Thursday, 22 November 2018

Chapter 7: Where Did I go Wrong


May 12th 2008

 Riddhima was pacing in the room, it had been almost 10 days now and she hadn't even uttered a word to Armaan regarding her pregnancy. Every time she got the urge to just go and tell him the corrupt tape dropped by Armaan's mother played her mind repeatedly "Armaan doesn't want children" and "Just yesterday he was telling me how he was not ready to take up the responsibility of having children". The excitement of telling him about the baby had also died down now that she was informed by dearest mother in law that Armaan was no longer looking forward to having children.

 Armaan on the other hand hadn't spoken to Riddhima now for the past 3 days, there was the ultimate cold war in the house, No communication between Armaan-Riddhima, nothing between Riddhima
and Mom in law, both had decided not to talk to each other after Riddhima was tagged 'filth', Riddhima felt as if she was on maun wrat, no one was talking to her, "great" she thought, "I'll soon forget even how to open my mouth and talk". She wanted to end this cold war with Armaan. She was worried about what had mum told him that he hadn't been talking to her for 3 days in a row? "Probably taunts about me and my mother" she reminded herself and after a thought added "exaggerated accuses too" All this was beginning to get on Riddhima's nerves, she had the resistance power but the level had reduced drastically. The last thing Riddhima wanted to do was lose her temper, so preferably she remained shut in the room all the time against her wishes of course.



Not being able to digest dinner that night and excusing herself from the dining, Riddhima ran upstairs to her room fighting the urge to vomit on the freshly polished stairs. What puzzled Armaan was why did she run? She could have walked upstairs. Before shutting the room door behind her she heard the usual "She just can't digest food made by me son, I don't understand"



Barely reaching the wash she puked, heaving twice she inhaled deep breaths. She stared at the gooey stuff being sucked by the drainage. How she thoroughly wished her mum in law would drown in it as well.



That night as Riddhima tried to sleep, a strong set of emotions took over her as she stared at Armaan's back facing her, the rhythmic heaving of his body wasn't there, that means he hadn't slept either. Whatever it was, it wasn't her fault and he was her husband after all, with whom she knew she had to be with forever. Inching her way to him she put a hand around his waist and buried her face behind his broad back hoping against hope that at the least he wouldn't push her hand away, even if he hadn't reacted would be perfectly fine with her.



But he did react, may be not immediately, but gently, in a very slow manner he held her hand that was around his waist and pulled it upwards, kissed it and placed it under his chin still holding it possessively beyond any precious jewel that he may have ever held. She held him closer trying to show him merely by signs that nothing has changed, she was going against the reality of the current situation at home, and the only hope of her winning over it was her heart which now was beating gently against his back. Gently stroking her hand with his thumb his mind debated, was it the right time to talk now? Hoping that time would somehow take care of everything he turned around to face her.



"Riddhima?"



"Hmm?"



"Is there something….. Anything that you're holding within yourself, something you want to tell me?" he said with a bit of reluctance in his voice but nevertheless adamant in mind.



Yes, I have so much built up within me to tell that I feel words may fail and emotions may take over us.



"No, nothing like that, you probably feel like that because we haven't spoken in 3 days" already half regretting not telling what was actually on her mind.



"Are you sure?"



"I think so….?!"



"Just remember that I'm always there for you, even though we didn't talk for some days, it doesn't mean that I stopped loving you, it is just that I – err – …"



"You what Armaan…? There was a time when we couldn't stop conversing Armaan, remember how the phone bills used to mount and we weren't a wee bit concerned about it, remember when you used to get late to work everyday but never minded the fact that you got late just so you could talk to me another extra minute, remember how we always held hands when sleeping and never got enough of it, there was also a time when we never had an 'err' in our conversation, we could discuss anything under the sun. Then why is the hesitation now? Why do you sleep so far away from me? you didn't talk to me for 3 days, before you say the typical nothing remains on forever, let me tell you that I'm quiet aware of the fact that nothing remains on forever, but it ought not to decline so soon either"



"I don't know why this is happening Riddhima, but things are just getting off my hand"



"May be you should peacefully allow your mind to ponder over some things, without any interruptions from your mother, I hate to say it, but it will do well for everybody"



"Riddhima..?"



"Goodnight Armaan" with that she turned her back towards holding back tears.







May 15th 2008





Riddhima and Armaan were conversing in monosyllables.

That morning while having breakfast…



"Son, don't you think its time you both decide to have a baby?" deliberately looking at Riddhima.



Riddhima choked over her breakfast. She couldn't believe her ears; could mum possibly have repented…? Armaan looked over at Riddhima and in spite of himself a dull flush was creeping up his face, she looked away.



"We haven't really thought about it mum" he said, recalling their 1st anniversary. He shook his head, trying to get the flashes off his mind, and then finally going back to his breakfast.



"But you should Armaan; it would be lovely now if we had a son in the family" narrowing her eyes and looking at Riddhima while Armaan thought deeply.



After a while he replied "Son or daughter, how does it matter? All that matters to me is a good healthy baby who could take care of us when we get old, and I'm sure that this is all that matters to Riddhima too" he said, as he reached across to hold Riddhima hand that lay next to her plate. He squeezed it lightly and she responded by doing the same.



Someone was fuming right under their noses, but that went unnoticed by both of them.



She began to ponder over the conversation that took place over breakfast, unable to hold herself any longer she went to the doctor that day.



It was not long before she came to know that a little girl would be coming into their lives.







May 27th 2008





10:50 pm.



"If he doesn't come in another 10 minutes, I'll call him to sleep" she thought, watching him working and rubbing his eyes, trying to stay awake.



Over the days Riddhima was going through a tough span. One side of her mind said "Go tell him, you're having a baby, it's a good thing, he'll sweep your off your feet in happiness" The other side said, "Your not sure whether he wants the baby or no, don't tell him now, there is a right time for everything and the time has not come yet"



She weighed her chances recalling the past week. There was no gap in their conversation, they had stopped talking in monosyllables, and he had taken a day's off just to be with her the entire 24 hours. That day they went for a long drive, had lunch in a restaurant, and went to the zoo where they hardly paid attention to what the animals were doing, held hands and walked to the park, sat on the rocks pleasuring the winds that simply added essence to their moments. They didn't speak much all day long, the little gestures spoke for them. The sexual tension was evident and that night he reminded her how it was to be in his arms. She was alive again.



Everything was falling into place after all she thought. So I tell him, right? No I don't? I do, I don't I do I don't I do I don't… The fierce battle began again.



"Argh" she cried out loud in frustration not being able to make up her mind. She immediately held up her hand up to her mouth. Armaan looked up at her, and saw her wide eyes, and smiled.  "How lovable" he thought.



"Nothing, I guess I dozed off" she said, covering up and flushing in the bargain. "Whydunyacumtosleep?" she managed to say at top speed.



He came over and sat next to her boring his eyes into hers. "What is that you just said? I don't think I really understood well…" He was beginning to close the proximity and Riddhima's muscles were stiffening. "I - I - - was... saying… that… you – must -- be really—tired… so…" his hands were reaching to trace her face, her breathing came out ragged, his face was blurring as he came closer, now his lips almost brushing against hers "… so – maybe --.you'd like… to – sleep… early…" He was tantalizing her now, her heart pounded madly; she feared that it would soon escape her. "You mesmerize me darling" he said, before he passionately captured her.



The feel, the touch, his affection, tenderness and many other countless things were all happening all at once.



I'll tell him this weekend, over a private dinner she thought, grinning. Everything is perfectly fine now.



Little did she know then how very wrong she was!





May 29th 2008





An open envelope lay carelessly on Riddhima's bed side table. Sure that it was what she had been looking for; she smirked and cautiously stepped into the room. Urgently she pulled out its contents and read it. A malicious victory grin began to erupt on her face, and why not? Everything was happening just the way she had hoped for. It seemed eerie, it was too good to be true, but it was true and that made her grin wider, as if determined to permanently etch it on her face.



"I'm going to have a grand daughter after all, not a grandson, but a grand daughter, watch it Riddhima, it's a matter of time, and soon you will be in the pit". She couldn't hold back her happiness. She laughed. A loud creepy and mean laugh that reverberated the walls; the echo hadn't died down even after she exited the room.



"Riddhima Mallik you're finished"



How very right she had been.





___________________________________



 *Enough of the past. Lets come running back to the present now. Time to continue!



The bell went off "Shit I missed a whole hour on taxation" Riddhima cursed "That nitwit".



She suddenly stopped when she saw Rahul and Muskaan in front of her. Muskaan eyes were round as saucers and if Riddhima was not mistaken Rahul looked a bit embarrassed.



"No class?" Riddhima questioned.



"No, this hour is free" Rahul replied.



"Muskaan, stop looking at me like that, what happened?"



"Riddhima, woh kya hai?" she questioned, pointing somewhere at the hollow of Riddhima's neck.



"What?" Riddhima tried feeling where Muskaan was pointing; she did feel something, slight aching pain on that spot.

She gasped; just re-encountering what happened, running to the bathroom she stopped only when she found herself looking into the mirror. She fingered her neck where it was raw red, those ten minutes and he had managed to give her this love bite, she bit back tears, so much had happened in those ten minutes, one side of her head called her a psychopath, the other side reminded her that she was human, madly in love with him even today. She opened the tap in full force, the water gushed noisily, she tired washing away the mark knowing it wouldn't go with water, but it gave her some sort of satisfaction by just trying to rub it away. A comforting hand rested on her shoulder gently turning her around, "I think its time you tell us everything Ridz" said a very understanding Muskaan. "It may just make you feel a bit better".

Armaan walked down the corridor, speeding up and hoping he wasn't late in meeting the dean. "What does the dean want?" he wondered. "Who cares about the dean?" said the back of his head. He didn't know whether what happened back in the cabin was right or wrong, all he knew was that those 10 minutes were those best moments he could keep rejoicing for a long time now. Grinning to himself stupidly he said out loud "Stop it Armaan, your behaving like a lad!" and making a running start he almost flew down the stairs much to the bewilderment of the students who were now hastily getting out of his way. Reaching down the ground floor he saw some students pouring out of the lift. He suppressed a laugh. Routine things love could make you forget.

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