Armaan realized that Sudha wasn't at from her Post-It she had left on the refrigerator. He went for a quick shower and laid down on the sofa.He closed his eyes.
Out of nowhere,he found himself to be following a shadow into the dark.He kept following the shadow which ran away and away from him.He too ceased chasing and watched it but a pile of fog surrounded him,distracting him.He moved back and tried to move away from the fog.By then,he only caught a glimpse of the fading shadow.It vanished into thin air.
Armaan woke up.He blinked in disbelief at what he had just dreamt of.It had made no sense to him at all,neither did the events in his life.The least he had expected was his dreams to make some sense. Just then,Sudha came out of her room,and he wondered how long he was lying down on the sofa that he didn't realize his mum's back.
Armaan:Maa?Aap kab laute the?
Sudha:Jab tu sofe par so raha tha..Bas aadha ghanta pehle..Tum theekh toh ho?
Sudha:Nahin,tum itne jaldi uth gaya tha,iss liye..Aaja,Maa ke saath coffee pee le..
Armaan:Maa,you're the best!!Bas ek sapna dekha tha aur uth gaya tha..
Sudha:Shreya ka sapna dekhna bhi shuru kar diya tumne,hhm??
Sudha:Kya?Armu,is mein koi buraayi nahin hain,hm?
Armaan:Maa,main Shreya ka sapna kyun dekhunga??Aisa kuch bhi nahin hain..
Sudha:Toh phir kaisa hain,Armu??
Armaan:Maa, mujhe aap se kuch baat..(just then, her mobile rang)
Sudha:Ek minute Armu..(picked up the call)Hi...Yes, this is Dr Sudha speaking...But, she's got no guardian, Lisa...Oh God, follow up on her, quick and get back to me asap!!(hung up)
Armaan:Kya hua Maa?
Sudha:This country's just unbelievably filled with disgusting people..!!
Sudha:I'm actually assisting my colleague,a paediatrician.. There's this baby, just about 8 months old and she's recuperating from an accident in which her parents passed away. And it's been a week since some couple had been coming over, claiming to be her guardian.. My colleague, Lisa and i made that mistake once with another kid once and in a similar case, which happened recently. It turned out to be a case of child trafficking. This time round, i just want no mistakes in this case, for i've been supervising and taking care of the baby for some time..Anyways. you don't worry about anything..So..
Sudha:Tell me, how was your trip in London?
Armaan:It was great uniting Bhaskar and Payal..It almostt reached the extent where Payal had signed the divorce papers and Bhaskar was on the verge of giving up..But thank God. frdpiyr how old and obsolete Raj's idea sounded, it worked wonders at the right time, Maa...It was practically as if i was watching a movie..
Sudha:Lollz, so the whole credit should go to Raj, then..
Armaan:Not all, but mostly..You should give me the credit too,Maa!!
Sudha:Hayy Armnu, you're too cute!!Anyways, how's Bharti?
Armaan:Matlab theekh hain aur kya,Maa?
Sudha:Bas theekh thaakh?Yeh kya baat huyi?
Armaan:Maa,woh sab chodo na... Aap mujhe yeh bataao ki aapne aisa kaunsa surprise lan kiya hain?
Sudha:(thought)Lagta hain ki kuch hua hain aur Armu mujhe nahin bataana chahtha hain!!Bharti se baat karni hogi!!
Armaan:Maa, aapko kya hua?
Sudha:Kuch nahin,ek zaroori kaam yaad aa gaya...Excuse me!!
Armaan:Maaa!!!!This is so not fair!!
Sonali:Yaar, yeh salad mere favourite khaana kabse ban gayi,huh?
Mahi:Maine kab kaha ki salad tumhaari favourite khaana hain?
Sonali:Yaar,toh phir table mein kya kar rahi thi?
Mahi:Uffo, kya hain Sonu?
Sonali:Kuch nahin yaar..It's the stress that's talking.
Mahi:Even i'm stressed yaar..
Sonali:Jhooti kahi ki!!Tum toh poora din Bharti ke saath thi na..
Mahi:Haan, par mujhe kuch ghadbad lag rahi hain..
Mahi:Haan yaar..Ek minute...Mujhe bhi,matlab?Tumhe bhi lagta hain ke Bharti mein kuch badlaav hain?
Sonali:Huh?Main...Main toh bas tumhaare saath de rahi thi..Tum aage bol..(bit her tongue)
Mahi:Bata nahin yaar par raat ko jab mai uske ghar mein usse baat kar rahi thi, toh woh ajeeb sa lagaa..I mean, woh toh badle ke baarein mein baat kar rahi thi, you know...
Sonali:Kya??Humaari dost, Bharti aur badle jaisi baatein?
Mahi:Haan yaar, issi liye toh keh rahi hoon ki kuch toh baat zaroor hain..
Sonali:Acha?Hmm, that's really weird..Well, i really pity the guy who deserves Bharti's wrath..I guess she'll never leave him alone!!(Mahi thought of Ved and Alisha and distracted herself, asking about MU projects in the pipeline)
~The Next Day~
Bharti was officially welcomed to her new cabin by the staff of Trends, who were sucking up to her indirectly.Mayank smiled at Bharti who just looked at him blankly. Eveyone soon dispersed except for Shreya and Ishaan and Mayank introduced Bharti to Ishaan and Shreya.
Mayank:Bharti, this is Shreya and..
Bharti:Yes Mayank, i know her...And you must be Ishaan; i've heard quite a bit about you from Mayank..
Bharti:Yes,of course..I'll be looking forward to working with you both..
Mayank:Well Bharti,if i'm not around, you can always trust them and delegate your work or tasks to them..
Mayank:Ok,the two of you can go now...Thanks!!(both Shreua and Ishaan left)
Bharti:Wow,the cabin is awesome,Mayank..
Mayank:Your very own personalized cabin, Bharti...So, shall we get started?This is your first project..All the best!!Once you're done, pass me the articles on my cabin,alrite??Any help, i'm just a call away!!
Bharti:Yes boss...Good day!!(winked at Mayank who smiled and left)
Bharti was getting her food at the cafe when she noticed Ishaan looking at Shreya and Armaan. She got her food and headed to sit near Ishaan.
Bharti:Hii..Do you mind i join you?
Ishaan:Not at all..In fact, it'll be my pleasure and i guess i'll get more people around my desk, wanting to know more about you..
Bharti:What?You seriously got to stop that..I've had some guyz who were trying so hard, to hit on me successfully just now,which reminded me of my college days..So, erm how long have you been working here?
Ishaan:About a year plus..
Bharti:Is it very hard tp not have a love life at work?
Ishaan:What?Who said so??
Bharti:Nah, i was just asking..
Ishaan:Isn't office politics enough to keep us gng at work that you wanna add another mess to the list of our troubles??
Bharti:Lollz,true that, Ishaan!!Are you close to Shreya?
Ishaan:No, i'm just a colleague..Just a colleague!!(Bharti noticed his look at Shreya once again)
Bharti:And now you've got a new colleague in me,hmm?(Ishaan smiled and looked at her)
Bharti:Great then!!I'll see you later, got a meeting with Mayank..(left)
Shreya:Bharti!!!(Bharti had thought of escaping but Shreya called her and she stopped; she turned around and saw Armaan and looked away)
Bharti closed her eyes, feeling caught red-handed while trying to escape.
"Mayank is waiting for me and i'd rather rush...But if i were to go without talking to Shreya, she'll make a fuss for no reason..I've got to pretend as though nothing nothing happened between me and Armaan so that she wouldn't even figure a thing and be with Armaan happily."
She smiled and turned around.
Bharti:Hi Shreya..Hi Armaan..
Armaan:Hii...(smiled in confusion and pondered)What the heck?Did she just say Hi to me?
Shreya:You seem to be in a rush..
Bharti:Yeahh,lots of meetings..And right now,i'm going to meet Mayank..
Shreya:Ok,ok,i won't take long..I''ve got some news for you..(spoe softly)I'll soon be getting engaged to Armaan!!!Can you believe it???
Bharti:OMG!!!!(looked around and softened her tone; Armaan looked at Shreya in total confusion)This is incredible news, Shreya!!!!(retended to be all so surprised but Armaan was far more shocked at Bharti's reaction)I'm so,so,so thrilled for you two lovebirds...Mom must be so happy that you finally agreed to her wish, Armaan...So,congratzz for you've made the right choice!!(Armaan remembered the exact words which she had uttered to him before she departed from the airport and both of looked at each other subtly before Bharti hugged Shreya)
Shreya:Aww Bharti, this is so sweet of you..Now, i know why Armaan looks up to you as a dear friend...You're so supportive of him that i want to pull his ears of even thinking of avenging you...
Bharti:(withdrew from the hug)The past is past..Life doesn't stay still, Shreya...(looked at Armaan while saying) We just gotta move on!!(snapped out)Shreya,i'll get going fast...You two lovebirds carry on!!(left from there)
Shreya:Isn't she the sweetest?
Armaan:She is...(thought) She knew about the engagement plan all along?And thatz why she said i finally made the right decision to move ahead in my life...Maa's desire to see me engaged is getting fulfilled now..And she just called me a lovebird..But,but....She talked to me!!OMG!!(smiled)Shreya,i''ve just recalled some important work; i'll talk to you soon...Bye!!
Shreya:Ok,bye...We must be very happy by the engagement surprise...He took it well, so that basically means that i can fix a date quickly quickly with Maa..OMG!!(jumped a lil in excitement before heading back to work)
Bharti was heading to the conference room from the lift lobby with her pile of papers but just then, Gaurav came out of the lift and bumped into her, dropping all of her papers. Initially he apologized but Bharti had asked him to pick up all the papers, without not looking at his face. Just as she was about to go, he said something which made her stop. She recognized that irksome voice and turned around.
Gaurav:Is this a bizarre universe which keeps us bumping into each other?(headed towards her gradually)
Bharti:(rolled her eyes)Wow,another guy added to the list of idiots who've been trying to hit on me..What are you...Stalking me,huh?
Gaurav:Hayye Bharti..I would die to stalk you but don't degrade me to be in a list..Main toh tumhaari sacha aashiq hoon..
Bharti:Don't you dare touch me!!
Gaurav:Forgotten our dance at Goa,hmm?
Bharti:What dance,huh?Mind you, i had even bothered that day to get my mind off someone..
Gaurav:Really???You're seeing someone,hmm??
Bharti:Shut up!!Why am i even wasting my time with you?
Gaurav:(Bharti started walking away)Cuz a moment with me is never wasted..Damn,she's hot!!But what is she doing in Mayank's office??(headed to see Mayank)
Bharti stopped by Ishaan's desk to get the book which had the compilations of ads, articles and photographs of the aqua shoot of models. Just as she entered the conference room and headed to talk to Mayank, she was flabbergasted to see Gaurav.
Bharti:Tum?(Gaurav simply smiled)Tum yahaa bhi mere peecha karke aa gaya?you...You're just unbelievable!!
Mayank:Bharti??Tum Gaurav ke jaante ho??
Bharti:Achi tarha se...Isko toh main..
Mayank:Just excuse us,Gaurav...(held Bharti's elbow and went to a corner)What's wrong,Bharti?
Bharti:Arre Mayank,main kya bataao...Yeh wohi hain jiske saath Alisha ne mujhe blind date lekar gayi thi..Aur Goa mein bhi mila tha kyunki yeh Anji ki door ki cousin nikla aur yeh Alisha ki mentor bhi hain MWorld mein...
Mayank:Ermm,mere saath aao...(Bharti was totally blank)Gaurav, meet my new Assistant Chief Editor,Ms Bharti Kapoor...
Bharti:(felt irked)Tum yeh introduction kyun kar rahe ho?
Mayank:Aur Bharti, yeh hain Gaurav...Humaari Trends ek chief shareholder hain aur MWorld mein ek creditor hain...(murmured))Koi mentor nahin hain....
Bharti:Par Alisha ne toh kaha tha...
Gaurav:If i may interrupt, i've helped Alisha on a lot of occasions so she sees me as a mentor but by profession, i'm a lawyer,,,And Mayank's a business associate of mine...Lots of links with you, don't you think?
Mayank:(murmured)He's the one handling Raj's case by the way...
Gaurav:You heard it, right,Bharti...I had no idea Raj Malhotra is your friend till Mayank told me about it!!His hearing is in 2 days' time!!
Bharti:I don't believe this!!Mayank, this is the book for you to edit and confirm..I'll be in my cabin, i so need to cool off...(Mayank nodded and Bharti left from there)
Mayank:I had no idea she's so mad at you....
Gaurav:Well, that's my fault in a way...I tried exuding my charm on her just now...I've got to to admit that she's such a great dancer too...
Mayank:You did not just hit on her in my office,did you?Oh freaking God,Gaurav!!She's not your type!!!
Gaurav:Sure she is...Trust my instincts on that!!
Mayank:Oh God...(Gaurav left from there)I guess i'll be on the receiving end of the ugly mess!!!
Jiya:Hey Armaan...Over here!!(called Armaan over to have lunch with her, Raj,Sonu and Mahi)Managed to tell Shreya everything?
Raj:No?(Armaan looked at him)Jiya, i think i know him better than you, hah!!Guyz,hand it!!
Sonali:Damnn!!(each of them handed over Rs 500 only)
Armaan:What the hell,Raj?Betting on my misery???
Raj:I think it's better than nothing at least...See, i made Rs 1500 more today..
Armaan:And you gurlz,take it back right now!!
Raj:Heyy that wasn't fair yaar....(held onto each note but sadly gave the notes back)Mr Money Saviour, do one thing then..Tell us what stopped you..
Armaan:She did!!And Bharti,as well...
Jiya:What??(Armaan told them everythig that took place)
Raj:Haha,lovebirds...Are you a bird,Armaan??(Jiya hit his elbow)
Jiya:This is getting worse day by day...
Sonali:You're getting engaged,Armaan?
Armaan:Trust me, even i had the slightest inkling of Maa's plan till just now...Bharti knew it earlier and Raj, this is the reason why she even congratulated me earlier on the Heathrow Airport..
Mahi:You two weren't on talking terms as well,right?
Armaan:Precisely,Mahi!!!And all of a sudden,she's talking to me!!
Jiya:Ok, now don't get too excited..Maybe she talked to you because she didn't want Shreya to know anything about you two not being on talking terms..
Sonali:But i don't think she's the type to care about such stuff...I mean, she's the carefree type..
Armaan:Dude, what do you think?
Raj:Why are you asking me??It's your life;you decide,you figure it out, lovebird!!
Armaan:Weren't you the one who asked me what happened in the first place,huh?
Jiya:Ok,will you two just stop?Goodness!!Any plans,guyz?
Mahi:Seriously, do you think Sonu and i should help?I mean, we are not even close to her and, there's a lotta stuff going on for both of us..
Sonali:Really??(looked at Mahi)
Mahi:Yes Sonu, a lot of stuff has been piling up..So just excuse both of us,hmm?
Jiya:Why do i feel that you two are ditching on us when Armaan needs your help at the most critical moment right now?
Mahi:Ohh pshh,that's your illusion talking, Jiya and nothing else!!
Sonali:Actually Mahi's right..I didn't realize the time..Both of us need to head for an important conference right away..
Jiya:Ok fine, but you two are going to be part of our plans,got it?
Jiya:Something's just so weird with both of them..
Gaurav:Seriously, itz definitely destiny that brought me before you,Bharti..
Bharti:Don't try too hard to hit on me or else you'll run out of those cheesy lines for other dozens of girls..
Gaurav:Oh come on,you can't ignore me for life,Bharti...Can't we just get along?
Bharti:I don't want to say anything because you're Mayank's biz associate and Anji's cousin...
Gaurav:And i'm your friend's lawyer too..
Bharti:Seriously, you've carved for yourself a perfect profession where you might run out of cases but never out of lines..
Gaurav:Whoa,you're seriously mad..Is it at me or is it a form of anger that you contracted becauseof someone else and now you've got me to vent it on?
Bharti:Juz shut your friggin' mouth for i'm only tolerating you for Raj..This is his career we;re talking about here..(Gaurav looked at her intently)He had done so much for Nidhi and Niyati annd he's been so involved in this project, yet he's being sued!!Before this, what if Niyati had died?Will they sue him then as well??Atrocious~~(exhaled deeply)Dare mess with him,his life or his career and i'll show you what i'm made up of!!!
Gaurav:(leaned forward)I would truly love to see that but not by losing this case;but by winning it...You're going out with me on a date once i win this case for you..It's a deal!!(winked at Bharti who was totally fuming at his attitude towards her)