Mayank was appalled to see Mahi having started to run away from outside Bharti's cabin upon passing him his coat.He quickly held Ishaan's shoulder firmly,gesturing him to place his coat in his cabin while he went after Mahi.
Gaurav:Whoa,i'm so sorry..(bumped into Mahi and dropped her handbag and mobile)I'm really sorry..
Gaurav:Let me help..
Mahi:It's ok,Mr Gaurav..
Gaurav:Erm,have we met before?
Mahi:I'm Bharti's friend,Mahi..
Gaurav:Ohh,you must have come to meet her..
Mahi:No..(saw Mayank having stopped by)Yes..
Gaurav:No or Yes?
Mahi:Actually i gotta go..Bye!!(Gaurav nodded and turned around;just as he was about to greet Mayank,Mayank grabbed the lift door with all his might and got inside before the doors closed on him)
Gaurav:Wow,what was that all about?
Mahi:(after a few silences,she decided to face Mayank)You needn't have hurt your hand like that..I was pressing the open door option in time..Does it hurt a lot?
Mayank:Let me come to the point..Were you eavesdropping on me and Bharti from outside the cabin?(saw her tongue sliding to her left and looking away)The truth..I only want the truth!!
Mahi:I didn't mean to..I came to return your coat..
Mahi:Your coat...You forgot all about it at my place on the night of Raj's victory bash when you left in a rush with Bharti..
Mayank:You could have just given it to the receptionist instead of eavesdropping..!!!
Mahi:Are you...(lost her temper)Are you trying to rehash your same old habit with me??
Mayank:Excuse me??Who the hell do you think you are to talk to me like this??
Mahi:I may be anyone but you don't have any right to judge me,got it?
Mayank:Same back at you,Ms Talwar..You eavesdropped and you dare place charges against me??(just then the lift stopped all of a sudden)Great!!Judt great..I shouldn't even have come to confront you about certain matters!!I've really got to be stupid!!
Mahi:Wow,amazing revelation,Mr Mayank Sharma!!(both of them glared at each other)Look,I didn't mean to...I tried to tell your secretary to pass this personally to you but you had to give some stupid emergency errands to run..And Ash told me that you were with Bharti so i headed to her cabin..But lil did i know about..
Mayank:What?Go on,say it!!
Mahi:If it hadn't been for your stupid coat,i wouldn't have known about your cold shoulder towards Armaan..Whatz your problem with him??What has he done to you that you are holding a grudge against him and steering Bharti away from him??
Mayank:Sometimes i seriously wonder if your brain cells had been smudged in mud..(saw Mahi glaring at hin)Your dear friend has always come in the way of the only best friend I've ever had in my life..Try denying that fact but you just can't for your friend had always bound her in his traps..And i'm simply getting her out and back into her senses..She had suffered much in the past but not any longer and i'll not let anyone especially Armaan to control her thoughts!!
Mahi:You're thinking of causing harm to your dear friend here?
Mayank:If that takes her away from Armaan and if happiness were to seep,I would gladly do that..Think of me as a manipulative sadist,i don't care!!
Mahi:But i care for my friend's happiness..He loves Bharti,how can you even think of separating them??
Mayank:(smirked)He's going to get engaged to Shreya..Which world are you living in???
Mahi:I won't let you..(got out of the lift in the basement)Do you hear me??(held his collar with both her palms)I won't let you harm Armaan at any cost!!
Mayank:Try stopping me,Ms Talwar..(left in hs car,after taking her hands off his collar and out of fury,Mahi hurled a small rock which was in front of her,breaking his headlight and she quickly ran away)
Mayank giggled at seeing a helpess Mahi.He knew that Bharti is a bold and independent girl but she is still quite fresh in the fashion industry.He dialled Shreya's number.
Shreya:Good evening Sir..How can i help?
Mayank:Doing a favour for you..Got you and Armaan movie tickets and a gift voucher..Keep yourself busy with Armaan,hmm?
Shreya:Sir,are you kidding me?
Mayank:No,i'm not..You deserve a break and i'm giving to you or else i'll give the movie tickets to someone else..
Shreya:Not at all...Thank you so much Sir!!(hung up)Oh gosh,i can't wait to tell Armaan..(dialled his number)Hi Armaan..
Armaan:Hi Shreya,what's up?
Shreya:Please,please,please tell me you've got no plans tonight..
Armaan:Not sure,Shreya..Going out with Maa and then..No guarantees but why??
Shreya:I don't know why it's so strange..Mayank sir,out of the blue moon,decided to surprise us ith a gift voucher from Splash and a fresh pair of movie tickets..
Shreya:Not at all..
Armaan:Shreya,i'm in the middle of an important work..I'll get back to you,k??
Armaan:(hung up)Thatz strange..Why would Mayank do that??
All of a sudden,Armaan saw a commotion going on between Raj and Jiya and rushed towards both of them in Raj's cabin.
Jiya:Why do you have to consult her after all??She's no longer a part of the creative newsletter team or a constituent of MU!!
Raj:This important edition of mine is incomplete without her contribution,Jiya!!Whatz wrong with you nowadayzz??I have been noticing that whenever i mention Bharti's name,you get all so frustrated..
Jiya:Oh really..Like you do not know what the reason is..
Raj:The matter is at the tip of your tongue..Say what you intend to say..Right now!!!
Jiya:You want the facts??Get this..I don't like her being a part of your's and Armaan's life..I hate the limelight she's snatching away on purpose..And yes,i didn't like the way she saved your career!!
Raj:Jiya..You're harbouring hatred for her having saved my career??You indeed have the least of clues of what she has done for me and the value of her in Armaan's life..You..
Jiya:Yes,blame me,Raj..I desperately wanted to save your career instead of her being the saviour all the time.I came in your life as well as Armaan's before her..That doesn't give her any right to overrule me in any matter!!!
Raj:Have you gone blind??Being clouded by your baseless judgment that Bharti's bent on ruining the friendship that the 3 of us share,hmm??As far as i know her,she's not that type of a person.She's always there to reach out for help but you didn't even think about almost selling out on Sudha aunty's reputation..You were so rash,Jiya!!Stay out of this,Jiya..(turned around and was appalled to see Armaan's eyes welled up)
Armaan:Give me the files,Raj..I'll speak to Bharti directy..(took the files from Raj's hands and turned to go;Raj followed suit and headed to stop Armaan in his cabin and Jiya followed them quietly)
Raj:Stop,Armaan..What do you think you're doing?
Armaan:I'm going to talk to Bharti..We need to stop all these drama in our lives,Raj..I can't let Bharti ruin my friendship with Jiya!!This is it!!!She has done much damage already..
Raj:What are you even saying,Armaan?She has gone blind but what is wrong with you??
Armaan:Jiya's right,Raj,she has come in my life just to fill it with more troubles..You have no idea how it feels when your Maa doesn't talk to you for days..
Raj:Firstly,Bharti came before Jiya and Shreya..Bharti is the first love of your life..You ought to fight for her but instead,you're behaving so cowardly,surrendering to please other people and not giving yourself the desired passion in your life.You are not in your right senses as of now..You are emotionally shaken up so i'll be the one talking to her directly!!
Armaan:Raj,stop plying the obstinate card here..
Raj:I'm not!!In fact,i'm the one who needs a break from all these drama and you're stayng from Bharti,as of now!!(got inside the lift and headed upstairs when he bumped into Mahi)Ouchh!!Mahi??Where were you all these while?(held the lift door open button)
Mahi:(got out)Don't even get me started,you two..Not in a good mood to talk..
Raj:Us neither!!(glared at Armaan before he let the lift doors close)
Mahi:What?(turned around but by then Raj was gone)Where did he go now,Armaan??
Armaan:To stop me from talking to Bharti..To talk to her himself!!Like i even care..(went back to his cabin)
Mahi:(pondered)I shouldn't have been so careless to let both of them hear on the conversation..I need to talk to Armaan before he too leaves elsewhere..(rushed to meet Armaan but Sonali stopped her)Sonu??
Sonali:I heard you were looking for me??
Mahi:When exactly did you hear that?
Sonali:Hours back but i've got a perfectly logical explanation for that,Mahi..
Mahi:You're not going to go away,are you??
Sonali:You want me to?
Mahi:Right now,yes!!You've cost me quite a number of projects,which i barely managed to save at the nick of time..I could have gottenpenalized here and that too because of you,Sonu!!
Sonali:I said Sorry na,Mahi..please yaar,samajh ne ki koshish toh kar!!
Mahi:Yeah,you can come up with all the excuses in the world,Sonu..And i've got to pay for them..I'll really love to find out what held you up but right now,I need to have a word with Armaan..Excuse me!!
Sonali:What's gone into her today??Sheesh!!(shook her head and went to Mahi's cabin to take a look at her project deals)
Raj:Bharti,i'm so sorry to disturb you at this hour..(Bharti smiled)
Bharti:I'm glad you did..Come in and make yourself comfortable!!Come..
Raj:You remember how we talked about Project M3?We haven't completed the project at all yaar..
Bharti:Arre haan..We left it midway,thinking it would never take off..But why are you asking about this right now?I mean,i'm not in Men's Universe any longer..
Raj:That's what Jiya tells me too..That i shouldn't even consider talking to you about this since you're out of MU and perhaps out of Armaan's life..(saw Bharti looking intently at him as she stopped working on her assignment)
Bharti:Jiya's right,Raj..I'm no longer in MU nor am I a part of Armaan's life..Shreya is..
Raj:Ok,this is just a blip here,a secret trap to keep you talking to me..You think I'm blind to the fact that Armaan's still loving you??
Bharti:He..What??He's not,Raj..He's in love with Shreya and that's why he's even thinking of marrying Shreya..
Raj:Engagement is the first step,Bharti..
Bharti:Yeahh,whatever it may be..So gel along with that!!Raj,what's wrong with you yaar?'
Raj:Why are you like this yaar?
Raj:Doesn't any of these affect you in the slightest manner at all??Not talking to Armaan for months for now,keeping Naina away from him or Sudha aunty..(Bharti looked perplexed and blank)and letting him get engaged to Shreya?Is that how you desperately want him to be happy?Is this some way of you pushing away so that he can be happy?Why do you keep doing this to him,Bharti?Do you care about him at all?
Bharti:(eyes welled up,tears almost breaking out)Indeed it's sad that i used to be his 'secret' friend and you can say i had never ever cared for him..Not even a bit!!I don't know how you overheard my conversation with Mayank but i can tell you something..I had always cared for his happiness which lies in my absence from his life..There has always been bad stuff happening to him when I'm around him..You,of all people,ought to understand that his love for me is toxic!!
Raj:Bharti,that doesn't make any sense..You can never get a more passionate guy than Armaan in your life..
Bharti:Stop it,Raj,for God's sake..
Raj:Fine,but let me warn you about something;no one can change his mind to stop loving you,Bharti..
Bharti:Engagement is the first step,Raj..In fact,he'll soon harbour hatred for me in his heart..
Raj:No circumstances can bring that to happen,Bharti..We'll see about that!!(turned to go)
Raj:(turned around from the door once more)What?
Bharti:If you're going out for drinks,give me a call..I'll join you!!
Raj:I'll call you for i'll be needing you pretty soon..(left from there)
Armaan:Mahi,your newsletter team will be gaining more coverage,as per my sources..It is catching up pretty well..
Mahi:Wow,serious?In fact,before Bharti left,she and Raj were working on a crucial project,Project M3 with the MU emblem..But Bharti had to leave and the project was suspended in the air..
Armaan:What project is this?
Mahi:It was highly discussed in much discretion..Neither me nor Sonu knows the details but we both knew it was something huge for both of them used to get so excited and passionate about their pet project and somehow it didn't pan out the way both of them had expected..In fact,if i'm not wrong,it was approximately around the same time when Bharti got the offer as a temporary editorial assistant at Trends and also around when Raj's career fell into a grave crash..I didn't possess the files,both of them did..
Armaan:That's strange,Raj didn't even mention it at all!!Anyways what was it that you wanted to talk to me about??(was dialling Shreya's number)
Mahi:Who are you calling?
Armaan:Shreya,i was supposed to get back to her..Another strange thing happened today...Mayank had offered her a break tody,with movie tickets and a pair of gift voucher..Can you believe that??
Mahi:(grew shocked and pissed)No,i just can't..I mean,he wouldn't be nice all so sudden..Something is surely cooking in his mind!!!
Armaan:What?Hold on Mahi..Hi Shreya,listen..About the movie,ermm..
Mahi:(shouted)Armaan,you are busy,remember??
Armaan:Yeah Shreya,give me a sec,will you??(held the receiver)What the hell are you doing,Mahi??
Mahi:(took Armaan's mobi;e from him and talked)Don't mind me..Hi Shreya,this is Mahi..Actually,he had already made dinner plans with me and Sudha aunty..Well we both have a crucial projet to work on abd he was going to help me with it..
Shreya:Oh dear,in that case,itz ok.I'll just go with Ishaan,this is a one-time opportunity for me and i can't waste it..
Mahi:Hmm if i had known earlier,i could have made some arrangements but the project is due tomorrow itself..I hope you can understand..Ok,Shreya?
Shreya:Sure,Mahi..Thanks for informing!!(Armaan took his mobile and spoke but Shreya had hung up already)
Armaan:She hung up,Mahi,what else??Is this your retribution for her not helping you today??
Mahi:You can consider it that way..
Armaan:Gosh,what is that Sonu doing to you??Anyways,what do you want from me?
Mahi:I just want to rekindle our friendship over dinner..It kinda fell apart due to various misunderstandings..I'm just..
Armaan:I miss you too Mahi.. And both of us grew busy..It's nothing about those misunderstandings anyways..Clearly you don't want me spending time with Shreya..
Mahi:Uh-uh,it's only for tonight..Your phone's ringing..Let me get that..
Armaan:No it's fine..I'm ok with the pile of papers here..
Mahi:Hi Aunty,Armaan and i are on our way downstairs..We'll meet you at the entrance..(hung up)Let's go..
Armaan:I'll be back in 5..Need to pack some stuff...
Mahi:Sure,hurry up..(left from there)
Armaan:(saw Mahi leaving in the lift)I need to meet Shreya and clear things out..(took his coat and went to Trends)
Armaan reached Trends to notice much of the desks empty except for some cabins.He was searching for Shreya but he fell lost.He saw an illustration of a beautiful damsel working away,attending calls at early night but soon,she hangs up on the call,erasing all the worries on her face as the duties of her day had officially been over.She let go of her ponytail,letting her tresses down,swirling her hair around magically as his eyes followed every move of her's.She soon came out,slapping him back to his purpose of visiting Trends.He turned around,oblivious to the fact that she was already behind him.He gradually turned round,shocked to be seen and be discovered by an awkward silence that had kept Bharti preoccupied.She was equally tensed but in a split moment,all of the weariness and uncomfortable silences disappeared as she addressed him as how a stranger would notice him.