Thursday, 16 November 2017

PART 49:Ehsaas

 Armaan was relieved that Riddhima was safe and well, but upset with himself for making her sad again, "mujhey dekh kar uski aankhon ka dard aur badh gaya jaise….God, please don't let this ruin anything for her." He had overheard her conversation with Atul, and felt ashamed that Atul still had such a low opinion of his sister's husband at this point.

 Later, when he talked to Muskaan, she told him, "Unki gaadi ke tire ka puncture ho gaya tha, tabhi late ho gaye the…..par Armaan Riddhima ka yeh 6th month chal raha hai, aur uska aaj blood pressure thoda high tha….that is not a good sign…..I have told her to move to Mumbai till the delivery."

"Yeh sab meri wajah se hua hai! If she had not seen me today, her BP would have been fine!" Armaan kicked himself again.

"Don't blame yourself Armaan….kai baar pregnancy mein BP high ho jaata hai…it is probably just a coincidence," Muskaan tried to reassure him, but Armaan did not agree, "No Muskaan….it is my fault! I am not going to show my face to her again, at least till she delivers! But where is she going to stay?"

"Of course with me! Atul tho Mumbai reh nahin paayega uske saath, par Tamanna aur Riddhima dono hamare saath rahenge….don't worry, I will take good care of her," Muskaan said

"I know Muskaan, tumse achha uska khayal koi nahin rakh sakta…..but isn't it ironical that Mumbai mein hamara itna badhaa ghar hai, aur Riddhima ko kisi aur ke saath rehna padh raha hai," Armaan said sadly

"Armaan…tho mera ghar uska apna nahin hai? Anyways, did you read the paper today?" Muskaan asked

"Paper? Nahin mainey ab paper padhna chhod diya hai, I don't believe half the things they write." Armaan had in fact stopped doing a lot of things lately- he had stopped listening to the news, watching TV, going out for parties, drinking and hob-nobbing with the rich and famous anymore. He did not enjoy his work either. He worked because he had to. Tummy tucks, breast implants and face-lifts did not excite him anymore. He was getting tired of celebrities and their tantrums. He brought such beautiful smiles on people's faces with his artful surgery, but the person he wanted to bring a smile on the most would never smile again….thanks to HIM!

"Well, Armaan…you got to read today's headlines!" Muskaan hung up as she had an emergency call.

Armaan went out and purchased the local daily.


Armaan felt vindicated. He looked up at the sky, "Thank you God….shukr hai duniya mein abhi bhi insaaf hai…I hope they can find Sid now! But whatever happened to Abhimanyu?"

It looked like Rahul's dad's contacts with CBI and Armaan's evidence against Anjali had helped the police narrow down their search. He called the police chief and congratulated him. The police chief replied, "congratulation ke hak daar tho tum ho…..we just thwarted an attempt on your life….Anjali had told this underworld don about you. They were planning to kill you today outside the nursing home…..they had been following you for a while and knew that every Wednesday you wait outside that clinic. They were about to shoot you when you were in your car, but for some reason, you got out and went inside the clinic. By that time, thanks to our informant, our force was there to arrest the hit men!"

Armaan looked up in the sky again and thanked the divine intervention, which saved his life today. "Bhagwan shayad tuney mujhey maaf kar diya…..ya mere bachhe ne mujhey maaf kar diya? Usee ne meri zindagi bachaayi hai!"

Armaan asked the police chief, "Informant?"

"Yes, Dr Malik…..we have been working with a secret informant for the last few months…..he has sworn secrecy, so I cannot tell you his name….but trust me he has your best wishes in mind. Good bye doctor!" the chief hung up.

A few days later, Riddhima and Tamanna moved in with Muskaan. Muskaan insisted that Riddhima just relax with her feet up and not do any housework or stress herself at this point. Tamanna became Riddhima's main care taker and gave her company, especially when Muskaan and Rahul were out at work

In the evenings, they all sat around leisurely; played cards; watched old movies and listened to Riddhima sing. Singing always relaxed Riddhima and of course, the others enjoyed her melodious voice every evening. Muskaan kept Armaan informed about Riddhima's progress and how happy she was these days, as her pregnancy progressed smoothly. Her BP still fluctuated, but was still not alarming at this point. Armaan could only imagine and pine for Riddhima's company. How he wished, he could join them every evening and rest his head on Riddhima's lap as she sang in her beautiful voice.

He felt claustrophobic in his own mansion. He barely spent time in the house. He either worked, or spent time aimlessly wandering around the streets or beaches of Mumbai. He talked to very few people, but reflected upon his life and what he wanted from life in the future.

He would often cry silently in his room, flipping through the pages of their wedding album, or remembering his past with Riddhima.

One day, when Riddhima was in her seventh month, Muskaan called Armaan frantically, "Armaan! Armaan…thank God I got you on the phone……I am in the middle of a case and Rahul is also not answering his call……I have a feeling Riddhima is in trouble….she had just called and then hung up midway…..the home phone is now busy and I can't reach Tamanna….she went to the market, but I think forgot her phone at home…..can you go and check on her?"

Armaan sensed the urgency in Muskaan's voice; he dropped everything and bolted out of his office, "Mary…please cancel all my patient appointments!" he ran as fast as he could.

He drove like a maniac, and was at Muskaan's house within minutes. He knocked at the door, but there was no answer. He knew Muskaan had a spare key under the front door mat for her maid. Armaan forced himself in and looked everywhere, "Riddhima? Riddhima?"

His heart was pounding with fear. He went to the kitchen and saw the phone dangling from the wall by it's cord; a saucepan with hot water boiling on the stove and Riddhima laying unconscious on the floor. Armaan was devastated to see Riddhima's mouth frothing, arms and legs shaking with convulsions.


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