Janu and I were school mates. It is a shame to call it a school. A shed with thatched roof, leaking in monsoon rains, with three teachers who have to teach in all four standards, as our science teacher had been transferred elsewhere.

Janu was senior to me, but she failed twice and we became class mates.

My Papa worked in the gulf and came home only rarely.

Janu lived in the next plot in a hut, with her parents who were daily wage earners, doing odd jobs. She was helpful to Ma, in household work. I helped in her studies, as she was weak in all subjects.

The hills where we lived were full of small streams and wild trees. Janu and I would roam about, plucking fruits and berries. With my sling, I could accurately aim a mango, even at a good height and bring it down with a stone. And the mangoes were really very tasty. We used to share everything, leaving our parents’ share.

Hare, porcupines, wild fowl, honey etc. were also available occasionally.

Or we would catch fish. Janu was expert in catching them in the streams. They were not big, but that is all we had, as the nearest market was miles away.

There was a post office, two miles from our school. As the post man was reluctant to walk every day, he would come only once a week. I would carry Janu on my bicycle and bring letters and kitchen items on other days. Ma was reluctant to send me alone as I was too small, though I felt I am big enough.

One day Janu noticed a big ball of something I had not seen before. It was full of fibre and Janu could easily break it. She said it was wild elephant’s dung and we should hurry home, as the animal was near by.

We had hardly moved a few yards, when she suddenly pulled me and we climbed a hill, from the top of which we could espy the surroundings. I was panting. She held me close and asked me to look at the stream below.

I could not believe my eyes! There were a dozen of these animals, big and small, swimming and playing in the water. When a kid tried to escape on to the ground, its mother pulled it down. I felt sorry for it, but Janu said it was necessary that it must learn swimming. When Janu knew it was safe, we came back home.

One day we were bathing in the stream. I noticed that she had breasts like lotus buds. The circles around the tips were small and pink. Ma’s were dark. I asked her why it is so. She just smiled and kissed me.

On our way from the post office, a truck stopped near Janu. The driver took her bodily and was about to get back into his cabin. All were watching and the girl was yelling and shouting: leave me alone.

I always carried my sling and a small bag full of stones. In no time, a big stone hit the driver’s back. He fell down and we both hastened home. Thereafter Janu was not allowed to go to the post office. I became a hero.

As standards 5 to 7 were added to our school, I pleaded with my Papa to allow me to complete my studies there. I did not want to leave Janu.

We extended our mountain walk to hills several miles beyond, carrying our food with us. Once we noticed a man in pants and shirt coming with a tribal woman, completely naked, except for a few leaves around her groins. Janu indicated to me to hide ourselves in the bush and watch. They looked around and seeing no one in the surroundings, the woman lay down on the grass. The man removed his pants and inserted his big penis into the hole between her thighs. Then he went on putting it in, withdrawing and repeating the process for some time. Afterwards, he gave her some money and they went away.

I asked Janu what all this meant. She was very excited.

She asked: do you want to do it? Come.

Then she too removed her skirt and asked me to pull off my under wear. She lay down and parted her thighs wide, exposing the slit, which was pulled apart with her two hands. Do you see a hole?

I saw one, very small, through which I could insert only the tip of my penis. She then pressed my buttocks hard, against her groins, when my penis entered her hole completely. I experienced a heavenly feeling.
Then I knew what to do.

The climax was so thrilling that we wanted to do it every day.
I asked her: how did you learn this?

Sometimes my parents did thus, in day time too. Then I watched it through the key hole of the door.

But our “honey moon” was cut short by fate.

My Papa uprooted Ma and myself from the mountains and took us to Dubai where I completed my studies and started my own business. I was married ten years ago. We have no issues.

Are you still thinking about the mountain rat?

My wife awakened me from my pleasant reminiscences, offering me a cup of hot tea.

Don’t call the innocent girl a rat, I protested.

She new something about Janu; I said nothing about our secret encounters.

She asked: Why don’t you search her?

I wrote letters to the post master; he never replied.

She: Next time we go to India, we must go personally. I too want to see her.

So we searched the maps and located a point in the Vindhya ranges. We had to contact the forest officials who helped us to reach the post office.

The area is changed beyond recognition. Motorable roads and terraced buildings were not uncommon.

Near the school was her hut, still without any change. I hastened there and was shocked to see an old woman without teeth, her hair all white and the face crumpled with creases….Is it Janu?

She came and rested her face on my shoulder, wetting my shirt with profuse tears. I tried in vain to hide my tears.

Janu was wailing: I lost all. First my only son; then my husband.

I did not know what to say. I gave her thousand rupees and we departed, promising to come again.

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