We’d spent an afternoon walking at a height of about 2000 meters above sea level, in a sliver of shola grasslands caught between tea estates. The day alternated between sunny and overcast, but warm. At one point I looked over what seemed to be a vast landscape where the last flowering was taking place before the heat comes down from the skies. You can see the stunted trees of the shola forest making a dark green border around the slopes. It was getting close to lunch time.

We drove into the nearest town: Munnar. I was not surprised by the crowds in the central bazaar. But what made me stop and look again was this small steel cabinet in the middle of the road. The gentleman in the purple shirt had a bunch of keys and was trying to figure out whether he could unlock it. I don’t know whether the door ever opened. When I came by next, the whole cabinet had disappeared.