Bharti:Yes,how can I assist you?(Armaan shook his head)
Armaan:(Bharti walked past him)Bharti!!
Bharti:(stopped and looked at him from her left)Shreya's gone with Ishaan,just 5 minutes back..
Armaan:I know that..I came to talk to you!!(recalled how Raj wouldn't reveal anything of his conversation with Bharti)What did Raj talk to you about?
Bharti:(turned around)That's between me and him..
Armaan:You mean Project M3 or something about me??I know he wasn't here only for Project M3,so please tell me!!
Bharti:I'm sorry to say that you're wrong..He simply came forward with Project M3 and nothing else!!
Armaan:Ohh,so you've mastered the art of lying and decided to implement it on me..Why are you bent on ruining my friendship with Jiya and straining my mother's relationship with me??Why are you doing this to me,Bharti??
Bharti:To whom do I owe this pleasure to be accused as such?What did I do now??
Armaan:Bharti,listen..I don’t know why you aren’t talking to me,it’s been months now..Did I do something to you or to Naina that you’re distancing me and Maa from her?The moment you left with Naina and Mayank,it just made my heart thump harder and Maa doesn’t even talk to me properly..Just like how you wished for my re-marriage,I’m going to get engaged to Shreya soon,I don’t know about the exact date but it is going to be soon,Bharti..
Bharti:Why are you telling me all these?I didn’t ask,Armaan..
Armaan:I dare you,Bharti..I want you to be there for my engagement..
Bharti:I’m not going to..
Armaan:I’m not done just yet..I want you at each nook of the ceremony and this is just the engagement.This isn’t like our contract marriage where signatures are exchanged and a simple ceremony takes place.Wedding is another aspect altogether and I want you to live it and experience it with me..(Bharti walked past Armaan)You can vouch that you don’t love me,right?Be there and prove that.If you’re not going to be there,this wedding or engagement will not take place,no matter how many hearts may break..(Armaan walked past her,and took the steps leading to the basement,upon receiving Mahi’s call)
Mahi:Glad to have ordered the new Canadian pizza..But what’s wrong,Sudha aunty?You seem so lost..
Armaan:She must be worried about her daughter,over which she doesn’t even talk to me..
Mahi:Aha,so I’m in the middle of a fiasco,Armaan..(murmured)You should have warned me at least..
Sudha:There’s no fiasco of any kind,Mahi..Armaan,we do talk..
Armaan:Not as often as before..
Sudha:What’s wrong with you?Stop being so whiny..
Armaan:Then what,Maa?I didn’t do anything that Bharti reacted that way and left abruptly from our place like that..
Mahi:Can I say something?Just excuse me,I’ve got to go to the loo..You two carry on..
Armaan:Sure..(Mahi left)Maa,you don’t know what’s running in her mind..She doesn’t..She doesn’t care about us anymore…
Sudha:Like I’m going to believe you,Armaan…What happened that it slipped my mind from asking you?What did you do??
Armaan:Me??Of course your partiality to her exceeds bounds,Maa..
Sudha:Am I right,Armaan??(Armaan paused)What,Armaan?
Armaan:I can’t take the fact that she isn’t talking to me..I thought after what I’ve said,she’ll leave all her grudges against me and talk to me..She has always been telling me to move on and hence I told her to sever bonds with you..i just mentioned it to show how difficult it is to move on past our shared history..
Sudha:Just how dare you say that to a girl who sees as a mom to her??I mean,how could you say that her reaction that night had nothing to do with you??
Mahi:Aunty,don’t chide Armaan,he’s suffered much..He’s truly remorseful for what he’s said..In fact,Bharti hasn’t talked to Payal for days because Payal and Bhaskar brought Naina over without asking her..I mean,it’s not as if they haven’t done so before but..
Sudha:Mahi,it’s what he has said that has affected Bharti..I can’t believe my own son would distance my daughter and Naina from me..Have you heard from her anytime??
Mahi:No Aunty,but we can’t erase what has been said now..Please forgive Armaan,Aunty..
Sudha:He doesn’t deserve my forgiveness but I can’t stay mad at him for long either since I’m his Maa…Armaan,you want both of us to talk,sure we can do that..Sure but only after Bharti talks to you!!
Mahi:It’s already done,Aunty…In fact,he and Bharti were on talking terms..Sonali and I saw them talking even just now before we left from the office…Hain na Armaan??(raised her eyebrow at him and smiled)
Armaan:Haan,haan Maa..Baat na karne ki koi gunjaayish hi nahin hai..Ab sab theekh hai,sirf Bharti ko Payal aur Bhaskar se baat karni baaki hai aur kuch nahin..
Sudha:Pehle kyun nahin bataayi tum dono ne??Khaama kha..Hmm theekh hai,khaale the hain!!(started eating)
~Outside Golden Cinema~
Shreya:Thanks for accompanying at the last minute,Ishaan..What would I do without you?
Ishaan:Strutting the world alone,what else?
Shreya:(smiled)You always know how to make me smile..
Ishaan:I meant to ask you something..Was Armaan so busy that he couldn’t accompany you?
Shreya:He already had dinner plans with Maa and had to help one of his colleagues with her project..How could I possibly ask him to cancel all those plans,Ishaan?
Ishaan:Wow,you’re a mature girlfriend unlike other needy girls..Aaj kal aise ladkiya kaha milta hai?
Shreya:Stop flattering me..
Ishaan:I’m doing the reverse,Shreya..I can’t believe how naïve you are to fall for the lies of guys..He’ll tell you anything and you’ll believe him instantly,hmm?
Shreya:What are you even saying,Ishaan?He’s not like other guys,he even called to get back to me..He’s sincere!!
Ishaan:When did I even talk about his infidelity,Shreya??See..You do have issues!!
Ishaan:Are you really sure he’s the one for you?I only mean for your happiness,Shreya..This is your life we are talking about,here!!Did he ever make you feel special or confess his feelings for you??From what you had told me,he had married once but it didn’t pan out well..Does he still harbor feelings for his ex-wife??Has he ever been able to talk to you about his wedding,his experience??From your looks,you’re not sure,Shreya!!
Shreya:No Ishaan,he has never had any special feelings towards Bharti..I’m sure of that,k?
Ishaan:Ok,but what about now?Is he serious about you or not??Do ask him,if you haven’t already done so…Come,let’s get into the auto!!(headed back home)
Niharika and Mayank had been resting on the sofa right after dinner,with Niharika laying her head on Mayank’s shoulder.
Niharika:What’s so annoying about Mahi anyways?Why can’t you be friendly with her,just like Bharti or something?
Mayank:(looked intently at her down his shoulder and Niharika looked up to Mayank and took herself away)What are you even saying,Nihar?She stupidly broke one of my headlights and I only knew about it after having to pull over based on a traffic police’s instructions..And you and Bharti expect me to be friendly with this one person who’s been causing me damage since day 1??
Niharika:Come on Mayu,she can’t be that bad..Whatever you’re going through,it could be due to sheer nature of coincidences..
Mayank:Coincidence..There’s nothing termed as coincidence in this planet,Nihar!!Everything happens for a reason!!
Niharika:And here we go again..And your mobile’s ringing too,for a reason,I assume??
Mayank:Yeah sure,Nihar..It’s Bharti to my rescue..Yes Bharti dear,what news awaits me??
Niharika:Gosh,when will I get to hear Mahi dear for a change,hmm??(chuckled as she raised her eyebrow)
Mayank:Hush it..(hit Nihar with a cushion and headed to the balcony)Yes Bharti,what’s up?
Bharti:Mahi dear??You’re improving!!
Mayank:Very funny,Bharti..You weren’t supposed to hear that..
Bharti:Oh really??Look at you all so embarrassed,as though I caught you in the act!!
Mayank:Letz move on to what you have to say,hmm??
Bharti:Hahz alright,well I’ve read the proposal you have in mind for Trend’s upcoming project and I’ve created a detailed plan sketched in my..In my..(searched her bag)Oh crap!!Where is it???
Bharti:Nope,my sketch,my plan is missing!!!It’s not with me.I’m so sorry…You’ve trusted me with this plan and here I am..I had just..Darn it!!!
Mayank:Bharti,you were at Trends…You might have left it in your cabin in a hurry..
Bharti:You think I did?
Mayank:Yes Bharti,no reason to panic..You did leave it there,right?
Bharti:Mayu,of course I did…Ok,I’ll meet you tomorrow,bye!!
Mayank:Ok then,bye!!(both of them hung up)
Bharti:Now,did I really leave it in my cabin??Argghh duffer Bharti,you did it again!!!(headed to catch an auto home)
Armaan was at Mahi’s place after he dropped his mum off at the hospital for her extra night shift.
Mahi:So,you enjoyed dinner??I solved one of your problems,be thankful!!
Armaan:Should I drop you a Thank You note??
Armaan:What,Mahi?Are you expecting some credit for your lie?Are you expecting me to smile now because my Maa thinks Bharti and I’ve reconnected and we are both back to bein friends??Well Maa,Mahi lied to you;Bharti and I will no longer talk for that’s how distant we’ve become and Mahi just wanted to get rid of all my frustrations for you were not talking to me either…Mahi!!Just imagine if Maa were to figure things out!!!!
Mahi:Come on,she won’t,yaar;she’s busy for a start!!Err,letz just cross our fingers that she doesn’t find out about our white lie!!
Armaan:Ok,hurry up with your project…Where is it?
Mahi:Well,you see Armaan…The thing is that…
Armaan:No project,I assume??(Mahi smiled sheepishly and Armaan gritted his teeth in irritation)What the damn hell,Mahi??Another lie??(turned to go)
Mahi:Ok wait,I lied,fine!!But I wanted to talk with you,clear some things out!!
Armaan:You don’t have to lie for that,Mahi…
Mahi:Err,it just seems that I’m missing Sonali even more..I was md at her,I was using her tactics more and more..
Armaan:Pretty obvious of her influence on you…But I forgive you since itz Sonu..What is it??
Mahi:What’s the matter with you,Armaan?(Armaan looked at her blankly)I know I should have disconnected the call instead of letting you and Raj hear everything..It’s my fault,I’m sorry…I can’t see you like this,feigning oblivion to your problem..I’m one of your close colleagues,I know when things get messy but I just don’t ask but right now,I’m asking you,Armaan…
Armaan:(gasped for breath as his eyes welled up)Mahi,I’m messed up;all my relations,my friendships are all messed up because of her…She screwed up everything for me and yet I can’t stop thinking about her!!I’ve grown so weak and vulnerable that I let her control me…My thoughts,everything!!
Mahi:That’s it,Armaan!!You still care so much about her…You’re very much in love with this girl!!(beamed with pride but Armaan’s eyes grew red and moist)
Armaan:I can’t do this,Mahi!!I can’t love her,a girl who simply doesn’t care about me or Maa anymore..I didn’t expect you to be as happy as Raj,Mahi..I can’t hold on to these emotions further more for they break my bond especially with Maa and Jiya,two of the closest family I can’t live without..I’ve got to move on,that’s best for me,something which Bharti has been trying to explain to me through her actions..(Mahi’s smile faded)I’ve decided to move on,to stick with Shreya!!Respect my decision,Mahi,if you’re indeed a close friend of mine!!
Mahi:Wow,for you to think like this,she must have really screwed up,didn’t she?(felt utterly sad)
Armaan:No.She’s the most awesome and beautiful thing that happened to me..But I just can’t have her!!You know that feeling?
Mahi:(tears started streaming and nodded before Armaan hugged her real tight)I know..I’ve been divorced,remember??I had to go through a divorce from a guy who used to be my life,my everything..I had been crazy about him,Armaan..I loved Ved so much,and when I see you in love,I see a version of me still living and breathing the air of passion and excitement..But now that you tell me about your decision,I can’t stop myself from tearing my heart apart all over again..I need to warn you,Armaan..Moving on ain’t an easy feat..
Armaan:You did it,Mahi..Sure it took time but you did it so,so can I…It’s just a matter of time..Right??(Mahi just looked on)Right,Mahi??(looked to Mahi for assurance but when he didn’t receive any,he shook her hard)Right??
Mahi:(wiped her tears)Maybe..Maybe not,after all..(Armaan was puzzled)No one knows the fact that I..I haven’t moved on,Armaan!!It hurts me deep inside,my scar is still ever so fresh!!
Armaan:OMG Mahi!!I’m..speechless!!You mean to say…
Mahi:I’ve recently seen him..I’m sure it’s him but he was with a girl.whom I couldn’t see clearly..I’m not paranoid,you’ve got to believe me…He’s living a whole new life altogether after giving me all these deeply embedded scars!!!
Armaan:Oh my Mahi..How long has this been??Damn it..And I thought I was the only one bottling my feelings inside of me..
Mahi:Please keep this to yourself,hm??
Armaan:Come here,you..(hugged Mahi)I’m so sorry for not being there for you,Mahi..(thought to himself)Damn you,life!!What have you done to both of us??
“In the nook pf life,it is about surviving the odds that determine the fittest.Life makes you struggle to the peak of your capabilities that you intend to give up,let go of hope and that was exatly how I felt,Bharti.Your Radhika was never all smiles.she had met a guy from her past who had returned in her life,to see her and mock her,as she struggled to pay off her bills working as a waitress.He had come there with a bunch of groupies,as he had termed,to humiliate me and all I could do was smile and ignore his pleasure of mockeries.The urge to pour hot coffee all over his jersey had always been a dream never coming true for me but one day,I thought a young lad,single and lonely,a regular, was eyeing my schedule of mockeries for the day,as Sara would point out to me but I batted my eyelids and let the thought of a savior drift away.After G had left with his groupies,only then did this young lad order his special mocha with caramelized cream from Sara.Sara had always told him that I was the one who had made his coffee for him.Sara would just befriend any soul on this planet,something which we both spoke off,remember??Somehow,seeing this young lad makes me forget the mockery for a while,Bharti but that doesn’t mean anything,does it?Life is crazy for both of us in different ways but we are always there for each other,na Bharti??We are each other’s rock,hence no ‘G’s can ruin my life.As so I thought..”
Bharti snapped as the clock struck 12 am.She closed Radhika’s journal,her last memories addressed to Bharti alone.
‘I can’t ask Mayank about a particular ‘G’ for he’ll find out that I’m still hung up over Radhika’s past.How do I even find out where Sara is nowadays??Radhika,no one can stop me from finding the mystery behind things!!’
Bharti had switched off the dim lights whilst her mobile in her bag was ringing.It was Gaurav but by then,Bharti had fallen asleep in exhaustion.The mobile kept ringing.