Sunday, 3 March 2019

Part 19 : Perfect

Ridhima could see the toll this raw truth had taken on Armaan...for those few minutes inside mumma's room, she mused, it was just the instantaneous uncontrollable anger outburst he had displayed, but now she could see that he was undergoing much worse than she had ever imagined...he was not inebriated, but the liqour he had consumed definitely exceeded the usual social amount, and so from the moment they stepped next to the cake she had entwined her fingers into his, to hold his hand in a tight but gentle grip, hoping it was serving at least as a bare minimum support in those hours of pretensen before the guests. remorsefully she thought how samrat's cheap stakes had completely devastated the two most beautiful days of their married life, but then she told herself how much worse it could have been had she not been brought to light by mumma....atleast now armaan and she were facing this together, n that by itself gave her reason to give a small had been evident to her before the start of this plan, how negetively armaan would be affected by it all....but the real situation indeed supremely surpassed all her expectations. while to the whole gathering he had announced with a calculated regret in his voice how his father had suddenly felt dizzy with the
exhaustion of the extended wedding events and the deal (he had added the last word with a bitter sarcasm that had been missed by everyone except those closest to him), and so he had said that his mother, mrs radhika malik (ridhima realized instantaneously how he had avoided speaking her full name, so as to keep samrat's name out of this ceremony) would bless ridhima and him at this threshold of their new life together. while the press had witnessed a field day being introduced formally to the senior lady of the house for the first time in years, rahul, atul and especially muskaan had been completely dumbstruck at least for a few moments, until they recovered deciding there was ample time to know what was going on after the guests had left....but muskaan still could not help looking at her brother with an affected look implying what in the whole wide world did he think he was doing, while congratulating ridhima n him, and seeing the evident unpleasant look exchange between the siblings, rahul had pulled muskaan gently away while looking back to give armaan reassurance that he would handle her, until the right moment....armaan had simply nodded, and ridhima had been deeply touched by the bond these four shared, at how even when in complete dicord with the other, they trusted each other enough to await the appropriate time for explaination.


As the last of the remaining guests left, it was an hour past midnight, which is when armaan looked at everyone and asked them to come to his room, while turning to the least reactive person in the family he said "atul, could you" he said that word with great effort and hesitation, "to join us in an hour???" hearing this muskaan could contain herself no longer held atul's hand as she said "BHAI???? what do you think you're doing....its extremely disrespectful to call dad to your room, and you're telling atul to do that too???why cant you go yourself...and you said dad was not feeling well and why after an hour for dad, why not ..." armaan interrupted "muskaan let atul go and do what i said....and you come up to my room, answers is exactly what i am going to give you...." and muskaan would have certainly not been quietened by his statement, but the fact that he called her by her by her full name, n not the usual 'kid' she was accustomed to hearing him address her with kept her silent....something was really serious she thought, and as she turned to give radhika a dirty look, she saw ridhima holding her hand to comfort her...this enraged muskaan completely n now she said turning towards he brother, in a voice full of scorn n hurt "oh i the new member in the house has already started affecting the relaions here..." turning to ridhima she said " n you decided so soon to behave like the typical scheming daughter in law??? seperating my brother and my dad, of course in perfect connivance with this woman here and " "MUSKAAAAN" armaan yelled then lowering his pitch again "listen muskaan, i told u come into my room and we will discuss this, without knowing the truth you dont want to say or do things you will regret all your life...." hearing this statement rahul knew at once, that he had to control muskaan.....whatever had made armaan yell at his younger sister, and then utter these words, must be, rahul reasoned knowing his best friend inside out, extremely grave and so he said in a low voice " honey, ammy is right...we all know him have to allow him the chance to have to trust him that much...." looking towards ridhima rahul added "i apologize on behalf of muskaan, bhabhi, i hope you will not be offended by what she said in this disturbed state of mind" ridhima gave rahul a reassuring look, feeling more guilty than ever in her life to have indirectly been the cause of that harsh exchange between armaan and muskaan....she was so thankful to rahul for this intervention and realized how lucky muskaan was to have him in her life....
as atul moved to go inform samrat, the rest of them moved to armaan's room. armaan asked ridhima to start with her part...he would have asked his mother, except he did not want her to undergo the strain of reiterating the most miserable truths of her ridhima told them the details of radhika and samrat's relation in the same wods as radhika had told her....then when she was going to begin, armaan and her part in the story from about a month ago, armaan took over narrating everything right upto that evening's scene in radhika's room, because he realised there were things she did not even know that how prudently armaan had been prompted for this wedding for the deal, under the alubi of his happiness..."well u know dad actually managed in his plans to give the greatest happiness of my life," he said looking towards ridhima " but he almost took it away from me as well", he said further with a suddden miserable look, remembering the way they had spent their wedding this point muskaan said "bhai....i still dont see why i should believe all that....i can u expect me to chose between dad and u on the basis of that story alone....i dont believe he could ever do that....moreover you dont even sound like thats you speaking, its like you're speaking soembody else's words " muskaan just did not say the name ridhima but her meaning was clear....and before anybody could speak up samrat walked in saying "thanks muskaan beta....i am glad atleast one of my two kids still has faith in me....armaan um just shattered by ur words today beta all those years of grooming just for this new found one month old girl...." armaan losing any restraint he had maintained all this time yelled at samrat moving towards him "STOP IT....HOW LOW WILL YOU STOOP????WAS IT NOT ENOUGH FOR YOU TO HAVE SEPEARTED A MOTHER FROM HER KIDS, AND THEN PUT YOUR BEST EFFORT INTO RUINING MY LIFE WITH RIDHIMA EVEN BEFORE IT HAD STARTED, THAT U R NOW CREATING A DRIFT BETWEEN MUSKAAN AND ME???" muskaan interrupted "he is not creating a drift bhai, u are seeing everything in an influence and bias now..." armaan looked towards muskaan the hurt evident in his eyes and he said in a low voice trying hard to keep away the tears which were threatening to come any moment after hearing those words from the sister he adored so much..." will not understand the pain since you and rahul were married in a normal happy way....u did not have to face the first night of your married life alone in your room crying all night thinking you were gulity for a mistake, when ur love felt completely cheated by you in another room...and all that time u were both just puppets in a big pre planned scheme" he said the last words looking up towards samrat with extreme anger in his eyes he continued " the two most beautiful days of my life .....and you turned them in to living hell.....the days that should have been lifelong cherished memories are like nightmares i never want to think of again in my life....all because of dirty gimmicks....that bloody news headline...and...." hearing these last words atul looked up....armaan just could not speak anymore....remembering what he and ridhima had gone through the 2 previous nights he just slumped on his bed, as ridhima rushed to his side to offer her support....she couldnt control her streaming tears seeing a man like armaan so weak and helpless, facing the fact that the biggest truth of his life had actually been an illusion...his idol, his dad had played him like a card in a poker game....muskaan somehow was so torn between two of the four men in her life that she just burst out crying and spoke "why are you doing this bhabhi....he loves u so much and so did we....bhai cant see the truth anymore and he is blaming dad...what did u do to an extent that he just made up all those lies....and...."interrupting her " No muskaan....ammy is not lying...." everyone looked up in complete shock to hear the most dormant memeber of the discussion so atul resumed "yeh you heard me right....he is not lying...every word he spoke is true...."while everybody looked at him expecting him to elaborate....the four people who knew the truth-armaan ridhima radhika and samrat- wondered how he knew it too. seeing the expectant looks atul continued "i did see u leave the bedroom last night bhabhi since i had gone to the kitchen to get myself a glass of water...i thought i saw u crying, but dismissing the thoughts as impossible, assuming u must be downstairs for something, i just left the scene quietly, not wanting you to get conscious or uncomfortable....but now i know u were indeed crying and i did not imagine things...." and looking towards samrat he continued"but that is not the only reason i know ammy is not lying....i wonder how i manage being at all the wrong spots at all the right times....of course had it been rahul or armaan instead of me it would have been way better since they would have understood things for what they were the same instant, while i only just figured out what things had meant now...."as he looked around him he could see everyone was glued to each word he spoke, and waiting for him to clear of the ambiguity of the statements he had just uttered....he sighed and then continued "day before yesterday night, after i reached the grewal mansion much later after the mehendi had been over, to make plans for the wedding with rahul and muskaan, i was crossing chachu's room when i heard his voice a little louder than usual and quite disturbed...shashank uncle was also in the room...." and atul started narating what he had seen and heard...
"but how could samrat have just released the news without even mentioning a word of it to us shanshank???we are equal collaborators here are we not????" shashank got up furious himself..."well on paper yes....but you know he does have an edge, since he is the link between us...." anshuman grewal interrupted, protesting "but i dont understand the point of this sudden news release when we had planned a whole bash for it in a week from now...after talking to our kids about it....afterall they are the ones to control it very soon now....they have a right to know this stuff before the whole world does, no?????" shashank said "well forget the about us????we are equals atleast we have the right to obvious reason for this sudden press release is to establish before the whole world and before us, that the lead in this allainace is always his...but if i know him well that could not be his soul motive, for doing that he must have had several other ways....and why would he overlook that all plans had been in place for the official announcement of this deal just to show us we are a step no...that could be a minor motive....but there is something else to it....he seems to have done this in real if it was essential that he did it before the wedding....its as if he wanted to completely shock someone with this news....but who could it be.....radhika would not be affected...armaan already knows....rahul and muskaan have a fair idea of whats coming....and ridhima is just never interested in anything with business and work......i wonder who the target was....but the way he had seemed delighted when he was with us celebrating an hour ago, i fear to say whatever it was he was aiming for,..he has achieved.....lets just hope it will not be bad news for u and me..."
~flashback ends~

and looking back at them atul finished saying "and so i realized there was some issue there....but i never even bother with these business talks when its ammy and rahul talking, getting involved with the elders was not even a remote putting it off as another one of those never ending complications involved in being related to big empires, i just put it off my head and moved to carry on with the plans for the remaining part of the night....i have always been so out of these matters, and so disinterested that it did not even occur to me to mention it to rahul or ammy....or ...perhaps all that has happened since the mehendi night could have been well avoided...but u see...." ha said with a sad sarcasm, "botany guys are never smart with this stuff...." looking at armaan with sadness etched over his face atul said walking towards him , sat next to him on the bed and putting a hand on his shoulder "i am sorry bro....i really could have saved you all this....but i just....u know me.....wish it had been rahul or u who overheard not me...." and saying so he pulled armaan into an embrace, while armaan just submitted to his emotions not trying to check them ridhima looked helplessly at them she saw rahul look just as helplessly at muskaan who seemed to have been totally struck by the shock of it all....and without much sensation just slumped onto the rug, only to be caught by rahul in time....she said in a daze " bhai was....telling the"and she couldnt speak anymore....just looked at the man at whose hands she had been betrayed so completely, and then at the man who had tried explaining and she had doubted him...him????her bhai.....she cried incessantly....ridhima realizing that atul was handling armaan...moved towards muskaan and was going to hold her hand when she pulled it away, and looking into ridhima's shocked eyes, with tears in her own she spoke "bhabhi...please dont....i am not worth any of your concern....i could we....called him dad.....and....."muskaan couldnt speak anymore....and ridhima and rahul just pulled her into a hug together.....meanwile samrat who had been shocked by the turn of events was thinking fast of a new plan, when armaan pulled hastily out of atul's hug and standing up spoke to him in the coldest professional voice possible in his current state of mind " you mr. samrat malik will leave this house right now, that is, if you want me to take no legal action against of course know i have no dearth of reasons i could sue you for....but just to save the grace of the bloodline i unfortunately share with you, i give you this one chance to save yourself that humiliation....if you dont take me seriously i will overlook all of that and take action..." as everybody in the room now stared at the two malik men waiting for samrat's response none of them could keep their blood from boiling at hearing his scornful tone as he spoke " not so soon my son....samrat malik odes not play to lose at the hands of novices like yourself....i am not the one to leave you and all these so called loved ones of yours....just leave my house now....i cut u off a single penny from my property....go ahead and sue me, lets see how long u survive without a penny, and the great samrat malik's backing..." before anybody could speak up they heard radhika's voice through her tears, straining hard to sound calm "did i hear you say your property samrat????" and as she stood up to face the man she should have countered long ago she resumed now in a real calm voice "i think i need to remind you of a certain clause you forgot from the document i signed in your name years ago...."


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