Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Part 1: Hope (os)

 I look up at him and smile. Why wouldn't I?? He was someone I liked dearly.  With his white lab coat caressing his godly figure, I am not able to take my eyes off of him. This is certainly something that is not to be ignored. He smiles at me and asks me, "Kya hua?" I am stunned at his innocent question which brings me out of my trance. I smiled that reassuring smile at him, "Kuch nahi. Bas aise hi". He looks at me with suspicion which seems to be gone right at the moment we hear a musical voice calling out to us.


We both turn around to find Ridhimma di smiling at us, along with Sid by her side. We looked at them, happiness visible in our eyes. Di stood right next to Sid as if to be his pillar of support. He looked around confused, "Briefing ke liye abhi tak sare log nahi aae?" I smiled at him, "Sid, did you forget that Dr. Kirti assigned them to their respective jobs already?" I looked at his expressive eyes that currently brought back the sparkle that was overshadowed by the confusion. Ridhimma di smiled as well at his child-like gesture that she came to adore. Sid gave both of us our respective jobs and we were told to depart from there.


All this while, no one seemed to notice the happiness in Armaan's eyes when he just caught a glimpse of Di's beautiful smile. I saw it, and couldn't help smiling along with him. Though my smile was not due to her but due to him. It was a sad gesture showing  that things were not as everyone saw them. They were different. Armaan still loved Ridhimma and I was just a way to show every one that he is over her so the love of his life could be happy with her hubby. No one, not even Armaan needed to tell me what he meant when he came closer to me when he was in front of Ridhimma di. I was denying it for so long but it was becoming obvious day by day. It was to show Di that he is completely over her so she can move on in her married life. This was confirmed at the night of Sid and Ridhimma di's wedding when Armaan gulped down his tears of anguish and pain just so he can show di that they can move on in their life. I see things in his eyes that he wants to hide from everyone. I saw and still see the depth of his love through his eyes when he looks at Di's picture in the locker room which is always with him. It aches to see him in such a condition but all I can do is to be with him all the time to reassure him that someone is there to listen to his pleas.


I heaved a sigh just as soon as these thoughts started rushing in my mind. I have had enough! I thought. I rushed out of the ward after the check-ups on my patients thinking that I need to get my brain out of things. I ran and ran and finally reached a place of seclusion - the recreation room. This was the room that gave me the first glance of Armaan's heart. All the thoughts came rushing to my brain as soon as I reached the inside of the room. I hear a voice. It seemed to be Armaan's. I moved forward to take a better look, curiosity taking over me. "This is wrong! I should tell Shilpa that this is all for Ridhimma". My heart sinks. I knew this already but my heart still feels like mourning. "This is wrong!" he repeats. "I am deceiving her by making her think that I am interested in her!" he says as he punches the bag again.


I feel the tears welling up at the corner of my eyes but I try to gulp them down. No! I will not cry. Armaan needs me. I move forward and finally he sees me. I look at him with bewilderment. He looks shocked and speechless. We just look at each other. A wall of pain and love separating both of us. I think that is the reason that I am not able to move towards him and tell him that it was alright. I did something which was the first thing that came to my mind. I smiled. My smile seem to relax him a bit. He smiles back and opens his mouth for farther explanation. I cannot take his rejection the third time so I start talking instead, "I knew!" he looks at me surprised at my sudden confession, "I understand!". I repeat these words to him but he is not convinced.


He looks into my eyes and sees something in there. He saw what he did not intent or want to see. I smiled, "If you are doing this for Ridhimma di then it's alright." I see him easing up a bit. "Armaan, I am not hurt because you were using me but I am hurt that you did not let me know." He slowly and guiltily looks down on the bare cold ground. I try to smoothen up things by saying, "but I will forgive you if we become friends" I pause a little and continued "for real this time". He looks up, hope evident in his eyes. He moved his hand forward but I did not take it. "No! aise nahi" He looks at me, confused when I smile again. I suddenly hug him. His body stiffens a bit and he is shocked but hugs me back reluctantly due to my friendly and frank gesture. I move back and exit the room with a smile

Tears begin to flow down my cheeks as I make my way towards the terrace. I close the door so no one can enter and so I can have some time alone to myself. I cry and cry my heart out at the abrupt confession. it hurts to be rejected so many times but what hurts more is that i lied to Armaan. I look up at the bright sky and think I am sorry Armaan. I lied to you. I knew you will not be able to hear those words. It hurts. Yes it hurts to know that I was just a tool but right now, you need me more than my anger towards you. I want to be there whenever you need me. It may not be as a lover but just as a true friend.My sobs turning into hiccups now. There is one and only thing that I can hope. I can only hope that you are able to move on with your life and forget Ridhimma di. I can only hope that my love reaches you some day. It does not need to be as a lover but a friend. I can only hope that you move on, not with me but with someone else because saying "I love you" and confessing my love to you is forbidden for me.



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