Payal was wiping the table,the last chore she had to complete before adorning herself with the beautiful necklace which Bhaskar had gifted her years ago.She had kept it together with her collection of exquisite accessories which Bhaskar and Bharti had bought for her over the years.
Earlier on,she had been home ahead of her date night with Bhaskar.She wanted to look as beautiful as how Bhaskar had seen her at first sight.She could not exactly say when the moment was but Bhaskar has confessed about the night he had first met her.Till then,she didn't even realize that he had actually met her way before;once at his college mate's anniversary bash,secondly at an ice-cream parlor and thirdly at a shopping mall,at Shopper's Stop.Surprisingly,that was when she had first seen him.The suave,bold gentleman who had come forward to help her out in getting a lollipop stuck in the back pocket of a stranger.Payal laughed out loud,thinking of just how Bhaskar had befriended a stranger who just wanted to be left alone and how she managed to get it out for a small kid.
Just then,the doorbell rang.Payal excitedly opened the door and turned around.
Payal:(stood with her back facing the inside of the house)Hey handsome..How do i look?
Bharti:(stifled her laughter and fidgeted)Oh gosh..Lagta hai Payal ek surprise date kar rahi thi Bhaskar ke liye...Mauka bhi hai,haath se kaise jaane doo??(cleared her throat)
Payal:Kuch bolne ki zaroorat nahin hai,jaanemann...I know ki main kuch zyaada khaas lag rahi hoon aaj par yeh matt samajh na ki maine yeh sab tumhaare liye kiya hai,k??
Bharti:(tried her best to sound manly)Acha..Toh phir kiske hosh khone ke liye yeh sab kiya hai tu ne??Waise maanna padega.Kaafi hot lag rahi ho...
Payal:Ek minute...Yeh toh ladies' perfume hai na?
Bharti:Lo kardi na..ladkiyo waali baat!!!(lost her manly voice and Payal opened her eyes in shock)Bharti,tu????
Bharti:Ab saara romance yehi karoge kya??Bolo bolo...
Payal:Tum bhi na...andar chal!!(locked the door and brought her to the dining table)Tum yaha iss waqt?
Bharti:Yehi se guzar rahi thi yaar socha ki mil kar chalungi...Aur yeh bhi dekhne chali aayi ki tumhaare aage ka plans kya hai and all...
Payal:(her glow subsided as she thought about her future)Kya karoo yaar??Mann toh karta hai ki yehi ruk jaao tumhaare paas aur RJ ki naukri karlu..Peppy Payal jo tum roz sunte ho..Par Bhaskar bohat mehnat kiya tha na iss mukam tak pohanch ne ke liye na...Uske baarein sochu toh yeh kadam sahi lagta hai...
Bharti:Tum aur tumhaare pyaar...(shook her head and smiled at her)
Payal:Tum hamesha pyaar se bhaagte ho na??Par ek ladka tumhaare intezaar karne ke liye tayyaar bhi tha na..phir bhi tumne..(Bharti knew and she looked away)Khayr...Mujhe tumse ek sawaal poochna tha...
Bharti:Bhaskar ka phone try kiya tumne??
Payal:Bohat baar lekin voice mail mein jaa rahi hai yaar...Kaha tha ki 10 min mein aa jaayega...Jaane kyun yeh mard hamesha aisa kyun kehte rehte hai...Seedhe yeh nahin bata sakte hai ki late hoga and all??Hmm...Main tumse Armaan ke baare mein nahin poochna chahthi hoon...Koi aur baat hai...
Bharti:Main sunn rahi hoon..
Payal:Kya tum mere aur Bhaskar ke liye kuch bhi kar sakte ho??(Bharti stared blankly at her,not being able to understand a question as such from her)Kuch bhi??
Bharti:Matlab?Tum aise kyun...
Payal:Kal ko agar mere saath kuch bhi na insaafi hua toh kya tum mujhe insaaf dilaaoge??
Bharti:Paayu..Yeh kaise sawaal hai yaar?Of course,main tumhe insaaf dilaane ke liye kuch bhi karungi..Tum mere dosti par shaq kar rahe ho??Tum jaanti ho na ki main apne dost ke liye kuch bhi karungi...
Payal:(thought silently to herself)Oh no!!Iska matlab jo kuch Armaan ne mujhse kaha..Woh sab...Sach hai???Par Bharti...Woh aisa thodi na karegi..
Bharti:Kya hua??Meri jawab pasand nahin aayi tumhe??Befilr raho...Jahaa tak Bhaskar hai tumhaari zindagi me,koi tumhe choo bhi nahin sakti,samjhi???(just then the doorbell rang)Lo,tumhaare humsafar aa gaya hai!!!
Payal hurried to the door but Bharti stopped her.
Bharti:Bhaskar ko surprise nahin dena hai kya??(Payal smiled widely and let Bharti do the honours)Hi jaanemann...Kahaa the itne dher tak,hmm???
Bhaskar was sweating profusely.He couldn't believe his eyes.Bharti was standing right before him.He blinked twice and widened his eyes,shaking his head in disbelief.
"This can't be happening.How can Bharti be here when i had seen her at the old fort?She was there dragging Gaurav into a car and speeding off elsewhere...She was being extremely discreet about Gaurav but i am dead sure it was Gaurav...and it was Bharti..the same sleek white dress with a black rose as an adornment at the top right corner)..Oh crap..What is happening and where is Payal??Did she do something to her???"
Bharti snapped at him and knocked him back to his senses.
Bhaskar:Bharti,where is Payal?What have you done to her??
Bharti:(gestured Payal to go insode her room)Oh hello..What the hell,Bhaskar??Pehle super late aate ho aur mujh par itna bada ilzam lagaa rahe ho??Waise itni betaabi hona..Bohat achi baat hai kyunki woh apne kamre mein hai,gussa lekar baith gayi hai...(Bhaskar shoved her to a corner and rushed inside)Arre!!!(Bhaskar closed their room door)
Payal:Tumhe ho kya gaya hai??Itne paseene kyun aa rahe hai tumhaare maathe pe??Kuch bataaoge bhi ya nahin???(Bhaskar stopped his rapid walks to and fro in front of Payal and held her arms tightly)
Bhaskar:Payal,i saw Bharti at the Old Fort..And that too dragging Gaurav in a car..(Payal cringed her nose)I mean it..I really saw her white dress..with..with that black rose at the top corner..She was dragging Gaurav!!
Payal:Are you here in a stupor??Bhaskar,Bharti has been here for the past 2 hours;we were catching up and i was talking to her about your lateness and our trip to UK...But where did this whole fiasco come about??Don't even tell me that this is one of your brilliant schemes to get me hooked to your excuses,alrite??
Bhaskar:Main bilkul bhi mazak nahin kar raha hoon yaar...Sachi Paayu...This is the blatant truth...What if she hid Gaurav somewhere and had come to meet you instead?Have you thought about that???Trust me,Paayu!!!
Payal:Unbelievable!!!Woh baahar khadi hai aur tum yahaa mere saamne chillaa rahe ho???Old Fort kuch zyaada nazdeek nahin hai yahaa se??(Bhaskar realized her sarcasm)
Bhaskar:Payal,maana ki Old Fort bohat door hai yahaa se...
Payal:Dus minute kahaa tha na tumne??Tum wahaa par kar kya rahe the??
Bhaskar:Main wahaa pe tumhaare liye surprise plan karne gaya tha..Tabhi mere gaadi achanak si ruk gayi...Maine door se dekha tha aur aawaaz bhi kiya tha..aur mujhe aisa laga ki woh...Woh baal aur kapde dekh kar..
Payal:Ki woh Bharti hai??What in the world,Bhaskar??(rushed to open the door and went out of the room but froze upon seeing Bharti rush from her home;Bhaskar followed suit and stood behind Payal)Thank you so much for ruining my night!!!(went upstairs and changed her dress into a night gown and as she laid on ber bed,she began to ponder)
'Bhaskar mujhse kyun jhooth bolega aur Armaan...Dono Bharti ke baarein mein aise kyun..Kahin Bharti sach much Radhika ke insaaf ke liye..Par Gaurav in sab ke beech mein kahaa fit ho raha hai???'
Bharti was riding Niharika's Scooty and she too fell deeply in thoughts,
'Old Fort...Bhaskar wahaa kar kya raha tha aur Gaurav??Main toh Payal ke saath thi toh phir mere jaise koi aur wahaa..Gaurav ab gayab ho chuka hai,meri ek galti ke wajah se..Agar usne apne mu khol diya toh mera saara khel khatam ho sakta hai..Lekin ab main usse kahaa pe dhondhoo??(reached the Old Fort and looked around;she saw the rope which she had tied Gaurav with and a piece of ragged cloth)'
As she looked on after throwing away the blood-stained cloth,she found a locket.A silver locket.Bharti took the locket and went from there to Mayank's place.
Mayank:Hi Bharti...Come join us for late supper....Nihu's special..
Bharti:(locked the door and glared at him)What the hell werw you doing at Old Fort??
Mayank:What...What do you mean??
Bharti:If you had known about Gaurav's whereabouts,why did you put me in between this,hmm??You just..
Mayank:Oh really??What makes you think that i would go all the way to Old Fort??(Bharti loosened her fist and gradually released the silver locket she found)Yeh locket??
Bharti:Tumhaara hi hain na??
Mayank:Par yeh kaise??Ek minute...(brought Bharti to his room and opened his drawer)Mera locket yahaa pe hi hain..(Bharti was confused)Toh phir yeh kiska locket hai???(Bharti and Mayank stared at each other)I swear upon you,Bharti..I don't know!!!Par mujhe ek baat samajh mein nahin aaya..Tum itne worked up kyun ho??
Bharti:Main..tumhaare liye pareshan hoon...Trends ka kaafi luksaan hua hain aur...
Mayank:Lagta toh nahin hain..Tum toh ab wahaa kaam bhi nahin karti toh phir...
Bharti:Fine!!(Nihar witnessed the tension between them)Tum mujhe bataao ki tumne Gaurav Khurana ko Trends ke khaas stakeholder kyun bana diya tha??
Mayank:Bharti,woh meri official business hai..Tumhe isse kya lena dena??
Bharti:Koi lena dena nahin??Aise kaise??Tumhe itna bhi afsos nahin ho raha hai apne faisle par aur kabhi Radhika ke baare mein bhi socha hai tumne??Ohh!!That was what..almost 7 years??Sab bhool gaye tum??Ki kaise G ne humaare zindagiyo ko hamesha ke liye tabah kar diya??Agar woh mere haath lag gaya na,toh uska khayr nahin!!Bhaag gaya idiot!!Tumhaari kasam,Mayu!!!
Mayank:Kya kaha tumne??Tum jaante the ke Gaurav kahaa pe tha itne dino tak??Tumne ek aur kasam diya tha mujhe...Yaad hai tumhe???(Bharti turned away but looked back at him,straight in his eyes)
Bharti:Woh kasam maine tab thod doya tha jab mujhe sach ka pata chal gaya tha...Ab main kisi ka sunne waali nahin hoon..Samjhe??(left from there,leaving Mayank and Niharika much more shocked than ever)