Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Arsh/kash os : Hope (part1)

I look up at him and smile. Why wouldn't I? He is someone I like dearly.  With his white lab coat caressing his picturesque frame, it is hard for me to take my eyes off of him. This is certainly something that is not to be ignored.

He smiles at me and asks me, "Kya hua?"

I am stunned at his innocent question, bringing me out of my trance. I smile that reassuring smile at him, "Kuch nahi. Bas aise hi".

He looks at me with suspicion which seems to be gone right at the moment we hear a melodious voice calling out to us.

We both turn around to find Ridhimma di smiling at us, along with Sid by her side. Di stands right next to Sid, in silence assurance and support. Sid looks around, confused, "Briefing ke liye abhi tak sare log nahi aae?"

I smile at him, "Sid, did you forget that Dr. Kirti assigned them to their respective jobs already?" I look at his expression clear once more. Ridhimma di smiles as well at his child-like gesture that she apparently adores. Sid then proceeds to give Armaan and me our respective jobs before rushing out, with Ridhimma in tow.

All the while, no one notices the happiness in Armaan's eyes when he just catches a glimpse of Di's beautiful smile. I see it, and cannot help smiling along with him. Though my smile is not due to her but due to him. It is a rather sad gesture showing  that things are not as everyone wants to see them. Armaan is not as everyone sees him. He still loves Ridhimma and I am just a way to show every one that he is over her, so the love of his life can be happy with her hubby. No one, not even Armaan, needs to tell me what he meant when he came closer to me while in front of Ridhimma di. I was denying it for so long, but it is becoming obvious day by day. It is to show Di that he is completely over her, so Ridhimma di can move on in her married life without any residual guilt. This thought was confirmed to me at the night of Sid and Ridhimma di's wedding when Armaan gulped down his tears of anguish and pain just so he could show di that they can move on in their life. I see things in his eyes that he wants to hide from everyone. I saw and still see the depth of his love through his eyes when he looks at Di's picture in the locker room, a picture that is always with him. It aches to see him in such a condition but all I can do is to be with him to reassure him that someone is there to listen.

I heave a sigh for the 20th time in the day as thoughts of Ridhimma di and Armaan come rushing. Enough! I scold myself. When that is not enough, I rushed out of the ward after the check-ups on my patients for a moment of quiet. I walk and walk, and finally reach a place of solitude - the recreation room. This is the same room that first gave me a glance of Armaan's heart. I smile involuntarily. However, before I can follow that up with another thought, I hear a voice. It seems to be Armaan's. I move forward to take a better look, curiosity taking over me.

"This is wrong!" he says sounding frustrated. "I should tell Shilpa that this is all for Ridhimma." My heart sinks. I know already. Of course, I know. My foolish heart, though, still feels like mourning. "This is wrong!" he repeats. "I am deceiving her by making her think that I am interested in her..." he whispers, conflicted, as he punches the bag again.

I feel the tears welling up at the corner of my eyes, but I try to gulp them down. No! I tell myself. This is not the right time to cry. Armaan needs me.

I move forward so he can see me. I look at him with bewilderment, actually feeling loss at what to say at first. He looks shocked and speechless. We just look at each other, hoping the other person would say something, a wall of pain and love separating both of us. I think this is the reason I am not able to move towards him and tell him that it is alright. So, I do the first thing that comes to mind. I smile. My smile seem to relax him a bit. He smiles back and opens his mouth for further explanation. Because I cannot take his rejection the third time, I start talking instead.

"I know," I whisper, hoping that my voice sounds as soft and devoid of hurt as I need it to be. He looks at me surprised at my sudden confession, so I continue. "I understand," I power on, but he is not convinced.

He looks at me and must see something in my expression. I smile again, "If you are doing this for Ridhimma di, then it's alright." I see him relaxing a bit as he hears my explanation. "Armaan, I am not hurt because you were using me, but I am hurt that you did not let me know." He slowly and guiltily looks down on the bare and cold ground. Because I cannot see the crestfallen expression on his face, I continue on, "but I will forgive you if we become friends." I pause a little and add, "for real this time".

He looks up, hope evident in his eyes. He moves his hand forward in an attempt to offer a handshake, but I don't take it. "No, aise nahi!" I say.

He looks at me, confused when I smile again. The, suddenly, I hug him. His body stiffens at first, perhaps due to shock, but, eventually, he reluctantly hugs me back. After few seconds too long, I move back and exit the room with a smile.

As soon as I walk out, I feel the tears prickle at the corner of my eye. Before it begins to flow down my cheeks, I make my way towards the terrace. I close the door to have a moment to myself. I do not usually cry this viciously. However, it hurts to be rejected so many times. Perhaps, what hurts more is that I lied to Armaan.

I look up at the bright sky, and think, I am sorry Armaan. I lied to you. I knew you will not be able to hear those words. It hurts. Yes, it hurts to know that I was just a tool, but, right now, you need me more than my anger towards you. I want to be there whenever you need me. Even if it is not as a lover but a friend.

My sobs slowly turn into ugly hiccups. There is one and only thing that I can hope. I can only hope that you are able to move on with your life, and forget Ridhimma di. I can only hope that my love reaches you some day. I can only hope that you move on, not with me but with someone else because saying "I love you" and confessing my love to you is forbidden for me.



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