Monday, 11 May 2020

part 48 : Arman aur Riddhima ka safar

It was now one week since the gang had received their results and decided on how they would begin their careers, they were all excited to begin their new working lives. Abhi had settled in the US and had rang them all to tell them how great it was and that he would be starting work within a week which was the same time as the gang. Armaan and Rahul had their inductions and were also due to start work on the same day as the girls were starting TFI. But Armaan promised that he would definitely be giving them a lift to the institute and as promised he arrived right on time at the Gupta's place while Riddhima was having her breakfast.

Shashank: I'll get that... – getting up from the table

Padma: - looking back at Riddhima - ...Riddhima beta...it will be okay...you don't need to be that nervous...you have been there already and you know what it's like...



Ridz: Haan mama...I know...but I don't know why I'm getting nervous...

Shashank: It will be okay Riddhima...c'mon you should make a move... – walking back into the kitchen with Armaan

Ridz: You're right papa... – getting up

Padma: Thanks Armaan...

Armaan: For what aunty? – curiously

Padma: We asked you at the last moment to give these girls a lift...

Armaan: It's okay...I don't need to start work till after ten...and it's still early...

Shashank: It's only for today as it's the first day...from tomorrow they'll take the tube...right Riddhima?

Ridz: Ji papa... – picking up her bag and avoiding his eye, then turning with a smile - ...I should leave now...bye mama...bye papa...

Padma: Bye beta...all the best...

Shashank: Bye Riddhima... – hugging her with a smile then moving back - ...I'll see you in the office Armaan...

Armaan: Yes sir... – smiling as he walked out

They settled down in the car and waved bye to Padma and Shashank who stood by the door. Armaan drove out of the estate; Riddhima placed her bag on the floor in front of her foot and looked at him with a nervous smile. They drove around the corner to Muskaan's place, Riddhima gave her a ring and she came running out of the house a second later, she jumped into the back seat saying hi to them.

Ridz: Hey Muskaan...ready? – nervously

Muskaan: Yep...I'm so excited... – with a wide smile

Armaan: At least one of you are...

Muskaan: Why? – looking from Armaan to Riddhima - ...What's up?

Armaan: Ridz is nervous as usual...

Muskaan: - laughing – Ridz...you've been there already...there's no need for you to be nervous...

Ridz: C'mon guys...of course I'm going to be nervous...I have been there before but not as a student...I was on work experience and it was different...

Muskaan: But it will be fine...don't worry about it...

Ridz: I hope so...

Armaan: Muskaan is right...just chill...like me... – wide smile

Muskaan: How was your induction? – to Armaan

Armaan: It was great... – happily - ...it was nothing like my work experience...they all know I'm going to take over the place...they all treat me like the boss... – smiling happily at Riddhima

Ridz: C'mon Armaan...be serious...

Armaan: I am serious...and sasur ji will definitely hand over to me...

Muskaan: Don't get your hopes up Armaan...uncle has two son-in-laws...and he's sure to choose his elder son-in-law...right Ridz? – teasing Armaan

Ridz: Of course... – smiling cheekily

Armaan: We'll see about that...for the moment why don't you guys think about your first day... – changing the subject

Riddhima and Muskaan laughed at him as he stayed quiet and carried on driving to the Institute; along the way the girls chatted excitedly about what will happen and how their first day would go. Armaan listened to them with a smile and noticed the immediate change in Riddhima's emotions as they arrived twenty minutes later.

Muskaan: Thanks Armaan... – grabbing her bag - ...c'mon Ridz...

Ridz: Huh? – looking from the building to the backseat where Muskaan was - ...Umm yeah c'mon...

She was about to get out of the car when Armaan held onto her hand making her turn to face him. She looked at him with a quizzical look he tilted his head and gave her a warm dimpled smile.

Armaan: All the best jaan...

Ridz: Thanks... – smiling sweetly at him

She got out of the car and walked towards the building with Muskaan, as they reached the top of the stairs they walked past a group of three girls who stood there talking about a hot guy. Riddhima looked at Muskaan and they smiled as they listened to them thinking that they were being like a group of teenagers. Muskaan shook her head at them and they carried on walking into the building through the automatic doors. They came to a halt as they looked around, many people were moving around here and there in their busy lives, this was the first time for Muskaan being here and they both seemed very excited.

Muskaan: Come on let's go in...

Ridz: Yeah...

They both looked in their bags for their ID cards so that they could go through the turnstiles. Muskaan took hers out within a few seconds and looked over at Riddhima who was still searching through her bag.

Ridz: Oh no...I think I left it in the car...I hope he's still here...

Muskaan: Go and see...I'll wait here...

Ridz: Okay...I'll be right back...

Riddhima walked back through the automatic doors and stood there in time to see Armaan just getting back into his car, he had got out and stood there looking at Riddhima until she went into the building. This was when she realised that the group of girls were standing there talking about Armaan and they were still there, she frowned but walked past them and made her way down the stairs.

Ridz: Armaan... – shouted

Armaan stopped as he heard his name and looked up to see Riddhima running towards him; he gave her a curious look as she moved towards him.

Armaan: What's up?

Ridz: I think I forgot my ID card in the car...

Armaan: Tum bhi na Ridz...

They both got into the car from either side and searched for her card; Armaan found it a minute later and handed it to her with a big smile.

Ridz: Thanks Armaan...

Armaan: No prob...ab jao...or you'll be late...

Ridz: Sorry...you'll be late if you don't leave now...bye...

Armaan: Bye...take care...

Riddhima got out of the car and watched as he drove off; she smiled and walked back up the stairs where the two girls were standing, completely ignoring both of them she walked through the automatic doors and made her way to where Muskaan was standing. They walked through the turnstiles and checking their information leaflets they checked where they were supposed to be and made their way to the room.

As they entered the huge hall like room, there were sewing machines all around the sides and work tops in the centre of the room with comfy high back chairs. They had a good look around then looked at each other with impressed looks. The room was slightly full with many people already there, some sat in silence and some chatted away introducing themselves. Muskaan and Riddhima settled down near the front and talked away excitedly but suddenly Riddhima stopped in mid sentence as she saw two girls entered the room, she recognise them as the girls who were talking about Armaan and frowned. They also recognised her and made a face at each other before they had settled down a few spaces away from them.

Muskaan: Kya huwa? – turning to see what or who Riddhima was looking at

Ridz: Woh ladkiya...

Riddhima was about to say what she had caught them doing when two people entered the room, Riddhima and Muskaan recognised the man as the TFI representative who had attended their school Fashion Show and Riddhima recognised the lady as Laura who was her mentor while she was on work experience a year ago. They both smiled in their direction then the lady welcomed the group and introduced herself then it was Tom's turn to introduce himself as the leader of the course. When they had finished giving details about the course they gave the group a chance to introduce themselves and talk about their intentions and achievements. They sat around in a circle going around one by one giving each person a chance to talk.

They started off with the girl who Riddhima was starting to loathe. She watched as the girl smiled smugly and started talking.

Girl: Hi...my name is Jia...I have completed my A 'levels with a grade A* in Textiles and I love fashion...

She finished off sharply and they moved on around the circle; everyone had a chance and it finally came around to Muskaan and Riddhima's turn. Muskaan went first and gave her quick introduction as she was slightly uncomfortable talking in a large group; Riddhima took over from her with a calm smile.

Ridz: Hello everyone...my name is Riddhima...I have had over six years of experience of designing and creating outfits...I have passed my A 'levels with an A* in Textiles and I'm looking forward to further my knowledge in the world of fashion and design here at TFI...

Riddhima looked around the room as she closed her sentence with a small smile but before anyone else could carry on Tom; the course leader spoke up making everyone's attention turn to him.

Tom: Oh stop being so modest Riddhima... – turning to the rest of the group - ...that is not all there is to know about Riddhima...there is a lot more...and I will tell you how talented she is...she has done her work experience here at TFI a year ago where she had the chance to design an outfit alongside a top designer...she has organised two school Fashion Shows which were really awesome...and she has also achieved the award for The Young Upcoming Talent of the Fashion Industry...that is the real...Miss. Riddhima Gupta...

The group erupted in applause as she blushed by this sweet compliment. Everyone seemed very pleased to have her in the group as the session went on apart from one person; Jia watched her with envy but Riddhima smiled smugly in her direction making her feel worst.



On the other hand; at Khushi Events; Rahul was sitting in an empty room surrounded by files, catalogues and books, flicking through page after page as he familiarised himself with the work of this company. He was so excited that he had got a job just sitting at home not even giving it a try and he promised himself that he would do anything to make himself successful and worthy of marrying Muskaan a year later. He had read through the entire Policy and Procedures file of the company within an hour and a half and had now started going through the company's magazine when Armaan walked in with two cups of coffee and handed one to him before settling down opposite him.

Armaan: Wow...someone is all geared up...what are you doing man...our work doesn't start till another half an hour and I heard you were here two hours ago...

Rahul: Yep I was...

Armaan: But why...we're supposed to start after ten then why were you here from seven thirty?

Rahul: C'mon Armaan...this is all okay for you...it's like a family business for you...but I'm just so happy that I got a job by just sitting at home...not everyone is lucky like that...three weeks ago I didn't have a clue what I was going to do with my life...it had started to worry me that I was hoping to marry Muskaan next year and up till now I didn't have a job...how was I suppose to support myself and her together...but then uncle offered us a job and I was over the moon...now I'm going to put all my effort and ability into this job to become successful...

Armaan: Woah...you're right...I didn't take it that seriously...

Rahul: Exactly...now you know how much this means to me...I mean...I know about this company and their aim but I want to go through everything in detail...that's why I came early this morning and went through all of this... – pointing at the files and books

At the same time Atul walked into the room and stood in front of them.

Atul: That's really great Rahul...

Rahul: Thanks sir...

Armaan: Sir? - turning to him – ...C'mon Rahul...

Atul: Armaan...you both are going to be working under me and I'm hoping for some respect from you as well...

Armaan: C'mon bhai...you're not being serious... – looking closely at him - ...are you?

Atul: Yes I am...and I want you to sit here and go through the company's Policy and Procedures file which Rahul went through earlier and the rest of it...

Armaan: But bhai...

Atul: But nothing...it's an order...

Armaan: Fine... – making a face

Atul: Rahul...when you've finished that magazine come into my office...I'll l give you your first task...

Rahul: Yes sir!

Atul left the room and once again they were alone; Armaan smashed his hand onto the file while Rahul sat there watching him with a grin on his face.

Rahul: C'mon Armaan...you're here to work...not just chill...

Armaan: I know man...but it's just that...I told the girls this morning that my work is going great and everyone here treats me like this boss...and now...

Rahul: And now you're feeling stupid? – laughing

Armaan: Yeah... – making a face

Rahul: Then there's only one thing to do...

Armaan: What's that?

Rahul: Just put your mind to work and forget about owning this place...if you really come here with a fresh mind hoping to achieve something then you can do it...

Armaan: I wish I could...but it's just not possible...

Rahul: And why is that?

Armaan: One... – turning his head to see if anyone was around before whispering - ...because Riddhima is not with me...and two... – louder - ...it's because I had such a bad work experience here a year ago that I just can't bring myself to do any work at all...

Rahul: Then think that you are doing this for her...when she finds out that you're working hard because of her she'll be so proud...and just put your work experience behind you and start fresh...

Armaan: Easier said than done about the work experience part...but I got to try...because this is where I'm going to be...so I might as well just get on with it... – sighing

Rahul: That's the spirit... – with a smile

Armaan opened the file and started going through the company's policies while Rahul carried on with the magazine. He was there for another twenty minutes before he said bye to Armaan before walking out of the room and making his way towards Atul's office. Armaan buried his head further into the file and took in as much detail as he could.

Two hours later he had read through the files, magazines and books and as he closed the last page Rahul and Atul walked into the room.

Rahul: Are you finished?

Armaan: Finally! – turning to them

Atul: About time... – with a smile – ...come...let's have some lunch...

Armaan: Yeah...I'm starved!

They walked towards the cafeteria and settled down for lunch. The rest of the day went smoothly for both Rahul and Armaan but as it turned six o'clock they were extremely tired. Armaan gave Rahul a lift home and on the way they went through the events of the day. Saying bye to Rahul as he got out of the car he sighed and made his way home thinking of how Riddhima's day was, he decided to give her a call, he placed the Bluetooth in his ear and switched it on then rang her number and waited for her to answer with a smile on his face.

Ridz: Hello?

Armaan: Hi...how are you?

Ridz: I'm fine and you?

Armaan: Still surviving... – with a smile - ...how was your first day?

Ridz: It was great...I had a great time and the good thing was that we got straight down to work...

Armaan: That's good...

Ridz: You sound very tired...kya huwa...papa's got you working hard?

Armaan: Not sasur ji but my own brother!

Ridz: Aww...

Armaan: Anyways...where are you?

Ridz:  Just left the Institute...going to the tube station with Muskaan...

Armaan: Shall I come get you?

Ridz: No it's okay...we'll be fine...and you're tired...

Armaan: C'mon Ridz...it's okay...I just want to see you...

Ridz: - smiling – It's okay Armaan...we'll meet in an hour...

Armaan: How?

Ridz: You forgot...you all are coming over for dinner today...

Armaan: Oh yeah...I forgot...okay then I'll meet you at your place...

Ridz: Yeah okay...

Armaan: I missed you today...

Ridz: I missed you too... – sadly - ...okay I'll talk to you later...just getting on the tube now...

Armaan: Okay...bye...

Ridz: Bye...see you soon...

Armaan: Love you...

Ridz: I love you too...bye...

Riddhima ended the call and turned to Muskaan who had just received a text from Rahul and was smiling widely. They got onto the tube and carried on chatting about how they had spent their day all the way home until they went their separate directions to their homes.

Riddhima found her keys in her bag and let herself into the house, which surprising was a little noisy. She looked into the kitchen to see Anjali, Atul and Armaan there.

Armaan: Bhabs you need to make him understand...

Atul: I don't need to understand anything...work is work...

Armaan: But it's not fair...bhabs tell him...

Anjali: Will you two calm down first...

They suddenly became quiet and Atul realised that Riddhima was standing by the kitchen door watching them as they argued with a smile on her face.

Atul: Hi Ridzi...how are you?

Anjali: Hey Ridz...you're back...how was your first day...?

Ridz: Hi Jiju...hi dii...I'm fine and my first day was great... – placing her bag on the counter top and giving Anjali a hug

Atul: Come on inside...everyone's waiting to see you...

Atul walked into the living room with Anjali and Riddhima following him, as she passed Armaan she gave him a warm smile and he replied by holding her hand quickly and giving it a small squeeze then letting it go and following her into the living room where Padma and Nandani were, Shashank and Vikram were not back from work as yet. The ladies were very happy to see her and asked many questions about her first day, she answered in quite detail but not as excited as she was before and everyone could see that she was very tired.

Nandani: Riddhima beta...why don't you go and freshen up...you'll feel much better...

Padma: Haan...jao beta...go and have a rest...

Ridz: Theek hain mama...excuse me... – getting up

Riddhima made her way upstairs to her room; she grabbed some comfortable clothes from her wardrobe then went straight to the washroom to have a long cool bath. Half an hour later she came out wearing a gray and pink track suit with a pink vest top and she wiped her hair with a towel making the water droplets fall from her hair into her face and arms.

She was lost in her thoughts about the day she had when she heard the door clicked and in came Armaan who was completely blown away by her natural beauty, he made his way towards her; no words were needed as he stood in front of her staring into her eyes and she did the same. Slowly they embraced each other and stood there for what seemed like ages just taking in the moment. After ten minutes which for then seemed like an hour they moved away from each other, Riddhima looked down shyly as Armaan kissed her bare shoulder sensuously making shivers run down her spine and she closed her eyes. Armaan slowly left her hand and walked out of the room with a smile on his face, Riddhima blushed madly and turned away. Sometime later she put her matching hoody on and brushed her hair before she decided to go down.

As she walked into the living room she smiled slightly but tried to avoid Armaan's eyes as she knew she wouldn't be able to handle herself, she went into the kitchen where the ladies were at the same time as Shashank and Vikram had came in. They talked to her about her first day like everyone else had as they had dinner.

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