Outside a grand Mandir.
Abhishek: Where’s Mihika gone? She said she’ll be here in ten minutes but it’s already been half an hour.
He feels a tap on his shoulder and turns around, surprised.
Mihika’s in front of him, smiling, a platter in her hand. Abhishek looks at her up and down. She’s wearing a sparkly light-pink kameez and churidaar.
Abhishek’s mouth drops open and he blinks.
Mihika (smacks his forehead): Idiot. Let’s go.
Abhishek: Huh? Yeah, yeah, let’s go.
They enter the Mandir and ring the bell together, gazing in each other’s eyes. Abhishek pulls the dupatta on her head and gestures her to move. Coming forward, she offers the platter and joins her hands together, closing her eyes.
Abhishek stares at her for a bit, smiling, before he does the same.
He closes his eyes and sees her in front of him.
Abhishek (thinks): God, I don’t know what’s happening to me. All I know is that whatever it is, it feels right. No. Mihika’s engaged to a good guy. He’ll take care of her. He’ll love her. Please, always keep her happy with whomever she’s with. Give her the best of what she deserves. Mihika’s a great girl and Arnav is incredibly lucky to have her. Please never let her cry or feel hurt. Please always protect her. I can’t be there for her all the time, even though she says I’m a great friend, but you can be. Never leave her side, okay?
Mihika (thinks): God, for once in my life, I’m confused about what I want to ask from you. I have everything yet I feel I have nothing. I’ve always been sure of my choices and decisions, but today, I’m struggling with myself. Abhishek’s a great guy. He’s taken good care of me in the past few days. Please, always keep him happy and blessed.
The Mandir bell rings. Mihika opens her eyes.
Outside the Mandir.
Abhishek (puts hands in his pockets): What did you ask for?
Mihika: Prayers and wishes are between myself and God. They are not supposed to be told to anyone else.
Abhishek: You have an answer to everything, don’t you?
Abhishek (sees a flower stand): Alright, you stay here. Don’t move. I’ll be right back.
Mihika: But where are you going?
Abhishek: I’m coming.
Mihika sighs as he leaves. She switches on her phone. Within seconds, it rings, and she’s surprised to see the name on the screen.
Mihika (thinks): Should I pick up the phone or not? Will he get angry? Does he hate me?
She hesitantly picks it up.
Mihika (nervous): Uh, A–Arnav? Hi?
Arnav: Mihika! Thank God you picked the call. I thought it’d go to the answering machine again. Anyway, how’re you?
Mihika: I’m . . . okay.
Arnav: You sure? That ACP didn’t try anything on you, did he? I swear if he did, let me know. I’ll have him suspended.
Mihika: No, no, it’s nothing as such. In fact, he’s very caring.
Mihika smiles, thinking about the times they spend together.
Arnav (sighs): That’s good to hear. Acha, listen, you must’ve heard that there are people out to get me.
Mihika: Yeah, Abhishek told me.
Arnav: Well, we’re hoping to catch them tonight.
Mihika: That’s good.
Arnav: Mihika, I made sure you stayed away from the city because I feared they might use you against me. I was a bit reluctant to send you away but you running away made it easier.
Mihika: About that, Arnav, I’m sorry. I–
Arnav: We’ll talk about it when you come back. Just so you know, I’m not blaming you. I can understand how difficult it must be for you. Until then, take care of yourself, and feel free to call me if you need something.
Mihika: Thank you, Arnav.
Arnav (smiles): Miku, I miss you, Yaar.
Mihika’s surprised and a little upset, the smile on her face disappears.
Smiling, Abhishek comes behind her, but she doesn’t realise.
Mihika (clutches phone tightly and closes her eyes): I love you, Arnav.
Abhishek grows angry, ruining the gajra in his hands.
Arnav (gulps and whispers): Yeah, me too.
Mihika has tears in her eyes but she wipes them away.
Mihika: Of course, you do! Agar mujhse nai karo gy toh kissay karo gy. Acha, listen, I need to go now. I’ll talk to you later, okay?
Mihika hangs up, staring at her phone.
Abhishek clears his throat, forcing a smile and hiding the gajra out of her sight when she turns around.
Mihika: Where did you go?
Abhishek (ignores her question): Was that Mr Raizada?
Mihika: That. No, no, it was friend.
Abhishek (angry): Why’re you lying to me, Mihika?
Mihika (also angry): If it was anything important, I would’ve told you.
Abhishek (trying to control his anger): Mihika.
Mihika: No, Abhishek. That’s not done. If you’re going to act like this for the rest of the day, I would rather not be with you. I’m going.
Abhishek (calls after her as she walks away): Where?
Mihika: To hell. Away from you, Idiot. Where else?
Abhishek: Fine, go!
Mihika: I am!
Abhishek (thinks): Why did I over-react? He’s her fiance. If she won’t say “I love you” to him, then who would she say that to? Abhi (smacks forehead) iss larki nai tujhe sachi mein pagal kr diya hai.
Abhishek looks over the crowd.
Abhishek: Now where’s she gone?
Mihika (talks to herself): What does he think of himself? He blows up on anyone, for no reason at all. How does his mother cope with him? Seriously, it’s like he’s made of fire – always hot-headed. If someone has to fry an egg, they won’t need to pay for electricity. They can use his head as a stove. I feel sorry for his future wife – his attitude’s the worst.
Mihika passes by a group of rowdy men. They oogle at her and wolf-whistle.
Mihika stops in her track and her expressions morph into one of fury.
Man: Where are you going, Sweetheart?
Man 2: Sweetheart, come to me.
Man: Oye-hoye, look at her. Kya maal hai, Bhai.
Mihika clenches her fists.
Man 3: I haven’t seen such a thing before, Bhai. Wah, (he blows a kiss) What a sight!
Mihika (turns around, feels disgusted): If you know what’s better for you, you’ll get out of my sight right now.
Man (comes closer to her): We won’t go. What can you do?
Abhishek: I don’t know about her but I’ll tell you what I can do.
He pushes the man back and comes in front of Mihika, blocking her out of their sight.
Man 2: Hey, choray. If you know what’s better for you, move out of the way.
Abhishek (rolls up his sleeves): And, if I don’t? What will you do?
Mihika: Abhishek, you–
Man 2 (scoffs): Oi, so you’re her boyfriend, huh?
Abhishek: What’s it with you?
Mihika (whispers in anger): Abhishek, stop it.
Man 2: Yaani k used huya maal hai.
Mihika gasps as Abhishek’s anger grows.
Man 2: Khair, chor. Mujhe isse kya? Ek raat guzarny dy, phir dekhte hai k–
Abhishek loses it.
Mihika smacks her forehead as the fight ensues between the men. People gather around them. Abhishek defeats the men and they soon flee.
Abhishek (shouts after them): Police wala hoon, beta, yaad rakhna.
He turns to her.
Mihika (angry, places her hands on her hips): Hogaya? Happy? Ab chalien?
An injured Abhishek’s left confused.
Mihika applies ointment on his injury.
Abhishek (hisses): Ow, Mihika. What’re you doing? That hurts.
Mihika (glares at him): Good.
Mihika smacks his arm and he groans in pain.
Mihika: You deserve it.
Abhishek: Now, why’re you looking at me like that? Kitni baar kahoon – I’m sorry.
Mihika: Sorry, my foot. Panga leine k kya zaroorat thi. What if something happened to you? Lakh koshish karlo tum, Shahrukh Khan nai ban sakte. Iss tarha ka hero-drama filmo mein acha lagta hai, real life mein nai.
Abhishek: If I had stayed put, I don’t know how I would’ve dealt with it later. In fact, if it was anyone else there in your place, I would still have done the same. It’s an instinct – I can’t help it.
Mihika (puts everything in the box): I understand, Abhishek, but . . . I can take care of myself.
Abhishek: By doing what? Giving them a long lecture about respect for women? Such men only understand with a punch or two, not words.
Mihika: Shut up, Abhi.
Abhishek (pokes her): Mihika, I’m saying sorry.
Abhishek: So, even though I find you as adorable as a kitten when you’re angry, I feel bad about what I did before and want to see your bright smile. Forgive me. I shouldn’t have intruded in your personal matters.
Mihika resists a smile, trying her best to stay angry, but she can’t.
Mihika: I’m still mad at you.
Abhishek: It doesn’t look like it.
Mihika gives him a pointed look and he backs off.
Abhishek: Okay, you’re still angry. Tell me, Ma’am, aap ko manaane ka koi trick hai?
Mihika: Yes, there’s one way. Kitne paise bache hain?
Abhishek takes out his wallet and checks.
Abhishek: They’re enough for today, but we’ll need to go to the bank tomorrow. Why?
Mihika: Because I’m hungry. I want aloo chaat.
Abhishek: Mihika! Control yourself. You ate few hours ago. How much more will you eat? You’ll become fat.
Mihika: At least tum sy toh patli rahoon gi na. Idiot!
Abhishek: Okay, fine. You sit here. I’ll get it for you.
Mihika: I’m coming with you.
They walk side by side, talking. Mihika pushes him as he says something that makes her laugh. They reach a shop and, soon, eat chaat in one plate, smiling and stealing glances of each other.
Here’s another part updated! How is it? How do you feel about Mihika and Abhishek? Thank you once again for reading and for your lovely comments. I appreciate them!