Saturday, 18 April 2020

Part 16 & 17 : Armaan aur Riddhima ka safar

part 16

Riddhima walked towards the desk and took out the thing she had found earlier, she placed them in her hand and puts her hands behind her back. All this time Armaan watched her; looking confused; she walked back to him and he stood up.

Ridz: Yeh kya hain? – brings her hand from the back and holds it up to reveal…a pile of photos of her

Armaan was completely shocked that she had found the photos and he just stared blankly at her.

Ridz: Kya hain yeh sab? – repeats

There was silence for a while as he stood there thinking of what to say to her.



Armaan: I'm so sorry… - puts her to sit down on the bed and crouches down next to her - …I think you have the same illness that Kadher Khan had in the film Mujhse Shaadi Karogi…khabi khabi tumhe dikhai nahi deti aur khabi sunayi nahi deta…I think you should go to the doctors…

She stood up and looked at him with a sarcastic smile; he tried to take the photos from her hand but she pulled back.

Ridz: Very funny…ab batao…

Armaan: Its photos…if you don't know…

Ridz: I can see that…par meri photos tumhare kamre main…tumhara takye ke niche kyon hain…

Armaan: Umm…

Ridz: Bolo…

Armaan: Okay…I'll tell you…

Ridz: I'm waiting…

Armaan walked closer to her and she moved back, he walked closer and she moved further back again. Riddhima walked backwards slowly as Armaan walked closer and closer until she hit the wall. He moved very close to her heart began to thump hard against her chest and she breathed loudly; he moved his hand up and took the photos from her hand while they stared into each other's eyes…they stood so close to each other for a long time just looking at each other, it was like the time had stopped for them, like they were the only two people on the earth…but not for long…

Nandani: Riddhima beta…dekho kaun agayi hain… - from downstairs

Nandani's voice broke their peace and they looked away from each other.

Ridz: This isn't finished here…we'll speak later…

She moved slowly around him trying not to touch him as he was very close and walked out of the room. Armaan was left standing there looking at her leaving…he ran his fingers through his hair and smiled…

Armaan: Mar gaya Armaan… - cute smile

Riddhima went downstairs and met Anjali and Atul at the bottom.

Ridz: Hi dii… - hugs her

Anji: Ridzi! Hi…kaisi ho tum?

Ridz: I'm fine dii…how are you?

Anji: Main theek hoon…

Ridz: Hi Jiju…how are you?

Atul: I'm good…it's so nice to see you…

Anji: Haan…par Ridzi tum yahan kya kar rahi ho…you should have told me you were coming…we would've stayed at home…

Ridz: It's okay dii…actually I didn't want to tell you because I wanted to surprise you but I had a lovely day with aunty…and it's good that you got to spend some time with Jiju…

Anji: Tu bhi na Ridz… - smiling and hugging her

Atul: Chal lets go inside…

They walk into the living room and had a general chat, Nandani brought in some snacks and after a while Armaan joined them and as he walked in Riddhima looked up at him but he ignored her. Vikram came home some time later and they spent some time chatting away then they had dinner. They were all sitting around the dinner table beginning to eat…

Armaan: Mum…have I ever told you that you're the best cook ever… – tasting the food

Nandani: Nice try…but aaj ka khana maine nahi banaya…

Armaan: You didn't…Umm… - takes another mouthful – …bhabi you're such a good cook!

Anji: Armaan…maine khana nahi banaya…I wasn't at home today…

Atul: Jisne bhi khana banaya hain…it's amazing…

Vikram: Kisne banaya? – looking around the table

Nandani: Aaj ka khana…Riddhima ne banaya…she didn't even let me come into the kitchen today…

Armaan almost choked on his food and Anjali passed him a glass of water.

Atul: Waah Riddhima…you're an awesome cook!

Ridz: Thank you…

Vikram: Khana bohot acha hain Riddhima beta…

Anji: Very good Ridzi… - smiling

Nandani: Very delicious…

They all praised Riddhima's food but Armaan didn't…he just carried on eating quietly. When they had finished their dinner Riddhima had decided to leave because she had to go to school the next day and didn't want to stay up too late. Anjali had asked Armaan to give Riddhima a lift home as Atul had a headache and after a little bit of begging he agreed; Riddhima said bye to everyone and they all praised her once more before she left.

The ride home was awfully silent; Riddhima spent most of the time looking out of the window while Armaan concentrated on the road. They were near the park when Riddhima broke the silence…

Ridz: Gadi roko…

Armaan: – looks at her but continues driving – …Kyon?

Ridz: Please stop the car…

Armaan stopped the car and looked over at Riddhima.

Ridz: Bolo…

Armaan: Kya?...Tumne to kaha gadi roko…ab tum bolo… – knows what she's talking about but wants to tease her

Ridz: You know what I'm talking about…

Armaan: Umm…no I don't…how am I suppose to know why you wanted to stop the car…? - smiling

Ridz: Uggh!! Why are you making this so difficult? – annoyed

Armaan: Okay…okay…I'm sorry… - smiles at her anger

Riddhima looked at Armaan quietly waiting for him to start answering questions.

Armaan: Thanks…

Ridz: Thanks? – confused

Armaan: For tidying my room… – smiling – …what else do you want me to say?

Ridz: Aarrgh!!! Tum na…you're unbelievable…! – really annoyed

Armaan: What??

Ridz: I'm talking about my photos! Who took them? Why did they take them? And why are they in your room, under your pillow?!! – frustrated

After so many questions there was a long silence; Riddhima just realised what she had said and went quiet, she looked down into her lap. Armaan looked at her and smiled; he decided it was time that he brought his feelings out to her. He reached out and took hold of her hand which made her look up at him. He began to stroke her smooth hand with his fingers as he talked.

Armaan: Okay…I'm sorry… – looks into her eyes – …ab se main jo bhi bolunga sab sach bolunga…main jaanta tha ke tum kis bare main baat kar rahi thi…I just wanted to tease you… - holds his ear with one hand as to say sorry

Riddhima's facial expression softened a little at this gesture.

Armaan: Umm…actually…I don't know where to begin…I have so much to say… - closes his eyes for a few seconds and opens them again – …okay…here goes…I took your photos…at the time, during the earlier functions, even I didn't know why I was taking them…you…you just looked so beautiful…

Riddhima was in shock to hear this but she smiled.

Armaan: When I first met you…I thought you were so big headed, annoying and stubborn and I know you also thought the same about me… but when I saw you at the wedding…only one thought ran through my mind…

Riddhima waited to hear what that thought was and through her expression she gestured for him to carry on.

Armaan: I thought you were the most beautiful girl in the world…you looked so beautiful… I couldn't take my eyes off of you…I just wanted to capture that moment forever and I took the photo…I'm sorry if you're hurt or…

Ridz: It's okay… - she doesn't know what to feel

He carried on caressing her smooth hands, now completely facing her and continued talking…

Armaan: Riddhima…

Riddhima was so shock to hear him actually calling her name for the first time and her hand twitched in his; he noticed and smiled.

Armaan: Riddhima…I don't know how to say this but…I can't sleep without looking at your photo…I can't work when you're not around…I want to know that you're alright where ever you go…I think about you all the time…I lo…

He stopped to think if he should carry on…Riddhima was all smiles.

Ridz: Go on…

Armaan: I love you Riddhima…I love you…

She closed her eyes and took in the moment; there was complete silence as they sat there letting that one sentence echo through them. Armaan took her hand up to his lips and kissed it gently which made Riddhima hold her breath. She opened her eyes, looked at him quickly then turned away.

Ridz: Its…its really late…I think we should go now…

Armaan: Huh? Maine itni bari baat kehdi aur…tum ho ke…ghar jaana chati hain…what's your feelings?

Riddhima remained quiet, smiled slightly and looked out of the window.

Ridz: Please mujhe ghar chor do…its getting late…

Armaan: Oh I see…playing hard to get… - smiling – theek hain…take your time…

He let go of her hand, started up the car and drove to her house. The estate was really quiet when Armaan pulled up outside her house; Riddhima went to open the door but Armaan held onto her hand once more, she turned to look at him.

Armaan: I love you Riddhima… – kisses her hand

She didn't look at him but smiled widely, got out of the car and went into the house without turning back. Armaan would've thought that she had taken it the wrong way if he hadn't seen the big smile on her face before she left.

Armaan: Hayee…sharma gayi… – sighs to himself and drives off

What the two of them didn't know was that Vivik had witnessed the entire scene from his bedroom window and was fuming.

Riddhima walked into the house and leaned against the door smiling to herself; she was so happy but still couldn't believe she had heard what she had been waiting to hear for ages. She quickly straightened up and walked into the living room where Shashank and Padma were sitting watching tv. They both looked up as she entered.

Ridz: Hi mama…hi papa… – hugs them both

Shashank: Hi beta…how was your day?

Ridz: Bohot acha tha…

Padma: How's everyone there?

Ridz: Everyone's fine…okay mama…I'm really tired…main sone ja rahi hoon…good night…

Shashank/Padma: Good night beta…

She went up to her room and threw herself onto her bed smiling widely thinking about what just happened. She closed her eyes and let the whole day's events replay in her head; when she had found the photos, when she had questioned Armaan about them, when they were soo close in his room, how he had praised her food, the way he held her hand, then the way he had spilled his feelings and kissed her hand. She looked at her hand that Armaan was holding and kissed it. At the same time her phone rang, she sat up quickly and looked at the unfamiliar number and answered it with a puzzled look.

Ridz: Hello?

Armaan: Haye… - sighs

Ridz: Tum?...Where did you get my number from?

Armaan: Bhabi ke phone se liya…

Ridz: Bad manners…chor ho tum…

Armaan: Tumhare liye main kuch be kar sakta hoon…

Riddhima was silent.

Armaan: Chup kyon hogaye? Kuch to kaho…

Ridz: – silent for a while – I…love you too… - whispers

Armaan: Kya? Why didn't you say it earlier…mere samne…

Ridz: Kyon ke tum mujhe jaane nahi dete…

Armaan: Waah...you know me so well…phir se kaho na…

Ridz: Nahi…

Armaan: Kyon?...

Ridz: Bas…aise hi…

Armaan: Please…

Ridz: Theek hain…I love you… – very quickly

Armaan: Aise nahi…slowly…romantically…with passion… - slowly

Ridz: Okay…okay…I get the picture… - sweetly - …I….Love…You…Armaan…

Armaan: Haye…mere naam tumhara muh se kitna pyara lagta hai…for the first time…it sounds much better than…chachundar, Mr. Akru, idiot, you, jerk…

Ridz: Woh isliye kyon ke…you were so annoying and you use to call me all sorts of names too…kya tha… - thinking – …Ms. Not Interested, drama queen, bhoot, Ms. Gamandhi…

Armaan: Okay…okay…I'm sorry…aaj se woh sab baand…sirf Riddhima…theek hain…

Ridz: - smiles – I love you Armaan…

Armaan: I love you too Riddhima…

There was a long silence.

Armaan: Dinner was really delicious…

Ridz: …Thanks…

Armaan: …Phir se banaungi mere liye?

Ridz: …Of course…

Armaan: And thanks for tidying up my room…

Ridz: …No problem…

Armaan: Aur kuch kahogi ya sirf doh shabd main jawab deti rahogi?

Ridz: – laughs – Chal bye…

Armaan: Already?

Ridz: Haan…hum kal milenge…

Armaan: Okay fine…

Ridz: Good night…

Armaan: Night sweet dreams…I love you…

Ridz: Love you too… - ends call

Riddhima got her stuff ready for the next day before going into the washroom to get dressed. She came back into the room a few moments later and lies on the bed thinking of Armaan; she grabbed her phone from the bedside table and sent a text to Armaan saying: Not fair…mere paas tumhara photo bhi nahi hain... Cry

A minute later she received a message with Armaan's photo; she looked at it and smiled.

Ridz: I love you Armaan…

Then she goes to sleep with a smile on her face.
.............................
part 17

The next day Riddhima woke up in a good mood and had a bright smile on her face while she got ready; she took her time getting dressed making sure she made an effort to look extra nice. She ran downstairs but suddenly came to a halt in the living room as she heard voices coming from the kitchen.

Ridz: - stands there listening - …Pagal…now you're hearing his voice…get a grip Ridz! – hitting her head with her hand

She smiled as she walked into the kitchen; she pictured Armaan sitting around the dining table with her parents having breakfast; she stopped at the door way and looked at him.

Ridz: Now you're seeing things… – to herself

She stood there for a while staring at him until Shashank noticed her; Armaan smiled at her.

Shashank: Riddhima beta? Kya huwa?

Ridz: Haan... - coming out of her trance – …haan papa?

Shashank: Come and sit down…have your breakfast!

Padma: Riddhima…you've become so forgetful lately…tum apne bag waha pe bhool gayi thi…Armaan brought it back for you…

Ridz: Oh my gosh!...Yeh sach main yahan pe hain… - to herself – …umm thanks!

Armaan: No prob… - winks at her and she looks around to see if anyone else noticed then smiles

They had breakfast and then Armaan and Riddhima leave to go to school. They arrived really quickly, Armaan parked the car and they walked into the building holding hands.

Armaan: You're looking beautiful…

Ridz: You've said that at least ten times already but...thanks again... - shy

Armaan: So…are we gonna tell everyone today?

Ridz: Umm...I don't know... – looking scared

Armaan: They will find out somehow and when they do they'll kill us for not telling them...

Ridz: Umm…okay…what do you think they'll say?

Armaan: …Dunno…let's see…

They walked into the room to see the rest of the gang sitting together. Rahul, Muskaan and Nikita sat around a table with Abhi who had his head on the table and looked up as they came in.

Abhi: Guys…tell me that I'm dreaming or tell me that I need more sleep…

Muskaan: Huh?

Niki: What are you on about?

Abhi: – sitting up – …Did I just see Armaan and Riddhima walk into the room holding hands?

They all turned to look at the door and instantly their mouths dropped open.

Rahul: What the…

Armaan and Riddhima walked over to the gang and smiled at their shocked expressions.

Ridz: Hey guys…

Armaan: Muh baand kar…maaki undhar chali jayegi … – smiles

He sat on the table and Riddhima stood close next to him, he then put his arm around her shoulder, they looked like the most cutest couple ever. The rest of the gang, whose mouths were still hanging open, stared at them in amazement and shock.

Rahul: Yeh kya ho raha hain guys?

Armaan: What does it look like?

Muskaan: Ridz?

Ridz: Kya? - shy

Niki: I don't believe this... – in shock

Abhi: Are you guys messing with us?? – looking at his phone – …it's not April's Fools is it?

Armaan: Nahi yaar...

Rahul: Toh puri kahaani batao na...

Armaan: Main aur Riddhima ek dusre ko pyar karte hain...

Niki: Kya?

Abhi: Rid-dhi-ma? OMG! What happened to Ms. Ghamandi?

Muskaan: Pyar?

Ridz: Haan pyar!

Muskaan: I knew it...didn't I say that you two would make a cute couple...congratulations guys... - gets up and hugs Riddhima

Ridz: Thanks...

Armaan: C'mon guys...get over it... - looking at the other three

Rahul: Congrats... – slaps Armaan on the shoulder

Niki: I'm so happy for you guys!

Abhi: I still don't believe this!

The five of them began to hit him and they all had a good laugh until the teacher came in, he took the register and then they all left for their lessons; the girls had textiles and the boys had economics. The girls walked into the room talking excitedly about the new couple as they began their work.

Muskaan: So when did this all happen...

Niki: And how?

Ridz: Pata nahi...I think...during the wedding functions...

Muskaan: Aww...

Niki: What's the whole story? – excited - …Who told who first...?

Ridz: You guys wouldn't believe how I found out...kal maine pure din dii ke ghar pe guzare...koi nahi tha just me and aunty…then she went out and I went up to Armaan's room...it was such a mess…

Muskaan: Typical...all boys are the same...

Ridz: I know...then when I fixed up I found some pictures of me under his pillow...

Niki:/Muskaan: WHAT? – shocked

Niki: Ar-maan!

Muskaan: With…your…photos?

Niki: Under…his…pillow??

Ridz: That's exactly how I reacted...they were photos from during the functions...I didn't even know he took them...then I was going to ask him about them but dii came home and I couldn't...

Muskaan: Phir?

Ridz: After dinner dii asked him to give me a lift home...on the way I asked him again...and he told me everything… I was shocked and happy at the same time...I didn't know what to do...

Niki: Did you tell him?

Ridz: No I didn't...because I knew he wouldn't let me go...then I went home and he called me...that's when I told him...

Muskaan: At least you guys have put your differences behind you and moved on...you guys make a really cute couple...

Niki: Yep...made for each other...but we noticed before...especially Armaan's attitude towards you had changed during the wedding...

Ridz: Chal...let's do some work now... - changing the subject with a big smile on her face

They carried on chatting as they worked on their individual projects, the teacher was not there. Riddhima had gathered lots of images together and was setting them out on the page for her folder when someone came behind her and covered her eyes; she instantly put her hands up to the hands covering her eyes...

Ridz: Who is it?

??: - Guess... – close to her ears

Ridz: Armaan??

Armaan: Bulls eye! - comes in front of her

Ridz: What are you doing here? - looks around the room to see that the other boys are here too

Armaan: Lesson cancelled...thought I'd come and see you… - sits down next to her

Rahul sat next to Muskaan and Abhi sat in between the two couples.

Rahul: Where's your teacher?

Muskaan: Not in...lesson cancelled…

Abhi: So what are you guys doing here…chal let's go to the common room and chill…

Niki: That's what I said earlier but madam here will never miss this lesson...teacher or no teacher... – everyone laughs

Ridz: Why waste valuable time…if you guys want to go you can go I'm going to sit here and do my work...

Abhi: Okay...I'm going to go...see you in the common room at break...bye…

All: See ya...bye…

Nikita carried on with her work, Rahul sat there watching Muskaan work and Armaan and Riddhima sat together going through Riddhima's work.

Armaan: Your work is soo beautiful... just like you… - reaches out over the page and touches her hand

Ridz: Armaan...! - hits his hand

Armaan: Kya? - smiling

Riddhima started to move around cutting images out, sticking them down as research.

Armaan: You want some help?

Ridz: Okay...

They worked together, now and then looking up and smiling at each other, speaking through their eyes. After the lesson they went up to the common room and met Abhi, they talked generally, the two couples sitting together having their cosy moment while Nikita looked on affectionately and Abhi as if he was going to puke. They spent their free period studying and joking around at the same time and then they went to their lessons after lunch, Muskaan and Nikita went to Art and Rahul and Abhi went to Business Studies and Armaan and Riddhima sat in the library doing research for their English project. They sat in a separate cubical area on their own going through books and making notes, Riddhima stood up and went over to photocopy some pages while Armaan sat there waiting for her. Vivik turned up by Armaan and grabbed him by the collar.

Armaan: What do you think you're doing?

Vivik: How dare you take my girlfriend?

Armaan: Excuse me? – standing up - …Riddhima broke up with you...and she was never your girlfriend…there was never anything between the two of you...so get over it… - angrily

Vivik: She's mine…I don't ever want to see you near her again...do you get it?

Armaan: Listen… - points a finger at him - …Riddhima is mine...not yours...stay away from us...if not...there's gonna be trouble...

Vivik: You... - is cut off by the librarian

Lib: What's going on here? This is a library! Please behave yourself!

Vivik: I'll sort you out later... - points a finger at him and walks out

At the same time Riddhima walked back to the cubical to see Vivik walking out angrily and Armaan also looking mad.

Ridz: What happened...woh yahan kya kar raha tha?

Armaan: Kuch nahi...forget it...

Ridz: Are you okay… - sits down next to Armaan and puts a hand on his shoulder

He took her hand and kissed it with a smile on his face.

Armaan: Main theek hoon...let's get on with our work…

Ridz: Okay... - still a bit concerned about Armaan

They carried on working until the last bell rang. They left the library, met up with the others outside school and decided to go to the mall to chill out...


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