The Class Seven at which Sangbad was then was the smallest room opposite the storage room.
“What’re you doing…” Anushka chirped before snatching her bag from Sangbad’s hand.
The prayer was over. The first period would be starting in few minutes. Priyotosh and Saibal had settled down in the last bench which was at the border of the mentioned depressed area; there’s enough space for another one to sit. But, Sangbad had ditched that to sit beside Anushka, in the second last bench, and fulfill his wish.
“Where it is…” Sangbad enquired.
“What…” Anushka asked while keeping aside her bag because she knew he’ll not cross her to get the bag. She also knew why he was scrambling her bag.
“Today’s my birthday…you haven’t forgotten, I know very well…you hadn’t missed to bring it for last two years…so, where’s it…” Sangbad asked looking at her eyes.
Anushka smiled and thought to play a little more with him. So she bends her lips and replied, “I’ve forgotten…did I wish you last night or this morning…see, I’ve forgotten…”
Sangbad frowned and said, in a fail serious tone, “there’s an extra tiffin box in your bag…wrapped in the packet…and the packet has the emblem of Dey Brothers…”
“Good…great…our Feluda…” Saibal commented from behind.
He was enjoying this show. When they argue it look so good…he always comments to Priyotosh who always preferred to remain silent and only intervene when Anushka and Sangbad fight–Anushka take away the spectacle of him and he holds her hairs by the tail. Saibal loves to remain back and enjoy this fight. Let them fight…he would say.
Anushka smiled and said, “you always get hold of me, you know…”
She pushed up Sangbad’s spectacle over his nose and then, “you had petted the little puppy before you come to school…so your hands are dirty…at least one…”
Sangbad gazed angrily at Saibal. Last eve, while returning from school, he had helped a puppy to cross the road in front of his school by taking it on his lap. Saibal was there as well as Priyotosh. Anushka was absent last day.
“Did kakima know of this…” Anushka asked looking sharply with slimming her big beady eyes–her style of interrogation.
Sangbad scratched his head and smiling wryly replied, “yes…Pradip Kaka was passing at that time…he had seen and had complained it to Samir Kaka…who then pass the news to Ma…”
“And then you got a good scolding from kakima, and, another layer of another scolding, then, from Didi…for handling the dirty thing…” Priyotosh replied with a grin.
“But, before the prayer, I have washed my hands with the soap…see my hand smell of Lifebuoy…” Sangbad holds out his hand.
“Okay…how is Didi…” Anushka asked to steer the topic to another one.
“She’s fine…doctor said it is nothing only a sprain in her leg…many a time I had told her not to run behind a bus…even if she is running late…now pass me the box…” Sangbad said pulling himself a little closer to her.
Anushka grasps her bag tightly.
“Why is Miss is not coming…” Saibal commented.
“You’re a villain…enjoy the show…do you remember what had happened last year…” Priyotosh asked.
“He got caught by Dipwanita Miss…and not that day but next day he was punished by kneeling down outside the door…” Saibal replied.
Sangbad looked at his friends angrily. Anushka surpassed her laughter and said, “okay at lunch time…not now…”
Sangbad was going to say s’thing when a female voice interrupted him.
# Feluda: A popular Bengali sleuth created by Satyajit Ray. It’s seldom that a Bengali boy or girl hadn’t read his adventure at their growing-hood.
#Kakima: Bengali colloquial term for addressing Aunty.
#Lifebouy: A popular India toilet soap.