Tuesday, 13 March 2018

part 7 : Aradhana - Anmol Bandhan



'Misthy! I can't stand her. Don't encourage her to be with me. Agar tumhey uske saat Pune jana chahti toh, Jao. I'm not coming with you if she comes. Samjhey?.' Arman was irritated to know about Ridhima accompanying them in the evening.

Misthy disappointed at his firm refusal 'Bhai! Wo paraya nahin hai. Kyon Atul ka gussa uspe nikaal raha hai? She is innocent.'



Arman sarcastically nodded his head 'you are right, she is innocent. Aaj itna pyar jata rahi hai. Kahan thi uss din reception mein jab humara khatirdari karney wala koyi nahin they? Did she ever bother about her jijoo's family?' he walked into his room mumbling 'innocent!'

Ridhima's eyes welled up at Arman's rejection when she overheard the siblings' conversation. But she realized the reason behind Arman's anger. She often heard from Atul about his anguish on her family, but never took it seriously.

Misthy noticed Ridhima at the door 'Ridz! Tum kab aayi hai?' She embarrassed to show her face as she had been realised that Ridhima overheard the conversation.

Ridhima faintly smiled and tried to say something. But Arman walked out when he heard the two, 'Misthy! Humey jana hai. Bua humara raah dekti hongi. Hurry-up.'

Misthy looked guiltily at Ridhima, and Arman confirmed 'hum donon hi jaa rahey hai.' He gave sharp looks at Ridhima and went back to his room.

'I'm sorry! Ridz!' Misthy apologised for Arman's rude behavior. Ridhima smiled mischievously 'yeh kaun hai mujhey rokney wala? I'm coming with you. I'll be waiting down for you. Tumhara bhai ka khatirdari abb hum karengey. I'll wait for you downstairs.' Misthy was surprised at her determination, 'you will be the right person to my bhai!!' she thought about Ridhima.

Arman was loading stuff into the trunk and was shocked to see Ridhima with a small tote bag. She didn't give scope for rejection as she authoritatively put her bag in the trunk. She rolled her eyes at him and whispered 'kaisi khatirdari chahiye aapko?'

She innocently batted her eye lids at his shocked face and repeated his words, 'Chalo, Misthy! Bua wait karti hongi.' She took back seat and turned head through rear window.

Arman clinched his jaws with a sigh 'ziddi ladki!' Arman couldn't escape Ridhima's naughty looks and teasings until they reached Pune. Misthy noticed Ridhima's naughtiness but enjoyed game between them.

Bua received all the three with great affection 'Mujhey shanka tha ki tum nahin ayega. Humesha kuch na kuch bahana dhoondta rehta hai.' She blamed Arman for not visiting her for long time.

'Aisa nahin hai, Bua! Misthy bhi bahut yaad kar rahi thi. Toh socha ek baar milke ajaoon. Aur yeh hai Ridhima. Gupta Sir ki beti.' He introduced Ridhima for curtsey. Ridhima was happy for Arman not ignored her. She thanked him from corner of her eyes as stroked her strands behind ears.

Misthy and Ridhima touched Satyavati's feet before she walked them inside. Misthy and Ridhima went into their room to freshen. Arman followed into the kitchen to help in Satyavati's delicious cooking. 'Arman! Gupta pariwar se dostana kab se hua hai? Yeh toh bahut kushi ki baat hui.'

Arman juggled onion and potatoes and settled in the dining chair 'Dostana nahin, Bua! Yeh ladki toh mera gala padgaya hai.' He blushed when Satyavati stared at him 'wo mujhse pyar karti hai. Humesha mere aagey peechey hi ghoomti rehti hai. Abb hospital mein bhi mere saat kaam karney lagi. Diwana hai mere peechey. Pata nahin kaise ussey peechey chuda doon.'

Satyavati disbelievingly looked at him, 'yeh kaisa hua? Anjali ki Choti behen hotey bhi kitna alag hai! Pyar sirf uski taraf se hai ya tum bhi ussey pasand karta hai?' She noticed Arman's affection in his eyes though he denies it.

Arman reddened but denied to admit, ''Proffesion se jada ghar sambhalney mein hi dilchaspi rakhti hai. Bua! Humesha kuchna kuch khilati rehti hai. Yeh ladki toh jada waqt apni naani ki saat hi rehti hai.' He explained how Ridhima came into their life.

Satyavati patted his arms, 'main bahut kush hoon tumhe bhi ek achisi ladki milgayi hai. Mujhey yakein hai ki wo tumhay kush rakhegi. Tum Atul jaisa nahin hai. Ridhima tumhara saat tumhara ghar mein hi rahegi.'

Arman warned her 'nahin, Bua! I don't want to put my life in trouble. Pata nahin shadi ke baad yeh bhi Anjali jaisi hogi. I don't want to become part of Gupta family. Main Misthy ko akela nahin chod sakta. Misthy ki shadi ke baad hi mera shadi hogi. Main iss pyar ki chakkar mein nahin padna chahta hoon.'

Satyavati cupped his cheek 'Ridhima ko dekh kar aisa nahin lagta hai, Arman! Main uski aankhon mein pyar dekh sakta hoon. Ridhima tumhara baat sunegi.'

Satyavati's words had influenced on Arman to think positively about Ridhima. 'shayad issi pyar mein wo tumhara baat sunegi,' he recollected Satyavati's words. 'Bua is right. Mein iss pyar ki sahara lekar uss Gupta ko ek sabak toh jaroor sikha sakta hoon.' Arman gave a shape to his thoughts.

He helped Satyavati in arranging table in the backyard. Everyone enjoyed moonlight dinner. As usual after dinner Arman relaxed on camp cot in the backyard enjoying moonlight. Misthy and Satyavati shared private conversation about their relatives in Satyavati's bedroom.

'Bua sahi kehti hai, shayad yeh ladki mere liye sahi hogi.' Arman's thoughts again filled with Ridhima. He visualized his life with her. His hesitation, anguish slowly melted and affection filled in the place. He closed his eyes as mumbled silently, 'Ridhima!!'

Arman turned to see Ridhima in her mazanta pink sari walked towards him with her usual cherish. Arman fascinatingly checked Ridhima for the first time. His heart leaped at her every step towards him.

'Tum yahan kya kar rahi hai?' Arman asked surprisingly when Ridhima walked to him to break his thoughts. She smiled 'socha tum akela hai, kuch company doon.' She replied naughty and settled at his feet. He got up and embarrassingly folded his legs in his hands, 'Misthy kahan hai.'

'Kyon mein tumse baat nahin kar sakti?' Ridhima turned to him. He smiled 'aisi baat nahin. Hum donon ke beech mein kya baat hogi? Tum toh tumhari profession mein serious hi nahin hai.'

Ridhima pouted, 'Kyon profession ke alawa hum kuch aur nahin baat kar sakte?'

Arman searched for words and Ridhima continued 'jaise yeh neela aasman ke barein mein, yeh khubsurat raat ki barein mein, jhonka hawa ke barein mein, chand aur chandni ki barein mein.'

Arman bit lips inside at her intensions and stared into her eyes, 'main toh in sab ke barein mein kuch nahin jaanta. Tum bataao.'

Ridhima was stunned at his soft conversation with her. Arman fixed his eyes at her face. She silently lowered her eyes with shy. He checked her beauty in the moonlight without blinking his eyes. Ridhima reddened for the first time at his stares touched her heart. She was aggressive when he refused. She was speechless when he showed interest in her. 'Yeh kya horaha hai,' she wondered herself as Arman's stares caressed her from head to toe.

Ridhima shivered when light breeze caressed both. She wet her dry lips with tongue and stroked loose strands behind ear. He wanted to touch her shiny glowing cheeks and tug the strands behind ears. 'kitna haseen hai yeh. Shayad Atul bhi aisa feel kiya hoga Anjali ko dekh kar. Issiliye itna deewana hogaya hai. Kya mein bhi uske tarah hojaoonga? Nahin, mein Ridhima ko mere ghar lekey jaoonga meri dulhan banakar.' His lips twitched at the thought of 'shadi-dulhan'.



Ridhima felt awkward when his stares fixated on her. She constantly tried to set her strands behind ears. Arman adorably watched her for a while. He couldn't help forwarding his hands towards her. Ridhima held her breath anticipating his touch and softly jerked back. His finger tips ran goosebumps at her body. Her eyes closed instinctively. He tugged the strands behind ears and caressed her cheeks with feather touch. Her breath was stalled at unexpected touch of his.

'Jaakar sojao, we have to get up early. Kal subah bua ki orphanage jana hai. Wahan sabse milney mein teen char ghanta lag jayega.' His soft warning soothed her heart. She could sense his feelings on her. She shook her head and whispered, 'Goodnight.'

He smiled affectionately 'goodnight! Sweet dreams!'

She blushed with unknown excitement for change in his treatment towards her and walked inside. The cold breeze flew her sari ends soothing Arman's face. He inhaled her fragrance and lay back with hands as support to head. As Ridhima filled Arman's heart that night he dozed off with sweet dreams.



*******



Angad and Kripa woke up with great spirits as they had their own reasons behind the excitement.

Angad was eager to meet his new crush. She drove all his attention towards her as occupied his thoughts. He couldn't sleep well in the night; he got up early and walked to the dinner table in complete new look.

Aaliyah checked him with mischievous smile. Angad was looking charming in his dark blue shirt, light blue faded jeans, hair glued back. Angad warned Aaliyah with eyes and took his juice and toast. 'Bhai! Aaj who ladki se poochega kikal kyon nahin aayi?' Aaliyah couldn't stop teasing him. Angad self consciously settled in the chair and warned her 'chup raho. Tujhse kehkar bhul kiya mainey.'

 'Angad! Kartik!  Tum donon kal Prithvi ke saat Mangalore jaa rahey hai.' Naina reminded about their program that was fixed last night in the party regarding their new project.

She always guarded her children with constant onservation. 'Aaliyah! Aaj sham ko tum Damini ki ghar jarahi hai.'

Aaliyah put frown 'Mom! Wahan Prithvi nahin hoga na?' she meant going to Damini's house at that time was mere waste. 'Damini wanted you there,' Naina summoned her without any excuse. Damini often took Aaliyah and Anittah for sleepovers as she was fond of daughters.

Angad excused himself as eager to meet his new friend while Naina and Aaliyah were seriously argued. He was curious to know why she didn't attend the party last night when many others from Bose academy were present there. He didn't know why he was so curious to know about her absence either.

He reached his building looking for Kripa.

Kripa on other end was disappointed when Sapna postponed the visit to Khanna house for evening. 'Please, Kripa! Samajhlo meri nanand dus bhajey yahan aarahi hai. Wo London se seeda yahan arahi hai. I can't disobey her now, right? Abb office chale jao aur sham ko definitely tumhari saat main Khanna house chaloongi.'

Kripa reluctantly agreed to wait till evening. 'But I tell you , sham ko toh main akeli bhi chali jaoongi agar tu nahin ayi bhi toh.' she was excited to meet her long last nani and family.

She got ready in nice dress and left for work. She unknowingly remembered Angad when she was at the building. A cheerful smile filled her face at their first introductory conversation. Her heart skipped at the thought of seeing him in the elevator. She as usual ran to the elevator hurriedly checking her watch.

Angad's lips twitched at seeing his new friend running to the elevator in the last moment. This is the most precious moment for Angad at present.  He held the button to stop the elevator from closing. Kripa smiled 'thanks' as entered the elevator.

Angad smiled 'Goodmorning! How are you?'She nodded with usual cheer. He folded hands and stared at her cute smiley face. 'Iss haseen ke liye pura din kya pura life intezar karna bhi kum hai!' he wondered himself.

 'Kal dekha nahin!' He sought explanation from her for the absence.

She surprisedly looked at him 'I was off for my friend's wedding.' She wondered if he was waiting for her.

Angad smiled embarrassingly at her surprise expressions, 'I haven't seen you in the morning and I went to Prithvi's house for a launching party. I haven't seen you there either. Many of your colleagues were there.'

She felt awkward at his keen interest in her 'mama theek kehti hai. I should keep distance from this man. Pata nahin kya sochta hai. Why was he expecting me there?' Just curiosity?'

Angad noticed Kripa was silent 'yeh ladkiyan bhi na kuch bhi sochlete hai. Hope, she is not mistaking me for enquiring like this! Anyway why I'm so inquisitive about her? Let me worried about my cousin.' A cheerful smile sparkled on his lips at the thoughts of cousin. Kripa too hummed some song as diverted her thoughts to Khannas.

They bade bye before left for their offices.  Kripa thought when Angad went other side of Bose office every day in the same floor, 'He told his studio is in 10th floor but why he always drops down here?'

Angad met his childhood friend Mannan on 8th floor who owned 'Mannan Art Studio'. Mannan helped Angad to look after Sur Studio in his absence.



*********



'Hm, so yeh baat hai. Abb tumhey Hyderabad jana hai,' Mannan asked after hearing Angad's request. Angad told everything about his Dadi's past and her wishes. He requested Mannan to help him in finding about Devyani's family.

'Mujhey ek baat batao, tumhara dadi ka koyi toh ristedaar hongey na, why don't you consult them?'Mannan didn't understand the difficulty in finding out their own family.

Angad sighed 'arey yaar! Wo sab dadi ko chod diya tha humara dada se shadi karney ka karan se. Abb yeh sab chodo aur yeh batao hum kab Hyderabad ke liye nikal saktey hai?'

'Hyderabad mein humara khadir bhai rehta hai, Afzulgunj mein. Tum wahan reh sakta hai. They will be honoured. Wo humara bahut izzat karta hai. Magar mujhey ek shak hai tumhara maama ka barein mein.. Wo itna conservative log hai, kya tujhey wahi mila pyar karney ki? Kissi aur ladki ko kyon nahin satata hai? Usse apni riti-rivazon per chod-do.'

Angad blushed, 'this is not my decision. Dadi wants to reunite two families. Aur mein bhi pata nahin kyon itna lagaon rakhi thi. Mujhey yeh bhi pata nahin ki wo paida hui ki nahin.'

Mannan parted his mouth 'kya kaha? Tujhey maloom nahin ki wo hai ya nahin? Iska matlab you don't know anything about them?'

Angad sighed 'pura story sunney ke baad phir wahi doubt. Chodo wo sab baatein. Yeh batao kahan aur kaisa unhey dhoond sakta hoon?'

'Pehla shuru karengey ki Hyderabad mein Brahman log kahan rehtey hai. Tumhara mama jaisa log toh charminar mein nahin rehengey, I'm sure. Tum kal hi nikal jao. Main bhi Khadir bhai ko abhi phone karunga.'

Angad nodded his head excitingly 'thanks, Mannan!' and stared outside to notice Kripa walking towards elevator. 'yeh itni jaldi ghar kyon jarahi hai?' First thought came in Angad's mind when Kripa was checking her watch and heading to elevator. Mannan followed Angad's looks and found Kripa at the sight. He twisted his eyebrows and snapped fingers in front of Angad's eyes 'yeh kya chakkar hai? Wahan tumhara cousin ko dhoondraha hai aur yahan iss ladki se ishq? Kaun hai yeh? She is beautiful. Wo jaa rahi hai. Aap ko bhi jaana hai kya uski peechey?'

Angad blushed and shook his head sideways, 'ishq nahin, yaar!  Just a friend. Friend bhi nahin keh sakta hoon kyon ki hum parson hi miley they. Wo Bose Academy mein kaam karti hai. Naya aayi hai. Shayad ghar jaa rahi hai. Kal uski friend ka shadi tha.'

'Hmm., quite useful information do din mein!' Mannan teased Angad.

Angad laughed 'I have to go. Uski peechey nahin. Sur Studio ko. Sham ko toh Prithvi ke saat bahar jana hai. Main kal hi Hyderabad nikalney ki kosish karta hoon.'

Mannan promised for arrangements as Angad took leave from him.

**********

Kripa was angry and stomped foot 'agar tujhey nahin aana hai toh subah hi kehdeti. Main seeda Khanna house chali jaati. Shukre hai ki Prithvi academy nahin tha, aur kahin bahar gaya hua tha. Nahin toh koyi aisa permission deta hai mere jaise new employee ko? ? Main toh abhi akeli Khanna house jaarahi hoon.'

Sapna's would-be nanand planned to to take Sapna with her to her sasural. 'Main kya karti, Kripa! Meri nanand ki ghar jana hai. Unki sasural walon ka call hai. I have to go. I'm sorry. Agar tum ek aur din rukjaati toh...'

Kripa interrupted 'main abb bilkul nahin rukungi. Tujhey maloom hai mujhey kitna intezaar hai unse milney ki!'

Sapna pinched her cheeks 'chalo, tumhari dil ko main aur nahin rokungi. Jao. Nahin toh tum yahan aur tumhara dil wahan - Angad Khanna ke saat.' Kripa blushed to red and slapped Sapna's hand. She remembered Angad in the elevator. 'Abb yeh kyon mujhey yaad araha hai?' she wondered, 'shayad uski naam se?'

Sapna dropped Kripa at Khanna House on the way to her nanad's sasural 'Goodluck! Batana ki tumhara 'bava' kaisa hai.' Kripa blissfully laughed and headed towards Khanna house.

******

Morning Arman, Ridhima and Misthy visited the orphanage and met each and everyone. Satyavati showed them the new old age home and introduced all old people lived there. Ridhima was very much impressed by Bua's social work and showed her interest to visit them often. Arman was happy for her interest and praised her with his eyes.

Misthy was surprised at Arman's cool attitude towards Ridhima since morning. She didn't comment any time as she was afraid if Arman became conscious. Bua hinted Misthy about Arman's interest in Ridhima and fears of Gupta and asked to help them to tie the knot. Misthy was happy for them and promised Satyavati to help Arman.

 'Ouch!' Ridhima rubbed her head with smile and pain mixed feeling when Arman's elbow hit her head while loading luggage in the trunk. Arman apologetically nodded his head and tried to sooth her pain with his hand. She jerked back and paused as he forcedly removed her hand and rubbed her head 'you should watch around.' His smooth scolds skipped her heart beats. She lowered her eyes as his looks pinched her remotely. His breath touched her face raising her heart beat.

'ahem., ahem.,kaafi chot lagi hai?' Misthy mischievously teased Ridhima. Arman pulled his hand and hid his face into the trunk in pretext of arranging the loaded luggage.  'Arman bhai! I think you are messing the luggage. They are perfectly fine before.' Arman settled his throat to cover his embarrassment and gave up his efforts with a smile. Ridhima stood shyly with steeling eyes from Arman. Arman patted Misthy's back 'let's go. Need to reach Mumbai soon.'  After lunch all the three headed home taking leave from Satyavati.

AR love started blooming; AK love?? How far they are now?? How Kripa was received by Khannas

vijaya

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