Monday, 16 July 2018

last part : Pehchan


"Welcome aboard Mr.and Mrs. Malik!" The captain of the ship welcomed the passengers as they embarked the cruise line for a seven day rendezvous on the high seas, "are you both celebrating anything special on our ship?"

"As a matter of fact we are," Armaan, with his dark glasses on, dressed in a Hawaiin shirt and solid white board shorts walked in with his camera on one shoulder and his arm around his beautiful wife's shoulders, who looked equally relaxed and charming in a floral red and white halter dress, her arm snugly encircling her husband's waist.

"Wonderful! What are you guys celebrating?" The inquisitive captain took out his writing pad to take notes, "we would love to honor our guests who are here to celebrate a special event in their life."

"Riddhima, you want to tell him?" Armaan leaned sideways and grinned at his lovely wife.

"We are here to celebrate our honeymoon," she shot a smile at the captain.

"Wow! Newlyweds! Kab huyi aapki shaadi?"

"A year and a half ago," Armaan replied, poker faced this time.

The captain was visibly confused, "ah'.so you are celebrating a second honeymoon?"

"No'this is our very first honeymoon!" Riddhima leaned her head on her husband's strong shoulders.

"Oh," the captain curved his lips and scratched his head, "were you guys living apart after marriage?"

"No'we have been together every second and minute of our lives since we got married." Armaan pulled Riddhima closer, "and very much in love with each other, so I hope you are not getting any wrong ideas captain."

"Oh," the captain more puzzled than ever, "so, looks like there is a story behind this? It's not that straightforward?"

"Absolutely! Where ever Mr. and Mrs. Malik are involved, it's never a straightforward story. We have always believed in taking the road not taken."

"Interesting!" The captain raised his eyebrow, "I would love to hear that story'.come with me, let's share a drink in my private suite. Would you mind sharing your story with me?"

"Why not?" Riddhima chuckled, "jab 11/2 saal intezaar kiya hai, tho kuch pal aur sahi."

"Let's make it quick captain, because we need to celebrate our suhaag raat also." Armaan replied as they followed the captain to his private suite.

"Suhaag raat?" The captain turned around, astounded, "so you guys are really newlyweds?"

"Nahin captain, my husband is just kidding," Riddhima elbowed Armaan, "we had our suhaag raat two years before our wedding."

"Oh..I see!" The captain smiled mischievously, "aha! Premarital suhaag raat?"

"That was not an official suhaag raat captain," Armaan complained, "now we are entitled to an official one."

"Please have a seat'what can I pour for you?"

"I will have a Margarita!" Armaan nodded his head.

"I will just have a glass of water," Riddhima sat down next to Armaan. She snuggled close to him as he placed his arm around her possessively.

"So suhaag raat two years before marriage and honeymoon a year and a half after marriage?" The captain settled on a couch across from his guests, "looks like you have been busy doing other things in between?"

"Not really," Armaan replied, "well'yeah'sort of."

"So, how was the wedding?"

"We had a wonderful wedding," Riddhima circled her hand around Armaan's arm, "it was a fairy tale wedding at Armaan's ancestral home in Nainital. It was the most beautiful moment of my life," she gazed at Armaan longingly.

"I can imagine you both looking your best that night. You make a very good looking couple as it is," the captain admired the handsome couple.

"Yes captain'.Riddhima was the most gorgeous bride one could have ever seen," Armaan kissed her hand, "dressed in a pink lehnga and my mom's antique jewelry, she was my Miss Universe that night'and still is," he winked at her.

"Tum bhi tho kuch kam nahin lag rahe the'.your black sherwani had all the other girls swooning over you, but I was the lucky one that night'.and I still am."

For a moment they were lost in each other's eyes; the captain as if nonexistent in that room.

"*Cough*Cough* If you guys want, you can check into your cabin now. We can resume this story later," the captain cleared his throat.

"No captain'.kahani abhi baaki hai," Armaan sipped on his drink, "after all the wedding ceremonies, we were finally declared husband and wife. I couldn't wait to hold my wife in my arms that night. Finally, we were alone in our room. It was beautifully decorated by our sister in laws, Muskaan and Jiya. Even the most unromantic person would have turned romantic that night in that bridal suite. With tons of hope and desire, I entered the room, hoping to find my bride curled up on the bed coyly with her ghunghat on her face'..but."

"But what happened?" the captain gave him a curious look.

"I started feeling queasy and tired," Riddhima became serious, "so had to rush to the bathroom instead of the bed."

"I found her hunched over the sink, throwing up big time! Her wedding lehnga and all her jewelry were a mess," Armaan made a sour face, "even the floral and candle scents did not help."

"Eeew," the captain scrunched his nose, "I guess that's life- not always as rosy as we envision it."

"Yeah, you got that right captain. I got worried when I saw her at the sink. I rushed to her but before I could say anything, she passed out into my arms. I carried her carefully to the bed, removed her clothing and jewelry'now don't get any ideas captain'.not in that sense. While she moaned and whimpered I cleaned her up, dressed her in a pair of clean clothes and then'"

"Then she was fine? It was probably the exhaustion of the wedding that did her in," the captain conjectured.

"No captain. Armaan called the doctor as I was still pretty incoherent. I was pregnant!"

The captain almost spilled his drink, "oh'so you found out that you were pregnant on your wedding night? Wonderful'I am sure you were both excited."

"We were elated!" Armaan smiled, "in seventh heaven."

"But you were saying that y-ou had your suhaag raat two years before your wedding? Tho yeh bachcha'..????" The captain paused.

"CAPTAIN! Please don't have any ideas. We had our unofficial suhaag raat two years before our wedding'.but that doesn't mean'.ehem'ehem'you know what I mean?" Armaan sat up and frowned at the captain.

"Sorry'I didn't mean it that way Mr. Malik. So, I gather your official suhaag raat was spent cleaning up and visiting with the doctor."

"No captain. I felt better after the doctor gave me some injections. Then we also spent that night celebrating our impending parenthood. Being a mother was like a dream come true for me. Ek hi raat mein mujhey jaise saari khushiyan mil gayi ho. Armaan and I spent the whole night talking. We talked about our unborn child '.bachche ka naam kya hoga? Ladka hoga ya ladki? Bas inhi baaton mein poori raat nikal gayi," Riddhima smiled at Armaan, "I am the luckiest woman in this world captain'.koi aur pati apni suhaag raat ko sirf apni biwi ki seva mein aise nikaalta hai?"

"You are lucky indeed Mrs. Malik."

"The next day, after the doctor gave a clearance, we left for our honeymoon," Armaan continued, "to Darjeeling'in the mountains."

"Oh'so you did have a honeymoon then?"

"On paper-yes," Armaan became serious, "but as soon as we reached Darjeeling, Riddhima started having some cramping."

"Oh-Oh'.more doctor visits?"

"Yes captain," Riddhima became serious, "this time they told me that I was carrying twins."

"Twins? Wow!"

"Yes, twins," Riddhima blushed slightly, "but I was put on strict bed rest as there was a danger of me miscarrying them."

"STRICT BED REST? For how long?"

"POORE 8 MAHINE AUR 14 DIN CAPTAIN!" Armaan interjected, "strict bed rest for a full 8 months and 14 days."

"Oh'now I understand," the captain shook his head, "so at the end of 8 months and 14 days, I assume you became parents to two cutie pies?"

"Aditi and Rohan'.hamari jaan hain dono," Riddhima's eyes lit up as she thought about her 9 month old twins, "here are their photos," she took her phone out and proudly displayed pictures of their babies to the captain.

"So cute! Inhein bhi laana tha na ship par," the captain couldn't help admiring how adorable the twins were, "we love having babies on the ship."

"Idea achcha hai Armaan. Abhi ship chali nahin hai. Should I ask mummyji to bring them?" Riddhima was excited at the thought.

"Captain'.you don't know how difficult it has been for me to tear my wife away from our little ones. Please mujh par thoda reham karo'.can I have my wife to myself for these next seven days?" Armaan pleaded.

"Oh, I understand Mr. Malik. Mothers have a hard time leaving their children."

"The kids are quite happy with their dadi dada right now. Don't get me wrong, I love Addu and Rohan'.they are my lifeline too, but they are little rascals who never leave my wife alone for even a second, or rather she never leaves them," Armaan teased Riddhima.

"Armaan! Tumne mere bachchon ko rascal kaha?" Riddhima frowned at him.

"Sorry'.rascal tho unka baap hai jo un masoomon ki mom ko kuch din borrow karke laaya hai," Armaan touched his ears, pretending to be apologetic.

"So Aditi and Rohan have kept you both very busy?"

"Yes, captain'do you have kids?" Armaan asked.

"No, not yet," the captain chuckled.

"Then you should plan on having them soon," Armaan winked and then pulled Riddhima closer, "because they bring more joy to your life than anything else, and we have 152 kids'.we are surrounded by happiness every second of our life."

"152 kids?" The captain's eyes popped out of his head.

"Besides Aditi and Rohan, we have 150 kids at Ashirwaad, an orphanage which we both manage. While I was on bed rest, Armaan and my sister took charge of that place. Since then, Armaan is like their father figure. He's really good to all my 152 kids," Riddhima leaned her head on Armaan, "now you know captain, why we have been so busy over the last 1 and years. Armaan's parents insisted on us taking a break'the kids are really fond of their grandparents, so I know they are in good hands."

"Be assured that both of you are in good hands for the next seven days," the captain got up, "hope you have a memorable honeymoon. Because I have never met such passionate couple in my life, I would like to upgrade your suite to the premium honeymoon suite, usually reserved for the couple with the most fascinating love story on board. I think you both deserve it more than anyone else'.here is the key card."

"Oh, so that's why you were interviewing us?" Armaan shook hands with the captain.

"You are a smart man Mr.Malik!" The captain winked at them and guided them towards their premium suite.


Armaan and Riddhima were awestruck by their new dwelling. A large stateroom with a huge window and private balcony overlooking the Arabian Sea, a large king sized bed, Jacuzzi, shower and elegant dcor took their breath away for a few moments.

"So, Mrs. Malik'.do you really think we are really that passionate?" He circled his arms around her waist and pulled her closer.

She whispered teasingly, "I am not sure Mr. Malik. After having two kids, my memory cells have not been that kind to me. Perhaps, you can refresh my memory."

"That would be my pleasure Mrs. Malik," he bent down and kissed her tenderly, his fingers crawled gently over her bare shoulders and undid the knot of her halter dress behind her neck "mmm'looks like I am finally getting closer to the end of the rainbow."

Her fingers worked on his shirt buttons, "I think your hard work and patience will yield the biggest pot of gold'.or rather honey as you prefer it." Her hands explored the bareness of his chest as they drew closer to each other, his firmness melting with her suppleness.

"Now that you have killed me with your words, slaughtered me with your hotness, slain my soul with your beauty and aroused me like never before, I am ready to be laid to rest Mrs. Malik," he murmured in her ear, nibbling it gently.

"Laid-yes. Rest-no." She moaned back.

Armaan lifted her in his arms and carried her to bed, "now that you have challenged the lion inside me Mrs. Malik, I will make sure there is no rest involved in this voyage."

"That would be my pleasure Mr. Malik," Riddhima surrendered herself completely to her husband, the man who had given her all the happiness, changed the course of her life and given her, her 'pehchan' as they consumed each other with passion and fervor never experienced before.

As the ship sailed towards it's destination, Mr. and Mrs. Malik's destination was a bit different- destination-each other! The next seven days were spent drinking the pot of heavenly marital bliss in their premium honeymoon suite; the high seas and warm salty winds adding to the flavor of their spicy, tangy and sweet love story.



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