Sunday, 18 November 2018

Chapter 3 : Where Did I go Wrong

May 5th 2007

 Dear Diary, yesterday the bright light on was poking my eyes terribly, how to sleep? I dozed off few many times, but this time I had to tell him to come and sleep, "Armaan?" I called 4 or 5 times, no response at all, when I got up to see, that angel was sleeping with his head on the table. I gingerly fingered him on the shoulder from behind calling out his name; he got up with a jerk. "Aagayi"?

"Kya aagayi Armaan?"

"The net speed was so slow, fell asleep in the bargain I think, was waiting for this page to open"

"Armaan, why don't you sleep?"

"No, I have to get this ready by morning, and present it by afternoon; we are launching a new baby product"

He rubbed his eyes and started making a few clicks, "Do you really think you can present anything good when you're so sleepy Armaan, and that too when your so not interested?"

He sighed, "You know me so well, I'd be better off as a lecturer"

I put my arms around his neck from the back "what? Now that's something I don't know, lecturer?"

"Yeah, mum wanted me to take up business, and I hate it"

"You hate business, I love it"

"I know honey, that's why opposites attract" he rubbed his eyes and got back to typing.

"How about you sleep and leave it to me, my area of expertise, if I could boast"

He laughed and got up, "no, how about we both forget it, and you know, (winking and putting his arms around my waist) I still got some stamina left"

"Shut up" I said, somewhere caught between being shy and naughty "its 3:00 am, in 2 hours we have to get up, before your mums bhajan starts"

"Damn, on our 1st anniversary I'm gonna get our self a new house, big one, only for us, you and me"

"All that is swell, but why the BIG house?"

"Arey, never heard? Hum doh humare dus"

My eyes widened for a moment but then I said "no, I only heard hum doh humare doh"

"Riddhima, that's now so old, itna purana ho gaya hai, hum modern hai na"

"Haha, very funny, lets get some sleep, I have to clean the lawn tomorrow" I said lying on the bed

"Why do you do so much work?" He said lying beside me.

Because I have to Armaan, at least till this BIG house comes, because I need you, your mum said it was a mistake that you married me, and I don't want anything to go wrong, for both of us" I snuggled into him and fell asleep, the last thing I knew he held me tighter while my head lay under his chin, I don't know if he slept that night. However in an hour's time I got up and did his presentation for him, he was pleasantly surprised when I gave it to him at the door the next day.

* * *

*Contd from where I stopped last time*

Then walked in a man that temporarily shut all the noise in the class, especially among the girls, but while they looked in awe, Riddhima's eyes widened in utter bewilderment.

"Armaan" a dry unbelievable whisper issued from her throat.

"What?" asked Muskaan.

"Good morning, no please sit down, I'm Armaan Mallik and I will be representing your class for the year, sounds good? Well, none would have seen me in this college, I've been here as a student 7 or 8 years back, now I am back as a lecturer, so what do you want to do today? Day one, I aint really starting any lesson" he said smiling, he hadn't seen Riddhima yet, Riddhima's eyes was starting to sting, she wanted to go away from there, but how? She had to attract attention, ask him and walk out; she wasn't even sitting close to the corridor to slip out of that door.

"How about you introduce yourself to me, let's start from the back".

The girl sitting right back stood up, she seemed shy or what none could make out. A few of them began to giggle, "err, I am not so strict you know" Armaan blurted, a bit puzzled.

Finally the girl with a bit of coaxing managed to say "Aashni Sukhwani" and sat back down, the girl next to her giggled introduced herself and it went on, boys seemed rather stiff in their introduction though, Riddhima was dreading the moment. When Rahul was introducing himself that's when Armaan noticed Riddhima. Their eyes met. Riddhima stood up after Muskaan, silence, all turned back to look, Armaan was looking at Riddhima in a peculiar way in others point of view.

She was only his student all knew, what lay beneath and deeper no one knew.

What should Riddhima say? Riddhima Gupta? Riddhima Mallik? What?

"Riddhima" she managed to utter at last. "Just Riddhima"

Shakily she sat back down.

* * * 

She was running, faster with every step, she just wanted to go home, the view of the house she wanted to reach so badly made her feel better. She banged the door open and shut it behind her, her bag fell to the floor, followed by loud wails of Ahana and a very frantic Neha.

"Riddhima what happened?" She sat down next to Riddhima who by now had slide down on the floor, she hugged Riddhima and rocked a bit "ssshh, Riddhima, kya hua, batao na?"

Pulling Riddhima apart she tried wiping the tears that kept flowing down "he's back, here, in college"

Neha did not have to ask who.

* * *

"This is disgusting, what the heck does he want now?" Adi retorted angrily. He was holding Ahana in his arms who seemed to be have caught the sad vibes of the room and stayed quiet. "I'm not going to leave him, pathetic oaf"

"No" Riddhima said, "let him be, leave him alone, don't need to get into a mess, everything is a mess already, I don't want to invite more trouble"

"So you're going to let all this be Riddhima? Are you all right, he needs to be thought a lesson; does he even know he is a father to start with?"

"He will have already learnt his lesson Adi, staying away from a loved one is a big lesson, and if I am not mistaken he still loves me, I saw it today"

"Did he ever love the fetus in you? No? Yes? Confused are you now?"

"I don't know, it's best if he keeps thinking I must have had an abortion, leave it to that. I don't have any intention what so ever to tell him he is a father nor do I have any intention of reconciliation"

"But he should know he was wrong"

"We both were wrong, and both are paying it, forget it Adi, I don't want anyone in mine and Ahana's life, we both are fine together. You two are with me, and that means the world to me, I have no more space in this world for a new person to barge in"

She took Ahana and went to her room.

Adi sighed "That little world of hers hasn't chucked out Armaan yet, there isn't any question of getting a new person"


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