Recap: Harshad’s plan fails and Soha alone gets locked in the music room. Manik Nandini locked in the college building as well and decide to spend the night together reminiscing their past in the college itself.
Both Manik and Nandini are walking through the dark corridors in silence, suddenly out of words to say to each other. It is a kind of silence where they are speaking more than enough even through the silence. Nandini who is usually afraid of the dark, feels a sense of comfort and safety being with Manik. Manik remembers Nandini holding his hand before sometime and is in a dilemma whether to hold her hand again to give her a feeling of safety and to convey to her that he is there with her even in the dark.
Once they come across the staircase that has some light falling on it from the sky outside Manik stops there and Nandini turns around questioningly to look at him,
Manik: Let’s just sit here for a while ?
Nandini: Sure !
They settle down and the atmosphere is again tranquil.
Manik: So, from what I know of you, you’re the fearless brave girl so how is it that this darkness gets to you ?
Nandini: It’s something connected to my past, a horrifying past !
Manik: What happened ?
Nandini: I was really young. I don’t remember much of it but I do remember that night. I was with my mom and dad in the car. I think we were going home after some function or event, I don’t really remember and then on this empty road, something happened, Appa stopped the car and got down to talk to someone I guess and never returned ! (words choking) He, he was killed ! I don’t know why ?! (starts crying) Amma, she went after those guys in anger but they were so huge, they killed her as well. I was so scared I buried myself under the seat and they thought there was no one around and so they left. Suddenly there was silence and darkness and I was left alone !
She had been describing the whole incident with her gaze stuck at a specific point on the ground, tears flowing out of her eyes continuously, words not easily coming out of her mouth. Manik had placed his hand around her shoulder and when she was finished talking and started crying badly, he completed the hug by placing his other arm around her as well. She buried her face in his chest and kept crying.
Manik: (while holding her in his arms) Nandini, I know what has happened to you might not have been easy. But now you’re not alone ! You have your chacha chachi, Amms, Rishab, your friends and me.
On hearing the word “Me” she suddenly stops crying and opens her eyes, not leaving his arms and thinking over his words again and again. She had Manik by her side, it felt so good. She suddenly felt complete. All this while and even in the future she was going to miss her parents and even though she had her friends and family around she had never felt the feeling of having her life complete in all respects until today when she had Manik with her. When he said he was there with her, for her, she instantly got the feeling of completeness, happiness and joy. She released herself from his hold, looked up at him, into his eyes, her face and his shirt wet with her tears which had now stopped flowing. She kept looking at him for a while and then threw her arms around his neck to take him into a bone crushing hug. The sudden reaction made Manik lose his balance at first but then he slowly hugged her back and patted her back slowly.
After breaking the hug they sat there in silence for sometime and Nandini’s fear of the dark vanished. Just a few minutes back, they had been talking fluently and now suddenly the perfect hug had created the most perfectly uncomfortable situation for them. Nandini realized that such discomfort would be dangerous for their friendship and therefore initiated another conversation,
Nandini: So, you said you have some surprise for me !
Manik looked up at her and then slowly opened his small bag he had carried that day to college for the surprise he had for her.
Nandini: Oh finally my surprise seems to be coming out !
Manik: (shyly) Yeah ! Hope you like it. It’s nothing really great but…
Nandini: Why do you think I won’t like it ? Now c’mon show it to me fast !
She had the curiosity of a little kid waiting for the Christmas present to come out of the sock. Manik opened the bag quickly and pulled out the photo album and handed it to her. Nandini quickly understood what the photos must be about and it immediately brightened her eyes to be finally getting an opportunity to feel the part of her childhood that had been lost somewhere. She took it from him and slowly opened it up.
There were pictures with both the families, the Murthy Family and the Malhotra family. Cute little Manik and Nandini playing in the garden, Rishab who was too young to be playing along is sitting in his pram on the side. There is another one where Manik has climbed up the tree and Nandini is trying her best to climb up.
While Nandini was going through the pictures Manik keeps describing all the incidents to her and also adding on other stories from their childhood.
Nandini: (putting aside the album) Wow ! I don’t believe I didn’t have any memories of such golden years of my own life.
Manik: Oh well now you have them.
Nandini: Well, I’m hungry let’s go to the canteen ?
They head towards the canteen, pull down two chairs and settle down.
Nandini: Wow ! So is the food going to cook itself and fly down to us ?
Manik: Oh I completely forgot ! I’ll just go to the kitchen and get something for you.
Nandini: No wait ! I’ll come with you.
They go to the kitchen, switch on the lights and start searching for something to eat.
Manik: So, what would you like to have ?
Nandini: Umm….How about a burger, some pasta, french fries, and a chocolate milk shake !
Manik: Nandini ! Where am I supposed to find all these things ?
Nandini: So then why did you ask stupid ? Umm…I think we can make a sandwich. Here we have bread and just check the refrigerator for some cheese and vegetables.
They soon get all the ingredients and together prepare the sandwich, messing around the entire place, joking, laughing around and making fun of each other. Just to get into the chef zone, Manik had also put on the apron and the chef’s hat and Nandini was busy taking his pictures, struggling to chop the vegetables.
Nandini: (teasing him while he was struggling to chop the vegetables) Manik Malhotra you being a chef, don’t even know how to chop vegetables ?! Shame on you !
Manik: Shut up Nandini ! And just come here and help me out !
Nandini: Why should I ? You’re the chef ! See, you’re wearing the apron and the hat !
And she does not help him. While he prepares the sandwich for her, she simply keeps observing, teasing and clicking lots and lots of pictures. Finally when the sandwich is prepared, they move out into the cafeteria and settle down on the chairs.
Nandini: Manik, how did you switch on the lights ? I mean they must have shut the power of the whole college. If you did it for me, then there was no need, I’m not scared of the dark anymore.
Manik: I know you’re not scared but if you’re so dumb to realize, hadn’t we switched on the lights, we would not have been able to prepare this sandwich. Sorry, to correct myself, “I” would not have been able to prepare it. And, while we were coming here, I had switched on the main fuse.
Nandini: Oh so basically you wanna take all the credit for this sandwich ?
Manik: Of course ! I am the one who prepared it and now I’m going to just enjoy it myself.
He pulls the sandwich to himself and grabs the first big bite of one of the piece. Nandini keeps staring at him angrily making a pout. Manik picks up his phone and instantly clicks a picture of her pout face.
Nandini: Huh ?! Why did you click a picture of me like that ? Without my permission ?!
Manik: Check your phone, how many pictures have you clicked of mine without my permission ?
Nandini: I can do anything but you can’t ! I’m Nandini Murthy !
Manik: Oh well and if you’ve forgotten, I am Manik Malhotra ! Even I can do anything ! Much more than you silly Nandini Murthy !
After some more of teasing and clicking pictures and having the sandwich with fighting over the last piece, they move to the music room to play some music. Manik takes his guitar and while he was tuning it, Nandini was taking a look at the pictures in his phone he had taken of her a while ago and blushing at having spent such a wonderful time with him. Just then his phone rings while Nandini had it in her hands, and it read “Nyonika calling”. Manik does not realize it was his phone ringing and Nandini passes him his phone informing him that it was some “Nyonika” calling. Manik gets furious on reading the name and puts his phone aside without answering it. It keeps ringing for a long time but he does not answer and that makes Nandini really curious and so she asks,
Nandini: Why aren’t you answering the call ? Is it your girlfriend ? (she asks that nervously fearing the answer to be a yes)
Manik: No ! But she’s not important as well !
Nandini: (relieved on knowing it wasn’t his girlfriend) Why ? Who is she ? I’m sure she has something urgent and that’s the reason she’s been calling you for so long. Why don’t you pick it up ?
Manik: (angrily ) No I won’t ! And if you have to keep lecturing me about answering my calls, then please leave !
His tone, his anger, and his words suddenly break the magical world she had been living in for sometime now with him and she moves out of the room into the corridor. Manik soon realizes his mistake and follows her outside. She had been standing near the railing, looking at the sky and the moonlight made her look so beautiful. He kept staring at her for a while from some distance and then picked up his guitar to play a song for her…
“Tera mujhse, hai pehle ka nataa koi….Yun hi nahin dil lubhaata koi….”
Nandini turns around to face him, her anger melting down but she was still trying to hold it against him.
“Jaane tu…..Ya Jaane na…..Maane tu…..Ya maane na…..”
A soft smile starts appearing on her face and she comes closer to Manik and says,
Nandini: Such an old song it is ! You could have at least picked up a latest song !
Manik: Well, Old is Gold my dear friend.
They suddenly hear someone shouting and banging a door and get panicked. They follow the voice and the banging and it leads them to the other music room which had been locked from the outside. Manik quickly breaks the lock with a rod and they find Soha inside who had been crying for hours and was in a miserable state !
Nandini: Soha ?! What are you doing here ? And how did you get locked ?
Soha: (still crying) I don’t know ?! I was just…So scared ! Thank god you came in to save me ! Thank you !
Manik: Calm down now Soha ! You’ll be just fine. Okay ? Come we’ll drop you home.
Precap: Dhruv furious on finding that Nandini is with Manik. Manik talks to Nandini about Nyonika.
Tomorrow: PaNi ff. Diwali sequence off screen story.
HAPPY WOMEN’S DAY to all my lovely girlfriends out there ! Stay strong, stay happy and keep spreading love like you always do !! To any male readers out there, please respect the women around you, because they deserve to be respected, loved and cared for.
Thank you !
Lots of love <3
Credit to: Medhavi