Saturday, 15 September 2018

part 27 : To Err is Human

PART 27:

"Armaan….and everyone else…let's go and bring Angad back," Josh met with Riddhima, Kripa, Armaan and Rahul after work.

Kripa's heart skipped a few beats at the thought of seeing Angad once again. She excused herself and ran back to her dorm room to change into one of Angad's favorite colors-YELLOW! With her hair open, simple jewelry and minimal make up, despite her sleepless nights, no one could miss the glow on her face as she settled on the back seat of Armaan's car along with Riddhima and Rahul. Riddhima nudged her gently and whispered, "is roop ko dekh kar Angad ka gussa pighal na gaya tho mera naam badal dena." Kripa blushed and squeezed her friend's hand to reduce her embarrassment in front of the three other men in the car.


"Hum ho gaye kaamyaab….hum ho gaye kaamyaab…." Josh hummed loudly as Angad answered the door bell

"YAY….CONGRATULATIONS! WELCOME BACK TO SANJEEVANI DR ANGAD KHANNA!" They all yelled and clapped as they walked into the outhouse.

A confused Angad stared at their faces, "you are all kidding? Aren't you?"

"Nope! Here is a letter from the chief apologizing for his mistake," Josh held the signed letter in front of Angad. An unshaven and disheveled looking Angad could not believe his eyes; tears of joy moistened his eyelashes. Kripa's eyes welled up with happiness; she smiled through her tears and thanked her god silently for that moment of joy in Angad's life.

"I can't believe it!" He looked back and forth between the letter and his friends.

Armaan came forward and hugged his friend, "come on man….can we all have a big smile and a hug from Dr Melancholy?"

Angad returned the hug and patted his friend. One by one, they all came forward, hugged and congratulated him. At last, it was Kripa's turn. Hesitantly, she came forward, but to her dismay, Angad turned around without looking at her, "ANYONE FOR SOME DRINKS?" His indifference towards her pierced her heart like an arrow. He had looked through her as if she were invisible or nonexistent. Kripa covered her mouth with her palm and stepped away. As everyone mingled and settled down in Armaan's plush quarters, Kripa headed for the door, silently shutting it behind her. Through the corner of his eyes, Angad noticed the door open, but ignored her departure just as he had ignored her presence in the room.

"Where is Kripa?" Riddhima looked around.

"I think she just went to answer her pager," Armaan conjectured and then came closer. "Chalo….mere saath thodi der ghar chalo," he whispered in her ear.

"Ghar? Lekin sab tho yahan hain," Riddhima looked at him quizzically.

"Tabhie tho….please," he pleaded.

"baad mein jaa sakte hain?"

"Nahin Riddhima…abhi jao," Josh grinned as he overheard the lovers talk, "we are here to give Angad company……kyun Rahul?"

"Yes sir," a bemused Rahul settled next to Josh and Angad as they celebrated his victory.



"Hi dad…..aap ghar par?" Armaan was surprised to his dad reading the paper in the living room. It was unusual for Dr Abhimanyu Mallik to be home that early.

Abhimanyu Mallik:

"Hello son! How come you are home today?" Abhimanyu kept his newspaper away and stood up to greet his son and his beautiful friend.

"Well dad….a few of us were chilling out in the outhouse," Armaan replied.

"Oh I see…..tho apne doston ko ghar le aao…..let me meet some of your friends….I hope they are all doctors and none of your artist and car racing types," Abhimanyu's sarcastic remarks embarrassed Armaan; he just turned red and replied, "they are all from Sanjeevani…..and dad….this is Riddhima."

"Oh Hi Riddhima! Nice to meet you beta," Abhimanyu held out his hand.

"Thank you uncle," she hesitantly shook his hand.

"Poora naam kya hai tumhara?"

"Riddhima Gupta," she smiled faintly. Dr Abhimanyu's towering personality was a bit intimidating. She was aware of his social stature and his reputation as one of the most successful plastic surgeons in town.

"Gupta? Hmmm….tumhare papa ka kya naam hai?" he scratched his forehead.

"Dad…..her father is the chief of Sanjeevani…..aap shayad jaante hain unhein….Dr Shashank Gupta," Armaan intercepted.

"Oh yeah?" Abhimanyu let out a chuckle, "so you are Shanky's daughter….ha ha."

"Shanky?" Riddhima was confused.

"Oh yes….we were classmates you see…throughout school, medical college and then internship……so he will always be Shanky for me…..I have not been in touch with him for years…..I think after graduation we did visit each other a few times….par baad mein shayad hum dono hi busy ho gaye…well enjoy your time guys…..I need to head to the hospital…..I have a surgery scheduled," Dr Mallik smiled and picked his bag.

As he was leaving, his wife, Dr Gauri Mallik, a tall, slim and graceful woman walked in.

Gauri Mallik:

"See you later Abhi," she waved at him, "yeh Armaan ghar aaya hai kya?" She had seen his convertible parked in the drive way.

"Haan….with a new girl….but this time she is a doctor… not a bad choice," Abhimanyu winked and headed towards his car.

Gauri Mallik shook her head and thought, "I hope Armaan can settle for one girl this time…..aur ladkiyon se zyaada kaam par dhyaan de….hello beta!"

"Oh hi mom!" Armaan hugged his mother, who looked more like an older sister than his mother, "nice surprise…..I saw both you and dad on the same day."

"Uffo Armaan… more sarcasms… know how busy our practices are son…..ek din tumhein bhi samajh aa jaayegi yeh baat….and who is this pretty girl?" she smiled at Riddhima.

"Mom…this is Riddhima….Dr Riddhima Gupta….she is also an intern….and," he turned red, "and a very very good friend of mine." Riddhima blushed at his comment and softly said, "hello aunty….aap Armaan ki mom nahin…behen lagti hain."

"You know my dad is a plastic surgeon," Armaan winked and elbowed her.

"Armaan!" Gauri glared at him, "Riddhima ko galat impression mat do….beta," she turned towards Riddhima, "Armaan jhooth bahut bolta hai…..don't take him seriously…..frankly I don't even have time to get my eyebrows plucked….plastic surgery tho door ki baat hai."

"Jaanti hoon aunty….Armaan should be an actor rather than a doctor," Riddhima grinned; she felt more relaxed in front of Gauri than she did with Abhimanyu.

"Iska bas chalta tho shayad ban bhi jaata actor…..but you know beta…iske parents dono kitne successful doctors hain….ek Mumbai ka sabse badha plastic surgeon…aur ek successful gynecologist… would be shameful if Armaan did anything else." Gauri smacked Armaan's forehead affectionately and then smiled at Riddhima, "hopefully your influence will be more positive on him….chalo main chali….I have an appointment …see you later Riddhima."

"Wow Armaan," Riddhima exclaimed, "you sure have very illustrious and famous parents… lucky!"

"Lucky tho main hoon," he held her hand and kissed it fervently, "lucky tho main hoon….lekin apne parents ki wajah se nahin….balki tumhein paakar….you are my good luck charm," he pulled her closer and kissed her forehead, "you know Riddhima….when we have kids…..we will make sure their parents are not famous and illustrious……but they are always there for them," he held her against his chest as a few wet drops from his eyes fell on her hair.

"Armaan?" she felt the dampness on her hair, "tum…tum ro rahe ho?"

"Sorry Riddhima….you know how I always wanted to be an actor," he chuckled and blinked his eyes rapidly to dry up the tears, "let's go to my room….I want to show you something."

As they climbed the stairs hand in hand, she scanned the luxurious interiors of the 'Mallik Villa' The beautiful and elegant bungalow would be the envy of anyone in the city. Even though her father was a brilliant and successful doctor in his own right, he had never amassed so much wealth like the Mallik's had. She had been brought up in an upper middle class family where education and excellence in academics was given more credit than the desire to me monetarily successful. Her parents had always been there for her, sometimes more than she ever needed. Her dad had always hovered over her like a helicopter since she was in school. Ironically, Armaan had the opposite problem- his parents were never there for him……wasn't it strange that both their parents had different ways of raising their kids but both had very high expectations from their only child…..they both wanted their children to follow their dreams rather than the kid's dreams. Riddhima could not help wondering, "and what about our expectations? Kya Armaan aur meri apni koi marzi nahin hai…..what if we want something different from what our parents want from us?"

"Kya soch rahi ho princess?" Armaan snapped his fingers in front of her eyes as they landed outside his room.

"Kuch nahin Armaan…..batao kya dikhana tha tumhein?" she dismissed her train of thought and smiled.

"Andar aao," he pulled her inside and shut the door.

"Armaan? Are you crazy? Darwaaza kyun bandh kar diya?'

"Jo main ab karne jaa raha hoon……uske liye thodi privacy chaahiye," he grinned mischievously.

'ARMAAN!" she was aghast, "please Armaan….let me go…hum aisa nahin kar sakte."

Armaan grabbed her wrist and pulled her closer, "ab main ek aisa kaam karne jaa raha hoon jo maine kabhie kisi ladki ke saath nahin kiya hai…..I am crazy about you Riddhima… are the only woman who deserves this," he came closer and pulled the sleeves of her kurta upwards and kissed her wrists tenderly.

'Armaan…please…..abhi nahin."

"Abhi Riddhima….abhi karna padhega yeh kaam," he opened the closet behind him and pulled out a little bag behind his back.

"Kya chaate ho Armaan? Tum jaante ho main sirf tumhari hoon…tho yeh desperation kyun?" She tried to pull her wrists away.

Before she could escape, he placed a beautiful gold bracelet around her wrist, "yeh hamara pushtainee kadhaa hai….yeh meri dadi ne diya tha…..meri hone waali bahu ke liye…..aur aaj se yeh tumhara hai," he kissed her wrists again as he screwed the kadha in place.

A stunned Riddhima stood frozen as his fingers secured the bracelet. She looked up and saw the smile on his face, "Armaan…..iski kya zaroorat thi abhi? Pehle hamare parents tho maan jaayein."

"Zaroorart thi Riddhima," he grinned wickedly, "tum tho jaanti ho mera dil kisi bhi khubsoorat ladki par phisal sakta hai……apne dil ki guarantee tho nahin de sakta….lekin yeh pushtainee kadha is baat ki guarantee hai ki Armaan Mallik agar kisi ladki se shaadi karega tho wo sirf Riddhima Gupta hogi."

"Armaaaan!" She exclaimed and buried her face in his chest, "so should I consider this a marriage proposal?"

"Proposal nahin Riddhima…..because there is always an option attached to a proposal….but this is my humble request and desire," he bent down on his knees and kissed her hand, "Riddhima Gupta… long do we have to wait to become Mr. and Mrs. Mallik?"

Riddhima had tears in her eyes; she bent down and touched his face, "Armaan….I am all yours….batao kab baraat lekar aana chaahte ho?"

He winked at her and pulled her closer, "let's wait till internship is over….warna sasurjee mujhey zinda dafnaa denge."

'Armaan!" she slapped him playfully, "papa aise nahin hain…..he is a fair man….now it's up to you to prove to him that you are worthy of his daughter."

"Am I?" he bent down and kissed her lips, "am I worthy of his daughter?" he whispered into her lips.

"Absolutely," she whispered back and hugged him tightly.

"Ab wapas chalein?" Armaan asked her after sometime. As always, Riddhima was in a trance in his arms.

"Hmm? Jaana zaroori hai?" she mumbled sleepily.

"I think so…otherwise they will think we eloped or something," he chuckled.

"Oh yes…let's go," she snapped out of her dream like state and got up to leave.

As they walked back to the outhouse, arm in arm, Armaan asked, "you know Riddhima…I like that eloping idea…..sounds very romantic."

"Iski zaroorat nahin padhegi Armaan….our parents are sensible people," she said confidently.

"I am not entirely sure about that," he said to himself as they got back to the outhouse.



"Where is Kripa?" Riddhima asked as soon as they entered.

"Oh she had to go back to Sanjeevani…koi emergency aa gayi thi," Rahul replied.

"That's not possible guys….she is not on duty tonight," Riddhima dialed Kripa's number but was unable to connect. Riddhima glanced at Angad. He seemed unperturbed by Kripa's absence. With a relaxed look on his face, he was enjoying his new found freedom and conversed with the men as if nothing had ever happened.

Riddhima knew why Kripa had left. She had noticed how Angad had refused to acknowledge her presence when they had all walked in. She remained silent but felt guilty for letting a heartbroken Kripa leave all alone in that state.



With a heavy heart, Kripa rode back in a taxi to Sanjeevani all alone. As the wind blew on her face, tears flowed incessantly from her eyes. She was weary from the sleepless nights, all the stress from Angad's case, Prithvi's betrayal and now Angad had completely shattered her with his indifference…..Angad itni badhi sazaa mat do mujhey……tum mujhey pyar karo ya na karo……yeh tumhara haq hai……chaahe nafrat kar lo mujhse….lekin itni berukhi mat dikhao……don't make me feel that I don't exist for you anymore……kya ab hamare beech itna faasla aa gaya hai ki hum bilkul ajnabi ban gaye hain?

Song in background to express her feelings:

"Dil mera tod diya' from 'kasoor'

Aaah aah, aaah aah, aah aah, aah aah, aah aah aah aah
Dil mera tod diya usne, buraa kyoon maanoon - 2
Usko haq hai voh mujhe pyaar kare ya na kare
Dil mera tod diya usne, buraa kyoon maanoon

Pehle maaloom na tha, aaj yeh maine samjha
Pyaar kehte hai jisse, voh hai dilon ka saudaa
Dil ki dhadkan ko bhalaa kaise koi qaid kare
Yeh to azaad hai jab chaahe jahan aahe bhare
Uske raste mein khadi kyoon koi deewar kare - 2
Usko haq hai voh mujhe pyaar kare ya na kare
Dil mera tod diya usne, buraa kyoon maanoon

Aaah aah, aaah aah, aah aah, aah aah, aah aah aah aah
Saare vaadon ka bharam, pal mein voh tod gaya
Gham ke jis mod pe laake voh mujhe chhod gaya
Main ussi mod ki dehleez pe so jaaoongi
Umr bhar uske liye ajnabi ho jaaoongi
Har sitam shauk se mujhpe dildaar kare - 2
Usko haq hai voh mujhe pyaar kare ya na kare
Dil mera tod diya usne, buraa kyoon maanoon
Buraa kyoon maanoon, buraa kyoon manoon


As she slowly walked towards her dorm, she saw a man standing at the gate.

Her expression hardened the moment she saw the man.

"Tum yahan kya kar rahe ho?" She asked angrily.

"Please Kripa…..ek baar meri baat sun lo…"

… be contd…


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