Saturday, 7 September 2019

Chapter 4 : Dangerous Desire (AR)

 A Bitter Start

Armaan got into his shiny black convertible and drove off.  He was going back to his house as all the work had finished and he wanted to rest because his body was aching.  While driving the car, his mind kept going off to that unknown girl.

Kaun hain woh ladki?  Aur woh baar, baar mere dimaag mein kyun aa rahi hain?  Jabse usse dekha hain, ek baar bhi mere dimaag se nahin gayi.  Kissi na kissi bahaane se mere dimaag aa hi jaati hain.  Why?

His trail of thoughts were broken by the cell phone.  He picked up the phone, but it fell from his hands.  He looked at the road once and slowed down a little.  After confirming that everything's safe, he bent down to pick up the phone.  He faintly heard a scream and after a second he felt the car bumping to someone.  He immediately stopped the car and looked up.  He was mortified seeing a girl lying on the ground.

"Shit!"


With the support of her hands, Riddhima sat up.  She held her arm and tightly shut her eyes to ease the pain, but it was no help.  She heard the door open and looked up to find a tall, muscular man standing in front of her.  The pain was forgotten on an instant and she stood, glaring at him, which he returned happily.  She felt anger filling up her veins and she spoke angrily.

"Tum andhe ho kya?  Dikhaayi nahin deta tumhe?" Armaan crossed his arms and didn't speak.

"Oh, hello!  Andhe hone ke saath, saath behre bhi ho kya?"

"Excuse me.  Naa hi main andha hoon, aur naa hi behra.  Lekin mujhe tum zaroor pagal lagti ho." Riddhima's eyes widened at his words.

"What do you mean?"

"Aur nahin toh kya?  Beech raaste mein, bina dekhe agar chalogi, toh kya hoga?  Wait a minute.  Kahin tum suicide toh nahin karna chahti thi?  Koi aur car nahin milli thi tumhe, jo tum meri car ke neeche marne aa gayi?" Riddhima's jaws pretty much touched the ground, but recovered soon and pointed her finger at him.

"Look mister!  Main yahaan marne nahin, ek chhote bacche ko bacchaane aayi thi, jisse tum apni car ke neeche kuchalne waale the!  Tumhara dhyaan kahaan tha huh?  Ek baccha tumhare saamne khada tha, aur tumhe dikha bhi nahin?  Agar maine na dekha hota, toh pata nahin aaj Rohan ko kya ho jaata."

"Wait a minute!  Agar yeh ladka meri gaadi ke saamne aa gaya, toh iss mein meri kya galti thi?  Galti isski thi.  Aur agar tumhe isski itni parva hain, toh usse yahaan akela kyun chhod diya?"

"What the hell!  Ulta chor, kautvaal ko daate!  Listen mister, galti tumhari hain!"

"Meri galti?"

"Yes."

"Meri galti!"

"Yes!" Armaan was bewildered by the amount of attitude she had.  No one had the guts to even argue with him, and here, this girl was straightout blaming him for almost killing a child!  This was insanely insane!

"Do you even know who I am?" Riddhima eyed him head-to-toe with her hands on her waist.

"Insaan toh kissi bhi angle se nahin lag rahe ho." Armaan was flagerblasted hearing her.  The entire India knew him.  Girls went week in the knee looking at him and here was this girl.  She didn't know even know him!  That was a shocker for him!

"Dekho, tum mujhe jaanti nahin ho aur-"

"Aur jaanna bhi nahin chaahti.  Tumhare jaise battameez, insensitive, arrogant jerk ke toh main mun bhi nahin lagna chahti." Armaan was shocked!  This girl had the nerve to back talk him!  He sighed and decided to make peace.

"What do you want?"

"Say sorry."

"Say what?"

"Sorry.  Sorry ki spelling nahin pata?  Theek hain.  Main bataati hoon.  S-O-R-R-Y.  Isska matlab toh pata hain na?  Isska matlab hota hain maafi maangna.  Yeh toh pata hain na?"

"Listen.  Main koi sorry nahin bolne waala." Rohan came and hugged her and Riddhima caressed his hair.

"Tumne almost Rohan ki jaan le li, aur isse sorry bolne ke bajaaye, tum mujhe attitude dikha rahe ho?!"

"Seedhe, seedhe yeh kyun nahin kehti ki tumhe paise chahiye?" He took out a bundle of money and placed it in her hands.  Riddhima was shocked.  He actually thought that she wanted money?  She saw him going back to his car and she quickly looked around for something and smirked when she found it.  She took a big rock and threw it on the car, breaking its headlights and leaving a big dent.  Armaan was furious.  This girl had just broke the headlights of his car?!?!  She grinned at him.  Seeing him so angry made her happy beyond words.  She slowly walked towards him.  Taking his hand in hers, she slammed the same bundle in his hand along with some of her own money.  He glared at her.

"Main kabhi bhi kissi se paise nahin leti.  Alright?" She turned around to go, but stopped after taking a step.  She turned around and looked at him again.

"And yes.  Inn paiso se naa, apni iss tooti phooti car ka ilaaj karva lena.  Agar kam pade, toh mujhse aake le lena.  Hmm?"

"Yeh tumhe bohat mehnga padega." Riddhima scoffed.

"We'll see." After a long glaring session, they both parted their ways.  Riddhima took Rohan and went one way and Armaan got into the car and went the othe.  Both went away with different emotions.  Armaan with furiousness and Riddhima with satisfaction.  Both thought they'll never meet again, but who knows what destiny had decided for them?

                                                         ********

Riddhima entered her house, fuming in anger.  She was furious after her encounter with that stranger. 

"Woh apne aap ko samajhta kya hain?  Kahin ka maharaja hain kya?  Jo usske jee mein aayega woh kya wohi karega?  Huh!" She entered her room and flopped herself down on her bed.  Muskaan looked up from the magazine she was reading.  She was surprised to see Riddhima so mad.

"Ridz?  Kya hua?  Tu itne gusse mein kyun lag rahi hain?" Riddhima faced her and sat in the Indian style.

"Aaj jab main sab ko mithaai de kar waapas ghar aa rahi thi na, toh maine Rohan ko sadak par dekha.  Woh apni ball lene gaya tha aur ussi waqt ek gaadi aa rahi thi-" Muskaan interrupted her.

"Kya!  Rohan toh theek hain na?  Usse lagi toh nahin?"

"Woh bilkul theek hain.  Gaadi usske paas pohanchti usske pehle hi maine usse dhaka de diya, lekin mujhe lag gayi-"

"Kya!  Tujhe lag gayi?  Kahaan lagi?  Zyaada toh nahin lagi na?  Tu theek toh hain na?  Doctor ke paas jaana hain?" Riddhima's glare was a signal for her to shut her mouth as it wasn't everyday she glared at people.  She placed her finger on her lips, indicating that she won't talk anymore.

"Uss car ka driver jab bahar nikla, toh mujhe sorry kehne ke bajaaye, woh mujhe hi attitude dikhaana laga.  Mujhse kehne laga, ki main usski gaadi ke neeche marne aayi thi!  Can you believe it!?  Aur pata hain, ussne mere haathon mein paise bhi thama diye.  Mujhe itna gussa aaya na, ki maine pathar se usski headlights hi tod di."

"Kya?!  Tune usse maara?!"

"Duffer!  Headlights matlab usski car ki headlights!  Usse maar ke maine jail nahin jaana."

"Hmm.  Woh bhi hain.  Lekin tu apna dimaag kyun garam kar rahi hain?  Chhod na."

"Haan.  Woh bhi hain.  Main kahaan usse dobaara milne waali hoon."

"Ridz.  Aise inferences matt bana.  You never know huh.  Shayad tu usse dobaara mill jaaye."

"Puh-lease.  Mujhe phirse usski shakal nahin dekhni alright?"

"Mhmm.  Achha chal bata.  Woh dikhne mein kaisa tha?" Riddhima looked at him with disbelief.

"What?"

"Are you for real?"

"What is that suppose to mean?"

"Main yahaan usski itni buraayi kar rahi hoon.  Ussne almost mujhe maar daala, aur tu yeh jaanna chahti hain ki woh dikhta kaisa hain?"

"Yea.  I mean, iss mein buraayi hi kya hain?  I just wanna know what he looks like."

"Tera kuch nahin hone waala."

"Mtch.  Woh toh mujhe bhi pata hain.  Ab zyaada bhau matt kha.  Bata na woh kaisa dikhta hain."

"Maine usse itna notice nahin kiya." Now it was Muskaan's turn to stare at her in disbelief.

"What?"

"Tu usske saath lad kar aayi.  Aur tune usse notice hi nahin kiya?"

"Abhi iss mein meri kya galti thi?  Tujhe toh pata hain na ki jab main gusse mein hoti hoon toh mujhe kuch dikhta nahin."

"Pata hain.  Lekin kuch toh notice kiya hoga?  Achha chal yeh bata.  Was he tall?"

"Yea."

"Handsome?"

"Ek dum bakwaas chehra tha.  Sada hua."

"Haan, haan.  Ab toh tujhe usska chehre bakwaas hi lagega na.  Usse bhid kar jo aayi hain." Riddhima rolled her eyes at her remark. "Usski aankhein kaunse color ki thi?"

"I don't know.  It was something like blue."

"Wow!  And usske muscles the kya?"

"Yea."

"Mujhe usse milna hain!" She jumped on her bed startling Riddhima.

"Tu pagal ho gayi hain kya?"

"Oye!  Tu chup kar!"

"Riddhu!  Muski!  Chalo dinner ke liye aa jao!" They heard a faint voice coming from downstairs and they raced down.

                                                                    ********

Armaan arrived at his house and went inside furiously.  He took off his coat and threw it on the sofa and sat down.  Rahul and Atul, who had already arrived, glanced at each other and went down.

"Bhai?  Kya hua?  Tum itne gusse mein kyun lag rahe ho?"

"Jab main aa raha tha, toh ek pagal si ladki milli mujhe.  Ussne toh mera poora mood hi off kar diya."

"Aisa kya kiya ussne?"

"Main drive kar raha tha aur achaanak ek ladka, kya naam tha usska... Rohan, yea Rohan.  Woh meri gaadi ke saamne aa gaya aur mujhe nahin dikha kyunki mera phone gir gaya tha aur main usse utha raha tha.  Itne mein woh saamne aa gayi aur usse thhokar lag gayi.  Phir jab main usski help karne gaya, toh woh mujhi par chilaane lag gayi.  Can you believe it?  And then she said, ki main usse sorry kahun.  Maine usse paise diye, yeh soch kar ki woh yeh saara drama ussi ke liye kar rahi hain.  But you know what she did?  Ussne ek pathar se meri car ke headlights tod diye aur mere paise mujhe interest ke saath waapas de diye.  Woh samajhti kya hain apne aap ko!"

"Ussne kuch galat nahin kiya." Rahul spoke and Armaan looked at him in disbelief.

"What?"

"What, 'What?'"

"Tu uss ladki ko jaanta tak nahin hain, aur tu usski taraf daari kar raha hain?!"

"Armaan!  Galti teri thi toh tujhe usse sorry bolna chahiye tha na."

"Sorry?  And me?  Please!  Main usse kabhi bhi sorry nahin bolunga.  Ussne mujhe battameez, insensitive and what was the other thing?  Arrogant!  Yea, arrogant jerk kaha.  How dare she call me that!?" Armaan looked up to find Rahul and Atul gawking at him as if they had seen an alien.  His head kept swinging between the two and he lost his patience.

"Guys!  Tum dono mujhe aise kyun dekh rahe ho?"

"Uss ladki ne tujhe... battameez... insensitive..." Rahul started off.

"...arrogant... jerk... kaha?" Atul finished it off and Armaan nodded.  The two just gaped at him.  Armaan got angry and slapped both on their backs, harshly bringing them back to the world.

"Ho gaya?"

"Kaun thi woh?"

"Mujhe kya pata?  Hogi koi.  Lekin tu kyun pooch raha hain?"

"Mujhe millna hain usse."

"Kyun?"

"Dude!  Uss ladki ne tujhe tere mun par aisa bola.  Toh soch ki woh kitni himmat waali hogi!" Rahul and Atul laughed and high-fived each other, but Armaan's glare automatically shut them up and they looked down.

"Sahi kaha tha uss ladki ne.  Arrogant jerk." Rahul muttered under his and Atul smacked his lips together to prevent the laughter from coming out.  Giving the two a hard glare, Armaan went to his room and soon as the door closed, Rahul and Atul were rolling.

After a long laughing session, they finally settled themselves down on the sofa and smiled at each other.

"Aaj kitne dino ke baad hum itne hasse hain na?" said Rahul.

"Haan yaar.  I swear.  Aaj se pehle main itna kabhi nahin hassa."

"Lekin tune ek baat notice ki?"

"Kya?"

"Aaj kitne dino ke baad, hume woh puraana waala Armaan dikha."

"Haan.  It felt so nice to see him."

"I wonder woh ladki kaun thi."

"Chhod na yaar.  Kya farak padta hain?  Abhi hum so jaate hain.  Bohat raat ho gayi hain.  Aur waise bhi.  Kal Ridz aur Muski office join kar rahe hain.  Bohat maza aayega." Rahul smiled at the mention of Muskaan.

He just couldn't take her out of his mind.  He couldn't even sleep a wink because whenever he closed his eyes, she would appear in front of him.  Her beautiful smile, golden curly hair, hazel eyes, contagious laughter.  Everything was pulling him towards her.  He didn't know what was happening to him.

"Oye.  Kya hua?" Rahul just shook his head and both left for their rooms. 

                                                                 ********

The next morning, Riddhima and Muskaan were standing in front of God's idol with their hands folded together.

"Hey Krishna.  Aaj office ka pehla din hain.  Please kuch aisa karna, jisse Armaan Sir mujhse impress ho jaaye."

"Office ke sab log humse dosti kar lein aur hum humaare kaam mein mann laga kar kaam kar sake." Both bowed in front of idol and left after eating the prasad.  In about 45 minutes, they reached the office and went through the door.

As they were walking to their cabin, they saw the peon, Umar Bhai, passing by and they greeted him with a smile.  They greeted everyone they passed by and then parted their ways.

Riddhima smiled as she entered her cabin.  She sat down on her chair and spinned around.  Her eyes fell on the clock and she sat up with a start.

"Oh no!  7:45!  Armaan Sir abhi aate hi honge.  Sabse pehle toh unnka cabin saaf kar deti hoon.  Phir unnki coffee table par rakh dungi." She slid the glass door and entered his cabin.

His cabin was slightly messed up.  The files were laying here and there.  Sighing to herself, she picked up the files and neatly organized them.  She was done in about 10 minutes and looked at her watch, which showed 7:55.

"Paanch minute mein Armaan Sir aa jaayenge.  Aur unhe toh coffee bhi chahiye.  Jaldi se unnki coffee le aati hoon.  Haan."

She went to his private kitchen, which was beside his bedroom.  She put the coffee on the coffee maker and waited.

On the other hand, Armaan entered the office in his business attire and they all stood up.

"Good morning Sir." He nodded once and moved to the elevator.  Rahul, Muskaan, Anjali and Atul joined him, too.

"Who is she?" Armaan asked referring to Muskaan.

"She's Muskaan.  My new secretary."

"Good morning Sir." Muskaan greeted with a smile while Armaan just nodded.

"Woh aa gayi?"

"Kaun?"

"Woh meri new secretary."

"Yup.  She's already here.  And I bet.  You're gonna be impressed by her."

"We'll see." The doors opened and they walked to Armaan's cabin.  He opened the door and was shocked to see the sight in front of him.

Riddhima was done making the coffee and she walked out of the kitchen, only to get shocked out of her witts.

Armaan and Riddhima were completely shocked to see each other in the same place.

"TUM!?" Both shouted at the same time, scaring the crap out of the four.

"Tum yahaan kya kar rahe ho!?" Riddhima asked furiously.

"Excuse me!?  Yeh savaal toh mujhe tumse poochhna chahiye!  Tum yahaan kya kar rahi ho?"

"Woah, woah, woah!  Hold on!  Tum dono ek doosre ko jaante ho?" Rahul asked.

"Jaanti hoon?  Bohat achhe se jaanti hoon main iss ko!"

"Matlab?" asked Muskaan.

"Yeh hi toh hain woh ladki jiss ke baare mein main kal tum dono se baat kar raha tha!"

"KYA!?" Rahul and Atul shouted.  They couldn't believe that a sweet girl like Riddhima had said all that about Armaan.

"Haan!"

"Muski.  Kal main tujhse uss idiot ke baare mein baat kar rahi thi na, jissne almost Rohan ki jaan le li thi?  Yeh woh hi hain!"

"KYA!?" Riddhima nodded.

"Rahul, Atul.  Yeh yahaan kya kar raha hain?  Issko nikaalo yahaan se!" Rahul and Atul gulped looking at each other.

"Excuse me?  Tum mujhe mere hi office se nikalne ke liye keh rahi ho?" Riddhima looked at him confused whereas Rahul and Atul gulped looking at each other.

"Say what?  Tumhara office?  Rahul?  What's all this?"

"Uhm... Ridz... yeh hi... Armaan Mallik hain.  Aur Armaan... yeh hi tumhari secretary... Riddhima hain." Riddhima felt the floor being pulled beneath her feet as she looked at Armaan in horror.  She coffee mug that she was holding in her hands shattered into pieces as it hit the ground whereas Armaan looked at Rahul to confirm whether that was the truth or not.  Rahul slowly nodded at both of them and they looked at each other.

Riddhima was shocked beyond words.  She was finding it hard to digest the fact that she will work under the same guy that she hated, whereas Armaan was happy.  He had been getting the gut feeling that the two of them will meet really soon and now, after knowing that Riddhima will be working under him, he decided to get revenge.  An evilish smirk played on his lips as his brain started to cook up ideas, while Riddhima gasped reading his eyes.

"You all may leave now." Armaan declared looking straight at Riddhima and they left.  There was complete silence in the room.  Riddhima couldn't take it anymore and she went to her cabin.

                                                                ********

Riddhima entered her cabin and flopped herself down on the chair.  She started to bang her head on the table, cursing her fate.

"No, no, no, no, no!" She suddenly looked up at the ceiling as if talking to God.  "Hey Krishna.  Aapko iss poori duniya mein, ek woh hi idiot milla tha Armaan Mallik banaane ke liye?  Koi aur nahin milla?  Itne crore ki aabaadi mein, aapko yeh hi milla?  Yeh-yeh jerk!?  Meri toh kismet hi kharab hain.  Ab yeh mujhe nahin chhodega.  Usski aankhon mein woh dikh raha tha.  Woh mera jeena haram kar dega.  Bachaaao!" Riddhima said worriedly.

Just then, her phone rang and she gulped.  She hesitantly picked it up.

"He-hello?"

"Mera cabin mein aao.  I want to know my schedule."

"Ye-yes Sir." Taking a few deep breaths, she took the folder and went to his cabin.

She felt his electic blue eyes on her as she walked to his desk.

"Start." She told him his schedule and was going to go back to her cabin when his voice stopped her.

"Ek minute Ms. Riddhima." She stopped and tightly shut her eyes for a second and turned around.

"Jaane se pehle jo tumne yeh mess create kiya hain usse saaf kar do." Riddhima was shocked.  He just told her to clean up the mess!?  She looked at him angrily.

"What happened Mr. Riddhima?  Ek hi din mein itna gussa karogi toh aage kya hoga?" She gave him a hard glare and did the same.

"You can't tell me what to do."

"Oh trust me honey, I can and I will." He signaled her through his eyes to do what he said.

Gulping down her anger, she carefully picked up the pieces of glass and threw them away, while Armaan just smirked at his victory.

"And yes.  Mere liye ek aur coffee le aana.  I hope you know what I like." Riddhima looked at him and nodded.  She went to the mini kitchen, but definitely not before giving him a nasty glare.  Armaan snickered and rolled the marble on the table.

"This is gonna be fun. Yeh toh sirf shuruvaat hain Riddhima Gupta.  Aage, aage dekho main kya karta hoon.  Ab yeh Armaan Mallik tumse waada karta hain.  This job is going to be a living hell for you.  What did you call me?  Battameez... insensitive... arrogant jerk?  Now I'll tell you what this battameez, insensitive, arrogant jerk will do to you.  Just wait... and watch.  I promise you.  You'll regret every single word you said to me today.  Promise."

What will this hatred lead Armaan and Riddhima to?


Medha 

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