Sabitra loved Sanu, Sanu loved Sabitra, they loved each other. The school was made up of bricks and stones which were twice older than they, furniture was now cratered by termites, the wooden mullions of wooden windows were not all horizontal, the blackboard was cracked at places, the walls and benches were all scribbled with this + that, this loves that, and the metallic tin ─ rusted. But not a thing mattered to them, whoever entered in the class with whatever powered glasses and whatsoever they prattled, they didn’t care, because Sabitra loved Sanu, Sanu loved Sabitra, they loved each other. Sabitra, with her head on her palm ─ her dense black hair, the forelock clenched at her left temple with a gang of clips dwelling on her head, some curls drooping down her ear often kissing the tiny trinket there, her eyes ─ the most beautiful of all ─ the nose had a cult status among all and her face ─ the whitest of all and the loveliest of all. And Sanu, with his chin on his palm, his hair ─ the longest among all the boys, having span down to his nape ─ muscular body, as compared to the others of his age, and fairly brown face ─ gained at the hours of grazing cattle in pasture ─ indeed was able to be called the most handsome of all. Both could be seen at each other’s eyes, sparkling. Sometimes, the Sikshaks(teachers) would throw something at them, but could only blink them and they would resume after no while.
After the peon’s last job of the day, Sanu would take Sabitra to the bamboo bush and kiss her there. Now, he’d started kissing her on her lips, Sabitra would close her eyes but he wouldn’t. His father believed that apparitions lived in the bush, the apparitions of the ones who had hung themselves on the tree nearby. Once when he was walking his way, he’d heard sounds over there, disembodied, and had forbidden his son to walk the way. But who cares? This was the only place where his son could kiss his girl, now on her lips. Pandit baje had seen them together walking with the intermingled palms, a number of times, and had also talked with the Brahman father of Sabitra, a number of times, the Brahman father had also reprimanded his Brahman child, a number of times. Only after, Sabitra could convince him saying that she was still very small to get into a relationship, that he was only a good friend and that there was nothing intimate between them, he’d slept properly. However, he’d banned her to talk with any boys from lower class, like Sanu, wanted to expel all similar kids from the school, had also talked with the headmaster ─ his own brother- in- law ─ but failed as the country had begun to wake up.
Sanu and Sabitra still loved each other; things had started leaking among the idiosyncratic. Sanu had already gotten an eligible egg, but they still moved to the bamboo bush. Sanu’s father still talked about the apparitions and Sabitra’s father still talked about the lower class kids. But who cares? Sanu still kissed Sabitra, now transforming toward her ballooning breasts, Sabitra still held him, much tighter with eyes still closed. Sabitra loved Sanu, Sanu loved Sabitra, and they still loved each other.