Monday, 20 July 2020

Part 20 : Dill Ki Baat

Sitting there watching them eat each others 'jhoot' for the past 10 minutes was making Armaan blood boil. "Ridz kya mein aur khaana mangwao?" Armaan intervened sounding worried

Ridz: "haha kyun Armaan tummhe aaj bohot bookh lagi hai kya?" Ridz winked at Armaan as she continued to pick of her plate then Raj's.

Armaan: "nahi mujhe nahi, I think tum dono aaj kuch zyada hi bookh lagi hai, apne khaana kaam aur aek doosre ki jhoot zyada kaa rehe ho" Armaan laughed trying to keep the sarcasm out of his voice, but made a point to look directly at Raj as he said this.

Raj: "Armaan buddy, chill' actually mein aur Ridz bachpan mein yaha humesha aise hi khaana share karte te, pata nahi kyun par jab khaana dosto ki saath baata jaata hai phir khaane mein kuch aur hi maaza hota hai, chaho toh tum bhi meri plate se tora khaalo" Raj laughed innocently while he knew his words were enough to pacify Ridz yet rub salt on the wounds he could see developing in Armaan's mind.

As soon as Armaan said "aek doosre ki jhoot zyada kaa rehe ho" Ridz froze, the hunger that was apparent a few moments seemed to have disappeared completely as the meaning of his words sank in. Never in a million years had Ridz ever felt she was sharing her jhoot with Raj, throughout their entire childhood this is how it had been and today was no different, but apparently to the world this was no longer considered innocent. Unable to stomach any more food Ridz got up from the table to freshen up as she felt the tears well up in her eyes. The two men sitting accompanying her were too busy silently killing each other with their stares to notice the sudden change of in Ridz.

Armaan: "Tummhe shayed pata nahi hai, par Ridz aur meri shaadi hone wali hai kuch hi hafte mein" sitting back in his chair Armaan took a swig of his can of coke

Raj: "Armaan tum kaise baatein karehe ho, ofcourse mujhe pata hai, warna mein aata kyun?" imitating Armaan Raj also leaned back in his chair and took a sip of his drink

Armaan: "Pata hai toh Riddhima se dhoor raha karo"

Raj: "Kyun? Tum itni saalo ki dosti torna chahte ho kya?" sarcastically laughing at Armaan raj continued to pick at his food which he long since lost interest in

Armaan: "listen, mujhe tumhare Riddhima ki aas paas madrana acha nahi laghta, issliye dhoor raha karo samjhe" hissing between his greeted teeth Armaan sounded like a snake ready to bite

Raj: "hey chill, tum toh serious hogeye, chill buddy. Waise mujhe nahi laghta yeh tumhare jagah hai mere aur  Riddy ki rishte ki beech mein bolne kiliye, agar use koi problem nahi hai toh tummhe kyun hai' kya tum Riddy par vishwas nahi karte?"

Loosing his patience Armaan stood up abruptly making the chair screech against the floor in the process, attracting everyones attention in the caf "mujhe tumhare neeyat par shakh hai, Riddhima par mein apne aap se zyada yakeen karta hu, samjhe"

Storming out of the caf Armaan blindly walked up the street, fuming at Raj. Raj's word rang in his ears, "Kya tum Riddy par vishwas nahi karte?... ofcourse I do, apne aap se zyada uss par vishwas karta hu, yeh Raj bhi na, mujhe toh usspar vishwas nahi hai, kab kaha meri boli se basket ko apne jaal mein fasalega aur mujhse cheen lega". "Agar usspar itna yakeen hai toh mujhe Raj se koi problem nahi hona chahiye, phir kyun' kyun mein apne aap ko aur basket ko mere aur Raj ki beech aek ko chunhe kiliye majboor karaha hu, kya mein sach mooch humare bandhan par vishwas nahi karta?" the thoughts rang his head as he tried to find the answer

Subconsciously Armaan had managed to make his way to the basketball courts around the corner from the hospital, on approach Armaan was greeted by a very unfamiliar site, sitting in the far side of the court on one of the benches was Ridz sitting still with her back to him. Unconsciously smiling Armaan forgot his entire conversation with Raj and the little battle he had with himself a few moments ago and crept up behind Ridz.

Armaan: "Tum yaha ho, aur mein waha andhar tumhare liye intezaar karaha ta, caf aise ajanakh chor kar kyun chali ayi?" resting his head on her shoulders Armaan inhaled in her soft sweet scent, closing his eyes Armaan let all his worries fade into the background while he stood their holding his life in his arms.

Not feeling the normal warmth which would radiate from Ridz at his one touch the worry lines returned as Armaan slightly frowned turning Ridz around to look at him, seeing the dry tears on her cheeks Armaan's heart melted. Kissing the dry tears Armaan wrapped his arms around her once again holding her close letting her rest her head on his chest. There was no need to question why she was upset, deep down he knew it was because of him.

Ridz stood there hugging Armaan trying to feel the security she once used to feel when in his arms, but his words had hurt her a lot today, Armaan had managed to turn her innocent friendship with Raj into something ugly and she blamed herself for it. Composing herself, not wanting to look weak any longer Ridz decided to resolve this matter once and for all' how still unsure but something needed to be done. "God damn it, your getting married in a few weeks, agar abhi se yeh sab hoga toh bhaad mein kya hoga" thinking about what to do next Ridz wiped away her tears and without any need for words both Armaan and Ridz walked quietly towards the hospital.

As the end of the day long and tiring day approached, Ridz made her way out of the locker room, since lunch she had done her best to say as little as possible to any of the other interns, not wanting her emotions to get in the way of her work she resolved to avoiding Armaan as well.

"Mein tummhe ghar takh chordu?" the change in behaviour from Ridz had not gone unnoticed to Armaan, not wanting to let the lunch time mishaps escalate out of control Armaan had tried on several occasions throughout the course of the afternoon and evening to speak to Ridz, but seeing her unwelcoming behaviour kept putting him off

Looking up at Armaan, Ridz noticed the circles that had appeared out of nowhere under his eyes, she felt guilty as she knew it was her doing some how or rather. "Nahi tum kaafi takhe hue laghte ho, ghar chale jao, mujhe lab mein kuch kaam hai mein bhaad mein chali jaungi" caressing his cheeks with her hand for a moment to reassure him she walked past not looking back towards the lab.

Armaan watched her disappear around the lab doors and looked up to the heavens for help, "how do I fix this, please mujhe madat karo" saying a silent prayer Armaan hung his jacket over his shoulder feeing devastated by the turn of events he made his way home.

"Meine aisa kya kehdia woh mujhse abh baatein bhi nahi karna chahti" hitting his head with the back of his hand he racked his brains trying to find the answer as he drove down the quiet roads. He knew it was his fault she was upset but for the life of him just couldn't work out what he was supposed to have done. Lost in his thought Armaan kept driving until he pulled into the drive way of Ridz house, shocked at the sight in front of him he sat there frozen in the car staring at the car opposite.

Not believing his eyes Armaan closed his eyes and rubbed them vigorously. Reopening them the reality hit him hard, in fact kicked him in the face, there sitting in the car were Raj and Ridz kissing'

Hearing a car screech out of the driveway Raj slowly pulled out of the kiss and grinned watching the car speed away leaving a cloud of smoke behind it. 

Raj: "Chalo sweety mein tummhe abh ghar chordeta hu" with that Raj started his car engine ready to drop the girl he had picked up that evening at the club off home.

Armaan raced down the road angered, confused and hurt by what he saw, the road had become a blur as the tears welled from his eyes and burnt his skin as they shot down his cheeks. Images of Ridz's hair playing on Raj's face as they sucked the life out of each kept playing over and over again in Armaan's head. The more he tried to push the thoughts out the clearer the images in his head got until the pain they caused overtook his senses, the anger overflowed with the tears as Armaan drove faster and faster running away from his thoughts and his life.

Sitting at the edge of the cliff Armaan carelessly swung his legs over the side as the bitter cold wind swept past his face. The sky had clouded over, storm clouds gathered in the sky threatening to pour out the rage Armaan felt within, Armaan looked into the heavens he cried his heart out feeling the same loneliness he felt when his dad passed away. "Mein kya itna hi burra hu Dad, mein jisse bhi pyar karta hu dil aur jaan se woh humesha mujhse dhoor kyun ho jaate hain?... Meine uska kya bigaara ta ki usne mujhe itna bara dokha diya' agar woh kissi aur se pyar karti ti toh mujhse shaadi karne kiliye raazi kyun hogeyi...kyun jagaya meri mann mein itna pyar ki abh uske binna jeena bhi mushkil hogeya hai? pyar karne ka itna baara saaza milla mujhe? Jiss insaan ko meine apna sab kuch sopne kiliye tayar ta, jis kiliye mein apni jaan desakhta hu, ussi insaan ne mujhe jeet-a-jee mardiya. Kyun? Mein poochta hu kyun?" Armaan was answered the clapping of thunder as though it were speaking back to him " Aap te na waha par sab kuch betkar dekhrehe te, toh kyun aapne mujhe bataya nahi, arre warning toh desakhte te na?" the anger in his voice rose as started to shout to be heard above the thunder and howling wind which rang through the dark night as though laughing him, taunting him almost " jab mujhe aapki sabse zyada zaroorat ti tab aapne mujhe parivar ka saare zimedari de kar chor geye, abh jab mein yaha akhela hu tab bhi aap mujhe taane derehe hai?, waha betkar kyun hasrehe ho, aur kuch kar nahi sakhe toh chorgeye aapki zimedaari aur abh jab mujhe tori si kushi milrahi ti toh aapne bagwan se poochkar uss ******* ko bej diya meri kushiya cheene kiliye!" Armaan stood up dangerously close to the  edge of the cliff  as he continued to argue with the heavens and his dad. All night Armaan cried and argued with his dad, the heavens cried with him that night. The more Armaan shouted and cried the more the heavens opened up to him and cried with him.

Waking up in a sweat as the wind threw her windows wide open Ridz shook with fear hearing the thunder; rushing out of bed she went to close the windows, struggling to get them closed Ridz had a strange fear playing within, a sense of grief took over as she fought with the window, the night was crying and she could feel the pain it was in. Shaking the feeling out Ridz managed to securely close the window and instantly on impulse turned around to call Armaan, for some strange reason she felt she had to call him, be with him, check if his okay. Sitting at the edge of her bed Ridz hugged herself as she shivered dialling his number

Ring Ring'. Ring Ring

The phone sat in the car ringing away while Armaan stood outside shouting and crying, letting out all his anger.

With Armaan not answering her calls Ridz became restless, she reached over to check the time "Subah 4 baje who kaha hosakhte hain? Phone bhi nahi utara rehe, shayed sorehe hain" still uncertain of her answer Ridz had no choice but to wait till the morning to speak to Armaan, saying  a silent prayer for his safety she climbed back under her duvets and waited for the morning sun to come and make this pain filled night pass.

Armaan woke up late in the afternoon shivering clutching his duvet, still in his clothes from the night before. Holding his head he winced in pain trying to open his eyes, the afternoon sun was pouring into his room mercilessly taking away the last moment of sleep from his eyes. Holding his head the events of the night before came flooding back into his head, fresh tears of anger and loneliness unwelcomingly welled up in his eyes as Armaan shut them trying to be strong blocking the pain out. Hiding his head from the world under his covers Armaan soon fell asleep again, as the tears continued to escape his eyes in his sleep and soak his pillow.

Feeling someone hold his wrist Armaan stirred in his sleep, the hand gently put his hand down and went to touch his forehead, slowly opening his eyes Armaan registered that it was much later in the evening now, the sun had set and the evening sky had turned crimson, ready to bid farewell to the sun and welcome the moon with open arms. Opening his eyes ever so slowly Armaan knew who was in his room before looking up at her, the perfume which once drove him crazy in love when it took control of his senses now only made him nauseous as images of her scent all over anothre man haunted his thoughts. Closing his eys again Armaan turned away from the figure hiding the pain that was apparent on it.

Ridz slowly walked around to the other side of the bed and knelt down next to his pillow, looking at him scrunch up his face trying to hide himself she saw the precious pearls escape his eyes, piercing her sole with every fresh one that joined the first. Slowly wiping away the tears Ridz tried to caress his face to assure him she will always be there for him. As soon as her hand made contact with his face Armaan once again turned over and hid his head under the duvet like a child playing hide and seek. Laughing at his childish behaviour Ridz put his antic down to the fact he was feeling embarrassed about being sick in front of her. Sitting down on the bed next to him Ridz reached forward to caress his hair when his voice broke the silence, making her freeze from the bitterness that was all to apparent

Armaan: "Abh kyun aye ho yaha?" silence filled the room as Ridz held her breath still shocked by the tone coldness in his voice

Ridz: "Armaan yeh tum'" her voice were left to hang as she attempted to reach out to him but Armaan had moved to quickly for her, he was already standing shakily at the door holding it open

Armaan: "Mujhe kissi ki jhoota pyar ki koi zaroorat nahi hai, chali jao yaha se" Armaan refused to look at Ridz, knowing he wasn't strong enough to face her right now all he wanted was for her to leave alone while he sorted out his head. Sensing she wasn't ready to go he whispered "Please" as she came closer to him

Ridz couldn't understand what was happening, why was Armaan being so cold towards her, the eyes that had always been filled with nothing but love before today refused to look at her, opening her mouth to argue back, to refuse to leave she felt her words get stuck as the emotions had her choked up, gasping for air she ran down the stairs and out of the main doors before anyone could stop her.

Armaan stood at his window watching her run away, words of wisdom from his loving father came to mind as Armaan watched his reason for living leave, maybe for ever "jab hum kissi se pyar karte hai toh unki liye hum kuch bhi karte hai, par jab woh humme wohi pyar lota kar nahi dete tab insaan khud garz hojata hai aur apne pyar paane kiliye doosro ko taqleef dene laghta hai'  insaan pyar karne ki waqt pooch kar nahi karta, phir usse pyar ki badle mein kuch milne ki umeed bhi nahi rakhne chahiye"

Armaan had made up his mind, "uski kushi mein hi meri kushi hai, agar usse Raj se pyar hai toh Raj hi usse milegi" closing his eyes he swallowed the bitter truth that Ridz would never be his

Watching Ridz run out of the house Masti quietly entered Armaan's room to see him standing at the window with his eyes closed. "Bhai, bhaabi aise itni jaldi kyun chali geyi?" not one to beat around the bush masti had a tendancy to always say what was on her mind.

Armaan: "Woh tumhari bhaabi nahi hai, abh please Masti mujhe akhela chordo"

Not satisfied with his reply Masti probed further "Kya matlab woh meri bhaabi nahi hai' aap dono ki shaadi horehi hai, uski baadh toh woh meri bhaabi hi banegi na, toh mein unhe abh bhaabi pukaru ya phir baadh mein, baat toh aek hi hua na" ready to get further into the conversation Masti jumped onto his bed making herself comfortable "Come on bhai, yaha aakhar beto aur Dr Masti ko aapni saari problems batado, agar meine 2 minute mein solution nahi di toh aap apna naam badel dena" giggling at her own comments Masti watched expectantly for Armaan's reaction. As much as he denied it or as lame as her jokes were Armaan was always there to laugh at them, but today there was no reaction, something was seriously wrong she thoght. Getting up from the bed she slowly made her way towards him so as not to startle him, Armaan seemed to be lost in a world of his own not really registering Masti's non-stop chatter. Taking a big sigh ready to be serious for once in her life Masti placed her hand on Armaan broad shoulders and turned him to face her.

Seeing her big strong brother with red puffy tear stained eyes made her heart cry as she felt the tears automatically well up in her eyes feeling his pain. "Bhai aap itni udaas kyun hai, kya hua? Bhaabi ki saath jaagra hogeya kya? Mein jaakar unhe samjati hu, aap please fikar maat kareye aur yeh Udaas Mann chehra hatiya mujhe mere haste hue big strong bhai wapas chahiye"

Armaan: "Aisa kuch nahi hai pagal, mein kaha upset hu? Woh toh bas aise hi sar mein dard horaha hai issilye aankein tora laal hai aur kuch nahi" turning to his sister he put on his bravest face as he smiled through the pain.


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