Wednesday, 20 May 2020

part 58 & 59: Arman aur Riddhima ka safar

Part 58

The following morning had arrived with a ray of sunshine beaming through the curtains and onto the love birds who were still fast asleep, their fingers still entwined as they had done last night and both smiled soundly as they slept until a few moments later when there were several knocks on the door making them both frown and shuffle.

*KNOCK KNOCK*

Shashank: Riddhima?

Armaan and Riddhima both shot up as they heard her name and looked at each other in shock at the sound of Shashank's voice...

 *KNOCK KNOCK*

Ridz: - mouth in shock to Armaan – Papa... – panicking she jumps off of the bed

Armaan: Calm down... - whisper


Ridz: Armaan...- quietly - ...how can I calm down...papa is outside of the room and you are inside...what am I going to do...he'll find out everything... – panicking – ...he'll be furious...he will take me home...Armaan do something... – frantically moving around looking for a solution - ...I'm so dead...he'll kill me...everything's finished...it's all over... – close to tears

*KNOCK KNOCK*

Armaan: - moving towards her – Riddhima ssshhh... – putting a finger to her lips to quieten her down

But before either of them could say another word Armaan stopped and looked around curiously then down to his pocket. He took out his phone which was vibrating in his hand, he saw there were seven miss calls, looking at the name of his partner flashing on the screen he quickly answered the call and whispered.

Armaan: Yeah...

Sunny: Where the hell are you...Boss is here and he's looking for you...I told him that you've gone for your morning jog...he said he was going to meet his daughter...

Armaan: Yeah I know...he's here...

Sunny: Then get yourself out of that room...if not you're done for...

Armaan: Thanks... – sarcastically he cut the phone

*KNOCK KNOCK*

Armaan held onto Riddhima's shoulder making her look into his eyes but she was far too frustrated to hear anything he had to say but he somehow managed to silence her and get her attention.

Armaan: Riddhima you need to calm down...I'm going... – looking around to see if he had left anything then back at her - ...I'm going to leave from the garden and then you're on your own...try not to panic...just act as if everything is normal okay... – she nodded and he kissed her forehead - ...I love you...

Riddhima watched as he walked towards the glass door and into the garden. He jumped over the fence and disappeared from sight; she took a deep breath then walked towards the room door.  She quickly acted as if she was half asleep before opening the door with a big yawn to see Shashank standing there looking a bit worried, as she saw him she smiled happily and he smiled back to see that she was okay.

Shashank: Riddhima...is everything okay? – concerned - ...You took so long to open the door...

Ridz: Papa...woh main... – yawning - ...I was asleep...I'm sorry...come in...

Shashank: It's okay... – walking into the room and she closed the door behind him - ...how are you?

Ridz: - hugged him happily – I'm fine papa...but I've missed you all so much...

Shashank: We've missed you too... – kissing the top of her head and moving back - ...have you been taking care of yourself?

Ridz: Papa... – making a face - ...you sound like mama now... – smiling - ...I'm absolutely fine and I have been taking care of myself...really well...you don't have to worry...

Shashank: Okay my princess...now that I've seen you I'm very happy...why don't you get ready and I'll meet you later for breakfast... – she nodded - ...I'm going to go and meet Armaan...I went earlier but Sunny told me that he had gone for his morning jog so I thought I'll meet you first before we get down to work...

Ridz: Theek hain papa...I'll see you later...

Shashank left the room, Riddhima closed the door behind him and leaned against it, she let out a huge sigh of relief then quickly tided up the room before going to have a shower and got dressed. Half an hour later; Riddhima gathered her work bag and was about to leave the room just as Tia entered, she looked very energetic and happy to which Riddhima raised her eyebrow.

Ridz: Are you feeling okay?

Tia: I'm absolutely fine...and how are you...? – with a huge grin – ...How was your night...? – winking

Ridz: - looked at her in disbelief - ...I don't believe this...this was all a plan...you knew that he wanted to spend the night here that's why you slept out...? – thinking then in shock - ...And Sunny too...you both knew about Armaan's plan...

Tia: - nodded cheekily – So...how was your night...?

Riddhima smacked her on her arm and she shielded herself and laughed. Riddhima explained to her that they had a wonderful time but it was nothing of the sort that was going on in Tia's mind. Tia nodded obediently but laughed as Riddhima gave up and left the room frowning but then smiled. She made her way through the lounge and towards the dining hall and as she entered she saw Shashank sitting there with Armaan, who both looked up at her as she neared them. Armaan smiled knowingly at her but she tried her best to ignore him as Shashank was there.

Shashank: Come join us Riddhima...what would you like for breakfast...

Ridz: - settling down – I'm okay papa...not very hungry...

Shashank: And that will definitely not work...you have to eat something...I'll get you something...

Ridz: It's okay papa...really I don't have much for breakfast...

Shashank got up completely ignoring her he moved towards the counter to order something for her to eat while Armaan sat there watching her with a cute smile. They spoke through their eyes for several seconds but were soon joined by Shashank who was carrying a tray full of food for Riddhima making sure she ate properly.

Shashank: - to Armaan – And you're not doing a very good job either...

Armaan: Sorry sir? – confused

Shashank: You don't even look after her properly...

Ridz: - in shock – Papa...you sent him here to look after me? – making a face - ...Main choti bachi nahi hoon...I can take care of myself...

Shashank: I can see that...not having breakfast... – watching her closely to which she kept quiet and looked down in her lap

Armaan and Shashank laughed at her and Armaan started teasing her making her annoyed so she started up also. They carried on for a while longer until they were joined by Sunny who was ready to work. Riddhima excused herself saying that she needed to get to work and she would meet them for lunch. The men went into the lounge area and settled down as they began going through the details of the show which they wanted to finalise with Shashank.

Armaan: Right sir... – laying out all the paper work on the table - ...here are the blue prints and signed paper work, letters, forms and agreements which we completed in the office... – handing a pile to Shashank

Shashank: - flicking through the papers - ...Okay this all looks up to date and completed...next...

Sunny: We've had a good look at the location which is perfect and here's the paper work of the checks... – handing the file to Shashank who glanced through them and gave it a nod

Armaan: I've spoken to the team leaders and have got all details of the themes and props for the main event...it has all been sorted... – handing him a third file

Sunny: We've done a complete risk assessment and here are the details...

Shashank: - after placing down the last file - ...All the paper work looks correct and ready...now what is the next step...?

Armaan: With your approval...we have now got five days left till the main event...the team should arrive this evening and the production will begin sharp at nine thirty tomorrow morning...the stage will be the first to put up...lighting and decoration will be next...the models will have a catwalk practice once it is all set up...

Sunny: I have received all the names of the guests and I will call the office right after the meeting and have the invitations sent off so they will receive it two days before the event...we've arranged for a professional photographer and the entertainment have been finalised...they will arrive a day before the event to have a run through practice...and the judge panel will arrive the night before...

Armaan: There's just one other idea which I would like to present to you...if you agree we can add this in to the event...

Shashank: And what is that? – curiously

Armaan: Actually sir I was talking to Riddhima a few days ago when she gave me and idea of having a gallery section for the guests to have a look at during the intervals... – looking at Shashank's confused expression he carried on - ...well sir what we had decided was to set out a gallery area on the side with the designs of the participants... – he carried on further without any interruptions - ...as well as making the outfits the participants had to design quite a few outfits and because they have put so much effort into it we thought it would be a good idea to display it for others to see...

Shashank: That sounds like a great idea...

Armaan: Sir if you grant us permission I would like to take full responsibility to set up the gallery...

Shashank: Sure...

Armaan and Sunny came to the end of their presentation and waited for Shashank to approve. He looked over all the paper work once more as well as the production plan then gave them the final go ahead. Sunny called the office about the invitations and also for the team to make a leave with all the props and necessities while Armaan went through the remaining details. They carried on till lunch when Riddhima met back up with them in the lounge.

Ridz: You guys are still working very hard...come on it's time for lunch...and you tell me I don't look after my health...

Armaan: We don't all sit around lazy like you... – as Shashank laughed

Ridz: That's where you are wrong Mr. Armaan Malik...actually I've been working hard for the past two and a half weeks and my hard work has finally paid off... – they raised their eyebrows in curiosity to which she smiled happily - ...I've finished my final dress...! – excitedly hugging Shashank

Shashank: Well done Riddhima beta...I'm so happy for you...come let me give you a treat...

Sunny: Well done Ridz...

Ridz: Thanks...

She looked at Armaan while Sunny and Shashank packed away all the paper work correctly; he mouthed "Well Done" to her as he winked making her smile widely. They all went to the country club restaurant where Shashank treated them all to a lovely lunch for all their hard work that they had put into this project and for Riddhima as she had completed her task. They had a great time together and Riddhima realised how happy she was that Armaan and Shashank were both here, she had missed her family so much and seeing Shashank in front of her she was really happy.



Later on after lunch Armaan and Sunny carried on working while Riddhima spent quality time with Shashank showing him around the club to all the facilities and the open area where the show was going to be held. They then settled down in the lounge enjoying some coffee when Riddhima decided to call home and talk to Padma but she suddenly moved the phone away from her ear and looked at it curiously and Shashank asked her what was wrong.

Ridz: Pata nahi papa...I don't think mama is at home...

Shashank: Why don't you try her mobile...?

Ridz: - nodded and called her mobile before placing the phone to her ear again with a smile – Hi mama...how are you?

Padma: - happily - ...I'm fine beta and how are you?

Ridz: Bilkul theek hoon mama...I miss you so much...why didn't you come with papa...

Padma: Riddhima beta... – smiling happily - ...your papa is there for work...and I'm also a little busy today...

Ridz: Busy?

Padma: Haan...actually I'm out shopping with Gayatri aunty for the wedding...because we are very close friends from a very long time ago and her family are all coming down during the wedding time we are the only close one's she has...so she asked me to come shopping with her...

Ridz: Oh yeh...I forgot the wedding was so soon...aur Rahul? – making a face – Is he not helping at all?

Padma: He is...but he's busy at work...and not interesting with shopping and all...so I thought it was best that I went with her...

Ridz: That's right mama...okay then...I'll talk to you later...give my love to Gayatri aunty...take care mama bye...

Riddhima ended the call and filled in Shashank about the conversation she just had with Padma. They talked for a while longer until Shashank decided it was time to go. They went back in to see Armaan and Sunny then Armaan came along with Riddhima to see Shashank off. As Riddhima said bye she was once again close to tears but Shashank reminded her that he will see her in less than a week again for the big event which made her smile through tears and waved bye to him as he drove off. Armaan consoled her as they walked back into the lounge and he tried to cheer her up.

Armaan: So...shall we finish off from where we left off this morning... – snuggling close to her

Ridz: Armaan... – shyly - ...not here...control yourself...

Armaan: I can't... – coming even closer - ...last night you were so... – whispering in her ear making her blush crimson

Riddhima was about to say something but suddenly realised that they were not alone, she moved slightly away from Armaan as she looked up to see Jay standing in front of them looking very cross. Riddhima felt awkward and Armaan noticed a bit of tension, he helped her up and they left the lounge, as they walked past Jay purposely barged Armaan on the shoulder but Armaan paid no attention to him and carried on walking Riddhima away from there to another quiet place.



During the week Riddhima had made her three outfits ready to perfection and had also made accessories to go with each outfit as she had time to spare. She made sure that she was two hundred percent ready for the show; she set out her outfits, accessories, jewellery and shoes to a side of her cupboard being fully prepared. She had her makeup set aside and he had also researched on different hairdos which would go nicely with each outfit. It had now finally hit her as she saw it all being put together, she was going to model her three outfits in front of a live audience and a judge panel. It was like a dream come true and she just couldn't wait for the big day.

Once she had her things sorted and had double checked she tried helping out other members of the group but was told that it was not allowed so she decided to head down to the open area to give Armaan and The Khushi Event Team a hand in setting up the stage. As she neared the area she noticed the stage was almost finished and Armaan ordering around a group of people who were beginning to put up the lighting and decoration according to the theme, using the props. She stood behind him patiently as he dismissed them then moved to stand next to him.

Ridz: Hey Armaan... – cheerfully

Armaan: Ridz...what are you doing here?

Ridz: Can I help?

Armaan: Help? – smiling at her cuteness - ...With what?

Ridz: Anything...just give me a job and I'll get it done... – looking at his face - ...don't worry...you won't have to pay me...

Armaan smiled sweetly at her and told her what was happening on the site then she asked to help with the decorations to which he just could not refuse. Riddhima got to work right away helping out the team to put up the drapes and nets.



Now with three days left till the main event everyone had started to get very excited. Armaan was busy working away with his team on the site making sure to make this the perfect event, Riddhima would help out a little in the morning trying not to disturb him but whenever she was around he would find himself staring at her with a smile on his face, she noticed and decided it was best to stay away for a while as it was disturbing him. She made her way to the dining hall to grab some lunch, on her way she stopped by the notice board to have a quick read as something had caught her eye making her more excited and she rushed to the dining hall to share the news with the others. Riddhima took her lunch and settled down at the table with the group.

Tia: Hey Ridz...where've you been?

Michael: You look very excited what's up?

Ridz: - excitedly – I've just read something on the notice board...

Jay: What?

Ridz: Catwalk practice this evening...at five...

Sharon: Oh wow...

Rachel: This is so cool...it actually feels like this is coming together now...

Tia: I know...I'm so excited...

Jay: What's so big in that...

Sharon: Just because you're a guy...you don't find it interesting...

Michael: Well anyway...I'm looking forward to it...but before that I need to get my final outfit done by tomorrow...

Ridz: Are you almost done...

Michael: Yeah almost...well I hope... – getting up - ...I'll see you guys later...I need to get back to work...

All: Bye...Later...See ya...

Tia: So at least we have something to look forward to this evening...

Sometime later they all went back to work and Riddhima realised that she had nothing to do but wonder around the place, then a tiny light bulb popped into her mind and she felt like a little child sneaking around as she went back to her room for something. She was a little unsure but decided that it was okay, she quickly got dressed in the changing room and then looked around the place before walking out of the changing room and into the indoor swimming pool area which was empty with her heart beating very fast, she sat at the side of the pool and dipped her feet in the water, it was slightly cold but she decided to jump in.

Within a minute she was use to the warm water and began to do some warm up exercises before doing a few laps; she had not tried this in a long time and she felt extremely good. About half an hour later she moved to the shallow end of the pool for a breather, leaning against the side she held onto the pole and let her body float peacefully. She was fully enjoying herself until she heard a few heavy footsteps on the tiles moving towards her, her concentration was disturbed and she stood up in the water as she looked around to see who it was; suddenly she became frightened.

Jay: You swim really well... – standing by the step and watching her

Riddhima quickly moved out of the water and grabbed her towel wrapping it around her and ignoring him until he blocked her way making her stop.

Jay: How about a swim with me...

Ridz: Please Jay...leave me alone...

Riddhima barged past him and rushed into the changing room away from him. She got dressed quickly and made her way through the other door towards her room where she stayed for the rest of the afternoon till it was time to go down for the catwalk practice.

As she walked around the pool and made her way towards the open area she noticed that most of the Khushi Event team had left the area apart from a few who were doing a few final touches for the day and a small group gathered in a huddle around Annie. She moved towards them and waited to find out what was happening.

Annie: Okay most of us are here now so I think we should begin before it gets dark...

She started to call out names who would practice first and sent them to the back of the stage where Billy was and the others stayed back to watch. Most of the girls had brought their heels along which they were going to use on the main event to get the hang of wearing them on the stage. Riddhima then went back stage as it was her turn soon, she stood there waiting for a while, she put on her heels and waited for her name to be called but suddenly she heard her name being whispered into her ear and she whipped around to see who it was.

Ridz: What are you doing here? – angrily

Jay: I'm here for the same reason as you are... – coming close to her

Ridz: - backing away – Listen Jay... – seriously

Jay: Listening...

Ridz: Jay you're... – looking for the right word - ...you're a nice guy...talented...and friendly...but...

Jay: But what?

Ridz: But we're just friends...and that's it...

Jay: Why?

Ridz: Because I have a boyfriend...and I'm very happy with him...

Jay: But I love you... – cutting her off

Riddhima was shocked and it suddenly had gone very quiet as she stood very still as the words echoed through her mind until she heard her name being called out loudly from Billy. She turned on her heel and walked away from him towards the stage. Jay stood there watching her go but suddenly turned as he felt a hand on his shoulder.

Jay: How dare you touch me...?

Armaan: Listen Jay...we need to talk...

Jay: There's nothing for us to talk about...

Armaan: Come on Jay...you know exactly what's going on and we need to have a manly talk...

Jay: I have nothing to say to you... – pushing past him

Armaan: - holding onto his shoulder – But I have something to say to you... – Jay turned around - ...Riddhima is my girlfriend and I've noticed that you've been bothering her for the past few days...I would appreciate it if you stayed away from her...

Jay: Who are you to tell me what to do and what not to do...she might be your girlfriend...but I know she has feelings for me...and if she really was your girlfriend she wouldn't sneak around behind you...

Armaan: What is that suppose to mean? – squaring up to him

Jay: Time to reveal her unfaithfulness... – smiling evilly - ...your oh-so-innocent girlfriend was this close to me the night before you came... – making a small amount with his fingers - ...she was all over me...she was even ready to kiss me...

Before he could say another word Armaan punched him forcefully across his face which made him double over in pain for a second but it did not stop him from lashing back at Armaan. Within a second they were both hitting at each other with every opportunity they got until there was a sudden shout and Tia moved into the scene to stop them, she was successful in pulling them apart and looked over angrily at Jay.

Tia: What the hell do you think you're doing...?

Jay: You stay out of this... – he spat angrily

Tia: I think you're taking this way too far and it needs to end...now...

Jay: Mind your own business... – turning to Armaan - ...I'm not finished with you just yet... – moving forward

But before anything else could happen Annie and Billy came backstage with the rest of the group including Riddhima who instantly noticed something was wrong with the looks on Armaan, Jay and Tia's faces, she looked from one to the other and back but no one said anything instead Annie started off the next practice section.

Annie: Right...now for the second set you'll be modelling with a partner and here's the list... – she begins to call out the names

Everyone smiled as they heard the name of their partners until she said the final name which made a few people look up in shock.

Annie: And the final couple is Riddhima and Jay...

Riddhima looked on in horror at Jay but Tia stood by her side and gave her a reassuring look but it didn't help as she saw Armaan walk out of room angrily. Everyone stood next to their partners and the practice began, Riddhima stood at the end of the queue with Jay next to her which she hated; with every minute that passed Jay moved closer and closer to Riddhima who was now highly irritated with his actions and the change in his behaviour over the past few days. As they were almost to the end of the queue and were about to go on Riddhima moved away as he was now touching her shoulder and she stared at him angrily.

Ridz: Please Jay...this is enough...you really need to stop this...

Jay: - cutting her off - ...Stop what? – with a smile

Before she could say another word their names were called out and he forcefully held her hand and walked her out of the room onto the stage as she looked on in disgust at his action, but he ignored her and further annoyed her by placing his arm around her waist which was now the limit. She stopped in mid step and removed his hand, he looked over at her while he carried on walking, they began to squabble on the stage and as he was not looking in the direction he was walking he missed a step and tried to grab onto Riddhima but with a sudden force pushed her and she wobbled on her heel making her loose balance and felt herself falling from the stage.

Her heart thumped furiously against her chest as she closed her eyes while she fell down and down letting out a cry of help...
.....................

part 59

Before she could say another word their names were called out and he forcefully held her hand and walked her out of the room onto the stage as she looked on in disgust at his action, but he ignored her and further annoyed her by placing his arm around her waist which was now the limit. She stopped in mid step and removed his hand, he looked over at her while he carried on walking, they began to squabble on the stage and as he was not looking in the direction he was walking he missed a step and tried to grab onto Riddhima but with a sudden force pushed her and she wobbled on her heel making her loose balance and felt herself falling from the stage.

Her heart thumped furiously against her chest as she closed her eyes while she fell down and down letting out a cry of help...

 

She felt her body go lifeless for a moment but the pain did not reach her, she slowly opened her eyes expecting to see a white ceiling but instead she looked up to the blue sky. She turned her head to a side to see Armaan's face smiling down at her, she realised that she was lying in his arms out stretched arms but with no intention of moving she stared lovingly into his eyes which was full of concern and care but he wore a sweet smile knowing that she was safe and out of harm.

A moment later they were disturbed by a loud shriek which jerked them both out of this dream scene and Armaan helped her to stand up before they looked around to notice a huddle of people around the other side of the stage. Riddhima looked at Armaan then they both rushed over to see what was going on, at the same time Billy moved the other group members out of the way making space and they noticed Jay lying on the floor with his leg in an awkward position. Annie immediately called for help on her mobile while Jay lay on the floor swearing loudly as he was in immense pain.

Jay: What the...will someone get me a doctor...why is everyone standing around...ooww!

Riddhima looked around as everyone whispered in small groups, a moment later she felt someone at her side and turned to see Tia standing there with a mischievous grin, she pulled a very confused looking Riddhima away from the scene.

Ridz: What's up?

Tia: Serves him right...

Ridz: You mean... – in shock - ...you did this?

Tia: Hey...! –appalled at the accusation being laid on her but smiled and nodded - ...I'm not the only one...where's my partner in crime... – looking over Riddhima's shoulder and making her turn

Ridz: What? – confused - ...Who's in this with you?

Tia: - pointing to Armaan - ...Your boyfriend... – laughing sneakily as Riddhima looked on in shock - ...we heard you guys talking before you went out on the stage...Armaan was speaking to him but they ended up fighting...and I had to break it up... – looking at the shock on Riddhima's face - ...then after I had done my practice with my partner I found Armaan and asked him to help me out...

Ridz: And he was up for it?

Tia: Not at first...but I made him understand how much Jay was annoying you...and I told him all about what happened at the camp fire party just so he doesn't get any ideas from what Jay was saying to him so he was ready...when you guys were squabbling on the stage I sneaked a wooden stick onto the stage and he wasn't looking in the direction...he buckled and tried to hold onto you...but you feel into Armaan's arms and he fell off the stage... – grinning evilly

Ridz: Oh my god...I don't believe this... – grinning

Tia: Now look on the bright side...you won't have to model with him...and if it's that bad he won't be able to even model on the night... - giggling

??: And what are you two girls laughing at...is there something funny... – a deep voice

Riddhima and Tia stopped laughing and looked at each other in shock, slowing turning around to see who it was both scared for a moment until they turned to see Armaan standing there laughing at them. Riddhima smacked him on the arm and he hugged her back. They had a good laugh and then went back to see Jay being carried away on a stretcher into an ambulance and the others carried on with their practice, finishing just before it got dark. They then had dinner together and Armaan left to have an early night as he had a long day and the next day would be the same.



The big day was finally here, the main event, The Fashion Show Competition. Wherever Riddhima looked everyone seemed to be very excited and also very busy; in the workshop the machines were being worked away as many people were adding their final touches and ironing their outfits all talking about one thing. She walked out of the workshop and stood their admiring the place, it all looked very beautiful as she noticed the small details beginning in the lounge where the guests would be arriving, just outside the lounge there were jungle themed footprints on the pebbled stones leading through to the garden area which was decorated with tiny fairy lights which were not turned on as yet but she could imagine how it would look at night.



She smiled as she saw the footprints had now changed from the jungle theme to sand footprints relating to the sea life them, it carried on through the garden towards the outdoor pool area which was also decorated beautifully with sea life props such as underwater coral reef which was placed in the pool meaning that it was out of use for the club members for the day. Once again she imagined how the place would look at night with the pool lights on creating an unimaginative atmosphere.



Riddhima walked further around the pool following the sand footprints down to the open area to see that the stage was now fully set up. She admired it from a distance; the back drop of the stage was white with glitter which would glisten as the lights hit it in the night sky, the side curtains were also white with light pink drapes, there were tiny fairy lights along the side of the stage and of course millions of spot lights facing down on the stage which were being tested by the team. She walked further down to the site to see round table being set out around the catwalk ramp and a line of tables just in front of the ramp for the judge panel. At the right side of the site a group of people were decorating a large office style board with pictures and Riddhima made her way towards it to see her designs as well as other group members designs being displayed, she was shocked that Armaan had really decided to use her idea and smiled.



Everything just seemed perfect as she walked around the site watching the team working hard, she moved around to backstage where she noticed a lot more work being done; twenty five boxed cubicles were made for the participants to get dressed and at the far end there was a small gathering room just before they began the show. She carried on looking around at the place until she noticed Armaan rushing around; he held a clip board in his hand and was talking into the head piece, Riddhima moved closer to him to hear what he was saying but he did not notice her.



Armaan: ...Right...the stage is almost completed...I've carried out two checks...but I want the water effect to be checked once more...yes and re run the sound check...the lighting will need to be checked the moment it gets dark just before the guests arrive...

He stopped talking for a moment as a young girl came to him with another clip board and went through the details.

Girl: Sir the backstage rooms are all set, lights and mirrors have been fitted in...when you get a moment you can come and double check...

Armaan: Good...I'll be there just as I check finish checking out the gallery...

Riddhima smiled as the girl left and got back to her work and Armaan rushed over to the gallery area where the final piece of work was being put up.

Armaan: This looks great...well done guys...right, now I want you four to go have your break and be back in half an hour to help out with the seating arrangements...

Riddhima left the site and came back five minutes later; she found Armaan and asked him to come with her.

Armaan: Ridz...I'm a bit busy right now...

Ridz: - cutting him off - ...Mujhe kuch nahi sunna...come with me... – she took his hand and dragged him to the side where there was an empty table and sat him down

Armaan: But Ridz...there's still a lot to do...

Ridz: - taking off his head set - ...Maine kaha na...I don't want to hear anything...chup chap yahan beato aur yeh kah lo... – handing him a sandwich that she had brought for him

Armaan's frustrated expression broke into a smile as he saw this cute gesture of hers. He ate up silently looking over at the site as everyone rushed around doing what they had to, once he had finished he was up and ready to go again but before leaving he walked over to Riddhima and kissed her forehead whispering a very sweet thank you then got back to work.



Riddhima left the site and decided to finally use the available facilities of the club as she made her way to the SPA where she met some of the other girls from the group who were surprised to see her there; they enjoyed a good pampering for a few hours then decided that it was time to make their way down to the site with their belongings and get ready as the countdown for the show had begun.



Riddhima rushed to her room to have a quick shower then gathering all her belongings which she had kept at the side of her cupboard she made her way down through the lounge, following the footsteps through the garden and around the pool down towards the site. All the unnecessary items where moved out of the way and the place was now looking as if it was ready for a show, the round tables were decorated with white table cloths and a beautiful floral decoration and floating candles, lanterns were hung around the area and she just couldn't wait to see this place in action. Riddhima made her way around the stage; she caught a glimpse of Armaan triple checking all the areas before she headed to her backstage cubicle.



Riddhima began with her makeup which took quite a long time as she worked on each and every detail till perfection. She then straightened her hair and curled a few strands which she had experimented on a few days earlier then finally moved onto her outfit which she got dressed into quickly and dolled herself up with a simple golden coloured jewellery; a necklace with a peacock feather, matching earrings and matching accessories. She carefully changed into her heels and gave herself a final look over in the mirror before walking out of the cubicle and making her way to the meeting room.



As she walked out of the cubicle she suddenly felt extremely nervous as she looked at people rushing around and from the sound of it she realised that the guests had begun to arrive. She walked carefully in her heels to the meeting room where she met some of the participants who were also excited and nervous at the same time. She stood in the corner silently as her mind started to wander.

Ridz: I can't believe this...it is actually happening...after months of waiting...weeks of preparing...the time has finally come...but I'm so nervous I'm not able to enjoy myself...what if I mess up...if something goes wrong and...I can't... – she was disturbed as she felt a hand on her shoulder which made her turn

Armaan: Nervous as usual... – with his dimpled smile, she nodded slowly and he held her hand gently - ...close your eyes... – Riddhima did as she was told and he moved closer to whisper in her ear  - ...feel it Riddhima...your dream is finally coming true...not everyone is as lucky as you...but you've been given this opportunity above thousands of people to be here tonight...to show everyone your talent...win or no win Riddhima you made it till this far and you deserve every happiness...so enjoy it...enjoy it to the max...because you're a very lucky person...and I'm very happy that you're mine...all the best jaan... – kissing her cheek making her open her eyes

Ridz: I love you Armaan... - Armaan mouthed "I love you too" - ...All the best to you too...this is a big night for you also... - they hugged for a moment

Moving away from each other with smiles on their faces they now realised that the room was quite packed and everyone was called to attention in the middle but before anyone could say anything Armaan cleared his throat ready to give an announcement.

Armaan: - to Billy - ...Sorry...this will just take a moment...

Billy: Go ahead...

Armaan: Well everyone...this is your big night and I want to say a little something before I have to head out there to make sure everything is perfect for you guys...firstly you ALL are look AMAZING...and secondly I wish you ALL the very best of luck for tonight...you guys deserve the best because you all are winners...

They all applaud as he came to the end of his speech and just as he was about to leave Billy stopped him.

Billy: Thanks Mr. Malik...for stealing my speech... – everyone laughed - ...you've said it all...I've got nothing left to say...

Armaan: Sorry... – with his cute dimpled smile; then left the room

Billy: - smiling he turned back to the group - ...Okay then everyone...the time has finally come...the reason why we have been here for the past three weeks...you've all worked very hard during your time here...and without even knowing the result...just by looking at all of you I only have one thing to say...you all are winners in my eyes...so Congratulations for making it this far...

Everyone applauded and cheered each other for a few moments then settled down again waiting to hear Annie's speech.

Annie: And now I have nothing to say because Mr. Malik and Billy have said it all... – smiling while everyone grinned then she carried on - ...but yes...you all are winners today...you are all looking like winners and with all the preparation you have put in over the past three weeks for this one night has already made you all winners...so all I want to say is...go out there...enjoy yourself and give it all you have...because this is your moment...all the best...

They cheered until a few moments later when there was a knock on the door which made them all turn.

Sunny: The host is about to begin the show...you're on in five minutes...good luck...



Billy and Annie shuffled them all out of the small meeting room and they lined up in their order waiting for the cue. Riddhima stood second in line ready for the big moment; she closed her eyes as she heard the host open the show and silently prayed that everything goes well. A few minutes later it was time to go out and face the audience; Tia who was the first was applauded loudly as she walked onto the stage and modelled her outfit. The stage was decorated with green leafy back ground from a projector and jungle themed props were placed around the stage to set the effect along with the jungle theme sounds.



Riddhima braced herself taking a deep breath then walked out onto stage as she saw Tia make an exit from the opposite side, the crowd erupted with another loud applause as Riddhima made her way down the ramp in her metallic blue halter neck blouse which was decorated with fine gold embroidery and a matching fitted skirt which was loose from the knee downwards, the back of the skirt had a trail of peacock feathers which related to the wildlife theme which would definitely earn her points from the judges, she paraded along the ramp while the lights flashed from all directions as she turned and walked back up the ramp and off of the stage.



As she came down from back stage she was met by a member of the Khushi Event team who showed her to a small room which was set up for a photography session before the participants got changed into another outfit, she quickly posed for a few shots then made her way to her cubicle as other participants and members of the Khushi Event team congratulated her. She got into her cubicle and quickly took off her outfit and wrapped her robe around her then there was a sudden knock on the door, she answered it to see it was a beautician who had been running late but was now there to help. Riddhima showed her the outfit and pointed out the matching eye shadow colour she wanted and she quickly got to work. Within fifteen minutes Riddhima's makeup was set and her hair was done nicely, the beautician left and she quickly slipped into her dress and exchanged her jewellery for a turquoise crystal necklace and matching earrings, then she put on her second pair of heels and made her way back to the meeting room where she met Tia.



Ridz: You were great on the ramp... – giving her a side hug

Tia: Thanks...sorry I couldn't wait to see you...but you looked amazing...and this outfit looks gorgeous...

Ridz: Thanks...you're looking great too...

Tia: I must say...your boyfriend and his team has put together an amazing event...this is like hundred times better than a celebrity show...it's really, really beautiful...

Sharon: I completely agree...when I came down here this afternoon I was blown away...because I was too busy in the workshop this week I hadn't seen anything go up...and to see it like this...it's just too cool...

Ridz: I know...even I was amazed when I came down this afternoon even though I've been here all week...



The room was now crowded again as they all waited around; at the moment there was a stand up comedy act for one of the intervals while the participants prepared themselves for the second round. Once again Sunny knocked on the door reminding them that they will be going on in five minutes; they all made their way towards backstage getting in line while the Khushi Events team were rushing around exchanging the props getting the stage ready. Riddhima stood first in line and peered through the curtain to see the comedian walk around the ramp as he brought his act to a close and the audience applauded as he left the stage.



The curtains were drawn open and the host reappeared on the stage talking to the audience about the theme of the second round then suddenly the sound came on and he left the stage set for the first participant. Riddhima took a deep breath and walked out onto the stage and stood in the centre modelling her outfit, it was a long aqua colour silk gown which flowed nicely behind her water like, the top of the gown was made like a corset which hugged her figure beautifully and she had added a beaded shell strap over her shoulder to hold the dress up. The outfit itself was breath taking but as she stood in centre stage with the water effect backdrop and the coral reef props on either side she looked like a gorgeous mermaid and the crowd hooted as she began walking down the ramp showing off her outfit. She made her way back up the ramp and off of the stage making her way to the photography room before heading to her cubicle to get dressed for the final round.



Riddhima was working away on her make up when there was a sudden knock on the door, ignoring it she carried on as she just wanted to concentrate and not mess up but once again there was a knock and she frowned thinking it was the beautician again.



Ridz: - without opening the door - ...It's okay...I don't need any help...

But this time she saw the door handle turn and she looked around in shock to see who it was; Armaan stepped into the room and made his way towards her.

Ridz: Armaan? What are you doing here?

Armaan: Sorry to disturb you...actually I had a minute to spare so I thought I'd come and see you... – looking down at her in her pink robe with a frown - ...you're not modelling in that for the final round are you? – seriously

Ridz: - annoyed – Don't be stupid Armaan... - making a face and turning back to the mirror but he hugged her from the back

Armaan: I'm just messing...actually... – looking at their reflection in the mirror - ...I just came to tell you how gorgeous you were looking out there...I couldn't help but stop what I was doing while you were up on that ramp...

Ridz: - looking down shyly - ...Thanks...

Armaan: You're my girl...and I'm so proud of you...for all of your hard work...your confidence...your creativity...your beauty...and your innocence... – looking closely at her

Ridz: Armaan... – slowly not knowing what to say to that

Armaan: You don't need to say anything...your eyes already say a lot... – turning her around to face him - ...I love you...

Ridz: I love you too Armaan...

Suddenly they both moved apart as they heard a loud cheer come from the audience, Armaan decided it was time to get back to work as it was the second interval and there was suppose to be a singing performance by a band and Riddhima realised that she didn't have much time left.

Armaan: I'll be back to see you in a while just before you go on stage... – kissing her forehead



He left the cubicle and Riddhima quickly got back to work putting on her eye makeup carefully then moving onto her hair style and finally onto her outfit which would need a lot of time and patience to fit just right. Half an hour later she was finally ready, she was looking into the mirror giving herself a final look over when suddenly the cubicle door open, she turned in anger to see who it was when she saw Armaan standing there with his mouth hanging open. He slowly made his way to her with his mouth still slightly open as he stared at her in shock making her smile at his cuteness.



Ridz: You can close your mouth... – putting her finger under his chin to shut his mouth

Armaan: Riddhima... – unable to say anything else but coming to his senses

Ridz: How do I look? – uncertain

Armaan: Do you need to ask after this reaction?

Ridz: Please...batao na...

Armaan: There's just one thing missing...

Ridz: Kya?

Armaan moved his head forward and slowly planted a gentle kiss on her lips which made her smile widen as she became shy.

Armaan: Your beautiful smile was missing...now you're all set...

Ridz: Thanks Armaan...

Armaan: Any time...ab chalo...you're on soon...

Riddhima was about to walk towards the door slowly in her heels when Armaan held onto her hand making her stop and turn back with questioning eyes.

Armaan: All the best...I hope you win...

Ridz: Thanks...



Riddhima walked out of the cubicle while Armaan stood there watching her go making a silent pray for her, then he got back to work as Riddhima stood at the end of the line as she was about to go on last. Half of the participants had already modelled and were in the photography room while they others waited impatiently to walk the ramp for the last and hear the names of the winners. They all stood in the line, Riddhima at the end waiting patiently, the second last person had now walked off from the other side and once again Riddhima took a deep breath before walking out onto the stage giving everyone an unexpected but pleasant shock.



Riddhima stood centre stage with a blue back drop, cloud props on either side of her and gentle music played in the back ground. The crowd cheered as she stood angel like in a magnificent white sari, her blouse was fully decorated with hand embroidery of sequins and silver thread with sequins straps which glittered as the lights fell on her. The skirt was plain white but the border of her pallu was fully embroidered by hand again with sequins and silver thread, she wore a simple silver pendent with matching earrings and her hair was styled neatly. She looked nothing less than an angel from heaven as she walked the ramp as the audience applauded and cheered loudly for her as she made her way back onto the stage and off to backstage. She made her way to the photography room for a quick photo shoot.



She met up with some of the group members who had just had their photos taken and they were talking excitedly as the complimented each other.

Sharon: I don't believe this Ridz...

Ridz: What?

Sharon: You were so secretive with this outfit you never even showed us your designs...and it's just so...AMAZING!

Tia: You really are looking very hot... – winking at her - ...you carry off a sari very nicely...

Ridz: This is the very first time I've worn a sari...

Tia: Are you serious?

Ridz: Yeah...it took me ages to put on...I was scared if I was even doing it the right way...

Rachel: You must have because you are looking gorgeous...

Ridz: Thanks guys...

They all walked out of the photography room and made their way back stage to see the dance performance that was going on while the judges decided on the winners. They cheered on the group silently from backstage while the audience fully enjoyed the performance.

Michael: Wow they are really...really great...I'd love to go out there and join them...

Rachel: Why don't you?

Michael: I wish...

Ridz: They are quite good...

Tia: I'd like for them to hurry up...

Sharon: Me too...I can't wait any longer...

Rachel: What do you guys think...who'll take the first award?

Ridz: I don't know...everyone's outfits where perfect...to me there's no competition...

Tia: I agree...it's going to be very difficult for the judges to choose...

Michael: You know what... – looking over at the girls seriously- ...I think it's a shame what happened to Jay at the last minute...I mean...he had worked really hard and the way he broke his leg...I don't even understand how it happened...

Sharon: Even I don't understand how it happened but he was beginning to get a bit irritating...he was always annoyed and frustrated...

Rachel: Yeah and his attitude changed a lot coming to this last week...he was being very weird...and he was really rude when he fell from the stage...

Riddhima and Tia shared a silent look but stayed out of the conversation while the other three carried on trying to figure out what had happened.

Michael: Whatever it was I feel for the poor guy...he couldn't even take part in the show...

Rachel: Well...what's done is done...now's the time to see the main result...

Tia: I'm so excited...

Sharon: Me too...

They all looked onto the stage as the dancers bowed and walked off from the other end and the host reappeared onto the stage.

Ridz: I'm so nervous...

Armaan: - putting his arm around her shoulder - ...I knew you would say that...that's why I came to see how you're doing...not chattering yet are you? – teasing

Ridz: Armaan... – annoyed

Tia: What?

Armaan: Her teeth chatters when she becomes nervous... – they all laughed as she moved away from him but he held onto her - ...anyways I'm here to wish all of you the very best...may the best man...or lady... – correcting himself - ...win

Michael: Thanks...

Sharon/Rachel: Thanks Armaan...

They all turned to the stage as the host invited on stage the judge panel and Annie and Billy. All the participants stood around nervously waiting for the names to be called out.

Host: Well ladies and gentlemen...we have come to the end of the show...and it's now time for the results...but before we call out the names of the winners of the show I would like to hand over to the two team leaders who have worked very hard along with our twenty five participants for the past three weeks... – turning to Billy and Annie - ...over to you...

Billy: Good evening ladies and gentlemen...I'd just like to say a few words about the twenty five participants of this competition...they've come together from all over the country for this one purpose...each of them carrying their own dreams...they've made it here tonight not as individuals but they stand as one family and I'm very happy to know that we... – referring to Annie - ...are part of their family...they've worked extremely hard during these three weeks and they deserve a big round of applause for making this show a huge success... – the audience applauded while Billy turned to backstage towards them - ...well done guys...

They all looked around at each other and smiled gathering in a group hug as they had finally realised how close they had become during this small amount of time.

Annie: - taking over from Billy - ...Truly well done to all of them...because making it this far makes them all winners... – once again the  audience applauded and cheered before she carried on - ...and we would like to award them all for their individual characteristics...

Billy began to call out names of group members rewarding them each with mini awards for their individual personalities, extremely hard working, fun loving, team leader, most organised (which went to Riddhima), comedian, entertainer etc.

Once everyone had received their mini awards the host then spoke a little about the judge panel before he handed over to them to announce the winners of the show. Each of the group members held hands as they shared their nervousness, their hearts thumping in rhythm as they waited impatiently for the names to be called out. Armaan looked down at Riddhima and gave her hand an encouraging squeeze reassuring her through his eyes...

Judge: And the winner...of the Wild Life Theme is...


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