Thursday, 11 July 2019

part 27 : The Green Blue Hues

Recap: AR decide to get married for real. Fun time at the beach. Muskaan confronts Riddhima and gets angry at getting to know the decision. Armaan enters the mehndi.

A subtle kiss right under her earlobe made her giggle and moan at the same time, but both were stifled the moment the sound escaped her, for he instantly came up and jammed his lips on hers, knocking all the breath out of her. She grasped his wet hair in her fingers and kissed him back, with an intensity she herself was surprised to discover, and as his hands roved over her waist, she moaned again. It was a totally new experience for her, the close intimacy she was sharing with him was raving havoc on her body and her mind has suddenly stopped sending out any signals. All she knew was that it was her and him, together in the moment, and there was nothing stopping them now.

Her eyes focused into his as they came up for air, and the intense look of longing and passion in his eyes made Riddhima look down instantly, and in that spur of the moment, Armaan leaned down and kissed her again, his kisses being more fervent and passionate this time. She moaned against his lips as his hands tucked under her waist and lifted her up lightly, crushing her body against his. And just as her hands settled on his shoulders, clutching at them, she uttered a cry of unknown delight at the pleasure his kisses were evoking in her and just then....


'RIDDHIMA!!'.

She woke up with a start, looking around as her eyes tried to adjust into the blazing light in the room. She couldnt figure out what was happening, one moment she was being kissed by Armaan, and now.....her eyes trailed over to see where the voice had come from, and turned on her side to see a very worried Muskaan sitting by her side, looking down at her. Riddhima sat up, and realized that their were beads of perspiration on her forehead, and she was slightly trembling.

'What...what happened?' she implored, looking inquiringly at Muskaan, still confused between the transition of the two situations, 'what am I doing here?'

'Thats exactly what I was about to ask you...what happened? Are you hurt? Are you in pain?,' A clearly flustered Muskaan spoke up, putting a hand to Riddhima's clammy forehead to check her temperature. 'Do you have fever? Should I call Armaan?'

'NO!!' The mention of his name drove out a rather loud exclamation from her side. The last person she wanted to see right now was him. 'I...I mean, I am fine Muski...dont worry...just...had a bad dream!!'

'Of course you were...you were groaning like mad!! Was it a horror one?' Muskaan inquired, looking straight at Riddhima.

'Yeah...err...it was...not a good one. Leave it, um okay now.' Riddhima said, forcing a smile on her face, and then continued, 'I will just be back....need to get some water...!'

And with that, she hurried out of the room, pulling her hair together in an untidy ponytail, leaving a bewildered Muskaan behind. As she stumbled into the dark corridor that lead to the staircase, she put a shaking hand on her forehead and leaned against the wall, her forehead pressed against it's cold texture. She breathed out heavily thrice, and then opened her eyes, as she felt a little calmed down. Making her way down to the kitchen, all she could think of was the dream she had had. Unexpected as it was, it had left her with a feeling she couldnt decipher herself and that was what was ticking her now, for where she should feel revolted and totally against the idea of what she had dreamt of, she was instead feeling a sense of longing so strong that she couldn't calm down even after having two glasses of ice-cold water.

Taking a deep sigh, she splashed water on her face from the tap and then tried to understand what had happened, why a stupid dream was disturbing her so much? Why in hell did she even dream of Armaan and herself in such a way? Did she feel for Armaan in that way.....NO! That couldnt be possible. It was just, unacceptably wrong. Then why....? As her mind tried to figure out the answers to her questions, Riddhima was reminded of that evening, the mehndi ceremony.............

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

'And what precisely would be your excuse for being here now, young man?.' The subtle eyelock session that had been conveniently ignored by the only two onlookers was broken as soon as the voice interrupted them. Apparently, the arrival of the groom at a 'ladies only' event had certainly caused a little bit of a commotion amongst the said audience, for all eyes were set on the handsome guy dressed in white sherwani. However, the object of the said person's affections had not been able to utter a word since he had appeared out of nowhere, for his eyes were boring into hers with an intensity that set her cheeks aflame with red.

'Aheeemmm!! I am talking to you, Mr. Armaan!,' Divya patted his back and Armaan came back to his senses. Flustered, he looked around and found his elder sister standing right besid ehim with a rather sarcastic smile on her face.

'Errr...yaa...D...I errmm...I came to call...err...Rahul!! I came to call Rahul!,' he repeated, thanking his stars for making up a lie at the spur of the moment. While Divya looked at him suspiciously, Rahul and Riddhima both gave him looks of surprise, for neither was aware of this sudden truth spilled by their dear friend.

'Really now? I thought it was Riddhima you were staring at a few seconds ago...unless I was mistaken and it was you and Rahul sharing an eyelock?' Divya asked, and her comment brought a smile to all three faces concerned.

'Come on D...!! I was just...passing by...and...okay yeah, I WAS looking at Riddhima. Khush?,' Armaan gave up, turning to Divya with a defiant look on his face, which made Divya laugh in pleasure and pull his cheeks playfully.

'I was just joking around, kid. But you need to get going before Mom sees you here....its a strictly Ladies Only function today!! So both of you,' she said, looking from Armaan to Rahul, 'scoot away right now!' and with that, she took a seat down next to Riddhima.

Armaan looked from Rahul to Divya to Riddhima, and as the latter raised her eyes to his, he passed on a small wink to her and smiled, then whistling a tune to himself, walked away with Rahul.

The evening went by in the application of henna on Riddhima and Keerti's hands, while some girls danced and others sang songs. All this while, Riddhima's eyes kept looking for Armaan, though she kept denying it to herself even. The whole atmosphere got a little suffocating after some while, and as soon as Riddhima was done with her mehndi, she got up on pretext of using the bathroom and went upto her room.

Once there, she walked over to the balcony attached to the room and leaning against the railing, took in a deep breath and closed her eyes. It was a calm, peaceful night, and as the slight breeze swept over her face, she opened her eyes to look up into the sky and stared at the million stars up there. She was reminded, out of the blue, of her mother Misha, who had been her pillar of support. She knew, had Misha been alive today, she would have taken her out of this dilemma she couldnt sort out, this confusion she couldnt face. What was happening to her? Why was she so effected by everything Armaan was saying or doing? As she thought of her mother, she took in a deep sigh and just then, the silence of the night was broken by his voice right behind her.

'Ragz? What are you doing up here?,' he asked, and Riddhima turned to look at him as he came and stood by his side.

'Nothing.' Riddhima said, and looked up into the sky again. Armaan eyed her, noticing that she wasn't in the best of moods and the best thing now would be to not ask any questions. They remained silent for a while, and then Riddhima spoke up. 'Ma wouldnt have approved of this.'

'What?' Armaan looked at her, incredously, wondering where and what she was talking about.

'I said, Ma wouldn't have approved of this, liked this...what we are doing. Lying to people we both love...making a joke out of our lives....that's not what she's taught me. I...I just...'

'Riddhima! We decided upon this with mutual consensus...both of us! Now we can't back out!,' Armaan said, putting a hand on her arm and making her face him as she looked away.

'I know Armaan...I am not saying I am backing out of this but...,' she sighed and stopped mid way.

'But what Riddhima? You were the one who wanted this, you talked me into it and then we made a decision together...I know Misha Auntie wouldn't have approved of it but we cant do anything now...!,' Armaan said, surprised at finding out she was thinking along those lines now.

'I...I know! I am sorry...I shouldnt have said anything...just forget it!,' Riddhima said, realizing that it was useless to have this conversation and whatever had to be done, was done. Now she couldn't do anything so she shouldn't be creating more problems for Armaan too.

After a minute of silence, Armaan realized the harsh way he had spoken to her with, and sighing, he put a hand on her shoulder and pulled her into a side hug. 'I am sorry! I know I shouldn't have said it that way...but you know our problem Ragz...we decided its the safest way out. After wedding, we will go off to London and then conveniently get a divorce. Our parents wouldn't know what went wrong, and they would get off my back for marriage. Plus, you'd be out of all this mess. I would never want you to be in trouble because of me...you know that, right?,' he asked, squeezing her shoulder amiably.

Riddhima nodded, her head pressed to his chest as she thought over everything that had happened. They both realized that it had been wrong, but the thing itching her mind now was....something she couldnt figure out herself too.

'And by the way...its your mehndi ceremony today...you are not supposed to be dark and gloomy right now!,' Armaan said, making her look up as he smiled cheerfully at her.

'So what? Um already covered in mehndi and ubtan and yellow and God knows what else!! I cant be more...colorful....than this!! I,' Riddhima retorted, pointing down at her clothes with a sarcastic look on her face as Armaan grinned gleefully.

'Come on! My termite looks beautiful in yellow.' The sudden seriousness in his tone made Riddhima look up into his eyes and she saw a tender look there she hadnt come across before. Armaan raised his hand to caress her cheek with the back of his fingers, brushing them off her soft skin lightly. Riddhima looked away at the sudden blush forming in her cheeks and spreading warmth to all her extremities. Armaan smiled at her and then stepped back, and finally he looked away as well. The moment was gone for them, for soon Armaan was beckoned downstairs and he went away, while Riddhima followed some minutes later. The mehndi ceremony passed away, with nothing major happening between the two yet their small private moments they both were denying to accept had left a deep imprint on Riddhim'a mind..

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

As she made her way back to her room, she was surprised to see the lights of Rahul's room switched on. It was kind of late, and everyone was so tired that they had retired to bed as soon as the function had ended. Shrugging her shoulders, thinking it was none of her business, she walked down the corridor and crossed the door of Armaan's room, and couldnt resist taking a peek in. The sight before her was so adorable, that she stood at the door and kept looking in for more than a minute. Sprawled on the bed, on his stomach, was Armaan, and lying on his either side were Ryan and Rhea. A book lay open on Ryan's chest while Rhea hugged a stuffed toy to herself, and Armaan was totally lost to the world. She quickly picked up a camera lying on the table beside the door and snapped a picture of the three most important people in her life, and after taking another long look at them, walked over to Muskaan's room. The reason she wasnt sleeping in Armaans room had been explained to her by Padma and Beyjee after the mehndi ceremony, for according to them, the bride and groom could not share the same room till the wedding took place in itself. Thus, she was shifted over to Muskaan's room while the kids had pleaded to stay with Armaan.

Nearing the door to Muskaan's room, she heard some voices coming from inside, but ignoring them, she was about to enter when she heard Muskaan mentioning her name to someone. She stopped right there and heard her out, as she talked to Rahul on the phone.As the nature of her talk and the secret being shared dawned on Riddhima, she felt a headless feeling, for she couldnt accept what had happened. When she finally heard Muskaan put down the phone, she determinedly entered the room after taking a long sigh, ready for a confrontation. This was going to be one long night.

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

'It was Rahul. He was the one who blabbered it out.' Muskaan said, her head bent down as she and Riddhima sat on the bed, the latter glaring at her as she narrated her tale. 'After you went upto your room, Rahul whisked me away to a side, trying to talk me into getting normal with you. Of course, he was concerned and so he was trying to make me see sense. I...you know me na Ridzi...um a such a big blabbermouth...and this loud voice of mine!! I am so sorry yaaar....I didnt know Divya Di was standing behind me when i shouted at Rahul...syaing you guys weren't married so what sense should I see in it! Bass fir...she took us to a room and interrogated us...seriously, like the third degree...we held out till the end, making fibs and lies till Rahul saw there was no way through because she was threatening us of telling Padma Aunty and so.......,' Muskaan took a deep long breath as she narrated her whole story in one single breath.

Riddhima looked at her with one eyebrow raised, and continued, 'And so....she knows!! Wow! Thanks a ton Muski! If there was one thing missing, one single thing that hadn't gone wrong, it was this. And now, thanks to you and that total dumbwit brother of mine, D knows!,' Riddhima ended, glaring at a guilty looking Muskaan.

'Uffo Ridzi....you are thinking too much into it. D said she would talk to you guys but she wasn't angry or pissed off. In fact, she was very normal about it. That was what Rahul was saying too...I think, there's nothing wrong in her knowing...its actually good for the both of....'

'Shut up!!,' Riddhima looked at Muskaan furiously as she stopped in her tracks and looked down ashamed. 'I....I think it's enough entertainment for today. I cant deal with this now. I am going to sleep!!'

And with that, Riddhima turned off the light, got into bed, turned her back to a perplexed Muskaan and closed her eyes. Sleep, of course, was far away today...what with the dream and the confession and the confused feelings and the moment and then Muskaan's blunder....!!

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

Armaan woke up to a clammer of sounds and screams around himself, and even before he could get fully into his senses, he felt a pillow flying over his head to the other side of the bed. Opening his eyes, he saw Rhea and Ryan standing on either side of the bed, throwing anything that came close to them at each other and screaming at the same time. He jumped out of bed and tried to make both of them quiet, but they were unappeasable. Finally, Armaan screamed louder than both of them and the loudness of his shout made them quiet for the moment.

'RHEA! RYAN! What are you guys doing? Have you gone mad?,' Armaan shouted, looking from one to the other.

'Bhai...he called me a fat cow!!,' Rhea wailed, walking over to Armaan who now sat at the corner of the bed.

'That's a lie! I called her a black fat cow! And she called me a freaky looking Harry Potter!,' Ryan responded, looking at Rhea with anger.

Armaan made Rhea sit in his lap and, turning his face to Ryan, said, 'What's the matter with Harry Potter? I thought you liked him!'

'I dont! I like Weasley better...and she KNOWS i dont like him...still she called me...'

'Okay okay...time out...! Ryan...come here!,' he said, and as Ryan came closer to him, he made Ryan sit in his lap too. 'See...it's not good when you guys fight...fighting is not a good thing at all! And throwing things...you might hurt each other! Plus there's going to be no more name calling now...no Harry Potter, no fat cows, okay?,' Armaan said, trying to stifle a giggle at the ridiculous names they called each other.

'But he...' 'But Bhai she doesnt...'

'No more arguments! I dont want you guys to fight now, okay?,' As both of them nodded in agreement, Armaan sighed in relief and made them hug each other to make amends. 'So now tell me....WHY were you guys fighting, anyways?'

'Cuz Bhai said you and Di are married. But you are NOT!' Rhea said, making a sad baby face. Armaan looked from her to Ryan, who said, in a matter of fact way, 'You said the other day you guys are married. And all these events everyday are for you guys. So you ARE getting married, right?'

Perplexed, Armaan tried to figure out some way to talk to the kids, to explain to them the intensity and reality of the situation. He didn't know whether it was the right time to tell them or not, but he figured that they had to know the truth, at least some part of it. They would all now be living together, so they had to be told why Armaan and Riddhima would share the same room, why everyone would call them married, how and what chanes would come in their lives. In fact, Armaan realized this was the perfect time to tell them, for they neve rgot time with the kids alone, what with the people around and the events everyday. Moreover, he wanted both of them to be prepared for what was happening in their lives, as Armaan Riddhima were the only people in their lives who made all the decisions. He didnt want to confuse them or have people put different ideas in their heads; they were a part of his life and soon, his family too, so he wanted to be the one who'd tell them and explain them all that they needed to know. Making a decision finally, he started speaking.

'Ryan...Rhea...I want you guys to listen very carefully to what um gonna say now....Your Di and me...we have decided to get married...

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

'Bhabhi....show me show me show me!!,'

Riddhima was surrounded by a bunch of Armaan's 'cousins' who had surrounded her as soon as she had descended the stairs the next day, on the pretext of seeing the color of her mehndi. Riddhima hadnt paid much attention herself when she had washed her hands in the morning, but now, as she displayed her mehndi to all her 'nanands' they all started yelping in excitement and 'awww'ing.

'What? Why are you guys so happy?', she looked at them, confused at their reactions.

'Bhabhiiii....the color of your henna shows how much your to-be husband will love you. The deeper the color, the more the love!,' Aditi explained to her as Riddhima looked down at her hands. Undoubtedly, the color was extremely dark, so much so that it was the darkest shade of brown she had ever seen.

'Wowww!! This means Bhai will love Bhabhi aaaaaaaaaaaa lot, haina Di?,' another of his numerous cousins asked Divya as she came on the scene.

Riddhima's face lacked all expressions as Divya took hold of both her hands and looking straight at Riddhima said, ' Of course. The color of the henna says it all. But what do you mean, he WILL love her a lot? He does already...after all, they ARE married, right Riddhima?.'

The little color that did remain flew away from Riddhima's face as she understood the implication of her words.

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

kiran

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