Tuesday, 10 July 2018

part 37 : Pehchan

RECAP: They both laughed and frolicked like little kids on the floor. After the two year separation, their pent up passions couldn't get enough of each other. Armaan's kisses sent her into a frenzy of emotions. She reciprocated his passion with equally ravenous expressions of her yearning for him. Soon their clothes and red towel found themselves deserted somewhere in the middle of the living room floor. As the storm outside subsided, their love making reached a pinnacle, diffusing their inner passions till there was a serene feeling everywhere.

Baring the gentle whistle of the wind, Armaan and Riddhima lay in each other's arms, enjoying the tranquility of the calm after the storm.

"Kya Ranikhet mein aise toofan aksar aate hain?" Armaan asked, squeezing her closer on his chest.

"Do saal baad aaya tha…lekin ab shaant hai," she chuckled.

"It was quite a storm."

"Let's hope it never comes back again." She lifted her face and gazed lovingly at him.

"Even if does…you are good at handling storms, aren't you?" He grinned.

"As long as we are together, I can handle any storm," she rubbed her nose against his, "I am hungry….soup thanda ho gaya hoga…garam karke laati hoon…tum yahin raho."

"I love that plan," he drawled lazily, "because I have no plans of getting up from this floor."

She threw a blanket at him and quickly put her kurta on, "I'll be right back." She picked the tray of soup and disappeared in the kitchen.

"Hey…hey…hey…what's that on your back?" He yelled after her but she was gone. Swiftly, he placed his coveted red towel and pink kurta back on and joined her in the kitchen.

"I thought you wanted to laze around?" She was surprised to see him.

"I need to see your back first," he came closer.

"Kyun? Pehle pait pooja phir aur kuch," she chuckled as she poured the soup in a pan to heat it up.

"No…pehle back dikhao!" He was adamant.

"Shareef ladki se aise baat karte hain?" She slapped his hand playfully.

"RIDDHIMA! Please….itna mat satao….I want to see that new tattoo on your back…do saal pehle nahin tha wo!" He insisted.

"Ok…just a quick peek….but no badmaashi!" She blushed and gradually pulled down the sleeve of her kurta to expose the small tattoo on her right shoulder blade. Armaan was blown away as he caressed the letters on her skin: AR. He recalled the day when she had touched his tattoos while dressing his wounds after the fire.

He bent down and kissed their initials tenderly, "bahut dard hua hoga na?"

His kiss sent a surge of warmth through her body, "please Armaan." She whispered huskily, her voice quivered as she turned around and hugged him, "tumhari judai ke gham se zyaada nahin."

He pulled her closer and kissed her forehead, "ab na koi judai hogi, aur na koi gham…I promise." He embraced her and sighed.

"Kyun kiya aisa?"

"Tumhein khud se judaa nahin karna chaahti thi."

"You should have shown me your back that day in Mrs. Saxena's office….I would have not wasted all this time fighting with you," he teased her.

"Armaan," she whispered against his chest, "will you marry me?"

For a moment, Armaan thought he was hallucinating.

'What? Kya kaha tumne?" He pulled back and gave her an astonished look.

She smiled and went down on her knees. Holding his hand, she looked up, her chin in the air, "I promise to keep you happy…love you forever……and be yours forever."

He was overwhelmed with emotions. Hiding his tears of joy, he replied seriously, "I-I am not sure Riddhima. I-I need some time and space….main is bandhan ke liye tayyar nahin hoon." Her face fell as he pretended to reject his proposal. As he tried his best to stifle his happiness, she figured out that he was playing games with her.

"Theek hai….I am fine with this arrangement then…waise bhi mujhey dulhan ban ne ka koi shauk nahin hai," she teased him back and stood up brushing her knees.

"Hey….hey…hey," he pulled her back into his arms, "tumhein dulhan ban ne ka shauk na ho…lekin mujhey tho dulha ban ne ka bahut shauk hai!"

"Kyun shaadi tho bandhan hai na?" She raised her eyebrows.

"Haan hai," he smiled and gently tapped her forehead with his head, "lekin sab se pyaara bandhan….aur main zindagi bhar is bandhan mein bandhne ke liye tayyar hoon."

"Main bhi," she whispered back tearfully.

"Aur ab ki baar tum bhaagne ki koshish bhi mat karna," he had tears in his eyes. They stood holding each other, gently sobbing with happiness. Their hearts reciprocated their joyfulness, racing excitedly against their chests. Their eyes transfixed on each other, exchanged boundless love and pleasure.

He bent down and kissed her lips, "I don't like to taste salty lips," he smiled at her and wiped her tears, "make sure they stay sweet for the rest of our lives."

"How about spicy?" she laughed tearfully, with sniffles in her nose, "soup should be ready now." She turned around and was aghast to see the pan overflowing with the over boiled soup.

"Oh God!" she turned the stove top off, "what a mess!" Quickly, she pulled out some napkins and kitchen towels to clean up her kitchen, "I am so sorry Armaan……what will I feed you now?"

"Don't worry," he circled her waist from behind, "tumhari mohabbat se hi pait bhar loonga." He lifted her up in his arms and without heeding to her protests, carried her back to the living room.

"ARMAAN!" She laughed as he twirled around with her in the living room. Soon his sensuous and melodious voice filled her senses, sending her into a vortex of dizzying passions….

Please enjoy this beautiful song by Mohit Chauhan, the man with the 'rum in coke' voice….

'Pehli baar mohabbat' from 'kaminey'

AR (kajen) VM by KashNida


AR (kash) VM by KashNida


Original song:


Thode bheege bheege se thode nam hai hum,
Kal se soye voye bhi to kam hai hum.

Thode bheege bheege se thode nam hai hum,
Kal se soye voye bhi to kam hai hum.
Dil ne kaisi harkat ki hai,
Pehli baar mohabbat ki hai,
Aakhiri baar mohabbat ki hai,
Pehli baar mohabbat ki hai,
Aakhiri baar mohabbat ki hai…

Aankhein doobi doobi si surmayee madham,
Jheelen paani paani hai bass tum aur hum,
Hmmm baat badi hairat ki hai,
[Pehli baar mohabbat ki hai,
Aakhiri baar mohabbat ki hai] – 2 times

Hmmm khawab ke bhoj se, kapkapati hui,
Halki palkein teri yaad aata hai sab,
Tujhe gudgudana… satana yuhi sote hue,
Gaal pe teepna… meechna bewajah besabab.

Yaad hai peepal ke jiske ghane saaye the,
Hum ne gilehri jhoothe matter khaaye the,
Yeh barqat unn hazrat ki hai.

[Pehli baar mohabbat ki hai,
Aakhiri baar mohabbat ki hai] – 2 times

Afterwards, they both cleaned up the kitchen together. Riddhima prepared some sandwiches while Armaan prepared their favorite but recently estranged beverage. He poured the steaming coffee in one cup.

"Coffee? Itne dino baad?" Her eyes lit up, "par sirf ek cup?"

"From now on we will share our cup of coffee….that will avoid any confusion or accidents with cups," he winked at her and placed the cup next to her lips. They enjoyed their sandwiches and shared cup of coffee, giving each other loving and longing glances in between sips.

After their abbreviated dinner, they sat around on the couch sharing their past two years with each other.

"Now it all makes sense. I always wondered why Abhimanyu agreed to the divorce," she placed his hand in his palm, "agar us raat tum usey nahin bachaate tho?" She shuddered at that thought, "so Abhimanyu has really changed then?"

"Well…he still confuses me. We are not enemies like before, but nor are we the best of friends. He manages the business aspect of my career…our interactions are usually limited to that. At a personal level, we are still strangers."

"So he is remarried." She was a bit amused, "I hope his wife is happy with him."

"She is a mysterious woman too…Jiya naam hai uska…she is a Psychiatrist. They seem happy with each other, but really, I have never bothered to find out more. Somehow, I could never get too close to them. Shayad unhein ek saath dekhkar, tumhari yaad zyaada aati thi." He put his arm around her, "and frankly, I just preferred to stay focused on my work……somehow had lost that zeal without you."

"Like me…..shayad agar yeh bachche aur unka pyaar na hota, tho main kab ki bujh gayi hoti," she leaned her head on his shoulder, "Armaan….how about daddyji…I mean Shashank uncle? It must have been hard for you to accept him as your father? Mujhey yaad hai unko lekar kitna naaraaz hote the tum mujhse."

"Yeah Riddhima….it was just a series of events…..losing you and Dilip mama in quick succession was hard for me," he became serious, "that's when dad stepped in….he embraced me and my pain with open arms…never let go of me in those days. Perhaps some relationships are stronger than we think….he took charge of my life…my career….and helped me out of my depression. He was a real father to me in those days. I can never forget those days Riddhima."

Riddhima remained silent and concealed her doubts about Shashank. Isn't that what she had always wanted- Armaan and his father together?

"I know he always has my best intentions in mind, but nevertheless, I don't do everything he asks me to do," he chuckled, "agar unki har baat maanta tho aaj yahan nahin hota…aur na tumse mil paata," he buried his face in her hair, still damp from the rain, "I am glad I refused to sing in Tiwari's party….mmm you smell so good." He took a deep breath and moaned while she pondered over Armaan's statement about his dad.

"Armaan," she ran her fingers through his hair, "what if he objects to our marriage?"

"He won't. Once he finds out the truth about us, he won't."

Riddhima just nodded gently. She knew that even if Armaan was wrong about his father, there was no way she would walk away this time. Shashank could not intimidate her any more. Only she knew that both Armaan and her happiness lay with each other- she wouldn't let anyone- not even her-come between them.

"Armaan…shaadi ke baad main Mumbai mein nahin rahoongi." She was firm about her decision, "I can't leave these kids here. Main unke liye sab kuch hoon."

Armaan pulled back from her hair, "aur tum mere liye sab kuch," he smiled, lifting her chin, "mujhey tho gaane se matlab hai…..aur agar meri inspiration Ranikhet mein rahegi, tho main Mumbai mein kaise reh sakta hoon?"

"Sach?" She was pleasantly surprised, "are you sure?"

"Of course I am," he kissed her hands, "I can always fly to Mumbai for my recordings….maybe once or twice a month….kyun?"

"What about your family?"

"They will understand....aakhir Rahul aur Muskaan bhi tho alag rehte hain."

"Thanks for understanding Armaan," she touched his cheek, "I am the luckiest woman in the world."

"No doubt about that fact," he laughed and then plunked his head on her lap, "I am tired now…ready to go to sleep….kal phir Mumbai wapas bhi jaana hai."

"Kal Nainital chalein?" She massaged his scalp.

"Nainital?" He opened one eye.

"I want to meet Naina aunty….and also want to do some shopping for my dulha raja."

With a delightful grin, he pulled her face towards him, "done deal….love that plan….you and I will paint Nainital red tomorrow and then I will leave tomorrow night."

"Kal jaana zaroori hai?" With her hair shrouding their faces, she whispered softly.

"Agar wapas nahin gaya tho hamesha ke liye wapas kaise aaunga?" He replied, "shaadi ke cards bhi tho print karwaane hain….sabko khush khabri bhi deni hai….let's not worry about tomorrow Riddhima…enjoy the rest of the night." He kissed her lips, intoxicating her once again with his love and passion. Both fell asleep on the couch, a deep pleasurable slumber, they had not experienced in a long time.



"Armaan….let's get ready for Nainital!" Riddhima, who had already showered and dressed in a crisp blue kurti and jeans, shook him vigorously.

"Hmm?" he rubbed his eyes lazily, "Nainital? Oh….why don't we stay at home all day," he pulled her closer, "ek doosre ki baahon mein….lovey dovey all day." He drawled sleepily.

"Uske liye poori zindagi padhi hai," she tried to drag him out of the couch, "I have taken the whole day off from work today…chalo please…let's go to Nainital."

"Ok baba," he hauled himself with a lot of effort and ended in the bathroom. A few minutes later, he stuck his head out of the shower, "RIDDHIMA…MY CLOTHES ARE STILL WET AND DIRTY! HOW CAN I STEP OUT OF THE HOUSE?"

"Kurta aur towel hai na tumhare paas," she yelled back.

"Oh come on! How can I go out in these?"

"Kyun tum tho mere liye joker ban ne ko tayyar the?" She teased him.

"Not for the rest of the world…or all the kids outside…kya izzat reh jaayegi meri?"

"Ok…I have an idea," she came back a few minutes later, "here…I have the perfect solution…bahar aa jao."

Wrapped in his towel, he stepped outside the bathroom, "ok..let's see what brilliant plan you have come up with now….BEDSHEET?" He was aghast when he saw her holding a white bed sheet in front of him.

"I am going to wear a bedsheet?" His eyes popped out, "I am not a piece of luggage that you can wrap in a sheet!"

"Sshh!" she placed her finger on his lips and within a few seconds, had him wrapped in the white sheet. His protests fell on deaf ears as she deftly wrapped his body, then took some white dupattas of hers to wrap is face and arms.

"What's this?" His voice was muffled through the dupatta around his face.



"Let's go…the kids would love to learn something about mummies at breakfast," she pulled him by his arm and took him to the central dining area where the kids were about to arrive for breakfast.

"RIDDHIMAAA!" He cried, but his voice barely carried over through the loud noises of utensils and clanking sounds of pots and pans.

"Chup chaap let jao," she forced him to lie down on one of the dining tables, "and stay still….just like a real mummy!"

"Ok mummyji," he cried, "I am at your mercy….ab jo karna hai karo."He whined.

The kids were all bowled over by the 'mummy' in their dining room. Riddhima gave them a lecture on the great Egyptian art of preserving and worshiping dead bodies.

"Yeh sach much 3000 saal puraani mummy hai?" A kid poked at Armaan and wondered. Soon Armaan felt a hundred tiny fingers poking, tickling and prodding at him. He had to curb his desire to respond to their attacks. Even though he was in distress, he did not flinch under the sheet.

"Beta…don't touch the mummy…..kahin aisa na ho wo zinda ho jaaye," she sensed Armaan's discomfort by his pointed toes underneath his white garb.

The kids instantly withdrew their hands; petrified at the thought of awakening a 3000 year old dead body.

"Riddhima…yahan kya ho raha hai?" Mrs. Saxena joined the breakfast history lesson.

"Wo…wo ma'am," she hesitated, "I-I am just trying a new tradition of teaching kids while they eat breakfast.

"Great idea Riddhima!" Mrs. Saxena patted her assistant director and stared at the 'mummy', "kahan museum se mili hai yeh?"

"Jee ma'am…..bahut muskhkil se mili hai yeh," she placed a protective hand over Armaan and smiled, "I just wanted to share the mummy with the kids….now I have to return it back to the Nainital museum….so I won't be here today ma'am."

"Please….don't worry beta….jao…aur ho sake tho museum se aur namoone bhi leti aana."

Riddhima pinched Armaan's arms behind her back, "sure ma'am…..ab tho koi na koi namoona zaroor yahan aata rahega."

Armaan winced in pain but stayed still, contorting his face under the piece of cloth around his face, "tho Riddhima ke liye main ek namoona hoon? Poori khabar loonga is ladki ki!"

"Do you need any help in carrying the mummy out?" Mrs. Saxena stared at the shrouded body on the table curiously and then suspiciously as she felt the 'mummy' was breathing. She was aware of that a 'mysterious car' with a guitar case inside it and the 'mysterious man' who stood outside Riddhima's house last night. It didn't take her to put two and two together. She couldn't wait to give the good news to Aradhana that morning.

"No ma'am…I will manage….I can handle him."

"Him? How do you know it's a man's body?"

"Oh," Riddhima bit her lip, "just a hunch."

"Hmm?" Mrs. Saxena removed her glassed and raised her eyebrows, "lagta hai kuch gad badh hai. Maazra kya hai Riddhima?"

"No..no ma'am….koi maazra nahin hai…..aap befikr rahiye….this is just an educational exercise….I promise."

"Well Riddhima…I trust your judgment…..yeh mummy hai ya daddy…..jo bhi hai tumhari responsibility hai….handle it with care….I am off to the office. Have a great day in Nainital," she winked at her and bent down to whisper something in the 'mummy's' ears, "take good care of her….she loves you a lot."

Armaan smiled behind his mask and mumbled back, "thanks Mrs. Saxena…you are the best."


After seeing off all the kids to school, Riddhima and Armaan ran towards his car as fast as they could. Armaan tried his best to keep himself covered, holding on to the bed sheet, falling apart from his long strides.

Panting, they finally reached his car.

Riddhima took control of the steering wheel and within minutes was off on the Ranikhet-Nainital highway.

"Oh boy…what a narrow escape!" Armaan unwrapped the dupatta from his face and arms, "tho main namoona hoon tumhare liye?"

"Sabse badha!" She chuckled, glancing at his spiky hair and the cloak of the sheet around him, "my Greek God!" She teased him, "my Julius Ceaser! You look dashing in that cloak."

"Thanks Cleopatra!" He grinned sarcastically, "of course I will have to live up to my own statement all my life now….tumhari khushi ke liye kuch bhi ban na padhe tho ban ne ko tayyar hoon…after all I am namoona!"

"Sorry baba…I know I got carried away….but that was the only way to get you out of there…achcha Mrs. Saxena ne tumse kya kaha tha?"

"Main kyun bataaun….that's an ancient Egyptian secret….it's going to be buried with the mummy!" He laughed.

They both burst out in laughter as they escaped into the outskirts of Ranikhet, close to Nainital.

"Kahan jaa rahe hain hum?" He asked as they made headway into a busy, narrow street in Nainital.

"Yeh yahan ka chor bazaar hai."

"Chor bazaar?"

"Yeah…I buy everything from here…..it's value for money….chalo aao….sab se pehle tumhare liye kapde khareed te hain," she parked the car and pulled out a reluctant Armaan into the curious looking bazaar.

Armaan and Riddhima spend the morning shopping for various knick knacks including a wedding lehnga and sherwani for Armaan. They thoroughly enjoyed their morning together, checking out various shops, various outfits, roaming around hand in hand, eating pakoras and jalebis from street vendors, feeding and teasing each other. They both were on cloud nine, free birds in the sky, but captivated by each other's charm and company.



Later, they stopped at Naina auntie's house. Although she had visibly aged a lot in the last two years, her independent spirit was still intact. After an emotional reunion with Riddhima, she sat down next to them and congratulated them on their 'milan.'

"Agar aaj Dilip yahan hote, he would have been the happiest man in the world. Dilip was so heartbroken when he found out that you both had separated," Naina sighed.

"I am sorry auntie….meri wajah se aap dono ko bahut dukh hua." Riddhima apologized.

"Lekin us se kahin zyaada dukh tho tum dono ne saha tha…haina?" Naina gave Armaan a quizzical look.

"Auntie…you know how painful separation is…..it doesn't devastate you, but kills you slowly." He held Riddhima's hand and smiled at both of them, "now we are together…..and no matter what, will never be apart."

"Bilkul Dilip par gaye ho tum," Naina had tears in her eyes as she recalled how Dilip used to always say that to her.

"Auntie….thanks for making my mama's last few months of his life memorable," Armaan hugged Naina auntie, "he was lucky to have loved you."

"Ok …let's not get too senti here," Naina chuckled, "shaadi kab hai aur kahan hai?"

"Well…..as soon as possible….and wherever Riddhima wants," Armaan shrugged his shoulders.

"Lagta hai poori tayyari hai tumhari joru ka ghulam ban ne ki!" Naina laughed as Riddhima blushed at their banter.

"Exactly! That's why I have started practicing." Armaan chided.

"Aisa hai tho phir shaadi tumhare Nainital waale ghar mein hogi," Riddhima played on, "aur tumhari mom ki wo jewelry bhi kaam aa jaayegi."

"Aur suhaag raat mom ke room mein?" Armaan whispered cheekily, "waise wahan bhi practice kar chuke hain pehle."

Riddhima turned a crimson red, blushing from ear to ear. She excused herself, "let me get some water for myself."

"Bechari ko sharam aagayi….badmaash….soch samajh kar bola kar…apne ghar waalon ke saamne mat kehna yeh sab. They are more conservative than us," Naina slapped Armaan playfully.

 "I just like to see those cheeks turn pink with embarrassment," he laughed.

"Naina auntie….I know some of his secrets that can embarrass him also," Riddhima walked back, more composed, with a glass of water.

"Oh really? I would love to hear that."

"Bataa doon?" Riddhima cleared her throat and glanced at Armaan suggestively, "pink kurta….red floral tow—

He clasped her mouth with his palms, "ssshh…..let's go now….tumhein Nainital lake mein boating karni thi na Riddhima?" He changed the topic and grinned sheepishly.

"Arre bataane do na isey," Naina auntie intervened. The two women had a hearty laugh as Riddhima narrated Armaan's tryst with her kurta, towel, sheets and dupattas.

After lunch with Naina auntie, Armaan and Riddhima rented bikes from a local shop and went biking along the Nainital lake. The picturesque mountains against the deep blue lake water made for a breathtaking sight.

Please enjoy this luscious number by Mohit again:

'kuch is tarah' from '8x10 tasveer' (imagine Armaan and Riddhima instead of Akshay and Ayesha!)


Kuch is tarah
Dil ko mila
Hai sukun

Kuch is tarah
Kuch hai yeh dil
Kya kahun

Asaan hai abb yeh safar
Jo bani tu meri Hum safar

Asaan hai abb yeh safar
Jo bani tu meri Hum safar

Kuch is tarah
Dil ko mila
Hai sukun

Kuch is tarah
Kuch hai yeh dil
Kya kahun

Koi Vyaham na hai sanam
Tu meri saanson mein nazdeek hai
Ab Na sanam Na hai gum
Jo ishq hai tera Sab Theek hai

Kuch is tarah
Kuch is tarah

Tu saath hai jaise
Koi Dua

Nazuk hai bada
Yeh pal Yeh Sama
Aaja Meri chaho mein Tu kho Zara

Kuch is tarah
Dil ko mila
Hai sukun

Kuch is tarah
Kuch hai yeh dil
Kya kahun

Asaan hai abb yeh safar
Jo bani tu meri Hum safar

Asaan hai abb yeh safar
Jo bani tu meri Hum safar

Kuch is tarah
Dil ko mila
Hai sukun

Kuch is tarah
Kuch hai yeh dil
Kya kahun



After a hectic but memorable day together, they returned to Ranikhet, tanned, tired but invigorated.

"I would like to meet Mrs Saxena before I leave," Armaan stepped out of the car with all their shopping bags.

They spent a few quite minutes in her house, before he was ready to depart.

"Please mat jao," She clung on to him, her slender arms around his waist.

"I would love to stay," he crooned in his soothing voice, "but no one knows where I am….kisi ko bataa kar nahin aaya tha main."

"Yahan se phone kar do….I don't have a good feeling about you leaving Armaan," she cried on his chest.

"Now don't try to be a possessive wife….let me enjoy my few days of freedom," he teased her.

"Jao phir!" She pushed him away, "go enjoy your freedom. Dekhna shaadi ke baad ek din bhi nazron se door nahin hone doongi," she sniffed, "you will be under house arrest for the rest of your life."

"That would be my pleasure," he kissed her hands, "house arrest with the most beautiful woman in the world…I will gladly accept that punishment."

"I will remember your promise and if you falter, I will chain myself to you…..so you will have to take me everywhere you go."

"Tho phir chalo na mere saath Mumbai," he spread his hands in the air.

"Abhi nahin," she shook her head and smiled, "talk to your parents first….I don't want to shock everyone with my sudden presence."

"Yes madam," he bowed to her, "whatever you say. After all, I need to practice my jorum ka ghulam skills."



"I am so happy for both of you…bhagwan tum dono ki Jodi hamesha salaamat rakhe," she blessed the two of them.

"Thanks for all your help ma'am." Riddhima replied, "aapne us din concert ke liye zidd nahin ki hoti, tho aaj hum shayad door hi hote."

"You both should thank Aradhana….she is the one who came up with this brilliant idea."

"Aradhana didi?" Riddhima was pleasantly surprised.

"Yes…Aradhana and your step mother, Padma," she looked at Armaan.

"Mom? Really? Main unki khabar leta hoon ghar jaakar," Armaan chuckled, "she gave me this long lecture on how I didn't understand Riddhima….aur peeche peeche yeh planning karti rahi?"

Riddhima was overwhelmed with emotions, "Armaan….mummyji has always supported me through every decision of mine…..I will always be indebted to her."

"Yeah…she is an amazing lady," he nodded.

"Chaliye Mrs. Saxena…I will take leave. Aap sab ko meri shaadi mein zaroor aana hai!"

"Invitation tho pehle hi de gaye the tum," Mrs. Saxena laughed, "but now I know who the bride is."

"Me too," Armaan winked at Riddhima. Riddhima's jaws fell to her knees, "so that means, you were just pulling my leg? Tumhari shaadi pakki nahin huyi thi?"

"Wo tho do saal pehle hi ho gayi thi," he grinned, "ladki ne haan ab kahi hai tho main kya karoon?"

They all laughed as Armaan turned around to leave. He waved back at Mrs. Saxena, "please bring all your family to the wedding too!"

"Of course beta. Yuvraaj will never miss Riddhima's wedding."

"Oh yeah…I need to thank him for saving my Riddhima that night," Armaan held Riddhima's hand, "come let's walk together to the car."

"Good night ma'am," Riddhima waved at the director and held on to Armaan's hand tightly. They took a leisurely stroll towards his car.

Finally, they were outside the gate of Aashirwaad, close to his car. Armaan sighed and turned around to leave, "jao andar jao…thand ho rahi hai….I will call you as soon as I reach Mumbai."

"Nahin yahin rehne do mujhey….I will wait for you at this gate till you come back from Mumbai." She couldn't control her tears again, "why are good byes so heart wrenching?"

"Mann tho mera bhi nahin hai jaan," he kissed her forehead and then pulled her into his arms. Gently, he pulled her kurti back and kissed the tattoo on her right shoulder blade, "take care of us."

As always, his lips roused every cell of her body. She hugged him fiercely, unwilling to let go. They held each other in a tight embrace for a few moments, the night silent and still unlike the previous night. Suddenly, Armaan heard a shuffle behind the nearby bushes, as if someone was watching them.

He looked up and saw a flash of light emanating from the bush, an ear splitting bang followed the spark.

"RIDDHIMAAAA!" He yelled, dunking her head below his chest.

"ARMAAN!!!!!!!" Riddhima shrieked fearfully .

Then there was silence, a deafening silence, an ugly red stream flowed away from the two bodies lying on the cold, dusty ground outside Aashirwaad.

……………….to be contd…………….


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