Monday, 5 March 2018

part 7 : Belonging (AR Mini ff)

The girls chirped and laughed around her, some ran hither and thither; yet she sat motionless. They adorned her with gold and diamonds. They painted her face and stared mesmerized by her vanity.



"The baraat is here" One chimed delightfully as she spotted the procession from the window.



They came to her again and embraced her in the circle of their arms. Then they left her. She suddenly felt herself getting sick and scuttled to free herself from the knot that had been tied in her stomach and had eventually reached her throat.



"Riddhima?" She jerked at the familiarity of the voice and hurriedly fixed her face. It was a voice she was not expecting but it had caused a soothing effect.





"Aunty? What are you doing here?"



"My goodness child you look so beautiful, no I don't think beautiful justifies how you look today. My god protect you from any evil eyes" As the lady leaned forward to kiss her head, Riddhima threw herself in her arms and did something she had been longing to do for days; she sobbed.



They sat peacefully now. There was so much that Riddhima wanted to say, so much she wanted to ask, about HIM. It was the lady that broke the silence first.



"You are about to embark on a new journey Riddhima and a beautiful one at that. Don't welcome it with tears. I am proud of the decision you have made and I am proud of my son for respecting it. I had accepted you as my Daughter-in-Law the day you had visited me in Satyagarh. I have always known of my son's affection for you and you had shown yours by coming back, but perhaps it was not meant to be. Perhaps, you and Armaan were meant to meet and love but not meant to be together. Who we are meant to marry has already been decided above and maybe the person up there did not write your name with Armaan. You were a daughter to me then and you are a daughter to me even now. I just wanted to come here today and tell you how proud I am. May God bless you with nothing but happiness Riddhima."



Riddhima watched helplessly as Gayatri walked out her door. She didn't understand how god can allow 2 people 2 meet and fall in love but not destine them to be together, it just did not make any sense.



"Maanga jo mera hai

jaata kya tera hai

maine kaunsi tujhse jannat maang li

Kaisa khudha hai tu

Bas naam ka hai tu

Rabba jo meri itni si bhi na sunni"



"Armaan Please get up and stop brooding and gawd please take a shower, you smell worse than a skunk" Throwing a towel at him Nikita all but pushed him towards the bathroom. She was sick and tired of his "my world has ended" act and she was definitely sick of the song he'd had on repeat. She had just switched the CD off then his phone rang.



Everything was over now, it had ended before it had even started. He could never forget the day Rahul had come to Satyagarh. It was the day he lost Riddhima forever; again. Turning the knob of the shower to "cold" setting he let the water trickle out and freeze his mind. Perhaps if he stood under it long enough he could die of a brain freeze. Death certainly seemed a good option at this point; at least it would take away the pain. How was he supposed to live without her? It was ok when they hadn't seen each other in years; yes it was much better that way, but now when he had touched her again, smelled her again and worse loved her again, now how was he going to live?



In a matter of a few hours she would become Rahul's, just the thought of that had been banging his head against the wall of the shower. It was intolerable; this feeling of knowing that the person he loved with all his heart and soul would become someone else's now. Yes, death was much better.



"Hello?"



"Is Armaan there?" the person on the other end seemed jittery almost desperate, but the voice was alien to her.



"I am sorry he is a bit busy right now, can I take a message? WHAT!!??"







Looking at his reflection now he almost laughed, Nikita was right, he looked like sh*t. The crying had certainly helped; his heart for one felt a lot lighter, though he had a killer headache now. He was just about to apply his deodorant when he heard the banging at his door. Frustrated with the noise he yanked it open and saw a stunned Nikita almost gasping for air.



"Nikki? What happened are you ok?"







"My, my don't you look handsome"



Rahul grinned nervously as his best friend Abhi whistled in approval. It was a big day today; a very big day. He was finally getting married and not just to anybody but to Riddhima Gupta; the woman he was hopelessly in love with.



"OMG, Rahul are you blushing?" Abhi smacked his back as Rahul's entire face turned a beet root red. "Oh come on you shy bride, stop being so coy"



"Shut up Abhi, we'll see how you look when it's your wedding"



"What? Me and marriage no friggin way dude. I would never want to commit suicide"



"Suicide?"



"Yea, what else do you think a wedding is?" Rahul rolled his eyes remembering Abhi's no marriage rule. His poor mother must have shown him a 1000 girls by now but the man was adamant on not marrying. Abhi and Rahul were best friends since college and he had to admit it was not Abhi alone having a the fun, he had his fair share of adventures, but all that had stopped when he met Riddhima. He hoped Abhi would soon find a nice girl to settle down with, Abhi had experienced everything; except love and that was one thing Rahul was wishing for him now.



"Well your highness if you are done adorning your self can we please go, everyone's already outside waiting for you"



Rahul looked at his room once last time before stepping out, he would be back he murmured but as a married man.







"Riddhima"



"Papa?"



It felt like ages when she had last hugged her father, yet she could immediately feel the comfort. Her father had always played the silent spectator in their household; however Riddhima always knew that her father only sided with her. She was thankful for him, for he never treated her like a daughter rather a son. It didn't bother Shashank that he had only a daughter; it was actually something he was proud of. Riddhima was no less than a son, in fact she was better. The only thing that did bug him though was that one day his darling daughter would have to leave. It was not fair; this tradition of the daughter having to leave but there was nothing he could do.



"I'll miss you papa"



"I'll miss you too sweetheart"



"I am sorry papa"



"For what my child?"

"I don't know exactly what papa, but if I have ever hurt you or done anything to shame you then I am really sorry and I want you to know that I love you very much."



"No darling, you have never shamed me, instead you have always welled my chest with pride. You are the best thing that has ever happened to me Riddhima and I love you more than anything"



"Uncle we have come to take Riddhima, they are ready for the jai mala"



Shashank sighed and reluctantly released Riddhima so she could be taken down. He watched teary eyed as his daughter walked away from him, with each step he could see her childhood passing by him like a flash. She turned to him suddenly, gave him the sweetest smile he had ever seen and then left. He stood in her room for a little longer fondly looking at her pictures and toys. He smiled at a picture of her and him taken at her graduation and with the image of her innocent face he walked out.





Gayatri knew what she had to do now. She had been preparing herself for this day for almost a month now. Armaan didn't know of her arrival in Mumbai, he was supposed to come receive her in another week or so, but she knew that at this moment what Armaan needed the most was his mother. She would go to him now; comfort him and soothe him. That she could do. What she couldn't however do was take away his pain. It would take time, a long time in fact for the pain to go away, but she would be there for him.


Riddhima clutched her hands tightly as the girls walked her down. Everything had come to an end now, in a few hours she would officially become Mrs. Riddhima Rahul Garewal. It was never something she had dreamt of; this marriage to Rahul. She had hoped that everything would turn out to be different, but it hadn't. It was like Gayatri aunty had said, god had just not written her name with Armaan. It was working out just fine though, then Rahul had showed up, but even then there was still hope. Armaan had followed her to Mumbai and cleared out the misunderstanding she had about Nikita. He had even gone to her father and asked for her hand, but her mother had intervened. Their begging and pleading had fallen on death ears; her mother had stood her ground. She would commit suicide she said, if Riddhima married Armaan. For days her mother refused to eat or drink, in the end they had lost and Riddhima had agreed to marry Rahul; who had no idea of the havoc in her life.

As she neared the mandap Riddhima closed her eyes and for one last time and saw the face of her beloved. When her eyes opened she saw a nervous Rahul smiling at her. It was not necessary that we must marry the one we love; sometimes fate has other plans for us. Though, she was about to become Rahul's wife today, she would always belong to Armaan. She was his to begin with and she would be his till her dying day.


simran

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