Sorry friends about the irregular updates. I could not update manan ff on Tuesday. Actually I am on a holiday.
Recap: The Fab 5, Thunder 3 along with Aryaman and Rishab went for a picnic at Manik’s farmhouse. Nandini announced that she wished to leave music aside to fulfil her dad’s dream project.
Mukti: How can you say that choti? Don’t you remember? Fab 5 was never to be broken?
Nandini: I’m not talking about breaking Fab 5. I’m asking for this only for music.
Cabir: No but even for music, it’s Fab 5 Nandini! How can you even say that?
Aliya: Yeah and as unacceptable it is taking Manik into Fab 5, it is unfair for The Thunder 3 as well. They are a band and Manik joining Fab 5 would break them as well.
Navya: Umm I’m not supporting or talking against anything here but we, the Thunder 3 already had an agreement that we are together only for Musicana. I wish to train personally for classical music and Soha too is planning on shifting to London with her dad. She wants to continue her musical career there. She was here for…
She looked at Soha and cut off the talk not wanting to depress her further. The others were confused and wished to know what she had been talking about. There was a faint silence for sometime while Soha kept looking down at her hands resting in her lap and all the others resting their eyes on her, waiting for a continuation.
Soha: I was here for Harshad. I met him in New York last year when I was there on a Holiday with my friends. I so fell in love with him right then that I instantly convinced my dad to let me continue my graduation from India. My dad was never too convinced with Harshad but he let me follow my heart. He did warn me about him several times but I never listened to him. I wish I had.
Aryaman who had been sitting beside her, placed his hand on her hands lying in her lap and squeezed them, assuring her of a brighter future. She looked up at him, tears welling up in her eyes and then let go of his hold on her hands, got up and left. They had been sitting in the garden then and she moved to her room inside the farmhouse.
Nobody continued the conversation further and all of them departed to their respective rooms one by one. Nandini stayed there and Manik who had been moving in expecting her to follow, stopped at a distance and turned around to find her still sitting there with her head bent low. He looked around to find that all the others had already left and then moved towards her.
She did not notice him coming and therefore stayed there in the same position without moving. He settled beside her in the grass slowly and she realised his presence around. Without looking up at him, she said,
Nandini: You know I had grown up with the thought of being like my dad. When he was around, he used to teach me stuff and keep me around while working as he knew I loved it all. Somewhere in his heart, even he had the dream of seeing me beside him someday. But he never forced it on me. He would still teach me to think over things and follow my heart. So, I wanted to do that, follow my heart. I had such a tough time convincing Amms into allowing me to join a science college and fulfill my dad’s dream. Amms always wanted me to be into music as she saw some sort of hidden talent of music in me, something which I never saw in myself. But she did. Nevertheless, she agreed to let me go into science on the condition that I won’t completely leave music aside. I liked music as well so I agreed to that condition. But it seems like destiny had different plans. I never found those documents and that made Amms convince me into taking music. She wasn’t wrong. Over these two years of my musical journey, I did realise some of that hidden talent she always used to talk about. But now, I have my path ahead of me, waiting for me to come walk on it, and now there’s my friends. I don’t understand, why can’t I follow my heart like Appa asked me to. He never told me that it would be so difficult to follow your own heart. I don’t know what to do ?! I do not wish to let anyone be upset because of me, I want all of them to be happy with me, for me. But then, why won’t they just understand what I want ?!
Manik: It’s never wrong to do what your father asked you to do, follow your heart. But it’s always difficult. That path is never too easy to travel on. But that’s life isn’t it? You’ve got to fight for what you want, fight against destiny. And then, when you finally get it, that just might be the best feeling ever. You fought your Amms to convince her and she agreed. And now it’s your friends. They love you and want you to do the right thing. But, the right thing for them is music. Maybe because they aren’t in your situation and therefore cannot understand what you’re going through. But soon, they would understand it and support you. You’ll see.
Nandini: But you do understand. You understand everything I feel. How is it Manik? How can you always save the day for me?! I know we’ve been best friends in the past but it was a long time back. We were kids then. Then how is it that you still understand me so well? I mean since the time you’ve come to my life, or rather, come back into my life, it’s like problems can’t cause no harm at all. You, you simplify the most complicated things ever. How is that?
Manik: (smiling) You like it?
Nandini: Of course!
Manik: Me too.
The next morning, Nandini didn’t feel like coming out of her room and facing the same conversation again where everyone would try to convince her to change her mind. She stayed in her room going through the documents of her father’s project. Manik reached the breakfast table to find that nobody was around and remembered his conversation with Nandini the other night. He decided on helping her again to see that pretty smile on her face.
He went up to everyone’s room and convinced them all to come to the living room. All of them resisted at first but he succeeded in convincing them all.
15 minutes later, the Fab 4, the Thunder 3, Aryaman and Rishab gathered in the living area where Manik had arranged some freshly cut fruits as breakfast for everyone. He had also forwarded a plate to Nandini in her room which she had simply put aside on the table.
Manik: Look guys, I know I do not have any right of speaking in between you’ll but…
Mukti: So then don’t!
Manik: Mukti please. At least listen to me once! Please.
Cabir: What is it Manik? You do not have to be Nandini’s lawyer all the time!
Manik: I’m not being her lawyer. I’m just being a friend.
Dhruv: Yes of course. Now it’s just you who is her friend right? We’re nothing to her anymore. That’s the reason she didn’t even think once before making that decision.
Aliya: Exactly! Nandini used to share things with us first of all. Anything bothering her, or anything on her mind would first be discussed amongst the Fab 5. We have been more like a family all this while. And then suddenly you enter our lives from nowhere and show as if it’s just you who cares for her. We care for her as well Manik. But she won’t see that. Before deciding on talking to us about this, have you yourself considered her decision? We’re not so selfish to thinking about the contract before everything else. But it’s about her life and her career. Have you even imagined what would happen if she let’s go of this right now? She’s been into her musical graduation for 2 years now and suddenly she would shift to a different field altogether! She would have to start all over again. And then when would she end up completing her dad’s project if she starts now. He was an experienced man and she is just an amateur.
Cabir: You have a point Aliya. See Manik we are not against her choices. We are just worried about her. Taking you into the band is not such a big issue but letting her lose is a major problem.
Manik: So who’s asking you to let her lose? She’s your friend much more than me. She’s part of your family. You do not have to let her go. You just have to support her in what she wants to do. And yes it would be difficult for her, going into a different field altogether. But that’s what she wants, and she wants it with your support. She’s a grown up and would definitely have thought of some plan before taking this decision. You can at least hear it out. And then maybe help her further.
After a lot more convincing from Manik, the Fab 5 agreed to give Nandini a chance. After all, they were her family and she needed them. He did not reveal anything she had shared with him the other night about how she had always had to fight for things. He believed those things were out of her emotional outburst that occurred only in front of him. He wished to keep that conversation to himself as part of his prized treasure.
Nandini was lying on her bed, rethinking over the Fab 5’s reaction towards her decision. She had pictured some difficulties into convincing them all, but their reaction came out to be a bit unexpected. She never imagined them to be so against her. They had always been such an important part of her life and now when she needed them the most, nobody was around. Her thoughts then drifted to Manik and how he had always helped her out in every situation. “Would he do something about this situation as well” she wondered. She heard a knock on the door and got up to open it, expecting Manik at the doorstep.
She opened the door and was thrown aback by a tight hug. Her bones crushed beneath Mukti’s hold on her body but it contemplated her. She hugged her back and saw Cabir, Dhruv and Aliya standing behind her at the doorstep. They broke the hug and all of them joined in for a group hug.
Dhruv: We are with you girl.
Soha was sitting on the edge of the window in her room, her legs curled up against her chest and her arms wrapped around her knees. She was staring out the window with her head resting on her knees. Aryaman who was passing by her room, saw her in there and stopped at the doorstep. He lifted his hand to knock on the door but then changed his mind. He decided it was best to leave her alone for some time and so turned around to leave. As he did, his leg brushed with the door making a faint noise, loud enough for Soha to notice. She instantly turned to look around and was confused to find him standing there. Not wanting to be rude, she greeted him and invited him in.
Aryaman: (entering the room) Sorry I didn’t mean to disturb you. I..I was just passing by and …
Soha: (getting down from the window edge) It’s alright. Please have a seat. How are things with the Fab 5 now?
Aryaman: Oh it’s all great! Manik seems to be having some sort of talent at this. He did it!
Soha: (forcing a smile) Yeah!
Aryaman: And…if I may ask, how are you doing?
Soha: Well I’m right in front of you. What do you think how am I doing?
Aryaman: Listen, I know you’re badly hurt! But things will soon change and they’ll change for better. Trust me.
Soha: Yeah right! Listen, not to be rude or anything, but these motivational talks don’t really help. They just sound good but indeed are really useless.
Aryaman: Yeah well. Okay then. I’ll see you later.
Saying that he left and as he did, Soha realised how rude had she behaved with him. “He was just trying to cheer you up. What was wrong with you to have behaved so badly?!” She thought to herself.
Precap: Nandini to thank Manik for helping her in convincing her friends. Manan special episode.
Lots of love ❤️
PaNi – a story we wish were true (Season 1)
PaNi – a story we wish were true (Season 2)
Manan ff – Unconditional Love