Sunday, 15 December 2019

PART 26: Mr. & Mrs. Mallik

Wedding of Mr. & Mrs.Mallik

Riddhima drifted awake when she heard some fuss. She opened her eyes and looked around. She frowned not finding Armaan beside her. After a moment she realized where she was sleeping and sighed, pulling the blanket up to her face to bury her head in it. But before she could catch some sleep, she heard someone calling her name and even shaking her slowly. She tried to ignore it but then her half asleep brain recognized the voice and sat up with a start.

"Come on Riddhima, it's already 3 am. We have to leave by 4 to the temple. Go get ready." Ananya said to her lovingly brushing her hair. Riddhima smiled at her and got to her feet. She went to her room and took the saree, which Ananya bought for her, out and moved towards the bathroom. She realized it was locked from inside and sighed. She sat on the bed and waited for the person to come out. As she sat there her mind drifted off to the events of the last two days.



Riddhima was surprised to find some of the relatives of Armaan pouring in to attend their wedding. To add to her surprise, she found her uncles, aunties and few of her cousins too. She thought to have a quite wedding but with Ananya supervising it, it was next to impossible. She shook her head smiling at the enthusiasm of her mother-in-law, who seemed happy now, with her eyes filled with sparks. She was happy for her. She could notice Armaan speaking softly to his mom without feeling much uncomfortable. Everything was going perfect, she thought as she leaned back on the bed.

The previous day the pandit told them that it was good for them to get married at 6.25 am at the temple. So they decided to leave by 4 to the temple. Vijay, who reached that day, after discussing it with Shashank, booked a travel bus for all of them to reach the venue. When everything was done, at night, the girls decided to sleep on the floor in the living room, with elders using the other two rooms, and the boys sleeping in the guest room. Riddhima remembered the scowl on Armaan's face when he was asked to sleep away from her and chuckled.

"Riddhima, you are not ready yet?" Muskaan screamed noticing Riddhima appearing lost on the bed. Riddhima jumped at her voice breaking away from her thoughts, while her cousins giggled looking at them.

"No Muski, I am just waiting for the bathroom to take bath as-" as she looked at the bathroom, she found it empty. She smiled sheepishly at Muskaan and ran to the bathroom. She peeped back and added "Muski, ask aunty to wake Armaan. He is such a sleeping devil. He won't get up easily." Little did she know what Armaan was doing. Muskaan smiled at her and left.

Armaan on the other hand was the first person to get ready. Raji almost got a heart attack when he came and woke her up at 2.30 am. He was in euphoria at the thought of marrying his wife. Finally, he would have his basket all to himself. His heart was jumping in ecstasy and sleep was miles away from him the previous night, for he was afraid to miss his own wedding due to his dear sleep. He infact didn't allow Rahul, who came to sleep at his home, to take a nap.

Now that he was ready, he searched for Riddhima in the house, but couldn't locate her. He didn't get a chance to talk to her or hold her properly let alone steal a kiss for the last two days. He was determined to meet her once before they left for the temple. He spotted everyone, except Riddhima, running around in the house busy with the last minute preparations.

"Muski, where is Riddhima?" he asked Muskaan when he bumped into her.

"She is in her room, getting ready. I just helped her with the saree." She told and Armaan made his way to their room. "Don't be late. Come fast" she added and winked at him.

Armaan ran to his room and without knocking sneaked into the room quietly. He found Riddhima standing beside the dressing table with her head bent adjusting the frills of her saree. Her wet hair was tucked up in a messy bun leaving her entire back bare except for a small piece of cloth of her blouse at the lower end and the string that was supposed to hold her blouse in place at her shoulders is still undone. He swallowed the lump in his throat when he noticed her pallu still hanging down from her waist. He locked the door and slowly moved towards her.

Riddhima oblivious to his presence in the room, was busy in fixing the saree frills with the help of a safety pin. She heard the door click and thinking it to be Muskaan, said "Thank God Muski. I was about to call you. I am--" She turned around and stood rooted to the spot finding him gazing at her intensely. He was breathtakingly handsome in his off white sherwani and that dreamy look on his face.

She noticed his eyes drop down from hers to her lips then her neck and then down lingering there for a few moments before moving further down. She followed his gaze and that's when she realized that the pallu of her saree was not on her shoulder yet which left her front body open to his hungry eyes. She immediately shut her eyes and turned around going red with embarrassment, wrapping her chest with the pallu.

His heart stopped beating altogether when she faced him. He felt as if he was knocked out of his breath all of a sudden, all his senses abandoning him. He eyed her body thoroughly admiring each and every curve of hers. His head was drowned in the thought that she was all his, after a few hours. He moved to her, when she turned around with her back facing him yet again, with his heart beating madly again after an abrupt halt.

Her pulse quickened when she felt him coming closer. She yearned to be in his arms for the past two days but now that he is behind her all her amassed courage flew out of her and she trembled. She gasped when she felt his hand creeping along her waist from inside her saree and closed her eyes savoring the tingling sensations that his mere touch arose in her.

"Riddhima" he whispered in her ear brushing his lips against her ear ever so sensually. He pulled her closer tightening his hold on her as her bare back brushed his chest and wrapping his other hand around her waist supporting her. He bent down a little and placed wet kisses on her nape and neck. She sighed and rested her head back on his shoulder, placing her hands over hers on her waist.

"I love you." He breathed out sucking her skin moving the blouse off her shoulder. He turned her around facing him. He looked into her eyes for any trace of confusion or fear but found none. Smiling a little, he placed his lips on hers kissing her deeply with his palms spread over her back roaming carelessly. She quivered as she felt his cold palms on her back and entangling her hands around his neck, pulled him closer desperate for a closer contact of their bodies.

Soon, unknown to themselves, they landed in bed with Armaan on top of Riddhima kissing her eagerly demanding for something more. He left her lips and moved down to her throat before going down to her cleavage. Pulling her blouse a bit down from her shoulders, he dug his face further down into her, fondling her breasts with his lips. She fisted his hair and pulled him closer biting her lower lip to refrain herself from moaning loud. He bit her hard lost in his passion and was brought back to planet earth when she let out a loud gasp in the pain he gave her.

He rose his head up panting and looked at her quite disoriented. She opened her eyes slowly, in a daze, and met his eyes which were twinkling in passion. That's when they noticed the ring of his mobile and he groped for it in his pocket, balancing his weight on his elbow. While what just transpired between them rushed back to her, she lowered her eyes, breathing heavily. She pulled her pallu over her body blushing while he took the call.

"Armaan, what the hell are you doing? I am knocking at your door for the past 5 minutes. If you don't come out, I am going to call aunty." Muskaan blasted at him while he closed his eyes to get his pulse back to normal.

"Just two minutes. We are coming." He whispered looking down at Riddhima who turned deep red by then.

"You better do that." She scowled and cut the call.

He threw the mobile on the bed and rested his head in the crook of her neck breathing in and out, thinking what to speak. By now they have grown comfortable with their physical intimacy and make outs but this was way a step ahead. As silence prevailed in the room, all they could hear to was the mad beating of their hearts.

After a couple of moments, when they were back to normal, Riddhima ruffled his hair and asked "Armaan, whose call is it?"

"Muskaan. Everyone is waiting for us. We can continue this at night when we return but now we have to rush." He said winking at her, rolling off her only after receiving a smack. As he got up from bed and went to the dressing table to fix his hair, she gasped in horror looking at her saree which was completely out of order.

"Armaan, you completely spoiled my saree." She seethed at him, catching hold of the frills in one hand and supporting the pallu on her shoulder with the other. He looked at her and noticed his deed and felt sorry for the beautiful saree which was completely distorted. He thought she would cry looking at her face. "Muskaan helped me for half an hour with this." She added.

"Ok wait. I'll call her. Don't get upset." He said and was about to move to the door when she stopped him.

"No wait. Don't call her. She will tease me to no end if she saw me like this. You help me." She told him and asked him to hold the frills. He did as she instructed him and after struggling for 15 minutes, they were done with the saree. Armaan sat on the bed exhausted while she ran to the dressing table combing her hair and applying light make up.

When Riddhima was ready, she moved infront of him asked "How do I look?"

He looked at her from head to toe and smiled seductively. "I would rather show than answer it." He whispered.

"Shut up Armaan." She hit him and they both moved towards the door.

When she was about to open the door, he pecked her lips once and said "You look extremely beautiful in a saree." While she blushed, he held her hand and they moved out of the room. They were surprised to notice it totally empty except for Rahul waiting for them.

"Rahu, where is everyone?" Armaan asked surprised. Rahul looked at them and couldn't help but admire the couple.

"Everyone is in the bus waiting for you. Muskaan is with them calming them when you are busy romancing." Rahul winked at them and chuckled. Riddhima wished she could bury herself somewhere. She ran from there while Armaan smacked Rahul while moving out. They locked the house and went to the elevator.

As soon as they got into the bus, Armaan and Riddhima were bombarded with questions from everyone on why they were late. They both looked at each other and gulped while Rahul and Muskaan came for their rescue and cooked up some nonsense.

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It was 6 am when they reached the temple and by then the pandit was already waiting for them. Thanks to the weather, early in the morning, everyone was either in a shawl or a sweater except for Armaan and Riddhima and Riddhima was totally shivering. But Armaan found it a blessing in disguise. He kept Riddhima close to himself for the entire time, explaining to their aunties, that she was feeling cold when they raised their brows.

For the time pandit made everything ready for the wedding, Armaan and Riddhima sat at a secluded corner in the temple wrapped in a shawl Armaan borrowed from one of their cousins. Riddhima noticed him looking at his mobile and at the entrance of the temple restlessly for every minute.

"Armaan, is anyone yet to come?" she asked him.

Armaan looked at her in surprise as to how she came to know. But then she was Riddhima, she could read his eyes if he didn't speak. "Huh? No... Yes... I mean..." he stuttered and continued "You know Abhi... His flight is at 5.30 am. So I asked him to come here directly. Waiting for him." He said and sighed when she didn't probe him further.

Soon the pandit asked them to come and sit infront of the god. Armaan tried his number but it was switched off.

"Panditji, can we wait for 5 minutes?" Armaan asked him, surprising everyone.

"Armaan, is anyone yet to come?" Raji asked him, while Ananya questioned the same with her eyes.

"Yes, Raji." Armaan answered restless pacing to and fro trying Abhi's number.

"Who?" Raji asked him. As far as she knew, everyone was present. She didn't understand who is so important that he was waiting for.

"Abhi. He is on his way. Just a few minutes." He said and moved to the entrance of the temple to catch a good signal of the mobile.

While Riddhima frowned, Raji went behind him as it was getting late. Riddhima noticed Raji talk to him and then her face full of surprise. Then she noticed Armaan talking to someone over phone and his face fell suddenly. He then cut the call and moved towards the temple with Raji, his face sullen.

"Where is Abhi?" Vijay asked Armaan moving towards him while Shashank followed him.

"Due to fog, his flight is cancelled. He will come tomorrow." He replied and moved to the place where Pandit asked them to sit. He gave a smile to Riddhima who returned it gladly.

Throughout the process, Riddhima was deeply drowned in her own thoughts. From today, everything would change in her life. Her identity would be Riddhima Mallik in true sense. She looked at everyone around her. She could notice innumerable expectations in their eyes. She was scared all of a sudden. She should be a good wife, a good daughter-in-law. She was apprehensive if she could handle it. Not that she is going to a new family, but still she felt anxious. She wished her mom or sister were there to support her. And the thought brought tears to her eyes.

When Armaan was about to put Sindhoor in her maang, she looked up at him and he noticed tears in her eyes. He quickly put the sindhoor and looked around what to do as tears rolled down her cheek. Raji and Ananya ran to her side asking what had happened. Armaan just shrugged his shoulders looking helpless having no clue as why she was crying. Shashank came to her and patted her head trying to calm her but her sniffs only increased, scaring Armaan. He tried to cite the reasons which could make her cry but came up with none. She was extremely happy a few minutes ago.

"Riddhima. What happened? Why are you crying? Did something happen? Are you OK?" Armaan asked her desperately, his heart twisting in pain to see her crying.

Riddhima looked up into his eyes only to find his gaze watery. She looked around and found Raji, Ananya and Vijay extremely worried, along with the pandit and her dad. This is her family now, she thought, which would make sure she is happy no matter what. They all love her, probably more than her parents and sister. And more over with Armaan by her side, there is no need for her to get worried, her heart repeated. She found no reason in crying. She again turned to Armaan and stared at him for a moment before hugging him tight. He was taken aback with the sudden hug but wrapped his arms around her shushing her, rubbing her back slowly.

"I love you Armaan. So much." She mumbled burying her face in his neck and everyone giggled at them releived. He turned red in embarrassment when she pulled him closer. He smiled sheepishly at everyone and whispered in her ear. "Riddhima." Even the pandit chuckled at the couple and everyone laughed out loud.

"Basket, everyone is looking at us." He whispered once again when she pulled him even closer. But she didn't leave him though he could feel her sobs subsided. "Riddhima, they are laughing." He added a bit loudly shaking her slightly. This brought Riddhima back to present and she jerked back at once. She noticed everyone smiling at her and turned to him, but finding him grinning; she looked down and shut her eyes turning scarlet.

"That's Ok. I love you too." He whispered in her ear, giving her a side hug, only making her cheeks go darker.

Soon the pandit resumed the process and asked Armaan to place to mangalsutra on her neck. But he looked at her once to make sure she was not crying. "Basket, don't cry again. I love you." He said and received a smack from her while everyone laughed again and blessed the couple. They took the saat pheres and then were declared a man and wife infront of God.

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Throughout the journey back to home, Riddhima held Armaan's hand in hers and rested her head on his shoulder dreaming about the beautiful life awaiting them. Can anything be more perfect, she wondered. Her thoughts drifted off to her journey with Armaan, how they met, fought, got married, understood each other and then fell in love. Along with a wonderful husband, she also got two mothers, not one, in the form of Raji and Ananya. Her father loved her now, or right it might say, he is proud of her. Everything was due to Armaan. She had been extremely happy in her life after he came into her life, she thought.

But then suddenly something struck her brain. Due to Armaan? No. Its due to Sanjay. She looked at Armaan suddenly as she didn't find him at their wedding.

"Armaan, did you invite Sanjay?" she asked him frowning.

"Ofcourse basket, How can I forget him? It's because of him that I ended up with you." He said and added "But he is busy with some meeting for collaboration of his business. He said he would come for lunch."

She smiled at him and again rested her head on his shoulder, enjoying the cold morning breeze. After a couple of minutes, she fell asleep and he wrapped a shawl around her when he felt her snuggling closer to him for warmth. He pulled her closer and kissed her forehead.

Holding her tight in his arms, he thought about his life - with Riddhima. She is his angel, he declared. His life has become all the more colourful with her by his side. All the loneliness that he felt somewhere deep down vanished when she entered his life. Starting as mere strangers who couldn't pass a moment without fighting, he wondered how they ended up in love. Whatever it might be he was extremely glad they did. They were now complementary and dependent on each other for their own good. A smile adorned his face as his mind bathed in reminiscence and drifted off to sleep resting his chin over her head.

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Luv ya!

Sushmita

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