Friday, 21 June 2019

Part 5: The Green Blue Hues (AR ff)

 Meaningful Words

 Riddhima sat in her room, looking at the photo frame in her hand. It was a picture of herself and Armaan, taken a year ago at a local amusement park they had all gone to. They both had just gotten off a roller coaster ride and were in splits, Armaan's arm was around her shoulder and they both were looking at each other, huge grins on their faces. They hadn't even known that Rahul was taking a picture of that moment. The perfect moment.

She sighed and put away the frame, picking up her cell-phone and checking it for the umpteenth time. It had been two days since Armaan had left, and he hadn't contacted her at all. She was very worried for him, and wondered how and where to contact him. Then a fresh idea it her brain and with a huge grin, she got up from her bed and went towards Armaan's room.

It was her only chance to go into his room today. Tomorrow, she would be shifting over to Rahul and Muskaan's place, as Rahul had finally persuaded her, though she still had her doubts. She went over to the cabinet where she knew he kept all his important papers and looked for a diary. After rummaging for ages, she found an old diary lying at the base of the drawer, under all the files. Taking it out, she went through the pages and finally got the number that she wanted. Smiling triumphantly, she walked out of the room, holding the diary.


As soon as Armaan walked out of the ward, everyone stood up and looked at him in anticipation. He looked around at everyone, and with tears in his eyes, gave a small nod.

Everyone burst out into happy cheers and rushed into Padma's room, while Armaan walked down the corridor slowly. He was happy that her mother's operation was successful, and had just come out of the ward after talking to her. Heaving a sigh of relief, he sat on the chair and closed his eyes. It had been 2 days since he had slept. Since he had arrived, he hadn't set foot outside the hospital. He had been able to spend a lot of time with Padma, and the recent meeting had been most memorable. He smiled as he remembered it.


He had sat next to her for hours end, waiting for an indication, a sign that she was waking up. The operation had been successful and the doctors had been able to take out all of the tumor, but they weren't sure of the consequences until she woke up. Looking at her weak, frail, loaded with pallor face, he took hold of her hand and sighed. Just then, he felt her hand tremble under his and looking up, he saw her open her eyes slowly.

Padma: (in a croaked voice) Ar-maan….(looking at him)

Armaan sat next to her on the bed, tears of happiness welling up in his eyes. Padma smiled back faintly at him.

Armaan: thank God Mom…thank God you are fine…(kissing her hand) maine kaha tha na apko kuch nahi hoga…

Padma smiled and nodded back at him. Armaan's tears ran down his cheek., and Padma lightly brought up her hand to his cheek and wiped them away, then slightly slapped his cheek, smiling.

Padma: chal…itna barra ho gaya par rona nahi chora tu ne…huh???

Armaan smiled between his tears, and then leaned forward and pulled Padma into a bear hug. She hugged him back, at last content and happy with her life.

Padma: (pulling back from the hug) aur wese bhi…ab ronnay ka kia faida…itney saal to ma ki yaad nahi ayi…aur jab thori si bemar parr gayi to bhagta hua agaya…(folding her arms)

Armaan: Momm….come on…ap ko to pata hai na ke university life kitni tough hoti hai…aur wese bhi, you should be proud…your son now holds an MBA degree from the top college of London…(winks at her)

Padma: haan haan pata hai mujhe kitna laiq hai tu…harr saal to tu maths main fail hota tha…

Armaan snickers, then bites his lower lip and swallows a hard gulp in his throat.

Armaan: Mom…promise me…ab ap humain aissay chor ke nahi jayengi…hum sab kitna darr gaye thay…(holds her hand near his cheek)

Padma smiles with tears in her eyes

Padma: I promise beta!!!

Armaan: I love you Mom….(lays his head in her lap)

Padma: I love you too…(ruffles his hair and then bends down and kisses his forehead)


He was so much lost in this memory that he didn't see Divya coming out of the ward and walking towards him. He was brought out of his world when she tapped him on his shoulder. Looking up, he saw her standing before him, holding out her cell-phone to him.

He raised his eyebrows towards her, rubbing his face, feeling very sleepy.

Armaan: what, D??

Divya: A call for you…from London…(a smug look on her face, her eyebrows lifted a little)

Armaan: from London…?? Who is it..??(thinking, who would be calling me at this time, and whoa!! Why is D looking at me like that??)

Divya: I dunno…some girl named Riddhima…(her hand on her hip, her eyes questioning him)

Comprehension dawned on Armaan's face. He had totally forgotten about her, what with the operation and the two night stay in the hospital. He was so tired that he hadn't thought clearly for quite some time now. However, now, after hearing her name, he quickly jumped up and took the phone from Divya.

Armaan: Oh my God!! Ragz!! I totally forgot about her…(taking the phone from Divya)

The excitement and the happiness that reflected on his face after hearing the voice of that certain girl on the phone did not go unnoticed by Divya. She quietly stood and waited for Armaan to finish talking to her, after which she would do her half of the talking to him.

Armaan: Hello…Ragz??

Riddhima: Armaan?? Oh, thank God!!! Where the hell have you been? Have you got any freaking idea how worried I was?? No contact in two days? You scared the s**t outta me…I think I told you to ring me as soon as you reach there….and I realized I didn't have any of your contact numbers on me after you left…and God I was so scared about your Mom! How is she??? I hope she is fine….are you okay?? I have worried myself to death thinking whether you are alright or not…..i knew it was a bad idea letting you go alone…I should have come with you….

She rambled on and on and Armaan quietly listened, a slight smile on his face, his eyes twinkling wit happiness. Gosh, this girl was such a kid.

Armaan: hold it hold it….Ragz, I cant keep track of your questions if you go on that rate….slow down girl….(laughing)

Riddhima: (embarrassed) oh yeah…right…sorry…its just that I was so sick worried…

Armaan: I know baby…I know…I am really sorry I couldn't contact you earlier…I have been staying in the hospital since two days….haven't seen the face of the day all this time I have been here….and I stink of hospital smell and medicines…

Riddhima: eww…hehehe…

Armaan: oh and I am sorry I didn't give you any contact number either…hey, wait up, where did you get this number from?

Riddhima: (snickers) well actually na…I went to your room and looked for this really old diary I remembered you used to have…you had all the contact numbers written in it before you bought that hi-tech blackberry of yours which I cant understand for the life of me…so I found that diary and called up at your home…from where I got this number…

Armaan: hmmmm….you will never let go of that bad habit of yours…sneaking into other people's room and looking through their things….(rubbing a spot on the floor with his toe, he was distinctly aware of a smug-looking Divya standing right next to him, listening to his convo)

Riddhima laughed

Riddhima: anyways, how is your mom now??

Armaan: she is fine…the operation was successful…they took out all of the tumor….

Riddhima: OMG!!! That's great…I am so happy for you…you must be really happy, na??

Armaan: yeah I am…anyways, enough about me….how have you been? You alright in that big house alone? When are you shifting to Muskaan's place?? (he bit his tongue as soon as he said it, he wasn't meant to say it aloud like that)

Riddhima: AHAA!!! I knew this was your doing…no wonder Rahul was so damn insistent…Armaan, seriously, some people would think a 23 year old girl like me is capable enough of taking care of herself….

Armaan: well…I say that a certain 23 year old girl like you needs to be taken care of like a 5 year old kid….(smiling into the phone)

Riddhima: Armaaaaaann…I am not a kid…(grumbling like a baby)

Armaan: haha…you say that, grumbling just like a kid….now stop pretending, you know yourself how much you need to be taken care of…and I will take care of you all that you want….and my not being there doesn't mean I don't get to take care of my girl…get it???

Riddhima blushed, and pushed aside the thoughts that came into her mind as he said 'my girl'.

Riddhima: (simply) I miss you Armaan….jaldi wapaas ao na….(speaking in a sweet, innocent way)

Armaan is touched by her words, and the way she said it, full with honesty and innocence, no pretence there.

Armaan: I miss you too baby….dont worry…main jaldi ajaun ga, I promise…tab takk, you promise me you will take care of yourself, ok??

Riddhima nods into the phone, as slight tears well up in her eyes. She was missing him like hell. It was so lonely out here without him. Her whole day started and ended with him, and she was missing out on a lot after he had gone. She couldn't believe it had just been two days, it seemed like two decades.

Armaan: and yeah….don't even think about laundering your clothes yourself, you remember what happened last time…ask Muskaan to help you…no eating out of the bowls, they make plates for that… eating Nutella with a spoon again…try tidying up that room of yours before you leave….no playing pranks with Nance in university…sit down and study hard for your last exam…..and don't you dare go roaming around at night after 10….I swear I will get on the next plane and teach you the lesson of your life if I get to know you did that, okay?? (Divya's eyebrows shot up even more, her eyes rolled, her smirk got wider)

Riddhima: yeah okay…(in a small voice)

Armaan: (in softer tones) and baby…stop crying right now…I know you miss me…but I will come back as soon as I can…I will call you up tomorrow myself, from my own number…okay??

Riddhima: okay….(wiping away her tears, amazed at how well this guy knew her)

Armaan: I will hang up now…D's waiting for me…take care Ragz…

Riddhima: you take care of yourself too…bye…

Armaan: bye…(smiling, he hung up the phone and sighed)

As he turned to hand over the phone to Divya, he was surprised to find her looking at him like that. He ignored her looks and stretched himself, yawning.

Armaan: God, I am soooo tired…..D, I think I will head back home and hit the bunk…i haven't slept in 72 hours….(rubbing his eyes, then looked at Divya's expression) what?? Why are you looking at me like that??

Divya: who is she?

Armaan: who??

Divya: Armaan…I am talking about the girl you were talking to right now…(tapping her foot)

Armaan: oh, who….that's Ragz…umm..i mean Riddhima…

Divya: Kaun Riddhima?? (exaggerating and stretching the kaaaauuuunnn)

Armaan: ummm…she studies with me…and we live together…I mean, like there are 4 of us who share the same house….(smiles at her)

Divya: jiss tarah se tu uss se baat ker raha tha…wese koi apne inmate se baat to nahi kerta??

Armaan: D, she is my best friend. (looking straight into her eyes) the person I am closest to right now in my life….

Divya: sirf best friend hai?? Are you sure kuch aur….?? (sitting next to him)

Armaan: D, tub hi kia kia sochti hai yaar….hum log sirf bohat bohat achay dost hain…pura din saath guzarte hain, saath uthte bethte lie aik dusre ke itne close hain….

Divya: hmmmm…tu ne kabhi bataya nahi uss ke barray main…

Armaan: batana kia hai D….tum ne pucha nahi kabhi… puchna hai puch lo….

Divya: hmmmm…to kesi hai who??

Armaan: kesi hai ka kia matlab hua…?? Bohat achi hai…she is just….so different from everyone, you know?? (looks at her and remembering Riddhima, a slight smile comes on  his face)…uski harr baat itni alag hai…wo bilkul aik chota sa bacha hai….jiss ka itna khyal rakhna parta hai….harr who cheez jo ghalat hai, ussay who kerni hai….you see D, I am very protective of her..kyunki uss ne life main bohat kuch saha hai..she has had a very hard time…..aur kia bataun?? Ummm….woh mera bhi bohat khyal rakhti hai….see, out there in London, if there is one person I can say is totally mine, its her…our lives are so interconnected with each other that it seems we both share our lives….i mean, she was the one who cried her eyes out when she got to know about Mom, how sweet is that, nahi??

For the first time he actually looked at Divya during his long ramble on Riddhima. He hadn't meant to say so much, but when he talked about her, he just couldn't stop himself. Now, as he looked at Divya, he saw a small meaningful smile playing on her lips, her eyes softening.

Armaan: what?? Ab kia dekh rahi ho??

Divya: (shakes her head) kuch nahi…teri baatain sun rahi hoon….achi larki lagti hai…hum se kab milwa raha hai?? (hitting his shoulder with hers)

Armaan: kese milwaun…who to wahan London main hoti hai….she has never been to India….par main phone per tumhari baat karwa sakta hun, if you want to..(smiling at her concern for him)

Divya: hmmm…India nahi ayi to kia hua….invitation de de….apne friend ki itni barri khushi main shamil to ho gi hi na…

Armaan looks at her confused

Armaan: kia matlab?? Kaunsi khsuhi???

Divya: bhayi hum ne to decide ker hi liya hai…ab tu yahan ahi gaya hai…to sabse zaroori kaam to ker ke hi wapas jayega…iss baar tujhe nahi chorenge…(winks at him and stands up)

Armaan; zaroori kaam…kia matlab…D??

Divya: bachu, tayar ho jaa…aur apni Ragz ko invitation card bhej hi de…teri shadi to zaroor attend kere gi, haina??….(winking at him, she left towards the ward)

Armaan sits there, shocked out of his wits: SHAADI???


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