It has been a depressing news ! A really bad one indeed ! Life is a happy place, combined with some twists and turns here and there ! But it has to go on !
Our lovely “Anandi”, Pratyusha Bannerjee is no more ! But the media to me seems to be making it a simple news item. It disgusts me to know how they have been involving themselves into her demise for their own benefit being a news item ! Yes there has to be an investigation and the truth needs to come out but this is just not the way ! What her parents might be going through at this point of time, none of us can understand.
I would request everyone to pray for her soul to rest in peace and also to pray that the family gets some privacy to mourn over their loss ! We can’t feel their sorrow but we can at least try to understand and respect it !
RIP Pratyusha Bannerjee !
Recap: Holi invitation from the Malhotra’s for the entire college. Manik offers to drive Nandini to the farmhouse and she agrees.
Nandini was getting ready for the party in a white shorts, a white crop top paired with a red shrug flowing down from her shoulders to her ankles. As for accessories, she had a silver anklet in her left leg and silver tops in her ears. Her hair was still wet from the shower and she was trying to get it to dry fast with the help of a hair dryer. She knew she was late and Manik would be arriving anytime soon but she could just not help it. Her phone rang and it was Manik,
Nandini: Hello ! Good morning !
Manik: Good morning. Listen I’m reaching in like 5 minutes, less than 5 minutes so just be ready and come outside.
Nandini: No no no…Manik you need to come inside. Chacha and Chachi want to meet you. So you come and meet them and till that time I’ll get ready.
Manik: (nervously) But I’ll meet them some other time. Right now just come outside we’re getting late !
Nandini: No Manik ! No arguments ! Just park your car and come inside !
He had been feeling hell nervous because of the “date” idea put forth by Nandini. When he asked her to drive her to the farmhouse, he believed it would be a simple drive. But since Nandini tagged it as a date, he wasn’t able to control his nervousness since then ! And on top of that she had to make him meet her Chacha and Chachi. It suddenly felt to him like they were in school and he was to meet the girls parents before taking her on a date or to prom and convince them of his innocence and decency so that they would trust him on their daughter.
Manik Malhotra could do anything but this ! He could fight the evil Harshad, tackle his selfish “Mom” Nyonika or even win Musicana but meeting the girls parents before a date was not his cup of tea. He had never done it before and had not even imagined he would face such a situation in life.
Nevertheless, since Nandini would not agree to him, he parked his car outside her house and moved towards the main door. He got down from the car, adjusted his white shirt coupled with a white pair of pants and brown loafers to go with. He removed his sunglasses and tucked them in his shirt before ringing the door bell. Chachi opened the door and was surprised to find him there.
Chachi: Manik ?!
Manik: Hello Chachi !
He bent down and touched her feet in accordance with the Indian religion as he had observed from a few of the Bollywood movies he had come across. He was born and brought up in New York and had lost his mother at a very tender age and his new “mom” Nyonika would have definitely not taught him the cultural values. Thank god for a few Bollywood films he had seen, he was aware of the Indian culture to some extent.
Chachi seemed to be very impressed with his manners and welcomed him in lovingly.
He settled on the couch along with chacha and started with some random conversation. He was trying to be confident but it just did not seem to be working. He had been sweating because of the nervousness and chacha too seemed to have observed that.
Chacha: Are you okay child ?
Manik: Yes sir ! I’m fine !
Chacha: Please call me Chacha.
Chachi gets some snacks, her home made experimental recipes but Nandini comes to Manik’s rescue at that !
Nandini: (calling out from behind while getting down the stairs) Let’s go !
Chacha, Chachi and Manik got up from the couch and turned around to greet her. Manik took one look at her and was highly impressed at the first shot itself ! “Hawt !!” Was the first thing he thought to himself.
He had known Nandini for quite some time now to be the extrovert and modern girl she was and therefore he should not have been surprised at her avatar for the holi party but he still was. Somehow he had still expected her to be in a more traditional form considering it was an Indian festival. But, to his delightful surprise, he was wrong !
Chachi: What do you mean ? We’ve to do the Pooja first.
Nandini: Chachi but we’re already late ! I think we should just leave.
Chachi: No way ! You have to wait for the Pooja. Manik, I hope you don’t mind. Actually, it’s a ritual in our family, we always pray together on the mornings of festivals and so I can’t let her break the ritual.
Manik was again in a fix. Indian rituals, something he did not understand. If he did stay back, they might find out how little knowledge he possessed about prayers and if he didn’t, well it might upset everyone. He decided to stay back and just follow the others in the rituals.
After the Pooja, Chachi turned to face Chacha and offered a plate full of colours towards him. He took a pinch of red colour and poured it over her forehead as a symbol of sindoor, the Indian tradition for a married woman. He then again took some pink colour and applied it on either of her cheek. Chachi then took the blue colour and applied it on his cheek as well. Both of them then turned towards Nandini and they did the same process. Nandini then bent down to touch both their feet and they gave her their blessings. Manik who had been observing all of it from a distance, immediately followed Nandini and bent down to touch their feet and they showered him with their blessings as well.
Just as Chachi was about to apply colour to his cheek, he resisted and stepped backwards.
Chachi: What happened Manik ? It’s Holi !
Manik: Yeah I know Chachi but you know actually, we have to go for the party and my clothes are white and they would get dirty with the colour so…
Chacha, Chachi and Nandini started laughing at that.
Chachi: But Manik Holi is meant for getting your clothes drained in colour.
Manik: Yeah of course I know that Chachi but you know….
Nandini: (teasing him) Umm what happened Manik ? Afraid of colours, are you ?
Manik: Says who ? Not at all ! Why would I be afraid ?!
Chachi: Okay then let me apply some colour.
Chachi went ahead and applied the colour to his cheek and Manik could not resist this time after Nandini had almost caught him. He had lived in New York all these years and not that they did not have the Indian festivals there. They had an Indian community that used to celebrate each and every Indian festival exactly the Indian way and he had attended it with his dad. However, the festival of Holi was something that he hated the most ! He had been to it once and the way he was drenched in colours, he never again went up for the holi celebration ever again. Although Manik tried to save his little secret of the hatred towards Holi and colours, Nandini had been smart enough to find out. She instantly knew how Manik must be hating Holi and she had an evil plan for him at the party. She had decided to drain Manik in colours this Holi.
As they drove off, Manik had been struggling to ask Nandini a question which would just not come out of his mouth. He was feeling quite nervous on asking her about it but was also dying to know.
Nandini: What is it ?
Manik: (surprised) Huh ? What ?
Nandini: You’ve been struggling since the past 15 minutes to say something. You haven’t spoken anything since we started off from my place and so there’s clearly something else going on inside your head !
Manik: Actually I wanted to ask you something.
Nandini: Yeah so go on. What is it ?
Manik: (nervously) Umm…why did you…or rather how did you tag this drive and the party today as our date ?
Nandini: (teasing him) Oh so Manik Malhotra is nervous about his date ?!
Manik: No ! I’m not nervous ! Do I look nervous to you ?
Nandini: Well to be honest you do ! But it’s okay ! That’s allowed. And I have 3 reasons to coin this as a date ! First, we’re going on a party, together and although it does not require a couple for an entry but we are entering as a couple right ? Next, you came to my place to pick me up which is something that happens on a proper date ! And third, you even came in to meet Chacha and Chachi, you know as if convincing them of your “good boy” image for them to trust me on you !
Manik: Oh ! So there are valid reasons !
Nandini: Of course ! Nandini Murthy never does anything without any reason. But you do not understand dates it seems.
Manik: Why ?
Nandini: Well, while on a date, the guy gets the girl flowers and you are here empty handed !
Manik: Well, to be honest, I don’t know you too well but…
Nandini: (interrupting him) You do ! I mean, I don’t know how and why, but it seems like you know me way too much than possible in the little time we’ve been together. Sometimes I feel like you know me even better than Dhruv or any of my friends. You know when I’m upset and you also know the trick to make up my mood. You seem to know my likes and dislikes almost everything. Anyway so what were you saying ?
Manik: Well, as I said as far as I know you, I thought you are not someone who would enjoy flowers and therefore I got you something else. It’s in the back seat, just check it out.
She turned around and found a hamper of chocolates, something she absolutely loved ! She got so excited at it, she picked it up and gave him a sudden sideways hug distracting him from the driving.
Manik: (blushing) You like it ?
Nandini: I love it !!! Thank you !!!
They reach the farmhouse to be the first ones to arrive as Manik was the host for the party. Nandini had plans to help him out with the arrangements but they reached there to find all the arrangements already set. So now, she had her evil plan ready for him.
They were both walking by the area checking all the arrangements when Nandini picked up a plate full of colours and started running after him. Both of them were running all over the place with Nandini chasing him as fast as she could but unable to reach up to him. He was too fast to be caught by her and so she used her brains. Manik was running ahead of her when he heard some noise and turned around to find Nandini fallen in one of the artificial water pond created for the holi celebration. He quickly ran up to her to help her out and extended his hand for her to hold on to. She took his hand and instead of stepping outside, she pulled him in along with her and soon both of them were drenched in dark coloured water.
Nyonika stepped outside to find Manik’s car parked and therefore started looking for him. Her mission for the day was to spy on Manik and try and find out the reason why he was in India. She moved towards the backside of the farmhouse where the party was to be held and found Manik in the water pond all drenched in colours with her.
Precap: What are Nyonika’s plans to spy on Manik for the day ? What is Abhimanyu’s secret with his family ? Would Manik find out about the growing friendship between Nandini and Harshad ?
Tomorrow: PaNi ff. Parth’s decision to quit the show, how would Niti take it ? Would she let him quit or hold on to him ? How would Krissan react at her pictures in Utkarsh’s phone ?
Friends, my exam is just a month away now and for the whole month I have regular tests for which I need to study hard. So, please please pardon me for the delays for some time now. Even I don’t like to keep you all waiting but with my exams nearing its becoming really difficult to manage so much. I hope you all would understand and bear with me for some time after which I would obviously be more regular.
Thank you !
Lots of love ❤️
Credit to: Medhavi