Rajam Iyer found a seat and made himself comfortable opposite a sallow, meek passenger, who suddenly removed his coat, folded it and placed it under his head and lay down, shrinking himself to the area he had occupied while he was sitting. With his knees drawn up almost to his chin, he rolled himself into a ball. Rajam Iyer threw at him an indulgent, compassionate look. He then fumbled for his glasses and pulled out of his pocket a small book, which set forth in clear Tamil the significance of the obscure Sandhi rites that every Brahmin worth the name performs thrice daily.
He was startled out of this pleasant languor by a series of growls coming from a passenger who had got in at Katpadi. The newcomer, looking for a seat, had been irritated by the spectacle of the meek passenger asleep and had enforced the law of the third-class. He then encroached on most of the meek passenger’s legitimate space and began to deliver home-truths which passed by easy stages from impudence to impertinence and finally to ribaldry.
- What is "the law of the third-class"? (The context is a crowded train named the Madras-Bangalore Express, between Katpadi and Jalarpet, and the story was published in 1943 and set certainly some time during the British rule in India.)
- What is meant by "home-truths" here? To me this term means true facts about oneself, often unwelcome but useful to know. In this case it seems to mean pointless insults against a stranger? It doesn't say who the newcomer is speaking to, but it seems he's just mindlessly insulting the meek passenger?