Sunday, 22 April 2018

part 44:Aradhana - Anmol Bandhan


Angad silently drove away from the city to a restaurant. Ridhima was afraid of talking to him and not even dared to explain to him as she could clearly see the anger in his face. He ordered for scotch ignoring Ridhima's presence. He silently sipped his drink and occasionally rubbed his face. Ridhima fearfully watched him from corner of eyes while he was seriously fuming in thoughts.


After fifteen minutes of horrible silence, Angad asked Ridhima to order for food. She tried to avoid and Angad scolded without mercy, "bhukhey rehney se problem apne aap solve nahin hotey. Order something. It is not good to starve for you and baby at this moment. You made a blunder by marrying me. Iska anjaam toh bhugatna hi padega na? Maloom hai iss shadi se kitni jindagiyan ko barbaad huyeen hai?  Apni hudd paar karney ke baad bhi mere saat shadi karli?  How could you do this? I was shocked when I got a call from your friend. Aapney aisa Kyon kiya? Kya mazboori thi? You may say you were forced by your family. Magar, ek bar shadi se pehley tumhari problem mujhse kehdiya hota. I could have helped you. I could have stopped this marriage. This is like cheating us. Mom would never agree for this wedding if she would have known this before. What if I was not ran away on that day? You would have committed to me? It's so disgusting." He anguishly fisted his palms..

Ridhima interrupted to defend herself, "I was not in a situation to talk to anyone. Papa was so sick and I was tight lipped under emotions. Mujhey apke barein mein bhi pata nahin tha."

Angad was fumed at her blame, "mere barein mein jaan ney ki kya jaroorat thi? You should have thought about your future." He mumbled in frustration, "I haven't gone far in love like you did. Mainey yeh shadi mere pyar ke khatir kiya tha. Ussey bachaney ke liye. But how could you marry me when you were deeply involved in your love? How did this happen? Kya tumhari bache ke pita ne tumhe dhoka diya? He made you mother but couldn't take care of you? Coward? Cheater? Apne family ko bhi nahin bata paya apne barein mein?"

Ridhima silently dropped tears as Angad's words repeated in her mind. "Coward! Cheater!" she questioned herself, "Mein ya Arman?"

Angad sighed at her silence. "Main abhi tumharey papa ko phone karkey poochta hoon. I need an explanation from him." He took his phone to dial Dr.Gupta.

Ridhima immediately stopped him by holding his hand. "Please Angad. Unsey poochney ki koyi jaroorat nahin hai. He knew everything about my love affair. Unhi ki wajah se mujhey yeh shadi karna pada. Because of him I'm in this situation now. Sirf unhi ki wajah se. Jo bhi saja dena chahtey hai aap, mujhey deejiye, main sehloongi."

Angad drawn back when he saw tear drops escaped from Ridhima's eyes. He sighed in annoyance, "abb aapko kya saja desakoonga? Main khud phas gaya hoon iss bandhan mein." He deeply inhaled to regain his energy. "kismet ney kya kya likh diya hai hum donon ke jindagi mein! Hum donon ne ek hi problem mein phus gaye hain. Na main apni mom ki baat ko taal saka na tum tumhare papa ki. Khaash shadi se pehle hum donon ek baar mil leta. Milengey bhi kaise, we were not interested on each other at all. Abb iss problem ki solution ka pehla kadam hoga, 'divorce'."

Ridhima startled at the spell of 'divorce'. Somehow the sound of 'divorce' ran shivers in her spine. Once again her father's fake illness and her turmoil appeared in big image in front of her eyes. "Khaash yeh sab mere saat nahin hota, meri yeh kush khabar Arman ke saat share karpati."

Angad sympathized with Ridhima's silence as he read her inner turmoil. He pressed her hand, "Ridhima! Don't get me wrong. Mujhey apna dost samjhlo. I was upset for this situation. We would have stopped this if we talked before. I was guilty till now for not giving love that you deserve as a wife, but I'm relieved after knowing about your status. We both are equally responsible for this situation and we have to pay for this. Magar, abb mere dil mein ek umeed jagney lagi. We can solve this problem together. Trust me. Main tumhare papa se aur mere ghar walon se baat karunga. Aur tum donon ko miladoonga. I get my love back too after settling you. I take this responsibility."

Ridhima embarrassed and apologised. "Sab meri wajah se hi hua hai. Na main papa ke baat maanti, na yeh shadi ke liye razi hoti. Papa ne jhooti bimari ki sahara liye thay humey alag karney ke liye." She explained about Shashank's fake illness while Angad heard everything in shock. "Aur main nahin chahti hum papa ko kuch batayengey bhi. He doesn't need to know about me anymore."



He sighed after a moment. "I'm sorry to hear this. Pata nahin yeh buzurg kyon hur waqt bachoan pur apne huq jatana chahte hain. Anyway, now, tell me how will we contact your child's father? Kya naam hai unka?" he paused to know about Ridhima's lover. Ridhima wiped her tears and sniffed, "Armaan.. Haan, Pehle Armaan ka pata lagayengey..." she swallowed tears while spelt his name.

Angad nodded his head with faint smile. "Nice name. 'Pata lagayengey' ka matlab?"

Ridhima sniffed and wiped moistened eyes. "I don't know where he is now. He left our branch in Hyderabad. Abb kissi ko pata nahin wo kahan hai. He changed his mobile number too." Ridhima continued slowly. "I don't know about his address. Wo mera phone ka respond nahin kar raha hai. Shadi ke baad main ussey ek bar bhi contact nahin karpayi." She paused as sniffed.

 Angad's heart skipped at the name of 'Hyderabad' where his love also belonged to. He thought, "kitna azeebsa situation hai. Hum donon ke pyar ek hi sheher mein hai. Main abb apni pyar se milney mein der nahin karunga. Chahey kuch bhi hojaye abb humare milan ko koyi nahin roke payengey, Kripa! We belong to each other." A cheer sparked on his face. He tied his lips as nodded his head, "hmm obviously, how can he talk to you. You betrayed his love. But I'm sure once he knew about his child he will run to you. I can guarantee that." He smiled with hope. Ridhima blushed with tears.



*********

"Mama! Aap yeh kya kehrahin hai? Main aur shadi. NO. No way, mama! Not now atleast. Please mujhey mazboor mut karo." Kripa was in tears when Gayatri opened her mind about her marriage. She hadn't mentioned the details of Malik's alliance yet.

Gayatri wiped her moistened yes and sat besides Kripa, "Kripa! Mujhey pata hai tum kya kehna chahti hai. Tumhari dil mein abb bhi Angad hai. Magar yeh mut bhulo beti, Angad ka shadi hochuka hai.  Usse bhuljana itna asan nahin hai tere liye. Magar kabb  tak unke yadon mein jeelogi? Kissi na ek din tumhey shadi karna hi padegi. Ek aurat ki sur per mard ka sahara hona hi chahiye, beti! Kab tak kunwari rahogi? Akeli jindagi kaatna bahut mushkil hai, beti! Humarey ankhon ke samney tum aisa jeevan vyardh kartey huvey hum nahin dekh payengey. Humari baat tum sun na hi padega." She sniffed into her sari ends.

Kripa wiped her tears, "Bus karo mama! Aap abb tak bahut asoo baha chuki thi. Abb aur nahin. Humey aapki baat sun na hi padega. Angad apni mom ke baat sunkar shadi karliya hai. Aur hum bhi wahi karengey. Yehi chahtey hai na aap?" Gayatri offended at Kripa's cynical agreement. She cupped her cheek, "Kripa! Dil ko itna khatin mut banado, beti. Hum tumhari bhalayi ke liye hi kehrahey hai. Humarey  jeetey huvey tum jindagi banalo. Armaan acha ladka hai. Humarey mazbooriyan jantey hai. Aur Padma ji bhi humarey rista ko lekar prasanne hai."

Kripa startled at the mention of Armaan. "Mama!" she couldn't speak further as she choked her tears.

Gayatri softly stroked her back, "Kripa! Armaan aur Misthy ke jindagi mein Padmaji ke siva koyi buzarg nahin hai. Wo Padma ji ke baat bahut maantey hai. Misthy bhi iss rista ka manzoori dediya hai. Abb tumhari rai ka intezaar hai. Main tumhey force nahin kar rahi hoon. Araam se pochlo aur humey apni decision kal subah tak batado." She kissed Kripa's forehead and wiped her tears on cheeks.

After Gayatri left the room, Kripa couldn't control her pain and shared with her pillow. Gayatri gave enough space for her to think about the proposal. Kripa noticed her parents whispering, conversing with eyes about her decision. She came to a conclusion by morning when the bright rays of Sun took authority over her room.

************

Misthy and Padma silently watched Arman while he was in deep thoughts with resting his chin over his tangled tight fists. Tannu and Nishant watched them occasionally while playing ping-pong in adjacent room.

Armaan sighed and rubbed his face in palms after a while, "Yeh kya museebut hai, Misthy! Kyon mujhey aisey sata rahi ho?" He pitifully looked into the two eager women's eyes.

Padma and Misthy sighed aloud. "Kitney baar kahengey, Armaan! Samajhlo. Tum bahut samjhdar ho. Aakhir kab tak tum akela rahogey?" Padma asked as her entire energy lost since evening when Arman returned from hospital.

Armaan interrupted in annoyance, "Akela kahan hoon. Tum sab log toh hain mere saat. Main toh bahut kush hoon. Actually you are seeing me humming, dancing in joyful mood for last two days."



Padma stroked his back affectionately, "Haan, Armaan! I noticed it and I know your hidden pain too. I know you can never forget Ridhima. Magar kab tak akela jeeogey? Ridhima ko toh wapas nahin le aasakta hai na? Phir kiss baat ki yeh gum jhel raha hai? Common, Arman! Move on now. Don't spoil Misthy's life for you." Padma and Misthy secretly smiled at each other and turned to Arman.

Armaan flared his nostrils at last statement. "I never asked her to stop marrying because of me. She is free to search for her groom."

Misthy lovingly held his hands, "Bhai! Main toh aapkey bhalai ke liye hi kar rahi hoon. Aapko jindagi mein haartey huva dekh nahin sakti. I want to see you happy in your life with your own family like Ridhima did." Arman tightened his lips to stop the tears at the edge of his eyes. He got up to hide his tears and walked to the window as stared out without focusing his stares anywhere. "This is not at all fare, Misthy! You know what I went through in my life. I don't want to ruin another girl's life. Shaadi karkey main ussey koyi pyar nahin de poonga. I cannot fulfill any wishes of my wife. Please, mujhey force mut karo. I don't want to spoil another life with me."

Nishant sent Tannu to study room and joined the two women in convincing Arman. "Arman! Jo hogaya hai usey bhul jao. Kab tak unki yadoan mein apni jindagi barbad kardalogi? Move on, man!"

Padma thanked Nishant with her eyes, "main bhi yehi kabse kehrahi hoon. Kripa achi ladki hai. Uss bechari ki takleefein tum jaante ho. Uski dard ko achi tarah samajhtey ho. Wo bhi bahut pyari ladki hai. Apni mama papa ke aaspaas hi rehna chahti hai. Iss shadi se tum ek masoom ladki ki jindagi sudhar saktey ho. Wo tumhey hur pyar degi. Tum ussey apnalo aur uski dard ko door karlo. Do dardbari dilon ko sahara bhi miljayegi. Kab tak Misthy tumhara dekhbal karegi? Tum bhi toh uski kanyadan karna hai na?" Padma's words slowly melted Armaan's strong will.

Misthy took a chance and repeated the same words in different style. Misthy smiled and played her brows at him, "Sochlijiye, bhai! Decision is in your hands. Agar aap chahtey hai ki main bhi jindagi mein settle hojaoon..aap sunrahey hai na?..agar aap chahtey hai ki main jindagi mein settle hojaoon, aapko yeh shadi ke liye raazi hona hi chahiye."

By bed time everyone made Armaan agree to tie the knot with a condition that Misthy will consider the first alliance they get for her. "Sure, Bhai! Aap jiss ko bhi le ayengey main aankhein band karkey 'haan' kehdoongi." Arman faintly smiled and pinched her nose with affection, "I don't allow whatever happened in my life to repeat in your life."

*******

"Kismet ney kahan se kahan tak pahoonchaathi hai. Hum kabhi socha bhi nahin ki aise rista jode lengey." Gayatri criticized when Sastry congratulated for the forwardness in alliance. Sastry nodded his head in agreement and encouraged. "Sab apne apne taqdeer pur adharit hai, Bhabhi! Dil chotha mut keejiye. Kripa ki kismet achi hai, Armaan jaisa budhiman mila hai. Kul-Varne mein kya rakha hai? Angad koyi kum nahin tha magar wo apni mama ka baat nahin taal saka."

Kripa silently stared into sky while elders talked about the preparations. She stopped thinking and decided to keep her parents happy till the end of their life. She was dressed up in her mother's Kanjeevaram sari; braided her long hair with flowers on top. Misthy came and walked her to Armaan and others. She took blessings from all elders and sat besides Armaan with lowered head. Armaan looked at her and felt pity at her sorrowful appearance. He remembered Padma's words and promised in mind instantly, "pyar toh na sahi sahara toh jaroor de sakta hoon. I will stand for her whenever she needed me."

Padma and Nishant exchanged fruits and flowers with Gayatri and Surya in presence of close friends in the apartments. Misthy hugged Kripa and Arman as congratulated them. Armaan and Kripa took blessings from their future in-laws. Armaan and Kripa remained as strangers apart from forced smiles while exchanged engagement rings. Both silently remembered their lost-love.

Armaan seriously warned Misthy not to force any privacy with Kripa and embarrass them. He warned her not to play any pranks too. Tannu was disappointed when she had no chance of teasing both new bride and groom.  Nishant made her understand privately. Surya took Armaan's self-restraint as his well behavior. He felt proud for Arman as he didn't take any lenience on Kripa like Angad. Gayatri served delicious lunch for everyone after formal engagement.

vijaya

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