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July 23rd, 2014

And your Hindi word of the day is…



“Raah” means road or path

“Giri” means, literally, a kernel. But in the popular usage of this-giri and that-giri it means, I think (and I am so so open to correction here, my Hindi speaking friends) the essence of a thing/concept/idea. The central core of an idea.

After a very popular Bollywood film, for example, the tern “Gandhigiri” was coined and if you check this word in Wikipedia, this is what you get :

“Gandhigiri is a relatively new term in India which is used to express the tenets of Gandhism

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July 22nd, 2014

“Only God can prevent rape”


There are days when you thought it was bad as it could be. And then it gets worse. And today was one such day.

As if the rape of a little 6 year old in her school by an employee were not horrific enough, the school saw fit to describe her as “a girl with different thinking ability.”

How dare they do this? Defaming a wee little mite, dobtless to “save” the school’s reputation. Despicable cowards, the lot of them. Such crass callousness is truly sickening, and if I were a parent of the school I would withdraw my child [...]

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July 22nd, 2014

It’s a dog’s life in Bollywood

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This post is actually meant as a bit of a wake up call for Yoko, our galumphing 18 month old Golden Retriever (the very fellow who has sidelined me for 2 months, by bowling me over).

As in, come on, my boy, and exactly when are YOU going to make it big in Bollywood?


I predict a boom in Golden Retrievers, if this movie is a hit -> a flurry of ads/commercials/films all (naturally) starring Goldens -> surely someone, somewhere will need footage of a Golden rolling in the mud, which is Master Y’s

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July 21st, 2014

Photo of the day. The ascent of Mentok Kangri begins in earnest

This was the start of the really serious stuff last year on Mentok Kangri. The fixed lines.

A real moment of truth.

Between you and me, it was a teensy bit intimidating to see the crew fixing the lines and thinking “Oh crikey, I have to go up those soon,” but it was also very exciting.

I understand we will be roped up on Chamser Kangri next month – inshallah – which is yet another experience awaiting me.



And, true to my word, no count down.

Absolutely no ticking off the days…

No thinking about

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Click to continue reading Photo of the day. The ascent of Mentok Kangri begins in earnest

July 20th, 2014

The law is an ass. Or perhaps a crocodile

Said it before. Saying it again. Never a dull moment in India, my friends.


And, by the way, is “forester” a real word? If not, it is now.

July 20th, 2014

Photo of the day : an invitation to push open a door…

After a 12km dawn yomp through muggy, humid Delhi this morning, hopelessly overdressed in hiking boots that needed breaking in (and as for those 2 pairs of woolly socks…) I think I need a spot of Ladakhi zen…

This fabulous door is in Thikse, one of the many wonderful “gompas” or monasteries in Ladakh.

Not long now till I’m there.

But nope, absolutely no countdown. Trying to rise above the numbers.


July 19th, 2014

3 paragraphs on Page 12…that’s it

I do not need to add anything here.

No words from me will add to the revulsion/detract from the horror.

All I will say, for the benefit of non-Indians, is that a “lathi” is a wooden stick, of the kind cops use to thwack people.

And “Nirbhaya” (meaning “fearless” in Hindi) is the name the press gave to that poor girl who was gang-raped and assaulted on a bus in Delhi in December 2012. She subsequently died from her horrific injuries.

I am sick – yet again – to my stomach.


Click to continue reading 3 paragraphs on Page 12…that’s it

July 18th, 2014

Last Post at dawn and rules for 8 month old babies


There really is something extra special about the very early morning.

To wander around a hectically busy city such as Delhi in the early hours of the morning is to have a sense of – well – ownership and belonging and almost community, that are otherwise absent.

Let me explain.

Once the day gets properly underway in Delhi, the traffic is beyond chronic, the noise levels soar, and no-one has time for anyone else.

It is a battle to get through the traffic, to find a parking space, to cross the road – everything is an aggressive struggle.

Whereas at [...]

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July 18th, 2014

Of thumb impressions & poetry in palm leaves

I absolutely love the flyers that drift out of my morning papers.

They enrich my world.

They also make me ask questions, such – why left for ladies and right for gents ? (Thumb impressions,, that is)

July 15th, 2014

Photo of the day. Ladakh (what else?) but no countdown

It’s been a few days since I shared a photo of Ladakh with you.

My attempts at self-motivation through a daily photo, after being knocked flying by my idiotic dog 7 weeks ago, bombed.

As I counted down each passing day, I just got more and more stressed about how little time vs how many kilometres of trekking and climbing lay ahead of me.

So I followed the advice of the good folks at my physio (and lifesaver) Back to Fitness and concentrated on getting fit and leave the countdown. I’m still not 100% but the worst is definitely over. [...]

Click to continue reading Photo of the day. Ladakh (what else?) but no countdown

July 13th, 2014

Could I valet park that Lamborghini for you, sir?


Would absolutely not advise it, if you live in Delhi.

Actually, I wouldn’t advise your owning a Lamborghini in India, period.

Never mind the morality of owning a Rs3 crore*** car in a country with such rampant poverty.

Never mind the cows and the pot-holes and the occasional elephant wandering the wrong way down the street.

Isn’t the whole point of such cars to go from 0 – a squadillion kilometres in 2 seconds? Not a snowball in hell’s chance of ever doing that in Delhi, with its wall-to-wall traffic day in and day out. You’ll still have to sit [...]

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July 12th, 2014

Yikes! All ye fraudsters and forgers take beware!

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Now I’m all for letting the punishment fit the crime, but all the same…


Since there has been nothing further in the papers refuting this story/opinion – but to be fair, follow-up is pretty rare in the India press, as I have noted on many occasions – so, since no-one has shot this legal view-point down, I take it that everyone in Chennai*** (formerly known as Madras) is OK with this?


***Yes, Madras vs Chennai.

The name was changed years ago, but clearly not in the world of the High

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