Thursday, 18 July 2019

AR one shot : .materialistic love

...Armaan Malik,"the" Armaan Malik has practically dug his own grave and could see no way out...the whole world seemingly a rattrap,had sucked out his enthusiasm for life's  little gifts,and eclipsed by the lust for power and fame,he had lost his soul,his love...his  ridhima.......and now,he's been  arrested....



                                         ********************************

The clocked chimmed away,but ridhima remained fixed to the sofa,oblivious of every thing else....

She knew there was no way ,she could have changed the happenings,but still her guilt over powered the practicality....here she was sobbing away in an unknown city,with a man who's a complete stranger to her....who could have thought that life could play such cruel games with
her...ridhima,who's life once consisted of the monotonous art galleries and exhibitions,experienced a totally new side of it in the company of Armaan...The luxuries of life which has illuded her since existence,suddenly found  ripening whole-somely....

Ofcourse,she wondered...how's he so rich..?...he bought almost her whole exhibition the first time he set foot in it,and since then has been showering her with praises and expensive gifts ..but never disclosed his profession...ridhima bugged him to no ends,but would get a glossy answer all the time....but never had she been felt so wanted in life,and putting aside all her nevousness,she ventured out for the unknown with armaan....dates,movies and dinner....thats what her life consisted of  for about a year,till armaan proposed her for marriage....

Marriage..what an alien world that seemed like...committment,love and adjustments...all of them seemed impossible to churned together,yet,by now,ridhima was dazzled by the gold earings and the  diamond necklaces in her closets,and yearned for more of them desperately....

Ridhima and armaan had a quick marriage,and a quiet one for that matter,because both of them had no  families,and had a very few close friends..Ridhima did ask him whether his colleagues wont be invited,but armaan didn't seem very excited at that prospect,so she gave up...

The life after marriage was blissful,they had  an eventful honeymoon ,and soon ridhima was expecting their first child....

                                  *******************************************



"Ridhima,you need to get some sleep,and you look bad..."....abhimanyu kneeled besides a crying ridhima and stoked her hair with concern...

"look,armaan doesn't deserve you,he's a bloody theif....!!!....so stopped wasting your precious time thinking about that rogue....!!!.."...abhimanyu said angrily...

A disheartened ridhima looked up....

"you know what...i never really fell in love with armaan,it was all about the glitz and glamour which pulled me towards him....i fell in love with his money,not him...i was the one who pestered him for gifts on every date...i was the one who noticed his new golden watch,but failed to notice the sweats on his face..it was me abimanyu...!!!...-"  hic "-iam responsible for every thing....armaan's arrested because of me,my foolishness,my jealousy,my insecurity....!!!..."..ridhima broke down in his arms,while abhimanyu simply maintained his stance...

"no ridhima,armaan showed you all those false dreams,all those aspirations..which were a far cry fro mreality...it was him..!!..."

Ridhima literally shouted...

"NO...!!....it wasn't him..you dont know any thing..!!...you wont even let me meet him..!!!...who are you..?you don't  even know me properly...!!!...."...

Abhimanyu smirked...

"look who's talking...!!...if you don't remember,you have been my neighbour for almost 3 months..and we have practically spent a whole night together..!!!...and you say who am i..?"

Ridhima looked up disgusted,disgusted at every thing happening around her,disgusted of her self,of her life....

PAST

                        ***************************************************

It was ridhima's 2nd month of pregnancy,and her glowing face said it all....yes,last night's fight still played on her mind,but like every other day,she chose to ignore the negativities and thought....

"armaan must be armed with like dozen of gifts to make up for yesterday..!!!..."

Just then the bell rang,and ridhima excitedly ran forwards to open door,but maintained a stoic composure....

Armaan walked in,tired and disgruntled for some reason..he didn't even acknowledge ridhima or look at her properly,just walked in and sat on the sofa...

Ridhima frowned...

"armaan..?whats the matter..? look up,look up baby...!!!.."...ridhima fondled armaan's hair,making armaan gaze at her intently...

But by then ridhima had seen enough,and she stumbled on the sofa...

"ridhima.what happened..?"..armaan rushed forwards....but ridhima simply gave armaan an hostile stare..

"look at your self in the mirror armaan....."..ridhima said...

Armaan checked himself in the mirror,and jumped profusely..the lipstick mark was still prominent on his cheeks....

"ridhima...see,its nothing like that..trust me.."..armaan began..

Ridhima blew up...

"nothing like what armaan..?its been over a year since i met you,and all the time i am the giving talking about my life and sharing my dreams with you...what have you done to gain my trust..?for god's sake,you are my husband...!!...and all i know is you work in a multi national company,and presumably earn enough for all these luxuries..!!.you have got no office-mates,no office functions to attend..nothing..!!..and now you come home with a lipstick mark,and still i am supposed to just trust  you..?..nothing doing armaan...!!..."...she walked away and banged the bedroom door on a hurt armaan's face...

Armaan broke down sobbing on the floor..

"i did nothing to earn your trust did i..??..you don't know  at what cost these luxuries have come..in what a big soup i am in...you don't know ridhima..and i love you too much to tell you the truth...".....

                                                                     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The sudden abortion didnot quite create the effect ridhima had supposed it would ...

Armaan did flare up and throw things all over,but he seemed too lost and pre-occupied to himself know what he's saying and doing....

In the end he just went away with "its your life look.."..leaving ridhima mystified...

                                                              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ridhima paced around the room,thinking aloud her  stark fears...

"armaan seems to be so lost these days..that lipstick mark,and now he has even stopped giving me any importance,he doesn't even speak to me properly...he has not gifted me any thing since ages...surely some thing is wrong...!!..he must be going around with some,oh,he must be...!!...."....

Armaan came home late that night,but straight away came to the point..

"ridhima,pack your bags,we are leaving for newyork in an hour...!!..."

Ridhima dropped the cushion and stood up..

"what..?"..

"ridhima,i have got an offer for a much better job,and i need to join it as soon as possible...so please...!!.."..armaan said and went to the bathroom..

Ridhima some how felt happy with all this..better job,better place,better money..and may be a better life free of those insecurities..!!...maybe whosoever this girl is ,she will be gone fro their life..!!..so ridhima happily got ready...

                                             ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It had been a month in the new city,but life had still been the same for ridhima...

The false promises,the false hopes..all of them were glowing up in the otherwise glum life of the couple...armaan remained absent for most of the days

Every thing had broken loose the day ridhima had seen armaan with a unknown girl in a parking lot..

On been questioned in the night,armaan refused to divulge in the details,leaving ridhima fuming with anger....ridhima's insecurities slowly took over every thing else,and soon she found solace in divulging about her troubled life with her neighbour,Mr abhimanyu modi...

She met abhimanyu in her floor corridor one night,when the lights had gone off suddenly and she had come out to enquire...abhimanyu had offered to stay with her till the light's came on..and sice ridhima was scared any way,she agreed....slowly over cups of coffee,she divulged all about her troubled marriage to abhimanyu...and it was he who suggested stalking armaan,some thing ridhima wasn't too sure of..but abhimanyu convinced her...

They sent a spy behind armaan for about a month,but couldn't find any thing worthwhile...armaan entered in a high profile building,and seemed to live their for the most of the time...

But then..that night changed it all....



It is raining heavily in the city of New York. The pounding sheets of rain have infused a certain uncanny sense of foreboding in the city. Two people are sitting and communicating in a cafe. Another person is eavesdropping on them. He listens carefully, as he has to report every small detail to the person who has hired him.



In other part of the city, the onwer of a Multinational corporation smirked to himself as he kept the phone down, he had finally got what he wanted. His man had done a good job. Just next to his apartment lives a lady. The doorbell of her house rings. She opens the door to see a man. He says, "I have the info"..





Ridhima broke down completely as abhimanyu divulged in the details....

"NO..NO...this cant be true...no....."..ridhima sobbed...

"yes ridhima,your husband is a bloody smuggler...!!..."..."drugs smuggler...."...

Ridhima sobbed hard....she couldn't take it...armaan,her husband a smuggler..?so all the comforts and luxuries provided by him were of  treachery..?....

Armaan entered the home late that night...the nights were on,but still there was dead silence in the room....

"ridhima ...?"..he slowly whispered....

He pushed open the bedroom door and choked with shock at what he saw....

"ridhima....!!!.."..riidhima was lying there in a pool of blood....

                                              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The doctor came out of the operation  theatre ,and informed them that ridhima was out of danger...

Armaan looked at ridhima through the blinds,and a lone tear left his eyes....the pain was highly evident on his face,but still completely hidden to the world..such was his love..his unconditional love for ridhima,which literally made him beg,borrow and steal...

The police offials had taken the words of the the detective agency and abhimanyu,and were waiting for ridhima to speak...

Armaan looked at ridhima through the blinds,unable to face the wrath of her eyes...yes,she did look at him when the officials asked if she had suspected her husband,but her face was devoid of any expressions..she just nodded her head in the affirmative...

The police officials arrested armaan,and he knew, there was no looking back for him...he had any ways lost  ridhima's trust,and there was nothing else left for him to cherish...

                                                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

PRESENT

Ridhima tossed around in the bed,the memories haunting her exixtence,now that armaan was completely away from her,all the good memories rushed out,leaving a pitiful  void inside...

"No".ridhima sat  upand thought...i never loved armaan..so why do i feel guilty for his deeds..its his life naaa..?.so why am i so upset...why..?..he betrayed me,broke my trust...and yet why do i cry for him...?..surely those slight pangs of unexplainable high heart beats  seeing a shirt less armaan meant nothing to her..it was only the credit cards which mattered right...?...surely the insecurity had more to do with the physical comforts of life than the fear of the loss of the only emotional support she had...?..yes,it was armaan who consoled her every time parents were mentioned..it was he brought smile to her face on every single occasion..but that wasn't a better prospect than those days when he gifted her those diamonds..or was it..???.....

"i must meet Armaan.."

                                         *********************************



Ridhima finally managed to seek permission to meet armaan from the jail authorities....



"armaan...."....ridhima called out ,facing his back....

Armaan didn't turn back...

"ridhima..in case you wonder that i am not turning back because i am ashamed of every thing,then no..thats not the reason....i love you ridhima.love you like crazy....i would do any thing for that smile on your face,even if it means i borrow money when i have no chance of returning it...ridhima ,trust me,i never thought i would have to do do smuggling,but i was totally bankrupt,and i couldn't bear the pain of imagining how you would react to this whole fiasco...but of course,i do know its the money which matters more to you than me,but what can i do ,i love you crazily..."..

Ridhima turned back,and collapsed on the floor...pity,it took her so long to realise what mattered to her....so long to know the fact visible to the entire world,that yes she did love armaan...she loved him dearly...and now it was because of her that every thing is ruined...she sobbed hard,causing armaan to turn back and rush towards her...

"armaan why do you love me..?..i am not worth it...!!...i don't deserve your love...its because of me that you are in this mess,and i cant help you......"..ridhima hugged armaan tightly and kept saying sorry...

Ridhima continued.."...destiny's so cruel towards me,first it stole my parents from me just when i realised their worth,and now,when i realise how much i love you..its too late...."....

Armaan released ridhima from his armaan,and looked at ridhima unbelievably...

"i love you armaan...i love you..."..ridhima confessed...while armaan apploaded the destiny for its cruel fate,the 3 words which he yearned for desperately from ridhima.had come at last..so what if its too late...but still,armaan's love had won over the materialistic pleasures of life,and ridhima had completely surrendered herself to him...

Armaan and Ridhima just remained in each other's arms for the rest of the time,forgetting about their past or future,just living in the present....

 Abhimanyu sat in his office  ,reflecting upon what he thought was a love story which the world will never forget..the images of ridhima hanging from the ceiling fan,and the same time the jail officials informing him that armaan had commited suicide,freaked him out....it was more than 2 months since armaan and ridhima died,and today was going to be a big day for armaan and ridhima...

Abhimanyu checked all the details of the painting exhibition,ridhima's paintings,and armaan's last wish...

He smiled...here was alove story which was eternal...though ridhima and armaan never really felt the essence of true love ,but their love still had a thousand words to speak for itself.....

 Anu

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