Congratulations on new thread
HI! Just came by to say hello and WOOHOO THREAD 5! And no I did not peek at the update, but god knows how it's eating at me like "HALLO I'M RIGHT HERE READ ME" but I'm a good girl and I won't read so good for me and my self control!
The gang enjoys some water sports.
Lil AR moments.
"So, aaj ka kya program hai?" Atul asked as everyone ate breakfast the next morning.
"There's a flea market!" Nikki crowed, happy that she could accompany on the excursion today.
Anjali nodded enthusiastically. "Yes! Waise bhi Armaan ke paise kharch karne bache hain."
"Oyeee haan! Achcha hua tune yaad dilaya, Anjy. Kal watersports ke chakkar mein hum jaa hi nahi paaye," Muskaan agreed.
Armaan looked at the trio, exchanging huge grins and hi5s and made a face. He had the worst friends ever. They were always so eager to put him in trouble. Now, they wanted to spend all his money. Well, he didn't really have any other option than to let them do what they wanted to, seeing as he'd agreed to it the other day. But it had been under duress, a small part of him rebelled. However, knowing there was no winning against these ladies, hw just shut that part of his brain up and put on a smile. He had a long day ahead of him.
"Okay," Riddhima agreed. "Lekin wahaan jaane ke baad, dinner ke liye hum Britto's jaayenge. Mujhe wahaan ka khana bohot time she try karna hai!"
"Yes!!" Atul jumped in. "Maine bhi sunaa hai wahaan ka khana bohot achcha hai. Hum wahin chalenge. Please!!"
"Yes. Done," Muskaan announced, leaving no room for arguments.
"So, kyuki flea jaa rahe hain, let's all get dressed an meet in a couple of hours?" Rahul confirmed and was met with murmurs of agreement. He wasn't sure if they'd make it though. There were so many of them and only 4 bathrooms. It was gonna be a feat of amazingness to get Atul and Nikki out of the shower before all the water ran out. Those two always loved to have long showers, something the gang was very well aware of, due to all the trips they'd taken together.
They all had bathing schedules down to a pat after many tries and hardships, but it worked well for them. So, 3 hours later, they were all packed and ready to go, after Armaan and Nikki had all but forcefully pulled Atul and Muskaan out of the washrooms respectively.
They spent almost all afternoon at the flea market, buying anything and everything. The girls left no stone unturned in emptying Armaan's pockets and made it a point to buy a lot of expensive and tasteful stuff. Armaan just gritted his teeth and handed his card out at every shop like a good little boy.
When they'd shopped till they couldn't shop anymore, they all made their way to Baga beach to have an early dinner at Brittos. It was already evening, so they didn't stop at the hotel before going to dinner.
At the restaurant, which was actually just an upscale shack, the girls took their time exploring while the guys just lazed around at the table.
There was a tattoo parlour within the borders of the restaurant and Riddhima walked over to see the pictures lining the outside of the shop. Obviously, the artist was great. She could see some amazing designs in all the pictures, but one photo caught her attention. For a second, she thought she'd imagined it, but when she looked closely, she realized that it wasn't the case and she was actually seeing what she was. Armaan's face was staring back at her. He was lying on a bed, dressed in yellow and looking absolutely awesome, and showing off his elbow which must have been recently inked when the photo was taken. (Just want to clarify that I actually saw that picture of KSG outside a tattoo parlour in Brittos in February. I'm sure you all know which one I'm talking about, but in case you don't, I'm adding it here.)
She grinned widely and called him on seeing it. Armaan rushed to her side a few minutes later, confused as to what had happened that Riddhima wanted to see him so urgently. When Riddhima showed him the picture, he grinned sheepishly and put his arm around her shoulder, pulling her closer. He kissed the top of her head, before saying, "Yeah. Yeh tattoo... Uh... Actually, final year ke results ke baad, hum sab friends Gia aaye the... To celebrate. Yeh tattoo maine tab karwaya tha."
"Oh," Riddhima replied. "Bohot dard hua tha?" She asked, taking his elbow and examining the tattoo in question.
Armaan just shrugged nonchalantly.
By the time, the other girls also crowded around the parlour and were surprised to see Armaan's picture there.
"Wow! Hero! Bada sona lag raha hai yeh photo mein!" Muskaan commented. "Ab toh bilkul bandar jaisa dikhta hai."
Everyone laughed while Armaan looked at Muskaan, absolutely scandalized that she would even think that way, let alone say it out loud.
"Aisi tedhi shakal mat bana, Armaan. Muskaan sach bol rahi hai, and as we all know, sach hamesha kadwa hota hai," Nikki added, annoying Armaan all the more.
"Agreed," Anjali said. "Armaan, iss picture ke comparison mein toh tum seriously bandar lagte ho."
"Okay, all of you, shut up!" Armaan announced. "Main koi bandar - wandar nahi lagta. I'm hot."
This sent another round of giggles among the girls.
"Right," they all chorussed in unison.
"Ha! Basket!! Tum bhi?" Armaan asked, feeling extremely betrayed.
Riddhima just smiled sheepishly and looked away, not saying anything.
"Tum sabka yahaan basne ka iraada hai kya?" Atul's voice brought them out of their discussion. They all turned to see Atul & Rahul standing there and looking at all of them impatiently.
"Mujhe bohot bhook lagi hai! Chalo ab!" He announced.
"Hum toh bas Armaan ki photo dekh rahe the, yaar. Tu itna bhadak kyu raha hai?" Muskaan cribbed.
"Armaan ki photo? Kahaan?" Atul asked, suddenly interested, his hunger long forgotten.
Muskaan showed him the photograph and then Atul & Rahul appropriately oohed and aahed at the picture for a few minutes before forcing the lot back to their table to eat.
"We should all get tattoos," Anjali declared once they were all done with their food.
A loud chorus of "What?!" rung around the table, but Anjali just shrugged.
"Come on, guys!" she coaxed. "Bohot mazaa aayega! I mean, mujhe itne time she tattoo karwana hai. Toh... Koi aur aaye ya nahi, main toh jaa rahi hu."
"Haan, Anjy! Chal! Main bhi aati hu tere saath! Bohot mazaa aayega," Muskaan agreed.
"Lekin... Anjali... tumhe dard hoga!" Atul worried.
"Awww," the girls all cooed.
"Atul," Anjali replied, blushing, "it's okay. Maine online dekha tha. Zyada dard nahi hota. Aur... Actually, mujhe kabse tattoo banwana hai. College time se. Lekin, kabhi chance hi nahi mila. Ab aaj hum sab hain, toh karwate haina. Please!"
"Um, okay. Agar tum banwaogi, toh main bhi banwaunga!" He told her.
"Arre, mere sher! Very good!" Armaan congratulated Atul, clapping him on the back. Atul threw a shy smile his way, making Armaan grin.
"Aur tum," Nikki said, looking at her husband, who's eyes were alight with excitement. "Sochna bhi mat!"
Nikki knew her husband well enough to know that he'd love to have another tattoo. But, that wasn't happening now. No way. Not when she couldn't get one.
"Lekin... Nikki! Please!" Abhi pleaded. The gang looked at the couple with unabashed interest, wanting to watch the scene unfold in front of them.
"Abhi... tumhe zara si bhi sharam nahi aati? Tumhaari wife pregnant hai. Isliye woh tattoo nahi karwa sakti. Lekin tum karwaoge? Matlab... Yeh baby sirf mera hai kya? Tumhaara kuch nahi? Main kuch nahi karu, lekin tum apni life aise enjoy karo jaise kuch nahi hua! Mujhe toh coffee pina bhi allowed nahi hai, lekin tum din mein 10 cup pite ho! Aur... aur kal tumne dinner mein fish bhi khayi! Tumhe pata haina main nahi kha sakti, lekin phir bhi tumne khayi! Ab... Ab tum tattoo banwana chaahte ho? Jabki tumhe pata hai ki main nahi banwa sakti? Shameless!" Nikki ranted.
Abhi looked extremely guilty, and rightly so. He'd been trying his best to be a good, supportive husband, but the little things had escaped from him. He'd seen the longing in Nikki's face whenever he drank coffee around her, but had he made a move to stop doing that? No! And fish! He knew how much she loved her seafood, and yet, he hadn't thought much about ordering fish the other night. He definitely shouldn't have done that.
Her words had reminded him that it wasn't just Nikki who was pregnant. He was too. She'd been there to elevate his fears when he was worried about how their life would change with a baby in the mix. She'd been there when he'd fretted over the nursery, or when he'd been absolutely scared about how he was going to handle the responsibility of an entire human who'd be dependant on him for everything. She'd done so much to make it easier for him. But, had he done the same? Had he done as much as he could have? He didn't think so. He could have definitely done better. And he would, starting now.
"You're right," he told her. "Main toh kabhi bhi tattoo banwa sakta hu. Hum baad mein banwa lenge."
Nikki smiled brilliantly and gave him a tight hug, which Abhi reciprocated immediately. She was happy and that's all he ever wanted.
"Um... Tumhara ho gaya ho, toh chalein?" Muskaan asked impatiently.
The gang laughed and made their way to the tattoo parlour. Once inside, they quickly greeted the artist who didn't know Armaan but recognized him from the photo outside. Since he was a returning customer and he'd brought so many people in to get inked, the artist, a woman by the name of Catherine, gave them a discount which made everyone happy.
"So, who's up first?" Cathy, as she liked to be called, asked.
"It was my idea, so sabse pehle main!" Anjali announced.
The gang murmured in agreement and Anjali sat down to get inked for the very first time, but hopefully not the last.
"Um... Armaan, zyada dard toh nahi hoga na?" Riddhima asked Armaan as the couple watched Anjali get inked.
Armaan looked at Riddhima with open mouthed shock. "Tumhe tattoo chahiye?" He asked her.
Riddhima shrugged. "Kyu? Main nahi banwa sakti?" She questioned.
"Maine aisa kab kaha? Main bas thoda surprise ho gaya. Tumhe yeh sab zyada pasand nahi haina, isliye," Armaan said.
"Actually... Mujhe na... hamesha se tattoos bohot cool lagte the. Aur mujhe chahiye bhi, but woh... yeh sochke ki bohot dard hota hoga, maine kabhi try hi nahi kiya. Plus, koi hona chahiye na saath mein. Mujhe... Mujhe woh couple aur friendship tattoos bohot achche lagte hain. Toh wohi chahiye, but kabhi koi mila hi nahi saath karwane," she told him.
"Oh! Hum... Hum couple tattoo karaye? It'll be awesome!" He told her.
"Tum? Tum karwaoge? Tumhe yeh sab cheesy nahi lagta?" She asked him, referring to the countless times they'd been out and he'd commented on couples with matching tattoos by calling them cheesy.
"Lagta haina," he replied, "but that's the point! Come on, Basket. Tumhe bhi pata hai ki humaare group ke sabse cheesy couple hum dono hai. Toh... I think we should live up to our status."
Ridddhima laughed at his explanation. "Really?"
Armaan nodded eagerly.
"Okay, lekin banwayenge kya?" She asked.
"Isn't it obvious?" Armaan asked in a duh tone.
"Agar hota toh main tumse poochti?" She snarked back.
"Basket!" Armaan cried. "Obviously hum dono basketball banwayenge. Maybe... Maybe like a puzzle. Two halves of one. Yes. That's very cheesy!! Wahi karwate hain."
Riddhima giggled at his enthusiasm but nodded. She did like the idea. Very much if she was being honest. It was corny and cheesy and it would definitely turn them into one of those' couples, but they were one of those couples as Armaan correctly pointed out and it was just an amazing idea in every way. She was really excited to get the tat now, even if she was skeptical and wary of the pain. But, she could see Anjali getting her wrist inked right in front of her and didn't seem to hurt much. She could handle it. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. She was gonna do it.
"Okay," she told Armaan. "Let's do it."
Armaan lit up with unbridled joy at her words and Riddhima knew that this was absolutely the right thing to do. The little voice in the back of her head that was saying that it was maybe a bad idea had completely been silenced now, all thanks to Armaan's infectious enthusiasm.
Soon enough, Anjali was done and then Muskaan had jumped in the seat, wanting to go next.
"Diii! Apna tattoo dikhao na!" Riddhima screeched when Anjali was done.
Anjali giggled at her sister's enthusiasm and showed them all the tattoo, ready for the gang to examine it thoroughly.
She'd gotten the words, still i rise, on her wrist in cursive, denoting her never give up attitude. She explained that it was to motivate her to face every situation in her life, head on and battle through whatever was thrown her way and to give it her best, every time.
The gang looked at it appreciatively and each one of them gave her a hug with Riddhima holding on the tightest. Her sister was so amazing and Riddhima was lucky to have such an awesome one.
And then, Muskaan was getting inked and everyone bet on what kind of food she'd get. Because, of course, the fact she'd have something food related was inevitable. Sometimes, it surprised Riddhima how big of enablers they were, ready to bet on anything and everything. Even tattoos. But, of course, she shouldn't have been, because this was them and they always bet on everything, no matter how miniscule. And so, here they were, 15 minutes in since Muskaan had started getting inked, with so much money in the pot, it could pay for two or three of them to get inked. She was starting to think they all had an addiction. But, whatever, it was fun!
And then, Muskaan was done, and Atul won, because he was her twin when it came to food, so no one was really surprised, even though Rahul sulked for a bit.
Muskaan had gotten pizza, just like Atul had said she would, but she'd gone ahead and put that into an infinity symbol to declare her undying love for it. Armaan and Abhi had laughed really loud when she nonchalantly declared that she loved pizza more than she loved Rahul.
Armaan and Riddhima went next, only because Atul was still very dicey about whether or not he should get a tattoo. Rahul, on the other hand, had been sporting a glassy look for a while and seemed to shut down whenever someone asked if he wanted to get a tattoo, which no one really seemed to understand. But, Riddhima had asked them not to say anything, so they didn't. She knew, and understood, very well, what was troubling Rahul, and she would talk to him about it, after Atul was done. Because, come high hell or water, Rahul was getting tattooed today.
Armaan got his first, seeing as he was more experienced of the two and then it was Riddhima. No sooner had Cathy touched the tip of the needle to Riddhima's skin that she yelped. Cathy immediately stopped and pulled back, looking startled.
"I'm sorry!" Riddhima cried out. "I just got caught off guard."
Cathy nodded in understanding. It was very common in first timers. They were all very nervous and shaky.
"Hey! It's okay," Armaan soothed her, taking a seat beside Riddhima. "Aankhen band karo," he instructed.
Riddhima's eyes widened at that.
"Yaar, jab bhi main aankhen band karne bolta hu, itni badi kyu kar leti ho? Band karne kaha hai, aankhen phadke ghoorne nahi," he joked.
"Armaan!" Riddhima whined, swatting his chest.
"Basket," Armaan replied, patronising.
"Dekho, jaisa main bol raha hu karo, okay?" He asked.
Riddhima sighed but nodded.
"Okay good. Aankhen band karo," he commanded again and this time, Riddhima did as asked.
Armaan smiled and immediately caught hold of her hand in his own, lacing their fingers together, making everyone in the room shake their heads at the couple's corniness.
"Okay. Let's go again," Armaan told Cathy. He distracted Riddhima the entire time by blabbing and joking, the gang intervening sometimes, all of them just laughing and making merry as Riddhima sat there with her eyes closed, hands clasped firmly in Armaan's, getting inked.
Of course, their distraction methods worked beautifully, and before long, Armaan & Riddhima were sporting matching tattoos which the gang teased them over, but the two just took it in stride, laughing along with their friends.
Then, it was Atul's turn, and just like with Riddhima, Armaan and Anjali sat with him, in his case, holding one of his hands on either side and distracting him with silly jokes and plans for the rest of their vacation, keeping his interest with promises of all the amazing and delicious food they'd been eating.
Atul proved to be worse than Riddhima and had jumped from the chair a couple times when the needle pinched too much, but in the end, he say through it all and at the end of it, was sporting a beautiful tattoo on his ankle. In true Champ style, he'd gotten a twig as a tattoo. But, it looked beautiful and so the gang didn't tease him. Much.
"Oyye, Rahul! Ab toh bata de. Ab sabne karwa liya. Tujhe tattoo chahiye kya?" Muskaan asked.
Rahul looked like a deer caught in headlights and didn't know what to say. Several times, he opened his mouth, wanting to speak, but no words came out and he just stared at everyone dumbly.
"Rahul! It's just a tattoo. Batana. Kya hua?" Anjali pressed.
"Guys, it's okay," Armaan tried to intervene. "Agar Rahul dicey hai toh theek hai. Hum chalte hain."
"What?" Riddhima shouted. "No! Rahul tattoo banwayega."
"Riddhu!" Rahul exclaimed, a breathless plea. He couldn't. He just couldn't. He wasn't ready.
Riddhima smiled at him encouragingly. "Yes, Rahul. Tu... tu kab tak excuses dega? Tune... Tune promise kiya tha."
"I'm not ready," Rahul told her.
"It's been a decade, Rahul. I think it's about time you do it. Come on! Hum... hum haina," Riddhima tried.
"Lekin... main..." Rahul tried, still unable to articulate in words what he was feeling.
"Rahul, you promised Riya," Riddhima insisted.
"Ridzy!" Muskaan exclaimed, shocked. She couldn't believe that Riddhima had said that out loud. It was an unspoken rule with Rahul. No one spoke about Riya, his younger sister. She'd gotten leukemia and unfortunately, had lost her life to it when she was merely 13. Rahul had been 15 then and her loss had hit him hard. He'd made peace with it because he knew that Riya, Chutki as everyone fondly called her, was in a better place now, free from all the suffering that the cancer brought in its wake, but of course nothing stopped him from missing her all the same. He didn't like to talk about it because it brought bad memories, and that was the reason why nobody in the gang even knew about it before. Muskaan only knew because they'd been neighbours all their lives. Whatever beef she'd had with Rahul when they'd first come here, she'd known not to talk about it because it hurt him. She couldn't believe that Riddhima had dropped her name so casually in front of everyone.
Rahul was looking at Riddhima with accusations in his eyes, clearly unhappy with this part of his past revealed in front of his friends.
"It was time," Riddhima told him, taking his hand in hers. "Rahul, you promised me, you promised her, that you would only remember her with happiness. You promised me you'd get the happiest tattoo you could think of, so that you could have her with you all the time. I want you to fulfill that promise now."
"I..." Rahul tried again, his heart full of so many emotions, he didn't know which was which. "I'm scared."
"I know," Riddhima agreed. "But Riya is always there with you. In here," she said, rubbing over his heart. "She will always be. And... We both know she's gonna love that tattoo you've thought of getting to honour her. I think it's absolutely perfect. She'll love it too."
"I know she will," Rahul agreed.
"So, let's get it!" Riddhima told him.
Rahul sighed and debated for a long minute before giving in. "Okay. But you have to stay with me," he implored, holding Riddhima's hand tightly in his.
"Where else would I be?" Riddhima asked jokingly. Rahul finally cracked a smile and the atmosphere in the room lightened. Everyone looked with open affection as Rahul hugged Riddhima. Then, he removed a piece of paper from his pockets and gave it to Cathy. It was old and worn, torn in a few places, giving Cathy the impression that it had travelled many a places with Rahul in his pocket.
"I want that," Rahul told Cathy. "In rainbow colours."
Cathy nodded. "Who's is it?" She asked curiously.
"My little sister," Rahul answered. "Riya. She dies of leukemia almost 10 years ago."
"Oh!" Cathy exclaimed as everybody else looked at Rahul, absolutely flabbergasted with no idea of what to say. Riddhima squeezed his hand and passed him a quick smile which he returned gratefully.
"I'm so sorry," she (Cathy) said.
Rahul shrugged. "It's okay. You didn't have anything to do with it."
Carefully, being as gentle as possible, Cathy tattooed Rahul's wrist. Everyone sat, shaking with nervousness and anticipation, wanting to know what exactly Rahul was getting.
When he was done, he smiled beautifully at Cathy and said, "This is perfect. Thank you so much!"
Cathy waved him off. "It was my pleasure. Thank you for choosing me. This clearly means a lot. I'm glad I got to be a part of it."
Rahul gave her a light hug and then showed his ink first to Riddhima and then to the others.
"This is Riya's heartbeat," he explained. "I copied it from her heart monitor, just a few weeks before she passed away. Promised her I'd get it tattooed so I could her heart with me everywhere I went."
"It's gorgeous," Nikki blubbered, weeping. She tackled Rahul in a giant bear hug, and the others soon followed suit. So, Rahul was engulfed in the arms of all his friends as they all cried for his loss for the first time ever.
"Thank you," Rahul said, pulling back. "But... I just want to put this out there. Agar tum duffers mein se kisine bhi ab mujhe alag tarah treat kiya, toh thappad padega. Kuch badla nahi hai. I'm just Rahul still. So, please. Zyada senti aur emotional hone ki zarurat nahi hai."
They all murmured in agreement. And then, one by one, hugged him again, even Abhi. The evening was spent together, at the hotel, just lazing and goofing around, having fun.
So, when it was all said and done, they'd all learnt something new about their friend who they cared so much about, and gotten kick-ass tattoos to commemorate their trip to Goa. All in all, it was a very good day.
So, here we have it! An update! Yayayayay!
I just wanna say, I am so sorry for the long wait! I've been dealing with writer's block and haven't been able to write, so yeah. This chapter really isn't the best one, I think, especially the whole Rahul/Riya thing which could have been a lot better, but, I had to show that, so I did.
Let's hope and pray that I get my mojo back soon! Thank you!! :)Edited by DMGThings - 2 years ago
one of the best parts updated till date ! seriously jitna emotional tha utna hi pyara tha! many many love. Rahul's part touched me even more ! thanks for the beautiful update Pragsand by the way the tattoos are awesome specially Rahul's. and and and, main Rahul ko alag nazro se nhi dekh rahi for his past, kthk mujhe uske haat k thappad nhi khanelol
Topic started by DMGThings
Last replied by virka_luv