My driver, Somaiah, has found a new short-cut lane to avoid the perennial jam at the masjid before Johnson's Market. All the way to the end of this quiet bumpy lane lies a Hindu graveyard on the right and, on the left, a Christian cemetery with an old collonaded portal, followed by a modest entrance to another Christian cemetery. Some distance after the gates a couple of slum-type houses in pastel colours appear their doors right on the street. A sign in stone says they're in the granite business—tombstones and such, of course.
When I passed the houses today, a pudgy lady had the door partly open and filled with her bulk. A curtain flush with the door was drawn upward awkwardly — it was in the shape of a hood over her head. The woman was dark, unwashed, uncombed, and in appearance neither Christian nor Hindu. Her family could be offering services both to the Hindu dead in front, and Christians in the back.
The lane hits a wall and turns right. For a short distance after that, we're still passing a graveyard, but only on the left, but what we see now is a Muslim cemetery, with its walls painted over with communist motifs.
Daily, when I pass the portal of the Christian cemetery, I catch a glimpse of a crowd of tombstones, and I have an anxious passing thought that they'll appear in my dreams. They haven't. Today I wondered if that woman at her door has a son, and from where she'll bring him a wife.