The street quietly watches them grow, dream and die. In ‘Siddhartha Street’ characters come together and grow apart to draw you into the tale of a quotidian street, in a quaint corner of South India. On the rooftop of the lone apartment block in the street, it’s time for ‘Saturday night drinking’ and a motley crew of men gather to drink. A man who regrets being in love, a husband who may lose his job, a father who is about to wed his daughter and the bullying building secretary all converge on the dimly lit terrace. In a corner of the street, a broken single mother runs ‘The Ironing Shop’, so that her daughter does not share the same destiny. Beside the apartment building, live ‘The retired couple’, where an elderly wife watches her husband, withdraw and cocoon himself in spirituality. The collection culminates in ‘Before’, where we travel to the past and witness a fateful Sunday; a day marking the end of innocence and branded by violence. You may hear an echo of R K Narayanan, but it could easily be Chekov or Joyce. Lives in quiet streets are the same everywhere: intricate, inspiring, irredeemable – human.