Friday, 28 September 2018

part 4: Unknown Truth

Tera mujhse se pehle ka naata koi

Yuhi nahin dil lubhata koi



No, it's not any CD. It's me singing in my melodious voice which 'some' says sounds like a "koyal" , the 'some' I am referring to is none other than "me" while the rest of the world says "do anything but no singing".

Jaana tu ya jaana na..

Maane tuuuuuuu…



"Okay fine.." Sorry for the interruption but I have to stop now coz certain someone doesn't like me singing.



It's been two weeks since we came back from the conference and I have to say, this was the best experience I ever had. It all started at midnight when we were sitting in the car going towards our destination.

I was sitting beside him, listening to his humming and whistling. He was humming some weird tune, something like "lalalala…lulululul…ole..ole…ole…"you know like we sing to a baby. Does he consider me a 'baby' too?

"Never" I turned my face towards him just to hear him more clearly. I was looking at his face trying to interpret what he was singing as I saw his face towards me. He was glaring at me the same way I was looking at him.

"What?" I asked angrily.

"Nothing, I thought we are playing 'who-blink-first" game, so I was staring at you. Another  'one of his' type answer. He is such a weirdo. I don't know why he can't reply like normal people?

"What?" My earlier 'what' expressed 'irritation+ anger' and this one depicted my 'irritation+ confused' expression.

"What? What?" now he was slowly getting on to my nerves. I always believed that my neighbor is gonna occupy the first position in the "people I hate the most list". Armaan was no way near the list but with the speed he was climbing up, I was sure that by afternoon he'll be the sure shot winner in the list, occupying the first position.

"Nothing... Tum drive karo na and stop irritating me" I replied as calmly as I could. It's so difficult to stay calm beside him par maine harr nahin mani. I knew it was no use talking to him so I did what I am worst at doing "keeping my mouth shut".

The next two hours were a complete silence. Neither of us opened our mouth nor spoke anything. Was there anything left to talk about? I don't think so. He was busy driving and I was busy looking out the window.

Kali andheri raat, sunsaan raasta and two normal people. No, not two but one, does he even knows the meaning of normal? He is not even close to normal.

 Ek ghabrai hui ladki aur…aur..main aur meri tanhai…we were thinking just one thing- what to do when you have to spend your entire night sitting next to the 'devil'? The answer is simple- Don't sleep and that's what I was doing. Even though my sleep was knocking at my eyes, I didn't sleep at all. I was just taking small naps of 60 minutes after every 5 minutes. But even that didn't last long as I opened my eyes and what am I looking -the car wasn't moving at all. I slowly turned my head towards him and saw what 'an empty seat'. He was not in his seat.

"What should I do? What should I do?" I asked myself and did what a normal person will do in these types of situation.

"Aaaaaahhhhhhaaaaaaaa" I screamed.. "bachao…bachao..somebody help me..please..koi hai..please..i don't wanna die..somebody…help.." I was yelling, hitting the window screen. That loser, he left me all alone, use to mein baad mein dekhungi, first I had to get out of the car. I was screaming, shouting but no one came for my rescue. I knew at that hour of night no one's gonna come but still I tried my luck. I tried opening the car door but it wasn't opening and even the windows were locked. These automatic windows, I tell you. Never ever buy an expensive car. After some initial struggling, I don't know what I pressed, the window screen moved down and I got out of the car. Well not really, I had to literally push myself as I got stuck in the middle. My upper half body was hanging outside as the remaining portion was inside the car. After much pushing, somehow I managed to get out. Kicking the car door in frustration, I ran out. I had covered just few steps but my feet stopped as I realized what I just saw. I slowly traced my steps back and who I am looking at- Armaan Malik, lying on the back seat, his head on his bag, hands crossed and sleeping. I screamed, shouted but he didn't even stir at bit.  May be he was dead? That was the only possibility. I even tried opening the back door but as it wasn't opening, I had no other option but to go back.     

I went inside the car the same way I got out and again I got stuck. Gripping the driver seat with one hand, the other holding the steering wheel, I pushed myself. This time I pushed myself a bit too hard and banged my head on the driver's window.

"Ouch" I moaned rubbing my head. I was so mad at him at that point but I behaved sensibly as I had to take care of him first. Sitting on the driver's seat, I turned around and brought my finger under his nose. I felt his hot breath on my finger. He was breathing then why wasn't he saying anything. I shifted my gaze towards his chest and abdomen and it was moving up and down. May be he was taking his last breath. What was I suppose to do? I am not a doctor but then I remembered that exactly the same scene happened in a movie and how the hero was brought back. Without wasting any more time, I made a fist and with all my strength I hit him on his chest.

Yaha mera punch pada aur waha woh utha screaming in pain "Aaaaaahhhhhh". I jumped in joy, kissing my fist "you are back, you are back". It was so unbelievable; I mean I brought him back. But the excitement didn't last long as I saw his face. He had this weird expression on his face. It was difficult to predict what he was actually thinking. But I was sure about one thing- he wasn't happy. May be he really wanted to die.

"What was that for?" he asked rubbing his chest as he sat in the back seat. I brought him back and he was asking 'what was that for?' I should have hit him on his head too. Dil ke saath-saath dimag bhi vapas aa jata. He was acting so weirdly, instead of thanking me, he was mad at me.

"Armaan you were dying, I brought you back and you..you aren't even thanking me" I replied. A normal person would have showered me with 'thank you'. But as he is not even close to being a normal, it was entirely my fault of expecting a 'thank you' from him. Still he could have at least said 'thank you' once. Mere kaan taras gaye ek thanks sunne ke liye.

"What? Me and dying? Are you serious? Who told you?" he asked looking around as if there was someone else. Why was he acting so abnormally I had no idea? Since he had stopped behaving like a normal person, I knew he won't be able to understand my level of thinking, so I had no other option left but to bring down my level to his. From a perfectly normal person I had to act like I am like him, you know I am abnormal too.

 "What? Yes. Yes. No one" I replied to his set of questions.

"What?" he asked. Again a 'what'? Why does his every sentence start with 'what'? I had noticed, since the start of this trip for my every reply his first word was mostly 'what?' well I can't blame him entirely. School mein jo sikhate hain baccha vohi to bolega. He must have been taught to say 'what' as the first word.

"Armaan stop irritating me" I replied controlling my anger. Behaving like an unstable person was so hard.

"I am irritating you or it's the other way around" he said. Thank god. Finally the old-normal armaan was back as I heard something else then 'what?' from his mouth.

"armaan you were almost dead?"

"No I wasn't." He replied. Why can't he just admit that I saved him? Ek thank you bolne ke liye bhi itna bhav kha raha tha. Men, I tell you. I don't know why it is so difficult for them to say thank you to a women. With each passing second he was proving himself as a self-centered male chauvinistic.

"Then why weren't you saying something when I was screaming your name"   

"oh!  That was you, I was so tired driving, I thought I was dreaming. " he replied yawning. Somebody hold me or I am gonna kill him. This was the most hideous explanation I have ever heard. Here I was so scared for my life as to who's gonna take me back home and he was in mood of masti. I was this close of grabbing his neck and choke him.

"btw.. why did you hit me?" he asked.

 "I thought you were dead, you weren't replying nor reacting to me, so what am I suppose to do, wait for your dead body to get up and give me the explanation" I replied. There was a complete silence for the next few minutes. He had his eyes fixed on me but his expressions said everything "he was in mood of pulling his hair out." I know I was at fault, I should have shaken him first before hitting but in panic situations 'is there any time to think', you do whatever comes in your mind first and that's what I did. 

"forget it riddhima, tumse to baat karna hi bekar hai. I am in no mood to listen to your bakwass anymore so just forget it" he said opening the door of the back seat. I shifted to the passenger seat without replying as his last line suited him too.   

 We started our journey and this time neither of us even looked at each other and we even sat at the extreme ends of our seat. We had covered half of our journey and half was left. There were big trees on both sides of the roads, you know like deep forests and we were the lone people driving on that road. All of a sudden we jerk forward and the car stopped but this time there was no smoke coming out.

"Now What?" I muttered. I had no idea what was coming next. We got down from the car and looked at the flat tyre. It wasn't anything new, I mean we all have seen flat tyre but the difference here was that the tyre didn't deflated on its own. There was an arrow in the middle of the tyre. Before we could even think of what was going on I saw some tribal people walking towards us. They weren't any normal tribal people. There make-up and dress, reminded me of someone and after pressurizing my brain I remembered where I had seen them before. There dressing sense was somewhat similar to the people I had seen in the movie 'Pirates of the Caribbean' where the male lead jack sparrow is held hostage by the tribal people and then he is fried like a food. Off course he escapes before getting fried. That was fiction but this was reality. I could clearly picture myself being in the same position as him. I am tied with a big wood stick with fire below me and they are moving the stick up-down and round and round on which I am tied making sure that I am cooked from all the places.

 Yeh sab mera saath hi kyun hota hai? I had no answer to this question. Looking at my past records I can say that of all the troubles I was associated with, it was mostly my fault and I had no problem in admitting it but in this case. I mean, this time I didn't even do anything and still my life was hanging between life and death.

By the time I came back from dreaming about my future which wasn't long and bright anymore, they had surrounded us with their weapons- bow, arrow and knives. We both looked at each other and put our hands up in the air. They were speaking something in their own language, I had no idea. Next thing I saw, they were coming towards us with ropes in their hands. I couldn't take it any longer. Since I knew that I won't be able to see tomorrow's sun ,my anger management classes left me alone and I couldn't control my mouth anymore. I had to take it out from my system.

"you..beep..beep..beep…beep..beep…beep..beep…beep..it's all your fault beep..beep…beep…main tumhe nahin chodungi..beep..beep..beep..arrggh..i don't know how I didn't said anything earlier but now you have crossed all your limits. ..beep…beep..beep…beep…beep….beep…beep…beep.. just look at where we are. I am gonna kill you. I am gonna kill you today…beep..beep…beep…beep" oh! It felt so good. All the frustration that I was holding inside since yesterday burst out like a volcano. 

As me and my happiness aren't on good terms from the time I joined this office, this time too, my happiness didn't last long as I saw their expressions. Let me start from Armaan- he was looking at me like I am some kind of alien. I know he never imagined me like those girls who swear or used bad words all the time but he left me with no other option. The whole stupid road trip- I mean, if night drama wasn't enough, I had to face this. We were being kidnapped and god knows may have got killed, without anyone knowing about it and he wasn't doing anything. Any normal person like me will react like this. 

Next were the tribal people who were kidnapping us. They were looking at me angrily. Why were they looking at me like that? I didn't even say anything. Off course I was angry but it was more on Armaan, not on them. I mean, I know I cursed pointing at them but indirectly it was for armaan. Didn't they notice?

"hulla..bulla..hingloo..jingloo" they whispered something among themselves pointing their fingers at me. I had no idea what they were saying. Next thing I saw, they came marching towards me, pushing Armaan aside and before I could react they tied my hands with the ropes.

"Hey, why aren't you tying him?" I asked as I saw that I was the lone person being tied.

"You should have never said those words. They hate it." The guy who was tying my hands replied. I was in for a shock. They knew English and Hindi along with their tribal language. It was so shameful to stand in front of them. I mean, after 20 years of studying, I knew just two languages 'English and Hindi' and they knew three languages.

'You understand English and Hindi?" I asked.

"Yes, Me and few others can speak but they all can understand the language" he replied as I looked at them. I gulped looking at their expressions. Mere saare plan par paani phir gaya. The idea was to swear pointing towards them coz few seconds back my mind told me- the tribal people won't understand a word and if armaan asked about it, I'll reply "armaan I was swearing at them not at you" you know ek teer se do nishaane. Par yaha to teer bhi maine choda aur laga bhi mujhe.

"Okay..but why aren't you taking him" I asked pointing at armaan as the distance between us kept on increasing as I saw myself being taken into the forest alone.

"He didn't say anything to our king, so we aren't taking him" that same guy replied. "King" I thought and realized that the big-fat ugly guy on whom I had pointed my finger was actually the king.   

I was tied with a tree and there was no one to help me. Armaan who was supposed to help me, my hero, my savior, was nowhere in sight. Not even once he came to check upon me. Mein kaisi hoon, if I am okay or not. I didn't even saw him the whole day. The night arrived and as much I tried putting a brave front, I was scared. The tribal people were sleeping inside their tents, houses whatever you wanna call it and I was tied outside, alone, hungry, thirsty.

Although sleep was miles away from me, I had my eyes closed as I was scared to even look around. I was praying to god to send me an angel and save me. Aur god ne meri sunn le as I felt my hands getting untied and found him behind me-who else Armaan. The smile from my face vanished as I saw his face. Even though I had actually blacklisted him from the people I love the most with no emotions towards him, I couldn't stop my tears from coming out.

"Why are you here Armaan, you should go and enjoy, I know you must be so happy to see me in this condition. Tomorrow they are gonna kill me and you'll be the happiest person in the whole world" I cried my heart out in front of him. He looked at me and instead of feeling sorry for putting me through this; he was giving me those angry looks.

"If you are thinking that I am gonna say sorry to you, forget it riddhima, you are yourself responsible for your condition. Who asked you to open your BIG mouth? Tell me,  mera tak to thik tha par ek ke baad ek, ek ke baad ek, you were continuously swearing bad words and you expect me to help you. Mera dimag kharab nahin hai that I am gonna put my life in danger and help you against 50 people in the daylight when they are awake." Hearing him the only reaction I could give out was dropping my jaw. What an insensitive person he is? Instead of helping me he was ready to leave me.

"Armaan you are so insensitive. You didn't even think about me once. What if they had changed their plans of killing me today instead of tomorrow?" I said sadly trying to make him feel guilty of his actions. I know they wouldn't have killed me the way I thought and if I had begged them they would have even released me but I wanted to show him that he was wrong for leaving me alone and that he should be shameful of his acts, instead he replied "no riddhima I am not at all feeling guilty if that's what you want me to say and if you don't want to die tomorrow then stop arguing and come with me." he got up, bringing his hand in front of me. If it wasn't about my life I would have never taken help from him but as he was the only one to take me back home I had no choice left but to agree to his terms.

Getting up I rubbed my hands where the rope was tied, cleaned my clothes and started our journey to escape. I looked at my watch and it was close to 10:00 in the night. Oh my god, I didn't realize that I was tied for the past 8 hours. I was following him wherever he was going munching the fruits that I stole from their kitchen. Can you believe this? They had a well stocked kitchen with all the fruits and vegetables. 

 I had no idea where we were going and then the unexpected happened. It started raining, I mean whole day I was praying for the rain when I was tied under the blazing sun but god didn't listened and now when I didn't wished for rain, it started raining cats and dogs.

We looked around for any shelter to spend the night. Our situation was just like we see onscreen. Hero and Heroine get lost in the jungle, followed by rain. Their clothes get wet and then the whole song and dance performance and lastly if they are not able to control their hormones we see a new member in their family after nine months.

"nahinnnnnnnn." I screamed keeping my hands on my ears. I know it was too melo- dramatic. But with the events happening to us, especially around me, it was impossible for me to ignore it. I would have never screamed if this had happened to me 2 days back when I had tremendous amount of respect for him. I would have welcomed it with my open arms, getting drenched and then the song and dance…awww so romantic, leaving the last 'hormones part' aside. I am a very controllable person when it comes to these matters. But after knowing the real 'armaan'..no, never. I can't trust this guy anymore.

 "riddhima what happened? Are you okay?" I heard his voice.

Am I okay? Itna sab hona ke baad he still had the courtesy left to ask me if I am okay. No, I am not okay. I just want to go home… away from you.

"armaan i need a shelter , I don't want to get wet. I don't want to produce your babies" I blurted out. The 'BIG' mouth of mine, galat time par hi kyun khulta hai.

"ohhhh…so you are thinking about that?" he asked teasingly.  What does he mean by 'About that'? I looked at him and the way he was looking at me, giving me those seductive looks, it was getting hot there.

"What are you taking about armaan?" I asked innocently avoiding his eyes looking anywhere but not at him.

"oh riddhima..don't act so innocent, you know what I am talking about" he said teasingly.

Roop Tera Mastana Pyar Mera Diwana

bhool Koi Hamse Na Hojaye





He started singing, walking towards me. He was behaving like this totally drunken guy and before I could interpret his behaviour, I felt his hand around my waist as he pulled me towards himself. I kept my hands on his chest to make some distance between us and looked at his eyes, those looks ,ohhh.. it could kill anyone. I had never been this close to a guy before and being this close to your first crush. I mean I was literally shaking coz of the close proximity. 

 "gosh riddhima.. look at your face.." He started laughing, looking at my dreaded condition. 

"you actually thought…." Now he got another chance to make fun of me. I stood there standing looking at the ground feeling like a dud. 

"okay..okay…okay..fine..no more laughing.." he said holding his stomach as he saw that I was again on the verge of breaking down. Well not literally I was just pretending that I am a cry-baby. I was getting pissed off with his laugh and this was the only way to shut his mouth. I felt like a loser standing in front of him. He never ever leaves a chance of making fun of me. And I don't know what happens to me whenever I am with him. Here he was laughing at me and I was cursing my mouth.  May be something is wrong with my mouth or my mouth hates me. From the time I saw him for the first time, I don't know how many blunder I have made in front of him and there's no stoppage.

"I think we should move now.." he said and I simply nodded looking at the ground as I started following him.

The rain stopped but as we both were drenched, there was no point running around looking for a shelter and like always god answered my prayers a bit late as we found a hut; well it wasn't a complete hut. Only the top was there, all the four sides were supported with bamboo sticks. At least it was better than nothing. The whole night I sat as far as possible from him. I didn't even look at him once but felt his eyes on me. His eyes were fixed on me but I was too tired and I don't have any idea when my eyes got closed.

Feeling someone shaking me, I opened my eyes and saw him in front of him. "uthiye madam…we have to leave" he said. I looked around, yawing. The sun was out and even though I was too tired to walk, I got up. I had no intentions of spending another day in this jungle anymore. During the whole journey there was no arguing, no shouts, no yelling on others and it was all possible coz of me. I never said anything , to ladai ka to question hi nahin hota.       

 Somehow we got out of the jungle in the morning as we saw the road in front of us. We were looking for a lift but not a single vehicle was stopping by.

"armaan what should we do now?" I asked keeping my hands on the waist, looking at both sides of the road. We were very tired and all I wished for was to reach home ASAP.

"I don't know riddhima, looks like my bad days are still not over" I looked at him in shock. What does he mean by "my bad days are not over". He thinks I am a bad luck for him. We could have reached Delhi by now if it wasn't for his stupid road trip. What was he saying 'riddhima I enjoy long drive'. Long drive my foot, it was his entire fault but like always he won't accept it and he is gonna blame me for this whole mishap. But this time even I was prepared for the whole 'blame game'.

"Armaan you just called me a bad luck. How dare you. It was your entire fault. You jerk. Plane mein jaana mein kya problem thi. But no, if you enjoy long drive you should have gone alone. Why did you take me along? Don't you know how much I hate long drive? But like always you are gonna blame me for everything. Kyun? Let me make myself clear Mr. Armaan Malik, just coz you are my boss that doesn't mean I am not gonna say anything. Ab bahut ho gaya. Enough is enough. I am gonna report to the higher authorities about this. I am gonna complain about you. Just wait and watch ….and…"Although I was in full mood to continue it but we had to stop as we heard some vehicle noise. We looked at each other, asking the other what to do now. It was already noon and I was sure that 1 more hour in this hot weather and you won't be able to differentiate between me and a roasted chicken.

As expecting from him was of no use, I had to come up with something.

"Idea" I said snapping my fingers as armaan asked raising his eyebrow. I quickly whispered in his ear and as expected his answer was "no".

"armaan do you have any other idea?" I asked and saw him shaking his head negatively. "So this is the only option left. You have to do this… for us." I wanted to say 'me' but I controlled my emotions.

As I was wearing a jeans, the leg showing idea was not possible and him showing his leg..eew. When we asked for a 'lift' in a simple way, no one was stopping by so he had no other option but to agree to my plan. He walked towards the middle of the road and lied down like a dead body. The plan was to stop the vehicle and this was the only way left. He will act like a dead body, the vehicle is gonna stop and I'll come out from the hiding place and request the driver to drop us to the nearest station or hotel or wherever he was going. I hid behind the bush as I saw one truck moving towards us. Signaling him a thumbs up I waited for the truck to stop. Apart from the truck noise, I heard another voice which I couldn't hear earlier. As the truck was just few feet away from armaan I realized what the other voice was. It was driver's voice and he was yelling " saamne se hatt jao..truck ke breaks fail ho gaye hain… get out" My eyes popped out as I heard his voice. I opened my mouth but no voice was coming out. I shifted my gaze towards Armaan who had the same expressions.. 'eyes popping out'  as he saw the truck in front of him. I closed my eyes as I wasn't in a condition to look anymore.

 Today, I am sitting beside him on the hospital bed, telling you my experience as his gaze is fixed at me. You all must be thinking that the truck hit him. No nothing of this sort happened. In fact, the truck couldn't even touch him. He rolled out of the way before the truck could hit him. But he couldn't save himself from spraining his left leg and breaking his right hand. Doc has advised him complete bed-rest till next week. He can't even speak during this whole week. No it's not coz of the accident. Actually after the whole truck fiasco, all he did was screamed my name the whole time till we reached hospital.

 "Riddhimaaaaaaaa", he screamed and shouted so much that along with a broken leg he damaged his throat coz of the screaming and from that day onwards all he is doing is taking out his anger through his eyes. I was singing the song to entertain him but I guess he didn't like it. But I have no complaints against him.

 You know why coz keeping beside all the adventure, I got to sit in the plane. Yes, we came back by plane, that too, a private plane. I mean I was just hoping for a regular economy class seat and here I was sitting in Mr. Gupta's private plane. Isn't it cool?

 I know once he gets up from the bed, he won't leave me. It may be possible that I'll be told to leave the job par tab tak let me enjoy. Aakhir aise din baar-baar thode hi aate hain.

caramel

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