Friday, 15 May 2020

part 52 : Arman aur Riddhima ka safar

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...


 Vikram: It has been four months since you boys have started here at Khushi Events and we have been observing your work...I'd like to say that I'm not the only one who is pleased but I have had positive feedback from other colleagues about your work...so well done for that...

Armaan/Rahul: Thank you sir...

Vikram: And the other reason which I have called you here for is this... - he handed them both a file and asked them to open it - ...this is your project...I am giving you both the responsibility to handle this project together...go through all the details and report back to me with your ideas...

Rahul: Yes sir...

Vikram: The deadline is two weeks from now...

Armaan: Okay sir...we'll get to work straight away...

They both stood up and were about to walk out of the room when Vikram stopped them; they turned around.

Vikram: All the best!

Armaan/Rahul: Thank you sir...

They walked out of the room excitedly and made their way to Armaan's desk.

Rahul: Well that for sure was not what I was thinking...

Armaan: - laughed - ...What you thought we were in trouble?

Rahul: Something like that...

Armaan: Come on Rahul...have you even done anything wrong since you stepped foot into this building?

Rahul: I know that...but just getting called in the office freaks me out...

Armaan: It's four months...you should be use to it by now...

Rahul: Whatever...let's get on with it...

They both sat back in their chairs and read through their files silently; ideas already floating around in their minds. And before they knew it they were drawing out plans for their first project; working on the venue; according to the number of guests they sorted out caterers; decided on decorations and entertainment. They were so engrossed in this project that it was the only thing on their mind and it kept them occupied for the next two weeks which meant they spent very less time with their girlfriends. They spent most of their time together ordering people around and making sure everything was done perfectly and there should be no reason for faults. They were extremely happy to see the perfect party set up from beginning to end and were even more excited to receive a huge check at the end of the evening of the party.



It was a very chilled morning when Riddhima's alarm rang; she turned on her side and smacked her hand onto the clock and it turned off instantly; she turned around and smiled in her sleep. A moment later she realised that her sleep could go on no further and she frowned slightly. She opened her sleepy eyes and waited for it to come into focus scanning her room; there was a bouquet of flowers on her dresser; she looked at it curiously as she sat up in bed. She looked around her room to find there were more bouquets decorating the place; one was on her bedside table and one on the window sill. She looked around at them curiously as there was a knock on a door and she turned to see Padma and Shashank walking in; Padma was carrying yet another bouquet.

Padma: Good Morning Riddhima beta...

Ridz: Mama...yeh sab?

Shashank: - sitting next to her on the bed – Happy birthday...

Ridz: - smiled widely – Thank you papa... – hugging him

Padma: Happy birthday... – as Riddhima hugged her

Ridz: Who are these bouquets from? – smiling widely

Shashank: Why don't you have a look... – handing her the one from the bedside table

Riddhima looked down at the beautiful flowers and took the card from it, she opened it and read the sweet note from Atul and Anjali.

Ridz: Wow...dii sent these from Malaysia...that's so sweet of her...

Padma: What does it say?

Ridz: - read out loud – To my dearest little sister...I'm so sorry that we can't be there with you on your birthday...but we wish you have a great day...and we hope you like the flowers...it's a small gift until we come back...lots of love Anjali Dii and Atul Jiju xxx

Shashank: That is really sweet...here's the next one...

Ridz: - took the second bouquet from Shashank and looked closely at it - ...It's from Abhi... – read the card – ...Hey little one...don't think that because I'm this far away I'll forget your birthday...that's not possible...hope you like the flowers and enjoy your day to the max...Happy Birthday! – finished reading and closed the card - ...Aww...thanks Abhi...

Padma: And this one is from your cousins... – handing her a card and placing the flowers in front of her

Ridz: Sid, Naina and Dhruv... – smiling as she read the card - ...this really is too sweet...

Shashank: And that one? - Riddhima and Padma turned to the last bouquet which Padma had brought in with her - ...Who's that one from?

Padma: Pata nahi...there's no name on it...

Riddhima looked closely at the bouquet of red roses sitting at the end of her bed and smiled; she knew who it was from; only one person would send her a bunch of red roses.

Shashank: Secret admirer huh? – looking at Riddhima with a smile

Ridz: Papa... – hugging him

Padma: Ab chalo...if not both of you will be late...

Shashank: You're right...Riddhima beta get ready and come down for breakfast...

They walked out of the room and Riddhima was left staring at the beautiful roses; she touched them gently and felt the love which was being carried through them but then she remembered something and frowned.

Ridz: Nahi...two weeks he didn't even bother about me and sending these roses he thinks I'll stop being angry at him...no way mister... – but she smiled

She set the roses on her bedside table and the others around the room; then fixed her duvet and opened the curtains before choosing an outfit and making her way into the washroom. She came out half an hour later and got ready; just as she was about to leave the room her phone rang; she looked down at the screen to see the name and smiled then answered it...

Ridz: Hi...

Niki: Happy Birthday Ridzi...

Ridz: Thanks Niki... – smiling widely

Niki: Okay...I won't waste too much of your time...you've got to go to the Institute as well so I'm going to wish you quickly...I hope you have a great day and I'll come round later in the evening to give you your gift...take care...

Ridz: Thank you so much Niki...

Niki: Okay then bye...

Ridz: Bye...and thanks for calling...

She ended the call and went downstairs into the kitchen; while having breakfast the phone rang and Shashank answered it; he spoke for a while then handed the phone to Riddhima who took it happily and spoke to Ba; Shubhankar Chachu; Keerti Chachi; Dhruv; Naina and finally Sid; who all wished her a happy birthday. She carried on having breakfast then decided to make a move as she knew Muskaan was going to be waiting for her but just as she was getting her jacket on the phone rang again and she answered it to hear a very sweet birthday wish from Nandani Aunty which surprised her then she handed the phone to Padma and said bye before leaving.

She reached Muskaan's house a few minutes later; Muskaan's mum wished her a happy birthday and they left together; Muskaan gave her a hug and wished her then they set off to the tube station. On the way Riddhima's phone rang; as she looked at it and read Armaan's name she dismissed the call and carried on talking to Muskaan. They got onto the tube and her phone rang again; she looked at it and this time was surprised to see Rahul's name flash on the screen; she looked at it curiously and looked over at Muskaan showing her the name on the screen...

Muskaan: Go on...answer it...

Ridz: - pressing the answer button and holding it up to her ear - ...Hello...

Rahul: Hey Ridz...Happy Birthday!

Ridz: Thanks Rahul...

Rahul: What's up you sound a bit down...everything okay?

Ridz: Nothing...I was just thinking about you guys...

Rahul: What about us?

Ridz: Seems like you guys finally found some time for us...

Rahul: C'mon Ridz... – laughing - ...you know we had a really important project...we just got caught up in it...

Ridz: Yeah too caught up that one of you didn't have time to even give one single call during the week...

Rahul: Ridz...he's right here and really wants to talk to you...

Ridz: Tell him I don't have time...if you want to talk to me then go ahead if you want to hand it to him you might as well end the call now...

Rahul: Okay...okay...I just called to wish you a very happy birthday...have a great one and I'll see you this evening...

Ridz: Thanks...see you later bye...

Rahul: Bye...

She ended the call and her and Muskaan talked throughout the journey to the Institute; they arrived a while later and made their way through the familiar corridors towards their room. As they entered they saw the room was slightly full and they realised they were a bit late; they apologised but Laura and Tom who were both in the room today smiled at them.

Tom: Oh that's okay...you're excused today...

Riddhima looked curiously at Muskaan who also raised an eyebrow at her as they saw Laura and Tom share a smile.

Ridz: I'm sorry?

Laura: Happy Birthday to you... – everyone joined in – ...Happy Birthday to you...Happy Birthday dear Riddhima...Happy Birthday to you...

Riddhima stood there in shock as everyone sang to her except Jia and her friend who ignored the rest of the gang and carried on with their work. A few minutes later everyone settled down and got on with their work; Riddhima had almost finished her outfit and was just adding the final touches while her mind was buzzing with thoughts of Armaan.

Ridz: - thinking – Yeah I know I'm angry at him for not keeping in touch with me all week...but today of all days I should give him a chance...but he could've taken some time out for me last week...I had my plaster taken off at the beginning of last week but he didn't even call me... – making a face

She kept repeating the same thoughts throughout the morning as she worked away silently until Muskaan placed a hand on her shoulder breaking her chain of thoughts and making her turn around.

Muskaan: Come on...let's go and get something to eat...it's lunch...

Ridz: Already? – looking around to see a half empty room

Muskaan: Where were you lost that you didn't keep track of time?

Ridz: - shaking her head and packing away her things - ...Nothing...was just finishing off this outfit...I didn't realise...

Muskaan: Okay let's go...

They walked out of the room and made their way to the cafeteria; grabbing something to eat they sat down at a table and began to eat.

Muskaan: So you've finished your outfit...how many more have you got to do...?

Ridz: Two more...I would've finished two by now but mama made sure I didn't go near a machine until my plaster was off...so I got kept back...

Muskaan: But I bet you'll finish it soon...

Ridz: Yeah...the second one is simple and I'll finish that within a week...the other one might be a bit difficult...it would be a bit helpful if I had a machine at home...but... – making a face

Muskaan: You can do it here...

Ridz: I know but... – she was cut off as her phone rang; she looked down at the unknown number and shrugged as she answered - ...hello?

??: Hi...

Ridz: Who's speaking?

??: It's only been five months and you've forgotten me? – sulking

Ridz: Abhi? – with a smile

Abhi: Oh I thought you had forgotten me...

Ridz: Come on! How can I forget you... – laughing - ...it's just that your number was unknown so I wasn't sure...but how are you?

Abhi: I'm fine...and yourself?

Ridz: I'm good...

Abhi: How's everyone?

Ridz: Everyone's great...Muskaan is right here...Armaan and Rahul are at work and Niki is...

Abhi: - cutting her off – Actually I called to wish you Happy Birthday...how's it going so far?

Ridz: It's nice...everyone's wishing me...and lots of flowers...thanks by the way...they were really beautiful...

Abhi: Obviously...my choice...

Ridz: Yep...thanks...

Abhi: Well...I got to go...it's seven am here and I got to get to work in half an hour...

Ridz: - smiling - ...You'll never change...

Abhi: You're right...if I change I won't be Abhi...okay then...say hi to everyone from me...take care...

Ridz: I will...thanks for calling...bye...

Abhi: Bye...

Riddhima ended the call and looked at Muskaan with a smile.

Ridz: Miss him... – sadly

Muskaan: Me too...

They finished their lunch and made their way back to their room to carry on with their work; on the way they met Laura who told them that she won't be there but they should just get on with their work. They got there to see the lights were off and thought that maybe the rest of the group had decided to leave early; Muskaan switched on the lights...

ALL: SURPRISE!!!!

Riddhima stood there in shock to see the entire group was standing there looking at her; the room was decorated with red and white streamers and balloons and in the middle there was a beautiful red and white cake. Riddhima looked over at Muskaan who looked just as shocked as her and shrugged her shoulder with a smile; they turned back to the group; one of the girls came forward and told her to come and see the cake; she walked to the table with Muskaan and they looked down at the cake which read: Happy Birthday Jaan...Riddhima looked up in shock at Muskaan; the same girl tapped her on the shoulder and pointed to the door; Riddhima looked there to see Armaan and Rahul standing there with big smiles on their faces.

Ridz: Armaan? – whispered

Armaan and Rahul walked towards them; Rahul stood next to Muskaan while Armaan walked around the table and stood in front of Riddhima; he bent on his right knee and looked up at her while everyone looked on. He held his hand out to her in which was a single red rose. Riddhima was still in shock but smiled at this action of his...

Armaan: I'm sorry Riddhima...please forgive me... – Riddhima nodded silently - ...I love you...

Ridz: - mouthed – I love you too...

Everyone cheered around them and Armaan stood up and hugged her. They stayed like this for some time until Rahul tapped him on the shoulder making them move apart a little.

Rahul: Shall we cut the cake?

Armaan picked up the knife which was on the table and handed it to her but she held his hand on the knife and they cut the cake together; everyone cheered and applauded then helped themselves to a piece. The four of them sat at the side of the room in couples while Jia watched with envy from the other side; she did not take part in this celebration.

Muskaan: How did you guys do this?

Ridz: I was wondering the same thing...and shouldn't you both be at work now?

Rahul: Well...we did go to the office today...we were called in the office by your dad... – to Riddhima - ...he went over our project and was really pleased at the reviews and the way we had worked and also really happy with the huge check we received after yesterday's party that he gave us a few days break...so we decided to come here and surprise you both and celebrate Ridz's birthday...

Muskaan: Well done...

Ridz: And yeah this really was a very sweet surprise thank you...

Armaan: Anything for our love...right Rahul?

Rahul: Yep...

Armaan: Ridz... – turning to face her - ...I'm really very sorry about last week...we were just so caught up with our work we didn't have time...you know I would never stay away from you just like that...

Ridz: It's okay Armaan...really...I just over reacted...I'm sorry... – he nodded - ...and thanks for the flowers this morning...they were beautiful...

Armaan: Flowers? – curiously - What flowers?

Ridz: Didn't you send a bouquet to my home this morning...there wasn't a name or note...I thought...

Armaan: - laughing – Calm down...it was from me...

Ridz: - smacking him as he shielded himself – Armaaannn!!!

The party went on then most of the people from the group decided to leave early; Jia couldn't stand seeing them together any longer and within ten minutes she left the room in a fit of anger. Riddhima and Muskaan helped the guys to take down the decorations and make the room look normal again before leaving.

They went home and rested; Riddhima had a shower and got ready into a nice outfit and did her hair and make up nicely as she was told by Padma when she came home that they were dinning out to celebrate her birthday. She took her time getting dressed and made her way downstairs two hours later. As she walked into the living room she saw Padma and Shashank sitting there waiting for her.

Ridz: - holding her ears as they looked up – Sorry mama...sorry papa...I made you guys wait so long...

Shashank: Arre Riddhima...what are you doing... – smiling – ...come here... – calling her over

Riddhima sat in between her mum and dad and smiled.

Shashank: Actually we have a surprise for you...

Ridz: Surprise? – looking like a five year old kid

Padma: Haan surprise... – pointing over to the computer table by the conservatory

Ridz: Can I see?

Shashank: Of course...it's for you...

They all got up and walked over to the table; Riddhima looked at the rectangular box wrapped in present paper and smiled excitedly. Padma nodded for her to open it; she carefully peeled the tape off of it and took the paper off to reveal a brand new sewing machine; she yelped like an excited child and hugged both her parents thanking them with all her heart.

Once she had calmed down they decided to leave for the restaurant. They walked in together and yet again Riddhima was surprised to see all her loved ones there; Vikram uncle; Nandani Aunty; Armaan; Muskaan; Rahul and Nikita. They were all seated and waiting for them; Riddhima greeted the elders and sat down between Armaan and Nikita. They all started looking through the menu all chatting away in groups. Suddenly Riddhima realised there was two empty seats and she was about to mention it to the others when suddenly there was a loud..."SURPRISE" which made every turn around...

Ridz: DII...JIJU! – she got up and ran to them

Anji: Happy Birthday Ridzi... – hugging her

Ridz: Thanks dii...hi jiju...why did you guys come back so early...you still have one week...

Atul: Did you think we were going to miss your birthday? – giving her a side hug

Ridz: Thanks so much...this really is a great surprise...

Riddhima settled back down as Atul and Anjali met the elders. Soon after; the food arrived and they all dug in enjoying every moment of the evening. Just before they left the restaurant everyone gifted Riddhima presents who thanked them all for making her day so special.

They arrived home a while later and Padma helped her with the gifts; she opened them all and were surprised by each and every item but as she came to the final gift box she thought for a moment what it could be; it was from Armaan and she thought he would do something extra ordinary as he usually did but today he just handed her the box with a smile and she wondered what it was. Not waiting any longer she opened it to reveal her favourite perfume; she had been talking about it for a very long time but never got around to buying it. She was astonished as she never thought he knew about it she smiled widely then put all her things away and got ready for bed. As she jumped under her duvet she snuggled up and grabbed her phone texting everyone a thank you message for the gifts then called Armaan and they spoke throughout the night...

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