This is a portrait - of two 81-year-old friends, but more importantly, of how life looks like if we are lucky to live long enough. Very beautiful.
"South" of title refers to South India, known simply as the South here. Story is set in an unnamed coastal city of Tamil Nadu (some locations in the city are named; so someone familiar with the city should be able to identify it - unless it's a fictional one).
Last few paras look at the tsunami of a few years ago, as seen from the eyes of one of these men. But the story is not primarily about tsunami - it's about old age; it just happens to be set during the days leading up to tsunami.
- Are there still places in India where Vespa scooters are common? I don't recall having seen one in years.
Fact sheet.First published: The New Yorker, 18 May 2009.
Download full text from publisher's site.
Added to my "best of the year 2009" list.