Kapoor Mansion – Mihika’s Room
Mihika closes her bag and sighs.
Devyani: Are you sure you can travel alone by bus?
Mihika: Yes, Mom. Please, you need to stop worrying.
Devyani: I still don’t understand why you can’t take your car to Ishita’s. If you can’t be bothered to drive, I’ll tell the driver to drop you off.
Mihika (holds her shoulders): Mom, I’ll leave India in few days time, and I want to enjoy and cherish these days in anyway I can. I’ll . . . miss this place a lot, you see. You can assume that’s my way of creating lifelong memories.
Devyani (smiles with tears in her eyes): Go then, live your life. And, yes, don’t forget to congratulate Ishita on our behalf.
Mihika (giggles): I won’t.
Devyani: Have you packed all the gifts?
Mihika: Yes, Mom, I have.
Mihika hugs her mother. Devyani smiles.
Mihika reaches the bus stand and searches for her bus. Once finding it, she settles in her seat. Mihika smiles, looking as peaceful and content as ever, as she looks out of the window.
The taxi stops outside the society buildings. Mihika gets out and pays the driver. He leaves. Mihika takes a deep breath as she stares up at the buildings.
There’s a long beep behind her and she frowns.
Random Passerby: Hey, lady, do you want to die? Get out of the way. There’s a jeep behind you.
Mihika (irritated): It’s my life. What’s it to you?
The horn blares again.
Random Passerby (shakes his head): Crazy woman. I don’t know why I even bothered.
Mihika: Yes, you should have really minded your own business.
Mihika (annoyed as she turns around): Hey, you! Koi keera lar raha hai? Can’t you wait?
Mihika’s eyes widens to see Abhishek in the jeep. He takes off his sunglasses, equally surprised.
Both give each other a proper look as they hadn’t met for the past month.
Mihika remembers his words and turns away first. Abhishek’s hurt and puts on his sunglasses, his jaw clenching. Seconds later, he reverses out to another parking space.
Mihika rings Bhalla House door bell, and waits. Abhishek climbs up the stairs and stops on the last step seeing her there. They share an eyelock. Abhishek slowly proceeds towards her and stands besides her, both remaining in an awkward, tense silence.
The door opens and Raman greets them, his face radiating with happiness. He hugs them both, one by one, soon followed by the rest of Bhalla family.
Mrs Bhalla: Haye Rabba. You two make yourselves comfortable. I’ll bring meethi lassi.
Mihika: No, Aunty. That’s for later. I need to see Ishita Di and the baby first.
Abhishek nods in agreement. Raman ushers them in his and Ishita’s room.
Ishita (squeals as she sits up): Miku! I’m so glad you came.
Mihika (smiles and hugs her briefly): How’re you feeling?
Ishita: It’s the best feeling in the world. I’m excited yet exhausted.
Mihika: Raman Ji Ju, I hope you’re taking care of her.
Before Raman speaks, Ishita does.
Ishita: Of course, he is. He doesn’t let me get off his bed, says I need a long rest.
Mihika: He’s right, you do need it.
Ishita (to Abhishek): How’re you? How’s Khushi and Aunty?
Mihika ignores him.
Abhishek: We’re all okay, Ishita G.
Mihika (tries to change the subject): Can I hold the baby?
Ishita (chuckles): Why not?
Picking up the baby tucked in a bundle of blanket, Ishita carefully hands him over to Mihika. Mihika smiles, tears filling her eyes.
Mihika: What did you name him?
Raman: Aditya Bhalla – Adi.
Mihika (whispers): Adi – what a sweet name.
Mihika gently touches Adi’s hand and he grips her finger tightly. Mihika giggles as she stands, giving him a little bounce in her arms. Adi gives a toothless smile, his eyes flutter open. Mihika’s awed.
Mihika (gives him a little wave): Hi, Adi. I’m Miku Aunty, and I know I’ll be your favourite. Simmi Di won’t stand a chance against me.
Raman and Ishita laugh.
Mihika: You’ll be spoiled, dear, but you must promise to be a good boy and listen to your parents, okay? Come on. Say with me, I will listen to my parents, Miku Aunty.
Raman: Tu b hadh karti hai, Mihika. Itne sy bache ko kya hosh ho gi.
Mihika: Ji Ju, babies are smart by nature. You should never underestimate them.
Mihika: See, I told you. He also agrees with me.
Raman shakes his head, amused.
Ishita (laughs and notices Abhishek standing quietly away from them): Arre, there’s no need to feel shy, Abhishek. Come, hold Adi.
Mihika’s smile disappears.
Abhishek: No, I–I can’t hold him. What if I drop him?
Raman (laughs and punches him playfully, teasing him): Shame on you. Police wala ho kar itni c baat pay darta hai.
Abhishek (gulps): Well, you see, it’s not easy. I–I . . . I can’t.
Ishita: Miku, can you help him a little?
Mihika’s surprised at first but slowly nods.
Abhishek walks behind her, pressing his chest to her back. Mihika looks up at him, and they share a little moment. Mihika looks away first. Abhishek runs a hand over Adi’s head and smiles. He accidently puts his other hand on Mihika’s and she flinches. Quickly, she pulls out of Abhishek’s arms and passes Adi over to him.
Mihika crosses her arms and looks at Abhishek who has Adi in his arms. Soon, Abhishek gives Adi to Raman and, taking a deep breath, puts his hands in his pockets. Raman and Ishita look at their newborn child, grinning and whispering to each other. Raman kisses her forehead and Ishita rests her head on his shoulder.
Mihika and Abhishek watch on, stealing glances at each other as they imagine themselves in Raman and Ishita’s place.
Mihika snaps out of it.
Mihika (thinks): That’s not possible. I can’t let him hurt me more than he already has. Forget about him, Mihika. Our love was a past mistake, and there’s no point in trying to undo or correct it.
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