Here on, the itinerary suggested meeting Piyush, an ex-colleague at work who’d just shifted to Kochi. Given the frequency of him bunking in my house, it was only fair that he come pick me up and escort me to my quarters in his house. We drove to Mallapalli, a quaint town near Kottayam, where nothing exciting ever happened. The drive was broken by heavy rain, and the road seemed to glitter after the downpour. Rubber-coated curvy climbs in pristine condition, dotted with systematic reflectors every two meters made for some high-definition tarmac porn. The government hands road construction projects to third parties, who are responsible for maintaining its quality for five years. So instead of making an average road mixed with one spoon of bureaucracy and two shots of bribery, the builders just ensure the roads are of supreme quality, so no work would be needed on them for five years. Is that fair play or a stalemate, I wondered.