Friday, 27 April 2018

part 49 :Aradhana - Anmol Bandhan


"Hi, Misthy! How are you? Kabhi toh mujhey yaad karti raho?" Misthy blushed on other side as heard Kartik's husky voice over phone. After exchanged formal greetings Kartik invited her for lunch. Misthy was surprised as she had no clue about his arrival in Hyderabad. Kartik laughed on other side, "Uss din ke baad, dubara milney ka mauka hi nahin mila tha. So, I thought I would meet you here in your place. Abb yahan se koyi bahana lekar bhag toh nahin jaogi na!?" He affectionately expressed his yearning.  Misthy fell into thoughts after he told the venue for meeting, "hotel room?"



Angad who was observing Kartik's silence, enquired Kartik with his eyes about the reply from Misthy. Kartik shrugged his shoulders as he was still waiting for her reply. Angad snatched the receiver from his hands, "Hi Misthy Bhabhi! Aap Itna soch kyon rahi ho? Kartik is dying to meet you. Bechara ko itna tadapayiye mut."

Misthy was shocked to hear his voice and wondered if the whole family came to meet her here, "Angad?"

As if read her thoughts, Angad continued, "poora parivar nahin aaya hai, Bhabhi! Sirf hum donon aaye hain. If you don't mind shall we meet for lunch?" Misthy was relieved as Angad was also present there. She agreed to meet at lunch.

In an hour Misthy met them in their hotel room. Misthy was surprised to see Ridhima there. Ridhima ran to Misthy and hugged her, "kaisi ho Misthy?" Misthy faintly smiled as responded to her, "I didn't expect you here."

Arman and Ridhima's son:   

"Aap uss din mera pariwar se mila nahin na? Issi liye lekey aaya hoon. Abb humarey bete se miliye," Angad carried the baby to her. Misthy's face became pale and twitched lips as greeted him, "kya naam rakha hai?" Angad caressed Misthy's cheek with chotto's hand, "mera naam Arman hai, Bua ji! Sab loge  chotoo kehkar pukartey hai!" The baby was chuckled and screamed at Angad's baby talk.

Misthy was surprised and confused at Angad's introduction. "bua?"

Angad innocently turned to Ridhima. "Arman ka beta Misthy ko 'bua' kehkar hi pukarega na?" Ridhima shyly shook her head and lowered her looks when Misthy suspiciously looked at her.

Kartik understood the situation and pulled Misthy to the couch. "Bhaitho, Misthy! Main sab batata hoon." He explained briefly about Ridhima and Angad's marriage and the circumstances lately occurred including Gupta's fake illness.

Misthy's eyes welled up and hugged Ridhima. "Tum such much pagli ho. Ek baar bhi mujhey phone nahin kar sakti thi? Pata hai bhai aaj tak tumhey bhula nahin. Pagal ki tarah tujhse pyar karta hai. I agree he didn't support you that day, magar tum bhi kuch kum stupid nahin thi. Tumhare papa ke barein mein Bhai such socha tha. He suspected your papa's illness. Tum ek baar bhi unke baaton pur yakein nahin kiya tha. Abb uski anjaam donon bhugat rahey hain." Ridhima also joined her in tears and blamed Arman and explained her trials to find him.

Angad and Kartik left them for some time to console each other and lately warned them in unison. "Abb yeh blaming game khatam huvey toh hum aagey kya karna hai sochengey." Misthy confusedly looked at them. "Abb aagey sochney ka matlab kya hai? Karney ka kya baaki rehgaya tha?"

"Bahut kuch bhabhi!," Angad sat beside her and explained their plans. "You said Arman still loves her. So, if you can help us to bring them together, Our chottoo would join his father soon without a problem."

Ridhima expressed her fears. "Angad! kya hum yeh sara natak ke bagair directly approach nahin hosaktey?"

Angad and Kartik exchanged looks and Angad cynically replied. "Jaroor karsaktey. Humare baat sun ne ke baad Arman bhi excited hokar tumharey paas daud kar ajayega Kripa ko chodkar."

Ridhima swallowed hard and lowered her eyes at his cynicism. He immediately controlled his sarcasm after seeing Ridhima's pale face and tried to explain her. "Ridhima! Think wisely. Shadi ko thodna, wo bhi Arman aur Kripa ki shadi ko thodna, asaan nahin hai. Humey andaaza hona chahiye ki Arman aur Kripa ke beech ka rista humara jaisa nahin hai. Thanks to your pregnancy, main bhi abb tak samjhota karliya hota. Hai na? So, we have to grab Arman's attention first then he has to decide whether to continue with his marital life or accept you after leaving his wife."

Misthy seconded Angad's thoughts. "I agree with Angad. Bhai aur bhabhi ka rista itna asani se tootega nahin. They respect each other a lot. I'm sure Arman would be disturbed with this news. But not sure of his accepting you immediately.  Ussey yeh bhi pata nahin tha ki tum Khanna pariwar ki bahu hai. He might object my wedding too. And I don't know how Kripa reacts. We have to give a try, that's all I would say now."

Ridhima was disappointed and welled up her tears. Misthy dropped her hand around her, "keep up your spirits, Ridz! Let's hope everything for good. Iss mamley mein kayi dil toot bhi sakta hai jode bhi sakta hai. It all depends on Arman and Kripa."

Angad sighed and pressed Misthy's hands. "Kripa ki baat mujh pur chod do. I can handle her. But clarify if Arman still loves Ridhima. I mean if he is still in a condition to accept her?"

Misthy nodded her head, "haan, bhai aur Kripa ke beech naam ke vaste rista hai. We know Kripa broke her heart by her own cousin. Aaj tak humey pata nahin tha wo ristedaar jisney unhey itney takleefein diye they, wo Khanna pariwar tha. Her family went through tough times. Ussi waqt Arman unke saat diya tha. Bhai wanted to gave Kripa some time to move forward. Probably he had hopes to meet Ridhima again. I would say, he took Kripa's situation for his advantage to adjust with his marriage. That much I can clarify. But I don't know if they agree to be separated."

Kartik nudged Angad with a grin "Looks like your line is clear!"  Angad blushed with excitement but still hesitated to think about the relationship between Kripa and Arman "Kya Kripa bhi mera jaisa pyar mein pagal thi? Is she still waiting for me?"

"Aap Ridhima ko Arman tak pahoonchney mein humare madat keejiye. Baaki sab baatein main sambhaloonga, bhabhi!" Angad reassured when Misthy had still expressed her concerns.

Kartik explained their plans while Misthy took time to digest the whole incident. After Misthy agreed to join their plan they had lunch together in nearby restaurant.

Angad took leave from restaurant when Kartik reassured to take up the plan.

*********

Angad impatiently rang the door bell before Kripa opened the door.  "Aayi! Kaun itna zore se bell daba raha hai?" Kripa warned aloud and opened the door with irritation.

"Kaun hai? Kya chahiye?" Kripa shouted immediately at the person without noticing who it was. Kripa was stunned to see Angad at the door all of sudden. "ANGAD!! Tum? Kab aaya hai?"

Angad greeted her with a big smile, "Hi, Kripa! Ander aaney ki nahin kahogi? Yahin se jawab maangogi?"

"Oh sorry, Angad! Andar aao." Kripa composed herself.  "Abb batao kaise aana hua? Sab khariyat toh hai na? Dadi kaisi hai? Akeli aaye ho? Sab sagai ke din tak aajayengey na?" Kripa showered questions as he seated in the couch.

Angad laughed at her flow of enquiries. "Aise poochti rahogi ya kuch jawab deney ki mauka dogi?" Kripa smiled back and relaxed in front of him. "Haan, aram se batado."

Angad checked the house as impressed by the interior design. Three doors led to separate rooms from living room. "One must be leading to kitchen," Angad thought.  The stairs were ascending from a corner in living room. "Ismen kaunsa kamara Kripa aur Arman ka hogi?" he felt sad for the thought as he couldn't imagine Kripa in a room with another man.

Kripa wondered at his sudden appearance "Angad itne dinon ke baad akela kyon aaya hai? Kahin phir ristey jodney ka toh nahin sochraha hai?" She broke the silence as noticed his search, "Arman kaam per gaya hai aur Misthy bhi'"

"Kripa! Arman se pehla bhi humara kuch rista hai. Main Arman ya Misthy ke liye nahin aaya hoon," Angad interfered her.

Kripa pouted her lips as she noticed his longing stares, "rista tha, Angad! Abb humara rista badal raha hai." She lowered her eyes at his sharp stares and fiddled with her fingers. Angad noticed some movement in the upstairs. 'Maama aur maami kaisey hai? Main unse mil sakta hoon?"

Kripa nodded her head, "Aao, unsey milati hoon." She walked towards stairs as Angad followed her. "Mama! Papa!" Kripa entered the bedroom upstairs. Gayatri came to them from the balcony, "kya hai, Kripa!" She turned towards Angad with excitement before Kripa replied to her. "Angad! Tum? Kab aaya hai? Kaise ho beta? Kripa ne batayi tumharey barein mein. Sab kaise hai? Aao baitho." She talked non-stop without expecting response back. "Yeh Kripa shayad apni Mama pur gayi hai." Angad thought about her questionnaire.

Meanwhile Kripa brought Surya from the balcony before Angad spoke. Angad was stunned to see Surya in wheel chair. His eyes moistened and took big stride to reach him. "Maama ji! Yeh kya hai? Aap wheel chair mein? Yeh kab hua? Kaise hua?" he knelt down in front of Surya.

Surya affectionately caressed his head with right hand and mumbled in broken words. "Sab tumhari mom ki kripa hai, beta! Shayad usey bahut kushi hogi mujhey iss haal mein dekh kar. Bahut sataya humey. Kya aparadh tha humara? Beti ka rista uss ghar mein karna chahtey they. Wahi na?..."

Kripa warned him as he became emotional, "Papa! Shaant hojayiye. Abb yeh dauraney ka matlab kya hai. Jo hona tha wo hogaya hai. Abb humare rista badal raha hai. Uske barein mein baat kariye."

Angad's face fallen with their conversation. Surya composed himself at Kripa's warnings. "Haan, abb humara rista badal raha hai. Phir bhi hum ladki waley hi rehgaye hai. Misthy achi ladki hai. Humey kushi hai ki Naina ko Misthy pasand aaya.  Sabse phir milengey sagai ke din. Tum Akeley Kaise aana huva? Kripa ko dekha? Shadi hogayi hai. Arman bahut acha ladka hai. Bahut sukhi hai meri beti. Bahut taqdeerwali hai."

Kripa was embarrassed when the conversation moved onto her. "Papa! Angad ko sab pata hai. Arman se mila tha na?" She signaled Gayatri to take care of Surya as apologetically looked at Angad, "Aap baatein keejiye, main coffee laati hoon." Angad's face turned red at Surya's blames and painfully met Kripa's eyes.

Gayatri took over the responsibility of conversing with Angad as she asked Surya to relax. She explained about the whole events since Naina's suit. Angad's mind roamed around Kripa while heard about the whole past. Gayatri enquired about Khanna family and expressed her happiness to know about Angad's son. Angad had not revealed to her about chotoo's biological father.

"Abb sab bachein settle hogaye hain. Abb kissi ko koyi shikayat nahin hogi. Naina jo chahti thi wahi hua tha. Bus Bhagwan se yeh prardhana karta hoon ki Kripa ka bhi godh bharjaye. Humey kuch sukoon milegi naata naati ko paakar." Gayatri pointed out Angad's move in his life.

 Angad was embarrassed at her statements but kept silent. He clenched his jaws as fell into thoughts, "Kripa ki godh mein Arman ka bachey? Nahin, before that I should act fast to settle Arman and Ridhima. I must do this, for sake of Ridhima and my love."

Gayatri yelled for Kripa if coffee was ready. Kripa yelled back from kitchen as she was preparing some snacks to go with coffee as the reason for the delay. Angad excused himself to help Kripa, "main Kripa ki kuch madat karta hoon, mami!"

Kripa turned and twitched her lips at Angad's entry. "Aao, Angad! Hogayi batein?" She turned back to continue her cooking as Angad leaned back onto the kitchen counter and crossed his legs, "Tum mujhey bava kehkar pukarti thi." He reminded her about their relationship once again. Kripa smiled but turned back to her work without responding to it.

Both were silent for a moment. Angad was thinking how to start conversation to know about Kripa's heart. Kripa was still wondering about his sudden visit.

"Kripa itna ukhda ukhda se kyon baat kar rahi hai? Kya, mujhse naraz hai? Sirf naraz hi hai toh main sambhal sakoonga. But she is talking about changing relationships. Ismein kya farak padta hai? Yeh toh humesha meri 'bavi' hi rahegi.  Abhi bhi uss se utna hi pyar karta hoon jitna pehle karta tha. Abb main ussey wapas pana chahta hoon. For that, I need to bring Arman and Ridhima together. Hope, Arman gets attracted to his son. If needed, I can bring differences between Kripa and Arman.  Kahin main Kripa ki kareeb aney ke liye Ridhima ki excuse toh nahin leraha hoon,? It's true I'm using Ridhima but this is a chance given by God that Arman's wife is Kripa. Agar wo koyi doosiri aurat hoti toh main kissi halat mein yeh chance nahin le sakta tha. So, der kiss baat ki?" he settled his throat after reconfirming his thoughts.

Kripa turned to him with smile, "pani chahiye?" she handed him a glass of water, "Ridhima ko lekey aana tha. I haven't met her in your house." She broke the silence between them and handed him plate of some snacks.

"Thanks," he acknowledged as took the plate, "Ridhima is busy with our son. I'll bring her next time." He mentioned about chotoo on purpose to check Kripa's reaction. Kripa's heart sunk but she turned to hide her feelings from him. "Son? Ek beta bhi hogaya tha? Naani ne bataya nahin! It means Angad adjusted with his wife? kheir, ek problem toh solve hogaya hai. Now his presence won't disturb me. Main kamakha pareshan horahi thi." She sighed inwardly and turned as folded her hands, "congrats, kitna saal ka tha? I mean mahina?"

Angad stared into her eyes to notice the shadows, "Kuch toh asar hua hai..that means she cares about me.." He decided to make her more jealous. "Theen mahina ka hai. Bahut pyara aur saitan bhi hai. You must meet him. Uss din toh wo apni mom ke saat hospital gaya tha. Next time I'll bring them with me."

He clearly noticed the sorrow in her face. Kripa turned to divert herself in pretext of making coffee. "Kitna kush hai wo. Main hi pagal hoon inki pyar mein khud ka jeevan barbaad kardiya hai. Arman ko patni ka sukh bhi nahin de saki. Itna kush hai toh yeh yahan aaya kiss liye? Kyon mere peechey padgaya hai? Kya chahta hai mujhse? Such much mama papa se milney aaya tha? kuch aur wajah hai? Uss din Mumbai mein bhi kuch upset lag raha tha. Mainey socha meri wajah se hoga. Kya wo pareshani meri wajah se nahin tha?"

Angad keenly observed her expressions while her thoughts roamed in different sides. His hopes took a shape as decided the way to get her closer. "So, iss pur jalan ka asar hota hai. Main kush hoon aur yeh sunke ussey acha nahin laga. Kya wo aaj bhi mujhey chahti hai? Aaj bhi meri intezaar kar rahi jaisey mainey uske liye kar raha tha? I hope, Misthy's words about Arman and Kripa are true."

Kripa really wanted to ask the reason for his visit. He didn't show up even once in the past one year. Probably she still wanted to hear from his mouth 'that he came for her!!' She wondered as the puzzle about his visit was nagging behind her mind. She made coffee and gave to him. "Aur kitne din rukoge? Raat mein Arman se milkar jaana." She formally offered.

"Kuch kaam tha issiliye aaya hoon. Socha tha tumse milkar jaoon. Shayad sagai tak rukoonga. Aaj Misthy aur Arman se milkar hi jaoonga. Abb Tumhari barein mein kaho, bavi! How is your life?"

Kripa's heart skipped a beat as heard Angad's addressing, "Baavi!!  kitney din hogayi yeh pukar sunke!" Her eyes moistened and shook her head as mentioning her welfare, "Main theek hoon." She swallowed her tears before they flow down.

"Bava' kehney se jhijhaka rahi ho?" his painful voice touched her heart. She lowered her eyes to hide her tears. He walked closer to her and lifted her chin, "Kya such much humara rista badal gaya hai? Kyon aisa sochti ho? Koyi kuch bhi kahey tum meri 'bavi' hi rahogi, Kripa!" He wiped her tears and cupped her face in his hands. "Don't you still love me?" He consoled her in his baritone.  Kripa tied her lips to stop her hiccups. She looked into his eyes to notice his moistened eyes. He was waiting for her reply. She shook her head slowly as tears flow continued. He smiled out of excitement "I love you too, bavi!" He kissed her forehead and cheeks. She couldn't stop herself to embrace him. He tied his hands around her and pulled her closer in his embrace. They felt their heart beats, heavy breath of each other. Both relaxed in each other hands for few minutes.

"Mera shadi toh itna jaldi hogaya tha mujhey pata hi nahin chala. I couldn't inform you too. Mama ji ki agya ke anusaar main mom ko convince karney ki koshish kiya tha. Ussi waqt mom ka suit ka pata chalgaya tha. Main toh muh dikhaney ki layak bhi nahin raha. Mom ne mujhey shadi ke liye mujboor kardiya tha. She blackmailed me to marry Ridhima to save you. I was so confused. I couldn't find any solution for it. Mom ki baat maan na hi pada tha. I lost you, bavi!" The pain that saved for past one year came out effortlessly.

His each word slowly worked as a balm on her nagging mind. His loving explanation soothed her pain hidden for past one year. Her heart started humming to know that he still loves her. She silently ran her left hand fingers on his chest as hid her face in his neck curve. Her breath softly caressed his neck. Her right hand still firmly held his waist. His hands still embraced her tightly. He caressed her waist and shoulder with his hands and softly kissed her head. They didn't notice how long they relaxed in each other embrace. They startled when Gayatri came down calling out Kripa's name. "Kripa beti! Angad ko coffee pila diya? Papa bhi coffee ke liye pooch rahey hai."

Both immediately moved away from each other and settled before Gayatri noticed the situation. Kripa hurriedly put the milk on the stove. Angad leaned back to the counter top in a little distance. Gayatri smiled at Angad as enquired about his stay. Angad gave the same explanation that he gave to Kripa. "Aisey kaisa tum kahin aur rukoge? Tum humara ghar mein theher saktey ho. Yahin se apna kaam sambhalo. Ristedaar hotey kiss kaam ke liye. Abb hum kuch aur bhi  ristey mein bandha jaa rahey hai."

Angad smiled at her affection, "jaroor yahin rukta, mami! Magar mere saat kuch aur loge bhi hai. I cannot bring all of them here. Main aaj dinner tak rukoonga aur Arman, Misthy se milkar hi jaoonga.  Aap mujhey maaf bhi karliya hai, abb aata jaata bhi rahega." He sheepishly looked at Kripa who was still embarrassed at their behavior. "Achi baat hai, Angad!" Gayatri left with coffee for Surya.

Kripa looked at him with shy and Angad stared into her eyes with affection. He walked closer to her to take her into his arms again. Kripa escaped his grip, "main abhi aayi." He grabbed her and pulled closer to her, "kahan bhaag rahi ho? I know you don't have any work now. Stay with me."

Kripa fearfully looked into his eyes, "Bava! Hum abb shadi shuda loge hain. Yeh kareebi achi baat nahin hai. We just escaped mama. Aur koyi agaya toh?"

Angad dropped his hands around her to tie her in his arms, "koyi nahin ayega. Arman toh raat tak nahin ayega na? Phir darr kiss baat ki?" his tone and eyes filled mischief as Kripa stared into his eyes with fear. "Kya matlab hai tumhara? We shouldn't do this. Yeh sarasar galat hai.  chodo mujhey. We should not cheat our spouses behind them. Chodo."

Angad didn't move a bit rather tightened her in his embrace, "koyi cheating nahin hoga. We still love each other. Tell me if you are ever gone closer to Arman like this." Kripa opened her mouth with shock at his talk. "What are you talking, bava! Main tumhey miss kiya tha, isska matlab yeh nahin ki main apna pati ka peeth ke peechey tumse..chi chi..tum yeh socha bhi kaise? Abb tumhara ek beta bhi hai. Kuch toh apna family ka khayal toh karo. Chodo mujhey. Yeh meri galati hai ki apni mann ki baat tumse share karli." Angad kissed her cheek and loosened his grip. Kripa moved away from him and wiped her cheek angrily before stomped out of the room.

Angad caressed his lips and sighed with relief, "I know you now, bavi! Abb tumhey mujhse koyi alag nahin kar sakta."

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

"Ridhima!"

Ridhima, Kartik and Misthy paused on the way to Dr.Padma's cabin and turned back to see the lady in front of them. Ridhima excitingly walked towards the lady to take her into embrace, "Nikki!!" "Kaisey ho" both enquired each other in unison. Both burst into laugh like young girls and exchanged greetings. "Main toh yahan apna pati Dr.Abhimanyu se milney aayi hoon. Wo London mein bada neurosurgeon hai. Unka yahan ek project hai. Yahan Dr.Padma ji se milkar unhoney ek team banaya tha. Ussi silsiley mein hum yahan aaye they." Nikita explained about her visit to the hospital. Ridhima explained the reason behind her visit.

Ridhima introduced her to Kartik and Misthy, and them to her, "yeh Nikita hai, hum donon ne ek saat internship kiye thay."

"Yeh tumhara beta hai? kitna pyara hai. Hello chubby cheeks! Chalo tumhey bhi uss team se milwati hoon." Nikita pampered chotoo.

"Kahi hum DrAbhimanyu ko disturb toh nahin karengey?" Ridhima expressed her doubts as per her habbit. Nikita smiled, "tumhari yeh doubts express karney ka adat chuta nahin? Abb break ka waqt hai. Chalo," she led them to the team where Dr.Padma was in meeting with them.

Everyone entered Dr.Padma's cabin where Dr.Abhimanyu and his team were relaxed for coffee break. Misthy, Kartik and Ridhima stunned to see Arman there at that time. Dr.Padma received everyone and affectionately hugged Ridhima, "Kaisi ho Ridhima? Tum yahan Misthy ke saat?" she suspiciously checked Kartik and her together.

Kartik noticed the embarrassing situation and introduced Ridhima to her, "Massi ji! Ridhima is my younger brother, Angad's wife." Dr.Padma swallowed hard with a faint smile.

Ridhima checked Arman from corners of eyes. He looked at her with widened eyes. "To Misthy ki rista Ridhima ki taraf se aayi thi?" Arman suspected the whole plan.

Kartik shook hand with Arman, "Actually, we came on some company work. Ridhima Misthy se mili nahin na, issi liye humare saat aayi thi."

Arman twisted his eyebrows, "Hum? Aur kaun kaun aaye they?"

Kartik smiled, "main aur Angad kaam pur aaye they aur Ridhima joined us." He explained in detail. "Insey miliye, mera bhatija; 'Arman' naam hai iska. Hum chotoo kehkar pukartey hain.  Aap uss din inse bhi mila nahin na?" He immediately introduced chotoo to everyone. Padma took chotoo in hands, "bahut pyara bacha hai."

Arman's heart raced to see the baby so close. He already met him on other day but didn't have a chance to see so closely. He wanted to take the baby in his hands. Ridhima constantly observed him from corners of eyes though mechanically responded to Dr.Padma's questionnaire.

Nikita introduced her husband to Ridhima and vice versa. "Great to know about you, Dr.Ridhima. Aap Sanjeevani mein kaam karte they? Strange. Aap Arman ko jaantey hain? Wo bhi wahan kaam karta tha. Kyon Dr.Arman?" Dr.Abhimanyu expressed his excitement aloud after Ridhima introduced herself.

Dr.Arman settled his throat in embarrassment, "Yes, we know each other. Now I have to go. If you excuse me, I need to meet some patients. See you later, Dr.Padma." He took leave from everyone without delay. Ridhima stared at his way with longing looks. She strongly wanted to run behind him.

Dr.Padma noticed the silent commotion between Arman and Ridhima, "Ridhima! Kartik! Aap sham ko dinner pur aajao. Ghar mein araam se baat cheet hojayegi." Kartik was thrilled to see his plans were proceeding in right way. He immediately agreed and promised to meet in the night. Misthy promised to bring Arman and Kripa in the night before Kartik requested for it, "Main bhai aur Kripa ko bhi lekey aaoongi."


vijaya

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