Full Moon – Night Time.
Mihika’s looking out of the window, smiling. Her arms are crossed.
Abhishek (stands next to her): What’re you thinking about?
Mihika (looks at him): The last few days, they have been awesome – out of this world – and it’s all thanks to you.
Abhishek (chuckles): There’s no need to thank me. In fact, I think you did me a favour. I never felt as relaxed before. I treated this duty as more of a break than anything else. I should feel bad but, surprisingly, I don’t.
Mihika: Good. Admit it. If it wasn’t for me, you’d be too busy “bodyguarding” to have fun for once in your life.
Abhishek (nods): That’s also true.
They smile at each other and few minutes of silence passes over them.
Mihika (plays with her bracelet): You know something, Abhishek, I have travelled abroad, seen so many places, but none of them were like here. None of them felt like home. It’s strange, isn’t? That despite living in such a beautiful country, we wish to visit foreign places. That we know next to nothing about our homeland. There’s beauty in every little thing I’ve seen here. Sadly, it took me this long to realise that.
Abhishek: Well, it’s always better late than never.
Mihika (nods): You’re right.
Abhishek looks at her for a bit before clearing his throat.
Abhishek: You know what I find fascinating?
Mihika looks at him in curiousity.
Abhishek: I never believed that strangers are our best friends who we’ve never met. And, now, look at you and me. Few weeks ago, if it wasn’t for you running away, I would’ve been another face in the crowd for you, and you – I would never have known you as Mihika, only as Mihika Kapoor. Our circumstances led us here, and we’ve managed to cover the distance between us. We’ve become good friends.
Mihika (lost in his eyes): It feels like a dream and I wish it never ends.
Abhishek: The spell of a beautiful dream is only broken when the person always uses their mind to make their decisions and not listens to their heart’s plea.
Abhishek (shakes his head): Never mind.
His phone rings and he picks it up.
Abhishek: Yes, Rohit?
Rohit: Great news, Yaar! We’ve caught the people behind the threats. They are in the interrogation room at the moment. You can come back with Mihika now.
Abhishek’s shocked and gulps, struggling to understand if he should be happy or sad.
He looks at Mihika to see smiling to herself as she gazes at the moon, looking as beautiful as ever.
Abhishek: Actually, Rohit, we’re quite far away from Delhi. It’ll take us at least a day to return.
Rohit (in surprise): Uh, really? I thought you’d lock her in a hotel room and leave her be. Why the change of heart?
Abhishek changes the topic, not feeling comfortable to talk about it.
Abhishek: Do I drop her off at her house or elsewhere?
Mihika looks at him, frowning.
Rohit: Her house, obviously. What’s with you? You sound . . . miffed.
Abhishek (looks at Mihika): Nothing. I’ll see you soon then.
They hang up, and silence stays over Abhishek and Mihika. Both didn’t know what to say to each other, lost in their own thoughts.
Mihika: You’ll keep in contact with me, won’t you?
Abhishek: You can’t get rid of me easily.
He flicks her nose.
Abhishek (smiles): Just remember that.
Mihika (crosses her arms): So, when were you going to give me that gajra?
Abhishek (surprised as he fumbles in his pockets): How did you know about it?
Mihika: Let’s just say I have some magical powers.
Abhishek: It’s more of your nosiness. You’re like a mouse, sniffing out unnecessary details.
Mihika: Okay, fine. I admit to snooping around. Can we get on with it now?
Abhishek takes out the broken and half-dried gajra and looks at her sheepishly. Mihika laughs.
Mihika: You’re an idiot. Give it to me.
Abhishek (hands it over): What will you do with it?
Mihika: That’s for me to know and for you to never know.
Abhishek: You’re weird.
Mihika: Thank you. I learned from the best.
Abhishek: Hey, unlike you, I’m a normal human being.
Mihika: I highly doubt it.
Mihika feels the gajra in her hands and smiles.
Mihika: I’ll take it as a souvenir.
There’s again silence for few minutes.
Mihika: Can we make a last stop before you drop me off?
Abhishek: I’m sorry, Mihika. I can’t. I told Rohit we’ll be there soon and I have to be there by then. I’m responsible for you. I can’t risk it.
Mihika: I’m not talking about anywhere else. Actually, I’m thinking of stopping by at one of my friends’ house. She also lives in Delhi, so there shouldn’t be any problem.
Abhishek: Oh, if that’s the case, it should be fine.
Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna plays.
Mihika smiles but it doesn’t reach her eyes.
Both are lying on the bed, facing the other way. They’re unable to sleep as they remember the times they’ve spend together. Mihika looks confused whereas Abhishek has tears in his eyes.
They’re on the road. Abhishek’s driving. Unlike the previous times, they’re not talking and joking about.
They’re at a road-side restaurant but, once again, don’t speak. They’re quiet. Abhishek notices that Mihika’s not eating her food as she’s lost in thoughts and shakes her out of it. He asks her what happened and she shakes her head, forcing a smile.
Mihika counts her shopping bags as she’s crossing the road. Horns blare.
He grabs her arm and pulls her towards himself.
Abhishek (scolds): Careful. Tumhara dehaan kahan hai.
Music starts again.
He’s giving her a long lecture and she’s quietly listening to him. He’s at lost for words when he looks in her eyes, and time seems to stop for them. She brings herself closer to him, wishing he would never let her go.
A while later, he does.
Embarrassed, Mihika fixes her dupatta and picks up her shopping bags, which Abhishek takes from her.
They’re about to enter a shop when few children run past them, making Mihika lose her balance. Abhishek holds onto her waist to stop her from falling. Mihika stares at his hand and then at him, once again confused.
As Mihika’s talks to the shopkeeper about the kind of saree she’d like, Abhishek smiles sadly and, sniffing, puts on his sunglasses.
Abhishek’s filling up the jeep’s tank, glancing at his watch often. Mihika’s in the car, looking at him. Their eyes meet for few minutes, and she looks away first, gasping for breath as a tear escapes her eye.
It’s nearing night time.
Abhishek stops the jeep outside of a building.
Abhishek: We’re here.
Mihika (snaps out of her trance): Huh?
Mihika sits up straight and looks around.
Mihika rings the bell Abhishek’s beside her, inspecting the hallway.
The door opens to reveal Raman.
Raman (surprised): Mihika, you?
Abhishek looks at Mihika and then Raman.
Raman (shocked): Abhishek? Come here, Yaar.
The men hug, patting each other’s backs.
Raman: How’re you?
Abhishek (laughs): Alive. Barely. And, you? How’re you coping?
Raman: Don’t ask, Yaar. Ishita’s cravings are driving me crazy. Yesterday, she woke me up at two – two in the morning – because she wanted that tea from the road-side stall. Now, you tell me. How was that possible? I told her so and, God help me, I had to put up with another sobbing episode.
Abhishek (laughs): It happens. Enjoy this quality time together because you won’t get it later.
Mihika smiles upon hearing that.
Mihika (realises something): Wait. How do you two know each other?
Raman: We’ve been friends practically all our lives.
Ishita (comes at the door): Raman, what’s taking so–
Ishita (squeals): Miku!
The girls hug each other.
Ishita: I missed you!
Mihika (smiles): I missed you too.
Ishita: Liar! If you had really missed me, why didn’t you visit?
Mihika: I–I couldn’t. And, why am I the only one at fault? You could’ve come as well.
Raman: Yeah, we did, but we found out you ran away.
Mihika looks embarrassed.
Ishita: Raman, stop it. Now’s not the time. We’ll talk about that later. Come inside, both of you.
Abhishek and Mihika enter the house. Raman and Ishita are in front of them, teasing each other. Mihika smiles seeing them.
Abhishek: How do you know them?
Mihika: I had a toothache a couple of years ago but I refused to get a check up done. Mom dragged me to her clinic, saying I was no less than a child, and Ishita Di treated me. That’s how we became friends.
Abhishek (laughs): You’re unbelievable.
Mihika: I know.
Ishita: Mummy G, Papa G, look who’s here!
Mrs. Bhalla: Hai, mein mar jaavan, you two together. That’s a pleasant surprise.
Mihika and Abhishek greet her and Mr. Bhalla.
Mr. Bhalla (points to the dining table): Come, sit. You came at just the right time. We were about to have dinner.
Mihika (sits down, Abhishek next to her): I’m sorry I came without calling first.
Ishita: Nonsense. Consider this your home. I’m glad you both came.
Mihika: Where’s Simmi Di?
Raman: Our Simmi’s growing independent. She’s studying in Mumbai and will soon join me at work.
Mihika: I’m happy to hear that.
Mrs. Bhalla: Forget about us. Tell us about you. How did you two meet?
Abhishek: Aunty, actually–
Romi (comes in the kitchen): Bhabhi, what’s for dinner?
Raman: Agaya naalaik.
Ishita (scolding tone): Raman.
Ishita (to Romi): Vegetable biryani.
Romi (looks at Mihika and smiles): Hey! I remember you from Bhai’s wedding. Mihika, right? I asked you out that time but you’d refused.
Mihika: Yes, I remember.
Romi: So, why don’t we catch up? Shall we have lunch together, tomorrow?
Mr. Bhalla: Oye, Khotiya. Kuch toh sharam kar. She’s engaged.
Romi: Papa G, aap b na. What’s the harm a lunch can do? Besides, if that’s the case, where’s her ring?
Abhishek looks at her empty hand and is surprised. Mihika grows nervous and puts her hand under the table.
Mihika (stutters, avoiding eye contact): Actually, I thought I might lose it. That’s why I took it off.
Abhishek knows she’s lying.
Ishita: Haan, toh acha kia na.
Romi sits opposite them and greets Abhishek. They all begin small talks, about business, recent happenings, and have dinner.
Raman and Ishita’s bedroom – Raman and Abhishek
Raman shows Abhishek his wedding photo album. Mihika comes in one of photos and Abhishek stops talking, tracing it with his hand. His expressions softens. Raman notices that and smiles.
Raman: You know, Abhishek, you can never hide the truth. It has to come out someday.
Abhishek (puts the album down): What do you mean?
Raman: I’ve known you since forever, and you’ve never shown any kind of interest in women. I admit, I was starting to get worried about you and Ishita even thought that you . . . you know.
Abhishek (rolls eyes): Raman, get to the point.
Raman: You love her.
Abhishek (looks down): She’s getting married.
Raman: You’re not denying your love for her then.
Abhishek (stands up): Raman, please. It’s useless to talk about this. Mihika and I–we’re not possible for so many reasons.
Raman (places a hand on his shoulder and turns him around): Mihika’s a great girl. Yes, she’s a little childish and naive, but she’s nice. You tell me. Did you think before you fell for her? No, am I right? Then, why’re you hesitating now? Tell her. There’s a chance she’ll accept your feelings.
Abhishek: Raman, don’t give me false hopes, or you’ll break me even more.
Raman: Listen to me, Abhishek. There’s no point in hiding these feelings. What’s the worst that’ll happen? She’ll reject you. Trust me when I say this, that’s still thousand times better than the regret you’ll feel if you don’t tell her. At least you’d know you tried.
Abhishek: I can’t lose her as a friend. And, Arnav? What about him?
Raman: If you two are meant to be, God Himself will help you. Trust Him, will you?
Guest Room – Ishita and Mihika
Ishita: Miku, I know you well, and I know you’re not the coward you’re leading us to believe.
Ishita holds her hand.
Ishita: You always used to say that you see me as an older sister you never had. Today, I’m asking for my right. Talk to me. What’s wrong?
Mihika looks up, tears in her eyes. She hugs Ishita tightly and cries on her shoulder. Ishita comforts her.
Ishita: I know you came here to cry your heart out, and I’m glad you trust me enough to do so. Take your time. I’ll listen.
Mihika (moves back): Di . . ..
Mihika tells Ishita everything – the reason behind her running away and her confusion.
Ishita listens carefully, not once interrupting her.
Finally, Mihika finishes.
Ishita: This is a decision you need to take yourself, Mihika. I can’t help you there. But, yes, I can say one thing to you. Once, just once, listen to what your heart wants.
Mihika: How would I know what it wants though?
Ishita (laughs): You’ll understand the answer to your own question. That’s when you know your heart has made a choice.
Mihika wipes her tears while Ishita’s phone rings.
Ishita: Yes, Raman?
Raman: Don’t say anything now. Bring Mihika to the balcony – I’ve convinced Abhishek to confess.
Ishita: This isn’t right, Raman.
Mihika looks at Ishita. Ishita smiles apologetically and moves away from Mihika.
Ishita: The poor girl’s already so confused. You’ll make it worse.
Raman: You and I, both, know that she needs a reality check, a wake up call, and that’s the only way to do it.
Ishita: I–I still don’t feel it’s the right time.
Raman: We are not the ones to decide that. It’s up to them. They’re both adults and we know them well. I’m sure they’ll handle this maturely and sensibly.
Ishita (nods): Okay, I’ll see what I can do.
She hangs up and takes a deep breath.
This is an especially long update for you because the next one will surely take a while. I apologise for the wait. I hope you enjoy this. Let me know what you think! 🙂 Thank you for reading!