Wednesday, 19 August 2020

epilogue : Khushiyon ka Intezaar

RIDDHIMA's POV



I slowly opened my eyes, I don't know for how many hours or minutes I was sleeping. I looked around and that's when I realised that I am in a hospital. Suddenly I realised the reason why I was here and then all those talks of armaan came in my mind. As soon as armaan's talks came in my mind I woke up and sat on the bed holding my head.



"Was it a dream?" I whispered to myself.




I again scanned my surroundings and whispered "nahiin yeh dream nahiin ho sakti mujhe yahan se jald se jald nikalna hoga. Itni mushkil se bhagwaan ne meri abhi tak two wishes suni hai or poori bhi ki hai ab kuch ulta nahiin ho sakta. Isse ki pehle armaan aye or phir se operation ki baat kare mien yahan se chup chap nikal jaongi"



Before I could pull my tubes that were attached to me the door opened and a doctor came inside. He was walking towards me with a smile.



"So you are finally awake good to see you like this" the doctor said and started checking her pulse.



"Doctor for how long have I been unconcious?" I asked.



 "Not for much time just for forty five minutes. I was here to check upon you again but I am glad you are concious again. Since now you are awake so we can do the operation in next half an hour" the doctor informed me and I was just looking at the doctor blankly.



"Doctor Operation ke liye paise kisne diye hain" I asked.



"Apke pati ne paise diye hain or bahar apki poori family khadi hai apse milne ke liye" doctor said and left the room.



Did the doctor say my family is standing outside? But I don't have any family. Why is it happening? I had accepted my fate my destiny I was happy being alone, I was happy living in a dream world that when I'll die I'll finally be in a place where only love will exist. I had a hope that I'll meet my mother and be with her for ever, I'll enjoy hearing her sing lories for me, I'll keep my head on her lap and sleep peacefully each night.



Why this dream needs to end why? Why no one likes to see me happy? What wrong have I done to people that no one wants to see me happy?

I looked towards the ceiling and said "mamma I miss you I want to come to you, I want to feel your love,I want to experience how it feels when someone loves you. Please mamma aap mujhe apne paas bula lo please mamma mujhe yahan or nahiin rehna mien ab thak gayi hoon mamma or himmat nahiin hai mujhme dukh sehne ka. Mamma mien coward nahiin hoon or na hi mien pareshani se nahiin bhaag rahi mien jitna seh sakti thi saha per ab nahiin hota mamma, nahiin hota mien thak gayi halaton (situation) se ladte ladte ab or nahiin hota. Mamma har baar jab bhi kuch galat hua hai miene hamesha socha ki ab kuch acha hoga khushiyaan ayengi meri life main ek din sab theek hoga lekin mamma aisa kuch nahiin hua sab ulta hi hua khushiyaan ki jagah hamesha dukh hi aye. Mamma aap janti hai or shayad dekha bhi hai miene saare dukh haste haste accept kiye hain kisi ko koi complain nahiin ki kisi ko kuch nahiin kaha bas chup chap saha per mamma ab or nahiin saha jata please mujhe apne paas bulalo. Mien ab yahan in sabke beech akele or nahiin reh sakti aap mujhe kyun akela chod kar gayi mujhe apne saath lekar kyun nahiin gayi mamma kyun"

I quickly wiped my tears and lied down on the bed. After few minutes the door opened and armaan was walking in followed by rahul muskaan billi uncle and ananya unty. Seeing all of them tears formed in my eyes. I closed my eyes and turned my face in the opposite direction.



"Riddhima ki bachi tu apne ko kya samajti hai saare dukh akele hi jhelegi huh yaad hai miene tujhe school main kya kha tha? That we will share all our pains with each other" I heard muskaan saying.



"Muski chup hoja" I heard rahul and a small smile formed on my face some things never change.



"Oye khote mien kyun chup rahoon dekh mien na abhi boht gussa hoon toh tu chup hi reh varna tera band baja doongi samjha na" I heard muskaan saying.



Suddenly I felt someoe caressing my head and instantly I opened my eyes. I saw muskaan caressing my head and I immediately hugged her. I wrapped my hands around her stomach and started crying. All the pent up pain that I went through during these two months came out.



Above all I was feeling very guilty as after marriage I didn't meet them neither I shared my pains with them. I know I was doing wrong but I didn't want them to feel bad or guilty that they couldn't stop this marriage. But all these days months I just wanted to say sorry to them and finally I got a chance today.



"Sorry mien boht buri hoon" I kept mumbling this while crying.



Muskaan was now caressing my back trying to calm me down but I was emotionally down I had no control over my emotions today because since morning so much has happened that I was not in a stable condition.



"Ssshhh riddhima calm down or tu bilkul buri nahiin hai balki iss duniya ki sabse pyaari ladki hai" I heard muskaan saying this and I shook my head in 'no'.



"tujhe pata hai riddhima jabse armaan ne rahul or mujhe vo diary thi na mien samaj gayi thi kuch gadbad hai kyunki hum dono ko yaad tha, tu hamesha kehti thi jab tujhe yakeen ho jayega ki tu hamare samne kabhi nahiin ayegi tabhi yeh diary hume degi. Uss waqt shayad hum yeh samaj nahiin paye lekin jab yeh diary mili na toh samaj gaye ki iska kya matab hai, tu yeh kehna chahti thi ki jab tu marne wali hogi tabhi yeh diary degi or pata hai tabse hum sab tujhe paglon ki tarah dhoond rahe hain. Pata hai rahul or mien kitna darr gaye the" I heard muskaan and I tightened my hands around her waist.



"Riddhima ab sab theek ho jayega sachi tujhe khushiyaan zaroor milengi" I heard muskaan and separated myself and looked at muskaan with confused expressions.



Muskaan smiled at me and then looked around. I followed her gaze and looked around that's when I realised that others were here too. I quickly wiped my tears and forcefully smiled at everyone.



"Riddhima tum late jao tumhe araam ki zaroorat hai" rahul said and I looked at him with moist eyes.

Rahul blinked his eyes in assurance and I nodded my head in agreement. I lied down on the bed and closed my eyes making it evident that I don't want to talk with anyone.

After few seconds I heard armaan's voice "riddhima mujhe tumse kuch kehna hai lekin usse pehle tumse koi milne aya hai pehle usse baat karlo hamare paas toh poori zindagi hai baat karne ke liye hain na"

Hearing armaan I immediately opened my eyes and looked at armaan with disbelief expressions. He still thinks we'll live together? What about his love? Why doesn't he understand I don't want any sympathy I am not that week.

Armaan looked towards the door and I followed his gaze. I was curious to know who wants to meet me as in all these years no one has ever come to meet me except rahul and muskaan.



I was shocked seeing the person at the door. Shock could be an understatement as I was shocked beyond limits. I saw papa standing at the door. I closed my eyes and again opened it after few seconds because I think I was hallicunating. Why would papa come to meet me in all these ears he never came so why would he come now?



But he was still standing at the door and I looked towards armaan who blinked his eyes as if telling me that I am not hallicunating and he is actually here.



I was dumbstruck for a second I didn't know how to react in all these years I had craved for his love, I had waited for him to come and meet me. If he couldn't attend any of my functions then atleast he could have come to me and spoke just one word "congratulations" that would have been enough for me. If he would have come and congratulated me instead of writing on a paper I would have been more than happy and would have never felt bad that he never attended my function. Infact more than functions I would have been excited for this little encounter of ours. But sadly it never happened may be I had asked too much from my destiny.



"Uncle" I heard armaan and that brought me back to reality.



I saw armaan gesturing papa to come inside and he slowly walked towards me. All these years I had waited for this moment, him coming to meet me if only I knew my death could do this I would have preferred to die much before.



Suddenly it struck me that during my bidaai I had promised myself of not coming infront of papa. I immediately looked at the other side when I felt papa standing on my left side.



"Riddhima tumhe jo message dena hai khud dedo. Riddhima dekho uncle khud aye hain tumhe jo kehna hai keh do. Riddhima dill main baat rakhne se sirf dard badta hai or kuch nahiin" I heard armaan saying.



I closed my eyes after hearing him I know he is right but I don't have that strength to question papa neither I have strength to hear the truth that I already know that is he hates me because I was the reason for mother's death.



"Riddhima ither dekho please" I heard armaan's pleading voice but I nodded my head in 'no'.



"Riddhima please ither dekho ek baar" I again heard armaan and this time I had no courage to deny him again so I looked at him.



"Riddhima kuch batien aisi hoti hai jo khud kaha jaye toh hi behtar hota hai tumhare dill main jo hai bol do jo poochna hai pooch lo destiny ne shayad tumhari sun li hai. Riddhima khushiyaan na hi koi cheeng sakta hai or na hi de sakta hai or na hi yeh destiny pe nirbhar (depend) hota hai yeh hum pe hota hai ki hum situation ko kaise dekhte hain usse kaise lete hain. Tumne kabhi bhi apne dil ki baat kisi ko nahiin batayi lekin khushi ki umeed sabse ki siwaye apne aap se. kehte hain kisi se umeed karo toh vo poori hogi iski koi gurantee nahiin hai kyunki samne wale ko pata hi nahiin ki koi usse umeed rakh raha hai agar apne aap se umeed ki hoti toh kabhi aisa nahiin hota. Khushi wait karne se nahiin ati riddhima khushi kuch karne se aati hai or aaj tumhe mauka mil raha hai bolo jo dill main kya pata tumhe khushiyaan mil jaye" I heard armaan.

Armaan was saying exactly what I wanted someone to say. I wanted someone to say this that if I laugh or cry it won't turn my happiness into sadness.

Hearing him I looked at papa who was standing there with tears in his eyes. I was again shocked he had tears in his eyes. My eyes met with his eyes and tears were flowing from my eyes.



I wanted to ask him that why he abandoned me? Why he hates me? Was it my fault that mom died after giving birth to me? Agar apko mujhe kabhi pyaar karna hi nahiin tha toh kyun nahiin mujhe

Kissi anaath ashram main bhej diya kyun mujhe apne paas rakh kar bhi apne paas nahiin ane diya! Kya apko kabhi bhi mere aankhon main apke liye intezaar nahiin dikha Kya apko kabhi bhi mere aankhon main aansoon nahiin dikhe kya apko kabhi bhi mera udaas chehra nahiin dikha! Kyun nahiin dikha apko yeh sab kya aap yeh sab dekhkar bhi anjaan ban rahe the yeah sach main apko kabhi yeh sab dikha hi nahiin yeah phir aap dekhna hi nahiin chahte the! Apne kabhi bhi akar mujhe raat main kyun nahiin dekha ki mien araam se so rahi hoon ki nahiin kyun nahiin akar mujhse kaha ki akele mat ro mien hoon tere saath kyun nahiin kaha mien akele nahiin hoon aap ho mere saath.



I wanted to know that whether in all these years did he ever felt that he has a daughter with whom he isn't talking. Did he felt my presence in the house? Did he ever felt helpless when I was having fever? Did he ever acknowledge my presence? Did he ever felt that what he is doing is wrong? Did he ever felt that he was destroying my childhood by not being around me?



Itne sawaal the mere paas lekin poochne ki himmat nahiin thi sirf do shabd bolne ki koshish ki 'kyun papa'



I was trying hard to speak but my voice wasn't supporting me and when I found the strength to speak all I could speak was "love you pa papa".



I was stammering while I said papa. After saying this I looked at armaan who was shaking his head in disbelief. I know he wanted me to vent out my feelings but if I couldn't do it in all these years how could i have done it now? It wasn't easy for me why doesn't he understand that?



I looked at papa whose eyes were closed. So many thoughts were running in my mind seeing him like this. The most important question that was running in my mind was what made him come here? In all these years he didn't bother to come even when I use to have fever why all of a sudden he is here? Who brought him here?



SHASHANK's POV



When I entered the hospital I was nervous I had no idea how will I face riddhima? So much was going in my mind that each step towards her room was making it difficult for me to think straight.



When I entered the room I saw her lying on the bed and when she saw me for a moment I was paralised on the spot. When I started walking towards her she turned her face to the opposite direction. I feared this only I knew she wouldn't like me being here.



I looked at armaan with an 'I-told-you' look.



I clearly remember I was in a meeting when armaan's phone came. He requested me to come to the hospital I was going to ask him why when he said riddhima mil gayi but she is dying and the phone fell from my hand. I was numb for few seconds but then when my colleagues asked me what happened I realised I was talking to armaan. I immediately picked my phone and told armaan that I am on my way but will she like me being there? and armaan replied she would love to see me there. I quickly dismissed the meeting and rushed out from the office.



When armaan asked her to speak something nothing was making sense to me I was just looking at riddhima with a blank look.

When riddhima looked at me I could see and feel that she wanted to say something but when she said "love you pa pa" I had not expected this it was a pure shock for me.



I thought she would ask me about my behaviour towards her blame me for not loving her but when she said she loves me I didn't know how to react or what to speak. This was just increasing my guilt which was already at its peak.



I always wanted a son who could expand my business but when riddhima was born I wasn't happy with a girlchild but the final blow came when Padma died after giving birth to riddhima. Doctor told me that Padma knew that if she continues her pregnancy she can even die at the time of delivery yet she continued with it. I couldn't even meet her for the last time as she died immediately after giving birth to riddhima.



I never wanted to see the face of the child neither wanted to love that child because of whom my love died. I had not one but many reasons for that but with time I gradually realised how wrong I was. I realised that Padma went with the pregnancy just for me, she wanted me to become a father and I should have respected her thoughts. Above all I realised it wasn't riddhima's mistake that Padma died just after giving birth to her.



When ever riddhima use to come first or use to win some competition I use to feel proud but my reasons of hating her always came in between and never allowed me to fully enjoy it. Riddhima was indeed the best child one could have and she proved to be a better child and did more than what a son could have done.



But by the time I realised this it was too late I couldn't undo my mistake nor I could face riddhima. It was better if things went the way they were going. I was trying to escape the confrontation I was trying to escape the questions which riddhima would have asked me. I was trying to avoid confrontation by not coming in front of her.



But today I realised me escaping it made things worst. If I wouldn't have escaped it rather faced it may be this situation wouldn't have arised ever. Seeing riddhima's condition now I realised how big mistake I made by escaping the confrontation. If I would have done that we would have lived a happy life just like every father daughter does.



NARRATOR's POV



Armaan looked at riddhima and then at shashank and shook his head.



"muskaan tumhe pata hai logo ke dill main boht kuch hota hai lekin jab waqt hota hai bolne ka tab bolte nahiin uss chees se bhagte hain or aisa karte huye vo yeh bhool jate hain ki halaton se abhi toh bhag sakte hain ya usse thodi der ke liye taal sakte hain lekin vo permanent solution nahiin hai" armaan said.



"Oye hero baat toh pate ki kii hai" muskaan said.



"Pata hai muskaan miene yeh apne experience se samjha hai. Agar mien doston ki baton main aaker vo sab na karta or sach sach bol dete toh shayad mujhe or dhoondna hi nahiin padta kyunki jisse mien dhoond raha tha vo toh mere samne hi thi. Or agar vo apne dill ki baat mujhe pehle bata deti toh shayad cheese or achi hoti hain na" armaan asked.



"Exactly buddy tum dono agar sach pehle hi bolte toh shayad itna sab nahiin sehna padta infact khushi bhari life jee rahe hote tum dono" rahul said with a smile.

Riddhima was looking at armaan then at muskaan and then finally rahul and was totally confused hearing them. But shashank understood few things.



He looked at riddhima and said "riddhima hum operation ke baad baat karenge kyunki boht saari batien karni hai boht saari galat faimiya door karni hai"



Riddhima smiled hearing this from her father she was excited and was looking forward to this conversation. She can forget the past if in return she receives LOVE which she was craving for from long. She wanted to witness what love and caring means and if for that she would have to stay alive she was more than ready to do it. She now wanted to live and experience the four letter word which was LOVE.



Before any one could speak anything more the doctor came and said that its time for the operation. Armaan smiled and nodded his head in agreement. Everyone wished riddhima and went out.



Armaan was walking towards the exit when something striked him and he returned back and riddhima was confused seeing him walking back.



Armaan bent down and whispered in her ears "I love you or yeh kab kaise hua janne ke liye tum operation theatre se sahi salamat lauto phir bataonga"



Riddhima's eyes widened with horror and she looked at armaan. Armaan smiled and winked at her. Riddhima blushed and was surprised at her own action. This was something new to her and she already loves every bit of it and started thinking if start is like this how the things will be later on.



Riddhima was taken by the nurse towards the operation theatre and armaan and doctor saw her going.



Armaan was about to leave when doctor called and said "miene uski aakhon main jeene ki chah pehli baar dekhi hai. Do mahino se uski aakhien uska chehra cheek cheek (shout) ke keh raha tha ki usse ab or nahiin jeena or yeh operation main sabse bada negative point tha. Agar patient ko jeene ki chaha hi nahiin hai toh hum doctors kitna bhi treat karle kuch farak nahiin padega koi medicine react hi nahiin karegi. Operation se pehle riddhima ke andar jeene ki chaha dalna boht zaroori tha or tumne vo chaha daalkar hamara kaam both asaan kar diya".



Armaan smiled and said "yeh miene apke liye nahiin mere or riddhima ke liye kiya hai aap bas meri riddhima ko ek dam theek kar dijiye please"



Doctor smiled and left the room. After few minutes the operation started and everyone was waiting outside the operation theatre. After few hours the red light turned off and the doctor came out and everyone looked at the doctor with questions in their eyes.



AFTER TWO MONTHS



The sun rays fell on the mallik mansion. Armaan woke up and turned to look at riddhima who was sleeping peacefully. Armaan still remembers that day when doctor told them that riddhima is fine he was so happy that he was jumping in the hospital. He wanted to meet riddhima but he knew before him shashank should meet riddhima and he had let father daughter have a private conversation.



A smile came on armaan's face when he remembered that day.



FLASHBACK

Shashank walked inside the room and caressed riddhim's head and feeling a touch riddhima immediately opened her eyes. Seeing her father infront of her eyes riddhima smiled.



"Beta" shashank started speaking but was cut off by riddhima.



"Apko pata hai yeh sunne ke liye mere kaan taras gaye the aap kuch or mat boliye bas mujhe yahi boliye or mujhe ek baar gale laga lijiye. I promise mujhe iske alava apse or kuch nahiin chahiye sorry bhi nahiin. Mujhe yeh do chees or dher sara pyaar or apka thoda sa time bas or kuch nahiin chahiye aap yeh denge na" riddhima said and asked with tears in her eyes.



Shashank smiled and nodded his head in agreement and hugged riddhima tightly. Riddhima finally felt content. Armaan who witnessed this from the glass window smiled seeing this and wiped his tears.



"Pata hai armaan tumne aaj jo kiya hai na hum yeh karne ki koshish pata nahiin kabse kar rahe hain or kabhi successful nahiin ho paye" rahul said.



Armaan looked at rahul and muskaan who were giving him a 'thank you' look. Armaan smiled and said "miene kuch nahiin kiya hai shashank uncle ko riddhima ke pyaar ne hi bulaya hai. vo riddhima ka pyaar hi tha jisne uncle ko majboor kiya yahan ane main or riddhima ko dekh kar vo chup nahiin reh sake unke dill main chupa pyaar samne aa hi gaya mien toh bas zariya tha uncle ko yahan lane ke liye".



Rahul muskaan smiled and nodded their head in agreement and all three of them looked at shashank and riddhima, who were smilingly hugging each other.



FLASH BACK ENDS



Armaan smiled and then whispered in riddhima's ears "Good morning I love you".



Riddhima immediately opened her eyes and smiling said "good morning I love you too".



Armaan grinned and asked "ab meri good morning kiss do".



Riddhima blushed and closed her eyes. Armaan smiled and bent down and placed his lips on hers. He started kissing her upper lip while riddhima was kissing his lower lip.



Before they could proceed further riddhima's phone started ringing and this broke their kiss. Riddhima immediately picked her phone and smiled hearing the voice.



"Goodmorning beta" shashank said.



"Papa aaj aap late ho gaye call karne main ab apko punishment ke tor pe do do chocolate or ice cream khilani padegi" riddhima said in a babyish tone.



"Theek hai theek hai aaj Saturday hai tum or armaan aa rahe ho na yahan rehne ke liye yaad hai na every Saturday morning se lekar Sunday night tak tum dono yahan rahoge" shashank said.



"Hain papa mien yeh kaise bhool sakti hoon hum aa rahe hain lekin meri saari favourite ice cream or chocolate ghar pe hain na" riddhima asked.



"Hain hain sab hai tum bas aa jao I am waiting bye love you" shashank said.



"Love you too papa" riddhima replied.

Armaan smiled seeing riddhima. She was smiling like a small kid. Ever since that operation life for riddhima changed completely. Armaan told riddhima the entire truth instead of being angry riddhima was happy that armaan loves her so much. Armaan returned her diary after saying sorry for reading it and riddhima smiled and replied she would have made him read it if he wouldn't have read it.riddhima kept that diary with her as her memory of her past. She still writes diary but it contains all happy moments of her life as now there are hardly any pains in her life. Everyone pampers riddhima she is treated like a small baby and her every wish was fulfilled by every one.



"Armaan utho hume papa ke ghar jana hai jaldi utho na please"



"Uth raha hon uth raha hoon bachon ki tarah mat ro"



"Hhaaww tumne khud kaha tha mien bachi hoon or ab khud kehte ho bachon jaise mat ro ruko mien abhi complain karti hoon tumhari"



"Arey sorry dekho complain mat karna mujhe lecture nahiin sunna hai sabse"



"Kaan pakadke sorry bolo"



Armaan smiled and held his ears and said "sorry"



"Tumhe pata hai tum kitne cute ho per budhu bhi pehle nahiin bata sakte the ki tum mujhe dhoond rahe the stupid idiot"



"kaha na sorry per iss chees se ek chees samaj aa gayi hamesha sach bolna chahiye kyunki jhoot anjane main kissi ko hurt kar sakta hai or apni harkatien dekhni chahiye ki kahiin yeh kissi ko dukh toh nahiin pohcha rahi"



"Hhmm ab cholo na late ho raha hai" riddhima said to divert the topic as she did not want to talk about the past anymore. she was enjoying the present, she was trying to relive her childhood which she missed it.

"Hain chalo" armaan said and pulled riddhima inside the washroom where they spend some beautiful and romantic moments.



Life had taken a drastic turn and everyone received happiness, but if armaan would have told the entire truth to riddhima he would have enjoyed his marital life from start. If shashank would have not avoided the confrontation both he and riddhima wouldn't have gone through all the pains that they went through. If rddhima wouldn't have underestimated herself wouldn't have created wrong assumptions of her happiness and tears, if she wouldn't have cut ties with her friends or from the world her life could have been much better. She always felt she is strong but in reality she was making her self weak with every situation and by not confronting people and taking the entire blame on herself she just made situation worst. Khushiyoon ka intezaar karna hi nahiin padta agar kisi ek ne koshish ki hoti halaton ka samna karne ki. Khushiyoon ka intezaar karoge toh hamesha hi intezaar karte reh jaoge choti choti cheeson main khushiyaan dhoondo unhe khoob enjoy karo kyunki har halaton main gam bhi honge or khushiyaan bhi or gam ke palho main bhi khushiyaan chupi hoti hai bas unhe dekhne ki nazar honi chahiye, inetzaar karne ki bajaye khushiyoon ke ane ka rasta banana chahiye. Khushiyoon ka intezaar har kisi ko hai lekin khushiyaan sirf unhe hi milti hai jo un khushiyoon ke liye kuch karte hain.

 Riddhima was smiling while hugging her father and her husband together and looked towards the sky and said (in her mind not verbally) "thank you bhagwaan sab theek karne ke liye or mujhe armaan ki batien samjhane ke liye agar mien papa or armaan ko maaf nahiin karti toh aaj jo khushiyaan mujhe mill rahi hai shayad mien yeh kabhi dekh hi nahiin pati or khushiyoon ka intezaar hi karti reh jati. Or mamma finally khushiyoon ka intezaar ab nahiin raha".

 ...............................

Srishti

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