Sunday, 23 May 2021

Chapter 7 : The missing world (arsh ff)

Armaan opened his mail box, when it beeped and remain stun when his eyes fell on the sender's name, as Siddhanth Modi. He pressed his lips in the dilemma to open the message or not, but finally he opened the envelope icon to read the content.

Hi Armaan!!

Huh! I don't know, will you even read the whole message or not. May be you trash it before reading. And I wouldn't mind it too; after all we have hurt you.

Haal chaal nahin poochunga tumhara...tumhare jale par namak nahi chidak sakta... I am very ashamed!!

I didn't know! When did Riddhima demand for such a big sacrifice from you! But jab tak pata chala, you were not here...

You know what!! Riddhima wo hai jiski wajah se hum dushman ban gaye...ek doosre ko bina jane hi. And Shilpa was the reason of our unconditional friendship. She was a gem after all.

Dr. Shashank se pata chala that you and Shilpa are coincidently working together again!

You have always been desperate to know na! Why did she left Sanjeevani. I have promised her to not tell anyone, islie sirf ek hint de raha hoon...Pata nahi kyu

Uske jane ka reason tum the! Kyun aur Kaise ye tum usi se janna! After all it's her decision and right! Main nahi janta, why I am disclosing this...

I am sorry!!... I know it is not worthy...but still Riddhima ke husband ko nahi to apne dost ko maaf kar dena! Wo dost jise Shilpa ne tumhe introduce karaya tha.

I wish, you will find a new direction in this life!!

Loads of love and happiness

Armaan remain astonished when he came to know that Shilpa's reason for quitting Mumbai, was no one else than him.

His mind was constantly repeating one question, that how HE could be the reason for Shilpa's decision to quit Mumbai.

"Maybe, because I used her to make Riddhima jealous", he mumbled in his mind and started dotting the reason, which was nowhere.
Armaan sighed and shuffled his hairs and remained on the same spot with confusion and utter shock.

8.30 p.m. Sid's House, Mumbai

"I hope Armaan, you and Shilpa both get success in searching your Missing World!!", Sid said in his mind and collected himself from the couch.
But the same time an irritated voice called him, "Kya hai ye Sid!  Tum abhi tak ready nahi hue"

"I am sorry baby! I will get ready in less than 10 minutes", he replied to Riddhima and was about to peck her cheek, but she jerked his hand.

"Please let it be Sid! Now I am not interested to go out with you", she announced.

Sid creased his brows and said with disbelief, "Riddhima! It's our dinner date", trying to make her realize what was she blabbering.

"Date?", Riddhima sarcastically said and continued herself in shrieked tone, "Sid! Tell me which kind of date is this? Where the man has not even changed his outfit",

"Riddhima! It's not such a big issue", he retorted back being frustrated.

Riddhima jerked his hand and irritatingly said, "Tumhara humesha ka yahi hai Sid. Waise to tum koi plan banate nahi, aur agar banate bhi ho to humesha spoil kar dete ho"

Sid closed his eyes and caressed his temples to calm himself at her comment and sighed.

Whereas she continued herself in a single breath as she was lost in some other world which took an unknown smile on her face, "Do you have any idea date kaisi hoti hai.

 Tumhe pata hai Armaan humesha khud plans banata tha, mere liye surprises plan karta tha au---"

Sid turned to face her and retorted back in loud tone, emphasizing his each word, "But I am not Armaan. I am Sid, Siddhanth Modi"

He left her astound on the spot while announcing, "Now do hell with this plan"

Next Day, 9 a.m., Sanjeevani Mussorrie

Armaan entered the hospital in mixed emotions of confusion, shock and somewhere with regret, along with a question, and he wanted his answer as soon as possible.

"Shilpa left Sanjeevani, because of me!! But why", he mumbled in his mind.

He sighed and his mind kept battling, "I know, I was wrong. I used that girl for my advantage"

"Par jatey waqt usne mujhe apna saccha dost kaha tha!", his heart retorted back to his mind.

"Shilpa! Tum mujhe kabhi samajh nahi aaogi", he thought while closing his eyes.
He shifted his eyes and found the interns right in front of him on the nurse station, including Shilpa. He was desperate for his answers but not in the presence of anyone else, than Shilpa and him.

After assigning duties, he called Shilpa from behind, "Dr. Malhotra aap rukein mujhe aapse kuch baat karni thi"

Samrat coughed with a grin and said, "Ahan! To baat yahan tak pahunch gayi...akele mein baatein"

But with her deadly glare he ran away.

"Yes Dr. Mallik", she said when all the interns departed.

He look here and there and realizing the presence of staff he started saying, "Not here in my cabi--", but before he could complete himself the announcement stopped him.

*Dr. Armaan Mallik please report to Dr. Sehgal in his cabin*

He irritatingly rolled his eyes and said, "I'll talk to you later, it's important", and left.
Shilpa was confused that what did he wanted to discuss that too not in anyone else's presence.

"Again my reason to left Mumbai", she closed her eyes tightly pressing the temples.
"Why are you making all this difficult to me Armaan!", she thought in her mind.

12. a.m., Cafeteria, Sanjeevani Mussorie

Kashaf and Zaroon were enjoying their coffee and each other's presence. The same time, Samrat and Shilpa arrived, for a break.

Shilpa replied with a smile when Zaroon snatched the chair for her.

But Samrat being Samrat teased ZaShaf while snatching a chair for himself, "Arey wah! Do hanson ka joda bhi hai yahan!"

"Samrat!", both Zaroon and Kashaf smacked his head in unison and all the three laughed.

Kashaf noticed that Shilpa not the part of the conversation, but was lost in her own thoughts, so she asked arching her brow, "Now what happen to you again?"

"Nothing!", she denied with a fake smile and changed the topic, "Where is Gunjan? Dikh nahi rahi"

"Ah! She is assisting Dr. Mallik in a surgery at Hitler Sehgal's orders", Samrat replied.

Shilpa pressed her lips and thought, "That's why he didn't call me. Thank God! Nahi to fir wahi sawal karta, kyu gayi, kyu badali..."

Zaroon clasped his fingers in front of her face and teased, "Khayalo mein...Dr. Mallik ka naam sunte hi"

Samrat and Zaroon laughed in unison at which Kashaf scolded them, "You both are always ready for this bakwas! Pata nahi kisne doctor bana diya", and rolled her eyes.

And the same time, Gunjan entered after completing her surgery and everyone could notice her, except Samrat, as he was facing his back towards her.

"And you, Dr. Samrat Shergill! Stop making fun of others, you too have a girlfriend. Mr. Flirt!", Kashaf continued herself.

"Girlfriend? Who?", Samrat asked in confusion.

Zaroon and Kashaf grinned in unison looking at Gunjan, who was unnoticed by Samrat, "Gunjan!"

At which Gunjan blushed in crimson red shade.

"Hahah! Gunjan and my girlfriend!", Samrat laughed.

"Majak accha hai!", Samrat managed to say while laughing at which Gunjan's smile shrink.

Kashaf whispered noticing Gunjan's faded face, "We are serious"

"Really! Gunjan is not my type. We are friends but can never be in a relationship! She is such a, Ms. Padhaku", he explained clearing his each word without hesitation, which took tears in Gunjan's eyes.

His words forced Gunjan to run outside the cafeteria. Whereas, Samrat was still oblivious with the fact that Gunjan was present there.

Kashaf was about to inform Samrat regarding Gunjan's presence, but Shilpa eyed her to not and excused to persuade Gunjan.

Nurse Station

"Have you seen Dr. Shilpa Malhotra?", Armaan asked the nurse.

"Ah! She might be in cafeteria", the nurse answered.

"Thank you!", Armaan replied.

He was stepping towards the cafeteria and was eagerly waiting for his answers, the same time Shilpa's voice reached in his ears from a corner.

Shilpa was consoling Gunjan, facing him but he hid behind a pillar so she cannot notice him.

"It's okay Gunjan!", Shilpa said hugging her.

"How can I be okay? Main usse pyaar karti hoon...bachpan se, but he doesn't love me", Gunjan sobbed.

Shilpa caressed Gunjan's palms and replied, "I know you love him but he doesn't, par--"

But she stopped in between and hugged her to hide her own tears and completed herself in cracked throat, "Par jaroori nahi, hum jisse pyaar karein wo bhi humse pyaar kare"

And a tear drop fell down from her eyes to the floor, which didn't get unnoticed by Armaan.

Shilpa being unaware of Armaan's presence kept consoling Gunjan and finally convinced her to not show her tears to Samrat.

"You are right Shilpa! Love is not something to acquire", Gunjan agreed Shilpa and wiped her tears.

Shilpa's tears while consoling Gunjan was flashing in front of Armaan's eyes and he again get involved in a new question.

But he concluded roughly, "Gunjan is her friend so may be for her!"

1 p.m., Armaan's Cabin

"Please announce for Dr. Shilpa, that I am calling her", Armaan ordered on the inter-com to nurse station.

He was about to cut the call but the nurse's answer stopped him, "Sorry Sir! She has taken half day leave and left"

"With whose permission?", he sharply asked.

"Dr. Sehgal's", she replied back and Armaan was about to cut the call with frustration but stopped.

And he ordered the nurse, "Please fax her address"

The fax came after few seconds; he found the address familiar and realized that she live in his surrounding area, as she said in the basket ball court.

8 p.m., Little Angel's Orphanage

Shilpa was enjoying while playing with the kids of orphanage and running to catch them, when a tight hold on her arm snatched her from the spot.

Shilpa was frightened with the sudden hold, which took her in the corner and pinned to a pillar, all away from the crowd. She opened her eyes widely when a hand cupped her mouth to shush her, when she was about to shout for the help.

After opening the eyes she amused when she found none other than Armaan. She widened her eyes even more; their eyes met and forced them to stop in the same position, only God knows for how long.

But something took them back into their senses and Armaan took his hand back from her mouth and loosened his grip.

Armaan broke the silence, he arched his brow and asked sarcastically, "Yaha khel rahi ho baccho ke sath, aur hospital mein sick leave?"

"Wo! Ab better feel kar rahi hoon", she whitely lied.

In the reason, she took the leave to run away from Armaan and the question which he wanted to ask as she was sure that what it might be.

"Aap yahan?", she asked pressing her lips.

"I told you, its important", he grinned.

She caressed her temples and nodded in a yes.

He licked his lips and shifted his eyes on the floor, in search of words and finally tried.

"I don't know from where should I start...", he stopped in between and gulped down the fresh lump, "Shilpa! I am sorry"

She creased her brows and asked, "For?"

"For hurting you, using you to make Riddhima jealous", he replied with hesitation.

He kept continuing himself in a single breath, "And because of ME, you left Mumbai"
All the colors, faded from her face when she assumed that he know the whole truth now, which she wasn't expecting.

Armaan looked at her and asked, "Par us wajah se Mumbai chodne ki kya zaroorat thi...tum mujhe--", but before he could complete himself Shilpa turned his back to him to hide her tears.

She curtly said, "Main wo sab bahut peeche chod ayi hoon and I don't wanna discuss the past"

He replied, "But Why? I am at the fault, not you"

"No you were not", she replied.

"How?", he asked with crunched brow.

She shut her eyelids and replied grabbing the strength, "Beca-because this wasn't the reason"

Armaan astounded at her half confession and realized that if his assumption was wrong then what the real reason was.

So he asked without having any idea, "Then what was?"

She remained silent so he held her from the arm and jerked.

"Riddhima jese behave karna band karo for god's sake...Tum Shilpa ho Riddhima nahi", he crushed his teeth and again pinned her on the pillar, holding her arms tightly.

"Main Riddhima kabhi ban bhi nahi sakti", she whispered with moist eyes and tried to loosen his hold, but was not getting success.

He whined, "Haan! Because you cannot be so mean like her"

He clenched his jaw and tightened his hold even more, "To please Batao mujhe agar yeh reason nahi tha to what was it?"

A tear drop rolled down her cheek and she kept on loosening his grip.

"Tell me Shilpa! Main tumhe itna affect kyu karne laga ke tum itna door aa gayi...khud ko badal liya poori tarah aur--", he exclaimed and shouted in a loud pitch.

"Jese tum Riddhima ke liye aa gaye! Uske liye badal gaye. ", she shouted in frustration and finally succeeded in jerking his grip.

He pressed his lips tightly and started yelling, "I left Mumbai because I love--", but stop in the middle when he came to his senses and realized what Shilpa said and remained rooted to the ground.

The fresh tears kept rolling down from her eyes and she chocked, "Because I - I lo-love you Armaan"

"I love you", she kept saying and knelt down on the ground, while crying constantly.
Whereas, Armaan was in surprise would be an understatement, he was shocked and left standing like a lifeless stone.


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