Mangamma sat sipping her tea. The 10am rain pattered on to the edges of her sari. Usman Road was unusually quiet; an eerie sort of silence. She saw a spot of red on the other side of the Duraisamy subway, where vehicles still ran. She remembered telling her grandson that it would be rainy day in May before these streets would be deserted. The hot season; the kathiri veyil, was supposed to have started yesterday. And yet, there she was, saree damp in the rain, sitting where no one else had before – on the footsteps of Pothy’s Textiles on a Saturday morning. She took another noiseless slurp from her tea and began to descend the wet steps.
She walked to the Laxmi tea stall right next door and returned her glass. There was an unfamiliar quietness here, as well. Just the boiling of the water could be heard. She untied the knot at the end of her sari and pulled out three coins and left it on the biscuit tin. She turned around and looked at the man in black beginning to strike a m