Armaan and Shreya had no clue about Bharti's whereabouts. Jiya wondered why Raj was so concerned about Bharti after all.She didn't like how Raj was giving so much of preference to Bharti these days and it pissed her. She excused herself without saying anything.
Niharika entered the ballroom, searching for Raj through her eager eyes.However, she alnost hit her head, bumping into her very own brother.
Mayank : Hmm..Who were you looking for??
Niharika:What? No one, Mayu!! I was looking for you and Bharti..
Mayank:Well, you found me but I thought Bharti would be coming with you, hmm??
Niharika:Well I thought she'd be here with you..
Mayank:Crap, my mobile's dead..Give me your phone!!
Niharika:Oh hello.. (Mayank dialled Bharti's number)
Mayank:Sshh... (waited for Bharti to pick up) What's taking her so long?
Niharika:(silently prayed) Oh Lord, please don't let Bharti pick up the call.. (heard Mayank saying Hi) Damn it!!.
Bharti:Uffo Nihar..I'm coming!! Preparing a surprise for you and all..
Mayank:Bharti, itz Mayu!! Where the heck are you after having invited me, hmm??
Bharti:(murmured) Oh freak, I almost mentioned Raj..Ok, calm down...
Mayank:Bharti, you there??
Bharti:Oh hi Mayu, how come you have Nihar's mobile??
Mayank:Mobile batt's flat..Where are you??
Bharti:I'm...I'm..I'll be there in 10, k? (hung up) Phew!!
Mayank:What the hell..She just hung up?? (gave Niharika her mobile back) Wait, she mentioned some surprise for you..What's that??
Niharika:(hesitated) Well.. (gulped down the cocktail) How am I supposed to know when it's a surprise, hmm??
Niharika:What happened to your special blazer? (Mahi was nearby and she coincidentally heard their conversation as paused her conversation with soneone else) Hmm?? Oh hello, don't you remember how you wouldn't even let me touch blazer of your's only cuz Radhika bought it for you..I'm sure I didn't stain it so how could you be so careless now?? (Mahi felt even more guilty and walked away)
Mayank:Nihu, it eas by pure accident..Mahi spilled her cocktail on my blazer and she almost fell and hurt herself because of the shattered glass pieces of glass but I saved her in time..
Niharika:You what?? You saved her? Really??? How sweet, Mayu... (pinched his right cheek but withdrew instantly) Hold on a sec..You and Mahi often tend to pick a fight whenever you two see each other, so what happened today?
Mayank:Nothing..I don't wish to steal someone else's limelight tonight..
Niharika:How thoughtful can you be at times, Mayu??
Sonali:Hi Niharika..Itz been a while, come join me and Mahi. Let's dance!!
Bharti finally reached the ballroom, almost tripping as she adjusted her high heel platform pump shoes.Her eyes searched for Mayabk who was spotted by her, as about to have his cocktail but she took it and drank it up, mich to his surprise.
Mayank:(held her elbow) Where the heck were you?I've been waiting for you for so long..
Bharti:Now I'm here Mayu so just chill!!
Mayank:Bharti, were you crying? (felt her tear towards the end of her lower right eyelid and Bharti wiped it away)
Bharti:Mayi, it was the rains which kept me late..Waise how sexy do I look?
Mayank:(smiled) Now I realize wjy so many guys still flirt with you..But let me warn you, our bet isn't over, Bharti..
Mayank:Sure!! Choose anyone from the crowd and I'll make her fall for me..Just like how Radhika did!!
Bharti:Excuse me?? You fell for Radhika, remember?? (hit his head and looked around for someone for Mayank)
Shreya:Hi Bharti..Raj was searching for you.
Bharti:Oh uhm..Hi Shreya.. (hesitated to greet Armaan but she did anyways) Hii Armaan.. (shifted her attention to Shreya) Shreya, you look real gorgeous tonight; I bet Armaan must have conplimented you throughout the way here..
Shreya:Not really, Bharti.. (blushed)
Bharti:You know him better than me, na..He can be such an introvert at times..
Shreya:Of course I know him better than you but he's so much more open, unlike college times.. (stroked Armaan's neck gently and Bharti felt uncomfortable and looked away)
Armaan:in fact, Mayank..(looked at Bharti and said) Shreya's the best thing that could have happened to me and I'm very excited. She inspires me a great deal!!
Shreya:Ahem so are you calling me your muse??
Armaan:No, you're such a sweetheart, Shreya.. (smiled at her and Mayank noticed Bharti)
Mayank:Well,I'm very happy for both of you and so is Bharti!! Right, Bharti??
Armaan:Sure for she's the very reason Shreya came into my life!! Oops I almost forgot, Bharti..
Mayank:What is it Armaan??
Armaan:Maa wanted to talk to Bharti urgently..So just give her a call when you can, Bharti..
Raj:There you are, Bharti..Come with me!!
Bharti:Excuse me, Mayank!! Raj, what the hell.. (Raj brought her away)
Raj:Where's my surprise and what took you so long??
Bharti:One of your surprise is already here and yes I was late.. (placed her arms around Raj's neck) That too while planning your second surprise..
Raj:Two surprises in a row?? Oh wow..What are they??
Bharti:Open your eyes and you'll know them pretty soon.. (Bharti withdrew her arms)
Khushi:Bharti, you're here at last..
Bharti:Why is everyone busy focusing on me tonight?? Itz Raj's big nite..Focus on him, not me..
Raj:Well, Khushi's focusing on you as she's trying to keep away from Gaurav..
Khushi:He set me up..Can you believe that?
Bharti:Of course..Raj is famous for such priceless moments..
Raj:Are Payal and Bhaskar coming??
Bharti:I so badly wanted to bring Naina with me but Bhaskar's down with a fever and thus Payal is looking after both of them..Bhaskar can be such a child when he's with Naina..Those two must be making a mess out of Payal's home.. (Raj and Khushi smiled)
Just then, the disco ligjts interrupted their conversation, highlighting all over the ballroom.It was an open invitation to dance for everyone.Raj seemed pretty excited and held Khushi's wrist, inviting her to go and dance with Gaurav. Bharti teased her, that she may never get such a chance again but assured her that she'll dance with him if he irked her.Khushi was stunned by her reaction, letting Gaurav lead the dance.Soon, everyone else joined the dance floor except for Mayank, Raj, Bharti on one end and Mahi, Sonali and Niharika on the other end.
Raj:Mayank, aren't you dancing?
Mayank:Well, Bharti's going to choose someone for me, right Bharti?
Bharti:Why should I? You had the confidence to charm girls, don't ya? But before you pick anyone, dance with me.Come on!! And Raj, look out for clues to your surprise!!
Bharti:Nothing, Mayu..I had planned something for Raj tonight..
Mayank:Ok, so what about Nihu?? You had planned a surprise for her too, hmm??
Mayank:You said over the phone.. (Bharti grew hesitsnt but soon, she diverted the topic)
Bharti:Uffo Mayu, just forget all of that and let's enjoy the music, hmm??
Mayank:I feel quite confident tonight, that I'm going to lead the race far ahead of you..
Bharti:Oh yeah?? (looked at Sonali, giving her a cue with her wink)
Bharti:(silently prayed)I couldn't be more happier for you if you win tonight.. (Mayank let her swirl and drop backwards with her arms wrapped around his neck bit he pulled her upwards abruptly) What??
Mayank:What? I was juz warming up..
Sonali:Come, let's dance, Mahi..It's our cue from Bharti..
Mahi:I'm not dancing, got it?? Especially not with that sadoo.. (Niharika heard them all along as she stood beside them)
Sonali:You spilled your cocktail on his shirt and he kept mum..He went went to the extent of saving you from hurting yourself just now, yet he was concerned about y9ur welfare and now you're. .
Mahi:What, Sonu?? Itz not as of I'm ungrateful to him..I just don't wanna dance..
Niharika:Mahi,i'm here by your side, listening to you and Sonali bickering aboit my brother..
Sonali:Niharika, we weren't bickering..We didn't intend to..
Mahi:Yes, Nihar..It's just..
Niharika:Chill!!I know he can be sich a pain in the ass at times but let me tell you something..He's got a real soft spot, which only his ex-girlfriend and Bharti truly knows..He can be easily misunderstood but I giess Radhija really brought out hos soft side back then before he reverted..In fact, he's the one who dances so effortlessly compared to me..
Niharika:Not at all..
Mahi:Nihar, don't misunderstand me..It's juz that I..
Sonali:Don't listen to her, Nihar..She can ne such an idiot in these matters..She's got dome self-esteem and dancing issues..
Bharti:(looked at Sonali and felt agitated) I need to do something..
Bharti:Mayu, I meed to use the washroom..Pick someone else to dance..
Mayank:Heyy!! (Bharti left towards the loo) Gaurav's a lucky ass, getting everyone to dance with him.. (looked around)
Meanwhile, Bharti called Sonali and asked her to go and dance with Mayank and dicert his attention from Niharika. Sonali felt stuck between Niharika and Mahi.Just then, she saw Mayank striding towards them and she quickly hung up.She took the first step in asking Mayank to dance with her and he smiled, nodding in agreement.
Bharti let down her hair, looking at the mirror in the washroom.She recalled reading the first few pages of the diary entries of her's and Radhika's, shared in a series of books over the years.Seeing Mayank gelling so well made her feel happy upon her small achievement . However, she missed Radhika so much that her eues didn't think of controlling her streaming tears.Much more than feeling unwanted by Armaan, she missed her best friend for the latter was closest to her amongst her pals, the confidant she could ever have had in her life.With Rafhika around, she knew her secrets would be sealed within her bosom.Bharti turned on the tap and rinsed her fave, preoccupied with the thoughts of seeing someone else with Armaan.She walked out of the washroom after wiping herself w8th some facial tissues.
Mayank:I thought you would be busy mingling with Pushpak. .What made you stand and wait alone?
Sonali:Let me correct you for a start..I'm npt with Pushpak as I've moved on..And I wasn't alone..I was standing there with my best friend cum your nemesis..
Mayank:No, Mahi's not my nemesis..
Sonali:Is that so?? From the way you two react whenever you meet, it appears to everyone how much you two hate each other..
Mayank:There's nothing of the sort, Sonali..You seem nice, she seems strange..Anyways, don't mind me asking..Did you or Pushpak do something to break the bond that you two share deeply??
Sonali:If she's not your nemesis, then surprise me by asking her for a dance..
Mayank:Are you crazy? She would instantly run away from here..
Sonali:There's nothing impossible--Didn't you mention a fashion articls stating that as your theme for your previous issue? So why are you backing off? Are you scared??
Mayank:Scared of Mahi? No chance!!
Sonali:So why hesitate?
Mayank:Why are you so adamant on me dancing with your best friend?
Sonali:I want her to break out of her comfort zone..I want her to think that there are people whom she can dance with, who wouldn't judge her by her physical appearance. .Who would bring back the moments of joy in her life which is devoid of all tjat becaise of her ex-husband, Vedant..She deserves to be loved; she deserves to be happy once again in her life.. (Mayank looked at Sonali and at Mahi who stood alone) She..
Mayank:She'll be happy once again in her life, hmm?? Don't worry so much about her..Excuse me!!(got himself and Mahi a drink each) Hi..have this!!
Mahi:No thanks..Where is Sonali??
Mayank:She's dancing with Raj, I assume..Have this drink, I insist..
Mahi took the drink reluctantly, feeling extremely guilty for how she reacted for the night.She knew it was not right on her part but somehow she couldn't bring herself to apologize, under which both of them misunderstood each other in such a way that neither of them had become friends till now.
Mahi:Look, I..I didn't ruin your blazer on purpose.
Mayank:I know..You don't have to feel guilty about it at all..
Mahi:But this boazer is very special to you, isn't it??
Mayank:Sure it is..Letz talk about something else, hmm?? Uhm, would you care to dance with me??
Mayank:I'm apparently talking to you, so yeah..
Mahi:I'm sorry..I can't..
Mayank:Ok.. (turned to go but after some time, he returned to the same spot, startling him)
Mahi:Yes?? (Mayank held her right wrist and pulled her mildly towards the dance floor)
Everyone was surprised to see both Mayank and Mahi dance.Mayank fell lost in Mahi's eyes which focused intently on him.Bharti smiled in delight and texted Raj that it's time for his first surprise.Raj slowly sneaked away upon Sonali's intrusion.Raj met Niharika who stood behind Bharti.
Raj:Bharti, how did you..You planned this with Khushi..And that too when Mayank's here...
Bharti:Don't worry about him..He's my concern, alright? I want your misunderstandings, all of them to be cleared and a new chapter to unfold in your love life, hmm?? Tonight, Nihar will spend time at Raj's place..Right, Raj???
Raj:No doubts about that..She's my responsibility and she'll be back before Mayank discovers anything..
Bharti:(Raj hugged Bharti) Uffo, get going now and spend an intimate night together.. (Raj withdrew from his hug) Ab jaao yahaa se..Gd nite guyzz.. (Bharti saw both of them having intertwined their fingers into each other's) How sweet!! Oh crap, Mayank!! He must be waiting.. (texted Raj the place of his second surprise and to let Niharika reach home in an hour's time)
On the other hand, Armaan was enjoying his dance with Shreya on the outside, who laid her head on his chest and had lost herself in the music.His eyes were searching for his friends. Jiya was dancing with Sonali while Raj was nowhere to be seen, as they enquired.He was extremely surprised to see Bharti standing alone and Mahi dancing with Mayank.For a moment, he wondered if he was dreaming.
Mayank:I didn't mean to pull you out but..I believe that we both need to start from some place..
Mayank:We share deep bouts of grievances in our lives, Mahi, something which don't intend to discuss with anyone for they are the only memories which have been keeping us alive..I didn't believe in coming tonight but I did it for Bharti's sake..This is not my comfort zone.. (swirled Mahi around and held her close, letting her sync her steps with his) But Bharti wanted ne to be present for her friend's victory bash..Tonight, I wish you could do the same for Raj's and Sonali's sake..For once, you deserve to be loved again, to find joy in your life again. It may be difficult and perhaps impossible but if you trust the process, it makes things a lil easier..Life doesn't become so complicated...(inhaled, letting go of Mahi)
Mahi:(let Mayank go a bit further but held his wrist in time to stop him) Stop.. (pulled him)
Mahi:Letz dance, shall we?? (both of them broke into a smile, and danced to the upbeat song, Lat Lag Gaye, inviting the attention of several, as Mayank threw his coat at Bharti and let Mahi dance to her heart's content, holding her as she gently bent backwards)
Bharti was so thrilled to see her dear friend dancing away and gelling with Mahi, without any efforts from her side.She whistled for him.Armaan smiled widely upon seeing her spirited nature and the fact that she didn't take any drinks with her or else she was never without a drink in her hand at such parties. Just then, Gaurav bought her a drink and she smiled.Armaan looked away while Gaurav and Bharti conversed.He soon left to drop Khushi while she applauded for Mahi and Mayank at the end of their dance.Her eyes watched Armaan's, intently that she didn't even realize that Sonali was standing next to her.
Sonali:They look so perfect together na, Bharti? Armaan looks so happy..
Bharti:(sounded melancholic) Sure they do..Armaan's happy now, something which he might have been missing out on, for many years..
Sonali:But not perfect yaar..There's a missing puzzle..Somewhere....
Bharti:No Sonu..his life couldn't be anymore perfect than this, now that I'm gone from his life...
Sonali:(took another shot of tequila) No one's life is perfect..Bharti, look at mine for instance; shattered because of love..I tried to seek happiness from Pushpak's love, but alas..It took me so long to realize how wrong I was, thinking of him as my life..Happiness comes from within and it's a mistake to run back to the past!!I'm ever so glad that you've pushed Armaan to move on in his life.. (drank another glass of wine)
I'm sure Pushpak must be feeling so busted right now..Haha... (giggled)
Bharti:Sonu, are you ok??(saw her staggering)
Sonali:I'm totally fine, Bharti..Our plan totally rocked today..Didn't it??
Bharti:Oh damn sure, Sonu..In fact, did you see how both Mahi and Mayank danced? It was incredible (turned to look at Sonali) Sonuu!!!!! (attracted Mahi's and Mayank's attention together with the rest and Bharti knelt down towards Sonali) Sonu!!! (shook her) Shuckz!! Someone, please help!!
Mayank:Bharti, relax..She's inebriated; I'll drop her home..
Mahi:You don't have to, I'll bring her.
Bharti:Mayu, drop Mahi and Sonu home.. (heaved a sigh of deep relief) Mahi, don't worry..I'll drive your Ferrari to your place, hmm??I'll be right behind Mayank, k? Come, let's hurry!! (Mahi wiped the concern off her face and hurried after giving Bharti her car keys)
Bharti saw Mayank and Mahi simultaneously hold Sonali outside, towards the exit of the ballroom to where he parked his car.It was already raining heavily.Bharti looked away from Armaan and rushed towards Mahi.She saw Mayank offering his blazer to Mahi and stopped.Mahi froze upon Mayank's gesture, getting drenched in the rains further.She looked around for Mahi's car.Having found it from a distance, she rushed to getting the car started, and dialled Raj's number to know about Niharika's whereabouts but he wasn't responding at all.She grew worried, confused yet again at Raj's imperfect timings and the relation brewing between Mahi and Mayank.