Thursday, 7 June 2018

part 7 : Pehchan


Ajnabi mujhko itna bata dil mera kyon pareshaan hai
Dekh ke tujhko aisa lage jaise barson ki pehchaan hai
Kitni bholi hai tu kitni nadaan hai
Dil ki baaton se anjaan hai


(From pyar tho hona hi tha)

RECAP: "Train se?" She was surprised, "achcha jao…..tumhein baad mein bulaaungi," she let go of the chauffeur and sat down with her cup of morning tea to read the newspaper.

"Why did Armaan not go in the car?"


Her question was answered as soon as she saw the newspaper headlines.

'FIRE AT MODI HOUSEHOLD. VISITOR FROM US GUILTY.'

Early yesterday morning, the Modi family of Mumbai narrowly escaped a fire at their residence. Their oldest son, Atul, his wife, Anjali and five year old son were rescued by the heroic efforts of the Mumbai fire brigade. They are nursing some minor injuries and have returned home safely after a brief stay at the Breach Candy Hospital. It is believed that the fire was set off by a cigarette butt smoked by a visitor from the US. The visitor, Mr Armaan Malik, a musician and a student at the Indian Music Academy was visiting his old friend Mt Atul Modi over the weekend. Police are investigating any foul play, but so far they have no evidence to that effect. Mr Abhimanyu Modi, their middle son, thanked God and all well wishers for saving his brother and his family. When questioned, Mr Armaan Malik, who was also injured in the fire, regretted his mistake and expressed his deep apologies to his gracious hosts.


A stunned Riddhima read and re read the passage in the newspaper. The press had completely distorted the truth; was it a misunderstanding, or had Abhimanyu given them the wrong facts? Abhimanyu knew the truth; she had narrated every detail of the incident to him, so why did he blame Armaan for the mishap? For the first time in their married life, Riddhima wanted to question her husband. Visibly upset, she picked the phone to dial Abhimanyu's number, but as usual he was not available, "he must be on the flight….Oh God….I need to talk to someone about this."

Clutching the newspaper, hoping that the press had misconstrued her husband's statement and not the other way round, she decided to call Abhimanyu's office manager, "Rastogi saheb? Main Riddhima….yeh…yeh newspaper mein kya likha hai? Yeh tho sab galat hai…..kya? Oh…..lekin….Oh…..theek hai main unse hi baat kar loongi…..thanks." She hung up, disappointed and dismayed at her husband's callousness. Never before had she doubted or confronted him, but this newspaper story had shaken her faith in her husband's integrity, "how could he do this? And…and why would Armaan agree to lie like this?"

"Kya hua beta?" Shashank joined her at the breakfast table.

Quietly, she handed him the newspaper.

"Arre yeh kya?" Shashank was equally shocked.

"Kya hua…aisa kya likha hai paper mein?" Padma pushed a cup of hot tea towards Shashank.

"I can't believe this," he handed the paper to his wife, who was aghast after reading the story, her jaw dropped as she slumped onto the chair.

"Good morning mom!" A cheerful Rahul kissed his mother's forehead and stared at his family quizzically, "what happened?"

"I didn't expect Abhimanyu could be this ungrateful," Padma gave the paper to her youngest son.

To everyone's surprise, Rahul seemed unperturbed after reading the story, "Oh…yeah….I overheard bhaiyya talking to Mr Rastogi on the phone……he asked him to report this to the press."

"You did?" Padma stared at Rahul with disbelief, "why didn't you tell us?"

Shrugging his shoulders, Rahul poured himself a cup of tea, "I..I thought bhaiyya had discussed this with dad and you," he hesitated. Never the one to question his idol, his older brother, Rahul was confused, "so…he didn't?"

"No…he didn't," an exasperated Shashank exhaled, "Abhimanyu does not consult me on most matters these days."

"But bhaiyya probably had a reason," Rahul pursed his lower lip. Riddhima gave Rahul a cold look, "Rahul…..what was his reason? We all know Armaan risked his life to save Atul bhaiyya and his family."

"I think I know," a dejected Atul joined them, "Abhimanyu was saving me from embarrassment….saving us all from humiliation…..we all know how strict the law is about daughter-in-law's being burnt."

"But…but bhaiyya…..Kavya was inside too…..why would anyone doubt your intentions?" Riddhima spoke up.

"Because your Atul bhaiyya has no spine! Abhimanyu knows that and that's why he saved him from disgrace!" A fuming Anjali rolled out in her wheelchair.

"Anjali! Do you realize how guilty my son is feeling?" Padma reprimanded Anjali, "kyun uske ghaav par namak chhidak rahi ho?"

"Yes mummyji…..I am sure he feels guilty…..and you know what he will do to ease his guilt? He will drink more tonight……and then maybe burn the whole house down one day……then neither Armaan nor Abhimanyu would be able to save us."

"Bhabhi…..please," Riddhima got up and caressed Anjali's shoulder, "Atul bhaiyya is genuinely sorry about this accident…..lekin yahan tho saara blame Armaan par lagaa diya hai press ne….that's what we were all discussing."

"Money…..people can do anything for money," Anjali scoffed, "I am sure Abhimanyu lured Armaan with some heavy duty cash……after all none of us know what his background is? Why is he here? Why did he stay overnight?"

"Nahin Anjali," Padma defended Armaan once again as Shashank sat guiltily with his head hung, wondering if Anjali was right about Armaan. Armaan had claimed he was Damini's son and Dilip's nephew, but was there any proof? His heart had accepted Armaan the moment he met him, but now his mind was questioning his judgment. Had he been too emotional and gotten carried away by his past and Armaan's sudden appearance from nowhere?

"Remember he risked his life for you and Kavya," Padma was appalled at Anjali's train of thought.

"Bhabhi…..I'm sure Armaan did not do this for money…..this morning he even returned Abhimanyu's car and instead took the train," Riddhima disagreed with Anjali, "that just shows that Armaan does not care for such luxuries."

"Then why did he agree to take the blame?" Anjali asked, "koi tho wajah hogi?"

No one had an answer.

"Zara Abhimanyu ko phone milaana," Padma asked Riddhima.

"Jee mummyji," she tried again; luckily he had just landed at the Bangalore airport and obliged her by taking the call.

"What's up Riddhima?" Abhimanyu asked hurriedly.

"Abhimanyu….wo..wo," his commanding voice put her on the defensive, "wo…aaj ka paper dekha?"

"Riddhima! Is that why you called…..I'm getting late for my meeting….and you want to discuss the newspaper? You amaze me."

Riddhima tried her best to muster some courage to confront her husband, "the press has printed a wrong story….they have twisted the facts…..they are blaming Armaan for the fire."

"RIDDHIMA! I HOPE YOU UNDERSTAND ONE THING CLEARLY! WHAT THE MEDIA AND THE WORLD NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT THE MODI FAMILY IS MY BUSINESS….YOU TAKE CARE OF THE HOUSE AND THE FAMILY…..BAHAR KA KAAM MUJH PAR CHHOD DO…SAMJHI?"

Watching Riddhima's color drain from her face, Padma took the phone from Riddhima, "Abhimanyu…..yeh kya anaap shanaap chhaap rakha hai?"

"Mom….chill…..whatever I did was in the interest of our family……you know how important my family is for me….why would I do anything to hurt us?" Abhimanyu tried to explain.

"Beta…..wo tho theek hai…lekin is tarah Armaan ka naam kyun badnaam kiya?" Padma asked. Shashank's gaze dropped as he overheard his wife vehemently defend his supposedly-illegitimate son.

"Mom….he has been well taken care of…..and he accepted all those charges willingly…..no one is blaming him…it was just an accident….everyone will forget this in a few days….now please don't make a big deal out of this…..and I need to go now mom…..love you," Abhimanyu's sugar coated words helped calm Padma a bit, but she still felt uneasy about blaming Armaan for the accident.

"Mom…..I feel bad for Armaan…bechare ne mujhey aur mere parivar ko bachaya…..aur hum ne usko hi blame kar diya," Atul looked at his mom.

"I think…we should go and meet Armaan…..clarify the report and make sure he doesn't misunderstand us," Riddhima insisted.

"I think you're right beta," Padma smiled at her younger daughter-in-law, the wiser and more sensible of the two younger women in the house.

Shashank sat up and interjected, "I think I'll go…..you all stay here." He did not want to risk Padma meeting Armaan without his presence; he could also confirm whether Armaan's story about his roots was accurate or not. His heart waffled between guilt and doubt; between pride for his illegitimate son and shame for making him the scapegoat in this mishap.

"Hum dono chalte hain," Padma looked at Shashank.

"I'll come too," Atul raised his hand.

"Me too," Rahul joined the bandwagon.

"I'll stay home with bhabhi and Kavya then," Riddhima excused herself although she yearned to see Armaan and apologize to him in person. Abhimanyu claimed that Armaan had accepted the blame voluntarily; in her heart she knew her husband must have somehow bribed him into confessing to a wrong charge. She was witness to Abhimanyu's bribes to people from all walks of life, but Armaan was different. She could not believe that Armaan would stoop so low. In general, money or emotions were used as currency to bribe people. If money was not his motive, what emotions led him to accept those false charges? For some reason, she felt as if she had been accused of wrong doing, not Armaan.


"Mujhey aisa kyun lag raha hai ki Abhimanyu ne Armaan par nahin….jaise mujh par ilzaam lagaaya ho?" Toying with her mangalsutra in her fingers, she decided to visit Armaan later, all alone, and apologize on behalf of her husband.

 AT THE INDIAN MUSIC ACADEMY:

The Modi family walked into the prestigious academy, the halls of which had been graced by famous musicians over the last century. Shashank recalled how as a child he had once dreamt of studying here and imagined having his portrait in these hallways alongside the famous and the talented of the music world.

"Modijee?" An overexcited man greeted them in the lobby.

"Hello," Shashank politely offered his hand.

"I am Shubhankar Misra," the dean of this academy, "how can I help you sir?"

"Nice to meet you Mr. Misra….this is my family….Padma, my wife, my sons, Atul and Rahul."

"Namaste bhabhiji…..hello Rahul and Atul," Shubhankar smiled enthusiastically.

"We are here to meet one of your new students….Armaan Malik."

"Oh yes…yes…yes…yes," Shubhankar nodded, "we all read the news in the paper….I am glad your family is safe…..and I understand Armaan Malik is Atul's friend?"

"Oh….that's right," Atul nodded, reminding himself to be consistent with the story in the paper.

"Waise sir…ek baat kahoon?" Shubhankar lowered his voice, "our music professors are very strict about smoking here…..they don't take students who smoke…..because once a smoker, always a smoker…….with time it effects their voice you see….aur phir academy ka naam badnaam hota hai……Armaan's application also said he is a non smoker…..so I am glad you came here……I will try to convince his professor to reconsider his case."

"Reconsider his case?" Shashank and Padma asked in unsion.

"Yes….after reading the morning report, Professor Mani was upset…..Professor Mani is going to be Armaan's teacher….in fact, right now he is having a private chat with Armaan," Shubhankar cleared his throat.

"What does that mean?" Atul asked, "does that mean that Armaan might be asked to leave?"

"Well….Professor Mani is a typical professor types you see…..brilliant but eccentric……tho kuch bhi ho sakta hai," Shubhankar shuffled on his feet nervously.

"Mr. Misra, can I talk to Professor Mani?" Shashank asked, "I can reassure him that Armaan deserves to be at this academy…..he is very talented and one day will bring a lot of fame not only to this academy but to all his teachers." Any doubts he had about Armaan, suddenly faded in front of his paternal instinct.

"Sure….please come with me sir."

Shashank was let into the eccentric professor's office.

While Padma and her sons waited outside, they saw Armaan limping down the hallway with his guitar case on his shoulder.

"Hey Armaan!" Rahul ran to him, "how are you man?"

"Arre aap sab?" he was pleasantly surprised.

"Kaise ho beta?" Padma touched Armaan's arm.

"Thanks aunty….I am fine…..but I am really touched….aap sab aaye hain yahan?"

"Yaar Armaan……I am upset you left so early this morning…..I wanted to thank you in person for what you did," a misty eyed Atul placed his arm around his half-brother.

"Well…we are supposed to be old friends right?" Armaan chuckled, reminding him of the false story in the paper, "so old friends don't need to say thanks."


Atul smiled tearfully and gave Armaan a bear hug, "well you've won a new friend forever now……I don't know how I can ever repay you?"

"You can," Armaan slapped Atul's back, "stop drinking….that would be my reward."

Lowering his head, Atul nodded gently, "I will…..I give you my word…..that's the least I can do for you."


Padma and Rahul couldn't thank Armaan more; if Atul would quit drinking forever, they would be indebted to Armaan for life.

"Beta….you have been God sent for us…..we are sorry for the story in the paper," Padma lamented.

"That's OK aunty…..sometimes a little white lies goes a long way…doesn't it? Ab dekhiye na thoda sa jhooth bola tho aap sab ka pyaar aur zyaada mil gaya," Armaan dismissed Padma's apology with a smile and chuckle.

"For life…..you're like family now," Atul gave him another friendly hug.

"Yes man…..please don't hesitate to call us if you ever need anything," Rahul reiterated his family's emotions.

"Shaam ko ghar zaroor aana," Padma smiled.

"Well…..I might have to move in with you guys if they kick me out of the academy," Armaan chided.

"Kick you out?" Rahul's eyes widened.

"Yeah….Professor Mani just gave me a long lecture on the perils of smoking for a musician and lying on my application…..I am on probation right now….if I don't prove myself in the next one week….they will ask me to leave," Armaan became serious.


"No one is kicking you out beta," Shashank emerged from Professor Mani's office with the esteemed professor behind him.

"Welcome to the Indian Music Academy son," Professor Mani patted Armaan's back, "Mr. Modi has convinced me that our academy needs you more than you need us……so I hope you will not let your uncle down."

"Really?" Armaan stared at the professor and Shashank with disbelief, "so I am not on probation anymore?"

"Of course you are!" The professor replied sternly, "I know Mr. Modi has given me his word……but your talent is what's going to determine your future here…..I will ignore the newspaper story for now……so get back to class son." The professor walked away, while the Modis stayed back with Armaan.

"Thanks sir," Armaan bowed gently, "thanks uncle."

"You're welcome beta…..the academy has more to lose if they let go of you for a fabricated story," Shashank smiled.

"Thanks," Armaan was overwhelmed by the support from the Modis. He wondered how Abhimanyu could belong to the same clan?

"Please let me know if you need anything else beta?" Shashank asked.

"Yes uncle…..I do have a question for you…..I..I had come to India to learn music….and to find my father."

Shashank's color drained the moment he heard 'father.'

"Oh..oh…I see," Shashank fumbled uncomfortably.

"Dilip maama mentioned that you know my dad……where is he? What's his name? Main un se milna chaahta hoon."

Averting his gaze, Shashank shuffled his feet and wiped the sweat off his brow, "Uh…Armaan," he looked up and saw Padma's gaze fixated at him for an answer. "Armaan beta……I think you're getting late for your class…..shaam ko ghar aana….phir bataata hoon."

"No uncle….I have been waiting to find out for 27 years…..you are my only hope…..I really want to know…..please tell me."

Atul and Rahul sensed the discomfort on their father's face. Perhaps, Armaan's dad's identity was a secret, he did not want to reveal in front of everyone. They excused themselves, "we will wait in the car…..mom aap bhi chaliye."

"Nahin beta….tum log jao…..I'll come back with dad," Padma was curious; the mortified expression on Shashank's face intrigued her. Never before had she heard about an old friend of Shashank's, whose family lived in the US. A chill ran through her body as she recalled the letter from Damini, she had discovered twenty years ago, five years after it had been originally written, where she had mentioned that she was leaving for the US with a two year old son to live with her brother. That son was perhaps 27 years old now- same age as Armaan! Padma's gaze shifted between the two men in front of her. Could Armaan be Damini's son? Shashank's illegitimate son? Her step son?

"Beta…tumhari mom ka kya naam hai?" Padma asked.


Armaan smiled tearfully, "my mom? Her name was Da…."


"YOUR DAD IS NO MORE!" Suaryabhan cut short his son's sentence, "I am sorry beta……but your dad is no longer there…….but..but I reassure you…..he loved you very much." His eyes blurry, Shashank looked away from his wife's piercing and Armaan's traumatized gaze.


Frozen and devastated, Armaan stood still, his tears dried before they could roll down his cheeks. He kicked himself for asking the question. Sometimes an illusion is better than the truth- the mirage in a desert that lures a man to keep moving forward had suddenly vanished in front of his eyes. His worse fears had come true- he was an orphan, with no one to call his own, no one who would be proud of his accomplishments, no one who would be there for him when he needed them, no one who would guide him to the right path when he was lost.

The three of them stood silently, mourning inside for different reasons.

Shashank- for once again letting a loved one down. And did Armaan just say 'my mom's name was?' So is Damini dead? He shuddered at that thought and shut his eyes to hide his pain.


Padma- for once again seeing the fear and guilt in Shashank's eyes. Her sixth sense told her that Shashank was Armaan's father, but she would wait this time. Wait for Shashank to confess to her rather than confronting him. This would be the final straw for her. If he confessed, she would probably forgive him this time, but if he didn't, she might have to walk away from his life forever….

Armaan- for once again feeling jilted by the almighty.

"MR. ARMAAN MALIK! YOU ARE NEEDED IN THE CLASSROOM!" A shrill voice interrupted their trance. Armaan thanked Shashank and Padma and quietly hobbled away with a heavy heart and lack of motivation to his classroom.


Shashank watched his son walk away; how he wished he could comfort those sagging shoulders and disappointed footsteps. Padma's hawk eyes saw the interplay of emotions of Shashank's face, "ab ghar chalein?" She asked coldly.

"Haan…chalo," he swallowed a painful lump in his throat and walked out of the building.


IN THE CLASSROOM:

Armaan sat through the orientation class without any emotions or interest. Professor Mani's glares had no effect on him. When asked to introduce himself, he kept it brief and detached.

"Now….I want all the students to come up to the front of the class one by one, and perform a little piece for me…..your performance today will determine your placement in the next few classes this semester." Professor Mani's voice echoed in the classroom.


Armaan's turn came and went by. He walked up to the front but was unable to sing. His voice and emotions quivered the moment he tried to part his lips.


"MR. ARMAAN MALIK….PLEASE GO BACK TO YOUR SEAT…..LOOKS LIKE YOUR UNCLE MR. MODI WAS OVERCONFIDENT ABOUT YOU….NEXT PLEASE!" Professor Mani was ruthless but wanted to respect Shashank's word; mentally he decided to give Armaan another chance at the end of the class.


"Excuse me sir….I'll be right back," a distraught Armaan hobbled out of the class to compose himself. Not only had he been let down by life, he had let himself down by not being able to perform in front of the class. Not one to be bogged down by adversities, he wanted to cry out loud. For the first time in his life, he felt helpless and unmotivated. He wanted to leave India forever. He had failed in both his missions-  failed in finding his identity, his roots and lost the chance to become a good musician.

Armaan leaned his head on the wall, resting his injured foot on a bench in the hallway. He was about to call Dilip maama to book his return flight, when a tap on his shoulder distracted him.

"Aren't you supposed to be inside the classroom Mr. America?" Her sweet, unmistakable voice surprised him.

"Riddhima? What are you doing here?"

"I was out shopping…..here…..a box full of mithai for you," she held a large decorated box of sweets in front of him, "I know you love these."

Forcing a smile, he nodded gently, "thanks….lekin mood nahin hai."

"Mood nahin hai?" she sensed the distress in his voice, "mithai ke liye mood nahin, zubaan chaahiye hoti hai…..chalo mooh kholo!" She ordered.

"Riddhima…please don't force me….I am not hungry."

"Hmm….looks like you're upset about something," she hesitated, "I am sorry about the story in the news…..I apologize on behalf of Abhimanyu."

"No….that's OK…..I am not upset about that," he looked away.

"Tho phir kya baat hai?" She insisted.

"Kuch nahin," he replied coldly, "please leave me alone Riddhima…..I don't want to talk to anyone."

She knew something was bothering him. It couldn't be the newspaper story as Armaan knew what the press was going to publish this morning. Even though, she had known Armaan for a mere three days, she could read him better than she could even sense her husband's emotions.

Inadvertently, she cupped his chin with one hand, "apni dost ko nahin bataaoge?"

He was taken aback by her hand on his chin; he gazed at her delicate fingers on his face and then looked up at her. The earnest expression on her face had won him over once again. She was genuinely concerned about him. It was not the concern he had seen in the Modi family's eyes- they felt indebted to him because of his heroic deed, but Riddhima's expression was pure, full of affection and compassion, like one would have for a close friend.


"Why do you want to know?" He asked, staring into her eyes, his heart melting as she withdrew her hand from his face.

"Because I know something is really bothering you…..otherwise you would be in your class impressing your teacher…..kya baat hai…..shayad bataane se bojh halka ho jaaye?"

"Can I have some mithai first?" He smiled, soothed by her touch and genuine concern.

"Let's sit down somewhere…..chalo yahan bench par baith te hain," she helped him settle down on the bench, "ab batao." She sat next to him, their legs lightly brushing against each other.

"Mithai first?" He chuckled.

"Ok baba," she held a juicy rasgulla in front of his mouth, "open your mouth!"

"AAAA" He complied impatiently, "jaldi…..the sweet syrup is dripping down your fingers."

"There you go Mr. America," she popped one rasgulla into his mouth, to be followed by another one as his mouth stayed wide open till she had stuffed it with half a dozen sweet syrupy balls.

The sweet sticky syrup had dripped all over his lips, chin and trickled down his neck.

"ARMAAN…BAS KARO! LOOK THE SYRUP IS ALL OVER YOUR FACE AND NECK!" She kept the box aside,  away from his face to not tempt him for anymore, "now how will you go inside the classroom with such a sticky face?" she laughed.

"I have a solution," he grinned mischievously, his voice muffled by the sweets in his mouth, and before she realized, he grabbed the corner of her dupatta and wiped off the syrup from his face.

"ARMAAN!" she smacked him playfully, "yeh kya kiya?" She gave it back to him by wiping off her sticky fingers on his shirt.

"Hey…hey….my new Armaani shirt! I wore it for my first day in class….you ruined it with your sticky hands!" He teased her.

"And you ruined my new silk dupatta!" She hit him playfully once again.

"OH my God! Kitni zor se maarti ho…..kya sabko aise hi maarti ho?" He winced, pretending to be hurt.

"Sirf badmaash doston ko!" she chuckled and then folded her legs on top of each other, "now tell me why are you not inside the class?"

"Ab maar padhi hai tho andar jaana hi hoga na?" He asked softly.

"But not before you tell me why you were so upset?" She smiled at him.

"I couldn't find an inspiration to sing," he gazed into her big, innocent eyes.

"You know Armaan….there are days when I don't know what to do with my life….I look for inspiration on those days…," a hint of sadness in her voice threw him off a little.

"Why do you need inspiration? You have everything….don't you?"

"Yes…I do…..but one always needs inspiration in life…..warna zindagi ka maayne nahin reh jaata," she replied softly.

"So what's your inspiration?" he asked.

"Mere bhagwan…… I just shut my eyes and think of my God whenever I need inspiration."

"You mean….your husband?" he asked hesitantly.

She gave him a curious look, "I am not that old fashioned Armaan! Main apne pati ko bhagwan nahin maanti."

Armaan sensed a flicker of hope; his feelings of despair and dismay seemed to fade away as Riddhima talked to him about herself. He was glad in a selfish way that she did not hold Abhimanyu on a pedestal as he had initially sensed.

"Oh I am sorry….I thought all Indian women worship their husbands like God!" He said sarcastically.


"No Armaan…..God is my only inspiration…..the only one I worship…..because I know he is always there for me…..even if I forget him….he will never forget me…….I have no expectations from God….because I know he is my best well wisher……he will give me what I don't ask…..how can a husband be worshiped on the same pedestal Armaan? Husbands se tho expectations hoti hain na?"


Armaan sensed that all was not well between Abhimanyu and Riddhima. The cracks in her voice expressed her inner most fears and feelings. He wanted to comfort her just as she had helped him out of his doldrums, but resisted, "Riddhima…..can I ask you one question?"


She hesitated, realizing that she had perhaps revealed a lot more about herself than she should have, "I think I should go now," she got up to leave.

"But you haven't answered my question," he stood up next to her.

"What was your question?" she asked.

"What if my inspiration is a person rather than God?" He found himself being sucked into her magnetic gaze.

"It's a matter of faith," she smiled, averting her eyes from his piercing looks, "I hope you find your inspiration soon….now go back to your class."

"Yes….I will," he smiled impishly and walked back to his classroom. Before entering his class, he yelled back, "thanks for coming dost!"

"Dosti me no thanks…..ab jao andar jao," she snapped at him.


"Make sure you leave the rasgullas here…..I might get hungry soon," he grinned and walked into the classroom confidently, hoping for a second chance to prove himself.

Smiling and waving back at him, she left the box of sweets with his name labeled on it and stood outside his classroom to make sure he was back on track.

"Ok MR. ARMAAN MALIK…ARE YOU READY?" Professor Mani's voice boomed from inside.

"Yes sir," Armaan stepped forward, took his seat on the chair in front of the class, shut his syes as Riddhima had advised him and thought of his inspiration…..Riddhima. He smiled as her radiant face flashed in his imagery.


He held the class and Riddhima captive with this beautiful song from 'Gangster'




AR VM of "tu hi meri shab hai' from 'Gangster' VM by Vishlesha1987





tu hi meri shab hai subha hai tu hi din hai mera
tu hi mera rab hai jahaan hai tu hi meri duniya
tu waqt mere liye main hoon tera lamha
kaise rahega bhala hoke tu mujhse judaa
o o o o ho ho
o o o o o o
tu hi meri shab hai subha hai tu hi din hai mera
tu hi mera rab hai jahaan hai tu hi meri duniya
tu waqt mere liye main hoon tera lamha
kaise rahega bhala hoke tu mujhse judaa
o o o o ho ho
o o o o o o

aankhon se padhke tujhe dil pe maine likha
tu ban gaya hai mere jeene ki ek wajah
ho aankhon se padhke tujhe dil pe maine likha
tu ban gaya hai mere jeene ki ek wajah
teri hasi teri adaa auron se hai bilkul judaa
o o o o ho ho
o o o o o o

aankhen teri shabnami chehra tera aaina
tu hai udaasi bhari koi haseen dastaan
ho aankhen teri shabnami chehra tera aaina
tu hai udaasi bhari koi haseen dastaan
dil mein hai kya kuchh toh bata
kyon hai bhala khud se khafa
o o o o ho ho
o o o o o o

tu hi meri shab hai subha hai tu hi din hai mera
tu hi mera rab hai jahaan hai tu hi meri duniya
tu waqt mere liye main hoon tera lamha
kaise rahega bhala hoke tu mujhse judaa
o o o o ho ho
o o o o o o...



As she walked away, heartened and relieved by his performance, she thought, "why does a stranger sometimes feel more familiar than the familiar people around us? Why do I care about Armaan as if he is not new, but someone I have known forever…..someone who is so close to me that I feel a strange connection with him, I've never felt with anyone before?"

……….to be contd………

Bheegi

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