My first encounter with trigonometry had left me completely at sea. A person whose day job was to run a wholesale fruit business was found to be a suitable tutor by my family. I spent a couple of days in his shop, listening to his explanations, while crates of fruit were loaded and unloaded around me. Although he never complained about his job, it was clear that he loved maths. He also explained it well. This turned out to be a very fruitful time for me, so to say. Angles and distances have never bothered me since then. I also understood that among the scores of boxes of fruits, one or two pieces would be bruised, and over ripe. They would fill the surroundings with a heady smell.
I took a walk through Simmakkal fruit market in Madurai with my phone at the ready, and recognized this smell of ripening oranges and pineapples. I saw people picking out and separating these fruits, just as my erstwhile tutor would. Most people were busy but friendly, and smiled at the camera if they noticed me. Just one turned her face away. Now looking at these photos as I edit them, I wonder whether there are people here whose hearts and minds are not in the business they are engaged in. Could there be secret mathematicians, novelists or sculptors among the people I saw in this fruit market?