Saturday, 3 March 2018

part 5 : Belonging (AR Mini ff)

"Armaan please slow down!" Riddhima pouted as he accelerated in defiance. Rolling down her window she closed her eyes as the breeze hit her face. It had been a wonderful day; she didn't know which day had been better, yesterday or today. Armaan had taken her to a fair at a nearby village; it had been ages since she had been to one, in fact the last time she had gone was when they still lived in the village. Mumbai didn't have fairs really, it had theme parks. She remembered going to Essel World as a little girl with her folks, it was nice she admitted but local fairs were a whole different ballpark.

Smiling slightly she reminisced about the events of the day. Armaan had been outside her house sharp at 8 looking anxious and excited. As always he had complained endlessly about her delay in coming down; men she mused what did they know about the importance of vanity! He had kept the fair a surprise; she didn't know what to do when they had finally reached their destination. She wanted to everything from riding the ferris wheel to eating the golas, and like a true "friend" Armaan had joined her in everything. In fact the fair had been more enjoyable with his presence, she admitted to herself now. Remembering the few days she had left with him she couldn't control the tears that descended from her eyes.

"Riddhima? What happened?" He had been observing her serene pose from the corner of his eyes. She had looked absolutely gorgeous in the setting sun with her eyes closed, he had to really control the demons inside of him which had been urging him to bend over and kiss those almond eyes of hers. All had seemed fine to him until he saw the tears slip out. Pulling over to a side he hastily unbuckled his sea belt to have a better view. "Riddhima" he said again finally cupping her face. "What happened sweetheart? Why are you crying? Ok look I promise I will drive slow"

Suppressing her sobs Riddhima tried to laugh at his hollow attempt of humor but looking at his worried face and those steely eyes gazing in to her all that came out were sobs. Running into his strong arms at last she wept. "Riddhima? What happened Riddhima? Please tell me, was it something that I did?" Worried now he slowly stroked her hair wondering what had caused this sudden breakdown. Everything had been fine as far as he could remember. They had had a great time at the fair, actually they had a great time overall. It had felt like old times again, well the difference now was that he had a car, when before they used to walk to the fair. He remembered how they used to fight incessantly during their trip to and fro; Riddhima used to moan the entire time that her legs hurt or that she was too tired to walk. He of course would yell at her and threaten to leave her all alone, not relenting Riddhima would stubbornly sit in the middle of the dirt road and pout. Ignoring her he would leave and continue walking only to stop and run back to her again. He would carry her piggy back all the way to the fair and vice versa, of course cursing her the entire way.

He smiled at the memory and came back to the present when he felt her relax in his arms. Placing a gently kiss on the top of her head he tried again to question her. "I am sorry Armaan, it was so silly of me to cry, I am sorry I ruined our day" jolting out of his arms she mumbled frantically while wiping her tears.

"Riddhima, can you please tell me why you were crying?"

"Uh, it's nothing Armaan, nothing at all." Trying to drop the topic she looked away from his handsome face and focused on the setting sun. What could she tell him? That she was afraid of losing him again, she was afraid because she was now hopelessly in love with him, that she was afraid because she had to leave in 3 days and marry Rahul? Exactly what could she tell him?

"Fine I guess I am not important enough to be told the truth, I understand" he stated dejectedly

"No, Armaan, it's nothing, it's just childish" she tried to reason with him but she knew it wasn't working

"Riddhima, we have been friends since we were "children" I think you can tell me the reason behind your "childish" breakdown"

"It's just, I just, I just miss my parents that's all" biting her lower lip she cursed herself for the lie.

Armaan tried hard to suppress his laugh, god this girl was such a kid "Are you crazy Riddhima crying over such a petty thing, I mean you're going to be with your parents in like 3 days.." he stopped short as the meaning of his words settled in, she would be leaving Satyagarh in 3 days no she would be leaving HIM in 3 days.

She immediately turned to look in to his eyes and felt her tears swarming back again. Watching his crestfallen expression she quickly turned away, afraid she might break down again. He adjusted back in to his seat and started the car. They drove in silence for the rest of the way.

"Armaan where are we?" she was the first to break the silence they had maintained for the past 30 minutes. It had gotten dark out now, looking around her surroundings all she saw were trees. "Armaan, why have you brought me to a jungle?"

"So I could kidnap you and keep you with me forever!" She gasped at the seriousness of his statement

"Riddhima you're such an idiot" he faked a hysterical laugh at her solemn expression and came around to open her door.

"The was not funny Armaan"

"Oh come on Riddhima I was only joking"

"Where are you taking me?" she tried to keep up but his pace was too fast plus her 3 inch heels were of no help.

"Shhh Riddhima you talk too much"

"But I am tired and I don't think I can walk anymore"

"Stop whining Riddhima we are almost there"

"You have been saying that for the past 10 minutes, I can't do this anymore" Watching her plop herself on the floor covered with leaves he threw his hands up in the air and walked back to her.

"Riddhima get up our destination is like right ahead, here you can hold my hand so we could walk together."

"I tired Armaan and we still have to walk all the way back, can't we rest for a few minutes, pleaseeeeeee"

Frustrated he controlled his urge to scream, looking down he saw Riddhima seated comfortably on the floor. He knew she wouldn't budge and there was only one thing he could do, with in a second he swooshed her up in his arms and started walking towards their destination.

Too shocked to utter another word Riddhima clutched his shirt and smiled remembering the many times Armaan had carried her. Back then she had been simply content on not having to walk the whole way but today she was enjoying the chance to be in his arms once again. For reasons unknown she was comfortable with this proximity and when he smiled down at her she knew he felt the same.

"Armaan it's so beautiful" Looking around the glowing lake her mouth opened in awe. Deep within the jungle was a beautiful lake, lighted with candles and diya's.

"This place is called the Lover's Lake; there is some old folk tale that two lovers while running away from home in the darkness of the night had drowned here. So, today many young lovers come here and light candles and diya's for the 2 lovers in a way to give them light and guide them to their destination. I usually come here when it's a little later than usual as people leave by then. I started coming here as a kid after you had left, this is my favorite place Riddhima and I always wanted to someday bring you here." Sighing he turned to her and gave her a slight smile.

"It's very beautiful Armaan and thank you for bringing me here" Riddhima did a 360 degree turn and found herself face to face with a mischievous looking Armaan with his hand stretched towards her. Looking quizzically at his extended hand he spoke before she could question.

"A dance my fair lady?"

"Dance? Armaan are you insane, you want to dance at this hour at this place?" She chuckled when he nodded his. Giving in she placed her hand in his and gasped when he pulled her close.

"Uh Armaan there is no music" she whispered a bit nervous by the sudden closeness

"TereLiyeJanam, TereLiye"

Surprised she looked up in to his eyes as he led the way to their first waltz after 15 years to this 15 year old song. She felt herself floating in his arms and drowning in his husky voice.

"Tere Liye Jaanam Tere Liye,
Tere Liye Jaanam Tere Liye,
Yeh Meri Saansen, yeh Mera Jeevan
Bin tere Jeena Bhi Kya......

Tere Liye Jaanam Tere Liye,
Tere Liye Jaanam Tere Liye,

Twirling her around he brought her closer and urged her to continue the singing, he smiled when she snaked her arms around him and sang the next part

Hogi Koi Na Aisi Deewani..
Tujhse Joodi hai Meri Kahaani.

Teri Wafaa Ke Aage Mein haara...
Aankhon Mein tera Chehra Utaara..
Saath Jeena Hai Tere Saath Marna Hai,
Har Ghadi Sanam bas Pyar Karna Hai
Main To Deewana Hua...
Tere Liye Jaanam, Tere Liye,
Yeh Meri Saansen, yeh Mera Jeevan
Bin tere Jeena Bhi Kya..

Riddhima giggled as Armaan sang the last bit a little too loudly and continued twirling her around "Armaan I am going to get dizzy"

"Shh Riddhima you are ruining the song" Wrapping his arms tightly around thin waist he whispered close to her lips "now continue"

Jhoothi nahi Thi Meri Mohabbat..
maine To Ki Thi Tujhse Shararat

Maine Kiya Hai Tujhpe Bharosa..
Dunga Kabhi Naa Main Tujhko Dhoka..
Jo Kahaa na Tha Woh Aaj Kehna Hai..
Bin Tere Ab To Mujhko Na Rehna Hai..
Dil Mera Maange Duaa....
Tere Liye Jaanam Tere Liye,
Yeh Meri Saansen, yeh Mera Jeevan
Bin tere Jeena Bhi Kya

They had stopped dancing a while ago, now they were simply tranquil in each others arms. She felt his warm breath on her face and tried to pull away only to be pushed further in to his chest. Hesitant she lifted her eyes and met his passionate gaze, as she parted her lips to speak, his lips found hers.

 The kiss had longing and love, it was warm and deep. He did not rush rather he took it slow so he could savor each and every movement of their tongues and lips. She felt like sand in his arms, sand that was slipping away. She wanted the time to still, this moment to freeze so she could forever be in his arms, be forever in this union of lips.

 It seemed as if no one was listening, even the heavens seemed to be against this as they poured down in the form of rain separating the blissful merger.


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