‘Sir, Jai Hind. Asaram is trying to deceive us! Sir, the man has asked his son to collect more of his supporters during the night and block his departure in the morning!’

'These divine weapons are handed over to selected people for one-time use only, after which they automatically return to their original owners, the devtas and the Gods. But since these weapons become friendly in human hands there is always the fear that humans can recall them.'

As communal relations between Hindus and Muslims deteriorated and rioting became a recurrent feature of public life in many parts of India, the space for Hindu nationalism reopened. But it was a space that the Congress never vacated.

The architectural historian Percy Brown, writing in the 1940s, noted that the Sayyids lacked the resources to build forts, cities, palaces and mosques on the scale of their predecessors and that all that survives of their work is their tombs.

Two petite girls in revealing purple outfits were lurking under the sign. They smiled and made suggestive gestures at Raghu; fluttering their eyelashes, flashing him innocent I’ll- show-you-a good-time looks and shy glances, sticking out their chests.