Thursday, 14 May 2020

part 51 : Arman aur Riddhima ka safar

It was now the Christmas holidays and everyone had a week off work. Armaan and Rahul and most of the workers at Khushi Events were given a week holiday to relax as they had worked extremely hard throughout the year, Armaan and Rahul had worked continuously from the time they had started back in September and had really progressed during this time; Vikram and Shashank were really impressed with their work.

The girls had three weeks holiday and were due to go back to the Institute after the New Year. They used this time to rest and spend time with their families as well as go out and have some fun dragging Nikita along with them wherever they went as per their plan to bring her back to normal. For some reason it was not working but they decided that they would keep trying and not give up until she was back to her normal self; at the moment it seemed impossible. They spent their time as a gang going around here and there; shopping, movies, chilling at each other's homes getting up to mischief and just enjoyed being together.



 Sooner than they thought one week was over for the guys and they had found themselves back at work which they were actually looking forward to where as the girls had another week to chill at home. Riddhima had invited Muskaan and Nikita over to her place one afternoon, they had made a plan to go to the Mall but as it was pouring with rain they decided to change the plan and spend the evening at Riddhima's. It was three o'clock in the afternoon when the doorbell rang, Riddhima was in the living room watching television; she got up with a smile and went to open the front door.

Ridz: Hi girls... – opening the door and letting them in

Muskaan: Hey Ridz... – taking off her coat

Niki: Hi...

Ridz: Come in...

They followed her through the kitchen and into the living room.

Muskaan: Where's Aunty?

Ridz: She was here a moment ago but one of our neighbours...you know which one – making a face - ...called her over asking her to help her make jalebi...

Muskaan: Vivk's mum?

Ridz: Yep... – making a face again

Niki: Tu bhi na Ridz... – smiling

Riddhima and Muskaan noticed this suddenly but did not make it obvious and carried on naturally.

Ridz: Come let's go up...

They followed her up the stairs and into her room where instantly they made themselves at home feeling comfortable but suddenly Riddhima's phone rang and they all looked at her; she smiled as she read the name.

Ridz: It's Sid...excuse me...

Riddhima spoke to Sid for a second before Dhruv snatched the phone from him and chatted away. Naina took the phone from him fifteen minutes later and talked for a while then handed it to Sid who spoke for a bit before ending the call. She settled back down and they chatted generally about the annoying weather which always ruins their plans, and then they chatted about family for a while until Nikita spoke up and asked Muskaan how the wedding planning was going. Muskaan went on about list after list from guests to clothes, and how they had chosen Khushi Events for the venue set up and caterers and other functions. They were talking for some time getting excited when Muskaan's vision fell onto something on Riddhima's dresser.

Muskaan: Ridz...what's that? – pointing to it

Ridz: Oh...me and mama were just talking about mehendi...I don't know why suddenly I've got the interest of having my mehendi done and mama wanted some too...so I had brought two cones the last time I went shopping with mama...but I haven't got around to it yet...

Muskaan: - she got up and got the cones from the table - Oh that's so cool... – walking back to them with it - ...I want some too...Niki please... – settling back down and holding out the cones to Nikita

Nikita looked shocked and had become silent not knowing what to say.

Ridz: Please Niki...would you do a quick pattern for us...

Niki: Uh...umm...Ridz...I can't... – stuttering - ...I can't do it...I mean...it won't be nice...I was just doodling...

Muskaan: Niki... – putting her hand on her shoulder - ...we've seen your design and they are beautiful...please do a small patterns for us...

Riddhima and Muskaan begged her a little more until she finally gave in but was uncertain if she could do it. They encouraged her throughout and by the end of the evening she had done beautiful patterns on both Riddhima's and Muskaan's hands as well as Padma's and a small one on her own left hand. They had stayed for dinner and Riddhima and Muskaan had felt a great achievement as they had seen a small ray of light in Nikita as she was slowly coming out of her shell once again and they had a great time together, just like they did before. It was quite late when the girls were ready to go home and Shashank had offered to give them a lift as it was dark and still raining. They said bye to Riddhima and Padma as they left the house and got into the car.



One week had flown by and the girls were now back at the Institute and back down to work. Most of their paper work for their assignment were finished and out of the way and many were starting on the practical work. Riddhima, as usual, was way ahead of everyone else in the group, all of her paper work was completed and she was now working hard on her outfits. She had finally decided not to let Jia bother her anymore and somehow ignored her presence just getting on with her work but this did not make Jia give up and she always tried to bring Riddhima down.

They were all busy working away in the room, some were busy cutting out their pattern pieces for their outfits and some had started to sew them up. Riddhima stood at the side of the room concentrating on her dress, she looked like a professional with the measuring tape around her neck and a pen stuck in her hair as she fixed the material around the mannequin and studied the drapes when something distracted her.

Jia: That poor guy...I don't know how he puts up with someone so arrogant and snotty...

Jia's Friend: Yeah...I really do feel for him...he's like a chauffeur...every morning he has to drop this stuck up person to the Institute...

Jia: He would be much better off if he was my boyfriend...

Riddhima looked up sharply at them with a furious look but they ignored her and carried on as if they had not noticed.

Jia's Friend: You two would look so perfect together...not like... – she cut her sentence as Riddhima turned to them

Ridz: Could you please quieten your voices...people are trying to concentrate...

Jia: Oh... – turning to look at her - ...we didn't see you there...

They ignored her again and carried on talking but a little quieter which could still be heard by Riddhima who frowned.

Jia: As I was saying...Armaan is so hot...

Riddhima looked up sharply again as she heard Armaan's name and turned to them again.

Ridz: How dare you talk about my boyfriend like that... – angrily

Jia: What is it to you...I'll say what I want...if it bothers you so much you should buy a pair of ear plugs...

Ridz: - moving towards her - ...Listen to me...Armaan is mine and only mine so you better so stop talking about him like this or there will be trouble...

Jia's Friend: Oh we're so scared... – making a face

Ridz: I'm serious...you better keep your eyes away from him and busy your tongue about someone else... – fuming

Before anyone else could say anything Muskaan had walked up to them with Laura, they were in conversation about some work until they had come there and sensed some trouble.

Laura: Is everything okay?

Jia's Friend: Yes Laura... – quickly changing the subject

Muskaan gestured to Riddhima to move away through her eyes and Riddhima walked back to her mannequin a little angry and Muskaan joined her a moment later.

Muskaan: What's wrong?

Ridz: - pulled the pen out of her hair making it fall onto her shoulders  and she ran her fingers through them, then took a big breath - ...Muskaan I'm going to...

Muskaan: - placing a hand on her shoulder - ...Calm down...

Ridz: - taking a long breath then letting it out slowly – Okay...

Muskaan: Better?

Ridz: Yep... – smiling slightly and putting her hair back up

Muskaan: Right...let's get back to work...

Riddhima took her material away from the mannequin and went back to her sewing machine forgetting the little scene and getting on with her work. Muskaan had stayed by the mannequin and was pinning up her material when a loud shriek echoed around the room and everyone had gathered around in a group. Muskaan dropped the pins which were in her hand and ran towards the group. She pushed past a few people until she got to the front to see Laura standing next to Riddhima who was in tears, Muskaan looked down at her to see blood all over her material, there was a needle stuck in Riddhima's finger and blood was pouring from it.

Muskaan moved forward just in time as Riddhima had passed out in her arms. Laura shouted to someone to call an ambulance. Throughout the rush, a girl had packed away Riddhima's stuff as instructed by Muskaan, Laura carried out basic first aid before the paramedics arrived. A few minutes later Riddhima was whisked away to the hospital with Muskaan by her side.



Half an hour later Riddhima had woken up, she stared up at the white ceiling and as her vision came into focus she looked around to see Padma sitting next to her bed, her hand twitched suddenly and she shut her eyes tight as the pain ran through her arm up to her head. She felt a hand on her shoulder and she tried opening her eyes.

Padma: Riddhima...Riddhima beta...how are you feeling now? - concerned

Ridz: Mama... – opening her eyes slowly

Padma: I'll go and call the nurse...

Riddhima closed her eyes again as the pain ran through her arm again. Padma returned a moment later with the nurse who checked Riddhima and gave her some pain killers making her go to sleep once again. She woke up an hour later to see Padma still sitting there. She opened her eyes fully feeling slightly better.

Ridz: Mama...

Padma: - looked up quickly, she had not noticed when Riddhima had woken up - ...Beta...how are you feeling...shall I get the nurse...

Ridz: Nahi mama...I'm fine... – small smile

Padma: How did this happen?

Ridz: Pata nahi mama...just...I...my finger slipped...

Padma: Okay...don't think too much now...just rest...I'll go and see the others...

Ridz: Who's here?

Padma: Anjali, Nandani Aunty, Muskaan...and Armaan...

She went out of the room and came back in a moment later with everyone, they were not allowed to come in but they were all very worried for her and wanted to see her; they stood around her bed in concern.

Nandani: Riddhima beta...how are you feeling now?

Anji: Are you okay Ridzi?

Muskaan: Does it hurt?

Armaan: What happened?

Riddhima looked around at all of them with a smile on her face.

Ridz: Main theek hoon...I'm feeling better now...I had pain killers...but my finger is still hurting a bit...I don't know exactly how it happened...maybe my finger slipped...

Padma: Okay that's enough...now let's go outside before the nurse sends us out...Muskaan and Armaan you can stay here first...then Armaan will take you home... – to Muskaan - ...you've been here for a long time...you must be tired and your parents will be worrying...

Muskaan: It's okay aunty...I called home earlier...they know that I'm here...

Padma: Okay...tum dono yahan beato...we'll wait outside... – turning to Riddhima - ...I'll get something for you to eat...

Riddhima nodded then Padma followed Anjali and Nandani out of the room, closing the door behind her. Muskaan sat on the chair next to the bed and Armaan moved around to sit on the other side of the bed next to Riddhima, he sat there and caressed her hair while looking at her.

Armaan: Are you okay?

Ridz: - nodded and smiled at him then turned to Muskaan - ...Thanks Muskaan...

Muskaan: For what?

Ridz: For being with me...

Muskaan: C'mon be quiet now...I don't want to hear another thanks okay...? – Riddhima nodded – ...But...how did this really happen?

Ridz: I said it already... – not meeting her eye

Muskaan: Ridz...you can't hide it from me...tell me the truth...

Armaan: - looking from Muskaan to Riddhima - ...Ridz...what happened?

Ridz: Kuch nahi Armaan... – looking at him then Muskaan knowing she wasn't going to get away with it she decided to speak up - ...I don't know who it was but...I was busy sewing when I felt a jerk...someone nudged my from the back and my finger slipped under the needle...it came out and was stuck in my finger...there was so much blood that I could not see who was around me then I passed out...

Muskaan: Ridz...you know who it was... – a bit angrily

Ridz: Leave it now Muskaan...there's nothing we can do about it now...

Armaan: It was that Jia right... – fuming

Ridz: Guys please forget it now...I don't want to think about it anymore...

Muskaan: But Ridz...

Ridz: OWW... – trying to move her hand

Armaan: Hey...calm down... – making her relax - ...we're sorry...we won't say anything else...okay...? – they all calmed down

Ridz: But... – turning to Armaan - ...what are you doing here...shouldn't you be at work?

Armaan: C'mon my girlfriend is hurt of course I had to come...

Ridz: But how?

Armaan: - smiling – I was working but your dad had asked me to go to your home to collect some files...when I got there mum and bhabi were there and the same time Muskaan had called about your accident...I drove them here and called in at the office saying that I was here...your dad had got here before us...while you were having this fixed...he stayed for a while but because he had an urgent meeting he left with the files and told me to stay here...

Ridz: Oh okay...

Sometime later they swapped; Nandani and Anjali came into the room to see Riddhima. Shashank had arrived a while later just as Armaan and Muskaan were leaving. Riddhima was discharged within two days but she still had the plaster on.



Riddhima was forced to take the rest of the week off from the Institute and she was told not to even touch a sewing machine. It was late on a Friday evening when Riddhima was in her room getting dressed to go out; she was having a slight problem putting on her necklace as her plaster was still on; she sighed and was ready to give up when there was a knock on the door and she looked around to see Armaan standing there.

Ridz: Armaan? – he walked towards her and placed his arms around her waist – ...What are you doing here?

Armaan: I've come to see my beautiful girlfriend...

Ridz: Armaan... – trying to get out of his grip - ...what are you doing...mama aah jayegi...

Armaan: - moving back a little - ...Okay I'm sorry...it's just that you're looking so beautiful right now...I couldn't help myself...

Ridz: It's okay...but what are you doing here?

Armaan: Sasurji had asked me to come and take you and aunty to my place...he's busy in a meeting and he'll come straight there for dinner...so here I am...aunty was busy downstairs so I said that I would come up and see if your ready...are you?

Ridz: Yeah I am... – picking up the necklace from the dresser - ...I was just trying to put on this necklace...but it's a bit difficult...

Armaan: - taking it from her - ...Here...let me help you...

Riddhima turned around and Armaan placed the necklace around her neck and tightened it. They shared a cosy moment before making their way downstairs where Padma was almost ready. Soon after they got into the car and made their way to the Malik house. They arrived a few minutes later and settled down in the living room while Armaan went upstairs to freshen up. Nandani and Anjali had questioned Riddhima about her health and wished her to get well soon then they turned their attention to the television where a popular programme was showing until Atul came in and Anjali left the room.

A while later; Shashank and Vikram came home and they all have dinner together. When they had finished eating they made their way back into the living room and settled down, Shashank waited for everyone to be there before he asked for their attention as he had an announcement to make. They all looked around at each other curiously before turning to him.

Shashank: Don't look so shocked... – laughed - ...we have some good news... – turning to Vikram

Vikram: Go ahead... – smiling

Shashank: - to Atul - ...Our business is expanding...and Atul you have a meeting to go to next Monday... – he looked around at everyone who was wondering what the good news was and smiled - ...In Malaysia...

Everyone looked around excitedly at him and waited for Shashank to carry on.

Shashank: - to Vikram - ...Tickets?

Vikram: - leaning over to the file in front of him – Right here...

Vikram got up and walked over to where Atul was sitting and handed him the tickets; Atul opened the envelope and looked at it curiously then up at Vikram.

Atul: Two?

Vikram: Yep...along with a business meeting...we're sending you and Anjali on a holiday to Malaysia for four weeks...

Everyone cheered and Anjali blushed madly as Riddhima and Armaan teased her.

Shashank: Your flight is this Monday...two days from now...the first week will be the meeting then you can enjoy your holiday for the next three weeks...

Anji/Atul: Thanks papa...

Shashank: Welcome...

The rest of the evening was spent in cheerful conversations about their holiday, they were concerned about the packing in two days but the subject changed when Vikram talked about all the sightseeing they needed to do. It was quite late when the Guptas decided to leave, making plans that Armaan and Riddhima would see them off at the airport on Monday morning.



As promised Armaan drove them to the airport; the two ladies sat in the backseat chatting away excitedly about the holiday while in the front seat Atul gave Armaan a small lecture about concentrating on work as they would be working under Vikram. Armaan rolled his eyes and made sure that they got to the airport quickly. He parked the car half an hour later and helped Atul with the luggage as the ladies made their way to the departures lounge.

Atul and Anjali had sent off their luggage and they settled in the departures lounge with Armaan and Riddhima chatting away until it was time for them to go.

Armaan: Bhai don't get too carried away when you get there...

Atul: Kya?

Armaan: You're going for a meeting first of all...you've already forgotten?

Anjali, Riddhima and Armaan laughed at him as Armaan pulled his leg. Riddhima told them to have lots of fun and come back with some good news. Half an hour later there was a call on the speakers over head for passengers flying to Malaysia to check in. They stood up and greeted each other then Armaan and Riddhima watched on as they checked in and walked through the automatic door; they turned back to wave before they disappeared out of sight...

Armaan and Riddhima settled back down into the car and drove away from the airport ten minutes later. Riddhima sat silently and looked out of the window while Armaan drove on but turned to her a moment later to see if she was okay.

Armaan: Riddhima...

Ridz: Hmm? – turning to him

Armaan: You okay?

Ridz: - nodding with a small smile - ...I'm fine...

Armaan: Ridz...I think you should complain...if she's stopping you from doing your work like this then it's best you take serious action and don't let her get away with it...

Ridz: Nahi Armaan...I'm going there to fulfil my dreams...and I can do it without ruining other people's chances...I will do it...and in time the more sincere person will win fairly...

Armaan: - looked at her in shock - ...I don't believe you...even after such a big incident you still won't give her in?

Ridz: C'mon Armaan...if I gave her in what will be the difference between us?

Armaan: - shaking his head in disbelief - ...You're really made of something else...why are you so good... – turning to look at her quickly then back at the road - ...why are you so nice to people who don't deserve your niceness...I mean...first example was Vivik...you were with him and stayed quiet for so many days not telling him about your feelings because you think he would be hurt...then he was the one to hurt you...and now this Jia...she's done this much to you and you still won't say a word against her...

Ridz: Armaan...you're only seeing the negative side... – he raised an eyebrow in her direction - ...whatever I went through with Vivik was just a test and look now...I'm so happy being with you...you're the perfect one for me...and this Jia problem...it's just a small problem for the moment...in time everything will work out and I will be awarded with my prize at the end of it...right?

Armaan: - nodded - ...This is why I love you...

Riddhima smiled widely and blushed. They arrived a while later at the Institute and Armaan wished her all the best before leaving to go to the office. Half an hour later he walked into the building and as he walked up to the reception desk he met Rahul.

Armaan: Hey...

Rahul: Hi...Vikram Sir wants to see us in his office... – they start walking - ...he said the moment you arrive we should both meet him in his office...I just hope it's nothing serious...

Armaan: Let's see... – knocking on the door and putting his head around it – ...may we come in sir...

Vikram: Come in...

They walked in and settled down opposite him; Rahul and Armaan sat quietly as he finished typing up something on his laptop; he sat back in his chair five minutes later and looked closely at each of them...

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