Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Part 2 : The First Kiss 😘

Riddhima's heart was still pounding as she recalled her high school days, when Anjali knocked on her door, "RIDDHIMA! Chalo mere saath neechey "

Riddhima opened the door and saw Anjali standing outside wearing a green saree. Riddhima forgot her tension and gave Anjali a big smile and hugged her, "Didi...you look so beautiful...."

"Thanks Riddhima, aaj mumma ke kehne par saree pahen lee hai but I don't think I can carry it for too long.....it is so uncomfortable!" Anjali said

"Oh...didi...you look so pretty...chalo let's go down" Riddhima put her arm around Anjali as they walked downstairs.

Armaan looked up and saw Anjali being accompanied by the same girl who had bumped into him just a few minutes ago. The girl looked familiar and he kept staring at her rather than Anjali, "ise kahan dekha hai? she looks so familiar"


Armaan's thoughts were soon interrupted by his family members and Shashank, "beta....US mein kaun sey city mein the aap?" Armaan got involved in small talk with the rest of the family as he saw Riddhima leave for the kitchen. His thoughts were still trying to figure out where he had seen Anjali's sister?

Riddhima soon came back with a servant and served everyone tea and snacks. When she came close to Armaan, her face got flushed again and she offered him the tea without trying to have any eye contact with him. Armaan, however, stared at her face trying to recognize her.

Riddhima found a comfortable corner next to Muskaan. Muskaan seemed like a friendly person; Riddhima became her natural chirpy self as she chatted with her. Armaan and Anjali found a lot of common things to talk about, mainly related to the world of business and the stock market.

Padma was very pleased with Armaan. He seemed to have his head over his shoulders and was extremely respectful to everyone. She did however notice that every so often Armaan would glance at Riddhima with the corner of his eyes. She smiled to herself, as she was aware that her niece was prettier of the two girls, even though her husband and daughter thought otherwise.

Padma finally said, "Arre Anjali beta, tum aur Armaan chaho to oopar terrace parr jaakar batein kar sakte ho, hum logon ke beech saari batein nahin kar paaoge"

Ananya agreed, "bilkul theek kaha aapne Mrs. Gupta...jaao Armaan beta"

Armaan and Anjali went upstairs. Riddhima got up to clear the coffee table and saw them walking upstairs. She was happy for Anjali as she knew Armaan was a very bright person; he was the Head boy at their school and equally good at academics, sports and theater....she remembered all those practices they had for their annual day school play....she was in 9th grade and he was in 12th.....she was the lead singer and he was the main actor on the play....and then one day something happened.....her heart started pounding again but was soon rescued by Padma's voice, "Riddhima fridge mein se mithai le aana....ho sakega toh aaj hi roka kar lengey"

"Achcha mausi" Riddhima obeyed.

When Armaan and Anjali came back downstairs, they found Rahul and Riddhima busy talking to Riddhima.

"Oh! St Joseph? Main aur Armaan bhi wahin ke padhe hain. Tum toh bachi hogi jab maine high school khatam kiya tha" Rahul smiled at Riddhima

Muskaan joked, "Nahi Rahul, tum toh paida bhi nahin huye hogey" They all laughed.

"Oh...toh aap sab ek hi school se hain, main toh Dehradun mein boarding mein thi....I think mumma-papa always wanted me to have the best education" Anjali said proudly.

Shashank also joined them, "Anjali has always been at the top of her class, whether school or college she is the best...aap logon ko itni bright bahu kahin nahin milegi" He was beaming at his daughter's achievements.

"Papa....aap bhi" Anjali hugged her father.

Armaan was still lost in his thoughts but when he heard his school name, "Oh.... now it makes sense....so you were also at St Joseph's.... you are Riddhima Gupta? the singer of our school" he was standing in front of Riddhima.

Riddhima lowered her eyes and was not sure what else Armaan remembered.

Muskaan joined them, "Riddhima...phir toh ek gaana sunaana padhega...after all tumhari behen ki shaadi ki baat ho rahi hai..."

Padma placed her hand on Riddhima's back and reassured her, "gaa do beti.... Anjali ke liye hi sahi..."

Everyone sat down to listen to Riddhima. Riddhima looked at Anjali, "yeh gaana ek puraana gaana hai. Meri didi ke liye aaj bahut yaadgaar din hai.... yeh gaana unkey liye..."

"aaj phir jeene ki tamanna hai" from "guide"

Armaan was mesmerized by her voice. She had come a long way since her school days...she was always a good singer, but her voice had really matured now, and it sounded melodious. He got up and congratulated Riddhima, "Riddhima.... this was a perfect song for your sister.... you are really a good singer." Riddhima thanked him softly and walked away to the kitchen. Armaan's eyes followed her till Ananya interrupted, "ab hum chaltey hain..."

The families then decided to go ahead with the roka ceremony which is kind of a commitment to the marriage before any formal engagement.

After everyone left, Riddhima and Anjali went upstairs. Riddhima asked, "Didi...toh pasand aaya aapko?" she had a naughty smile on her face.

"Riddhima.... naa pasand aaney waali kya baat thi...he is well educated, well respected and an intelligent man.... I think we have so much in common...hum kabhi ek doosre sey bore nahin honge" Anjali smiled and wished Riddhima a goodnight.

Riddhima felt a pang of disappointment; she felt guilty, as she ought to be happy for her sister. She went back to her room and remembered that evening....

FLASHBACK:

All the students were returning from the school auditorium in the evening after a long practice for their annual day play. Riddhima was in a hurry to leave, as Shashank who was waiting to pick her up outside, would get upset if she was late. As she was walking, a hand rested on her shoulder, "Hey...Riddhima you were great today" She turned around and saw Armaan. Riddhima was in awe of Armaan in high school. He was so good looking and so talented, all the girls tried to get his attention. Riddhima would also steal glances at him during their practices.

Armaan was standing very close to her. She could smell the chewing gum in his breathe.
"Riddhima.... you are a good girl....do you like me?" he had a naughty look on his face as he was aware of his effect on girls.

"A...A. Armaan...I am sorry.... mere uncle bahar wait karr rahe hain...." She hesitated and was scared to death at his question.

She looked up and saw his face inches away from hers, he came closer and kissed her lips and then said, "Now...decide whether you like me or not..." he smiled mischievously and left her standing there frozen in a state of shock...

Armaan never gave her any more attention once the play was over. He soon graduated, and she never saw him again till today....

That kiss had changed her life forever...she could still taste his lips to this day...

PRESENT:

Riddhima had goosebumps just thinking about that evening. Why was she not able to forget that kiss yet? he was soon going to be her brother-in-law.... she had to suppress those thoughts forever!!! She closed her eyes and tried to sleep.

ARMAAN's BEDROOM:

Armaan lay in bed thinking about the evening. He had dated so many girls in his life, but no one had ever stirred his heart yet. Anjali was also one of them...he enjoyed talking to her...just like he would a business acquaintance or a colleague at work. Was she the right life partner he was looking for? May be with time, he would learn to love her just like his father and brother loved their wives now.

He started whistling the "guide" song which Riddhima had sung and started smiling as he remembered the bump and fall with Riddhima from earlier in the evening. He was very perceptive about women and judging by her reactions to his presence, he wondered if there was anything between them in high school and dozed off smiling.

Tiya Gupta

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