Thursday, 23 April 2020

Part 24 : Armaan aur Riddhima ka safar

The Easter holidays had come and gone in a jiffy and before they knew it the gang was back in school and sitting behind those hard wooden desks in the humid exam hall racking their brains for the answers on the question papers. They had spent the entire two weeks of Easter revising for these final exams; some were as usual not really bothered and thought they would just take it as it comes and others were biting their nails through nervousness wondering if they will pass.

The gang had taken their ICT exam first which they found; for some strange reason; very easy. Armaan and Riddhima had sat their two hour maths paper which just seemed ongoing for Armaan and slightly difficult for Riddhima. They were now sitting in the hall half way through their English Literature exam; both sitting distant from each other, their pens working away on their question papers. Every ten minutes Armaan would look up at the clock, then at the invigilator then back at his paper. When the examiner had called out that there was only five minutes left Armaan scribbled his last few sentences while Riddhima scanned through her paper for the second time making sure she had no spelling mistakes and that she had answered all the questions.



They were told to put their pens down and sit quietly until the papers were collected; as they gathered their belongings and left the hall; the chatter started up. Riddhima waited just outside the hall doors for Armaan to be dismissed along with some other students; he came out and put his arm around her shoulder with a big smile on his face while they walked out into the courtyard.

Ridz: Kya huwa?

Armaan: Kya? – smiling, denting the dimple on his right cheek

Ridz: Why are you smiling so much? – looking at him as they walked together

Armaan: Just...I feel like smiling...problem?

Ridz: No problem...just seems a bit weird that you're smiling so much after an English exam… – sitting down on their favourite bench

Armaan: Hmmm...yep…I feel great...my last exam is over...now just chilling...the weather is perfect...I'm sitting here with the love of my life...what more can someone ask for... – looking up at the sky then to Riddhima

Ridz: Lucky for you... – sulking slightly

Armaan: Why? You're not happy??

Ridz: How can I be? – he raised an eye brow at her – …I still have one more exam then the main event…

Armaan: Ridz...don't worry about it...

Ridz: How can I not worry about it Armaan...do you know... – she was cut off

Armaan: Of course I know how important this is for you...the exam is no problem because I know you will pass that...but the main event...I'm here for you…don't think that you're alone...just name it...I'll do anything for you...

Riddhima looked sweetly at him and smiled slightly, she held onto his hand and he gave it a squeeze.

Armaan: So...tell me...what can I do for you my dearest...

Ridz: Umm...just help around to set up...and... – fumbling a bit

Armaan: And what...

Ridz: Will you model with me? – looking down and speaking

Armaan: You were hesitating to ask me that? – Riddhima looked up – …Of course I will model with you...this is such a big event for you...your very first fashion show...I'll do anything to make this special for you...

Riddhima smiled widely and hugged him round the middle making him smile at her innocence. This was the first time that she had been given the opportunity to organise the school's charity fashion show; she had always helped the older girls while they had organised the show since she was in year eight, and now being a 6th former she was given the permission to arrange this year's show. She was also at a slight advantage as she was the only one who had finished making her outfit; three weeks before the deadline. She was so excited and was lost in her thoughts when the others had bounded up to the bench and Rahul had clicked his fingers in front of her eyes.

Rahul: Hi guys...what's up?

Niki: How was your exam?

Armaan: Was EASY!

Muskaan: Really?? – to Riddhima

Ridz: It was okay...

Armaan: I'm glad it's all over for me...

Abhi: I know...now just time to chill...I just want these next few weeks to be over and then...SUMMER!!!!

Niki: I can't wait... – excitedly

Muskaan: Not so fast Niks...we still have one more exam...

Ridz: And the... – she was cut off

Everyone: FASHION SHOW!!!! – shouted

They all laughed; that's all Riddhima had been going on about since it was announced in their Textile lesson three weeks back. She was so excited that she was not even that much worried about her exams; which made everyone shocked but they were happy that she was not worrying unnecessarily. The gang then left school; the girls went to the library to do their final revision on their Textiles exam which was the next day and the boys were across the road relaxing in the park until the girls were finished.



The next day had arrived very quickly and before the girls knew it they were walking out of the hall discussing the questions that were on the Textiles exam paper. They were happy that their exams were now all completed and they could think ahead without that thought lingering on their minds. Riddhima, Muskaan and Nikita sat around the pond enjoying the sunshine; Riddhima pulled out her scrap book and started talking through her ideas with the girls about the decorations for the hall, the lighting, back drop, names of models and the order that they will be modeling in. They talked about extra entertainment such as singing and dancing and also stand up comedy.

Muskaan: Wow Ridz you really have this entire show set out...this will be so great…

Niki: Yeah Ridz...this is going to be one of the best shows that this school has ever seen...

Ridz: I know it all sounds good...but this is just paper...I hope everything goes as planned...there's only a week and a half...exactly ten days to get this all sorted...

Niki: Don't worry….we're with you...you are not alone in this okay...we will make this happen...everything will be perfect...

Muskaan: C'mon Ridz just chill... – smiling at her

They looked up as they bell sounded and students poured out of the buildings for their break; they sat there still in conversation when Armaan's "fan club" walked up to them.

Minnie: Hi...umm Riddhima?

Ridz: - looking up – Oh...hi Minnie...how are you? – smiling

Minnie: I'm fine...umm we were just wondering...I mean...we heard that the fashion show is coming up...can we help you?

Riddhima looked from Minnie and her gang to the girls then smiled.

Muskaan: Wow...a "mini Ridz"… – smiling

Ridz: Of course you can help us... – the girls looked excitedly at her – …I'll tell you what...hmm how about you girls design the posters…what say? – looking from Muskaan and Nikita who nodded to the girls

Minnie: Yesss definitely...we'll do the posters…

Niki: That's great...thanks girls…

At the same time the guys walked towards them and sat down; the "fan club" became all shy and scuttled away grinning as they saw Armaan. Riddhima smiled at them and Armaan buried his head in her shoulder.

Abhi: So what's up guys?

Muskaan: Finished our exams and now getting ready for the big event...

Niki: Ridz has everything planned out perfectly and you guys have to help us organise...okay? – looking at them

Abhi made a face but Rahul and Armaan agreed and Riddhima once again went through the list of jobs that needed to be done. Sometime later the students headed back to their classes and the gang made themselves comfortable on the grass area enjoying the sunshine and discussing how they were going to make this show happen. They were each allocated different jobs; Riddhima management, Muskaan decorations for the hall; Rahul lighting; Nikita arranging the models, outfits and orders according to theme and Armaan and Abhi would organise extra entertainment plus making tickets and helping around.



Before they knew it the weekend had passed and it was time to move on from paper to the technical work. There was one day left before the main event, almost everything but the hall was sorted, extra entertainment had been organised, all outfits were ready and so were models, posters had been put up around the school and tickets were being sold during break time. Riddhima and Muskaan walked away from the hall to the main foyer to see how Armaan and Abhi were getting on; as they entered they saw a huge crowd gathered around a tiny table and two grown men shielding themselves and the tickets and there was lots of noise.

Muskaan: What is going on here?? – shocked

Ridz: - looked on in horror, she could feel her blood pressure rising – QUIET!!!!!

There was immediate silence and everyone turned to stare at her; s he calmed down and talked peacefully.

Ridz: Please make a queue and wait patiently until you receive your ticket… – everyone quickly shuffled along getting into a line – …that's better… – she walked up to Armaan and Abhi

Abhi: Thanks Ridz... – pulling himself up

Muskaan: You guys couldn't even do that much…and you call yourselves men... – smiling – …in all my life that I've known her...I've never heard her shout so loud…

They all laugh but Riddhima looked at them sternly and they got on with their work. Riddhima grabbed the file to see how many tickets had been sold; at the top of the list she could see that her friends had already brought tickets for their family; Abhi three, Nikita two, Muskaan two, Rahul one, Armaan seven, she looked at him quizzically but he was too busy selling tickets that he didn't notice. She made a mental note that she would ask him later. The gang carried on selling tickets throughout break time then got back to work when the students had returned to their classes.

Muskaan and Nikita were busy putting up the back drop with the help of the school technicians, Riddhima was moving around in the backstage making sure everything was prepared for the models, Rahul was fixing up the lighting and Armaan and Abhi were setting out the platform/ramp for the models to walk down with the help of others. They were extremely busy setting up for the main event that they had not realised that they had worked through two hours and it was now lunch time; Nikita and Muskaan were back up in the textiles room sorting the drapes for the stage and Riddhima was putting the netting around the hall. Rahul and Abhi made an excuse and went to get some lunch; Armaan carried on selling tickets.

One hour had passed and everyone had walked back into the hall to find Riddhima still busy working away. Armaan stopped the gang at the door and looked at her; then turned to the others.

Armaan: Look at her...

They all smiled and carried on with their work as before but Armaan walked over to Riddhima and took the drapes out of her hand and turned her around to face him.

Ridz: Armaan...what are you doing…please let me finish this off...

Armaan: No! – sternly – …Niki...

Nikita walked towards them and Armaan put the drapes in her hand then looked at Riddhima.

Armaan: You are going to leave this right now and come with me...

Ridz: But Armaan there's still so much to do...

Armaan: I don't want to hear a word...you are coming with me and you are going to eat! – sternly

Riddhima looked from Armaan to Nikita and back; giving up she handed the staple gun to Nikita, Armaan held her hand, grabbed her bag where she had left it earlier and dragged her out of the hall to the common room. They sat there in silence for a while as Armaan watched her force down a cheese sandwich.

Armaan: Slow down...there's no rush...

Ridz: Armaan there's still so much to do and I have to...

Armaan: And you have to do nothing... – finishing off her sentence – …there are lots of people down there that will sort everything out without you for another ten minutes...so just eat and stop worrying okay...right now you need to eat...if there's nothing in you how do you expect to look and feel gorgeous tonight on that stage...not that you don't already look gorgeous… – smiling

Riddhima finally smiled and carried on eating slowly listening to his non-stop banter. Sometime later they made their way back downstairs and into the hall to see that almost everything was set up; it was nearing three o'clock; countdown time was two hours and thirty minutes. Abhi was setting out the chairs while Rahul carried on fixing the fairy lights around the ramp. Armaan was helping with the chairs when Riddhima came up to him looking a little exhausted.

Armaan: What's wrong?

Ridz: Can you do me a favour?

Armaan: Go on...

Ridz: Can you please drive down to Birthdayz...dii will be there...I'll call her and ask her to arrange two floral vases...can you pick it up...

Armaan: Sure...call her now...I'll leave in a bit...it should be ready before I get there…

Ridz: Thanks… – smiling at him

She took out her phone and rang Anjali while going back upstairs to the girls who were putting the final touches onto their outfits, ironing and putting together their accessories. By the time Armaan got back, Abhi had set out all the chairs and the Rahul had the lighting completed; they went to chill out in the common room as they had worked hard all day and Muskaan and Nikita had gone over to Muskaan's place to freshen up. Riddhima had calmed down; she sat on the stairs of the stage looking around at everything when Armaan walked in. She went towards him to help him with the vases. Once it was set up on either sides of the stairs bringing some colour to the stage and they had double check on everything by going through Riddhima's neatly organised checklist they sat together on the stairs.

Armaan: Seriously Ridz...this place looks amazing...you've done a brilliant job...I'm speechless…

Ridz: It wasn't only me...everyone worked together on this...its called teamwork… – smiling – …I just hope everything goes well tonight...

Armaan: It will...don't worry about it...

Ridz: I hope... – looking down at her watch – …one and half hour to go... – excitedly – …where's your suit?

Armaan: Sheezze! – slapping his forehead

Ridz: What?? – suddenly – …Don't tell me that you didn't bring it…

Armaan: I'm sorry! – looking apologetically at her

Riddhima got up and looked angrily at him, not sure what she was going to do but then quickly she saw Armaan smile and knew he was just messing around; she kicked him and slapped him while he shield himself from her then grabbed hold of her hands and stopped her.

Armaan: - laughing – I'm soo sorry baby...I was just joking...really I'm sorry...

Ridz: That was not funny… – sulking she turned away not looking at him

He made her turn around and held his ears to say sorry; she instantly melted by this action and forgave him. He reminded her of the time and she went to freshen up; the girls had arrived and so had other models; there was a lot of rushing around as they got dressed and ready for the main event.

While in the main room someone shouted over the crowd "twenty minutes left" and everyone hurried up putting their final touches together. Riddhima was just touching up her eye shadow when her phone buzzed on the table in front of her; she quickly picked it up nervously.

Anji: Hi Ridzi...you ready?...

Ridz: Hi dii...yeah almost...is it packed out there?

Anji: Houseful...I've got to say this place is looking amazing...great work...

Ridz: Thanks dii...did you bring the digi cam...

Anji: Yeah I did...your Jiju is going to video the whole thing and I've got the camera...

Ridz: That's good...I'll probably miss the whole show while being back stage...but I'm so nervous…

Anji: You'll be fine...everyone here wishes you all the best…

Ridz: Thanks...bye...

She put the phone down and saw Armaan walk into the room; he looked dashing in his suit; grey trousers, white shirt and grey over coat; he scanned the room and saw Riddhima already staring at him; he smiled and walked towards her. Moving very close to her he whispered in her ear;

Armaan: You are looking drop dead gorgeous...

Riddhima blushed furiously; once she was ready he held her hand and they made their way towards the hall through backstage. Everyone was forming a line; both filled with nervousness and also excitement. They waited patiently while they heard the host welcome the audience and talked about the line up of the show; he announced the first team of models and their theme as they waited backstage. Armaan and Riddhima stood first in line, a few class mates stood behind them; Rahul and Muskaan were forth and Abhi and Nikita were fifth.

Armaan gave her hand a little squeeze as they made their way out onto the stage as the crowd erupted with a loud cheer and applause. They walked out from the right of the stage; stood in the middle; Riddhima modelled her metallic blue evening ball gown with the diamond studs shinning in all directions, Armaan walked down the stairs and held his hand out for her to take; she carefully walked down holding his hand and walked around the catwalk showing off her dress. She saw her family members sitting on the side and cheering her on, she smiled.

Vivik: Woooaahhh!

Riddhima forced a smile in his direction and Armaan squeezed her hand as to say ignore him and smiled at the crowd.

Fan club: Go Riddhima!!! – the girls shouted from the crowd

They smiled and made their way back onto stage letting the other models have their turn. Riddhima rushed back stage to check if everything was going as planned then rushed to the changing room to change into her second outfit for the end of the show. She went back to the main room to touch up on her make up; she searched her bag for the eye liner when she found a small gift box; she opened it slowly to find a small square paper, she took it out to find a silver heart shaped necklace with one shiny diamond sparkling in the right side of the heart; she smiled while staring at it then unfolded the paper to read a small note;

"Just for you my love...you deserve all the happiness in the world...congratulations for entering your first step into your life's dream..."

She smiled happily and thought for a second of how Armaan knew about her dream; but her thoughts were interrupted as a loud cheer came from the hall, she put the necklace on and looked at it on her neck through the mirror and smiled then she walked backstage to see the models excited after they had been on stage; now the younger group was modeling their hats that they had made in class and after that the dance was lined up to entertain the crowd. Everything had seemed to be going perfect.

Riddhima looked around for a sign of her friends but they were nowhere in sight; she rang Muskaan who answered the phone after the fifth ring.

Ridz: Where are you guys?

Muskaan: - shouting over the noise – Sorry...we're on the balcony watching the show...everything's just amazing!

Ridz: - smiled – Okay...I'll see you guy's later…

Muskaan: Yeah okay...all the best!!!

Ridz: Thanks!

The entertainment was almost over; the dance and singing was enjoyed but the crowd loved the standup comedy. After a few minutes of the crowd shouting "once more" it was time for the year thirteen's to model, they walked around the stage showing of their dresses and outfits. When it had finished the host was back on stage asking the audience if they had enjoyed it; they answered with a loud cheer and was quietened down after a few moments.

Host: Okay, okay...now last but not the least we have with us an outstanding student...whose favourite quote is "fashion is my passion"...she has designed and created a few too many outfits during this year...here she is with one last beautiful outfit...Riddhima Gupta...

The crowd erupted once more; louder than before as Riddhima paraded around the ramp in a beautiful blue; green and turquoise blouse and skirt, with a flowing sequined trail, the entire hall glistened as the light hit the sequins showering multi coloured light beams around the place; the crowd hooted and cheered as she made her way back onto stage where she was met by a few teachers and the host. They presented her with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a few gift vouchers.

Host: Thank you Riddhima for putting together such a wonderful show…it has been brilliant and we would like to tell you all that we have raised 2010 for the charity... – crowd cheered – …so Thank You… – to the crowd and then to Riddhima – …Congratulations... – he handed her the mike

Ridz: - waited for the crowd to quieten down – Thank You...thank you all so much...but I'm not the only one who deserves this... – smiling full of joy – …I would also like to thank my friends... – a loud cheer erupted from the balcony making Riddhima smile - …without whom this show would not have been possible...they have put in a lot of hard work to make this such an eventful evening...so I think we all deserve this together… – then only to her friends – …come down guys...this one's for you...

The crowd cheered as Armaan, Muskaan, Rahul, Nikita and Abhi disappeared from the balcony and appeared a few seconds later downstairs by the hall door, they made their way onto the stage and had a group hug as the host signed off for the evening and the models poured out from backstage onto the stage parading the ramp once again.



Half an hour later; everyone had changed back into their normal clothes and was packing their things away in their bags talking excitedly about how great the show was. On the way out the students would congratulate Riddhima as they said bye. Finally they left the changing room making sure they had all their belongings and walked into the courtyard which was full of families. As the gang neared their families they were welcomed by a loud cheer and applause as they were congratulated; everyone separated and went off to their families.

Anji: - hugging Riddhima – Congratulations my little sister...that was an amazing show...you guys were brilliant...

Ridz: - hugging her sister tighter – Thanks dii...I'm soo happy everything went so well and you all were here...

Atul: Of course we were going to be here...we wouldn't miss it for anything…

Nandani: Really Riddhima...you looked so beautiful up there...and your outfits looked stunning...

Ridz: Thank you aunty... – smiling brightly

Padma: I'm so proud of you… – hugging her daughter

Ridz: Mama!

?? – That was one amazing show you guys put together...and you were brilliant Riddhima... – a young girl came up to Riddhima and spoke with a friendly smile

Ridz: - smiling curiously – Umm..thanks...

Before she could say anything more Armaan walked towards them and leaned his arm on the girl's shoulder who shrugged him off.

Armaan: Ridz...meet Tannu...and Tannu...Ridz…

Riddhima smiled warmly and said hi and they introduced each other, completely ignoring Armaan.

Shashank: - over the noise – Umm I think the care taker would like to close down the school now...we're the only one left... – everyone laughed – …okay...my treat...everyone meet at Oasis...dinner on me…

Everyone made their way out of the school site and into their cars towards the restaurant for dinner; they had to wait a long time until they could be seated for twenty one people as all their friends and families were also invited to celebrate the success of the show. The evening was great as everyone chatted away and made their way home late that night...

No comments:

Post a comment

dilmilgayearblog.blogspot.com