Saturday, 11 April 2020

Part 7 & 8 : Armaan aur Riddhima ka safar

part 7 

The Gupta family was on their way to the Malik's house for their first get together. The two sisters were sitting at the back of the car, Anjali was very nervous and Riddhima was helping her to calm down. Anjali was now ready to give her answer; she was ready to move ahead in life and this was a very big step. As they reached their destination they all got out of the car and made their way towards the house; Riddhima was walking behind with Anjali when she suddenly stopped.

Ridz: Oh no… - hitting her palm on her head and looking clumsy

Anji: What's wrong? – stopped and looked at her

Ridz: My phone…I left it in the car…papa can I have the keys please…main abhi ayi…

Shashank: Here you go… - giving her the keys – …jaldi ana…

Ridz: Okay papa… - takes the keys and goes back to the car



Shashank, Padma and Anjali stand on the door step waiting patiently after ringing the bell. Vikram opened the door and gave them a warm welcome into his home.

Vikram: Welcome… please come in…kaise hai aap log?

Shashank: Very well…hello Atul beta…

Atul: Hi uncle… - looks at Anjali and thinks – …WOW…

Atul was now staring at Anjali and was not able to look away; after all she was looking nothing less than a princess. She was wearing an anarkali suit in white and gold designs and a white dupatta. She looked very beautiful with her casual jewellery and makeup but it didn't stop Atul from staring at her. He was quickly pulled back down to earth as Armaan who was standing next to him cleared his throat and nudged him as to say "wakeup" at the same time as Nandani had walked out of the kitchen and made her way into the foyer to welcome her guests.

Nandani: Arre...aap log agaye…aye na… – welcoming the guest into their home – …Padma Ji…Anjali beta…how are you?

Anji: I'm fine aunty… - smiling

Vikram: Arre…hamare choti betiya kahan hai…woh nahi ayi?

Padma: Actually…woh… - cut off by the door bell

DING DONG

Padma: That should be her... - smiling

Nandani: Aap sab aye na…andhar aye…

Shashank, Padma and Vikram followed Nandani into the living room and Armaan went to open the door as Atul and Anjali stood facing each other talking through their eyes.

As Armaan opened the door he stood there in shock just staring at her; she looked extremely beautiful in her red and gold anarkali suit, very similar to the one Anjali was wearing but with different designs, she was wearing a little more jewellery than Anjali and her hair was neatly tied up. She was just as shocked to see Armaan standing at the door as he was to see her.

Ridz: TUM? What are you doing here?

Armaan: Huh? – coming out of his thoughts – …What?

Ridz: Behre ho kya? What are you doing here?

Armaan: Ajeeb ladki hai…you've come to my house and you're asking me what I'm doing here… pagal…

Ridz: Kya kaha tumne? Pagal…main aur pagal…tum toh…

Armaan: Haan…you're right…tum sirf pagal nahi ho…tum toh sab kuch hai…pagal, janglee, crazy, stupid…pura list hain mere paas…sunna chati ho?

Ridz: TUM! – stepping up now at the same height as Armaan

Armaan: Kitne baar tumhe kehna parega…it's Armaan…not TUM! Please get it right…

Ridz: Whatever…

They were both bickering on the door step and their voices had begun to rise which woke Atul and Anjali from their silent conversation and they both came to the door.

Atul: Ammy? What's going on? – looks at Riddhima still outside – …Riddhima tum waha kya kar rahi ho…andhar toh ao… – looks at Armaan – …tu bhi na Armaan… – looking cross at Armaan

Riddhima stepped in and as she walked past Armaan she gave him a very mean look as he looked on curiously in anger.

Armaan: Bro? You know her? - shock

Atul: Haan…yeh Riddhima hain…Anjali ki behen…

Ridz: Kya kaha tumne? – looks at Armaan – …Bro?... – looks at Atul – …he's your brother?

Armaan: Wait…hold up? Anjali ki behen?

They both looked at each other fuming.

Anji: Tum dono ek dusre ko jante ho?

Riddhima spoke to Anjali at the same time as Armaan spoke to Atul.

Ridz: Dii…yeh wohi ladka hai…"chachundar"...

Armaan: Bro…yeh wohi ladki hai…"Miss. Gamandi"… – then turns to Riddhima - …what did you call me? Chachundar?

Ridz: Haan…that's what you are…aur tumne kya kaha…Miss. Gamandhi …how dare you call me that? - angrily

Anji: Ridzi…calm down… – looking a bit embarrassed

Atul: Armaan…stop it now…

Nandani walked out of the living room to see what was going on as their voices were becoming very loud.

Nandani: Tum log abhi bhi yahan hain…andhar chalo… – looks at Riddhima – …arre Riddhima beta…kaisi ho tum?

Ridz: Main theek hoon aunty…aap kaisi hai? – ignoring Armaan and smiling at Nandani

Nandani: Main bhi theek hoon…andhar chalo…Anjali beta awo na… - takes both the girls inside and the boys follow

Armaan was still very confused about Riddhima; he was very surprised to see that his family had become very attached to her in such a short amount of time. He was able to understand why they liked Anjali but Riddhima was very different…he didn't expect this…not in his wildest dreams.

Both families sat together chatting away and getting to know each other better; Atul and Anjali were once again having a silent conversation amongst themselves while Armaan and Riddhima were silently fuming at the looks of each other. After a while Nandani got up and was going into the kitchen to serve dinner when Padma followed her into the kitchen to help.

Nandani: Aap betiye na…

Padma: Koi formalities nahi…please… – smiling

They all sat around the table and had a lovely dinner; they praised the excellent food and then went back into the living room very pleased. Atul and Anjali sat next to each other and Anjali had now become very nervous once again as she knew that it was time to give her answer. She looked around the room and then at Riddhima who was sitting at the opposite end of the room admiring the cute couple. She saw that her sister's expression had changed and she gave her an encouraging smile.

Vikram: Toh Anjali beta…tumhara phesla kya hai?

Anjali looked around at everyone smiling then she looked down in her lap and after a long silence she spoke up.

Anji: Haan… – whispers

The room erupted with a loud cheer and everyone was happy.

Shashank: Atul beta…tumhara phesla kya hai?

Armaan: Bhaiya ka phesla haan hai…pehle din se…

Vikram: Toh baat pakki! - happily

Atul smiled very sweetly and looked at Anjali who couldn't stop blushing. Nandani went out of the room and came back in a minute later with a plate of methai (Indian sweets). They each took turns to feed Atul and Anjali and then each other. Everyone was very happy and the elders began to talk about engagement and wedding dates. Throughout the evening Armaan and Riddhima hadn't said a word to each other and as the Gupta family was ready to leave Riddhima gave Armaan the dirtiest look.

Ridz: – thinking – …Oh great! I can't believe we are going to be related…pehle class mein mere jagha le liya…phir mere doston ko apna banaya aur ab mere pariwaar…what's worst than this?

Armaan: – thinking – …How can everyone like her so much? One she's annoying…she thinks she's the best and now everyone likes her...she really needs to sort herself out…

Riddhima and her family walked through the door saying bye to everyone and made promises to meet again very soon...
............................................
part 8

Ridz: – thinking – …Oh great! I can't believe we are going to be related…pehle class mein mere jagha le liya…phir mere doston ko apna banaya aur ab mere pariwaar…what's worst than this?

Armaan: – thinking – …How can everyone like her so much…? One she's annoying…she thinks she's the best and now everyone likes her...she really needs to sort herself out…

Riddhima and her family walked through the door saying bye to everyone and made promises to meet again very soon…



By the next day Riddhima's mood had changed a little; she had decided that she wouldn't make an issue out of the "Armaan" problem and just let things go the way they were at the moment. She thought that there was no point in arguing now that they were going to become family. While getting ready these thoughts were floating around in her head and she made her mind up that she would try and have a lovely day without any tension. She went downstairs for breakfast with a bright smile on her face. Padma and Shashank were sitting down at the breakfast table having tea when she walked into the kitchen.

Ridz: Good Morning mama…morning papa… – hugs both of them and sits down

Shashank: Good morning Riddhima beta…

Padma: Kya huwa…bohot khush lag rahi ho…kya baat hain? – eyeing her suspiciously

Ridz: Kuch nahi mama…bas aise he…dii kahan hai? – looking around and picks up a piece of toast from the plate

Padma: Uss ke liye phone aya tha…she had to leave early…she said sorry she won't be able to give you a lift today…

Ridz: Kya…par ab mujhe late jaana parega… - making a face

Shashank: I'll drop you to school if you want…

Ridz: Don't worry papa…your office is in the opposite direction…main bus se chale jawongi… – she gets up – ...I should leave now if not I'll really be late...bye…

Padma: Theek hain beta…take care…

Shashank: Bye…

Riddhima left the house with a slight frown on her face but as she crossed the road she remembered the promise she had made to herself and quickly brought a smile to her face. She walked down the road smiling at all the familiar faces as she made her way to the bus stop; she got there a few moments later and waited patiently looking down the road to see if the bus was on its way when she felt a strong hand on her shoulder making her turn sharply.

Vivik: Hi gorgeous… – looks at her

Ridz: – looks at him and becomes nervous – …Vivik…tum yahan…yahan kya kar rahe ho?

Vivik: Babes…I think this is a bus stop…and anyone can come here…right? - smiling

Ridz: Umm…I didn't mean it like that…I just meant…

Vivik: Its okay I was just joking… – puts his arm around her shoulder

Ridz: What are you doing? – very uncomfortable

Vivik: - removes his arm from around her – Okay I'm sorry…

The bus arrived suddenly and they both got on together; Riddhima felt extremely awkward as Vivik walked her towards the back seat asking her to sit by the window and he sat next to her holding her hand.

Vivik: Babes…what's wrong…ever since we've come back to school your attitude towards me has changed…

Ridz: – she really wants to tell him the truth – …Umm…its nothing like that Vivik… – decided that it's not the right time – …I've just been busy with coursework and new subjects…

Vivik: You sure?

Ridz: Yeah of course… – very nervous and she hates telling lies

Vivik: Okay…but tonight I'm taking you out…we'll go and watch a film...we haven't been out in ages…

Ridz: I'm sorry Vivik…I can't make it tonight…I've got a deadline for tomorrow morning… - lies

Vivik: Okay then…Friday night?

Ridz: I'm really sorry Vivik but I won't be able to make it any time… - covers up quickly – …I mean…dii ki shaadi pakki ho gayi hai…we're really going to busy for the next three to four weeks…

Vivik: Wow…that's kool…when's the wedding? - excitedly

Ridz: During the half term…

Vivik: That's cool…we'll have lots of fun…

They carried on talking and Vivik tried to get closer to Riddhima, she realised that they had almost reached the school and suddenly got up before Vivik made a move. As they got off of the bus Vivik grabbed hold of Riddhima's hand and they walked into school just as the bell rang. Riddhima hated being late and Vivik insisted that he'll walk her to her class. When they reached there a few moments later Vivik whispered in her ear that they would have lunch together, he kissed her on the cheek before he left. Riddhima felt disgusted as well as angry at herself for letting this matter go really far. She walked into class thinking of putting this tension behind her and became excited as she thought of giving her friends the good news about Anjali but as she reached the gang…

Niki: Wow…this is going to be so cool…

Abhi: Yep…can't wait…thanks yaar Armaan…

Ridz: Hey guys…kya ho raha hai? – hugs Muskaan and Nikita like always

Muskaan: Hey Ridzi…congratulations…

Ridz: Kis baat ke liye? – confused but settles herself down in a chair between Armaan and Muskaan

Niki: Arre yaar Ridz…you didn't even tell us that dii's getting married…woh Armaan ne bataya aur hume invite kiya hai engagement aur shaadi ke liye…

Ridz: Kya?? – shocked - …Par main…I was going to surprise you guys today and invite you guys from my side…lekin tumne… - looking at Armaan

Armaan: Ab maine kya kiya… - confused - …how was I meant to know you were going to surprise them…you didn't even tell me…

Ridz: But guys…tum sab ladki wale ke taraf se ah rahe hai…haina? – looking at her friends

Rahul: Umm…but Ridz…Armaan invited us first… – looking guilty

Ridz: Kya?? Rahul…tum mere dost ho na? Muskaan tum bhi?

Muskaan: Ridzi… - sadly

Ridz: Kya Muskaan…you knew everything from the beginning par phir bhi you're taking his side… – stands up and is about to leave – …this is your friendship… – looks at all her friends and walks out

Muskaan: Riddhima… - shouts after her

As Riddhima left the room the others look around at each other with guilt. Muskaan and Nikita decided to go after her to  settle this problem before it went out of hand. They walked out of the class and saw Riddhima standing a little away from the door leaning on the wall and wiping the tears from her eyes.

Ridz: – thinking – …Yeh sab mere saath kyon hota hai…I just wanted this day to go well…par…first Vivik and now my friends too…why is this happening to me?... – still in her own thoughts when Nikita and Muskaan walk towards her

Muskaan: Ridzi… – puts her hand onto Riddhima's shoulder

Riddhima wiped her tears away from her eyes and turned to look at her friends sadly.

Niki: Ridz…please ro mat…hum dono ladki wale ki taraf se ayenge…

Ridz: Sirf woh baat nahi hai Niki…

Muskaan: What's wrong? – very concerned

Ridz: I thought that you guys were all going to be with me at this time...I was going to give you all a surprise...but he ruined it all...and on top of it all that... – sniffing and wiping her tears - …woh…I've got to do something about Vivik…I can't stand it any longer…

Niki: We are with you...we're your best friends and we will always be with you… – putting her hand on Riddhima's shoulder

Muskaan: Niki is right Ridz...we'll always be with you...and about that idiot...you don't worry about him…we'll sort that out later…you just think about this weekend's engagement aur shaadi…forget about everything else…

Niki: Haan…we'll really enjoy ourselves…and then we can sort out Vivik later…

Ridz: Thanks guys… - hugs both of them and feels slightly better

Muskaan: Ab chalo…who have we go first?

Niki: We have a free lesson…that means you have English… – looking at Riddhima who makes a face

Riddhima and Armaan went to their English lesson where they had to work as a pair. Their teacher had set them a task of reading, researching, creating posters and note sheets and then performing a scene from the classic William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet throughout this term. They both had sat at the same table but Riddhima made sure she didn't look at Armaan; not once. She carried on reading through the scene throughout the lesson and making her own notes while Armaan did the same but once or twice he would look over at her work to see if she needed help. She, however, completely ignored him and carried on as if she was sitting on her own with no one next to her.



After having such a bad day at school Riddhima had decided to go home early. Muskaan and Nikita had forced her to come to the mall with the gang but she refused. Her mood did change for a bit after giving Armaan the silent treatment but it didn't last long as she was forced to have lunch with Vivik. She gave everyone an excuse about her ill health and went home early.

No one was at home when she arrived so she went up to her room to rest. She placed her bag at the bottom of her bed, walked over to the terrace door, turned the key, opened the door and walked out onto the terrace. This was Riddhima's favourite place whenever she had things on her mind; she would sit out here for ages and just think. She walked out and had a look around the terrace, a small swing chair was on her right but instead of sitting on it she walked over to the banister and held on. There were flower pots arranged neatly around the floor of the banister and the corners. She looked out over the terrace and down onto the massive garden and had a flashback of her and her elder sister running around and playing catch. She quickly blinked tears away and turned back to face her room. She had turned to her right and looks at her favourite spot…there was a small rooftop, she climbed up on to a small bench and sat on the roof, hugged her legs close to her letting tears drop from her eyes.

It was one depressing day for Riddhima; she had come home to an empty house; Shashank was still at work, Padma had gone out to visit one of the neighbours and Anjali had not yet returned home. This thought had finally hit her that Anjali would be leaving her;  she was so happy that her sister had found such a lovely family that she hadn't realised that soon her beloved Anjali Dii will be leaving her and moving away from home. She hugged her legs closer to her as more tears rolled down her cheeks and thought of all the times she needed Anjali more than anything.

Riddhima sat outside on the terrace for so long lost in her thoughts that she hadn't noticed that it had become a little breezy. She had only come out of her thoughts when her room light was turned on by Anjali. She quickly wiped her tears as she heard Anjali call her name; Anjali had seen Riddhima's bag but no Riddhima.

Anji: Ridzi? – calls her name for the second time

Ridz: Main yahan hoon dii… – from outside, wipes the tears from her cheek

Anjali walked out onto the terrace to see Riddhima sitting on the slopped rooftop hugging her legs.

Anji: Ridzi? Tum yahan kya kar rahi hoon? You'll catch a cold if you stay out here...come i... – cut off by Riddhima

Ridz: Dii…ao na…come sit with me…

Anjali looked at Riddhima and smiled; she stepped up on the bench and sat on the rooftop next to her sister. Riddhima hugged her around the waist and leaned her head on Anjali's shoulder.

Anji: - looks at her sister in concern – Kya huwa Ridzi?

Ridz: Kuch nahi dii…bas aise hi…

Anji: Riddhima…tumhe jhoot bolna bilkul nahi janti toh koshish bhi mat karna…ab batao…

Ridz: Dii…it hasn't been my day… – doesn't know where to start

Anji: Kyon?

Ridz: …First I had to walk to school with Vivik…I feel so bad about lying…dii I think I made the wrong decision about him…I don't know what to do…then uss idiot ke saath mera jagda huwa tha…aur phir se Vivik ke saath mujhe lunch karna para…aur jab main wapas ghar ayi toh aap yahan nahi thi… - by now she's in tears again – …dii…aap mujhe chor kar jaane wali hai…main aapke bina… - breaking down

Anji: Bas…bas… - hugs her little sister

Anjali was also close to tears but didn't want to show it as she wanted to be strong for Riddhima, she realised how difficult this was going to be for her. They both sat in silence for a while until Anjali spoke up.

Anji: Riddhima…aaj nahi to kal…sab ko jaana parega…aur…I'm not going that far…just three roads away from here…we'll meet every week …

Ridz: – looks up – …Promise?

Anji: Promise… – smiles and wipes Riddhima's tears from her cheeks and puts her hair behind her ears

Riddhima still looked upset.

Anji: Aur sun…about Vivik…I think you should speak to him after the wedding...just leave it for now but you should speak to him right after the wedding and end it once and for all…then you just concentrate on your studies okay?

Ridz: Haan dii… - still upset but nodded

Anji: Okay…listen…do you want to design my wedding dress?

Ridz: - looks up quickly – Kya?? Are you serious? – can't believe what she had just heard

Anji: Yeah…very serious... – smiling - …you know I love your designs…I want you to design my wedding dress by Monday so that I can have it made in two weeks just in time for the wedding…

Ridz: Wow…dii…I can't wait! Main abhi shuru kar deti hoon… – ready to get up

Anji: Nahi…abhi nahi…I was thinking…why don't we go Southall now…just have a look around and decide on something for the engagement...its only 3:30pm…if we leave now we'll have plenty of time to look for a good outfit, jewellery and accessories before the shops close…

Ridz: Awesome idea dii…lets go… - they both get up and go into their room.

They went shopping in South hall to get their outfits for the engagement in the coming weekend. They were both really excited and Riddhima had such a good time and was so happy about designing Anjali's dress that she had forgotten about her bad day and slept with a smile on her face that night...


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