Sunday, 24 May 2020

part 65& 66: Arman aur Riddhima ka safar

Part 65

Abhi: That's great...hey Ridz... – giving her a side hug to which Armaan had to move her away - ...and you're still the same... – to Armaan, then looking around - ...and where's Niki...didn't she come?

Ridz: Woh kyun ayegi... – suddenly - ...aaj ladke wale usse dikhne ah rahe hain...

Abhi: What?????

 Rahul/Armaan/Muskaan: What??? – turning to face her

Ridz: Guys please...can we leave now... – looking down

Abhi: What is going on Ridz...? – curiously

Ridz: Armaan...let's go to the car at least...

Armaan: Okay come let's go...here Abhi let me help you with the bags...



Armaan and Rahul helped Abhi with his bags to the car, Muskaan held Riddhima back while the boys walked up ahead.

Muskaan: Ridz what is all this about? - surprised

Ridz: Last night mama and chachi spoke to me about taking a proposal to Niki's parents for Sid...I was shocked at first but everyone was ready and Niki sounds happy too...so they're going today...

Muskaan: Woh sab toh theek hain par...suddenly this change in attitude...what's up?

Ridz: I'm sorry Muskaan... – looking seriously at her - ...this is not because I'm Sid's cousin that I will favour him but this is about Niki...maybe you've forgotten what Abhi put her through for a whole year and now that he's back all those feelings are going to come back to her...I just want her to be happy...

Muskaan: - thinking for a second then out loud - ...Yeah...I agree...Niki deserves happiness...and now with Abhi back suddenly like this...I just hope she'll be okay...

They reached the car and everyone settled down but the moment Armaan started to drive Abhi was up with his questions again and Riddhima was ready to give straight forward answers; she did not hate him she just wanted him to realise his mistake.

Abhi: Ridzi please explain to me what you were talking about earlier...I'm really confused...

Ridz: There's nothing much to explain Abhi...someone's going to Niki's house this evening to ask for her hand in marriage...that's it...

Abhi: But who is it? – curiously- ...Is it arrange or love?

Ridz: Abhi...what's wrong with all the questions... – smiling at him - ...it's a love marriage...you remember Sid right...my cousin, you guys met in the park last year...they've been quite close for a while now and his parents have come down for summer and they also really like Niki so they're going over to her place tonight...

Abhi: But...suddenly like this...I mean...I'm sure Niki is not that kind of girl...

Ridz: It's not suddenly...they've been seeing each other for months...but I'm sorry Abhi...what's this got to do with you...why are you suddenly asking so many questions about Niki...because as far as I can remember you didn't not even want to hear her name more further see her face before you left... - fuming

Abhi: Ridz what's wrong with you...why are you being so mean?

Muskaan: Ridz is not being mean...she's stating the facts...you've put Niki through a lot of trauma since the last time you both spoke when we got our results and we're the only two who have seen her in that state...trust me it was not nice...she had given up on life...and it was because of you...you made the mess and left...and I bet you were having the time of your life when you were there you didn't even spare a minute to think about her...and now that you're back you seem to care a hell of a lot for her... – angrily

Abhi was silent for a moment as he thought about Nikita in a terrible state and it was all because of him.

Abhi: - slowly – Guys...I'm sorry...I know I hurt her a lot but...you're wrong in thinking that I didn't think of her...I went there to forget her and I tried my best...but it was not possible...no matter if I had a girlfriend or was single...all I could think of was Niki...and you all know that I love her...I've loved her since we were in year eight...then how could I forget her... – sadly

Ridz: Please Abhi...we all saw how you spoke to her that day...and there was no love in your words at all...so don't even think you can come back here and wish that she can be yours...because she has finally moved on with her life and she's happy...so please don't ruin things for her...I think you should stay away from her...

Abhi: But Ridz...I love her...and I know she loves me too...

Muskaan: That's enough Abhi...if she loved you she wouldn't agree to get married to someone else...

Rahul: Okay please all of you...that's enough...can we please stop this here... – speaking up before things got out of hand

Armaan: Abhi you've just got back...calm down and take a breather...you're going home to your family...just think about that for now...and girls calm down...he has just got back...leave this for now...

The rest of the car journey was silent apart from Rahul and Armaan filling Abhi in with what he had missed out and about their work and the upcoming wedding while Abhi, even though he was still in shock he spoke about his job in New York and about the lifestyle. Armaan gave everyone a lift home then stopped by the park with Riddhima who was still in a bad mood; he held her hand getting her attention.

Armaan: Riddhima...ab woh sab choro na...he's gone...I want to spend some time with you...

Ridz: But Armaan...he's...

Armaan: - cutting her off – Ridz...listen to me...I know you're in a bad mood about this whole situation but right now look around...it's just me and you...and I want to spend some time alone with you because I know after today we won't be able to meet till after Muskaan and Rahul's wedding...because I'm going to be so busy...so can we just forget everything for now...please...

Ridz: - smiling – I'm sorry...

She calmed down and they enjoyed a cosy moment with each other talking of nothing but just words of love until it was getting quite late and Riddhima had received a missed call from Sid. Armaan kissed her gently on the cheeks making her blush before driving her home. She said bye to Armaan and left the car, just as she was about to walk into her house her phone rang; she picked it up with a smile and walked in.

Ridz: Hey Niki...you okay?

Niki: I'm fine...actually I wanted a favour...

Ridz: What's up?

Niki: I was hoping if you could come around with Sid and your family...I need a little support...I'm so nervous...

Ridz: Done...I'll be there... – smiling widely

Niki: Thanks a lot Ridzi...

Ridz: No problem...I'll see you in a bit...bye... – ending the call she sees Sid walking down the stairs

Sid: Where've you been? – with nervous lines on his forehead - ...We're leaving in a bit and you have to come with me.

Ridz: I'm sorry I was out...and I'm coming...but...

Sid: But what?

Ridz: I'm going to be there for Niki...she's just called me...

Sid: That's not fair Ridz...

Ridz: I'm sorry...no can do... – walking past him and up the stairs ignoring him with a smile

Half an hour later Riddhima was dressed and ready to go but as she left her room she came across a cute sight making her stop.

Ridz: Arre...what's wrong with my favourite little boy? – sitting down on the stairs with him

Dhruv: It's not fair Riddhi...no one is taking me with them...

Ridz: Oh yeh baat hain...but I'm sorry Dhruv...I can't help you today...today is only for older people...but I promise the next time I go I will definitely take you...

Dhruv: Promise? – looking up slowly

Ridz: Pakka...

She smiled and hugged him then they went downstairs together, everyone was ready and waiting for her. Shubhankar drove Ba, Padma and Keerti while Sid and Riddhima went in the other car but they reached together and stood at the doorstep patiently until Nikita's dad opened the door and welcomed them in with a warm smile. Riddhima waited till her family were seated in the living room before sneaking off to the kitchen where she found Nikita's mum who gestured for her to go upstairs. She got there quickly and knocked on the door before walking in to a pretty sight.

Ridz: - whistling then looking at Nikita - ...Wah, wah, wah Niki dearest... – walking to her - ...you look gorgeous...

Niki: - turning around - ...Thank God you're here...I'm so nervous...is everyone else here as well?

Ridz: Yep...not everyone just mama...Ba, Shubhankar Chachu and Keerti Chachi and Sid...

Niki: So many people...Ridz help me...I'm so nervous already...what should I say...?

Ridz: - putting her hand on Nikita's shoulder – Just chill and listen to me...you don't have to say or do anything...just sit there and smile...no one will ask you much except Ba because she's very fond of you already...and it won't be anything difficult...just be confident...and I'll be by your side right through so don't worry okay?

Niki: Thanks Ridz...

Ridz: Come let's go down...

At the same time Nikita's mum walked into the room and gave Nikita a few encouraging words then they went downstairs into the kitchen to grab the trays of snack and drinks before going into the living room to face the music. As they entered everyone's heads turned to look at them and immediately and Nikita became nervous but Riddhima reassured her through her eyes and they set the snacks on the table then Nikita shared the drinks out to everyone before settling down next to Riddhima.

Padma: Nikita you're looking very beautiful...

Niki: Ji...th-thanks aunty... – stuttering

Keerti: Nikita don't worry...we're not here to interrogate you...we're only here to ask for your hand in marriage from your parents...we already know you very well and we really like you...

Ba: Haan...Riddhima aur Sid ne tumhare bare main bohot kuch bataya hain...

Shubhankar: - turning to Nikita's dad - ...We would really like Nikita to be the daughter-in-law of our family...Sid and Nikita also know and like each other but we want to know your decision...if you need to ask Sid or us anything please go ahead...

Nikita's dad: I'm really happy with this relationship as well...we already know Sid and he's a nice boy...I'm sure he'll keep Nikita very happy...and as for your family...you've given Riddhima such a good upbringing I'm certain Nikita will be able to fit into your lifestyle and be happy to live with you all but I still think we should hear the children's decision...what do you say?

Shubhankar: Of course...

Nikita's mum: Niki...do you agree with taking this relationship further?

Niki: - after a few moments she nodded her head - ...Ji ma...

Keerti: - to Sid – Aur Sid...what do you say?

Sid: Yes mum...

Ba: Aaj main bohot khush hoon... – as everyone congratulated each other

Ridz: - nudging Niki in the side – Congrats my soon-to-be bhabi...

Riddhima got up and Sid was told to sit next to Nikita so they could have a small chat, they both blushed as Riddhima carried on teasing them. Everyone spoke at once about wedding dates and other stuff while the new couple sat silently talking through their eyes. Riddhima sat back and watched the scene play in front of her with a smile on her face but her mind was far from there.

Ridz: - thinking – I'm really happy for them...especially Niki...she deserves the best... – Abhi's words flashed into her mind - ...I'm sorry...I know I hurt her a lot but...you're wrong in thinking that I didn't think of her...all I could think of was Niki...and you all know that I love her...I've loved her since we were in year eight...then how could I forget her... – shaking herself back to reality - ...but I'm just praying that everything goes well...now with Abhi back and I just hope he doesn't mess anything up... – praying silently

A while later they decided to leave, everyone was happy and made promises to meet again soon; Riddhima gave Nikita a long hug and was extremely happy that they were now going to be related. The Gupta family made their way home talking only about the new couple and the plans ahead.



The next day the girls got a lift from Rahul to South Hall where they were going to the last bit of their shopping. Once they got there Muskaan said bye to him and they began their shopping, first they went to the check out Muskaan's wedding dress which was ready for pick up. They got there excitedly and waited around till Muskaan tried it on to check the fittings.

Naina: I love weddings...they're just so much fun and now there are two coming up...I'm so excited...

Ridz: Main bhi...yaad hain Niki...we had so much fun at Dii and Jiju's wedding functions...

Niki: Yeah...that was great...the mehendi, sangeet and all of it...and I bet we'll have lots of fun in this wedding too...

Naina: And yours as well...you need to start looking for an outfit...

Niki: I know...now I understand why Muskaan was so tensed...suddenly I feel like time is so limited...right after Muskaan's wedding will be our engagement and then after that shaadi...

Ridz: Don't worry...just as we sorted Muskaan's wedding we'll sort yours out too...

Niki: Haan par...Muskaan had a whole year in advance to prepare...

Ridz: Really Niki...don't worry about anything...we'll have everything sorted out...just chill for now and enjoy this wedding...

Muskaan: - walking out of the changing room - ...What do you guys think? – posing at a side

Naina/Niki/Ridz: WOW!...Muskaan you look gorgeous...the dress is so beautiful...

Muskaan: Thanks...

Ridz: How's the fitting? – looking down at the dress - ...It's not loose is it?

Muskaan: It's perfect...just slightly heavier than I thought...

Niki: It's okay...it looks WOW!...

Muskaan: Thanks...I'll just go and get changed...

She went back into the changing room while the girls looked around for another outfit for the reception. Muskaan joined them five minutes later but neither of the four of them found anything nice, they told the worker that they'll be back to pick up the outfit later in the evening once they had done their shopping. They left and walked around the other shops looking for other outfits and matching accessories and jewellery for the wedding dress.



After a few hours they walked into yet another shop and looked around at the suits; and surprisingly they did find something which caught their eye and they all hovered around it.

Niki: Wow Muskaan look at this dress...I'm sure it'll look gorgeous on you... – admiring the dress

She held out a tri-coloured lengha choli in blue, copper and gold which was fully decorated with crystal diamontes. The girls drooled over it for some time until they came back into their senses and Riddhima forced Muskaan to try it on to which she just couldn't refuse.

Naina: That's such a beautiful suit...

Ridz: I know...I think it'll fit her perfectly...I can't wait to see her in it...

Niki: I'm sure Rahul will be stunned at how beautiful she looks...

Ridz: Yeah I agree...

A moment later Muskaan walked out of the cubicle and the girls were left with their mouths hanging open in shock.

Muskaan: Well?? – a little uncertain

Niki: Buy it now...

Ridz: You look hot...

Muskaan went back into the changing room and came out a few moments later with the outfit in her hand and a sad face.

Naina: What's wrong Muskaan?

Muskaan: Guys…I don't think I'm going to buy it…

Niki: Why what's wrong?

Muskaan: Wait till you see the price…I can't afford this…it's just too much…

Ridz: Bas…that's it…? – with a smile - …Leave that to us…

Muskaan: But Ridzi seriously…it's just too much…we'll find something else…

Ridz: Muskaan maine kaha na… we'll beat it right down to your price…just quote it…

Muskaan smiled at her and the girls got to work bargaining with the sales man, Muskaan felt embarrassed but they forced her to play along and they managed to beat the price right down to what Muskaan wanted. They also looked around for outfits for the other three; Naina chose a simple and elegant a-line suit while Nikita found a blue lengha which everyone thought was very pretty. Once they had all chosen what they wanted they looked around for Riddhima who had gone missing for some time.

Naina: There you are…we've been searching for you for ages…

Muskaan: Have you found anything yet?

 Ridz: No I haven't… - sulking slightly - …it was so easy to find my other ones…I had brought four outfits with matching jewellery and sandals in one day but this one outfit is taking a whole day and I just can't find anything I like…

Niki: Oh don't worry…we'll help you find something…

They all spread out around the shop looking for an outfit which Riddhima would like. It took them half an hour until Nikita shouted out to the three of them to come over, they rushed to her side and she pointed out a classic saree creation in a peach coloured georgette material, the border of the pallu was fully decorated in banarsi style with silver thread and diamonds.

Niki: What do you think?

Ridz: It's nice but…I'm not sure if it's a good idea to wear a sari… - hesitant

Muskaan: Oh come on Ridzi…yaad hain you wore one on the fashion show competition and won…you looked amazing…

Niki: Yeah…and like everyone said…you carry off a sari really nicely…

Naina: Go on Ridzi…it's really beautiful…

Ridz: Okay fine…I'll take it…

The bought their outfits and all the matching jewellery, accessories and shoes then Muskaan called Rahul to give them a lift home before going to collect her wedding dress. Rahul got there soon and gave them all a lift home while they all chatted excitedly about the upcoming events.



Two weeks later Riddhima and Nikita were back at Muskaan's place getting her ready for her mehendi. The girls were in her room talking and teasing Muskaan now that she had very little time left before her big day. Riddhima and Nikita got ready quickly while Muskaan's cousin helped her with her hair and makeup as planned. Once they were all ready the three girls sat in the room waiting to be carried to the hall where the ceremony was taking place, as Muskaan's house was too small for hundreds of guests.

A few moments later Yuvi knocked on the door and came in to escort Muskaan and her friends down to the car, he whined as he knew this was going to be his job for the next few days.

Yuvi: I'm so glad you're going…but on the other hand I'm feeling it for poor Rahul…bechara…

Niki: Yuvi that's not very nice…

Muskaan: Ignore it Niki…that's what I've done for the past two months…

Yuvi: She's ignored my complaints but her demands have doubled within these two months…

Muskaan: Shut up…

Yuvi: Whatever…just get a move on downstairs and to the car…I've got other stuff to do once I've given you a lift to the hall…

The girls made their way down the stairs and into the car as Yuvi drove them to the hall quickly. They got out of the car and walked into the hall and noticed that many of the guests had arrived and were having a great time. The hall looked beautiful in green, red and gold decorations. As Muskaan and the girls settled on the stage Riddhima noticed that Armaan, Sid and the Khushi Events Crew were working away, Armaan and Sid were making sure all the arrangements were ready and the crew was serving the guests, taking photos and videoing the function. Nikita got right down to work on decorating Muskaan's hands with mehendi.

Riddhima looked around the hall to see that her family had just arrived and Naina made her way to the stage.

Naina: - walking towards them – Wow guys you all look really nice…specially Muskaan…and the shy bridal look really suits you…

Muskaan: Thanks Naina… - blushing madly

Naina: But…I don't see your groom-to-be around yet…

Ridz: Why should he be here? – making a face - …It's mainly a ladies function…right Muski? – turning to her - …He can stay home for the day… - teasing her

Niki: - stopping for a second to look up at Muskaan - I can imagine his state if he's at home away from his lady love… - nudging her in the side slightly - …bechara…

Muskaan: Guys…that's not fair…why are you making fun of him when he's not even here… - with a sad face

Naina/Ridz: Aww….so sweet…

Niki: Muskaan you need to control yourself now for the next two days…

Muskaan: Kyun? - curiously

Ridz: Because you can't have any contact with him…and you guys can't meet till the wedding day…

Muskaan: What?? – shocked - …That's not fair…that's all old stuff…we don't do that anymore…

Naina: Of course we do…

Muskaan: Ridz…call him now...I want to talk to him…

Ridz: Sorry…no can do…

Muskaan: Please yaar…this is really not fair… - sadly

Niki: Theek hain fine… - then to Riddhima - …Ridz just call him and let them talk if not she'll wiggle for the next hour until he comes and she'll mess up her mehendi…

Ridz: - laughing – Okay fine… - getting out her phone and dialing Rahul's number with a smile, as it rang she held it to Muskaan's ear

Muskaan: Hi…//…What are you doing…//…Okay fine could you come over…//…Yeah I'm at the hall…//…Please come…I'm really missing you…

Niki/Ridz/Naina: Awww…

Muskaan: Please come if you're not busy…//…Thanks…bye…

The call ended and Muskaan suddenly realised what she had done and looked down at her lap blushing madly as the girls looked at her with sneaky smiles and started teasing her all over again.

Naina: Aww Muskaan…you look so cute when you blush… - then to Nikita - …hey Niki don't forget to write the name of her beloved in her mehendi…

Ridz: Haan…and do it in such a way that he won't be able to find it…

Muskaan: - blushing crimson now - …Please girls…

Niki: Of course I will… - with a sneaky smile

Suddenly out of nowhere the music started up and many people were on the dance floor. Muskaan's cousins and Rahul's cousins chose partners and started dancing to the latest bollywood party songs which Muskaan, Naina and Riddhima enjoyed watching while Nikita carried on applying mehendi to Muskaan's hands.

About ten minutes later Naina excitedly nudged Riddhima whispering in her ear that Rahul had arrived and was making his way through the crowd, and Riddhima whispered into Muskaan's ear making her blush even more. Riddhima and Muskaan scanned the crowd until they found Rahul but suddenly turned to each other as he made his way onto the stage with someone.

Niki: - adding the final touch – There you go Muskaan…all done… - looking up suddenly to get a shock
............................
part 66

About ten minutes later Naina excitedly nudged Riddhima whispering in her ear that Rahul had arrived and was making his way through the crowd, and Riddhima whispered into Muskaan's ear making her blush even more. Riddhima and Muskaan scanned the crowd until they found Rahul but suddenly turned to each other as he made his way onto the stage with someone.

Niki: - adding the final touch – There you go Muskaan…all done… - looking up suddenly to get a shock



Before anyone could say anything further Naina excused herself from the stage so that Rahul could sit with Muskaan, as she left the atmosphere became tensed as Nikita stared at him in shock unable to believe that he was once again standing in front of her after a whole year. All the memories flooded back to her suddenly and her eyes welled up with tears.

Abhi: Hi Niki… - slowly

Nikita looked away finding an excuse by packing away her mehendi equipment quickly and leaving the stage unable to have eye contact with anyone. She stood up with her bag of things and walked quickly off of the stage while Abhi followed her with his eyes felling very sorry. Rahul settled down next to Muskaan and Riddhima was left sitting there in shock at the small situation that just occurred as she did not see this coming.

Riddhima excused herself telling Muskaan that she'll be back in a bit as she was going to see if Nikita was okay. She walked off of the stage and through the crowd looking for Nikita, she noticed her standing at the back of the hall with someone and as she neared them she realised it was Sid and she overheard a little bit of their conversation.

Niki: I'm fine Sid… - lying - …actually it's quite late…I've finished doing Muskaan's mehendi so I thought of heading home…

Sid: Did you have anything to eat…?

Niki: - shaking her head - …I'm okay really…I'm not very hungry… I think I'll go…

Sid: Bilkul nahi…Niki… - slowly - …come let me get you something to eat then I'll give you a lift home…

Niki: - slowly she nodded her head even though she wanted to refuse - …Theek hain…

Nikita walked towards the food counter and Sid was about to follow but noticed Riddhima standing there, he shook his head in her direction in disgrace then walked away after Nikita. Riddhima suddenly felt terrible with herself for some unknown reason which she just couldn't seem to understand but she made her way back up to the stage to be there for Muskaan.



Riddhima stayed over at Muskaan's place that night to give her company, not that she needed much as she had a house full of relatives but at this time she needed someone close. They slept till late the next morning and were woken up by Muskaan's mum at eleven in the morning to have breakfast in bed as downstairs was too crowded.

Muskaan's Mum: You two have your breakfast then Riddhima beta you can help Muskaan with the last bit of packing… - sadly

Ridz: Ji aunty…don't worry…I'll help her… - she looked over at Muskaan to see her wearing a sad face then to her mum who looked the same and she smiled - …there's still another thirty hours before the bidaai…

Muskaan: - with a watery smile - …Thanks for reminding me Ridzi… - Riddhima gave her a hug

Muskaan's mum came closer to the bed and gave Muskaan a kiss on her forehead then Riddhima asked for one to lighten the atmosphere, she received one with lots of watery smiles then Muskaan's mum told them to have their breakfast quickly before it goes cold, then she left the room. They ate up and Riddhima helped Muskaan with the last bit of her packing until around two when they both settled down on the bed talking generally. Muskaan called Nikita and told her to come over so that they could get ready together, she agreed after a little persuading and arrived soon after.

Once she got there the girls started to get ready for the Sangeet function which was going to be in the evening. Riddhima had noticed from the moment Nikita walked into the room that her mood was completely different from how she had been for the past couple of weeks. Even though she had a smile on her face she was sad and did not take part in any of the fun and jokes between Riddhima, Muskaan and her cousins, instead she stayed in the background and got ready silently smiling now and then.

They arrived at the hall about two hours later and noticed that some of the guests were already there. Riddhima and Nikita settled down with Muskaan at the front of the hall and looked around admiring the place.

Muskaan: - to Riddhima – I must say Ridz...you're boyfriend has put in a hell of a lot of effort into these events...yesterday the place looked beautiful and today...even though it's almost all the same decorations as yesterday it looks great...what do you think Niki?

Niki: - looking around with a small smile - ...Yeah I agree...the place looks really nice and the service is also very good...

Muskaan: Looks like I'm going to have to thank him personally when the wedding is over...because I haven't seen him at all...

Ridz: You're not the only one...I haven't seen him around either...I think I'll just go and see if I can find him...

Muskaan: Okay and thank him from my side too...

Riddhima got up and made her way through the crowd in search of Armaan. She looked around the main hall but he was not there, she moved outside of the hall and looked around the foyer but again he was not there, looking through the dining hall she noticed him ordering around a few members of staff and rushed towards him but he didn't notice her. She stood patiently to a side until he dismissed his workers and she made a quick move towards him but he turned and began to walk away. She frowned and called out his name making him turn.

Ridz: What's this Armaan...you're so busy you don't even notice me...

Armaan: I'm sorry Ridz...you know how much I need to do around here...I'm the only supervisor on this project and it's just keeping me busy...and this is only the second event...tomorrow and the day after will be even more hectic...I got to go... – turning away

Ridz: - holding his hand and making him turn again – But Armaan...can't you just take five minutes out and have some fun with us...after all this is not just a project for you but it's your friends' wedding...and I need to talk to you about something important...

Armaan: Ridz...if I could take five minutes out you know I would but right now I can't...things need to be done in order for this event to go smoothly and I need to see to it...

Ridz: Can you just listen to what I have to say for two minutes before you get back to work...?

Armaan: - sighing loudly and becoming irritated - ...What is it about?

Ridz: Armaan...I'm feeling terrible about Niki again...she's finding it so hard in front of Abhi and I'm sure Sid is also upset...

Armaan: Is that it... – annoyed - ...come on Riddhima...I have bigger issues to deal with right now...and if you're feeling so guilty you should've of thought of this first before setting them up...you knew one day or the other Abhi was going to come back...then why did you mess up Sid's life by dragging him into it...? – looking around and noticing a new job - ...please Riddhima...let me get back to work and you try to sort this one out on your own... – walking away

Ridz: Armaan... – slowly but he didn't hear as he walked out of the room, she began to think sadly - ...you're blaming me for this...of all people Armaan...I thought you would be on my side through this...and you didn't even look at me once...you didn't even say how I looked... – sadly - ...Armaan you don't even think about me anymore...? – on the verge of tears

Suddenly she felt a heavy hand on her shoulder and she turned to see Abhi standing there.

Abhi: What's wrong Ridz...why are you standing here alone...? – looking down at her curiously - ...Come and have fun with the rest of us...

Abhi lead her out of the room and into the main hall where everyone else was, he moved through the crowd to where Muskaan and Rahul sat with Sid and Nikita on both sides and Naina next to Nikita.

Abhi: Why are you guys sitting here like a bunch of lemons...?  - looking around at each of their faces and pulling Rahul and Muskaan up - ...It's your sangeet...let the fun begin...

Abhi made Rahul and Muskaan hold hands then helped Sid up and walked him to Nikita putting their hands into one another's then he held his hand out to Naina who accepted and he walked towards Riddhima bringing them into the middle of the dance floor. Muskaan's cousins noticed some fun coming on and asked the DJ to play a song as they all got into position.

Abhi, Rahul and Sid stood at one end and walked slowly towards the girls as the music played in the background; "Hey, hey, hey, hey"

Abhi: Girl you are my Chamak Challo...where you go girl I'm gonna follow... – now standing in between Riddhima and Naina

Rahul: - moving around Muskaan - ...What you want girl just let me knooow...oooh, oooh, oooh...

Sid: You can be my Chamak Challo...ooh, ohh... – smiling to Nikita

All Boys: Shawty I'm gonna get ya…you know I'm gonna get ya…you know I will let you be my Chamak Challo…

Abhi: - dancing in between Naina and Riddhima – Kesa sharmana aja nach ke dikha de…

Rahul: - to Muskaan - Aah mere holay aa parda gira de…

Sid: - to Nikita - Aah meri akhiyon se akhiyan mila le…

Abhi/Rahul/Sid: Aah tu na nakhre dikhaa…Wanna be my Chamak Challo…ooh, ooh, ooh…

Naina/Ridz: Kaisa na sharmana tujhe nach ke dikha doon…

Muskaan/Niki: Tera ho jaye jo main parda gira doon…

All girls: Aah tujhe ankiyon main apne basa doon…Aah tujhe nakhre dikha…

All boys: Wanna be my Chamak Challo…ooh, ooh, ooh…Wanna be my Chamak Challo…ooh, ooh, ooh…Wanna be my Chamak Challo…ooh, ooh, ooh…

The song came to an end and they all enjoyed themselves fully but Abhi who stood back and watched Nikita having fun with Sid, he smiled sadly to see her happiness with Sid and began to walk away but Naina stopped him and complimented his dancing skills as well as singing skills. The rest of the evening went on with more songs and masti-filled games and pranks until it was quite late and most of the guests began to leave. Rahul and Muskaan stayed seated talking silently until the girls noticed them and rushed towards them moving them apart.

Rahul: But what's wrong all of a sudden…?

Ridz: I'm sorry Rahul…that's enough for tonight…no more contact between the two of you till tomorrow at the wedding…

Rahul: But…

Niki: No buts Rahul…you can go now…

Rahul: At least let me say a proper bye to Muskaan…

Naina: Bye can be said from here…

Rahul: Fine… - making a face - …bye Muskaan… - walking forward to her but the girls made a barrier to stop him

Muskaan: - laughing – Bye…

Rahul looked annoyed but didn't bother arguing with the girls, he turned around and walked away with Abhi. Riddhima watched as they met Sid and Armaan at the door, she looked on to see Armaan talking friendly with them with a huge smile on his face and felt a sudden pang of hurt in her chest as she remembered how he had spoke to her earlier that evening. She was brought back to reality as Naina shook her shoulder.

Ridz: Huh?

Naina: What's wrong with you…are you okay?

Ridz: I'm fine…

Naina: Well…I'm going to go now…I'll see you guys tomorrow for Muskaan's big day…

Ridz: Okay bye…

Naina left after they had all said bye and settled down. They chatted about the entire event until Yuvi stood at the door and shouted over to them that their lift was ready, the girls walked out of the hall and got into the car making their way to Muskaan's place where they were going to spend the night. The girls stayed up most of the night along with some of Muskaan's cousins and elder sister-in-laws who spoke about what happens after the wedding, teasing Muskaan until she had enough then they left after it was quite late. Muskaan was left in her room along with Nikita and Riddhima; they sat up in bed and carried on talking.

Muskaan: I can't believe this is all happening…I mean this is what I want of course…but after an entire year of waiting for this day…it just all seems so unreal to me…is this normal…? – looking from Riddhima to Nikita

They both hugged her together and gave her the opportunity to let out all of her feelings.

Muskaan: Tomorrow is going to be my big day…it's going to be our three year anniversary that we've been together…and we're finally going to make it official…I'm excited…but… - her voice started to shake a little - …I'm really nervous girls…so many people are going to be there tomorrow…all eyes are going to be on me…I'm going to leave my room…leave my house…and I'm going to leave my family… - now on the verge of tears - …I'm going to… - tears rolled out of her eyes and down her cheeks

Ridz: Muskaan… - holding onto her - …sshhh…don't think about all of this now…

Niki: Hmmm…this was all going to happen…and you're prepared for it…up till now you've been really strong…just a few more hours and then we'll see to this later…but now…leave this thought aside…

Ridz: Niki's right…you just think about you're big day…how beautiful you're going to look…and the look on Rahul's face when he sees you…he won't be able to wait to take you away with him…

Niki: And of course…you're honeymoon… - nudging her in her side making her smile

Muskaan: Niki… - smiling as she whipped her cheeks

Ridz: Now you try and sleep…and stop worrying yourself…okay?

Muskaan nodded and the girls got ready for bed, they made sure Muskaan was comfortable and not taking on tension before they fell asleep all excited about the big day ahead of them. The next morning Muskaan woke up earlier than the girls and started moving around collecting her last minute things putting them in her suitcase and getting ready to leave her room and move to Rahul's home. She was focused but signs of worry showed on her forehead as she rushed around her room silently trying not to wake the girls, but soon after Riddhima and Nikita both woke up as they sensed a bit of tension. Riddhima rubbed her eyes until they came into focus and Nikita yawned widely then they noticed Muskaan with a handful of stuff trying to fit them all in a small bag.

Niki: Muskaan… - sleepily - …you should've woke us up…we would've helped you pack…

Muskaan: It's okay Niki…I'm almost done…I've done the main bit ages ago and Ridz helped me out the other day…I've just got the last few stuff but I've got now space in my suitcase…

Ridz: Here… - moving to sit in front of the suitcase - …let me help you…

Muskaan: Thanks yaar… - turning to Nikita - …Niks can I please ask you to get me some tea…sorry…I just need it right now…and I need to get this stuff done before mum comes up and starts lecturing me that I should've had this sorted before…

Niki: - smiling - …Sure, after all it's your big day…you have every right to order us around…

Ridz: - joining in - ...Only this one day…then you can order Rahul around…

Niki: Ridz…you want anything…?

Ridz: Just a cup of tea…thanks…

Nikita left the room and Riddhima sorted out Muskaan's suitcase, making it neat to find space for the last few things. Once Nikita had come back up with three cups of tea they sat and planned out what they were going to do before they made their way to the venue for the main event. They fixed up the room as planned and made it all neat before spreading out Muskaan's outfit over the bed with her jewellery and accessories and also took out the girls' outfits and hung them on the cupboard door handles. Everything was sorted and they had time to spare but as they thought of something else to do there was a knock on the door and Muskaan's mum, dad and Yuvi came in. Riddhima caught Nikita's eye and they left the room silently giving them some family time.

About half an hour later the girls noticed Muskaan's mum and dad coming down the stairs with smiles on their faces, they smiled at each other and went back upstairs to see Yuvi and Muskaan sharing a lovely hug, Muskaan had tears in her eyes but she was smiling as Yuvi had his arm around her in a cosy hug.

Ridz: Arre wah…Niki take a photo quickly…this is a miracle… - smirking

They moved away from each other and smiled then Yuvi ruffled her hair making a mess and she threw a pillow at him as he walked out of the room.

Niki: And…they're back… - smiling as she walked into the room

Ridz: So…are you ready?

Niki: Time you doll you up for your hubby-to-be…

Muskaan blushed as they began teasing her again. She went to the washroom and by the time she got back her cousin started working away on her hair and makeup while the other two took turns to use the washroom and get ready. Almost two hours later Muskaan was fully ready and was placed to sit in front of a mirror while everyone admired her and made her blush even more.

Muskaan's young cousin: Wow Muskaan Didi…you're looking like a princess…

Niki: She so is… - giving her a side hug

Muskaan was scared; she blushed as she took a glimpse of herself in the mirror; she really did look like a princess. She wore a beautiful red lengha; it was a straight cut skirt with full embroidery, sequins beads and studs. The blouse also had the same designs on it as the skirt and she looked beautiful in it. The dupatta was fully embroidered and it all looked very beautiful. She was still blushing, she kept her eyes down, and her heart was thumping madly. She was excited about this day, she was finally going to be Mrs. Muskaan Rahul Garewal but the tiny thought that was bothering her in the back of her mind started to creep up as she thought about leaving her beloved family but he thoughts were interrupted as Nikita put her hands on her shoulders.

Nikki: Aww sharma gayyi! – looking at her reflection in the mirror

Riddhima looked down at her and bent down onto her knees to be at the same level as Muskaan and so did Nikita on the other side of her.

Ridz: Everyone will be so jealous of you today… - slowly

Muskaan: Thanks guys…for everything you guys have done for me…I don't know if I'll ever be able to repay you…you guys really are the best friends ever… - she pulled them into a hug and they stayed like this for a while

Then they were called downstairs, Muskaan met her grandparents, uncles and aunts and was escorted to the venue, it was a quite a drive from home, not kept in the same hall as the other two functions. Riddhima and Nikita chatted away excitedly trying to take Muskaan's mind off of her bidaai as they talked about how the venue would look, about the rituals and games etc; until they got there about forty minutes later.

Most of the bride's guests had already arrived and were waiting to welcome the bride herself who got out of the car carefully with the help of her two best friends and looked around at the place. To begin with there was a beautiful floral arch which lead onto the red carpet isle which they walked through carefully; along the isle were tall white pillars with flower decorations placed on top of them and fairly lights alongside the red carpet but they were still turned off. As they came to the middle of the red carpet isle they could see round tables for the guests which were decorated with pale coloured drapes and bowls with candle and petals which looked amazingly beautiful. They came to the end of the isle and made their way onto a step up stage which was decorated even more beautiful than the entire place, it was simple yet elegant and Muskaan and the girls loved it.

They settled down on the stage looking out over the beautiful garden area and Muskaan felt a surge of happiness as she thought back to how she had described her design of the venue to Armaan, he had added every bit of detail which she mentioned and even more which left her stunned and speechless. Riddhima looked around at the Khushi Events crew knowing that Armaan was around somewhere but she couldn't catch a glimpse of him and felt upset as she remembered his words from last night. A while later the bharat arrived; and most of the guests made their way over to welcome them. Muskaan and the girls left the stage and were escorted to a small cabin room which was put up behind the stage for them to rest until her groom came. Riddhima was called out specially to welcome the bharat as she should've come with them but she was needed more to be with the bride. She welcomed them in and made sure Rahul was comfortable before going back to Muskaan.

Ridz: Ready?

Muskaan nodded with a smile and stood up with the help of Nikita; Muskaan's mum and some family members joined them and escorted Muskaan out of the cabin and down the aisle towards the mandap. Rahul stood up and looked at his princess, she looked so beautiful, and all eyes were on her. Muskaan's mum and aunt were next to her with Riddhima and Nikita just behind her as they helped her to sit down next to Rahul and the wedding ceremony took place perfectly.

The moment the wedding ceremony was over Rahul asked for his shoes and everyone started looking around for it; then suddenly Nikita felt a strong nudge in her side which made her turn to see one of Muskaan's cousins asked her to come with him.

Niki: What's wrong…?

Boy: We hid Rahul Jiju's shoes earlier but now we can't find it…please help us…

Nikita was about to say something but was stopped by a loud laugh which made them turn. Dhruv stood there with the shoes in his hand, the boy went for it but Dhruv ran away and Nikita ran after them. One of Muskaan's older cousins took it from Dhruv's hand and shouted to Nikita to come and get it, just as she was about to grab it someone else came behind her and took it in front of his eyes, she turned to see Abhi standing very close to her.

Abhi: Do you want it… - Nikita nodded slowly - …come get it… - moving back and walked away

Nikita stopped for a minute to think, she couldn't care less and decided to leave it as she didn't want to be around him but the little boy begged her to get it and so did her cousins, she turned to them and sighed then went after Abhi who started to run and she ran after him. She chased him around the place, dogging guests and decorations. Abhi teased her by sticking his tongue out and waving the shoes in front of her face. She scolded him and reached out once again to grab the shoes; Abhi dodged her and ran into the cabin and she followed. Once again he waved the shoes in front of her face and she started to get annoyed, she was about to walk away but Abhi held onto her hand and pulled her forcefully towards him, now holding her around her waist and looking deep into her eyes. They stared into each other's eyes for what seemed like ages until Nikita came back to her senses. She tried to get up but Abhi held onto her wrist, placing the shoes into her hands but not letting her go.

Niki: Mera haat chodo Abhi… - silently

Abhi: Not until I finish saying what I have to…

Niki: Abhi please leave me…

Abhi: Niki… - ignoring her and carrying on - …how can you be someone else's when you belong to me and only me…even you know that you love me…then how could you think of being with someone else… - he moved his arm around her tiny waist, making her heart skip a beat and she held her breath - …Niki I'm very sorry…for everything I have ever done and said to you which has hurt you…and I know I've hurt you many times from the moment we got to know each other till now…but I'm truly sorry…

Nikita shuffled a little trying to get out of his grip but he held onto her as he was not finished clearing up everything. He moved closer to her and she tried to get away but he held her tightly and she stopped moving.

Abhi: I know you won't believe me…but I have loved you and only you…even when I went to New York all I could think of was you…you're mine Niki…when I got back and I found out that you're getting married to someone else I was broken but then once I saw you I knew that you still loved me…all I want to say is please forgive me…don't be stubborn and ruin both of our lives…please don't go away from me…I can't live without you…and I know you have the same feelings for me…

Nikita listened to his words silently and took it in but she was still angry with him; she struggled again and he loosened his grip as he knew he was hurting her.

Niki: Let me go Abhi…

Abhi: First tell me that you love me…

Niki: Never… - angrily - …I don't love you…

Abhi: Look into my eyes and say that…

Niki: - looking into his eyes – No I don't…

Abhi suddenly let go of her hand, taking the shoes she walked out of the cabin and met Muskaan's cousin a little way away and gave her the shoes which she ran to show Rahul who gave them their gift money. Nikita stood back a little with these thoughts on her mind; Abhi's words echoed in her mind but there was something else she didn't know; their entire conversation was overheard by Sid who stood just outside of the cabin while they were inside…


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