Thursday, 16 July 2020

OS : When Love won over Terror

I still remember the day when she entered my life: 3rd July 2004

It was one of my like regular days, I got up, freshen up and got ready and hanged on the way to the college.It was the last, that means the 3rd year of my college was going on.It was my last year and I was definately sad about that fact, I mean COLLEGE was EVERYTHING for me. And my friends were my FAMILY. Because my original parents never gave a f**k about what I care or do ? Especially my dad, complete hypocrits.I've also got a lovingly 5 years younger than me sister,anjali .She is always on my side when I have a fight with them.

But that day on my way to college on the bike, I was riding my ultimate journey, I never knew what's gonna come up. Yeah ! It was dangerous.But It was the best day of my life.



Anyways, I was picking up speed after rounding the circle near the girl's hostel, a puppy suddenly ran in front of my bike. There was no time to remember or apply break or brains at that single point of time.The front wheel locked up, tucked under, and I went skidding up the road.In the time-being I even never realized that a young girl was also skidding down because when my bike was skidding, its wheels came between her legs and she rolled off the ground with me.Meanwhile, I had the sense to ball myself and roll off her before she dragged me along and her weight made keema of my right leg.

When I lifted up my chin off the ground after the rolling session, I saw her beautiful toes wearing kolahpuri chappals.They were surely beautiful.Further inspection was interupted by the owner who bent down to help me stand up and asked me...

"Are you fine ??"

Hmmm.That was a charming voice, As I lifted up my chin, I observed or maybe checked her out, she was wearing a long skirt with a sphagetti, the tattoo at her right low waist was completely visible.And it was written 'Men suck', Ummm that was annoying. And as I moved up I observed, her milky neck, with a heavy silver accesory round it, and...

"hellooo"

She moved her hand right-left in front of my eyes.

"Uh..are you fine ??"I asked.

"Yahh, are you fine ??"

"Ohh Yes..Yes I am" I replied.

After the 'ARE-YOU-FINE' asking session, we exchanged numbers.

"Uhh..By the way, what's your name ?" I asked.

"Riddhima..."

"Hmm..Nice name!"I complimented her.

"And yours ?"

"Armaan" I said flashing my dimples.

After our meeting, the days passed by like water drops.Chatting, gossiping, having fun and etc.We became best of buddies and from that we became.. Uhh..what do we say..Oh yahh...The PERFECT COUPLE.Love was always in the air. And I still remeber the first time when we made love...13th october 2005

Goa:

As my college had finished we both decided to go for a holiday to goa, and have some..what do you call it...QUALITY TIME!

As we entered the room,it was sexy. I mean Yes riddhima was sexy, but I am talking about the room. It was peach and white in colours, it was simple yet HOT! I loved the hangings on both the ends of the entrance door.They were eccentric.

We both sat on the bed casually and there was complete silence.Only the churps of the birds were audible.

"Amiii..."

She called out my name, I looked at her.

"If you would get a chance to die the way you want to, in the posture you want to, then how would you die?" She placed up this ugly yet deep meaning like question.

I was taken aback for a minute, but then I answered.

"Ummm...Die in a bus, which is travelling on a hill, with earphone tucked in my ears, listening to soft music, with cold breeze." That was a great shot.

"Hmmm.." She mummed.

"And you ?" I asked.

"Simple...I would die kissing you!" She said casually and laid down.

Shit ! Why didn't I think of this sort of an answer.I'm a jerk. Simply a jerk.After some seconds of cursing myself, I looked at her, and noticed, she was ummm... I mean it was bewitching.Her eyes were closed, her hair was spread over the bed, and she looked... so open.Her top had climbed up a bit, again revealing her annoying tattoo, The swell of her breasts slowly went up and down.

It was breathing a sort of desire in my heart. My cheeks were burning with warmth , I don't know why, but I felt that way ? It felt as if...as if..she was inviting me.

I went near her and I was now lying on her, not completely but kind of. I then went near her right ear and whispered.

"Today actually you prooved that ACTIONS speak louder that words saanwli mehmsaab"I whispered. Saanwli mehsaab was a pet name given to riddhima by me. Cute na ?

She smirked and slowly placed her arms around my neck, and pushed me down.

"So what are we waiting for ?"She said. Too fast... Right? I mean it was like..no shyness? How weird !?!

I bent down more and it was the first time I had been so close to her IN A BED. So today it was completely different.I smelled her fragnance and it was like...UNBEATABLE. I went close to her lips and she moved right to left slightly, instead of asking her, I competed with her, and beat her. I finally caught her lips, it was immensely beautiful and deep.Mmm.

Few hours later we lay snuggled against each other under a blanket. We had made love twice and gone off to a cozy afternoon sleep.

It was one of the best days of my life...then...

"WAKE UP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" NIKHIL SHOUTED.

I opened my eyes, she was not there, she was not there beside me? Where did she go? She was missing ?

And then I realized I was living in past, but in present, today was 27/11.

WHAT THE f**k, My wife is in danger and I was dreaming about our love story, how could I sleep and dream our f**king flashback and all, she is literally facing death, inside TAJ. With those basterds around her? How could I sleep. I know it had been 9 whole hours since I'v been waiting for the generals to take any actions and rescue her, but how could I ????????

I woke up and saw that there was a message in my phone...

'Evrthng calmd out, im in a room..wd niharika..tl nikhl shz f9 !n me 2..I luv u'

I replied...

'dnt wry m dr...evrthng will be fine..I luv u 2'

After replying to her message all I could do was wait till those bloody cops could rescuse her or maybe not...

FLASHBACK

28th august 2006

We got married, christian style, as she was christian and I was a punjabi, my sis was there, ridz's dad was there, her mum had died when she was 3! But my parents? They were not present.Did I tell you that this is one of the reason why my parents think I couldn't lay down to their expectations of parents having from a son! They did took care of me, but not the way I wanted ! They are not here today because I AM BLOODY MARRYING A GIRL OF MY CHOICE!!! WHO IS A CHRISTIAN !!!!!! AND WHO IS BLOODY 5 YEARS ELDER THAN ME!!!!!!!!

Anyways, we got married and had a great life ahead, I took a job of in a bank. I had a good post, I earned 2 lakhs 50 thousand, and my wife wife earned 5 lakhs. I was proud of her. She became a doctor. More successful than me, and I was happy about it. I had left my house, and my bloody family never even stopped me once !

Jill, ridz's dad was a coool person, I was scared when first I met her dad, I met him not as ridz's BF- Boy Friend, But as BF- Best friend. Poor me !

But shockingly he figured out that I was her BF- Boy friend waala BF!! And then finally he told me, he never cared about whom shez gonna marry, he just wanted his daughter to be safe and sound.And I still remember what I said to him...

" SHE WILL BE SAFE WITH ME "

_______________________________________

[PRESENT]

27/11

It was 9 in the night.

" Armaan beta ..." He called out my name. I turned around, he said nothing and sat on the chair near mines, with his hands folded and eyes focusing on the floor.

"SHE WILL BE SAFE WITH ME"

Those words rangled me like a worm in my mind, I wanted to kill myself for acting so selfish.I expected him to come, slap me, and say to me that I betrayed him. But NO. He never reaced that much. Maybe..he understood WHAT I FELT!

_______________________________________

26/11

Night

After finishing my work in the office I drove back to my house and when I entered my apartment, I was shocked, The entrance door was open. I went in, and my doubts got cleared. My sis and MOM were cooking food along with riddhima in the kitchen. When riddhima saw that I had come, she came to me.

"What are they doing here ?" I asked with my teeths clutched.

"Armaan...relax...now forget about all our fights and now let's have dinner"She dragged me in.

For her. JUST FOR f**kING HER I spent those whole 45 bloody minutes in front of my mom.After soemtime my sis and my mom went back and I took advantage of the time.

"Can I get my answer now ?"I asked, still angry.

"Armaan...Please..your mom has changed now...she has changed...she has started to like me...she loves me!" She said.

"It;s not like that riddhima !" I alarmed her.

" It is...she cares for you..."She said.

I mean one day who don't bat an eyelid on what and where your son is, don't wanna see the face of the girl whom your son loves, don't even care to come to your son's marriage, don't care what they are going through, whether they are happy or sad, sick or well, live or die.Nothing. And then today suddenly they CARE FOR ME...BULLSHIT!!!!!!!!!!!

Then I chose the sarcastic way..

"Does maa know your name now ?" I said."Or does she call you the christian" I ended my comment.

"Armaan stop it!"

"Go on for you...BELEIVE-WORLD baashan...as if I give a damn !" I said.

"She's changed, she cares for you, me...she's changed !"She said.

"You know..." I informed my dear wife "She didn't even say a word to hold me back when I left home.Not one. Don't tell me she CARES for me. I know she bloody doesn't !" I yelled, and threw the glass of water in my hand on the floor and left the kitchen.

I expected ridz to follow me and continue the fight, but she didn't, after half an hour, I only had to walk back to the kitchen and I saw her sitting on the chair, with her hands on the table folded and blank face. I went near her, carresed her hairs and whispered her name.

"Riddhima..."

"You don't know armaan" She said very calmly " I lost my mom when I was 3, I don;t even remember how she looked, I never had even a single hint about how or what motherhood was? How it feels to have your mummy around you 24/7. But today I felt it...and you know what ???" She looked up at me, with teary eyes and now her teeths clutched.

"YOU f**kING SNATCHED IT AWAY FROM ME" She said, I was taken aback, I stepped back, she stared at me, grabbed her jacket beside, and walked off the entrance.It was 7 in the evening when she walked off. I waited for half an hour, but she never came back, but finally, at 7:30, I called her, it was engaged. I panicked. I called 10 times, and at that time the ring was going but she disconnected the phone. I felt guilty for my words and actions. I wanted to apologize but couldn't ! Then after disconnecting my phone 27 TIMES, she called me back.

"HELLO?? RIDDHIMA RE YOU...ARE YOU FINE ?? WHERE ARE YOU ?? TELL ME...RIDDHIMA ???" I said ,I had panicked, it was not only about riddhima, but also about my 6 months baby in her belly.

"Armaan" After hearing her voice, I felt releived, I was stopping my tears to come out form the past half an hour, and after hearing and knowing that she is fine, I cried, with many sigh's.

"Armaan...I love you..and I'm sorry..!"

"Ridd..." I was interuppted.

"Shh...I'm sorry...You're more important for me..and I love you.."
This automatically made me smile.

"OYYE HOYYE" I SAID.
"But..where are you ??" I asked.

"In taj..with niharika...I wanted some company...and don't worry I'm not drinking..only niharika is drinking..i'm just having fun here...!" She said.
"Hmm..Is It like...girls night out ??" I asked mischiviously.

"Ohh Yess...Boys NOT ALLOWED !" She said.

" Okk..Byeee..Have fun sweeatheart..and keep calling me in every half an hour !..Ok ?? " I said.

"Ok..Love you.."She said.

"Love you 2" I said.

"Love you 3" She said.

"Love you 4"

"Love you 5"
"Love you 6"

"Love you se..." Before she could complete I heard niharika's voice, she snatched away the phone.

"Hello jiju...Please..You are always with her...But mai kitna kam milti hu is se... Please lave us alone Bye !" She said and disconnected before I could say anything.

As my wife was out, I planned with nikhil, my best friend, to have a BOYS NIGHT OUT in TAJ. Oh Yes I was about to surprise riddhima and nikhil was about to surprise niharika.

We drove on the roads of MUMBAI. We were about to reach TAJ. Just when nikhil's phone rang.I could hear only his side of coversation.

"Hello...yahhh niharika...what ??...Are you..are guys fine...ya take care of her as well... and stay away from the main roads...be with the staff...and don't roam in corridors... and please be SAFE...I love you..." He disconnected the phone. I knew something bad had happened.

"What happened ?? Is she fine ?" I asked.

He never answered my question and stopped the car, at that time I noticed one strange thing, the roads were empty, very less people. god knows why ! *sigh*. He dragged me to near CCD, People had gathered there infront of the TV.

My eyes stared at the headlines.

'TERROR IN MUMBAI- TAJ'

It was 9 in night now.

For a second I was like..Oh please god..This can't be true. Please don't do this to us. Let it be a bad dream.Unfortunately It wasn't one. It was reality. It was actually TERROR IN MUMBAI.

After reading the headlines I called ridz.

"hello ?? Riddhima..are you fine ??"

She whispered, her voice sounded scared...as if she was scared of something.." Armaan..armaan please save me..they'll kill me..Our child..our..I want to live armaan..I want to live..i want to love you more.. and kiss you... I don't wanna die armaan please save me..i don't..i beg you..Please I ..i beg you..." I was hell scared, she sounded so low yet each and every word of her's was pinching me. It was like...TERROR HAD SARROUNDED ME.

"Riddhima..Shhh..shhh..Relax..I'm there..I won't let anything happen to you..and who said that you're gonna die..who ?? No one will die... you willl live..and love me..and kiss me... You will not die jaan...and now please cut the phone, cz if anyone sees you...the'll harm you and I don't want that...but keep messaging me in every 5 minutes. OK ?"I said.

"OKKK...I...I Love you" She said.

" I love you 2" I replied.

"I love you thr...bye"

She didn't complete it because she never had time, that ached my heart.

_____

After talking to her, we raced our car to taj hotel and parked it in front of the hotel, commandoes were giving their best, but still the number of dead bodies were increasing. My heart stopped beating seeing a man crying in front of his DEAD wife. I never wanted to be like that. Never.

At 9

" Armaan beta ..." He called out my name. I turned around, he said nothing and sat on the chair near mines, with his hands folded and eyes focusing on the floor.

"SHE WILL BE SAFE WITH ME"

Those words rangled me like a worm in my mind, I wanted to kill myself for acting so selfish.I expected him to come, slap me, and say to me that I betrayed him. But NO. He never reaced that much. Maybe..he understood WHAT I FELT!

"She will make it..she is my girl..I know she will...I know.." He said.I looked at him and squuezed his hand.

"I'm sorry " I said.

"For what ?"

Why? Bitterness rose up my throat. SHE WILL BE SAFE WITH ME? If only he knew.

He squeezed my hand back. " You Couldn't have done anything."

I could have Jill. Yes, I could have. She wouldn't be there if I would have. She would be safe ! But no..she...ISN'T.

"She'll make it, won't she ?" This time it was a plaintive question.

I closed my stinging eyes. I don't know Jill. I don't know.

9:15

My phone buzzed.It was riddhima.I emmediately picked it up.

"Hello ?"I said.

. . . . . . . .

"Hello...please ridz are you there..."

I could hear some cries.

"Armaan..." She said crying hysterically.

"Riddhima...what happened... ?? Why are you...crying ?"

"Armaan...Niharika !"

"What happened to niharika...?? " My eyes oozed out. Nikhil looked at me in shocked looks.

"Armaan...Niharika's...Niharika's no more...she's been shot...!!!"

.. . . . . . . . . . .

For a few moments or seconds, the time froze ! I never replied, Many questions were running in my mind. How will I tell nikhil? How will I manage riddhima? Afterall, niharika was mine's and riddhima best friend and nikhil's girl friend.

"Riddhima...Call me in 15 minutes !" I said and disconnected.

"What happened ? Please tell armaan." Nikhil pleased me.

"Nikhil...wo..wo...niharika..."
"What happened to niharika ?"

"She's...She's no more...She's been shot.." I said with blank expression. I expected nikhil to loose off completely, but he acted strong, He took support of my shoulder and spoke.

"What happened to niharika will not happen to riddhima..Promise me?" He proceeded his and asked for this promise.Hats off to him and his courage.

"Promise..I promise..I promise..." I said and we hugged.

"Armaan...Call her, Ask her where is she ?"

Then I called her.

"Hello"

"Hello riddhima...where are you ?"
"I am in some room !"
"Which room...do you remember the room number !"
"Yesss.I know..It is..Its is room number 278 ! But why ?"

Before I could hear any further nikhil snatched my phone and disconnected.

"We'll tell trhe commandoes to go to that room and rescue her"

Then nikhil went towards the commandoes, I couldn't hear what they were saying but could understand a but from their actions.I could see a fight coming up, Then I saw nikhil walking towards me with frustration.

"What happened ?"
. . . . . . . . ., . . . . .
"Oh god damn it answer me !"

"They refused !"

"THEY WHAT ???"

"They bloody refused"
I couldn't beleive, how could they? Bloody ! It was a question of somebody's life. My wife, My child.Tension was cooking up, and more tension was created by the coming up call.

"Hello ...riddhima?? Hello..??" I said.

"Hee...l...arma...*cough* *cough* Sav...me...*cough*!"

When she coughed I understoood there was fire around her.

"Is there fire in the room ?"

"No...no..*coughs*..Itz ..co..*cough* coming from the...little *coughs* Space be..below the..do..*coughs* door !"

Her coughs were getting worst day by day.She disconnected. I called her, but she never picked it up.

Shit! I had to reach my wife now. I had to go. I never realized that room no.278 was on the right building. WHICH WAS BURNING !!!!!!

I rushed in, breaking all the chaines formed by commandoes, Nikhil let me go, as he trusted me. Attayboy, My best friend ! I WANTED TO HUG HIM.

It was a short long journey, from the roads, to breaking the commandoes security, to the second floor, slowly, but I had to go on the third floor, but then when I was covering the final steps on the staircase, there was suddenly a loud noise to my right. A split second later, before I could understand, what happen, a gust of thick, dark smoke filled with debris particles hit me. My eyes burned. Blind, I coughed with my hand apun my mouth, trying to choke my own sound. The stairs were wet, and as I thrashed about trying to expel the poisonous smoke, I slipped and rolled down the stairs.

Curled at the bottom, when I tried to get up, I couldn't. There was an excruciating pain in my left side. Waves of tingling surged through my leg. What had happened? Did I break a bone or something during the fall?

I looked down. I saw a dark stain getting bigger on my left flank, the water flowing past getting suffesed with red. Guess I was...shot?

Unfortunately...I WAS.

The pain was unbearable for me, Then my phone beeped.It was Riddhima.

"Hello...*cough* Armaan ?" She said.

I clenched my teeths to control my screams..." Yes "

"The smoke is *cough* Killing me..What should I do ?"She was crying.

"Is there something in the room...chair?Table?" I asked.

"yess...the chair.."

"Break your window with it...and BLOODY SAVE YOURSELF !!" I said the last words with pressure on them.

"Ami are you fine ?"She asked.

"Yess...I..I am !"

After few seconds she again came on the phone.

"Ridz?"

I heard the continous sound of heavy coughing. Now, I was getting scared.Then suddenly she coughed the harder one and screamed my name..."AMIII"

Shit ! My wife needed me, I have to get up. I have to go. Get up.She needs me.She...she needs me.I HAVE TO!

I tried getting up holding my left leg , I had almost covered the steps by now but suddenly because of slippery tiles, My right leg slid, and I went down with more unbearable pain this time.

*THUD*

*THUD*

"Armaan...arm...are you *cough* Fine ???Armaaan ??"She shouted on the other side.

Trust me for a few seconds it was impossible for me to even utter a single word.But somehow I managed.

"Riddhima...You keep trying !"
"No it's not working, not even a single scratch.."

"No you cut-"

She interupted me..."Armaan I love you...and do remember me"

"STOP SAYING THAT" I bellowed.

"Riddhima listen..."

By now riddhima had calmed down.

"YOU CAN'T STOP!" I screamed between the hot tears burning my eyes.

"WHAT ELSE IS THERE IN THE ROOM?"

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

"RIDDHIMA STAY WITH ME"

"Armaan..I love you"

"I AM NOT LETTING YOU GO . WHAT ELSE IS THERE? FIND OUT OR I AM COMING IN THERE. LET THEM KILL ME TOO"I said with tears sipping up my lips.

"NO"She shouted back.

*THUD*

*THUD*

*THUD*

"Riddhima...???" I screamed.

"Armaan..It broke...the glass broke..YES !!!!!!!!!!!"

And then there was yell of joy, but because of water, my cell phone went off.It stopped working.

She was finally RESCUED.Yesss !

Then I heard someone coming down the same stairs in between which I was lying.He pointed something on my head. My eyes were half-opened.

But then I could hear a girl's scream.

"NOOO"She shouted.That girl started coming towards me.But then that man shouted.

"No ma'am stay back !"

"No! Let me go!" the women cried."Don't shoot him, that's my husband"

Those words made me jerk up.As I opened my eyes, I started from down, those same kolahpuri chappals and her tattoo was as usually visible saying 'MEN SUCK',she came near me, the man suddenly vanished, maybe he was not a terrorist, but a commando, he must have gone to take help.Riddhima came near me.

I tried smiling at her,Guess it didn't work.

"Stay with me ami, STAY"She hissed.

I nodded.Slightly.

"You MUST..For our BABY"That bought a bit energy in me.And I said...

"Kiss me..."

"Shhh"She hissed.

"No..Kiss me.."I whispered.

"Ami..."

"No..remember..supposed to...die kissing?"I tried to smile.

"No...SHUT UP! Don't say such things please" She pled.

"Kiss me.I will"

She came near me and slightly starteched my collar crying hysterically.

"Why did you have to play the hero????..You Knew it was dangerous"She said.

"No...point in...living...without...you !"I said.

"No.."She cried pressing her hand on my lips.

"C...Come he...here"I pulled her as much as I could.

"No! You're hurt!"She said.

I ignored her. "Want...lean...on you...l..love..you"

That did it.Riddhima smiled thr' tears.She shuffled forward and leaned on me.

"Love you RAISE TO INFINITY"She replied rather than saying I love you 2...100 !

Gingerly, she put her arms around me, and WE kissed.

Forever This Way.

_________________________________________________________

28/11/2008

We together sat for dinner in the evening.Riddhima fed me.Her hands made the worst food of the world taste most delecious! With our eight months old son, karan.The terror was still there, many people had lost their wives, sons, husbands, daughters, brothers, sisters, and some their whole families, But we...

WE HAD WON

________________________________________________________

Do comment !=)
-Sam

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