Saturday, 8 December 2018

chapter 6 : SHALL WE DANCE?


RECAP: "Sure," he grinned wickedly, "anything for you Anji!" He winked at her and strode nonchalantly towards the dance studio where the anxious dancers and teacher waited for him……

 Armaan walked into the studio authoritatively, hoping to be welcomed like a king by all the performers. Before the other dancers could show their excitement at seeing a celebrity amongst themselves, Riddhima gave him a sharp look, "excuse me! I think you are in the wrong room…..you can wait in the lobby if you want."


"Well……as far as I know I am in the right place," he grinned at all the other dancers who stood agape with eyes wide open, gasping simultaneously, "wow!"


"Yeh cricket ka maidaan nahin hai Mr Malik!" Riddhima snapped.


"Hey hey……relax…..your owner Anjali has pleaded me to fill in for your partner…..I have better things to do with my time than putter around in your studio!" He retorted.



"What?" Riddhima was aghast.



"Yes Riddhima! Armaan Malik jee has kindly agreed to fill in for this practice….tumhee ne tho kaha tha you need a man for some new step……once Sid is here, Armaanjee will step out." Anjali, at the door said sternly.





Riddhima's nostrils flared in anger, "Anjali I wanted someone more experienced……what does Mr Malik know about dance?"




"Riddhima!" Anjali reprimanded her, "remember when I hired you….you said you can even teach a pole how to dance…..take it as a challenge…thanks Armaan jee….aap ka yeh ehsaan hum kabhie nahin bhoolenge."




Riddhima muttered angrily to herself, "pole? He is probably worse than a pole!"




An outwardly reluctant Armaan nodded his head angrily, but for a change was pleased with Anjali. Even if unintentionally, she had pushed him towards Riddhima and he was confident that once his charm worked on Riddhima, she would not be able to resist him like most girls couldn't. To date, she had been the toughest nut to crack, but once he touched her, she would surely melt and come running into his arms.





"OK….Anjali…Sid jaise hi aaye please usey bhej dena," Riddhima lowered her tone and gave in to her boss's command.




"Hi guys!" Armaan waved at all the dancers and stepped forward.




"Welcome!" They all cheered for him as Riddhima shot dirty looks at him. Still in her belle dancer attire, she regretted not having changed for the practice session. Armaan's piercing gaze earlier in the hallway had infuriated her. Like all men, he too saw women as 'meat packages' rather than human beings. She had no choice but to relent, hoping that Sid would be there soon. Sid was one of the few men she respected-he was a one woman man and at no point had cast a lewd eye on Riddhima, despite all their intimate dance moves.







"OK…..Armaan……why don't you watch some of our steps……and then I will ask you to join me at the appropriate part," she tried her best to sound professional rather than hateful.




He nodded and looked out of the observation window. Rhea stood there waving at him with a big thumps up sign. He smiled back at her and returned the wave. Riddhima was a bit astonished at seeing the exchange of smiles and friendly gestures between the two of them. She had not expected that Armaan would become friendly with Rhea so soon, but she knew Rhea well- she was a loving child and knew how to make friends easily. She dismissed the idea of Armaan actually having a respectable gene in his body-just because he waved at Rhea, did not make him likeable.




As the song started playing, all the dancers took their positions and started moving and swaying with the music…



'sholon si sholon si…..teri aankhon ki yeh chandni….'





Armaan observed intently and imagined holding Riddhima just like the other dancers were holding each other. In his imagination, they were twirling with each other-him holding her close to his body, his hands on her waist, and their eyes glued to each other.



"ARMAAN!" She jolted him back to reality with a loud whisper, "now try to follow my steps!"

"Oh yeah….yeah," he smiled sheepishly, "sure."




She gave him her hand, which he grabbed quickly to be greeted with a shooting dart from her eyes, "softly! Itni zor se haath pakadne ki zaroorat nahin hai……yeh mera haath hai ….cricket ball nahin!"






"Oh…sorry," he loosened his grip and apologized. She softened her expression and then led him to the center of the studio, "now the part I need you to help is," she swallowed hard, "is to lift me up with both your hands…..and all the other dancers will follow suit……main jaise bolti jaaoon…..aap sab copy karte jaaiye."







An overzealous Armaan did not wait for the music to start and quickly picked her up in both arms, so her legs dangled from his one arm and her back rested on the other, "aise?"


"PUT ME DOWN!" She yelled, "let the music play…..and not like this!"




An embarrassed Armaan lowered his eyes as the other dancers broke into splits, "Oh…sorry…..I..I didn't realize." She slid off his arms, but something strange happened inside her- a strange inexplicable feeling she had never felt before- as their bodies touched each other and his fingers brushed against her waist on her way down from his arms. She lowered her gaze and turned around to play the music. Armaan in the meantime was still delirious from her fragrance and the feel of her bare waist on his fingers. It was not any perfume, but her natural scent that had him all aroused.







"Ok….lift me from my hips," she said awkwardly, "put your hands right here…..and just lift me…..me… gently…..and look up at me while I bend backwards in the air," she averted his gaze and looked at her dancers, "Ok all the men please lift your partners." Armaan, still in a trance after their last contact, gazed at her absent mindedly.


"You too!" She snapped her fingers at him.


"Sure," he glanced at the other men and then imitated their step. Gently, he lifted her from her hips as she rested her hands on his shoulders.






'samjho mera joh ishara hai
joh bhi hai mera woh tumhara hai
samjho mera joh ishara hai
joh bhi hai mera woh tumhara hai
lehar mein koi hoon khoyi
manzil toh hai tu kinara hai'





Her willowy body bent backwards like a gymnast's as she yelled, 'Ok…all the women…..do this….men hold your women firmly! Armaan pretend you are catching a skier (a ball hit very high by the batsman)…..keep your eyes on me and don't let go of me!"




"NEVER!" He whispered to himself and kept his gaze on her body as her slender arms swayed like tendrils and her body moved gracefully in his hands. She tried her best to stay focused on her arm and body movements, but his firm hands on her pelvis, once again, stirred up an unknown emotion inside her.


She was as light as a feather, he thought.


He was stronger than any previous partner of hers, she thought.


He held her so securely, that if it were not for the internal turmoil she was going through, she could have stayed up in the air and choreographed the rest of the dance in that position.


'yeh meri adayaein yeh meri wafaein
yeh meri adayaein yeh meri wafaein
tujhko pata hai sabh tere liye hai'







"OK..That's it! Now gently bring all the dancers down!" She pulled herself back and supported her hands on his shoulders. As she straightened herself and looked down at him, their eyes met for a brief moment, but this time instead of fire and anger, Armaan saw a more soothing, softer and desirous expression in her eyes. Quickly, she averted his gaze and slid off his arms. Armaan looked at her longingly as she stepped away.




"Thanks guys……now I want all of you to practice this step at least five times," she rewound the music and looked at her dancers.






Armaan was in seventh heaven and swiftly placed his hands on her hips. She snapped back and pulled away, "THAT WON'T BE NECESSARY! Thanks for your help….I just needed to show them this step once…..my dancers are quick learners……now I will just wait for Sid…tum jaa sakte ho ab." By keeping him at bay, she felt more in control of the mayhem his touch and proximity had already generated inside her.







A dejected Armaan lowered his eyes as all the other dancers applauded and thanked him for his help. With a forced smile, he waved at them and walked out of the studio. He had thoroughly enjoyed those moments with his enchantress. How he wished she would have let him practice those steps again with her. He could not forget the feel of her skin and her sweet fragrance out of his mind. He sighed and stepped into the lobby. She had offended him so many times, but why was he still craving for her? It was obvious that she despised him, but that brief glint in her eyes as she descended from his arms roused some hope in him.





To his surprise, the lobby was packed with people. There was a throng of people waiting outside to get a glimpse of the celebrity in the studio. The mother's of the kids had called their husbands and older kids to watch this rare sight. Men had left work early, picked their kids, relatives and even servants on their way, to come and watch the cricket superstar dancing in the studio.






Suddenly, a bright press camera flashed at him and microphones from all major TV channels surrounded him.






"MR ARMAAN MALIK! SUNA HAI AAP DANCE COMPETTION MEIN BHI PART LE RAHE HAIN."





"ARMAAN JEE….SRI LANKA KI SERIES KE SAATH SAATH AAP DANCE BHI KARENGE?"





"AAPKO DANCE KA SHAUK KAB SE LAGA?"





"KYA ATUL JEE JAANTE HAIN? CRICKET BOARD KO PATA HAI?"





A baffled Armaan stood frozen and dumb struck at the sudden intrusion by the press. He looked around and saw Anjali grinning at him.


She squeezed her way through the reporters and stood next to Armaan, "guys…guys….excuse me….let me clarify….Armaan jee is a very kind hearted man…..humein abhi abhi khabar mili hai ki hamare lead dancer ka accident ho gaya hai…..unke pair mein fracture ho gaya hai."


Armaan was stunned to hear the news.




"Iss liye…..Armaan jee jo hamare chote se dance studio ke liye kuch bhi kar sakte hain," Anjali continued, "has volunteered to step in and save our studio from disgrace…..kya kisi celebrity ne aisa pehle kiya hai? He is very generous……and we are blessed to have him here."







Armaan was dumbfounded. He was upset at Anjali for making such a big announcement without his permission, but he could not retaliate in front of the TV cameras. He smiled at them and just said, "EXCUSE ME! YES….I WOULD LIKE TO HELP THIS STUDIO FOR THE SAKE OF ALL CHILDREN WHO LEARN DANCE HERE…..WHEREVER I CAN HELP…..I DO MY PART……I AM NOT DOING THIS FOR ANY FINANCIAL REASONS…..WHATEVER PROCEEDS COME FROM THIS PERFORMANCE WILL BE DONATED TO THIS STUDIO!"


"AUR SRI LANKA SERIES? USKA KYA HOGA SIR?" A press person asked.





"I WILL NEVER DESERT MY TEAM…..CHAAHE MUJHEY RAAT DIN JAAGNA PADHE….I WILL FULLFIL BOTH COMMITMENTS." He announced and the hurried towards Anjali's office.





Rhea tried her best to reach Armaan, but was swallowed by the crazy crowds in the lobby.

"UNCLE! UNCLE!"




The press hounded Rhea next, "kya wo aapke uncle hain?" Rhea was a bit taken aback by all the attention; she ran as fast as she could and entered the dance studio, "AUNTY!"






Riddhima interrupted her practice and looked up, "Rhea? Kya hua?" She saw the commotion outside the window, "yahin raho Rhea…..dancers please continue to practice…..I will be right back."

She stepped out and yelled at the reporters:




"PLEASE….WE ARE TRYING TO PRACTICE….AAP SAB PLEASE THODA SHAANT HO JAAIYE!"





"AAP ARMAAN MALIK KI TEACHER HAIN?" A press person shoved his microphone under her nose.





"EXCUSE ME?" She was surprised.





"JEE HAAN…..ABHI ABHI AAPKI OWNER ANJALI BOSE NE KAHA HAI KI AAPKE LEAD DANCER KO FRACTURE HO GAYA HAI….ISS LIYE ARMAAN MALIK AAPKE NAYE LEAD DANCER HONGE!"






 Riddhima was shell shocked! Without uttering a word to the press, she wiggled her way out of the crowd, and ran to Anjali's office, holding the sides of her skirt in each hand to help her escape fast.





'ANJALI!" She barged in as Armaan and Anjali were deep in a conversation.


"Aao Riddhima….we have news for you," Anjali grinned.





"I just heard…..kya hua Sid ko?"


'He fell off his motorcycle on his way to the studio…..he has a fracture in his leg…..he is in a cast for 6 weeks."


"6 weeks? Oh my God!" Riddhima exclaimed in disbelief, "par yeh bahar sab press waale kyun hain? And what rubbish are they talking about? How can Armaan take Sid's place?"







"ARMAAN CAN ALWAYS TAKE SID'S PLACE!" Anjali retorted, "It's very generous of him to agree…..please Riddhima don't make a scene……this is the best thing that happened to our studio……I don't want you to create any problems."






Armaan stood silently with arms folded with a smirk on his face.


"Par Anjali….competition mein sirf 3 weeks reh gaye hain…..how can someone with no experience step in? You know the stakes are high….we have to win it this time." Riddhima refuted.




"Riddhima…..right now I don't care about the results of the competition…..I want action from you…..and remember you are my employee……kal se hi regular practice shuru ho jaayegi."






Armaan cleared his throat and walked up to Riddhima, "waise mujhey koi shauk nahin hai tum jaisi badtameez ladkiyon ko gale lagaane ka…..I'd rather not dance with you…..I am doing all this for my good friend Anji," he gave Anjali a sweet smile.






Riddhima gave him a scornful look, "can I talk to my boss privately?"






"Sure! Who has the time to waste here? I am leaving…..I will send someone to pick Rhea later," he walked off defiantly. He stood outside the door to overhear their conversation as the press was still hovering in the lobby.





After the door shut, Riddhima looked at Anjali, "I quit!"


"No you can't! Remember the contract?"





"Kya kar logi tum?"





"Main tho kya karoongi? Mere lawyers karenge jo karna hai…..and knowing your financial responsibilities at home……I am sure you don't want to give up this job and deal with a law suit…do you?"




"You are such a …..ugh!" Riddhima clenched her teeth, "OK….I will do it…..but after the competition my contract is over…..then you can't force me to work here."





"I won't even need you…..Armaan ke aane se mere studio ko itni publicity milegi ki Farah aur Saroj Khan bhi yahan kaam karne ko tarsenge….tum kya cheez ho?"


Armaan flinched at Anjali's heartless and harsh statements- how he hated her! He also felt bad for Riddhima- she was trapped because of her contract and her financial responsibilities. Were those the personal problems she had alluded to earlier when he asked her to take care of Rhea? He was more intrigued than ever-he wanted to know everything about her- all her problems, all her majbooris. And finally, he wanted to meet Nikita again- she was perhaps the only one who could shed light on Riddhima's life.







He was about to leave when he heard his name again.



'Why do you hate Armaan so much?" Anjali asked.





"I hate all men like him…..jo aurat ko insaan nahin cheez samajhte hain….istemaal kiya aur phaink diya!"




Armaan felt a sharp dagger through his heart at Riddhima's opinion about him.





"Tumhein kya pata?" Anjali asked, "aur saare stars hote hi aise hain….why do you care?"


"I know him very well……I can't tell you all details now…..lekin mujhsey us jaise darindo se khaas nafrat hai."


"Darinda?" Armaan touched his heart and felt slighted by her accusation.


"I hate the way he stares at me…..jaise main koi bazaaroo aurat hoon,"



Anjali chuckled, "ab aise Egyptian princess ki tarah ghoomogi tho bechara koi bhi aadmi phisal jaayega…..chor unke ghar mein hi aate hain jo apne darwaaze khule chhod dete hain."




Armaan smiled at Anjali's statement, "this chipkali is not that bad…..mujhey kitni achchi tarah samajhti hai."






"OK Anjali…..I will change all of that…..I will make sure everything happens the way it should," Riddhima grinned and took leave of her.




"CHUPKE CHUPKE HAMARI BAATEIN SUN RAHE THE?" She caught Armaan red handed snooping behind the door.




"OF COURSE NOT! I JUST CAME BACK TO ASK WHAT TIME SHOULD I SEE YOU TOMORROW." He composed himself.





"kal kyun….aaj se hi full practice karte hain…..in fact," she rolled her tongue mischievously as an idea popped into her head, "pehle warm up kar lete hain…..just to get you into the groove of things…kyun?"




"Whatever," he smirked confidently again, "remember I am doing this for you guys…..I hope you're indebted to me."


She turned around and glared at him, "remember….you are doing this for Anjali…..and I am not indebted to anyone….and will never be!"




'Oh yeah?" He challenged her and followed her to the studio. The press started clicking once again but Riddhima gave them a stern look, "DO YOU WANT ME TO CALL SECURITY? PLEASE LEAVE THIS STUDIO…..YEH PUBLIC PROPERTY NAHIN HAI……AAPKO SAARI DETAILS ANJALI JEE SE MIL JAAYENGI…..PLEASE DON'T DISTURB OUR SESSION!"




Armaan was impressed. The press turned their cameras, lights and microphones off. They bowed and left the premises quickly. He had never been successful in shooing away the press like Riddhima had in one meeting. He could not help admire her for her courage and command- she was a woman Atul!






"OK guys….bad news….Sid has fractured his leg…so won't be a part of our show," Riddhima turned the music off and informed the dancers.





'And the good news is that Armaan Malik will join us instead," one of the enthusiastic dancers replied.



"Let's see…..if that's good or bad news," she glanced at Armaan with the corner of her eyes and changed the CD, "guys….let's warm up to this song……to welcome," she flashed a rare smile, "Mr Armaan Malik to our group."




"Thanks," Armaan smiled and bowed slightly and removed his shirt. He was still wearing an exercise vest underneath with sweat pants in the bottom. All the women ooh-ed and aah-ed as his rippling biceps and triceps stood out on his muscular arms. He clenched his fists and twisted his arms to show them off, hoping to catch Riddhima's attention.


An unperturbed Riddhima, to everyone's amusement played the famous song from "Jaane tu"- 'pappu can't dance saala'





http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTiGtXurTMQ



(from DMG)





Thirkit Thana Thirkit Thana Thiri Thiri Thana Lets Dance
Thirkit Thana Thirkit Thana Thiri Thiri Thana Lets Dance

Hai Muscular, Hai Popular, Hai Muscular, Hai Popular, Spectacular He'S A Bachelor
Paapu Ki Gaadi Tez Hai, Pappu Kudiyon Mein Craze Hai
Pappu Ke Aankhen Light Blue, Pappu Dikhtha Angrez Hai
Rado Ki Ghadi Haathon Mein Perfume Gucci Waala


All the dancers surrounded Armaan as he turned red with anger and humiliation……



But Pappu Cant Dance Saala….Pappu Cant Dance Saala
Pappu Nach Nahin Saktha
When I Am Gonna See You With The Dance In The Hall
When I Am Gonna See You With The Dance Sir!!
Thirkit Thana Thirkit Thana Thiri Thiri Thana Lets Dance
Thirkit Thana Thirkit Thana Thiri Thiri Thana Lets Dance







Rhea joined the group too and twirled around holding Armaan's hand as he forced a smile on his face……



Paida Pappy Hua To Kismathein Chamke
Aur Uske Moo Mein Thi Chandi Ki Chamche
Hey Hey Hey Pappu Ke Paas Hai Pyasa, Hey Hey Hey Haathon Ke Meil Ke Jaisa
Hey Hey Hey Pappu Yaaron Ka Yaar Hai, Hey Hey Hey Pappu Is Hot And Smart Hai
But Pappu Cant Dance Saala….Pappu Cant Dance Saala
Pappu Nach Nahin Saktha

Thirkit Thana Na Na Na…. Thirkit Thana Na Na Na….
Thirkit Thana Na Na Na…. Thirkit Thana Na Na Na….

Baap Kehthe Hai Bada Naam Karega; Mera Pappu To Aisa Kaam Karega
Hey Hey Hey Pappu Ke Paas Hai Pa, Hey Hey Hey Kartha Hai France Mein Holiday
Hey Hey Hey Pappu Ki Car Woh Laatha Hai, Hey Hey Hey Jahan Jaatha Hai Chchaa Jaatha Hai
But Pappu Cant Dance Saala….
Thirkit Thana Thirkit Thana Thiri Thiri Thana Lets Dance
Thirkit Thana Thirkit Thana Thiri Thiri Thana Lets Dance




Riddhima stood in a corner with her arms folded and swayed to the beat, smiling at Armaan's discomfited expression. Rhea tried to keep Armaan engaged but he was red with rage.




But Pappu Cant Dance Saala….
Thirkit Thana Thirkit Thana Thiri Thiri Thana Lets Dance
Thirkit Thana Thirkit Thana Thiri Thiri Thana Lets Dance
When I Am Gonna See You With The Dance In The Hall
When I Am Gonna See You With The Dance Sir!!
Pappu Nach Nahin Saktha
Thirkit Thana Thirkit Thana Thiri Thiri Thana Lets Dance






After the song ended, everyone applauded and laughed at their 'Pappu'

'I hope you don't mind Armaanjee……"





'We were just kidding……"





"Riddhima likes to play pranks ……don't take her seriously….."





They all tried to reassure a livid Armaan. Enough was enough! Riddhima had crossed all limits; now it was his turn to get back to her.





'Excuse me…..I need to go and change…..main abhi aayi," Riddhima strode off with a big smirk on her face.





"I will be right back too," Armaan excused himself and ran after Riddhima.



"WAIT A MINUTE!" He yelled.





She turned around outside her room, "I said I'll be right back."



Without giving her a chance, he grabbed her wrist and pulled her forcefully into his arms, "LISTEN YOUNG LADY….ENOUGH IS ENOUGH…….AAJ TUMNEY MUJHEY BAHUT BADHA CHALLENGE DIYA HAI……YOU DON'T KNOW THE REAL ARMAAN MALIK…….AGAR MAIN KUCH HAASIL KARNA CHAAHOON THO KAR LETA HOON…….I AM A QUICK LEARNER TOO…….IF I AM AT THE TOP IN CRICKET TODAY …….IT'S BECAUSE OF MY NEVER SAY DIE ATTITUDE…….AB DEKHNA DANCE MEIN BHI MAIN PAPPU SE MICHAEL JACKSON BANKAR KAISE DIKHATA HOON……..BAHUT GAROOR HAI NA TUMHEIN APNE HUNAR PAR……..DEKHNA YOU WILL BEG ME TO DANCE WITH YOU ONE DAY……YEH MERA VAADA HAI……YOU CAN'T SCARE ME OFF WITH THESE PAPPU TACTICS……IF YOU ARE STUBBORN….SO AM I MS RIDDHIMA GUPTA!"







"AHHHH!" she rubbed her wrist as he let go off her, "YOU HURT ME!" She bellowed tearfully, "I hate you Mr Armaan Malik……tumhein ek aurat se baat karne ki tameez bhi nahin hai."




He grabbed her other wrist and pulled her back into his arms again, "waise hi jaise tumhein ek aadmi se baat karne ki tameez nahin hai." Inches away from each other, they felt their warm breaths sear each other's faces. Their eyes glued to each other, their heavy breathing and rapid heartbeats exchanged unspoken signals. Armaan felt the warm sweat trickle down her waist and soak his vest; her pulse against his firm hand galloped faster than a race horse.




Finally, unable to bear his intense gaze, she shut here eyes, "please leave me Armaan…..I will see you tomorrow." She said softly, trying her best to hide the mist in her eyes. He noticed the tear escape from her eyes, and let go of her.




He stepped away and turned his head, "Ok….I will see you tomorrow……sorry if I hurt you," he added softly and walked away.




Riddhima stood frozen at her door, unable to reconcile with her feelings and what had just transpired between her and Armaan. Whatever it was….it was intense, powerful and very passionate. This was not how it was supposed to be- she would have to make sure not to lose her self control in front of him ever again- he had no right to see her tears, nor her weaknesses…….


…to be contd…..


bheegi/sangeeta

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