Page:Chandrashekhar (1905).djvu/99

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“Shaibalini—Sai!” cried Protap. She startled, and her heart fluttered. In her childhood Protap used to address her as “Sai.” Again that endearing address came. Oh, what an age! Can time be measured by years? No, it is the mood of the moment which furnishes its true estimate. Those few years, when Shaibalini had not heard that sound, seemed a cycle to her. Now at that sound she closed her eyes in that immeasurable multitude of waters; at heart she invoked the moon and the stars and with her eyes shut she said, “ Protap, why this moonlight flicker even to-day on the slender stream of the river?” [1]

“The moon, you say ?—no, the sun is up. Sai, we are now safe, no one is pursuing us.”

“Then come let us get up on the shore. Sai?”


“Do you remember?”


“How another day we swam like this."

Shaibalini did not reply. A big log was floating by and she caught hold of it. “Hold and rest,” said Shaibalini, “it will bear your weight.” Protap laid hold of it and said, “Do you remember how you could not sink, but I sank ?” “Yes, I do,” said Shaibalini.

“If you had not called me again by that name tonight, I would have made amends for it. Oh! why did you call me by that name?”

"Then you know very well that I can drown myself if I choose.”

  1. Shaibalini means to say, “Why, stir up the sweet memories of childhood in my withered heart," but Protap thought that Shaibalini had mistaken the rising sun for the moon and hence the reply, "The moon you say, etc."