Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Ar os : HUMESHA - ALWAYS.


"Armaan," The name which is as functional in my life as my heart beat. Through thick and thin, his prescence in my life was always comforting and is still alive, albeit of all that we went through, irrespective of the years which passed by together by each-others side or in forlorn isolation, shieng and shunning pleads of our own insurgent hearts.


 Eyes that had surrendered to his charms, wonderstruck as they had found him on the very initial glance on the stage of our College Fest, dancing to a popular track of dhoom2. There was an instant feeling of attraction I, had sensed in the corner of my credulous heart. His perfect moves, moonwalk style, flips and summersaults did cast a magical spell on me..But his Dimpled smile, and pale skin with those Blue pair of eyes bewitched me, and I felt myself drowning in their deepth since ages. But it never probed further, my mind never let my heart rule. Since my childhood, I had learnt to crown my mind as the ultimate Emperor of my Life, and heart was a mere subordinate minister. Though it is believed that Ministers are the one who actually are the epicentre of Emperors mind..the best example can be Akbar-Birbal..But I never let that thought overpower me.



Days and Night came and gone, seasons slowed down making way for others, and nothing seemed to change eventually. It was the end of the first year, these eyes still wandered to him..but I had a self control, and even if I din't, I knew how to cast one. Soon time flew by, and we started our second year. I had never in my dreams imagined to live to see this day in my life….But I did!


 It was the very  first day of my second year of college and I had broken the heels of my chappals  on the  way to my College. The june sun and summer was not helping my condition either though it was time for the first showers there was no clue for it yet. There  came Armaan, and offered me lift. Destiny I think had planned it this way for me... initially defying him,  accusing him to be looking for a chance to flirt..I pretended to be egoistic and hauty..just so he couldn't see through me. I din't wanted him to discover my real feelings if I had any!..and then, We had our first fight..but nevertless at the end I had no option but to go with him.


I never had realised that moment that he was my Saviou-.my Prince in shining Armor…who was destined to help out this Damsel in Distress for-ever and ever and ever. He was like my Ninja boy, who stood by me ALWAYS.   After that we quite often Bumped into each other inspite of my all hardwork to resist it. We soon turned out to be best-friends, and also discovered a new leaf in each others life -A side which no one could have seen but only the one who are really very close to us just like our ownself.  The initial attraction had started to fade giving way to a different coherent Bond.


Armaan,  and I were like two sides of same coin..Opposite Yet Inseperable and Bonded by law of nature. Armaan proved to be the best-of-friend and his humane side were incredible to me.He was the one who stood by me at the time when I lost my Mom..he turned out to be my Fairy-God-Mother..or Surrogate mother. Ammy..his nick name..But It meant to me more than that..For me it was Amu or Amma - word used to address your mother, as I had christned him… Since that day, I never cried may be just sometimes missed my 'real' Mom, but still content to have had a 'substitute' one my Amu and I was his 'baccha'.


 When looking back in those pages of my past memories, I still recall him running behind me to have my juice  and plate filled with sandwiches since, I had turned weak with the lack of appetite..… OR..him scoliding me when I had once tried to smoke as I had heard my friends claiming it to reduce pain and stress in life, stealing  uncles packet of ciggeratte. But  Alas! My Karamchand Jasus had found me coughing in our College ladies washroom alone and then I had to be his slave for a whole week in punishment working my a** out… Then again when I was disturbed due to Muskaan marrying off and leaving the country, it was him who helped me rest my head in his lap, and snuggling to him I fell asleep, while he stayed up whole night caressing, and comforting me in that camp-fire during our college trip. My life took several unlikable turns in couse of years,I transformed from a sweet-shy-meek-loving -girl  to  an independent-sharp-extrovert-buisness woman…and all along Armaan stood by me shielding me from the stroms, and walked with me like my shadow.


When  Aryan asked me out it was him who pushed me to take a chances….he was the one who convinced uncle for our marriage. Smiling to the mirror when i sat across my dressing table, clad in the Red wedding lengha adorned with jewellery..wasn't it him who was running and juggling downstairs looking out for the arrangements for the groom-side. Decending the steps, to step into a new  and alien world, with a new Man… when the other 1000 eyes  stared at me with expectations to fulfil my side of duties..Din't those pair of eyes belonged  to him in that whole hall, which just wanted me to be happy and safe..they conveyed it all wordlessly to me even when i bid a tearful aideu to my  Uncle-Aunt and relatives. His soothing words and hug silently promised me to be by my side, when-ever I felt the need.


The moment  when i had lost every hope,  shattered like a piece of vase broken brutaly Never to be recovered,  the next moment i had found Armaan by my side as Always.. But this time he had gone a step ahead by crossing the distance of seven oceans,  to be by my side to comfort  and support me, to share my pains he was there as Always leaving behind every single possession just for me Unlike my husband who had left me just after months of our Marriage on a  Journey alone to never return back . Why was it like that Always, I never knew. Why? Every one who I Loved left me alone, to never come back..First  was Papa-he  left me when i need him to lend me his hand and fingers  and guide me to put my first step in this World..then my Mom, when she had to be my Best-friend and Confidant and Now Aryan who had Vowed to be by my side till my last breath, to protect me, shield me against all the stroms….but yet again, he too had left my side as others had in past.


I remember those days…I hadn't shed a tear since Aryan's death. I had turned into a stone, a mechanical  who had an external machine like body,inanimate, but no heart, no emotions left within..I  was harsh, cruel, firecy tounged, unempathic…I hurted Every creature around me. I still remember how I had lost touch and support from all My dear ones-my relatives as they claimed themselves to be…BUT alas, HIM…Armaan!!!


The person I had Hurt the Most was the one who Never left me even for a single day..I remember how I used to curse him, accuse him, I proclaimed his caring to be just an act..or probably Pity or a hidden agenda behind all this…but never once was there any restrain, complain or angest by his side. He never left me to fetch for myself. Instead, he called me atleast 10 times a day asking about my whereabouts indirectly, without reveiling it..but I knew the reason. Showing up at completely odd hours to check on me several times during Nights too, just to confirm I was alright. He dragged me out for dinners, shopping and movies inspite of my defiance just to distract me,  pull me out of my sorrows, and shell... SHELL..This indeed was the Right word for me. I had recoiled myself in a shell..I knowingly insulted people around me, who loved me or cared for me, just so that I may not get attached again, cause I feared ..I feared their Loss..I feared to be left alone once again….and I think he knew that…Ofcouse he knew..he had Always known me better than I knew myself…this was the fact I had realised during my growing years.If I m not wrong, I think he could almost read me like an open book, and byfar he was the only one to succed.


Despite, of my repproach he continued to nagg me, but  secretly I started to Love it. I don't know when but suddenly, he became more than a  Best-friend…or my Surrogate Mother to me or was he always. I still don't understand  if I Love him for  what he was doing for me Now!..How could I not love him before?..It was then, that I realised that I had fallen for him much before I would have actually known the meaning, and importance or essence of the word LOVE in my life…the difference only was that I had never realised or acknowledge this feeling..but now I have…and I just want to run into his arms right now and hug him tight, and that's what I did..but the only difference was that I did all that in my dreams till this day from the time I'v discovered these feelings in me.


 If you think I never did that, cause I thought I don't deserve him, or he deserves someone better…than NO ….It was not the reason for my repel. I m a 21st century girl, and I do believe a woman have every right to have a second chance in life, and freedom to choose her way, and enjoy life to the fullest. But I m afraid to Lose him, to lose Armaan like I have lost every one in life. What if he doesn't feel the same?..I m not afraid of rejection..but what if it will affect our Bond of friendship. I still remember how he has been with me in all my tough times, never demanding   anything in return..but the Unconditional Love ,care and support he has showered me with is my Priceless possession, and I don't want to loose that Armaan. This Riddhima can live with her one sided love burried, and sealed in her heart for ever, but the thought of loosing HIM…the thought of not being able to see him every day..inability to hear his scolding , pleading or soothing, the thought to not be related to him, even as a friend was like a Nightmare to my wary eyes, which had faced and experienced enough of harsh facts and reality and now din't had any willing to have more.


OMG!! it is almost 11 pm and he still is not here…where could he be?..he din't even called me once after  last night. Where is he?...'The No. you are trying to call is not answering..plz leave your message after the beap'… I sighed in frustration.


"Ar..Armaan..where are you?...plzz call me as soon as you can..plzz Armaan…Plzz!!"...i was almost tearful, when i couldn't reach him even after trying his cell for the upteenth time.Alas!.. i left the message.


"Armaannnnnnnn"..that was my first word as the sigh of relief washed over my face. I was staring at the Night sky which appeared like a new bride today, with simmering stars adorning its veil, and the full-moon adding to the glow with it's silvery light. It felt like the night was special or festive..but nothing seemed special to me, cauz at that moment there was only one thing which engagged and gripped all my interest, and that was Armaan himself. When my gaze fell on him dismounting his BMW, I instantly wanted to jump down to reach him without wasting any precious moment, but heck my sane mind reminded me of the darn Hospital i will have to visit, if i acted hasty and inpatient. But the very next moment, I had surrendered to my Next impulse, and had flewed down the stairs. banging the doorway just to land in those arms. Armaan as of in a reflex hugged me..still confused  at my acts..but the next moment became all alert sensing my sobs, and my silent tears making their way down from the curve of his neck to his chest, wetting his shirt in proccess. A chill ran down his spine, as he felt those hot tears come in contact with his cold body like dew-drops on the surface of parched leaves and petals with the arising dawn.


 Armaan tried to tear away from the hug to talk to me or even ask me the reason for my state..but i never let him go..i clung to him like a vine..not wanting to let go off him for ever. Yes!..I was afraid ..what if it was just a dream as Always.. what if I loosened my grip, and  and he disappeared in the thin air, as he had many a times since that evening. With a sudden caution, he stepped a bit back still holding me, and then smothly lifted and cupped my face, which had been buried in his neck a while ago, just to to witness the blood-shot eyes of mine. At that very moment I felt my pain in those eyes, it looked like he had experienced jab in his heart, which hurled shaft after shaft . It pained him to see me in that state…I could tell…But never had I been able to notice their Depth until this day…and this fact somewhere sent a fluttering feeling inside me.


Unable to withstand those pirecing eyes, I tore my eyes from his, averting them when out of the blue..I felt him peck my forehead gently . The feeling of his cold lips between my brows awakened my senses,,it always did. It made me believe that it was really him, and I wasn't hallucinating…but still I never wanted to leave him. I was feeling a bit drizzy all of sudden may be cause I had skipped both my meals, and I don't exactly remember..but have a faint memory of him carrying me, in his arms in the house,, and in my room. I remember mumbling a lot of things to him  asking him about his whereabouts, and how I was afraid to loose him today ... about how every one, whom i loved always left me alone..and how i never realised i LOVEDDD… WHAT????


OMG!! I gasped as i woke up with a start. Sweating I rolled down from my bed, throwing away the comfortor, I had been tugged in a few while ago. The morning rays seeped through the drawned curtains,  and dispersed like naughty kids around the par corners .But I had no time to admire the blissful morning scenario, instead I dashed out in search of Him! I was sure it wasn't a dream..atleast a part was not..may be the last bit was my dream..but I had a feeling that everything wasn't.


After what seemed like eternity, i slumped in my couch in the living room. He was no where to be seen. I had searched for every corner of house. May be he had left last night after dropping me to my room, tugging me to bed. Well, that was the most obvious thing. He had never stayed over night at my place more than twice, in the entire 7 years we had known each other, and the times he had, it was only for my sake when he felt i needed him. Sighing, I shut my eyes, and leaned back on the couch with the support of  head-board.

Click.

Moaning slightly,reluctantly I open them as the blooming sound of my front door open regestired inside me .Tilting my head, to glance at the direction of the sound..I sat straight, and then my eyes met his. I for the first-time found something strange in them, but couldn't point out what? I saw him approach me, with bags full of groceries I assumed. Crouching down, he placed them on the floor, but his eyes never left mineI and for some weird reason..i too couldn't bring myself to pull back even when I wanted to do that so badly. A mischevious smile crept over those broad rosy lips, the one I had seen him with, whenever he was vey excited or planning or conspiring about something or someone. As I was lost in my thoughts, I ceased to register, when he came and slumped on the couch beside me. There was nothing intimating in this act. It was normal to me, as we were always this close sometimes in past and even today,maybe not much after my marriage to Aryan…but this time, his eyes potrayed something deep, which unsettled me or was it me who was reading too much?


"Armaan?...You're still here or you came just now? Anywas, It's 9.30 already.. Aren't you getting late"


I started glancing at him as he sat just beside me, only to be stopped and stunned by his next words.


"I think I m. But Now I don't want to be anymore."


Me ofcouse couldn't make out any thing of that statement. Well, I could have humored myself that he had just answered my previous question….. But ….the glint in his eyes, the tone he had used, the sensation which I had felt with his wisper in my ears, and his slow breath which was still kissing, and grazing these ear and neck of mine, as he was leaning on my side, forced me to think otherwise.


"A.Armaan!" I tried to speak chocking  on word, as I felt myself loosing my wits, with his empowering and intimating presence.


Shhh!....Like a caress of fingers on the velvety cloth..his fingers brushed aginst my lips, before a firm index finger landed on my lips to enclose them.


"I love you..and I know you too do!"


Moments passed, he released me but din't dared to make a move, probably…  afraid to alter a sudden unwanted reaction from my side, May be wanting me to absorb those words, and there was a ringing silence in the room. It seemed like the sea which appeared  lonely,calm and settled to every eye,  a while ago, turning out to be a turbulent  maddening typhoon..I too felt a rush of thoughts and emotions inside me


"Riddhima"..Armaan lightly tugged at my elbows as if in an attempt to get some reaction from the suddenly still body.


"Huh? " I still was stunned with his confession for him, as well as mine side.. I din't knew if i had heard him right!..And if it is!...Then how?..why?..when? There was so much to say ..so much to ask…but at that moment, there was nothing my mind could register after the words I had heard.


"Riddhima,"…Those cold palm lifted from my arm, and now marched towards my cheeks,  which had turned pale by now.  His Blue were drowning in my Green  one's and vice-versa, caressing my cheek with the back of his palm, and as if in a reflex..i closed my eyes. He held my one hand in his, and squeezed them bringing me back  again, continuing with all innocence he could gather, in his words, and his eyes...."I know you are shocked …but believe me it's true I LOVE U..not now but since the first time I had seen you at our  first College Fest." Naturally, my eyes widened at this,and why wouldn't they? it was like a feeling of dj vu..Now, I was more than curious to know it all, and so my eyes probed him to continue..he as Always got my point without me having to word them out..


"I remember there was a problem in the audio-system before my performance, and the crowd was going all Bonkers yelling, and cribbing..and that while youwere the one, who had stepped in, and offered to play Mandolin on that DDLG song to keep them entertained for a while since our crew could manage to tackle the problem. I had seen you through that curtain for the first time.I had at that instant felt Indebt by you . No one in my life had I ever known to be so selfless and helpful without any interest of his or her involved, and the fact that you had done that without having any clues of what help it had been for me was enthralling to me..I had felt an instant attraction towards you. When you played that song on your Mandolin..I felt myself transpire into another world, with just you and me..but I avoided those feelings,  and thought the best way to get rid of this is to be-friend you but never had a chance. Then, as if God heard my pleads on the very first day of our second year..There we got introduced formaly and then it all started.. I purposely bumped into you all the times. Soon we got along..but I never knew when this feeling grew more over m,e when I was expecting it to fade away. Now, It was not infatuation or attraction..but Love I fell in Love with the person you are..rather than your external beauty."


"Armaan! " I looked at him and stood up from the couch, slowly distangling my fingers with him. Walking a bit away, trying to take in what all I  heard.No doubt, I had heard the most pleasant words in my life..but I still had her own doubts.


"Why din't you confess before Armaan?..and..and Why Now all of sudden?"...this was the question I had had at tip of my tongue, even before he had been narrating his side of the story, deep down elated somewhere in realization that my Love was reciprocated.

 Armaan sighed as he looked up towards the direction of sky, as if asking for some strenght . He knew this question will arise."I..I tried confessing my feelings many times..but but I feared the result. I never had got any love out of my family you know that..but I found that caring, and love for me in the your eyes, and your family. I always considered your mom as mine, and she too took me as my son..your uncle and aunt , your cousins Atul, Muski, Anji bhabi and Rahul jiju..I saw them as min,e as much as yours... You gave me so much happiness in life, I can never forget. But I feared if I confessed and you never felt the same..I might loose all of them along with you."


Armaan saw me hearing him with rapt attention, pondering over the irony of fate, at the similarity of speed-breakers in our lives. There was still one question lingering in my head, which needed to be answered..but before that he wanted to confirm his answer.

I again felt Armaan take hold of my hands as he once again locked his eyes with me.


You Love me Riddhima?..This time it wasn't a rhetorical statement but a hidden question, garnished with seeds of hope in those words. I could feel the desperation, and craving in his voice, and all I wanted to do at that moment was to pull him tightly in a hug, and snap his head then scream.'.Ofcouse you Stupid Donkey..I do Love you'…But my girly side took the better out of me and I just managed a blushing bashful Nod and mumbled a simple…Yes!


The very next moment, I found my self in his arms, crushed against his arms, and body getting showered with Kisses, alternately on my hairs, ear and neck. We both had  our eyes  glittering with tears of joy, as he lifted me off the ground, and spun me clockwise then anti-clockwise like,  a small kid plays with his doll when he is in high spirits. That was exactly the case with Armaan, he giggled and cheered in joy like a toadler, making me giggle with him at his excitement.


Riddhima you made me the happiest man in world today…he told me putting me down finally,  leaning towards me to kiss me

Just today? I thought now you will be happy man forever..You know like the Bolly-wood style AND They lived happily everafter…I  put my fingers on his lip trafficing his way and chided trying to tease him.


Holding my palm on his lips, kissing every inch of my fingers sensously, making my cheeks go all rosy he leaned this time close to my ears and started.


Well … U r Right!...you have made me the happiest man in the world today"..his lips brushed my earlobe, making my lips quiver, and shut my eyes intact as he continued …"and the happiest Slave for ever…cause after you enter my life..I won't be able to call my self a Liberated Man..But a Caged Slave of Her Highness."

I was so lost in his melodious wisper that Before I could get the real essence behind  those words and react, he had slipped out of the living room with the bag of groceries, heading towards the Kitchen.


Frowning I followed him still mad at myself to be such an easy prey..but that  frown couldn't hold it's place on my face, as a glowing smile gave it's way, when I saw Armaan, trying to spread the mixture of eggyolk and chopped vegetables on the pan sticking his tongue out, with wrinkled nose, when he couldn't manage to spread it in a perfect circular manner. He had the knack to entertain people with his regular antics..I blushed thinking of having the chance to witness several such antics throughout my life.


"Let me do that". I took the bowl in my hands, and smiled at him, before turning my attention towards the half burnt omlet. Armaan,smiled sheepishly a bit relieved,  as I took the charge, while he jumped to the counter mounting himself there with legs crossed and chin resting on his entwined fingers, observing me my every move, as I cleared the pan to prepare the fresh omlet slicing bread on one side. I corked my eye in question.

"I promise to make you a delicious omlet everyday after we get married."


I had to chuckle at this, thinking of him cooking even if it was an omlet. I vividly remember him making Sandwiches and juice for me in my life ..but the thought of lighting a gas gave him Night-mares.


"And why is that?"..I asked now controlling my self, as I found him offended…Awww.. he looked so cute even sulking and those pouty lips..I kicked myself mentally to resist them outside a while ago. Pinching his cheeks I caressed them to receive back the same action in response.


 Pulling me on the counter-top,  making me seated beside him, joining our foreheads together he gazed into myeyes and sung .."Because I love you…I love you" and his smiling lips came crashing down on mine. I din't bothered to refrain this time, and gave in. It was just a light peck when it started, but I guess I ignited it more further, when my arms went around his neck ruffling his hairs. We wouldn't have broken apart easily, had it not been the smell of the burning omlet which brought us to our senses. Blushing I hurried to save the omlet from turning into a complete thrash. I never lifted my eyes to look at him, knowing he would be smirking  or rather shaking his head.


We had our Morning Breakfst in the early  afternoon, when he told me that he had a holiday at his office,  as he was promoted as subordinate CEO and they needed time to sought out a cabin for him…He informed me that it was the reason for his sudden disappearence yesterday, as he was busy with the BOD discussing the new project,  he was assigned along with the new post. I was really happy for him. I always held myself responsible somewhere, for him to leave his job and position in US just for me..But he never agreed, and gave me lectures on Friendship whenever I initiated the topic. I also asked him the reason of his sudden confession, which he had ignored to answer before too..and he gave me that mischevious grin again, and just asked me.

" Were you Drunk last Night?" May be in an attempt to avoid the topic.


"No and ….Why should I? I don't need to"..I answered angryly annoyed with him for hidding something I so badly wanted to know.

Armaan chortled, and then gave me his most endearing dimpled smile, hugging me from back, resting his chin on my shoulder, as I saw our reflection in the blue water of the lake in early evening, sitting by it's side.

"Yes! You don't." he answered, and then started caressing my face, with his nose, as I closed my eyes..I think I always tend to react this way, more often with his touch.


Ufff..Sometimes I think I don't get this Guy or are all guys  just like that!..Always talking in Riddles. Anyways..i guess he has no plans to answer me..but I will keep probing him..may be someday he will take mercy on me...

 Sai

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