Ankahee Chapter 58

Posted by Shabia Walia on

Ankahee

#storiesbyshabiawalia

Ep 58

Ruhi tried all assumptions in her head. Maybe Randeep never boarded the flight. Maybe he missed it. Maybe he had high fever and he couldn’t reach the airport. Maybe the Singapore office was mistaken.

But then if any of the above would have happened, why was his phone off? As she sat on the chair, her head reeled. Someone pushed a glass of water in her hands and urged her to drink.

On an impulse, Ruhi rushed to her secretary. She asked her to try calling Nimmi but her phone was unreachable too. The secretary called the house help who informed that she was on a flight to Dubai.

Ruhi ran her fingers through her hair. The world was really closing in on her. Oh God, let nothing happen to my Dee, she whispered.

As she rushed out to catch the news update, they were still trying to get the count on the dead and the injured. They still didn’t have names.

Ruhi tried calling Randeep again. But the phone was switched off.

She wanted to scream her lungs out but she had to keep herself composed. Everyone in the office was gloomy and was trying to get news of Randeep from somewhere or the other. The singapore office was tensed too and so was the chairman when he heard about it.

But for all of her colleagues, Randeep was the boss, a colleague. But for her, he was her Dee, her life.

Somehow she caught a cab and reached home. As soon as the door opened, she collapsed into Raavee’s arms. She just couldn’t word what she wanted to say. All that came out of her mouth were gasps of pain and cries.

Raavee got her a cup of coffee and tried to calm her down but Ruhi just couldn’t bring herself to believe this was happening to her. When would her bad luck leave her?

They kept flipping channels to catch more information. But nothing so far.

Just like that, in a moment, her sky of rainbow had turned into a dark one. Just like that, her world had come crashing down, Just like that, her Dee had disappeared, without so much of a note or a bye.

She kept crying all through the day. News kept coming in from office. And as every hour passed, her hopes of getting Dee back dimmed further. The plane had crashed into the sea and it was difficult to get to the crash site easily.

Night came and Raavee fell asleep for a bit. She was too tired and heartbroken to see her daughter going to pieces. There was no news of Nimmi either. Her phone was still switched off.

Oh how Ruhi wished, she would call and Randeep would pick up. How she wished she could hear his voice just once.

She broke down bitterly and held her stomach as she cried. The pain of losing Dee was unbearable. Crying inconsolably, she dialled Randeep’s number once again.

And this time it rang. Ruhi was shocked and surprised both.

His voice boomed, ‘Yes my darling. Open the door please.’

She didn’t know whether she was hallucinating or thinking or going mad. She said hello feebly and again his voice came on.

‘Ru open the door darling, Its me Randeep’. And as it sunk in, Ruhi without a thoughy, in the state she was in, dishevelled, grief stricken, hardly breathing rushed towards the door.

And as she ran towards the entrance, her mind kept saying, ‘Let it be him God.. Let it not be my mind playing tricks… Just let it be him’

And then she opened the door.

……to be continued.




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Ankahee Ep 57

Posted by Shabia Walia on

Ankahee

#storiesbyshabiawalia

Ep 57

The days merged into nights as Randeep and Ruhi struggled to stay sane and keep their professional life intact. The days were all about meetings, brainstorming, decision making, agreements, disagreements while the nights were about long skype chats, longing, love and loneliness.

Randeep’s hand was getting worse by the day but he pretended to be okay when he chatted with Ruhi. He had shown it to doctors in Singapore but apparently stress is what triggered it.

He knew only Ruhi could heal it. She being away from him was the cause of it accelerating.

He missed her dearly. It had been three weeks. He thought of her every minute. He felt she would walk in thru his cabin door anytime. At night he often woke up thinking she was sleeping next to him. He worried about her constantly.

While In India, Ruhi was not only managing to keep the channel going but also Suhails growing demands on her time. Though she knew he wouldn’t ever cross his line, it was apparent that he was trying to woo her in randeep’s absence. Ruhi sometimes felt tempted to tell him openly about her and Randeep but couldn’t. They still couldn’t forget Nimmi. She was still Randeep’s wife.

Late one night Nimmi and Randeep chatted and Randeep brought up the subject of her future.

Nimmi too seemed keen to discuss it. She and her beau were thinking of marriage.

‘But how will we keep the media from having a field day at our expense?’, asked Nimmi.

Randeep knew what she meant. They were a high profile couple and their divorce would create a lot of headlines for everyone.

Randeep thought for a bit and then said, ‘You know what Nimmi, since there is no gossip, lets come clean. Lets give a joint statement to the press. Lets invite them for high tea and give them the news together. This will ensure there ino fake news, no false quotes and no messing around of our privacy and our loved ones.’

Nimmi agreed to his suggestion. ‘Makes sense Deep’.

‘After we give our statement of the divorce, lets wait for atleast 6 months before you get married. Ruhi and I will figure out after a year. This way no one gets blamed for breaking up our marriage.’ He added.

Nimmi agreed that this was the only way to keep their future spouses out of the whole mess.

‘Come to think of it Deep, we will be setting a trend you know, to handle divorce gracefully. After all you and I are best friends, what if we couldn’t become a great couple?’ she asked rhetorically.

‘True. Its not necessary that you succeed at all things in your life or find all qualities in one person. Sometimes you make a great spouse, sometimes you find a great friend. Lets concentrate on the good we found in each other.’ He offered.

‘So what are your plans Deep?’ Nimmi asked.

‘I cannot stay here anymore Nimms. Not without Ruhi. I need to figure out soon.’, he added sadly and she felt bad for him.

They discussed other things and by night he had a fever running and his hand hurt as if it was going to come apart.

His head throbbed and all he wanted to do was sleep but he got up and made a few calls. He had to. Those were important if he had to ever get back with Ruhi.

Bhasker had informed him that Ruhi’s casew as progressing well and if all went well, she would be free soon.

Randeep then made a couple of calls more and after he was finished, he looked satisfied and there was a gleam in his eye. For a few moments he forgot about the pain.

Contented, he went to sleep.

Ruhi woke up with a start. She was already late for office. She rushed with her morning routine and there was a crazy feeling in her stomach.

She checked her phone a few times. There was no message from Randeep. She tried messaging hom but the messages didn’t deliver. She then called him and was surprised to find his phone switched off.

She tried pushing the feeling away and somehow reached office. The whole office was gathered around the television. She got irritated and walked to her cabin. There was so much work pending and all they could think of was television.

She switched off her laptop but her mind was on Randeep. She trued his number again but it was switched off. Finally she couldn’t bear it any longer. She dialled Randeep’s Singapore office and was surprised to learn that Randeep had taken the early morning flight to India.

Her heart missed a beat. Suddenly she was very excited. Maybe he wanted to surprise her. She saw the time and asked them the details of the flight he was on. The secretary provided the details.

Ruhi didn’t know what to think but was totally thrilled to know that Randeep was coming back. Even if it was for the weekend, it was a boon.

She now went to everyone who were near the tv set and asked them if they should resume work now.

Suhail turned to her and said, Oh Ruhi, You don’t know there has been an air crash and we were seeing that. Its quite tragic, you know.

Ruhi,s heart sank but not wanting to think anything negative, she said which flight? From where?

Suhail said, It was from Singapore. Flight num SI Two Four Three.

Ruhi gasped. She slowly opened her palm to check what she had scribbled a few minutes ago on it. It said, SI Two Four Three.

As the numbers reeled in front of her eyes, she felt the world spin around her.

Suhail held her just in time. Whats the matter Ruhi? Are you alright?

Suhail… Suhail… Randeep was in that flight.

What?? When? No one knows here that he is coming. The office has no news. Are you sure?

Ruhi nodded, tears rolling down her cheeks. Yes, the Singapore office confirmed it to me.

There has to be a mistake. Wait let me check.

When Suhail came back, Ruhi,s worst fears were confirmed. Randeep was indeed on that flight. The secretary too had just heard about the accident.

As Ruhi sank into her chair, she didn’t know what was happening around her.

It was as if her worst fears had come true.

…..to be continued.









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Ankahee Chapter 56

Posted by Shabia Walia on

Ankahee

#storiesbyshabiawalia

Episode 56

Randeep dived into his work straight. He knew that was the only solution to keep his mind off Ruhi. Atleast till night.

There was loads to catch up on. Aarya, his associate who was in charge of the project brought him upto speed. They were supposed to create two hundred hours of airable content for South East Asia. It was a huge project for them and time was a luxury.

Between meetings, reading project reports, brainstorming, approving and rejecting ideas, Randeep just forgot that it was well past lunch time. An sms from Ruhi brought him back to notice the time.

'Lunch Time. Please eat.' She had written.

He smiled to himself. She knew him so well.

He rested his head back on his chair. It was a relief to think of her. It instantly freshened him up. He suddenly knew why he was here. To finish the project as quickly as he could and go back to her arms.

As he called in his lunch, his thoughts drifted to her. He browsed through their pictures on his phone. And seeing her made him miss her even more.

He messaged her, 'How is the CEO doing?'

'God, its tough being one Dee. How did you manage it for so many years? Everyone looks at you for answers.Phew!' She wrote.

Randeep smiled at her reply. He messaged back. 'I had a very good content head, you know. Get yourself one. Will make your job easier.'

She sighed. He was right. Now that she had taken his place, she needed someone to take hers. But who?

She messaged him back. 'You think I could promote Suhail? He is good at his work.'

Randeep felt a tad bit jealous, just a twinge. He grudged that Suhail would be around Ruhi all the time while he was here all alone.

'You need to decide yourself Ru. You are the CEO. If you think he can take your place, by all means, go ahead.' He messaged nevertheless.

'Thank you for making my job easier,' she said sarcastically. He had left it to her and not helped her a bit, she scowled to herself.

He sent her kisses on the phone and she was forced to smile.

She sighed. She missed him like hell. To be able to see him, to walk over to him, to hug him, to listen to him, to have him paint her nails, to have him kiss her, to have him make love to her, oh what she could have not given to have him with her.

She bent down to lift the seam of her trouser a bit. The anklet gleamed. She was wearing his favourite one. Instantly she clicked a picture and sent it to him.

The picture made him nostalgic. How excited she had been when he had poured all of them in front of her.

His thoughts wee broken by Aarya and Ruhi was called by the chairman.

The hours flew by for both thankfully as their new roles posed challenges and kept them busy.

He reached home earlier than her due to the time difference. But he couldn’t go to sleep without speaking to her.

He messaged her to reach home and skype him. She worried that she might get too late. She didn’t want him staying up so late for her. But she knew he would wait up.

Somehow she finished whatever she had to do and rush to the lift. Suhail joined her and enquired if she was up for a coffee.

Ruhi apologetically refused saying she had to take her mom to dinner but she would meet him in the morning for coffee, she assured him. Suhail wasn’t very happy but had to agree. After all, he did know that her mom was in town.

Her mom welcomed her at the door.

Ruhi shouted, 'Maa will just chat with Dee for a bit and then join you. He has been waiting for hours already.'

Raavee smiled. Oh the joy of being in love! She knew that feeling.

Ruhi couldn’t wait to see Randeep and as he came online, she just couldn’t hold back her joy. Her eyes turned misty as she touched the laptop screen to touch his face.

'Hey Ru… No tears.. ok? You look gorgeous in that jump suit.' He said to distract her.

'Thanks Dee… ', She tried to compose herself.

'How have you been Dee? Did you eat? I miss you so much.'

'Will you put that strand of hair on your face back gently, as I would do it?' He asked.

She nodded and did it.

'Now would you kiss my Ru for me?'

She smiled, again turning emotional, looking away to avoid him seeing her.

'Arey Ru. Listen. See.. See here.. ', He turned his laptop around to show her his residence.

'Wow.. Dee its gorgeous. '

'Not as much as you.' He whispered.

'Hows your hand Dee? Does it pain?' She asked

'Yes, a bit. But its manageable.'

She sighed. She knew it must be quite a bit but he was downplaying it.

'Achha tell me what do you miss about me the most?', he asked

'You kissing my forehead… Dee… I miss that the most.

'Why that?' he asked

'It made me feel protected, loved, cared for. Always.!', she replied honestly.

He said, 'Bring yourself closer.'

She leaned towards the screen and he kissed her on the forehead or atleast she felt that through the screen.

She smiled. 'What do you miss about me Dee?'

'I miss your hug Ru. It is my favourite place. Warm and secure and cosy. My go to place for every stress, tiredness, problem.'he confessed

She smiled sadly. 'Now how do I hug you from here Dee?'

'You hug yourself Ru. I will feel hugged. Because You are me and Me is Ru.'

She smiled and he gestured her to go on.

She slowly wrapped her hands around herself.

'Go on, hug tighter Ru. Feel me in your arms. And you will find me there.'

She closed her eyes to live that sensation.

He watched her smiling. He missed her terribly, so terribly, he couldnt even tell her.

She opened her eyes to see him. He said, 'You must be tired, Now go to sleep my darling.'

She put her palm on the screen and he matched it with his. They said their goodbyes but even when their screens went off, they kept sitting there, lost in thought.

Ruhi wrapped herself with her hands again.

Randeep saw her picture and caressed the screen to feel her.

The longing in his heart was unbearable and he could see the pain in his hand rising too slowly.

Long after Ruhi had dinner with her mother and went to sleep, she could feel Randeep around her. And as she drifted into sleep, she could feel his hands wrapped firmly over her.

The world could wait. She felt loved and safe for now.


…..to be continued.









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Ankahee Chapter 55

Posted by Shabia Walia on

 

Ankahee

#storiesbyshabiawalia

Episode 55

Randeep tried to catch some sleep on the flight but sleep evaded him. Memories of Ruhi filled his mind at every minute. At the airport, he had wished that she would come to see him off despite him telling her not to. He just wanted to see her one last time, hug her one last time, kiss her one last time.

Little did he know that she had been there long before he and Nimmi arrive. That it had taken all of her courage and guts to not give in to her heart’s whim and run into his arms. She knew very well that if she did that, she would have very well not let him go. And she didn’t want to do that, she didn’t want to stand in his way, even if it killed her.

She had walked all the way home. She wanted to tire herself out so that when she hit the bed, she could fall asleep. Nothing bothered her, neither the darkness nor concern of her own safety in the night.

But she was wrong. Even after reaching home in the wee hours of the morning, she couldn’t sleep a wink.

She tossed and turned and kept thinking of Randeep. She went to his messages. His last message to her was, ‘I love you’. That’s it. He hadn’t said goodbye. Maybe he didn’t want to.

She scrolled through his earlier messages sent iver the last three months. She read each one of them. Some brought tears to her eyes, many brought a smile to her face. But each message reminded her of how much he loved her. And she was glad for that assurance.

Randeep remembered his chat with the chairman the evening before. He had mentioned to the chairman that he would set this up and come back. He had no intentions of settling in Singapore. The chairman had been non committal about it and that bothered Randeep. No one could force him to stay away from Ruhi, not even the chairman.

He landed in singapore and found a car and a chauffeur waiting to take him to his residence for the next three months. Randeep was pleasantly surprised to see the living arrangements which had been made for him.

It was lovely bungalow with all that one could ask for. It was in one of the best areas in Singapore, overlooking Clark Quay and he could see boats bobbing up and down the river from his balcony.

The bungalow had several bedrooms, a huge living area, a well stocked kitchen, a huge lawn and a pool along with two resident staff to cater to all of Randeep’s needs. In addition, he had a car with a chauffeur to take him around. He was merely 5 minutes away from his office and travelling would be a breeze.

As he stood in his balcony taking in the city view and seeing tourists enjoying themselves, his heart ached for Ruhi. He checked the time. She would be sleeping. Maybe he should call later, he thought.

He dropped her a message nevertheless, ‘Reached safely and reached home’. He sent the same to Nimmi too.

Both women were relieved to see that message.

But Ruhi instantly messaged back, ‘Can I call Dee?’.

Within seconds he was on the call to her. He was dying to hear her voice.

‘Ru, my darling. You didn’t sleep?’, he asked her in his deep voice but with concern.

‘I bet you havent too Dee. You sound sleepy.’, she said.

‘You are right. I didn’t.Your thoughts just didn’t let me sleep Ru. I miss you already’. He confessed.

She held back her tears then and said, ‘I miss you too Dee.. lots..’.

‘I am glad you didn’t come to the airport. For once someone listened to me, though I wish you had. I was dying to see you Ru.’, he said like a kid.

‘How could I not Dee? I did come to the airport. I saw you and Nimmi. I saw you go…’, her voice broke then…

‘You didn’t meet me then?’, he complained.

‘If I had come to meet you, no one in this world could have sent you to Singapore then, no one.’, she said smiling thru her tears.

‘I wish you had met me then Ru’, he said smilingly, his own eyes turning misty.

They both tried to pretend they werent crying but each knew the other better.

Ruhi said, ‘Tell me how your home is’

Randeep replied, ‘Its nice but nothing without you Ru. When you come here, it will become a home.’

She smiled then. ‘Oh by the way, there is a pool in the bungalow and I thought of all the things we could do in it’, he said naughtily.

‘Ha ha Dee…Have you had breakfast?, she asked

‘I just about go here. Will have soon. I hope you have a great first day at the office as CEO’. He reminded her.

‘It wont be the same without you Dee.’, she smiled wryly.

‘Look Ru, we both have opportunities that millions don’t get. I agree its at the cost of us being away but if we sail through this, we could have a beautiful life together soon. Lets keep that in mind and get through this as best as we can, you agree?’ he asked her softly.

‘I know Dee.. I know you are right but when your soul has been sucked out of you, its difficult to breathe and live normally. But for you, for us, I will try. I promise.’, she said.

‘I love you Ru. You are my courage. I derive a lot of strength from you. So be strong my love.’ He kissed her and promised he would skype her at night.

She kissed him back on the phone.

And then recharged by his words and the promise she had made him, she dressed like a CEO should. It was time to take on the world!

In office, Suhail waited eagerly for her. He was sad that Randeep had gone but a small part of him believed that he had a chance.. a small one but worth a try.

In Singapore, Randeep had a shower and it reminded him of Ruhi every moment.

God, each day would be like a year. It was easy for him to ask Ruhi to stay strong but what was he going to do about his own heart.

…..to be continued.









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Ankahee Chapter 54

Posted by Shabia Walia on

Ankahee

#storiesbyshabiawalia

Episode 54

There was excitement all around. Randeep winked at Ruhi and she smiled, not still sure if all this was true.

The chairman lingered around for some time and then left after interacting with Randeep and Ruhi for some time, discussing the roadmap for the next three months.

Ruhi suggested a few things and the chairman remarked to Randeep that he is glad to say that the chose the right person. Randeep,s face beamed with pride to hear that.

The chairman left soon after and so did the staff after a round of snacks and chatting amongst themselves. Ruhi announced that she would meet everyone the next morning to plan the next course of action. Everyone wished Randeep goodbye and some even went misty eyed. Of course Randeep would be a part of the channel but he was now in a bigger role and his visits would be really rare.

When they finally found a moment together, Randeep held Ruhi,s hand and took her towards his chair. He gestured her to sit. She refused.

'No Dee… That’s your place.' She complained.

'And I am yours, so my place is also yours na?' He asked gently.

She nodded her head and went towards the window. Everything had happened too quickly and she still wasn’t sure if it had sunk in.

He went and stood next to her.

'Listen Ru, I would rather you have my place than anyone else. It’s a matter of great pride for me that you are taking my place. I am so proud of you Ru. Damn you make me so proud as a boss.' He said honestly.

She looked at him, her eyes were teary.

'Why does this happiness come at the cost of losing you Dee?' She asked sadly.

'Shhhh… You are not losing me Ru. Its only three months. We will handle it, You will see.'

She retorted back, 'And then after three months, they will send you to another country, and then another. You are so good at your work, its bound to happen Dee.'

'I haven’t thought that far but yes if it happens, you can travel with me, by then am sure your case will come thru.', he said.

'So many ifs and buts Dee… I don’t know…' She flung her hands in the air in desperation.

'Ru..can we just take three months at a time. I am sure there will be problems. I am not saying its going to be easy. Damn I used to stand here and look at you from this glass pane thinking whn ai could hold you in my arms and kiss you. At that time, it seemed impossible. But today I can kiss you, I can take you in my arms.. There were problems, but we reached here, didn’t we? I am sure we will find the road ahead too.'

She sighed. He was right. Each word he was saying was right. Damn, he was right every time. She said it aloud and he burst laughing.

'Oh Ru..Ru.. You are the most adorable woman I have met. Now get yourself into that chair so I can click a picture of the new CEO at her desk.'

She started to say something and he gestured her towards the chair. Finally she gave in and went and sat in the chair.

'That’s my girl,' he exclaimed. 'Now if only you smile can I have a nice picture of you to take to Singapore.' He urged her to smile and she smiled seeing his enthusiasm.

They ended up clicking a lot of selfies together after that. Randeep was keen on taking them with him.

Finally the moment to depart arrived. Randeep had to go to Nimmi and Ruhi to her mom. Randeep kissed her on her forehead and said, 'take care of my Ru, will you?'

She nodded wistfully.
They both left office together and he offered to drop her home.

She said, 'Let me get used to going home without you Dee.'

He let her be and didn’t push her.

She hailed a cab and after giving him one last look she sat in the cab and drove away.

He kept looking after her and then got into his car.

His phone beeped and it was from Ruhi. 'Will miss you Dee.. Don’t know how to live without you but will try.'

He pursed his lips reading that and ran his fingers through his hair.

It was going to be the most difficult trip, this one for him. He was leaving his life behind.

He messaged her back. 'Love you Ru. You know how much. Miss me but not too much. I don’t want you sad when you miss me. Remember all the wonderful things we did together. The anklets, the shower, the nailpaint and when you remember them, smile. Don’t do injustice to them by crying, promise?'

She started crying the moment she read the message. But wrote back, 'Promise.'

He reached home and Nimmi and he had dinner together. Nimmi was sad too that Randeep was going. They chatted like best friends and Randeep told her how much he was missing Ruhi already.

Nimmi felt a tad bit jealous and she said it to him and he hugged her.

She embraced him and let her face rest against his chest.

'You are the best thing which happened to me Deep. Wouldn’t want to trade whatever time I spent with you for anything or anyone else.' she said emotionally.

'You sure?' He teased her. 'Not anyone?' She laughed. He was such a giver, this man. In a strange way she loved him immensely. It was just that it was not husband wife kind of love.

They chatted late into the night and then Randeep went to his room to pack. He had to leave in a couple of hours. He had an early morning flight.

He had asked Ruhi not to come to the airport. He didn’t want her driving at night plus he knew she would be very emotional about him finally leaving.

Ruhi lay her head in Raavee's lap and kept drawing circles on the bedsheet. Raavee knew what her daughter was going through and tried to cheer her up with childhood tales of Ruhi.

Nimmi accompanied Randeep to the airport. They hugged one last time as Randeep wished Nimmi a great time with her love. 'Remember I am just a call away and I am still your husband, in case you need anything Nimms.' He said authoritatively.

Nimmi held him by the shoulders, 'Take care of yourself Deep. Especially your arm. And if there is anything you want me to do for Ruhi, let me know.' She said genuinely.

He hugged her once more emotionally. She was special to him and would always be, his wife of so many years.

He finally bid her goodbye and as he entered the airport gate to check in, Ruhi stepped put from behind a pillar and watched him go. He was taking everything with him, her soul, her heart, her life and yet he wantd her to smile.

And smile she did, only that the smile was all wet with tears.

It was time to start walking alone, her Dee had gone, she thought as she started walking towards home.

…..to be continued.
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