Thursday, 4 July 2019

part 20 : The Green Blue Hues

Armaan had helped them move into the small two bedroom apartment they had found together. He had been formally introduced to Misha and Ryan as a 'friend' and no questions had been asked. Riddhima was extremely grateful to him for all his help, yet she couldn't figure out why he was doing so much for them, they were practically strangers. So, after they were done with the moving in and everything had been sorted out, they both walked down to a deli to grab some food for everyone and while sitting in their booth, waiting for the food to come, Riddhima had at once looked up at him and spilt it out.

Riddhima: why are you doing this Armaan…??

Armaan looked at her surprised, then looked down at himself…

Armaan: what…playing with the mobile…(flashing it before her eyes)

Riddhima sighed and looked at him…


Riddhima: I mean…you are doing so much for me, for my family…and I dnt even know you very well…then why…??

Armaan groaned and closed his eyes…

Armaan: not again Riddhima…we have had this discussion…why are you so bent on making me seem like an angel…??

Riddhima: you ARE my angel Armaan…what you have done for me, I couldn't have dreamt of someone to do it…so i get to know the answer to this…why??

Armaan looked at her speaking earnestly and realized that this really meant to her. Clasping his hands together over the table top, he looked down at his interlocked fingers and spoke up.

Armaan: you have been coming to the tuition centre for the past 4 months…and I always noticed you, because you were always this…this happy, lively girl who brought a smile on everyone's face…you had this amazing aura of spreading happiness wherever you went…and your zest for life…I just liked looking at you, the way you were…you made me wanna smile, I realized that I was intrigued by you….

Riddhima heard him speak and was astounded, she had never imagined or thought that Armaan had known her for so long.

Armaan: I don't know…I had newly shifted here…I missed my family…and I dunno why but whenever I looked at you, I felt some kind of familiarity, some kind of security of being around someone I knew…we never talked, I just watched you from a distance…then a few weeks ago, your smile started faltering…the glitter in your eyes was gone….i couldn't feel the warmth that usually radiated from your presence….and I knew something was wrong…

Armaan: then you stopped coming to the tuition centre….and I was restless to know why…and then one day, you showed up…I was so happy to see you, but then I saw your face and instantly knew something was terribly, terribly wrong…and then I saw you sitting there, crying alone in the basketball court…and I couldn't resist…I came and sat next to you, thinking that maybe my presence would calm you down, the way yours did always…

Riddhima looked at him with slight tears in her eyes. She was a mere 18 year old, she didn't deserve to go through so much…but him being there, was a great comfort in itself…

Riddhima put her hand on his, and the lump in her throat wouldn't let her speak but he didn't even let her….he put his hand over hers and lightly squeezed it…and she mouthed a thanks while he simply nodded.

The next few months passed like that; Armaan helped Riddhima study and get into a good university, she was surprised to discover that he was 3 years elder to her. He truly was her angel, for he soon teamed up with Ryan and even warmed up to Misha very soon. Riddhima studied in the morning and worked in the evening in the same place where Armaan did and they soon became inseparable friends.

Armaan formed a special bond with Misha soon, he was like a mother to him and he was a son in the true meaning of the world. Both Riddhima and Armaan pampered her a lot through out her pregnancy, and then the day came when Rhea was born. Only, it was the same day Riddhima lost the most important person in her life, Misha.

Misha already was aware of the complications in her delivery, but she was determined to bring this baby in the world. When Armaan discovered the truth a few weeks before the birth, he tried every mean and way to stop her, but she was inconsolable. She made Armaan promise he wouldn't tell anyone, and thus when Rhea was born, as expected, Misha died within a few minutes of the birth.

The shock of her death took its toll on both Riddhima and Ryan, and they both were irrevocably inconsolable. Ryan had settled into a deep depression while Riddhima became a workaholic. In all this time, Armaan stood by her and he was the one to take care of Rhea in the early days. Soon, Riddhima came out of the shock and realized the importance of giving full care and love to the new born baby, and thus the baby was named Rhea after mutual consensus after 3 weeks of her birth.

However, it took much longer for Ryan to get out of the depression; his father and then the loss of his mother was too much to bear for his young mind and he soon became an introvert, not interacting much with anyone and yet being himself around the people he loved.

A few years passed, Riddhima finished her bachelors and got a new job while Armaan was doing his MBA. With a mutual decision, they all moved into a bigger house with two more friends and pooled in the rent…and that was how life had been ever since…

………………………………………………………

Riddhima jerked out of her thoughts about her past as she felt someone tapping her shoulder. She turned to find Padma standing before her. Riddhima had been preparing milk for Rhea, who was now seated on the shelf next to the stove.

Padma: kahan gum ho beta…??

Riddhima: huh…?? Nahi…nothing Auntieee…I am just…making milk for Rhea…(smiled at her)

Padma: Auntiee nahi beta…Mama bola kero…main tumhari bhi to mama hun na….hmm?? (holds her chin)

Riddhima nods after a second's thought, and gets back to the milk that had been warmed by now.

Padma: ummm…Riddhima beta….??

Riddhima turned to look at her: Jee…??

Padma: main aik baat kahun to bura to nahi mannogi??

Riddhima: of course not…ap bolo….

Padma: beta who ummm….(a bit uncomfortable) yeh bachey tumhare saath…I mean, tum logon ke kamre main kyun sotey hain??

Riddhima is now caught unawares and doesn't know what to say…

Riddhima: *oh no….what do I say now….oh God, I SUCK at lying…she would get to know straight away that I am lying…just by looking at my face…uff…where is Arman when you need him??? * ummm…who auntie…

Her voice falters…..

........................................................
kiran

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