'Where do you live Murugan?'
'Mohan Mansion, Triplicane.'
'Just come to Bells Road and they'll tell you.'
'No need, just say Mohan Mansion and ask for me.'
When you reach Bells Road, and an auto-driver has helped you find the place despite the disappointment over your not having hired his auto at the discount offer of Rs 15 for 0.2 km, you face a building that has no name. As you check again, the watchman assures you: this is Mohan mansion. You ask for 'Murugan', and are guided to a 10 feet by 8 feet room on the second floor. Sunlight wades past male lingerie 'clipped' to clotheslines to withstand the salty Marina breeze. Murugan, fanning himself, shirtless and in a lungi, welcomes you and promptly orders special chai, two cups. He helps himself to a shirt from a pile, but doesn't button up. Your eyes take in the room: two narrow wooden beds, more like train berths; some old Horlicks bottles on the shelf with puffed rice, groundnuts, Marie biscuits; secondhand Wren & Martins, spoken English books, coconut oil, a...