The gang does touristy Goa n things. Everyone surprises AR with a party.
It was all really beautiful. Congratulations Armaan & Riddhima' was written using red helium balloons on one wall, while another wall, coincidentally the wall they were closest to, was littered with pictures of the couple. Armaan glanced at it and could see that these pictures captured their entire journey, right from the earlier days of their internship to now. They'd also set up a silly photo booth at one end, complete with props. It took them a minute to realize that the gang was all dressed in similar clothes, and they were the only ones who stood out in outfits on a different colour. Now, Armaan realized why Rahul was insisting that he wear the blue suit!
"Ummm... Guys??? Kuch boldo, yaar! Bohot mehnat ki hai humney," Atul whined.
This brought both Armaan & Riddhima out of their daze who'd been literally struck speechless, not knowing how to react to this thoughtful gesture by their friends.
"Humney? You just said humney, Atul? Kya kiya tumne? Batana mujhe zara," Anjali mocked.
"Anjali..." Atul replied, blushing hard, "ab tum karo ya main? Kya farak padta hai?"
The others chuckled at his words while Anjali glared daggers at him, causing him to shrink and cower behind Rahul.
The moment was enough to break whatever it was that Armaan & Riddhima were experiencing and they stepped forward, hugging each and every one of them tightly, thanking them for this.
"This is... Wow!! Bohot bohot bohot amazing hai," Riddhima blubbered, as she hugged Anjali. "Thank you, Di!"
"Awww, Ridzy!" Anjali cooed, kissing Riddhima's head.
Rahul cleared his throat. "Sirf Anjy ne nahi... Maine bhi help ki hai. Toh... mujhe bhi thoda bhaav dede."
"Abbe, Daddu!" Armaan exclaimed, hugging Rahul sideways. "Tu itna jalta kyu hai? Main hoon na!"
"Issi baat ka toh darr hai!" Rahul muttered, but others heard him clearly. While everyone laughed, Armaan looked at Riddhima and winked, causing her to blush and hide her face behind her hair. He'd said those exact words to her, the day of their roka. Remembering that intimate moment brought a smile and a blush to her face.
"I love you, yaar, Rahul!" Armaan exclaimed, pulling Rahul in for a proper hug.
"Haan, haan. Theek hai," Rahul replied, but hugged Armaan nonetheless.
Once they'd both hugged everyone in the room to the last inch of their life, the gang sat down, all of them crowding around Armaan & Riddhima.
"Yeh sab exactly hai kya? Aur tum logon ne sab plan kab kiya?" Armaan asked excitedly the minute they sat down.
"Well, Jeeju," Anjali replied, making Armaan blush (like always), "yeh party iss khushi mein hai... Kyuki... Finally, finally, finally, 3 saalon baad... aapne kamse kam propose toh kiya! I mean... official ring ceremony wagerah toh sab mom - dad aur uncle - aunty decide karenge, lekin... Ab... Hum sabko bhi toh celebrate karna tha. Isliye yeh party! For you, because you finally found the courage to ask my sister to marry you!"
Everybody laughed while Riddhima blushed and his her face in Armaan's chest. Armaan himself turned pink at Anjali's words, giving everyone an opportunity to tease him, for a change.
"Lekin... Plan kab kiya?" Armaan asked a few moments later, trying to keep the teasing at bay.
"Planning toh kabse chal rahi hai tujhe koi idea nahi hai! Main aur Anjy toh almost mahino se plan kar rahe the, you know... Is hope mein ki kisi din tujhe akal aayegi aur tu propose kar hi dega," Rahul answered. "Ab... Sab Goa aa rahe the toh socha party thodi style mein honi chahiye. Isliye venue shift kar diya. Waise... iss hotel ka staff bada helping hai. Meri bohot madad ki unn sabne. Catering, decorations, music wagerah mein. Aur yacht book karne mein bhi."
"Mahino?!?!" Muskaan screeched. "Kameene! Tum log itne time se plan kar rahe the aur kisi ko bataya bhi nahi?"
"Tum logon ko bhi nahi pata tha?" Riddhima asked, surprised.
"Arre, Ridz! Humein toh iss Rahul ne sirf itna kaha ki jab Goa jaayenge toh tere aur Armaan ke liye gift leke chalein. Aur jab sab venue wagerah decide hua uske baad isne humein bataya," Atul moaned. "Humein kya pata tha ki yeh gaddaar itne time she sab plan kar raha tha!"
"Daddu!" Armaan crowed, impressed. "Not bad, yaar! Kisiko nahi pata chalne diya! Wow. I'm impressed."
Anjali cleared her throat. "Armaan, sirf Rahul nahi tha. Main bhi thi, in case tum bhool rahe ho!"
"Arre, saali ji... Aapko kaise bhool sakta hu main?" Armaan asked rhetorically before pulling her into a hug. "Thank you!"
A second later, Atul pulled them apart. "Bas, bas," he said, "bhool mat, Armaan. Teri bhabhi hai."
"Champ, yaar! Kitni baar kaha hai, bhabhi nahi... saali hai," Armaan replied. "3 saal se bol raha hu, lekin ab tak tujhe samajh hi nahi aaya!"
Of course, his words made Riddhima blush a deep red again, and everyone hooted, making her blush even more and duck her head.
"Bas, bas," Armaan ordered, pulling Riddhima into his side. "Zyada pareshaan mat karo usse."
"Hayyyee! So possessive!" Nikki replied, bumping Riddhima's shoulder with her own.
"Rahul, kameene! Kuch seekh Armaan se! Dekh... Kitna khayal rakhta hai Ridzy ka! Aur tu?" Muskaan said, swatting Rahul's arm.
"Haan... toh... Riddhu bhi toh rakhti hai Armaan ka dhyaan. Usse achche se baat karti hai. Teri tarah nahi... Jab dekho toh sirf gaaliyaan nikalti hain there munh se!" Rahul retorted, rubbing his arm where she's hit him.
Muskaan made a face and was about to say something, when Anjali said, "Rehne de, Muski! Yeh saare boys hote hi useless hain. Kuch nahi hota inse. Bas khudki sewa karani aati hai."
"Sahi bol rahi hai, Anjy! Is kaankhajure ko toh meri koi value hi nahi hai," Muskaan replied.
Armaan & Riddhima looked at each other, worried. This was it. The beginning of another Girls v Boys fight. It always happened this way. One of them blow something out of proportion and then suddenly, the couple fight would turn into a full out girls and boys war.
But, before it could get even worse, Armaan decided to step in.
"Stop it, yaar, guys!! Tumhaara yeh stupid girls vs boys kabhi khatam nahi hoga kya?" He asked rhetorically. "Zara bhi sharam nahi hai tum logon ko! Yahaan hum sab celebrate karne aaye hain, aur tum log hamesha ki tarah stupid cheezon pe lad rahe ho!"
"Sorry," the others all replied meekly, looking properly chastised.
"Ummm, yeh sab chodo, yaar," Rahul said, trying to diffuse the
tension. "Let's open gifts!"
"Gifts?" Armaan & Riddhima asked in unison. "What gifts?"
"Arre..." Atul said, "Tum dono ke liye party haina! Kyuki Armaan ne finally Ridz ko propose kiya. Toh iss khushi mein tumhaare liye gifts bhi hain!"
"Arre... Par gifts ki kya zaroorat hai?" Riddhima asked. "Party kaafi nahi thi kya?"
"Basket, yaar, tumhe nahi chahiye gifts toh theek hai. Mujhe toh chahiye," Armaan butt in. Turning to his friends, he said, "Very good. Yeh bohot achcha kaam kiya hai tum logon ne. Chalo batao! Kya gifts laaye ho?"
"Shut up, Armaan!" Riddhima scolded, swatting his arm. "Bachchon jaise behave mat karo."
"Pch! Tum hamesha mujhe itna sunaati kyu ho?" Armaan whined. "Arre! Yeh log itni mehnat se, chose karke humaare liye presents laaye honge. Inki mehnat aise hi waste jaane dogi?"
Riddhima facepalmed. "Tumse na... Baat karna hi bekaar hai!"
"Toh karti kyu ho?" Armaan asked, miffed.
"Kya karu? I don't have any other choice na!" Riddhima replied.
Before Armaan could respond, Abhi cut in. "Guys! Please... Apni yeh World War III kahin air continue karna! Kamse kam apni khud ki engagement party pe toh normal couples ki tarah behave karlo! Tum dono ko dekhke kaun bolega tumhaari shaadi hone wali hai?" He asked, exasperated.
"Haan, toh... toh... Theek... theek haina," Armaan fumbled, throwing an arm around Riddhima. "Hum nahi lad rahe!"
"Thank god! Finally!" Anjali exclaimed. "Thoda normal logon ki tarah behave kar rahe ho sab, toh let's start with the presents!"
They started with Sapna & Amit, who had gotten the couple a frame with their names written in cursive. They also got Riddhima a wedding planner and Armaan a set of Superman cufflinks.
Atul got them a potted plant, as expected. Lavender roses, he said, which symbolized love at first sight, and since hearing the tell all about their journey, he was sure it was love at first sight. They'd both just realized it later. In addition to the plant, which Riddhima assured Atul would find its place along with the other plants he'd gotten them over the years, he got them both mugs that said Feyonce.
(in a pot and not this vase cause it's Champ!)
Anjali got them framed quote art, that equated Armaan & Riddhima with some iconic couples from both Bollywood & Hollywood, which Armaan found extremely cheesy, but still really cute. She also got them both cute little notebooks to write their vows in.
Abhi & Nikki got them a cute wedding countdown and couple watches, which they both adored. They immediately wore the watches and Armaan made a joke about how he was sure that Nikki had picked out the gifts because he didn't think that Abhi could ever be so thoughtful which resulted in a little good natured ribbing between the duo (Armaan & Abhi).
Dr. Keerti & Dr. Shubhankar got them an instax camera with almost a year's worth of extra film and keychain set inscribed with their names and the date that Armaan proposed.
(Aka Armaan - Riddhima with the date 07/01/2010)
Muskaan got them loads of couple clothing sets. They were super cute and Riddhima awwwed at each of the outfits while Armaan looked on, disgusted and surprised at the same time. Like, yes, they were really cute, but also super cheesy and he didn't know if he would wear them, but then he saw Riddhima's face as she cooed at them and decided that maybe it wouldn't be so bad. They already were the cheesiest couple in the gang. It couldn't get worse. He wasn't particularly fond of the Batman pyjamas, but he knew Riddhima loved it and overall, those weren't the worst things he'd have worn to bed. And, he really did like the Superman & Supergirl night suit set, so it wasn't all bad anyway.
But, it was Rahul's present that actually blew them away. It looked like he'd been planning this for a long time, from the look of things. He'd gotten them an engraved ring set which said, "Jarannum mein jao!" (For Armaan) & "Address toh batati jao!" (For Riddhima). He'd also gotten them tickets to Kasauli.
"Kasauli?" Armaan asked, surprised and confused at the same time.
Rahul nodded. "Ab... Finally tu life mein aage badh raha hai. Bi ka aashirwaad lene nahi jaayega kya?"
Armaan looked at Rahul, completely short of words, not knowing how to articulate just how much this meant to him. Bi had been, for all intents and purposes, his mother. She'd been there when his own parents didn't have time for him. He could never repay her for all she'd done for him.
Not knowing what to say, he hugged Rahul tight. Rahul shook his head and hugged Armaan back, just as tightly.
"Chal ab, zyada senti mat ho," Rahul joked a couple minutes later, pulling back.
Armaan smiled at him gratefully and sat down beside Riddhima, pulling her close. Riddhima smiled in understanding and held his hand in hers, intertwining their fingers.
"Lekin, Rahul..." she began hesitantly. "Abhi toh hum holiday pe hain. Aur phir turant hi Kasauli jaana? Hospital mein sab kaise manage hoga?"
She really didn't want to be the party pooper. She herself adored Bi so much and really wanted to meet her, but she had to think practically because she knew Armaan wasn't capable of doing that in this situation.
Rahul shook his head fondly at her. "Tu itni tension mat le. Shashank Uncle se meri baat ho gayi hai. Waise bhi, sirf 2 hi din ki baat hai. It's not like wahaan hafta bhar rukna hai. Waise bhi beech mein Sunday bhi hai, toh sab manage ho jaayega. Aur... sab nahi jaa rahe na. Sirf tu, Armaan, main, aur Muskaan jaa rahe hain."
Armaan looked at Nikki puzzled. "Oyye! Tu kyu nahi jaa rahi?" he asked.
Nikki smiled sheepishly. "Armaan... woh... Maina... main Bi se already mil chuki hu thode time pehle."
"What? Kab? Kaise?" He fired off questions.
"Abhi aur main Delhi se waapas aate waqt unse milte hue aaye the. Aur, kuch din toh Bi bhi aayin thi Delhi," Nikki explained.
Armaan made a face. "Akele akele? Waah! But... Theek haina. Waapas chal humaare saath," he ordered.
Nikki replied in negative. "Nahi, Armaan. Itna zyada travelling, woh bhi itni jaldi jaldi... It's not good for me or the baby. Plus... ek week yahaan itna ghoomke main that gayi hu. Toh main waapas Mumbai jaake thoda rest karna chaahti hu."
Armaan nodded thoughtfully. "Okay."
"Okay, okay, okay!" Sapna interrupted. "Tum sab bohot senti ho rahe ho yaar! Thoda mood change karo!"
"Haan!" Atul agreed vehemently. "Main gaana gaata hu," he announced.
Then, without giving anyone a chance to get a word in, he started singing the happiest song he knew. "Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to... jo bhi ho! Happy Birthday to you!"
Armaan & Rahul shared a look that clearly stated, iska kuch nahi ho sakta while the others looked at him with varying degrees of shock, surprise, and disgust.
"Champ, Champ, Champ!" Rahul interrupted before he could sing anymore. "Dekh... humein pata hai ki Sapna ne kaha thoda mood badalte hain, aur yeh happiest gaana hai jo tujhe pata hai, lekin humna... Mood kuch aur karke bhi change kar sakte hain."
"Achcha?" Atul asked. "Kya?"
"Rahul woh rings laaya haina," Anjali said.
"Yes!" Muskaan cheered. "Iss kaankhajure ne ek toh achcha kaam kiya zindagi mein!"
"Bas ek?" Rahul asked, smirking.
"Haan! Woh bhi tujhe mein itni akal kahaan se aayi mujhe toh samajh nahi aa raha!" Muskaan exclaimed.
"Achcha. Matlab tu kehna chaahti hai ke tere se pyaar karna achchi baat nahi hai," Rahul replied.
"Oyye!" Muskaan shouted, scandalized. She hit his arm and asked, "Maine aisa kab kaha?"
"Abhi toh tune kaha," Rahul replied. "Ki maine zindagi mein ek kaam hi sirf sahi se kiya hai, woh yeh rings laana. Toh matlab baaki jo maine kaam kiye saare bekaar. Toh... tere se pyaar karna bhi bekaar!"
The interns all laughed at that, but seeing Muskaan's glare, shut up and tried to disguise their laughter in coughs. However, nothing could have stopped Armaan and Atul's loud guffaws at Rahul's taunt. Muskaan's deathly glares had no effect on them. It was only when Anjali and Riddhima both took matters in their own hands, smacking the boys on the head that they quietened. In the corner, Dr. Keerti and Dr. Shubhankar covered their smiles under their hands, not wanting Muskaan to see.
"Guys! Kitna ladte ho! Chodo ab," Anjali instructed.
"Yes," Nikki agreed. "Toh. Point ki baat yeh hai... Ki ab Armaan aur Riddhima ko ek doosre ko rings pehnani chahiye."
"Yes!!" Everyone cheered in unison, looking at the couple. Armaan laughed at their exuberance, but Riddhima blushed and ducked her head. She definitely was not liking being the centre of attention so much.
"Come on, guys! Yeh toh karna hi padega," Anjali insisted. "Aur Ridzy... itna sharmaane ki zaroorat nahi hai!"
After some good natured ribbing and teasing, Atul & Anjali sat beside Armaan & Riddhima respectively, giving them the rings that they were meant to give to the other.
Riddhima was still blushing a million shades of red, so Armaan decided to take the lead. He was about to make her wear the ring when Dr. Keerti, of all people in the world, stepped up and stopped him.
"Aise nahi, Armaan," she said.
"Ummm... Dr. Keerti, aap kya kehna chaahti hain?" Armaan asked, confused.
"Aap apni hone wali fiancee ko ring pehna rahe hain. Aise pehnayenge?" She asked.
"Ohhh," Armaan replied, while everyone hooted and Riddhima blushed.
Not having any qualms, Armaan bent on both his knees, always both, never one, in front of Riddhima. He took her hand in his delicately and looked directly into her eyes intently. Then, he whispered softly, "Jarranum mein jao!" Causing Riddhima to snort. That was definitely not what she was expecting he'd say. She thought he'd make a passionate declaration of his love, but he just sat there and said those 3 words, the most unexpected 3 words, but also, something she should have seen coming.
Soon everyone was laughing loudly. With everyone just about falling to floor laughing so hard at Armaan's words, he never realized when Riddhima swayed from her place on the sofa. She was about to fall on the floor but Armaan wrapped his arms around her and adjusted himself such that she ended up sitting on his lap. And there, sitting on the floor, they exchanged rings, promising to love each other forever.
First of all, I want to clear this. This was not the actual AR engagement ceremony. It was just a party to celebrate the fact that AR are gonna be engaged soon. A proper ceremony will happen later.
So, this is the end of Goa! Next chapter, we go to Kasauli to see Bi! And maybe, some other people as well.
I know sab thode disappointed honge that we did not have drunk Armaan shenanigans in this one, but I am so sorry! I was also looking forward to it so much and I really tried to organically include it in this chapter, but ho hi nahi raha tha! Isliye yeh chapter upload karne mein itna time laga but I finally decided to just let it be. That said, I do want to write a drunk Armaan scene and I will write it. I just hope that I get a chance to do it soon!
So, yes. That is it!
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