he Egmore railway junction was teeming with people. Madhumathi was catching the night train to Tiruchirapalli. A departing train sounded the horn and the announcer on the public address system cautioned the passengers against thieves.
Madhu walked the platform looking for her coach while trying to manage the olfactory assault on her senses—a pot pourri of smells that was a combination of the stench of urine from the tracks, of fish from large baskets that lay on the side of the platform and body odor of hundreds of sweaty people who walked haphazardly. An eatery made brisk sales of idlies and dosas. A group of eager viewers were watching the news channel on the television that was showing the news about the swamiji and his carnal escapades for the last few hours.