Rajat: first reason: you say we’re good friends but by calling me Mr. Kapur you are treating me like a stranger, please call me Rajat.
Priya (hesitates and remembers this conversation that she also had with Ram) okay R…Rajat…sir.
Rajat: not sir, just Rajat.
Priya: okay Rajat…
Rajat: ahh good that’s music to my ears. Okay so the second reason is that you did not eat anything.
He walks over and brings the plate of food to her. Tears begin rolling down Priya’s cheeks as she thinks about how no one else ate because of her. Was she really that bad?
Rajat (notices the tears and put the plate down): ummm uhh what happened? Did I say something wrong? Please Priya I am new at being nice, I am sorry if I said something to offend you. Either that or you really have something against food because as soon I said that you didn't eat anything you started crying. Please tell me what’s wrong. You consider me as your good friend don’t you?
Priya: how can I eat Rajat? No one has eaten anything yet all because of me. And Ram? (she pauses holding back tears) did you know Rajat, breakfast is his most favourite meal of the day and Aloo paratha is also his favourite but he… I love him Rajat I can’t see him like this. I don’t know what to do…
she breaks down crying and hugs Rajat confiding her sorrows in her friend. Rajat hugs her back trying to calm her down, he is patting her head and she slowly stops crying.
Ram felt really bad for hurting Priya, he felt that he crossed the limit this time and desperately wanted to apologize to Priya or atleast check how she was doing. He thought that he would go and apologize to Pihu for sure because he saw the disheartened look on her innocent face when he rejected the paratha and asked bansi kaka to make fresh ones. When he reached the room he saw Rajat and Priya hugging with Pihu nowhere to be seen. He became very angry at the sight and regretted ever feeling bad for her because obviously his words made no difference to her. Before it was the thought of Rajat and Priya being together that made him angry but now his anger has reached its maximum level seeing Rajat and Priya hugging for the first time. He was standing there clenching his fist, tears in his eyes, his heart shattering to pieces when he hears, “Papa?”. Rajat and Priya break the hug to see where the voice was coming from. It was pihu who was standing by the door behind an infuriated Ram. Priya looked at Rajat and than back at Ram thinking, what must Ram be thinking? Rajat notices the hurt in both lovers’ eyes. He decides to break the silence, it’s the least he can do for creating such huge misunderstandings.
Rajat: Pihu, what’s the matter is there anything that Rajat uncle can help you with?
Pihu turns to look at Rajat but she is still holding on to Ram’s hand. Ram stood there frozen and quickly turns to the side to wipe his eyes. He didn’t want anyone to see him crying especially not his daughter. She deserves to be kept happy; she has no fault in all this. Priya notices Ram wiping his tears and she shuts her eyes tight to not let any tears escape down her cheeks. She is thinking, “oh no what must Ram be thinking?” Rajat walks towards Pihu, who hasn’t said anything in response to what Rajat asked, she just kept holding on to Ram’s hand, looking up at him keenly waiting to be acknowledged.
Ram (says rudely but quietly so Pihu does not get scared): Rajat UNCLE (emphasizes uncle)! You’re her uncle and why would she need your help when her Papa is here.
Rajat: sorry Ram I didn't mean to take your place, I just thought you and Priya might want to talk.
Ram looks at Priya angrily.
Ram: There’s nothing left for us to talk. You guys carry on with what you were doing, I am sorry I interrupted you two. Newly weds couples, I should’ve known better.
Rams words taunted Priya’s heart, each syllable stabbing the individual chambers in which only Ram dwelled.
Priya: Ram it’s not like that, Rajat was just… (ram didn’t let her finish her sentence by cutting her off)
Ram: Oh no Priya please! You don’t have to explain anything to me beyond what I saw. Who am I to you anyways? I have no right to ask and no reason to know.
Ram words butchered her heart to nothing more than just pieces of flesh. Every fiber of her body had his name stitched in it. She wanted to scream in response, “ You are my everything; the father of my child and the love of life; my reason for being, the meaning of my existence; it is for you that I breath and for you that I will die in a heartbeat, just tell me when. Ram you are my EVERYTHING!!” Ram felt Pihu gripping his hand tighter, he noticed that the conversation was escalating to a fight and Pihu was getting scared. So he shifted his attention from what he had just saw, locking it away in his heart to remind him that his Priya had truly moved on whether he would like to accept it or not, and he concentrated on his daughter.
Ram (he kneels down to Pihu’s level): Pihu my darling I came here to see you only. I am so sorry (he grabs his ears) sweetheart, you gave Papa a Paratha and I didn’t eat it.
Pihu: It’s okay Papa, I think that hurt Mumma’s feelings more than mine. After all she was the one who made it.
Ram swallowed hard and glanced at Priya from the corner of his eyes, she was looking at Ram and Pihu, her cheeks wet with tears. He thought, “I don’t think Priya is capable of any feelings. The only thing that associates her with feelings of any kind is her newly remarkable talent of hurting people’s feelings.” His train of thought is interrupted by Pihu’s sweet voice transforming into a stern tone.
Pihu: But I am very mad at you for something else.
She turns away and crosses her arms on her chest and pouts.
Ram: What did I do to break my darlings heart?
Pihu (still assuming the same stance): You didn’t eat anything and you left the table angrily. Mumma says that it’s not good to leave food like that or to take out your anger on food. Some people in this world are not lucky like us to have food and so we should respect it.
Priya smiled through tears at her daughter display of affection towards her dad. Ram felt touched by Pihu’s words that are reminding him of a Priya that he once used to know, how she used to be.
Ram: Aacha meri Ma. I am sorry I won’t do it again. Please mujhe maaf kardo.
Pihu: Meri Ma nahi, Meri Pihu (she said cutely)
Ram (turns Pihu to face him and holds on to his ears yet again): Aacha my pihu, my darling, my angel, my sweetheart I am sorry I will never do that again. Is that good? Do you forgive me?
He spreads his arms out and she says, “yes I do”. He hugs her and kisses her on the cheeks. Shortly after he breaks the hug.
Ram: No office today, just Pihu and Papa!
Pihu: and Mumma?? (she asks looking at Priya)
Ram: no just Pihu and Papa. You’re mumma is very busy today. She has a lot of things to do with Rajat uncle, so let’s not bug them. (he says this without even looking in Priya’s direction. Rajat feels irritated and uncomfortable but he knows that this is the monster that he created. Rajat looks at Priya, who scrunches up her forehead and closes her eyes. He knows that she is also irritated.)
Pihu (walks over to her mom and pulls her down. Priya kneels down): Mumma you can do the work later. Please Aao Na Papa aur meri saath!
Priya (wants to spend time with her Ram and Pihu but knows that now Ram is very angry and going with him will just spoil his mood and he just might cancel this excursion which will break Pihu’s heart): No Pihu! Aaj ap apne Papa ke saath jao. I will come next time, promise..
Pihu sulks and makes a sad face sticking her bottom lip out. Priya knows just the trick to cheer her up.
Priya: Waise Pihu, I know that Papa is going to take you to get some black forest cake (she says with a big smile on her face).
Pihu’s eyes lit up hearing about black forest cake.
Priya: and mumma doesn’t like cake na? so if mumma goes than Papa and Pihu will not be allowed to have any cake we will eat something healthy like ummmmm salad. (pihu makes a disgusted face) Does Pihu want salad or black forest cake?
Pihu: obviously black forest cake Mumma!
Priya: aacha chal let’s get you ready so Papa and Pihu can go out to have some cake and do some other fun stuff. (pihu nods excitedly)
Ram and Rajat leave and Priya gets Pihu ready. Kush was out at a friends birthday party. Pihu says bye to all the members of the family and as she is leaving she looks back at Priya and waves. Ram notices this and looks to see who she is waving too and sure enough he sees two teary eyes staring right back in his slightly red infuriated eyes.
Ram: pihu let’s go.
Baap and beti leave for a day of fun! Priya is completely hurt, wants to clear up the misunderstanding but wonders how because Ram does not want to listen. She is feeling confused and helpless and in this state of mind only one person can give her the best advice and that is her father. She decides to go to her old house and prays to god that this time he will listen to her. Rajat drops her off and than goes to tend to some other work. Priya walks to her old apartment strolling down memory lane. At every corner there is a memory both sad and happy ones but either way they were unforgettable and etched in her mind and heart permanently. She rings the doorbell to her apartment and waits…