Thursday, 20 May 2021

Chapter 4 : The missing world (arsh ff)



Shilpa was forcefully dragged to the basketball court by the elder boys of the orphanage. When she was dripping the ball, it diverted its direction and hit someone's head. Her back was facing to him, but she figured out that undecided target, when the boys started hooting constantly, "Bullseye! Bullseye!"



Shilpa immediately showed them eyes to not hoot at the person while pressing her lips to force herself, to not laugh at their antics. But the boys kept hooting and she turned to see, who the ball hit.






Her smile vanished and her face become pale, when she came to know, who it was. She remained aghast; her feet, rooted on the spot.



Armaan too got stunned when he turned to inspect the player. He had never even imagined in his vaguest of dreams that it could be Shilpa. The whole journey, which he spent with her started re-creating in front of his eyes. He didn't have any idea, what was the name of their relationship, friends, colleague, competitors or something else.




The fact about which he has always been indebted to her was her unconditional support which had always been strength for him. But her last words, which he never believed "Saccha pyaar or Sacche dost kabhi door nahin ja sakte",but they kept echoing in his ears since a month.




Shilpa was also not untouched with this, in fact she was more affected than Armaan. His memories started revolving around in front of her eyes like a picture. She had started trying to live a life with his memories only, for his happiness after leaving Mumbai forever. But Alas! Destiny has decided something else, he was in front of her eyes and she was shocked.



"Di!", one of the boys shrugged her when she was lost in her own island.



"Huh!", she sighed coming back to the reality with a jerk.



She licked her lips as she has to face Armaan, whether with will or not, but she had no choice. Armaan too looked on the floor and paused there.



Shilpa indicated boys to leave the spot and carefully reached back to the orphanage and gulping down her fresh lump, she herself stopped at the spot.







Few Minutes Later



Shilpa was facing her back to him, as she couldn't resist glancing in his eyes, because if she did then he could easily figure out that four letter word, love for him in her eyes which she didn't want to.



The silence was soon broken by Armaan, as Shilpa was still in shock.



"Accha laga tumse milkar. After such a long time.", Armaan said pressing his lips.



Shilpa was standing like a stone, struggling with her inner turmoil and her eyes became moist.



"To be honest, I'd never thought that we would meet again", he admitted casually but Shilpa wasn't expecting this and a lone tear fell down from her eyes, which she easily hid from him.



And she immediately turned back to face him.



Armaan bit his lower lip and giggled, "Arey marna mat mujhe."



And he continued himself shrugging his shoulders, "I'd never thought this because, jis tarah tum gayi mujhe humesha laga ki kuch hua tha"



She took a sigh and shut down her eye lids as she didn't want to show her tears to him and again turned back.



"Arm--", she was about to call him with his first name but stopped and completed,



"Dr. Armaan Aise kuch nahi hai. My work was finished, I'd to leave anyhow!"



Shilpa gulped the saliva of white lie. She was trying to compose herself but Armaan, being unaware shocked her again, "But I want to admit, I didn't know but...par chahta zaroor tha tumse milna"




Shilpa's moist eyes widened when he confessed, which made her even weaker. Since, one month she was trying to live her life with his memories, but now he was there to express also or may be to make new memories, which was eating her from every part of her soul.



She was lost in her turmoil but he took her back in the senses, "Is anything wrong Shilpa? You okay?"



Shilpa nodded her head positively and tightened her fist to pretend herself strong in front of him.



She answered back, "Chahne ka kya hai Dr. Armaan. Hum sab kuch na kuch chahte hain...", she stopped herself and completed while pressing her lips, "Par har kisi ki chahat poori to nahin hoti. You are the lucky one", and she closed her eyelids.



"Lucky and me? You must be kidding", he laughed.



"What do you mean? Main kuch samjhi nahin.", she replied with confusion and faced him, finally.



"Leave it. It's nothing", he tried to avoid and changed the topic giggling, "So you are still torturing poor boys with your basketball training?"



Armaan's question made her laugh after such a long time. When she was laughing a strange feeling was knocking Armaan's door, but why, even he didn't know the answer to it.



"Haha! Haan", she replied back.



"Jokes apart, they wouldn't get a better trainer than you", he said with a little smile, which was on his lips after a long time, too.



"And how can you say this?", she asked confusedly.



"Baccho ko ek sabse badi bacchi se accha kaun basketball sikha sakta hai", he pressed his lips to not laugh, which remained her with wide open mouth.



"Aise mat dekho. You were worst than a child in Mumbai", he answered before she could bombard.



Armaan kept saying, "Poora Sanjeevani sar pe utha liya hota tha tumne. Aur jab bhi senior doctors aate, they to scold you, your expression was like this...", he paused for a second.



And continued himself while mocking, "I haven't stoten your chocolate bar"



Armaan laughed and Shilpa couldn't take her eyes from him and a beautiful smile adorned her face, as his happiness has always been her's.



Armaan finally stopped and asked, "Do you live in surrounding area?"



She came to her senses and hummed, "Hmmm!"



Armaan was smiling but his smile vanished when Shilpa asked him, "Vacations ke liye aye hain aap, Dr. Riddima ke sath?"



All the shades from Armaan's face were now missing, except yellow. He gulped down the fresh lump formed in his throat and tried to forget Riddhima's betrayal, rejection and the whole last month.



He mumbled in reply, "I'm not here for vacations", and completed himself while clenching his jaw, "Not at least with her"



Shilpa scrunched her brows with the puzzled reply of his. She again tried to ask while walking out from the basketball court along with Armaan, "Matlab?"



"Nothing I've to leave now. I hope we will meet later", Armaan said, at which she nodded her head in agreement.



They turned facing their backs to each other and bid a good-bye.



On the contrary, Shilpa said in her mind, "No Armaan! I hope we wouldn't meet again"



"We have to Shilpa. There are so many questions which I want to ask, about your philosophies regarding Sacchi dosti aur Saccha Pyaar", Armaan thought in his mind while walking and slipped out his hand from the pocket to make a fist.



Shilpa closed her eyes and muttered in the mind, "With so many difficulties, I was trying to forget you. But-But you are here again like a puzzle for me."



"Your exit was like a puzzle for me Shilpa, I want to know the reason behind it.", Armaan kept saying to himself in mind.



"Please Armaan! Tumhare aane ka reason jo bhi ho, chale jao na. Hum dono ko dard ke ilawa kuch nahin milega", she said to herself and tears rolled down on her cheek.



"Dard ke ilawa mujhe zindagi mein kuch mila bhi nahin, that's why I'm living a missing world", Armaan shrieked in his mind.



"I don't want to leave this Missing World. Let me live with your memories and go away", Shilpa's soul cried out loud.



They kept walking in opposite direction and with the opposite thoughts and hopes.





Sanjeevani Hospital, Mussorie



In her cabin, Shilpa's inner turmoil was still active but being a doctor it was her first priority to cure her patients. This whole month has molded her as a strong and a mature doctor.



She has left all her pranks and tricks in Mumbai only, with Armaan. But when Armaan came back her innocent laughter was again came back to her, in the morning.



Shilpa was fumbling her fingers as the whole basketball court incident was striking her mind constantly.



"Nothing has changed the basketball court, the kids and bullseye incident. All which has changed are circumstances", Shilpa murmured in her mind and she was lost in some other world.



But the time wasn't in her favor and her pager buzzed. She bit her lower lip that how she could forget to inform the interns while assigning their duties and about the new senior doctor of the hospital.




Shilpa pressed her temples and departed to the cabin of the dean, Dr. Aniruddh Sehgal, who called her via-pager.




Dr. Sehgal's Cabin

"Welcome doctor! I'm glad that you are going to be the next senior doctor of the hospital", Dr. Sehgal complimented to the new senior doctor standing in front of his eyes.




At the same time, the glass door of the cabin knocked by someone. Dr. Sehgal shifted his eyes in the direction of the door and found Shilpa.



He smiled and allowed her to enter.



Shilpa entered inside the cabin, the new senior doctor was in front of his eyes, but was facing his back to her. She creased her brows as she found it familiar.



"Well I'm even more proud! The best intern and one of the best cardiologists are here together under me", Dr. Sehgal complimented both of them again.



And he completed, "Dr. Shilpa, I guess there is no need to introduce both of you"



Shilpa scrunched her brows with confusion at which Dr. Sehgal replied, "Hmmm! After all you both know each other"



Shilpa was hell confused about all this and stepped forward to see the face of her new senior doctor. When her eyes fell on him, she became shocked.



"Dr. Shilpa, he is Dr. Armaan Mallik. As you already know!", Dr. Sehgal re-introduced her with the new senior doctor, Dr. Armaan Mallik.

Aditi

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