Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Part 8 : CLOSURE?TO BEGINNING

There he stood all broken and shattered .It seems like somebody has just sucked the life out of him and it became unbearable for her as it was her, who is responsible for this. His Face is pale, Shoulder slumped in deafeat and his eyes, his eyes are so cold, so life less that it may be termed as dead .She could not believe the extent of pain that she has given him. How could she always manage to hurt him like this? She just wanted to die at that very moment. He was looking at her fixedly. Then his lips quiver as if to tell her something but no words comes out of his dry throat. She can notice the layer of moisture that is forming in his eyes but before she can say anything to comfort him, he lowers his eyes and turns back to leave.  At that precise moment her world crashed. The thought that may be he is leaving her, swept the ground beneath her. Her words stuck in her mouth seeing him going towards the door slowly lowering his head. No, she can not let him leave like this . . He is the only one she have . . .he is her Armaan. . .he can forgive her though what she said to him was unforgivable? . can't he?. yes he can . . and only he can. .like all other times when she had hurt him .and he had forgiven her without a second thought.'  She knows she is sounding selfish as she is asking what is like impossible for anyone. But he is not just anyone. He is Armaan. In this whole universe if there is any person who can look through her heart, it's him. Once, just this once God make him forgive her, she will do everything to make it up to him and with all her left out strength she runs and hugs him from behind as tightly as possible not letting him go.



He became numb at her accusation. Her every word pierced his heart and shattered it to million pieces. But the last words are like the final blow. Tears are threatening to fall from his eyes. He could not believe his ears. His Busket can accuse him so low? She can hate him so much that she regrets loving him!! Is he really that much of a bad person. Did his love fall short against this truth? All these years and still he fails to make a place in her heart which she can trust? Or is it entirely his fault? Where does he fall short? He realized that she has stopped talking but he is now too broken to explain anything or tell her the truth. 'Or does it matter? will she believe me?' he thought.. She has lost her trust in him .He have pained her so much. How could he? 'Yes, it's entirely my fault and I don't have the right to be here if I can not keep her happy. .I should go. . .yes, . . I should go. . .' and he lowers his eyes as he can not meet her's and starts to walk from there until a pair of hand clasped him from behind.



" I am sorry .Armaan. . .I am sorry. . .pls. . .pls. . . for. . . forgive me. . . I didn't mean it. . .believe me. . .I don't. . .know. . .what has gotten into me. . .pls don't. . . leave me. . .I can't live without you ."  She was sobbing uncontrollably. Guilt and pain are eating her up. She is just wishing that Armaan could look through her said words; see that she didn't mean any of it from her heart. It's just her pain, hurt; anger and frustration that make her loose her control over her senses.  To realize that her heart is screaming for him to forgive her;  to see her craving for him to take her into his arms and talk to her.  If not talk at least shout at her, hurt her with his harsh words. Anything, anything can do. But nothing.  He just stands there like a  lifeless statue in silence, not responding to her and his silence is killing her,  "Pls Armaan. . . scream at me. . . scold me. . .slap me. . .but don' t be so silent . . .I will die .  .I will die Armaan. . .I am sorry. . .pls. ."  She is almost shouting while crying while her nails dig deep into his skin.



Armaan closes his eyes and the tear that he is so forcefully holding drops. He stands still for sometime trying to control his emotion, the hurt and the needling pain that her words had injected him. His heart is bleeding.  He can feel her tears were soaking the back of his shirt. Her arms around him are getting tighter every second as if she is holding on to him for life. How can he see his Busket like that? And moreover when he is the one who is responsible for her this state. It only added to his paramount pain. How was he to forgive her when he himself is guilty? He takes in a long breath and gathers himself. Somehow he can still understand her plight and where it's coming from. He knew that she has gone though an emotional rollercoaster today which left her shattered. It's too much of shaking information for her at a short period of time. More than she can handle. He again cursed himself for making her go through all this but  right now she needs him more than anything and he will make sure that she come out of her distress His hurt and pain always takes a back seat when ity comes to his Busket's happiness and wellbeing.. 



He tries to detangle himself which only made her hold even tighter while she violently shakes her head to make him not leave her. He sighs, "Riddhima. . .I am not leaving. . . I am here. . .with u. . ."  He assures her. It feels like she has heard his voice after ages and what is he telling? He is not leaving her? this can't be true . She must be dreaming. If she leaves him he will surely go away. No, she can't let that happen and she clutches him more tightly. Armaan literally has to struggle quite hard to detangle himself for turning around and taking her violently shaking frame in his embrace. Once he takes her in his arms she at once clings to him like he is the last straw that she has to save her from drowning. It pains him like hell to see her like that. She hides her face in his chest. Her nails digs into his back as she cries her heart out holding onto him with a repeated "I am sorrys" and an occasional "I love yous". He rubs his hand on her back and hair soothing her " Shhh.. busket. . .Don't cry. . . everything's ok. . . I am sorry Busket.. I really am sorry. . pls. ." but  she doesn't gonna take his sorry. All she wants is his love at this moment. Not those sorries and apologies. The hurt and pain that she has gone through seeing his condition few minutes before will not be lessen by these apologies; instead it will deepen her wound and guilt. She almost jerks her head from his chest and hold his face with her shaking palms, " No. . pls don't say sorry Armaan. . .just tell that you sill love me  and wants me in your life?just tell me. . ." tears flowing freely from her deep hazel eyes that is so full of love for him. They are searching, asking, almost begging him to assure her.  There is a deep fear settled in them that may be he will leave her. Is it possible? His heart knows that it is not. He can never ever leave her. How is he going to live without his life? He takes her back in his arms and holds on to her tight while placing frequent kisses on her head " I love u Busket , I love u a lot. . .for me there is no life without u. .". a relief washed over both of them as she realized that he is still with her and he, as he realized that he have not failed totally. They stands there in each other's arms as to give away the fear of loosing each other and living in the peace of being in each others life.





After what seems like eternity she calms down .Her sobs subsided only the occasional shaking of her body confirms her state.  But her grip on him not loosened for a minute. He lift her in his arms and slowly takes her to the couch.. After sitting himself he made her seat on his lap and stroked her hair rocking her like a child for some time. When he saw no more tears are forming in her eyes he decides that he has to clear it all now. Too much time has been wasted and he doesn't want his busket to bear any misconception or insecurity in her heart. He has to let go of it once and for all. So he whispers " Riddhima. . ."



She clutched his shirt in her fist tightly, conveying him that she does not want to hear any thing. She knows that he wants to tell her everything but Heck with the all this. She doesn't want to hear anything more. She knows about Shilpa and that's all. She accepted her but she doesn't want to go in any further details. She doesn't want to know anything that can lead to this type of destruction. That can make her Armaan so hurt; that can make her utter those sinful words to him; that can create distance between them. Her heart shudders at the thought  She doesn't want any off it. She just wants to be in her Armaan's arms and feel the warmth and sense of security there; to know he is there and will always be there for her, for them. But Armaan on the other hand has other thought. He knows that he has to let it out for their sake. Already too much have been damaged and he doesn't want it to go any further, " Riddhima. . . let me tell. . .I can't keep it anymore. . .pls."

 She feels defeated. She can sense from the urgency in his voice that he really wants to tell her. She keeps silent and the lack of any protest from her end hints him of her approval. He cups her face in his palms and starts to talk looking directly at her eyes. " Riddhima. . .I wont say that  I can understand ur situation. . .coz probably  I can't . . .But one thing I  know for sure is that I never want to see u cry. . . And trust me, if there is any woman in this world that I have ever loved with all my heart and wanted to live my life with, it's only u. No one else." . . . .

Two hot drops of tear that flow down from her eyes to his palm are the proof that she believes every word he said.  She closes her eyes and engulfs him in a warm hug while his arms tighten its hold around her. He continues "Believe me Busket, I never knew that she loved me. It's only on that day when she left Sanjeevani, she made me realize, though indirectly. .And to say the truth I was shocked. .Shocked beyond limit. It was really unexpected for me. Never in my wild dream I have thought about this. Love. . and that too from Shilpa. .it's quite like a bolt from blue to me. I was really clueless when things turn this way Because in those days of her stay in Sanjeevani I was so much depressed and frustrated with life that I can not look beyond my grief and think what is going on around me. . .honestly Riddhima, I could not even believe that a girl can fall in love with a person like me, what I had become then. . .I was used to be always so rude and harsh with her at that time . .It's still a mystery to me what she had seen in me." He sighs as the flashes of his and Shilpa's encounters come into his head. He still can't believe that a girl can harbor any feeling for him after the behavior he had shown to her. She had tolerated every shit of his and stayed with him whereas any girl would have slapped him for that. Now when he looked back at her behavior, he can realize that it's not usual and the reason is really clear now. But then at that time, he didn't even care to give a thought about it. If he had not been that blind, the situation could have been avoided. Well, that's what he thought. . . "At first when she joined Sanjeevani, we could not even stand each other but after some time I can sense her behavior changed towards me. Though, I pushed her away all time with my insensitive behavior but she always stayed by my side.  She was very nice and helpful to me. I found it quite strange but I didn't know what compelled it .Or rather I don't want to give it a thought. But even in my wildest dreams I can not think that 'love' can be a possibility…." Well how could he think that such a high-spirited and no-nonsense girl like Shilpa will fall for an arrogant jerk like him, whom she used to despise? It was near impossible and moreover he was not in the state to reason with or search for the cause of her changing attitude towards him, "Then I concluded that she is indeed a very good girl with a compassionate heart. . .u know. .like an  innocent child. . and I tried to be nice with her. I still do not know my which behavior made her think like this, but if there is any it was never intentional. . . And at that very time u started to doubt us. I am shattered to say the least." Riddhima shudders thinking of that day and the consequence that follows it. She still remembered the day crystal clear when she saw Armaan getting beaten by that guy. She can still feel the pain when she saw him like that. But when Armaan said he is doing that just to get her out of his memory, his heart, she felt like someone had snatched the earth beneath her feet. She can not bear not having a place there in his heart, in his life. She has always thought that she will be safe in his heart, Somewhat like a selfish she always believed that Armaan can never forget her, it's only her right is to be in his heart, to be the most important person in his life and whatever happens he will always be with her. But when he said those words it was felt like a slap. When she thought how she had advised Armaan to forget her, she can feel her heart mocking at her. To show her what a fool she had been to do that. She asked for something that she herself could not bear. Hearing those very words from his mouth is like being stabbed right at the heart. Even the feel is like death. That day she realized How it's difficult to do than to advise and how Armaan must have felt when she so generously asked him to forget her and move on. She never felt so humiliated by her own deed. She fisted Armaan's shirt as the memories returns but her trance brakes by Armaans words, " I was so so angry that I felt like I will burn this whole world. I was angry with everyone around me and tried to push away whoever comes in my way without caring for anything. But then I realized that I was getting your marriage into trouble. . ." she for the first time looked at him confused. How does he know?  "  Yes Riddhima . I knew. .I had heard ur and Sid's convo ." he said clearing her doubt, " But Riddhima that was not my intension, I never wanted to create problem in ur marriage, all I wanted is to punish myself.  Then I decided that I have to do something. If I am the problem then I, myself has to solve that. I can not see u suffer for my foolishness and the only solution I had found is to make u believe that I have moved on ."



She silently looks at him all the while he is talking. She realized how much this man has gone through for her. He never really talked about it, infact they never really wanted to talk about those days, but now when he is talking, it presented before her a whole new perspective of those days. Though he is talking in a nonchalant manner, she can see right through the mask that how much pain, hurt and anguish he had gone though and all that because of her. And today she has blamed this man .Her tear again started to flow. He lovingly wiped them off but did not stop his talk, " U know Busket, I thought if I made u believe that I have moved on in life then all ur problems will get shorted out. And there comes Shilpa. . . as u already had doubts in ur mind about us so it becomes easy for me. . . I know what I tried to do is wrong and in a manner I hav used her, as u put it, but I never intended to hurt her emotionally or physically. I just wanted to put up a pretence before u that we are together. All I did was to be a friend with her and believe me Busket, I never tried to advance at her or take advantage. It was never about my own need or desir.."  He could not complete as Ridhhima captures his lips with her to shut him from uttering those words. With his every word her guilt is going more deep. She is so ashamed of herself, to say the least. It was always about her. She wonders is this man for real. Those days are like horrific dream to them but at least she had her parents, friends and even a husband who supported her. But whom did he had? None. He fought all alone. With no one to support him and no hand to hold. But still all he thought was her happiness. She does not think she can apologize to him enough in words so she poured her every emotion in that kiss.



They come out of the kiss for the need of air. She murmurs "I trust u Armaan" against his lips and then placed a soft kiss on his fore head. She does not know how to make it up to him. She just wishes her kiss will make him see that how much she is ashamed of her act and how much love and respect she has for him. And it did. . .





  Her action washes over every doubt and insecurity in him. She is with him and a new strength suddenly sprouts within him. He sighs in relief taking her back in his arms and intertwining his finger with her he looks at the dark outside the living room window and then continues "But then every thing changed when I got to know about her feelings. I didn't know what to do .and honestly she didn't even give me any time. Riddhima, I never wanted to hurt her. She is really an amazing person and a true friend .she was always there for me even when I pushed her out and insulted her .She never complained.  I consider myself lucky to had a friend like her but I could not give her what she really wanted from me. . . It was not in my power. I could not think of anyone other than u in my life. . . So when she left I thought she had made a right decision. Being here will only ruin her dreams as well as her life. And being away from me might give her the right way and may be she will get someone who will give her all the happiness and love that she deserved. So I let her go . . ."



 She again realizes how wrong she was in saying those words to him. But why haven't he told this before when she is insulting him. 'Oh . Yea, like u have given him any chance to defend' her heart mocks at her. She doesn't have a answer to that. So she do what she could .She put her one hand at his cheek lovingly and murmured, " I am sorry Armaan. . ." and hope that he realize how guilty she feels.



He holds the hand and blinks, " It's ok Riddhima. . " He takes her hand and kisses it. She leans on his cheat and listen to his even heartbeat, " But  I didn't knew about ur relation with her then. It's on that day when Sid  divo…( he stops for a moment and left that word incomplete, unless she gets hurt )  .that day , he came to my house and we decided to go to ur house, and we went there."



." U went to that house?"  She is shocked.



 " Yes . . .and there Sid gave me this picture and asked  me to tell u this at right time. ."



 " But why didn't u tell me then? ."She cuts him off.



" I am only telling u that Busket . . .so where Am I? .yes. .  when I went to your house u has already left it. .like vanished from there living a letter behind . and when after so much effort we found u. .if u remember madam, . . ur not even ready to talk to me. . . So what should I do?" He complained and she lowered her head. Yea, he is right. That time she was busy runny away from him.



 "Then when we finally got together, I was just searching for the right moment. . .U r so weak and vulnerable at that time that I can't think of  stressing u more. . .But after some day I decided that it is time to tell u. But still,  I could not. . ." She raised her brows, "As at that same day I got a currier and with it a letter"



 "A letter?" she asked confused.









"Yea. . .just a min." and he again opens the envelop and takes out a letter and gives it to her. She opens it and reads on.





Armaan, 



               I am writing this letter to congratulate you and Riddhma. I know u both got together and I am really happy for u two .U both got ur love back. Armaan , I know that u knows about me and Riddhima. I some how came to know that u have not told her yet. .Don't worry I am not angry at u instead I have a request for u. Pls don't tell Di about me anything right now. I know u are shocked and u don't agree with me but trust me, I have some reasons which I can't tell u at this moment. Otherwise I would not have requested u this. Armaan, I know this is going to be tough for u but pls do it for my shake. . I promise I will myself  inform u to tell her. Till then u have to promise me that u won't tell anything to her. It's a promise on our friendship and I know that u will not break it. I trust u on this. . .And yes,  I have sent a present for both of u as I will not be coming to ur wedding. Pls accept that, It's my best wishes for u two. And Armaan . . thank u for everything . .Pls keep smiling. .and be happy. .



                                                                                  Shilpa.



 She completes the letter and looks at him blankly….



 "That's why I was not been able to tell u. . .  I had tried to contact her many times.  But she never picked my calls. I even went to Panchgani but Bua told me that she does not live there anymore but I always have a doubt on that. . .I understood that she did not wanted to see me. She needed time and waited for her call as I believed that she would come when she is ready But two days before I got a call at hospital that made realize that she actually lied to me all the time. . . " He crooked his eyebrows at the thought of how he had been a fool to believe her at the first place.



"Phone call?" she is confused. Which phone call is he talking about?



"Yes . .A call from California Medical Institute. . .".and he narrated the whole event from the phone call  to his going at Panchgani orphanage and the whole convo with Bua.



"She is leaving?" she asked him blankly .



"Yes Busket. . . She is going. . . Busket. . .I think we should go and meet her. . .she needs u. . .she needs her sister" she stares at him for some time and then hugs him . Her mind is blank as white paper. She does not know what to feel anymore. It's like hurricane of different emotions swept through her whole day. She can not bear any more. She is tired. Tired of even thinking anything, anymore. Her every sense in numb to react.  Now she needed his warmth. She needs to sleep. So she snuggled up to him hiding herself in the crook of his neck. He understands what she is looking for and engulfs her in a tight, protective and secure hug .She closes her eyes taking in his scent.



 He does not know from when he is seating like that with her in his arm. His chain of thoughts broke when Riddhima stirred in his embrace to make herself more comfortable. He could see that she is in deep sleep. She has gone through too much and she needs rest. He gets up taking her in his arms without waking her up and heeds towards their bedroom. He laid her on the bed and knelt down beside her side .She looks stressed .The dried strains of tear are still to be seen. Her face looks so pale. He moved his finger on her cheek and tucks the loose hairs that are disturbing her, 'Sorry Busket. . .I didn't want to hurt u .But u have to know the truth someday. . . it is going to be hard for u ,but I know my Busket ,she is very strong. . .and don't worry ,I will always be with u. . .' at that very moment  the clock strikes twelve. He bents down and kisses her forehead softly murmuring,  " Happy Anniversary Busket. . . love u. . ." he gets up, goes to his side and lays down. As soon as he lays Riddhima comes near snuggling up to him. He lokks at her she is still at sleep. He knows she needs him to be with her so he wraps her in his arms and dosed off. . .

 Roshni

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