Sunday, 14 June 2020

Part 5 : CLOSURE?. TO BEGINNING

AT SANJEEVANI:

 Riddhima is in her cabin. She is reading some case files but her mind is frequently diverted towards Armaan. She is missing him terribly. They just got together after three days and still they could not able spend much time with each other. But more than that, she is worried about his health. He looks so tired and exhausted. And she has the inkling feeling that may be he is hiding something from her and it is indirectly affecting his health. May be he is in some trouble and this very thought is making her restless. She just wishes that he would talk to her and they can short it out whatever it is. It's making her concerned to see him like this. These thoughts make her more and more anxious and she decides to call him. She picks her cell and calls his number. He picks it up after many rings. "Armaan. . .where are u ? why are u not picking the call?" she asks anxiously.



" Umm. . . .Busket. . . .I . . .  I was in the wash room." He fumbles answering.




" Armaan. . . .are u alright?" came her worried question?



" Yea. . . .of course Busket. . . .I am perfectly fine. . . .just thought of taking a shower. . ." he replied immediately.



" Ok " she seemed to calm down, "Have u taken ur breakfast?"



" Yes Busket. . . .I have. . .don't worry. . . .Tell me how was ur day going?"  He asks to divert her mind.



" Oh , its boring. . . .I wish ur here." She said complaining.



" Oohooo. . . . .Someone is already missing me?" he asked cheekily.



" Yea. . . .I am really missing u. . . . .Armaan, what is all this car noises?" she suddenly hears some cars horning.



 'S***',  he thought biting his lips. Though his car window is shut but still she can hear the noises of cars going on the road. He has stopped his car at a road side to answer her call "Wo . . . ..Busket I came to the balcony"



"Oh!  ok ," she seems to convince. "Listen, have lunch in time." And he sighs in relief.



"Yea. . . .I will. . . . .and don't worry I will be there in time. . .ok" he just wants to end the talk hastily so that she does not find anything suspicious and moreover he don't want to loose any time now as time is very precious for him at this point.



" Ok , . .bye. . . love u. . ." she smiles.



" Love u too" Armaan replies and they hangs up.



 Riddhima seats in her chair looking at the phone screen. Why does she feel Armaan's behavior quite strange? He sounds nervous!!! What actually he is doing? Then another thought peeps into her mind. Did he by any chance get to know about her surprise? she just prays that he didn't. She remembers that she had made all the preparation very secretly. She had worked hard for it. Infact last day all her time went for shopping and preparing for it. He is bound to get the biggest surprise ever in his life. But if he already seen it all her efforts will go to drain. But then, if he has seen it his voice didn't seemed to have any trance of joy rather it was a gloomy or rather she can say  ,a scared one!. And it again made her wonder what the reason can be. She has this nagging feeling that something big is going to happen. And that too, very soon. But she can not think too much as her pager beeps. She sees it and her eyes widens " OMG." She mutters and runs out from her cabin.





PANCHGANI ORPHANAGE:



Bua is as usual running behind the kids when a car stopped at the entrance and the person comes out of it makes her shock. She gulps seeing Armaan there and knows at an instance that it is something to do with Shilpa. The kids run towards him as they are very fond of him. He comes to Bua being pulled by the kids. He bents and takes her blessings,



"Armaan , son. . .u r here?" what a pleasant surprise? Come in." She invites him but her heart sinks .She has to do all the lying again as she has done many times to him. He goes with Bua to the small office room and they seated themselves.



"Armaan, tell me, how are u?. . . .and what can I do for u?" she asks with a nice smile trying to hide the turbulence that is going through her mind right that time.



" Well I am fine. . . .and I came here to meet Shilpa. . . ." Her heart shudders, not again. She is tired of continuous lying. But she can't do anything. She looks at the expectant eyes of Armaan and with much effort she replies,



 " Shilpa? . ..I told u son. . .I. . .I don't know anything about her. I have not met her from many days" she looks away and he sighs. Again the same thing, but he will not going to budge this time. Nothing is going to stop him today.



 "Bua,why r u lying to me? He asks strait. Her eyes snap back at him. But then she looks here and there trying to avoid his piercing eyes. It is so difficult to face them.



"Lying?? No. . . I. . . I . .." but he cuts her off,



"Pls .don't try to hide Bua. . . .I know. . . .I know Shilpa is here. . . .infact I always have doubts that she is always been here whenever I came here before also. . . . ."he goes on with a knowing tone. And the way Bua is trying to avoid him only proves how right he is. Before every time he came here Bua told him that she had moved out from there but he always had the feeling that someone is watching him and he has the doubts that he knows who it can be, but he hadn't strait way asked Bua about it. But today is different. He has to know and he is going to know.



 "Armaan. . . ." she tries to stop him,



 " No Bua, let me talk. . . .U had lied to me before. . . but I have kept quite thinking that she might  need time . . ..but now every thing has changed. . . . . I believe u know everything about her and Riddhima. . . .so why are u doing this. . . why are u letting her go?" seeing Bua's questioning eyes he answered her doubts, " Well, . .yes I know she is going. . . . .I had a call from California Institute. . . .but Bua that is not the question The real one is why u letting her do this . . ..I believe she loves u very much .Infact she thinks of u as a mother figure. . . . if u talk to her, she may change her decision. . ."  He continues,



"No .she won't. . ." And Bua breaks down. She can't bear the burden anymore. She loves her like her won daughter and wants the best for her. And somewhere she thinks Armaan is taking right steps. Though it may be late, but she also wants to take the chance now. May be this can at least give Shilpa something that she deserves, though not the whole thing. " what do u think Armaan. . . .I have not tried . . .I have tried everything that I can. . . .But she is adamant. . . .and. . .and, Somewhere. . ." she sighs "Somewhere even I feel that she is doing right. . . .Only going away from here will make her forget all the thing, all the painful memories that makes her sad. . .if u understand what I mean. . ." and she looks at him meaningfully which conveys to him that nothing is unknown to Bua and he lowers his head. Bua continues "But I do think that she needs to short out everything with Riddhima . . .." And he looks up hoping,



 "Exactly Bua. . . .that was what I am saying. . .What ever happened", he paused for a moment , " should not come in the way of this very truth. . . .U know It is her Right ,infact it is both of their right to know the truth and be with each other. . . . And we should try to make it possible. . . .so pls Bua, let me talk to her .at least for once. . ." he asked hopefully to get a positive answer,



 "Armaan,  I also want u to talk to her. . .may be she will listen only to u. . .though the chances are very bleak. . .but the real problem is, she will not come in front of u." she sighs.



" Bua .I will make her talk to me. . . .pls let me see her once" he probed. May be this time he can get through with it.



"But it is not possible now . . ..she is not here right now"  as he raised his brow, she said "Actually she has gone out with her friend." his face falls, why is destiny playing such games with him?



 " When will she come back?" .he asks Bua.



 "I don't know exactly but. . . .she said in the evening.." Bua answered.



His hope crumbles down. He don't know whom to blame Destiny, Shilpa or himself?   " S***" he looks frustrated. "I have a duty today at afternoon . . .and I have not even told Riddhima that I am here. . . .I have to go back. . .coz if she dosen't see me in time she will get worried. . . And I can't just tell her why I am here in phone , I have thought to talk to Shilpa 1st . .damn. . .what should I do now?"  And he starts to walk to and fro in the office. 'I have to talk to Riddhima . . .yes, Now I have to talk to her. .'  he suddenly stops,   "When is her flight?" he questions Bua.



 "On Monday morning" Bua replies. Why it always happens like these? In past she has hidden the truth and now when every thing is out. Destiny seems to against them. Everything is now depends on Armaan. What will he do? He has so less time in hand.



 " So, I have only one day in hand. . . ." he quickly calculates. Then he comes to Bua and holds her hands. "Bua will u do me a favor?" he asks hopefully. When Bua nods he requests her.  "Please, Don't tell Shilpa that I came. . . .Then she would make any excuse to avoid me. . . .Whatever happens, I will come back tomorrow. . . .and if possible I'll make Riddhima come. . . .till then pls try to pursue her to change her decision . . . . if u don't want to do it for me, pls do it for her. . . .She had done so many things for me and I had hurt her way too much. . . .If I can do this much for her then may be, may be she will some day forgive me." He said painfully. The guilt is surely visible in his eyes.



 Bua caresses his face. "Of course son, I will try my best. . . .I promise. . . ." she is touched by the sincerity of this man. He surely possesses a golden heart.



"Thank u Bua, . . Now I will have to go. . . .Have to short things out. . . ." He Side hugs Bua and turns to go. When he is at the door, Bua calls him.



 "Armaan. . . ." he looks back.

 "Thank u son. . . .just want to tell u that u have an wonderful heart Armaan . . . . no girl will ever regret falling for u . . . . Believe me. . ." she said teary. Armaan knows the meaning of Bua's words very well. He lowers his eyes and comes out from there. He has so much to do now. And it is going to be tough. He knows. . . .

 IN SOME RESTURENT OF PUNE:



A tall guy with curly hair placed a tray of burger and orange juice for a girl and seats in front of her with his coffee and sandwich.



 "Here u go mada . . .ur order is ready. . ." He smiles which the girl retunes sweetly.



 "Thank u Sid. . ." she replies.



"U r welcome, Madam." And he bows at which the girl giggles.



"So now , can we attack? . .I am famished. . ."he asked impatient They have been shopping from whole of the morning and now it is almost noon.



" Of course. . .even me too." Comes the reply and they dug into their food.



After finishing his food Sid asks, "So Shilpa. . .everything is ready?. . . or rather, are U ready to leave. . ." he looks at her meaning fully. She pauses at her last bite and looks at him .She knows what he means. She draws in a deep breath,



"Yes Sid . . .I think I am. . ."she tries to reply firmly but somehow her voice falters at the end.



"Shilpa do u really think u r making a right decision?. . . I mean. . ."Sid has a concerned look on his face. He always wants the best for this girl.



"Yes Sid,  I think I am doing the right thing. . . .It is going to be good for everyone . . ." she sighs .What would she say? She herself has consoled her heart saying this. It was a really tough decision for her. More than just 'tough'. It has taken her every bit of effort to make this decision. But now she doesn't want to go back.



"But Riddhima? . . .don't u think what ur doing to her, is not right. . ." he asks serious. He doesn't want to see the people close to his heart go through pain.



 "She won't gonna know anything . . .so there wouldn't be anything like right or wrong. . ." She answers confidently. It's not always about right or wrong. It is about the happiness of the people she loves. She can do anything for that.



 " But, If she gets to know by chance. . ." he asks tentatively.



" Who is gonna tell her?. . .the three people who know this matter is kept shut by me " she smiled sadly. How she wished that things are not like that. How she wants that something happens, may be some miracle, and all the complication gets short out. But she also knows it's far from possibility. She has herself closed every way, every door that can lead her to a happy life.



"But Shilpa. . . .if u don't mind, as a friend I will advise u to tell her everything. . ." he says softly and she looks away. May b he is right, may be she should do it but she can't. There is too much at stake.



 "I can't do that Sid .I have some problems." she speaks solemnly.



 "What kind of problem?" he probes further. He is curious. He wants to knock some sense in her head. He personally has the experience that hiding the truth can never lead to happiness for anyone. Instead, as long as u hid the truth the consequence gets more severe. And he does not want the same for anyone. The people concerned here are way too much dear to him to see them in any kind of trouble.



"Sid . . . I know what ur telling is right, but I. . I can't do it,I don't want any trouble in her life," She blurts but Sid is not satisfied with her explanation. Why he feels that there is more to it than just telling the truth. His doubts are getting better of him. Why does her telling the truth has anything to do with Riddhima getting into trouble? It is rather a happy news. Though it can be a shock, but trouble? The pieces are not falling at its right place. Then some thing like lightening hits him.



 "Is it only about 'HER'?" he can not help but ask.



She curses herself for blurting out more than she intended. She tries to defend but can not meet his eyes. She knows that now she can not hide and feeling defeated she lowers her head. That is it. His every doubt is answered. How he has not thought about this before? Now the picture is clear to him. But, he is going to try for the last time. He holds her hand that was on table,



 "I know I will sound like stupid but , Can't u. . .  can't u forget him. . .I mean it will only give u pain. . .."he himself knows that his attempt will fail. He knows, may be more than anyone else, that, what its feels. And he can now relate to her. Some how fate has left them in same position. But she is too dear to him to let her suffer for something that cannot be fruitful. She is too young and she has forgot that there is a life outside. Life is too short to let it go in wallowing for past. Everyone can not be Armaan Riddhima. They are just blessed . But others also has life .they are also special in there way and she just have to see it. She has to give it a chance and have to understand that sometime it's better to just let go.



She looks up at him, "Can u forget Riddhima?" she asks determined knowing the answer.



 He sighs and releases her hand. He knew this is coming. He lowers his eyes and speaks in a soft murmur "No" but then looks up, "But I have started to live my life." He paused, "I have once told u about that girl Alisha, remember?" he asks to which she nods. He had told her about Alisa, his collogue, some months ago, "well, she had confessed to me a month before and I am thinking of giving it a shot. . .I mean. . . she is a good friend, understanding ,caring and has a good heart but more than that she loves ME. . .even after knowing about my past. . . .I know that I still not 'love' her. . .But I am giving my life another chance. . .May be she is the one for me." He tells her about his life.



She smiles brightly, "Congratulation Sid. . .I am so happy for u  ."



 He smiles "Thank u, . . .but I have not told u this to be congratulated . . .I just want u to know that life not ends with one rejection . . .u can always give it a shot. And may be u can move on. . .I know its harder than just advising, but life is all about taking risks . . . u can not live all ur life for something that can never be urs. . . . I will not say to forget everything but just don't stop living. .  .lock the past like a beautiful memory in your heart but don't get locked in it urself . .u should be happy that they are happy and give ur self another chance . . . I am not forcing u Shilpa, I just want u to think this. I respect u. . .all I want is to see u all happy."



She thinks for some time," I am happy for them Sid but I don't know, If I can ever  do that. . .I even tried before,  when I left Sanjeevani, . . But there is always something. . .something that holds me back. . .but any way I will keep ur words in mind. . .Thank u. . .U are a true friend" she smiles. She is happy that she has found a friend like Sid. Then she speaks softly . "Have u visited her?"



he raised his brow  "Who ? Riddhima?"  he sighs and hesitates but then answers "Umm. . .No. . .Actually I came here for the conference and then I helped u in ur preparations. . .So I didn't have the time." then after looking at her raised brows which has the expression like why-r-u-trying-to –lie he replies defeated,  "Ok Fine. . .I admit. . .I am still not over her . .but. . but, I am trying to live with this fact and I am succeeding and I am optimistic that someday. . .someday, and that too in near future I will be able to face her freely. ." he looks confident in his thinking.



"You are a strong person Sid. . .".she admires his mental strength and confidence. May be someday she also can be that strong.



 "Oh .That's I am. . ." and he tries to raise the invisible collar of his tee shirt to which both of them chuckled. The tension of some moments ago vanished. And they come back to there usual self.



"So now talk about something else. . .lets check,  we have done all the shopping and other formalities ; we have got the permission from ur hospital; we have the immigration certificate; ur accommodation there is arranged. . .the transport. . well, it will take some time so till then I am going to be ur driver at service. . ." he ends his list of checking and smiles seeing her.



 Shilpa is listening to him but at the end she can not help but to say "Thank u Sid. . .u have done so much for me. . .without u I will not have this job and can not even arrange everything so quickly. . .thank u" she is really grateful to him



" Hey don't thank me. . .what are friends for." He gives her a side hug. "by the way here is your ticket and visa" he handed her them and she looks astonished,



 "Why are u giving them to me??.r u not coming with me?" she askes



 " Oh sorry Shilpa. . .for the matter I can not accompany u . . .there is some emergency in hospital so I have to go back by midnight flight" and her face fall and a fear takes place. He notices it so he continues, "But. . .but, u don't have to worry, I will be at the airport there to receive u. . .I don't wanted to go but I have to. . .But I am not going to leave u alone there. . .me or Alisha will accompany u till u want us. . . And that's a promise" And that brings a smile on her face.



" Thank u Sid...thanks for everything. . .thanks for being there. . .". She has water in her eyes.



 " And I will always be there whether u want me or not" he said so cutely that she pulls him in a friendly hug. After parting from the hug he said, "So Ms. Malhotra . .your new job surely calls for a celebration and I want an ice crme. . .infact,  I have seen a ice-cream parlor on our way"



She laughs at his antics " Sure"  and after paying the bills they walks out of there.





After he returned from Panchgani , he goes strait to Sanjeevani.  He just wants to blurt it all out to her. He can't help it now. Time is running out of hand really fast and he is still unsure of Riddhima's reaction. He knows that the things will be bound to get difficult but he just could not fathom the intensity of its consequence. But that must not stop him now. Not today. He has to talk to her as soon as possible. How and where he does not know. But he has to. He goes to the nurse station to ask about her.



" She is in OT right now Dr. Armaan. . ." replied sister Lovely.



" S***!" he thought .



 She continues " Wo .actually na . . Her patient got critical today so, she has to operate"



" Oh!.By the way sister lovely ,who is the patient?" He asked concerned



" Ohje ,It's Roma sir." she replies sadly.



"Oh no!" He mutters shocked. Roma is 7 months pregnant and she has serious complication regarding her pregnancy. She was advised to get aborted but she didn't budge. She loves her child very much. She is a very sweet and bubbly girl and bonded really well with Riddhima and they became quite a friend. Now he knows it bound to get her upset.



" When will she be free?."



" That I don't know Dr. Armaan. . .But she said Whenever u come to page her once." and he smiles. This is his Busket .She can never forget about him amidst anything.



" Ok, sister Lovely ,. . And my duties?."



"Oh yea. . .Dr. Armaan. . .today u r in children ward. . .here are the files."



" Thank u. . ."He takes the files and watches the clock . He still has 15 minutes to resume his duty.  So he heeds towards the viewing gallery.

 Roshni

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