Whenever the storms pause, Gyan returns to Cho Oyu. He and Sai measure their collar bones, eyelashes, and veins. They continue to play their game until Gyan pleads for her to kiss him. She says no, but then she kisses him. One week later, they are fully immersed in kisses, constantly asking to be kissed on the nose, cheek, and ears.
The initiation of Sai and Gyan’s romance keeps in line with its respectful nature as she consents to initiating a physical relationship. This is in direct contrast with the initiation of the judge’s and Nimi’s physical relationship, which will be explored further at the end of the novel.
Sai and Gyan do not pay attention to the political rumblings that are mounting daily. Posters are put up in the markets; slogans are painted on the sides of buildings, asking for a state and for fair treatment for the Nepalis in India. These acts are dismissed as the protests of a handful of students, until one day fifty boys gather to swear an oath to fight for the formation of a homeland called Gorkhaland. Suddenly, everyone begins using the word “insurgency.”
Desai specifically notes that Sai and Gyan are ignoring the political upheaval around them, foreshadowing its eventual role in their conflict. As the GNLF movement gathers, their motivations in asking for their own state are illuminated. They aim to acquire fair treatment by acquiring a separate home for themselves.