Saturday, 4 January 2020

Chapter ten :25 With 18


"I can't believe you told him!" Armaan was in his car driving Ridhima home. Despite the beating he had received in the morning Armaan was able to tuff it out throughout the day and late after school. There were times when he had the urge to just leave school in mid day but was able to restrain himself with the thought of Ridhima in his car after school.
"he already knew."Ridhima said as she looked out the window. The clouds had become really gray almost black looking but still no rain had fallen. She wished that rain would fall; it felt like rain hadn't dropped upon her town for years.

part 15 AR FF : "and then she said it"

part 15. The longest day of my life.

"Armaan?" I heard someone calling me. But the voice was very distant, so I ignored it. "Armaan?!" This time, the voice sounded irritated and angry.

"ARMAAN!! Saale, get up" A not so gentle smack followed the voice jolting me awake from my beauty sleep. Dazed and confused, I groped for my mobile. I groaned when the light in the room was switched on. I gasped when I checked the time. It was 3 in the morning!!

"Rahul, please switch the light off. I didn't even have a wink." I drawled, pulling the pillow to cover my face.

I heard faint sounds of the washroom door and then the wardrobe door. Puzzled at what was happening, I opened my eyes slowly to take a glance at the proceedings. I watched Rahul running to and fro in the room, putting on his vest, then his pant and then a white kurta. I wondered what was going on.

Friday, 3 January 2020

Chapter Nine : 25 With 18


Ridhima was tried like no other when waking up in the morning for school. She hadn't had more than an hour of sleep last night. She had fallen asleep around four just thinking about Armaan and woke up at five for her long walk to school.
Slowly and tiredly Ridhima walked towards school. Her mind kept on racing with that kiss in mind. Every second she would think of him, every time she would try to think of another subject her thoughts would race back to him. He was her teacher, seven years older. Yes a dashing man but still more experienced in every way then her. He knew what he wanted and she hadn't the slightest clue.
Ridhima was half way to school when she heard a rusty old pickup truck honk at her. She turned to see Mark waving at her to get in his truck. She pulled open the dented truck with peeled off red paint and got in.

part 14 AR FF : "and then she said it"

part 14 . Oh! Not so warm welcome!

"But Raji, she is an orphan. What's the need for Armaan to marry such a girl?"

Mom sighed in exasperation listening to the same complain probably for more than a dozen times. For the last four days, since the invitations were sent, someone or the other of our relatives or family friends visited our home. Few of them had enough decency to let mom explain about Riddhima before they jumped into judgment. But few of them, like my paternal aunt in the above case, just complained that Riddhima wasn't the one for their nephew. Mom, expecting such commotions, made sure that Riddhima spent her time away from home during the day in the last four days. Most of our relatives living in Bangalore itself, we only had daily visitors.

Thursday, 2 January 2020

Chapter Eight :25 With 18


Ridhima just could not get him out of her head. She lied in bed just thinking. Today was the first day she actually got along with Armaan. He wasn't that bad of a man that she thought of him to be. He did not treat all the women around him like he treated her. He noticed her and she knew it well enough.
The clock struck midnight and still she could not sleep. After a few more minutes of tossing a turning Ridhima got out of bed to take a walk. The town would be empty at this time of night, it always was. She grabbed her coat and out the door she went. The night felt cool and calm, just how she was from the inside.

part 13 AR FF : "and then she said it"

part 13. The journey of my lifetime.

As our cab pulled into our colony, my heart raced, filling each and every cell in my body with a mad thrill of something which was alien to me. Sure, I have been through this feeling of eagerness as well as anticipation a couple of times before but this time it was so intense that I couldn't ignore it. And then there is this grin on my face, which doesn't seem to fade away for a second. Rahul, sitting beside me, chuckled way too many times glancing at me but I couldn't help it.

I waited patiently, while Rahul paid the fare to the driver. There wasn't much luggage we have brought. Just a bag for each of us for all we had back in Hyderabad was formal clothes. Now, I don't think people would approve of me if I roam around in formal clothes in my own wedding, will they? Even the time taken for the elevator to slide down from fifth floor to the ground floor seemed to have taken few hours.

While we were waiting for the elevator, few of the aunties from the flats wished me, few of them said Riddhima was lucky- which made me almost fly in the air, few of them spared me curious glances and few of them enquired Rahul when he would get married- to which he turned red around his collar. I grinned at them as usual. They might be genuinely happy or might be curious as to know how on earth we Malliks have decided to let Riddhima into our family. But some things are out of the range of mind and logic, aren't they?

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Chapter Seven : 25 With 18


            Armaan stopped the car in front of Ridhima's home, he did not expect her to say anything to him as she hadn't last time but instead of getting out of the car she did say something to him "Mr. Khanna, your expectations of women are different then the expectations of the men I have in mind. You think that if I show interest in you, then it will be one easy way to get me in your bed but the same is not for me. I do not need you nor do I want you in my life. In your world of celebrity, women may come knocking on your door with just a smile from your lips, but in my world it is not the same. What you are seeking is trouble. A girl like me looks for love, a man like you looks for lust. So please for my sake and your own, leave me alone."

part 12 AR FF : "and then she said it"

part 12. Groom-al miseries 

It had been two days that I was back to Hyderabad. It being already the end of April, the new recruits were expected to join us in a month or two. So everyone in the HR department had been busy for the last two days and so was I. I had talked to Riddhima properly only once over the phone when I called home to let them know I had reached safe. The means by which I had to talk to her turned out to be a problem. I have to call on mom's mobile or the home landline. Calling on mom's mobile turned out to be little embarrassing. And strangely the landline was always answered by Muski who seemed to have decided to stay with Riddhima since they were giving their finals. She, being the devil she was, never allowed me to talk to Riddhima properly in her presence. Moreover since they had their final papers this week, I decided not to disturb her frequently.

Back here at Hyderabad, Rahul treated me with cold shoulders when I told him that our roka was done. He talked to mom asusual when she called him to apologize as it was done without his presence. But I had been at the receiving end of his sort of silent treatment. Come on, my readers, what do I do if I was roka-ed with Riddhima without my knowledge. Not that I complained but how do I inform him beforehand if I, myself, wasn't aware of that? So I was on my mission of being extra sweet to him.

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Chapter six : 25 With 18


            Ridhima ran out of Armaan's car as soon as he had reached her house, neither had said a word to each other. It had been the most awkward and nerve racking moment or Ridhima's life. And what scared her most was that she wanted it to happen again.
            As soon as Ridhima entered her house her Aunt Sheen was home. "Her Ridhima how was school today" Sheena asked from the kitchen when she heard the front door open. "Good" Ridhima said and then went straight to her room before her aunt could see her pale face.
            Ridhima quickly closed her bedroom door and locked her. She leaned against the door as she slid down to the floor. She covered her mouth with both her hands as she started to breathe deeply to get her heart beat back to normal.

Part 11 AR FF : "and then she said it"

part 11. Not yet !

Sitting in the cab, awaiting my destination, I felt weird in a positive sense. Never in my life did I imagine I would come across something like this. It was as if tiny bubbles of happiness were being created in my heart on their own accord. Something was changing. But I cared less for I knew I was happy. If not a little more than just happy. I was excited and something like content. It had been ages since I felt something like this.

"Saab, we have reached." The cab driver shook me when I didn't respond to him. He had a confused look on his face when I looked at him. I put up a straight face and opened the door, only to realize that mom and Riddhima, both would be at the college. Thinking otherwise, I shut the door again and settled in the seat. I asked the driver to take me to the college.

Leaning back on the seat, I closed my eyes and sighed. The first thing that flashed in my brain was Riddhima. It was strange the way she had come into our lives. Especially into my life. And the events that followed the last time I had been in Bangalore were a kind of bizarre. And so were the feelings of mine towards her. They had been so unpredictable and confused. But she just walked into my thoughts effortlessly, sometimes scaring me but sometimes just making me smile.

Monday, 30 December 2019

Chapter five :25 With 18


            "Romantic Art, can anyone from you thee tell me what Romantic Art is?" Armaan said. It was the second day of school and work was really going to kick in for his students without a drought.
            Mark and Justin looked at Armaan like he was speaking a different language while Ridhima was the only one able to follow what he was speaking of.
            "Romantic Art was the time when painters were obsessed with the idea of having their paintings look perfect" Ridhima said as Mark and Justin looked like they had stepped in to a different planet.

part 10 AR FF : "and then she said it"

part 10 . Yes, I am happy now!

Hyderabad.

I felt good to be back here. As soon as we got into a cab, I closed my eyes and breathed in, my heart's full. I always felt glad to be here, as it was the world I, myself, had built for me. But this time, for once, it gave me a sense of comfort. Now that I was here, I felt as if I had been suffocating for the last dozen of hours at Bangalore. It was weird the way in which the place which soothed away all my worries was the reason for my suffocation. Just because of one particular decision.

During the journey in flight, somehow, Riddhima invaded my thoughts to the fullest. As much as I tried, I couldn't wipe out that one last look she gave me. There was something in her eyes. And that particular something left me disturbed.

Even the ride back to our flat, the company had provided us, was refreshing. The weather was just like I had anticipated, not so chill and not so warm, when our flight had landed. This place was always close to my heart, for it gave me support when I had been in a mess after dad's demise. And I hoped it provides me the same now.

Sunday, 29 December 2019

Chapter four : 25 With 18


            As soon as Ridhima entered her house the clock struck six. Her aunt wasn't at home so it was safe for Ridhima to openly feel what she felt. She wished at the moment she was not so reserved around people. She thought that if she could be like the other girls in school at least she would have a chance to speak to Armaan Khanna more openly at least it would create room for a relationship of friendship.
            To Ridhima the thought of love was so out of the question. How could she fall in love with a man who is her teacher? Not only that but she barely knew the man. For bloody hell she had written research papers on that mans success and the idea of her actually liking his just was not comprehendible.

part 9 AR FF : "and then she said it"

part 9 . Never say good bye...?!

"Armaan." I heard mom's faint voice and felt her ruffling my hair ever so gently, just like the way I loved. That somehow relaxed me. I tried to open my eyes but they were too heavy to do so. My head was also aching. May be I could just sleep for some time?
I didn't have dinner last night. I shut my door and stayed alone. I didn't understand what bothered me the most. Riddhima's past or the fact mom chose her for me inspite of knowing about her past. Deep down, I was hurt with mom's decision.

"Get up Armaan." Mom whispered again. I opened my eyes a bit. Oh God! They were burning as I did so. However from the small crevice between my eye lids, I saw mom sitting beside me on the bed. I moved my head on to her lap and shut my eyes again. I felt as if as I had closed my eye just before mom came to wake me. It might be true. I had been thinking the whole night. Of what, I had no idea of. My head had been no less than garbage of various thoughts, though everything revolved around Riddhima sometime or the other.