“Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you. Love me and I may be forced to love you.”
– William Arthur Ward
Every essence of Ward’s mesmerizing words holds true to the unforgettable love which blossomed between two polar opposites. Mayank Sharma (Arjun Bijlani) was the story book definition of a academic excellence while Nupur Bhushan (Rati Pandey) was the fairy-tale diva who was in search of her Raj. The two met when Nupur and her sister, Gunjan (Sanaya Irani), came to live with her cousins Dia (Navina Bole) and Uday (Jaskaran Singh).
Mayank, along with his competition and best friend CJ (Shraddha Musale), was considered to be the brightest student at Excel College. For Mayank, it was all about academics; he kept to himself and seldom interfered in the lives of his fellow students until one fine day when he encountered Nupur. Fate brought them together when they were assigned as project partners for one of their classes. At first Mayank was skeptical of Nupur, but grew fond of her fairly quickly. The duo spent a beautiful day at the beach where Nupur taught Mayank to loosen up and enjoy life. Despite their likeness for each other, their morals and values conflict. While Mayank holds true to his hard work and integrity, Nupur is a carefree bird.
The two are at loggerheads with each other after Mayank mistakenly suspects Nupur of having cheated on their project. He feels that she is undeserving and later uses that to challenge her at the academic meet. By then, Mayank has unexplained feelings for Nupur which cause him to react in a strange manner towards her during their entire trip in Ahmedabad. While Mayank was in denial of his feelings, Nupur was oblivious to hers. Anticipation and frustration grew amongst Mayank and Nupur fans as they shared awkward stares, confused heartbeats and butterflies in their stomach.
After months of denial, fans prayers were answers and were gifted with a beautiful confession scene on July 1, 2009. Despite having confessed their feelings for each other, Mayank and Nupur’s love story had a long way to go before it reached the final destination. Obstacles emerged in their love story from every angle including an adamant Buaji, strict father and a marriage proposal from Adhiraj (Nishant Malkani). Battling the odds, the two finally united on January 22, 2010 in a spur of the moment wedding against the will of Nupur’s father. During this phase, the Bhushan sisters drift apart because of Nupur’s agitation from Gunjan’s support of her father’s decision. The sisters restore their relationship when Nupur protects Gunjan from being eve-teased by local thugs, which results in Gunjan being shot.
Conflicts arise as the gang is torn apart once again after a freak accident which results in Nupur’s death. Mayank and Gunjan hold Samrat (Mohit Sehgal) responsible for Nupur’s death as a result of his reckless driving. The gang lives in agony, only to discover that Nupur is alive, but has been forced to stay away from them due to Dhruv (Rohit Khurrana), a man who is obsessed with Nupur since childhood. After months of turmoil, their love is once again rekindled in unexpected ways and the two live happily ever after with their newborn twins.
For most people, Mayank and Nupur were simply characters but for a true fan, Mayank and Nupur were a way of life. Being that majority of their fan base fell with-in the adolescent and young adult age group, audiences readily identified with the day to day problems surrounding the couple. Whether it be their first love, exam frustration, parental pressure or unemployment issues, Mayank and Nupur were easily relate-able. Even years after the culmination of the show, their love story lives on.
Author: Diana Lydia Parmar