera o humnawaaz
Jab koi baat bigad jaaye jab koi mushkil pad jaaye
Tum dena saath mera o humnawaaz



Armaan and Riddhima looked at each other as the song started playing. This was one of their favorite songs. Armaan looked at Riddhima longingly and walked towards her. He stretched out his hand. Riddhima was initially hesitant, but Muskaan nudged her to take his hand. Muskaan and Rahul took to the dance floor and swayed with the song.



Riddhima finally accepted Armaan's offer. They had not touched each other for weeks; they were both surprised as the first touch in weeks could still elicit the same current through their bodies, as before.



Na koi hai na koi tha zindage mein tumhaare siva
Tum dena saath mera o humnawaaz
Tum dena saath mera o humnawaaz



Armaan pulled Riddhima gently into his arms. Riddhima did not resist and twined her hands with his hands. They both drifted closer and closer to each other, till there was hardly room between them.



Ho chaandni jab tak raat deta hai har koi saath
Tum magar andheron mein na chhodna mera haath
Ho chaandni jab tak raat deta hai har koi saath
Tum magar andheron mein na chhodna mera haath




Abhimanyu watched them with hateful eyes, "bane banaaye kaam par paani phir gaya…yeh Sid ki tho main khabar loonga" He went to Sid and whispered in his ear, "yeh boring gaana kyon lagaa diya?"



Sid smiled at him as he was swaying with the music, "kyon jalan ho rahi hai….tera plan fail ho raha hai?"



Abhimanyu was stunned, "plan? What do you mean?"



Sid hummed, "jab koi baat bigaadni ho….tho Abhimanyu aur Anjali ko saath le aao….main sab jaanta hoon Abhimanyu…..I overheard you and Anjali one day…..bechare Armaan aur Riddhima ke peeche kyon padhe ho….see look at them…they are madly in love with each other."



Abhimanyu fumed and looked at Armaan and Riddhima. They were both crying their hearts out; tasting each other's tears as they danced together……



Jab koi baat bigad jaaye jab koi mushkil pad jaaye
Tum dena saath mera o humnawaaz
Na koi hai na koi tha zindage mein tumhaare siva
Tum dena saath mera o humnawaaz

Wafadaari ki vo rasmein nibhayenge hum tum kasmein
Ek bhi saans zindagi ki jab tak ho apne bas mein
Wafadaari ki vo rasmein nibhayenge hum tum kasmein
Ek bhi saans zindagi ki jab tak ho apne bas mein

Jab koi baat bigad jaaye jab koi mushkil pad jaaye
Tum dena saath mera o humnawaaz
Na koi hai na koi tha zindage mein tumhaare siva
Tum dena saath mera o humnawaaz

Armaan whispered, "Riddhima…I love you jaan….please maaf kar do mujhey."

Riddhima whispered, "maafi doosron se maangte hain…apno se nahin."




Dil ko mere hua yakeen hum pehle bhi mile kahin
Silsila ye sadiyon ka koi aaj ki baat nahin
Dil ko mere hua yakeen hum pehle bhi mile kahin
Silsila ye sadiyon ka koi aaj ki baat nahin

Jab koi baat bigad jaaye jab koi mushkil pad jaaye
Tum dena saath mera o humnawaaz
Jab koi baat bigad jaaye jab koi mushkil pad jaaye
Tum dena saath mera o humnawaaz
Na koi hai na koi tha zindage mein tumhaare siva
Tum dena saath mera o humnawaaz
Tum dena saath mera o humnawaaz


After the song finished, Armaan and Riddhima stayed locked in each other's arms, oblivious of their surroundings. Armaan kissed Riddhima passionately on her lips to the applause of their audience. They both fumbled and looked embarrassed. Muskaan had tears in her eyes; she gave a thumbs up to Sid as Abhimanyu left the party in a haste.



Armaan and Riddhima did not stay much longer either. They rushed home and walked in with their lips locked to each other. Armaan finally lifted his wife and rushed up the stairs to inaugurate the bedroom in their new house.



Their pent up passions played havoc all night, as they could not get enough of each other…….Riddhima had never felt so liberated in her life…..Armaan gave her everything he had…..and she would cherish this gift from him all her life…….


......................
Sangeeta

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