Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Part 425: Muhabbat Ki Nayi Raahon Me


 Dill ki tadapti saanson me

Preet ki mehekti baahon me

Dabe-chhipe se alfaazon me

Behke pal ke jazbaaton me

Band palkon ke khwaabon me

Khatti-meethi si baaton me

Jhuki hui si nigaahon me

Nayi-purani kuch yaadon me

Kabhi bichhde dill mill jayenge

Kabhi mill ke bicchad jayenge

Kabhi ladenge, kabhi manayenge

Kabhi rooth-rooth se jayenge

Armaan-Ridhimaa ki muhabbat ka

Hum fir se saath nibhayenge

Fir ek baar...

Manzil ki nayi chhaaon me

Fir ek baar...

Muhabbat Ki Nayi Raahon Me


 Tamanna tells Ridhimaa that she and Matthew have to leave for an urgent case. Ridhimaa is afraid that she might not be able to take care of Armaan and Tamanna makes her realise that if she (Ridhimaa) would be happy, Armaan would be happy too. Armaan teases Tamanna for waking them up so early but then becomes serious on hearing that Tamanna is leaving that very day. When Tamanna leaves the room, Ridhimaa tells Armaan that she has to go to the Gupta House for her pagpheras. Armaan at first doesn't want her to go, but then relents when Ridhimaa tells him the importance of pagpheras. When Armaan declares that he would be staying at Gupta House too, Ridhimaa ridicules him saying that he is a 'damaad' now, not a son. Armaan gets angry and leaves. Ridhimaa decides that she would definitely 'manaofy' Armaan... by hook or by crook.

When Armaan emerged from the washroom, Ridhimaa was still standing by the cupboard, muddled up, thinking what to wear. She heard the washroom door closing and turned around to find Armaan gazing at her. Armaan looked away quickly and Ridhimaa smiled.

Ridhimaa: Main kya pehnun?
Armaan: (going to the bed without looking at Ridhimaa) Saree…
Ridhimaa: Kaun-si waali?
Armaan: (sitting down on the bed comfortably and resting his head at the pillow) Koi bhi…
Ridhimaa: Kis colour ki?
Armaan: (closing his eyes) Jo tumhara mann kare…

Armaan was determined not to look at Ridhimaa. He wanted to be angry with her for a little longer. He couldn't let Ridhimaa win so easily.

Ridhimaa: (adamant at making Armaan look at her) Ye waali ya ye waali?

Now this question could not be answered with eyes closed, or without looking at Ridhimaa. Armaan had to open his eyes and take a look at the sarees Ridhimaa was showing him. One was black, one white. Shaking his head, Armaan stood up, marched towards the cupboard and took out a heavily embroidered pink saree. He then walked back towards the bed, kept the saree on it and again settled himself in the same position as before. Ridhimaa had to cover her mouth with both her hands to prevent herself from cracking up at Armaan's childish behaviour.

Armaan: (knowing Ridhimaa was still standing there) Washroom me jaane ka kya logi?
Ridhimaa: Ek jaadu ki jhappi…
Armaan: (with all his effort, trying to not smile) Tammy baahar hi hogi, jo chahiye ussey le lo…
Ridhimaa: (smiling at Armaan) Mujhe mere patidev ki jaadu ki jhappi chahiye…

Armaan slid under the covers, pulling them over his face and pretended to go to sleep.

Armaan: Patidev abhi busy hain… ye saare bakwas kaam karne ka unke pass time nahi hai…

Ridhimaa, a little dejected, went into the washroom and banged the door shut. Armaan's smile under the covers was as wide as anything. It was worth pretending to be angry, just to see Ridhimaa trying to seduce him!

When Ridhimaa emerged out of the washroom, fully-dressed, she could hear Armaan's distant, slow breathing. He was asleep. Cautiously, Ridhimaa made her way towards him and parted the covers to reveal the face of the angel who was dearer to her than her own life. She kissed his lips, soft as a feather, yet warm with her love.

Ridhimaa: (whispering very softly) I'm sorry Armaan… I love you…

Turning away from the bed, Ridhimaa didn't know that in that very second when she kissed him, Armaan had wanted to shower all his love on her; in the very second when she apologized, Armaan had wanted to kiss all her guilt away; and in that very second when she said 'I Love You', Armaan had wanted to hold her tight and never let go. But Ridhimaa turned away before Armaan could even move an inch.

Ridhimaa went and sat near the dressing table, dreading the make-up she was supposed to wear. She glanced angrily at the array of odd-looking objects which Tamanna had loaded the dressing table with and planned how she would take her revenge, if ever she got an opportunity. Ridhimaa wore the bangles and the 'mangtika'. She was already wearing the 'mangalsutra'. Her 'payal's and rings came next.

Ridhimaa: (to herself) Ab ye stupid make-up…

Ridhimaa recalled how Armaan had helped her with her 'make-up' last night and blushed. She tried to look for something she could wear and not feel overloaded. And she smiled when she found what she was looking for. But before she could even raise her hand to reach for it, someone picked it up, pulled her 'mangtika' aside and filled her 'mang' with the 'sindoor'. A little 'sindoor' fell on Ridhimaa's nose and was brushed aside by that someone. Ridhimaa didn't have to turn around, or even raise her gaze to find who that someone was.

[Nor do we need any guesses for that, do we?]

Armaan turned Ridhimaa's chair so that she was facing him, and sat on the floor before her, on his knees. He kept the 'sindoordan' back on the dressing table and took Ridhimaa's warm, flushed face in his hands.

Armaan: Main help karun?

Ridhimaa turned a deeper shade of scarlet, remembering it was the same tone that Armaan had used last night to persuade her and nodded slightly, not meeting Armaan's gaze. Both forgot who was angry with whom when Armaan started with the 'make-up'.

The door was flung open as Armaan was applying the 'blusher' and Tamanna towered over the two, not a bit embarrassed.

Tamanna: Tabhi main sochun ki itni der kaise lag rahi hai…

Armaan was so surprised that he fell back, while Ridhimaa turned her face away to hide her embarrassment.

Tamanna: (heaving Armaan to his feet) Tum dono ka romance abhi tak khatm nai hua? Kar kya rahe the tum dono?

Armaan, Ridhimaa: (together) Make-up…

Both were surprised at themselves and then flushed tomato-red when Tamanna spoke.

Tamanna: (exclaiming) Make-up!? Aise make-up hota hai? Kyun Ridz?

Ridhimaa bowed her face.

Tamanna: (sternly) Ammy… tumhe change nahi karna?
Armaan: Oh haan… yeah… main… I'll go…

He was about to leave, when he stopped, remembered that he was supposed to be angry and looked at Ridhimaa.

Armaan: Aur tum bhi jaldi se ready ho jao… Tammy ki flight tumhare liye rukegi nahi…

He went and shut the washroom door.

Tamanna: (grinning) Ridz… agar tumhe problem na ho to main tumhara make-up kar doon?
Ridhimaa: Mujhe nahi karwana make-up…
Tamanna: (teasing) Haan-haan… tumhe to sirf Ammy wala special make-up hi pasand hai na…
Ridhimaa: Please Tamanna…

She tried to get up when Tamanna held her hand.

Tamanna: Kya hua Ridz? Are you crying?

Ridhimaa did not answer. A tear fell on her lap, followed by another.

Tamanna: Ridz… please mujhe batao na kya hua? Ridz please!

Ridhimaa wiped her tears with her mehendi-filled hands and then smiled at Tamanna.

Ridhimaa: Kuch nahi hua… ab jaldi se jaisa make-up karna hai, kar do… warna mujhe nahi karwana ye stupid make-up…

At Ridhimaa's warning, Tamanna hastily set herself to work, not noticing the tears that were still swimming in Ridhimaa's beautiful eyes.

Armaan and Ridhimaa had seen Tamanna and Matthew off after the rasms. Armaan was now driving Ridhimaa to the Gupta House for her 'pagpheras'. He was still not speaking to Ridhimaa, and to his surprise, Ridhimaa had stopped trying to make him speak to her. She was looking out of the window, having a far-distant look on her face. At first, Armaan thought that Ridhimaa had grown tired of trying to coax him, but then, he realized with a jolt that the corners of her eyes were wet. Armaan stopped the car. He couldn't endure Ridhimaa's silence or her tears anymore.

Ridhimaa, puzzled at the sudden break, looked at Armaan and then hurriedly looked away.

Armaan: (placidly) Agar tumhe lagta hai ki nazrein churakar tum mujhse apne aansun chhupa logi, to tum galat ho Ridhimaa.
Ridhimaa: (turning her face towards him slowly) Kahaan hain aansun?

Her face indeed was dry, but there was a lake of unshed tears in her eyes. Armaan could no longer pretend to be formal with her. He shifted closer and cupped Ridhimaa's face in his hands. Ridhimaa closed her eyes at his touch and the tears that she had been holding back, seeped down from her closed eyelids.

Armaan: (siping the tears off with his fingertips) Kya hua Ridhimaa? Tell me what's wrong? Please?
Ridhimaa: (sobbing) Mujhe ghar jaana hai…
Armaan: Hum chal to rahe hain Ridhimaa… we'll be there in five minutes…
Ridhimaa: (removing Armaan's hand from her face and enveloping it in both her hands) Mujhe humare ghar waapas jaana hai… I don't want to go anywhere else...!
Armaan: (taken aback) But… kyun Ridhimaa?

Ridhimaa again broke into sobs and when she spoke, her voice was muffled with tears.

Ridhimaa: Please Armaan… waapas… waapas chalo na. Mujhe kahin… kahin nahi jaana… tumhe chhod ke… please?

As soon as Ridhimaa finished, Armaan knew what was wrong. He removed his other hand from Ridhimaa's face and covered her hands with his.

Armaan: Ridhimaa…

Ridhimaa cried, not looking at him.

Armaan: Basket…

Ridhimaa continued to cry, looking anywhere but at Armaan.

Armaan: (taking a deep breath and the word coming out involuntarily as he exhaled) Jaan…

Ridhimaa looked up to find who Armaan was calling 'Jaan', only to discover him looking at her with utmost love and tenderness.

Armaan: I'm sorry Jaan… I'm not angry at you… not at all…
Ridhimaa: (after she got over the shock and ecstasy of Armaan calling her 'Jaan') Main… main isliye nahi ro rahi thi kyunki tum gussa the…
Armaan: To fir meri Basket kyun ro rahi thi?
Ridhimaa: (tears again appearing in her eyes) Tamanna… Tamanna chali gayi… ab main bhi chali jaungi… fir tum… tum bilkul apna khyal nahi rakhoge…

Armaan was astounded. Of course he should have known the reason of Ridhimaa's tears! There was nothing else to be expected from Ridhimaa than her loving devotion and care. Armaan kissed Ridhimaa's forehead and jammed his head against her, still holding her hands.

Armaan: Hum abhi Mamma-Daddy ke ghar jayenge… tum wahaan rukogi…

Ridhimaa opened her mouth to protest but Armaan continued.

Armaan: Ridhimaa… wahaan pe sab tumhara wait kar rahe honge… kitna sab soch rakha hoga unhone aaj ke din ke liye… tum un sabka dill to nahi tod sakti na? Aur waise bhi, shaam ko Reception me to hum saath honge hi. Aur kal main tumhe lene aa jaunga. Tumhe time bhi nahi milega mujhe miss karne ka…

Ridhimaa shook her head in refusal.

Armaan: Main apna khyal rakhunga…
Ridhimaa: (raising her head, asking like a child) Promise?
Armaan: (kissing her forehead again) Promise!

He started the car and started driving.

Armaan: (singing) Hye Rabba...
Tu hi meri jaan,
Tu hi jahaan,
Tu hi meri manzil,
Tere ishq me main qurbaan... main qurbaan...

Ridhimaa smiled. Armaan sang the same stanza again and again, each time emphasizing on the word "Jaan", until they reached the Gupta House.



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