Wednesday, 30 June 2021

Last part : Forbidden Love



"Good morning, Mrs. Armaan Malik," Armaan murmured to the beautiful Riddhima he held in his Arms. He couldn't believe that it was real. Riddhima was actually sleeping next to him, snuggled cozily! She tightened her grasp as she heard him whisper. An ethereal smile grazed her lips as she felt Armaan lean down to kiss her cheek.

"mmm..Good morning hubby dear." She slowly opened her eyes to gaze into the soulful eyes of Armaan. They held wonder and amazement and she felt exactly the same. It has been two days since Armaan had confessed his love and they've gotten married. And she still found it hard to believe that the love of her life actually belonged to her. All her hopes and dreams had come true. It must've been destiny after all.

Riddhima leaned up against him to give a slight kiss on the lips. This action suddenly changed the wonder in his eyes, replacing it with hunger. The same hunger that they had appeased a couple of times the night before. But as they had discovered, they absolutely couldn't get enough of each other. Riddhima trembled with desire as Armaan tightened his hold and rolled her on her back mounting up on her. He cupped her face and lowered his head down to capture her lips in a smouldering kiss. Riddhima and Armaan lost themselves in the feelings the kiss aroused in them. Armaan knew their touch would always contain a touch of desperation and yearning in it. They had both experienced losing each other and that fear wouldn't be doused that easily. He wound his fingers in her hair. He revelled in touching it. Armaan felt as if
he could spend an eternity exploring her dark tresses.


"knock knock"
"Mommy, Papa can I come in?"

Just as Armaan was hoping to get further in their lovemaking, Sunny's hopeful yet loud voice broke the moment. Pulling away from each other, Armaan and Riddhima giggled at the sudden end to their tryst.

"My darling Riddhima, did I ever thank you for teaching our son to knock on the door before entering a room?" Armaan chuckled as he pressed a slight kiss on Riddhima's temple. His "our son" reference had her heart dancing. Though this was not the first time that Armaan had referred to Sunny as Riddhima's son, it gladdened her heart everytime she heard it. She giggled in response to his statement.

"No, you didn't. But thank God I had the foresight to do so. Otherwise OUR son will be traumatized for life!" and they both laughed at this. Thanking God that they had their night clothes on, Riddhima invited her son in. "Yes
baby. Come on in!"

THEIR son chose that moment to come running and jump into their bed. And made a place for himself between his beloved parents. Riddhima snuggled closer to him and pressed a kiss on his head. "Did you have a good night baby?"

"Oh I had the best night mommy! I had a great dream. I was on this ship, right. And there was lots of pirates all with big swords and guns and..." as Sunny
continued, clinging onto Riddhima, Armaan looked on happily at the lovely picture they made. He had a moment of nostalgia when the memory of spending a similar morning with Nikki flashed through his head. He silently thanked God for bringing Riddhima into their lives. She had given them the strength to live again. The happiness has returned to their lives with Riddhima's return. Armaan turned his mind to the incidences of the last 2 days. He felt blessed that everyone had rejoiced in their union. Atul, who had missed the wedding by a second had been genuinely happy for his brother when Anjali had related what had happened. And, he smiled silently, the happiest person after Riddhima and himself would have to be his mother. She hadn't been able to clamp down her excitement about Riddhima being part of the family. He swear, it must've been only the presence of Shashank and Padma that had prvented her from jumping up and down in glee on that day. And even though they had only returned to Mumbai yesterday, Sunita was already planning a grand reception for them tonight.

"knock knock"
"Beta, are you guys still sleeping??"

Oh, speak of the devil! His mother had a long life to live. Armaan smiled sharing a glance with Riddhima, who quickly got out of the bed at Sunita's voice. Armaan groaned in disappointment as his dreams for a lovely morning in bed further dissolved into nothing. He hugged Sunny to his side and tickled him, who had finally remembered that his father was also on the same bed and giggled in response.

"No Mommiji. Please come in." Riddhima said opening the door.

A beaming Sunita stepped inside the room and drank in the sight that was in front of her. Armaan and Sunny laughing in bed, and Riddhima smiling indulgently at them was a dream that she had for a long time. And it had finally come true.She hid a tear that threatened to fall but Riddhima saw right through her. She came forward and hugged Sunita. Her mother-in-law had been responsible for her happiness. If it wasn't for her, Riddhima would never have had the courage to encourage Armaan's attentions. She would've spent the rest of her life being Armaan's friend. But due to Sunita, Riddhima now possessed the family that she had dreamt of all her life.

"Beta, there is a lot to be done. The whole house is up. Anjali and Atul have already started on the decorations. But we let you sleep in since newly weds
find it really hard to get up in the morning.." Sunita winked at Riddhima after breaking the hug. Riddhima cheeks reddened at her mother-in-law's teasing.

"Please mommiji.." she shyly murmured.

"hehehe..I told you na, I'm going to be teasing you for the rest of my life. Get used to it beta." She gently cupped Riddhima's cheek before turning her gaze on the duo on bed. "And you two, out of the bed NOW! Sunny, go brush your teeth, I'll come and help you bathe in 5 mins."

"But dadi, I want mommy to help me!" Sunny pouted. For Sunny, those moments with his mother were precious.

"Not today beta. Your mommy has to take a bath too. Now run along!" Sunny obeyed her and took off running. Sunita followed him after winking at Riddhima again. Riddhima blushed and looked down at the floor. Armaan taking advantage of the moment of respice, came up and hugged Riddhima from the back, who gasped at the sudden action.

"Armaan, let go na." She struggled in his hold.

"NO!" he said kissing her neck. Riddhima shied away from his touch, though that didn't deter Armaan, who kept at his effort. "Didn't you hear? Mom told you to take a bath. Let's go do that now."

"Armaan, bathe with you?" A shocked Riddhima could feel her entire body turning red. Physical intimacy with a man was still new to her, which made it almost impossible for her to imagine being in the shower with Armaan. And Armaan could feel her nervousness. And her shyness and innocence only made her more endearing to him. Armaan never thought of himself as the caveman type, but the fact that Riddhima belonged to him only made his heart overflow with feeling.

"Ok ok. No bath today. But I'll let you go if you give me a kiss!" he teased. Riddhima, deciding to do a bit of teasing of her own, turned her head around
lifting it up for a kiss. Armaan, who closed his eyes with anticipation, was shocked to feel only a little featherlight kiss on his cheek and hear her pearly
laughter before she pushed him away and ran to the bathroom. Armaan ran after her laughing as well, though she had already locked the door by then.

"Fine fine. Mrs Malik, You can run away from me now. But you have to come out sometime or the other. I"ll get you then!" Armaan yelled laughing. Ahh..Life was fantastic!!!
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Riddhima adjusted her saree (http://www.utsavsarees.com/store/sarees-large.aspx?icode=SDG117) after finishing her make-up. It was almost time for the reception and she could hear the guests arrive. The reception is happening on the lawn, which has turned in a small fairyland with the skills of Sunita, Anjali and Atul and of course the event management firm they had hired. Armaan, she giggled, had not been able to wait until she exited the bathroom as he had vowed since Atul had taken him away somewhere. Even though they hadn't had a chance to be alone again, his beautiful eyes had followed her everywhere, promising revenge. And he's probably even more worked up now as she had decided to get ready in Anjali's room. Riddhima wanted to surprise Armaan tonight. Wearing yet another saree, she wanted to see his eyes devour her as he gazed up on her as they had before.

"Ridz, are you ready?" Anjali entered the room and smiled as she looked up on the vision her sister made. Anjali knew that her sister was very beautiful. But today she seemed more radiant, probably because her hapiness is shining through her eyes.

"Yea. Di, do you think this is pretty enough? I love wearing dresses from our fashion line. And I loved this saree the moment that you showed it to me. But
do you think its alright on me?" Riddhima turned around to look at Anjali who looked beautiful in a blue and black saree. The need to assure that Armaan will think she was beautiful mattering to her more than ever.

"Ridz, crazy girl. You look absolutely gorgeous tonight. Armaan won't be able to keep his eyes off you!" Anjali teased and Riddhima laughed and blushed in response.

"Di, can I ask you something?"

"Of course dear. Go ahead." Anjali came forward and hugged her sister. She was extremely happy that Riddhima had married Armaan. From what she could see so far, Riddhima was the happiest she had ever been. Anjali had gotten the whole story out of Riddhima after she had first gotten married. And it had amazed and saddened Anjali to know the truth about Riddhima's love. She couldn't believe how oblivious she had been to her sister's love. It made her feel lacking in her sisterly love but at the same time, Riddhima had assured her. What Anjali had done in bringing the matter to Rahul's attention had been worth everything Riddhima could possibly ask for. Even surpassed it.

"Di, you have been happily married these 2.5 years. How do you do it? I mean, everyone loves you and you are the perfect wife, perfect daughter-in-law, sister-in-law everything. I am afraid that I won't be able to fulfill all that is expected of me." Riddhima shared her trepidation with her sister. In the
euphoria of being married, she had forgotten the life that comes after it.

Anjali, on the other hand, wondered at how innocent her sister was. Riddhima had been taking care of the whole family for so long. She had done a fabulous of it too. She had inspired the love in the family again and questioned her ability to do what she had been doing all along.

"Ridz, you are crazy indeed. Come here sit." They both sat down on the edge of the bed. " Ridzy. For the past year, you have been fulfilling all those duties
that you are talking about. You have been a great mother to Sunny and a daughter-in-law to Mommiji. As for being a sister-in-law, trust me I know you as a fabulous sister, so I am sure you'll be great as an in-law too." Anjali teased and Riddhima turned red at the ears. "So, something tells me that you are worried about being a wife. Am I right?" Anjali inquired and the slight nod from Riddhima confirmed it.

"Di, I know what a great wife Nikita was and I don't think I could bring myself up to that level. What if Armaan is ever disappointed in me?" Riddhima shared her deepest fear. Following in a someone's footsteps, specially someone as great as Nikita was a daunting thought. She remembered how happy Armaan had been with Nikita. How their lives had prospered in Nikita's care. What if Riddhima wasn't able to give this family that same happiness?

"Ridz, first thing. Don't compare yourself to someone else. You are very special on your own. With your love and tender care, you have become a very special person in the Maliks' hearts. As for being a wife. Riddhima, you love Armaan. And he loves you. It's that simple. And what did he say about Nikki?

"He said that she was his past and I am the present and future."

"See, there you go. He has already ensured that Nikita won't come in between your relationship. Your love is really strong Riddhima. If it can withstand all the suffering and tests that you had to face in the past 2.5 years, it will make sure that you leave no stone unturned to ensure that Armaan is happy. Don't even give it a second thought! And you have been a wife for him in all but name this past year by taking care of him, being there for him. Being a wife is also about being a companion and you are his best friend. Don't forget that."

Riddhima felt relieved with Anjali's statement. She hugged her sister thanking wordlessly for giving her courage. Anjali hugged her back, glad that she had
been some help.

"Thanks Di."

"You're welcome ridz. Anytime. By the way, you don't need help with anything else, do you?" Anjali winked, gesturing at the bed. Riddhima blushed further.
Really, she was on a blushing spree these days.

"No Di. That I think I have under control." She teased back and both sisters burst out laughing.

"Knock knock"
"Mommy? Are you in there?" Sunny's happy voice interjected their interlude.

"Yes baby. Come on in." At her response, an excited Sunny ran into the room and to the arms of his mother.

"Wow baby, you are looking very handsome today." Riddhima kissed the top of his head.

"Thanks Mommy. You look beautiful too and Aunty Anjali you too. Dad and Uncle Atul are going to be so happy." Sunny added and Riddhima and Anjali
laughed at the tone with which he said the final sentence as if he really understood the effect the women were going to have on the men.

"Thank you Sunny beta. But what are you doing here? Last I saw, you were playing with Sonia!" Anjali asked. Sonia was a daughter of a business associate of the Maliks and was of the same age as Sunny.

"I stopped it. I don't like girls. They cry at the smallest things." Sunny pouted clinging to Riddhima. This set off the laughter again. Riddhima couldn't wait to see the day when he didn't hate girls so much. And its still seemed surreal that she will actually be with him for it.

"And dadi told me to tell you to come down now. Guests are here. And papa is staring at the door all the time." Sunny shook his head perplexed. The ways of the adults were beyond him.

"hehehe. Let's go Ridz. Otherwise your hubby dear will die of waiting." Anjali teased and the trio exited the room laughing.
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Where was she? What's taking so long???!!! Armaan roared in his head. Dressed in a black tux, He was utterly impatient. And it was the kind that he had NEVER experienced before. Though, looking at his watch relayed to him that its only been 10 minutes since he'd come to the party, he was starving for the sight of his beloved. And its only been a couple of hours since she'd gone away from him, but he already missed her. Riddhima..when she was with him, his life was with him. And he didn't want to lose sight of her, ever. He wondered at the depth of his love for her. If someone had told him a couple of months ago that he'd be feeling like this now, he would've signed them off to mental asylums. But  now, his feelings for her could not be measured.

Guests were going back and forth, some stopping to greet and chat with him. But his heart wasn't in making conversation. His eyes always strayed to the entrance.

"Beta, everyone is almost here. I wonder what's taking Riddhima this long?" Sunita appeared next to him, joining his gaze in looking at the entrance.

"Mom, should I go get her?" Suddenly eager, Armaan couldn't help himself in blurting that out. Sunita laughed at his eagerness. And the people around them, who had overheard their conversation laughed as well. It was heartening to see the love that Armaan and Riddhima had for each other.

"No need beta. I already sent a messenger. You just keep doing what you are doing. One eye on the watch and one eye on the entrance." Sunita joked.

"Mooooooom!!!!!" Armaan was embarassed. Sunita laughed again. And suddenly a beauty in pink along with 2 beautiful companions came into their line of vision. Armaan's jaw dropped in awe at the picture Riddhima presented. His heartbeat increased and breathing got heavier. He couldn't stop his feet from treading towards his oasis. Riddhima too, who watched Armaan's approach, was awestruck at how handsome her husband was looking. Suddenly, stirrings of music flooded into their ears. And of course, though he didn't know it at the moment, he had his mom to thank for for the choice of song. The ultimate romantic.

Jo khwabon khayalo mein socha nahi tha
Tune mujhe itna pyaar diya
Mein jab bhi jahan bhi
kadi dhoop mein tha
Teri zulf ne mujhpe saaaya kiya
Jo khwabon khayalo mein socha nahi tha
Tune mujhe itna pyaar diya
Mein jab bhi jahan bhi
kadi dhoop mein tha
Teri zulf ne mujhpe saaaya kiya

Armaan's feet stopped infront of Riddhima, who looked down in shyness at his intense gaze. Armaan couldn't himself from doing a thorough once-over of his love. She looked absolutely breathtaking. She unknowingly tighened the grasp she had on Sunny's hand to control the emotions Armaan aroused in her. Oblivious to everyone standing around them, Armaan caressed a strand of her curls that had escaped its hold. Riddhima, who couldn't help but stare into eyes this time, was lost in the love that was pouring out in them. This moment was as special as any loving moment that they could have. Atul and Rahul, who had walked up the to group by then, nudged Armaan out of his trance which was followed by laughter as utterly embarassed Riddhima and Armaan jerked out of their reverie. Sunita tsked and took Riddhima away from Armaan, Anjali going with them.

Haan tu hai
Haan tu hai
Meri baaton mein tu hai
Meri khawaabon mein tu
Yaddon mein tu
Iraado mein tu hai
Iraado mein tu hai
Haan tu hai
Haan tu hai
Meri baaton mein tu hai
Meri khawaabon mein tu
Yaddon mein tu
Iraado mein tu hai
Iraado mein tu hai

Armaan watched from sidelines as Sunita took Riddhima to all the guests and introduced her. His eyes were glued to her face. She looked adorable smiling and conversing with the guests. And as usual, she had charmed everyone that she had met. Riddhima too sneaked glances at Armaan. She could see that he was with Atul and Rahul, though his head was turned her way. She would never get enough of his special glances. They conveyed their overflowing emotions through their eyes. You are the most precious thing in my life, their eyes said to each other. Suddenly Sunny came and grabbed Riddhima's hand breaking their little moment. He dragged her away to where some of the children were and proudly introduced his new mommy to them.

Koi bhi aisa lamha nahi hai
jismein mere tu hota nahi hai
mein so bhi jau mein raaton mein lekin
Tu hai ki mujhe mein sota nahi hai
Tu hai ki mujhe mein sota nahi hai
Haan tu hai
Haan tu hai
Meri baaton mein tu hai
Meri khawaabon mein tu
Yaddon mein tu
Iraado mein tu hai
Iraado mein tu hai

Armaan watched as his wife and son mingled with the other children. Riddhima was an absolute delight to observe, especially when she was with children. They looked transfixed by her as she stood explaining something to them. Armaan chuckled at the sight. His Riddhima knew how to mesmerize everyone within her radius. He could not imagine his life without her. His every thought, every action, every heartbeat was linked to her. To simply put, she was his universe. Armaan stared at his son, who begged for a kiss and hug from his mother. They were lovely. He could see Sunita, who wiped away a tear at the emotional moment. Yes, Life was perfect.

Hai teri inayat tujhhse mili hai
hoton mein mere hasin jo khili hai
Usse mera chehra chupa bhi na paaye
Tujhe pake hasil hui jo khushi
Tujhe pake hasil hui jo khushi

He walked to where Riddhima and Sunny stood. Ruffling Sunny's hair, he took Riddhima's hand and pressed a kiss on it. Riddhima blushed at the action and and the big smile he had on his face. Ultimate happiness. This is it. He could feel everyone surrounded going awww at their behaviour. Excusing himself and Riddhima to their son, which made everyone laugh, he took Riddhima to the dance floor. Sunita came and stood with Sunny watching the lovebirds dance.

Haan tu hai
Haan tu hai
Meri baaton mein tu hai
Meri khawaabon mein tu
Yaddon mein tu
Iraado mein tu hai
Jo khwabon khayalo mein socha nahi tha
Tune mujhe itna pyaar diya
Mein jab bhi jahan bhi
kadi dhoop mein tha
Teri zulf ne mujhpe saaaya kiya
Haan tu hai
Haan tu hai
Meri baaton mein tu hai
Meri khawaabon mein tu
Yaddon mein tu
Iraado mein tu hai
Iraadi mein tu hai

Armaan encircled his hands around her waist, pulling her closer. Riddhima, put her hands around his neck and looked down in shyness. Their breathing
intensified with the increasing proximity. "I love you" Armaan whispered hotly against her ear and Riddhima felt shivers running down her spine. She tightened her arms around him. They swayed to the music, letting the notes carry them away to the heaven on earth.

Everyone, looking at them had only one thought in mind. Wow a couple made in heaven...

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