Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Part 7 : Dill Ki Baat

"Papa Armaan se kya bhaath karenge? Kahi uss raath ki to nahi" several questions kept going through her mind that night, not letting her sleep. Ridz looked over at the clock and it was 3am, it suddenly occurred to her "Papa abhi takh ghar nahi aye".

Ridz was getting really restless now, it took her for ever but she finally managed to asleep.

Ridz woke up in the morning hearing some noise in the kitchen, she turned over in bed and checked the time on the clock, it was 10am "Oh crap, 10 bajgaye, kisi ne mujhe jagaya kui nahi, aur yeh stupid alarm clock" she said picking up the alarm clock and shaking it vigorously. Ridz jumped out of bed and ran into the shower. As she was stepping out of the shower she slipped on the water she had carelessly dropped and hit her elbow really hard "Aaargh" she shouted "Yeh stupid wall kaha se agaya" she said hitting the wall and stepping out, she rushed to her cupboard to grab her clothes and was shocked by what she saw... There was only one suit in there "Meri kapre, meri kapre kaha gaye" she said turning scratching her head in wonder, "Whatever, I don't have time, yeh zarror Sapna ki mazaak hogi" she grabbed the suit and quickly got dressed. Ridz was running down the stairs when her mother called her



P: "Riddhima, yaha awo"

Ridz slowly made her way to the breakfast table, Shashank was sitting there sipping his tea reading the paper, he didn't look up when Ridz approached the table

R: "Ji Ma"

P: "Betho"

Ridz was still feeling very scared and uncertain after the events a few nights ago and now sitting Shashank sitting there it made her wonder why he hadn't gone to the hospital yet. Ridz reluctantly sat down with Padma opposite her and Shashank to the left (at the head of the table)

P: "2 baje tum ghar aajana, tumhareshaam ko rishta ayega, aur hum chahti tumhari shaadi ussi se ho"

Ridz looked at her mother with tearful eyes then glanced over at her dad, he was still engrossed in his newspaper, she was silently screaming out to her dad in her mind, "please dad don't make me do this, please"

Shashank seemed oblivious to these silent pleas and got up from the table and walked into his study.

Ridz silently got up from the table and left to go to work. "Aek galati ki itni bara saza" she couldn't hold her tears any longer, they were shooting out of her eyes like there was no tomorrow as she drove to work.

Ridz had not been there when the duties for the day were being assigned out so she went to look for Armaan to apologise for her lateness and get the duties. When she didn't find him in his cabin she was relieved as she didn't really want to see him, it was all his fault this was happening to her she thought bitterly.

Ridz bumped into Anjali in the locker room who was on a break

A: "Hey Ridz, kya hau aaj tum itni late kui ho yaar" Ridz turned to look at Anjali and Anj saw Ridz tear stained face "hey, hey, hey kya hua tum roh kui raheti"

This show of compassion was all that was needed to get Ridz crying again, Anj hugged her and asked her again what was the matter,

R: "Woh... erm kuch nahi" she said wiping away the tears "bas aaj meri nani ki bohut yaad arehiti"

A: "Ridzy, tum bi nah, darhi diya mujhe, mujhe laga kuch serious hai, hmph, ah chalo, Dr Keerthi ki anhe se pehle hum rounds pe chalte hai, tum aaj meri saath rounds per ho"

Ridz looked up "Dr Keerti, Arm... er... Dr Armaan kaha hain"

A: "Pata nahi, aaj woh Sanjeevani nahi aye, isliye Dr Keerthi ne sabh ko unki duties di, ab chalo warna yeh Dr Keerti Hitler ki tara hai, kacha chaba jayegi"

They were on their round when Ridz got a message on her pager "meet me at the basketball court behind the hospital ' Armaan" Ridz stared at the message, she was due on her break and she was curious to find out what Shashank had said to him.

Ridz let for her break and went to meet Armaan, she approached the basketball but couldn't see Armaan there. There was a group of children playing basketball but no Armaan, she stood there for a bit just watching the kids play, they looked so innocent just playing there, not a care in the world, she remembered how she had been like that until a few days ago when everything had changed.

"Ridhimma, Ridhimma" hearing her name Ridz looked around still slilghtly lost in her thoughts to see Armaan calling her name from his car window.

R: "Armaan..." she was lost in his eyes once again

A: "Ridhimma, andhar akhar beto"

Ridz felt uncomfortable about this, she wanted to be as far away from as possible, she remembered what Padma had said in the morning

A: "Mein tumse kuch zaroori bhaath karna chahta hui, please akher bath jao"

Hearing him plead like that she decided she would sit in the car but ensure she keeps her emotions under control. Ridz went around to the other side and sat down in the car.

As soon as she sat down Armaan started the car and drove off.

R: "Armaan, tum mujhe kaha lekhar jarehe ho" she said slightly panicked, Armaan heard the panic in her voice and pulled into an underground parking lot where they wouldn't be seen and parked the car.
Ridz was really scared now, she didn't want to be alone with Armaan, and now here they are in a derelict parking lot. Armaan noticed Ridz was a bit tensed so turned to Ridz and put his hand on her arm.

Ridz jerked her hand away "argh" she murmured as she hit the bruise that was forming on her arm from the mornings bathroom incident,

A: "Kya hua" Armaan was worried now seeing the bruise which had formed on Ridz arm, "Yeh kaise hua" he lightly touched the bruise which looked out of place on the soft, unblemished skin, the touch sent shivers down Ridz's arm, she once again moved her arm.

R: "Please" Ridz whispered

Armaan noticed she wasn't comfortable with the situation, he turned his face to look straight ahead instead of at her.

A: "Erm... Ridz... ah... mein tumhe kuch batana chahta hu", he looked at Ridz to see her expression, she was looking inspecting her bruise with a childlike innocent look on her face, he stopped what he was saying and just looked at her. Ridz looked up and saw him staring at her, she again was feeling slightly uncomfortable by his intense gaze,

R: "Erm ,tum kehrehe te..."

A: "Oh ha, erm mujhe tumse kuch kehna hai, tum meri bari kya sochte ho?"

Ridz was startled by this question, she didn't how to or even what to say on reply

A: "Woh... er.. mein isliye poochraha ta kuki", "usse kaise batao" he thought to himself, "Kaal jab Dr Shashank ne mujhe unki cabin mein bulaiya.." Armaan was stopped in mid sentence because his phone rang.

A: "Hello... ha maa, mein abhi aya, bas kuch dosto ki saath.... Ji, ji, abhi aya"
He put the phone down and started his sentence again "Kaal jab Dr Shashank ne mujhe unki cabin bulaiay tab" Ridz's phone rang this time

R: "Hello Ma, ji mein bas abhi nikalraha hu, ji, ok bye"

Ridz turned to look at Armaan, "Mujhe jana hoga, ma mujhe ghar bularahi hai"

Armaan nodded and they drove back to the hospital. Armaan dropped Ridz off and before he was able to say anything to her she walked into the hospital.

Ridz was now in her room getting dressed by Sapna and Krishna who had been called over by Padma. She sat there in front of the mirror looking drop dead gorgeous, Padma called Sapna down leaving only Krishna and Ridz in the room. Krishna made her way infront of Ridz and sat on the dresser looking at her.

K: "Kya hua, tum itni udhas kui ho jaan"

Ridz looked down. She could feel the tears rimming her eyes again, Krishna lifted Ridz's gaze to meet hers and saw the lone tear now escape Ridz's eyes. Krishna wiped the tear away

K: "Ridz, aghar tum is rishta se kush nahi to phir milne kiliye kui ha ki" she looked into Ridz's face to try and find the answer, when she got no response she continued "Okay woh sabh abh choro, tum abh chinta karan bilkul bandh kardo, mein hu na, mein usse aek chootki mein bagha dungha, phir yaha kya woh logh rishta lekhar kahi nahi jayengi" with that she got up to leave when Ridz caught a hold of her hand. Krishna turned to look at her with a confused look on her face

Ridz looked up at her, Krishna was such a sweet friend she thought, she had postponed her wedding shopping to be with Ridz and was willing to do anything to keep her friend happy, but then Ridz remembered what her mother said "Please tum kuch matt karna, mujhe is rishta se koi problem nahi hai" she said trying to sound convincing

K: "Mein nahi manti, aghar tum kush ho to phir yeh asso kaise aur yeh udhaas chehra?"

R: "Woh mein bas kuch hospital ke kaam kuch parishaan hu, aur kuch nahi" Krishna new her friend was lying but decided to keep her mouth shut as Ridz was insiting so much.

************************************

Ridz heard the car pull into the drive and tensed up, "woh log agaye" Krishna whispered standing next to her, holding her hands for comfort.

Ridz felt like running away from there, she wanted to be anywhere but in her house at that moment.

Krishna was called by Padma so had no choice but to leave Ridz alone in the room, Ridx was lost and scared at the same time, she loved Armaan but the embarrassment she had bought on her family had compelled the once loving mother and father to now force her to get married to a complete stranger.

Krishna was sent up to collect Ridz, she walked into the room with what Ridz interpreted to be a forced smile. They made there way downstairs and Ridz was made to touch everyone's feet, the entire time Ridz kept her eyes down, her mind was buzzing with so many thoughts that she didn't hear anyone's voices.

Ridz was made to sit next to a woman and a small child.

Small child: "Mama, aunty niche kui dekhrahi hai"

Mother: "Riddhima" she lifting her head slightly, for the first time Ridz had noticed that this voice sounded so familiar, she had this voice before, she looked up and to her surprise she saw Maya smiling sweetly at her. Ridz eyes went from Maya to Minnie who was now busy playing with Sapna.

Ma: "Kaise ho Riddhima"

Riddhima wasn't sure how to react, was this some sick joke god was playing with her, did Maya have another brother-in-law that was here to marry her, Shiv's brother ot was it' she couldn't allow herself to hope, but the thought crept in, was the rishta for her and... and Armaan. Ridz slowly looked around to see who the prospective groom was and sure enough there he was sitting there looking at her with a worried expression on his face. As soon as the eyes met he looked down.

Ridz turned to look at the rest of the guest, sure enough there was Sujal (Maya's husband), Raj (Krishna's dad) Armaan's mum (probably time to name her, how about Mehek Malik), Shiv sitting next to Krishna grinning. Ridz finally looked at her parents, they were sitting there smiling but there was something in their look which raised questions in her mind. Everyone started to talk while Armaan and Riddhima just sat there answering questions when spoken to.

Ra: "Humare bhaatein toh ho te rahega, abh indonho ko bhaath karne de"

Sha: "Ha, ha, kui nahi, akhir shaadi to indonho ko karna hai"
Ridz stared at her dad, the happiness on his face seemed so strained, she couldn't understand what he was so worried about.

Ridz and Armaan were taken to the terrace by Maya and Krishna and then left alone to talk.

They both sat there for a while feeling slightly uncomfortable with the whole scenario. Armaan kept glancing towards Ridz but she kept her gaze firmly on the floor.

A: 'Er... Riddhima, tum tikh to ho"

Ridz looked up with a questioning look, "yeh kaisa sawaal hai" she thought "Ku" she asked questioning his choice of words at a time like this

A: "Nahi bas mein soch raha ta ki aek RJ itni kamosh kaise reh sakhti hai" he said with a cheeky smile

Ridz let a small laugh at this, "mein radio presenter ti, abh Dr hu aur Dr to kamosh reh sakhte hain na"

Hearing her laugh had made Armaan relax a lot, she looked so cute when she laughed he thought to himself.

A: "Dr kamosh reh sakhte hai par mujhe tum haste hui achi laghti ho"

Ridz looked away blushing

A: "Aur jaante ho, jab tum aise sharmateho, to aur bi zyada kubsoorat laghti ho"

Ridz was dying of embarrassment now, she had no idea how she looked when she was embarrassed as she hardly ever blushed, she made other people blush, not her.

Ridz looked up, determined to turn the table around, she was not going to sit here looking like a burnt tomatoe, even though being complimented by him had made her feel really nice.

As Ridz looked up she saw Armaan getting up from his seat and moving closer to her. This was not supposed to happen, she quickly got up and moved to the wall looking across there back garden. It was warm afternoon with a slight breeze in the air. Sapna, Masti and Minnie were playing in the garden while the others all sat on the patio area just talking and laughing. She couldn't see her dad anywhere though. Remembering that she had make Armaan blush she turned around only to find Armaan standing right behind her. She froze, Armaan was smiling and looking at her so lovingly. Ridz closed her eyes, not knowing where to look, her senses were completely surrounded by his cologne, her breathing started to get shallow as his hand touched the back of her head, 'clip', her hair came out of the bun that had been tied by Krishna and now fell down, the breeze was now playing with her hair, Armaan was in awe of her beauty, she looked divine, the innocence, the simplicity it all took his breath away. The wind had now caused a few strands of her to cover her face, threatening his view of her, he reached forward and moved the her, his touch sent shivers down her spine, her lips opened slightly, he stared at her, then his fingers went to touch her lips. Those lips that had driven him crazy, sent him into a whirlwind from the first time they touched him... his lips. He leant forward, oblivious to his surroundings when Ridz opened her eyes, the uncertainty in her eyes made him stop.

A: "Kya..." he started to ask when Ridz brushed past him and walked away a few steps.

Ridz remembered what had happened the last time she let herself into her desires and it was because of her that her parents were now sitting there straining to put a smile on there face when it was obvious they were worried about something.

R: "Armaan... mujhe aapse kuch poochna hai" she turned to now look at the confused Armaan, "humme mille bas kuch din hue hai, aur itni jaldi shaadi ki bhaath..."
Armaan stood there listening to her carefully

R: "kuch hi din hue hai humme mille hui aur phir uss raath..." she trailed off recollecting what happened at Krishna's engagement party, coming back to the present "mein, ek pal kiliye behek gayi ti, aur aaj us ekh pal kiliye humme aaj zabardasti shaadi karne kiliye kaha jahara hai"

Armaan stood there dumbstruck "Zabaardasti?" he managed to whisper out loud, finding his voice now "Tumhari saath zabardasti horehi hai" Ridz looked at him now confused

R: "Mein, woh..." she stuttered, "Uski saath zabardasti nahi horehi hai" she thought.

A: "Kay tum iss rishta se kush nahi ho?"

R: "Nahi, Ha..."

A: "Riddhima" he said now softening his voice and coming towards her, he held her hand and led her to the seats on the terrace, "tum iss rishte se kush nahi ho kya?" he was searching for answers in her eyes.

R: "Tum kush ho" she asked with a tears rimming her eyes, she couldn't take rejection but she needed to know whether he wanted to marry her or if her dad had forced him to do this.

Armaan was slightly taken aback by this question "tumhe kya laghta hai" he said caressing her cheek in his hand... she closed her eyes and tear rolled down her cheek, "please don't say you were forced, please don't say you were forced" she silently chanted and prayed in her head.

Armaan caught the tear "in assoo ko kabhi bahar anne matt dena, yeh meri liye bohot kimti hai" Rids opened her eyes still questioning him

A: "yaad hai kaal raath jab tumhare Papa ne mujhe apne cabin bulaya, pata hai unhone mujhe kya poocha?"

Ridz continued to stare at him in wonder, "kya" she whispered

Armaan now held her hand, "unhone mujhe tumhare bareme poocha... mein tumse pyar karta ho ya nahi" he was again looking at her face to see her reaction,

A: "meine kaha ki pyar kya hota hai, mujhe pata nahi, par itna jaanta hu, ki jab meine tumhe pehla bhar mila, pata nahi kui par tumhari siva mujhe aek ajeeb si becheni rehta ta, jab tumhe mein nahi dekhta ta tab sirf tumhari kayal aatata, aur jab tum mujse dhoor rehteti, tabh tumhara pass mein jana chahtata. Yaad hai hum jab pehle mille, uss raath mujhe nilkul neend nahi aye, pata nahi kab subha hogeya aur kabh mujhe ehsaas hua ki mein tumse pyar karta hu"

Ridz was now surprised to hear all of this, she had no idea that he felt so strongly about her.

A: "Phir jab tumhare Papa ne mujhe tumhari bare mein poocha, tab meine unse tumhari haath maang li" he now got down on one knee "Kya tum mujhse dooniya ki sabse kush naseeb insaan banaugi, mujhse shaadi karke?"

Ridz was now smiling and crying at the same time, she was so happy, still holding his hand "Ha" she whispered.

***********************************

Lubna

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