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November 17th, 2017

Of pollution. And rain. And the farmers. And…

Back in Delhi, after a few days on the farm, and in countdown mode to the half marathon on Sunday, and the air quality is still a mess.

As is the official reaction, which is all over the place.

In my morning paper, on the front page, I read this, which implies stubble burning is an important factor:

But hang on a mo! On Page 3 we read:

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Click to continue reading Of pollution. And rain. And the farmers. And…

November 14th, 2017

Fleeing Delhi’s foul air. Literally.

For a few days, we have fled the filthy Delhi air and come to the farm in rural Haryana.

I’m sitting outside as I write, and, guess what, the sky is blue.

Pale blue, admittedly.

But blue all the same.

After a week of filthy air and grey skies and wearing a vogmask inside the house, at least one can breathe here.

The idea is not only to escape the toxic air, but also to try and get myself into some kind of better shape, in case I do decide to run the half marathon this Sunday in Delhi.

It’s […]

Click to continue reading Fleeing Delhi’s foul air. Literally.

November 10th, 2017

I declare Winter 2017 officially open in Delhi

This evening I had my first true harbinger of winter.

Not the fog.

Not the wedding invitations starting to arrive (cue party party party).

Nope.

My first sparkly sweater sighting.

Feast your eyes upon this – The First Sparkly V-neck Sleeveless Sweater of this season.

Not the most flamboyant that Delhi and north India can offer, admittedly, but still…a fetching shade of sparkly caramel (my word), sparkly treacle (Jane’s description).

Through my car window, in monstrous traffic at Moti Bagh.

Delhi, the sparkly season is

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Click to continue reading I declare Winter 2017 officially open in Delhi

November 9th, 2017

Odd-Even is back Even if it’s Odd

So, here we go again.

Short-term, knee-jerk reactions to our toxic air.

On Monday 13th, Delhi will have an 0dd-even car numberplate rule again, the way we did last year.

So that means that for today (the 9th) & the 10th & the 11th & the 12th the killer toxic situation can pootle and footle along and on Monday – wham – odd/even will kick in.

Why not start it immediately?

As in tomorrow, or at least on Saturday, over the weekend?

People can’t say they didn’t know this

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Click to continue reading Odd-Even is back Even if it’s Odd

November 9th, 2017

Heart-breaking neglect of Delhi’s Safdarjung’s Tomb

We have house guests and, despite, the filthy air quality in Delhi, I did a little bit of sight-seeing with them today.

I took them to Safdarjung’s Tomb, and it was every bit as heart-breaking as my last visit there 8 months ago, in early March.

I wrote a shocked blog post at the time – here’s the link – bemoaning the graffiti defacing every wall in this amazing monument.

Dunno why I thought anything would’ve changed for the better in 8 months. But hope springs eternal etc etc.

Obviously nothing has been done to remove the yards of ugly, […]

Click to continue reading Heart-breaking neglect of Delhi’s Safdarjung’s Tomb

November 8th, 2017

We’re gasping for breath here! Anybody listening?

Welcome to my (Delhi) world this November morning.

Doors and windows shut.

Air purifier on.

Nothing but bad news & idiocy in the morning papers.

My government tells me to leave Delhi.

Would love to, trust me, if I had somewhere to go.

My government tells me to travel by public transport.

Would love to, trust me, if you’d only finish building the bloody metro that will still be a kilometre away, but hey! what’s a kilometre in these desperate polluted times?

Alternatively, you bunch of jokers could finish the road works on the Outer Ring Road, and build that […]

Click to continue reading We’re gasping for breath here! Anybody listening?

November 7th, 2017

Remembering the reclusive Prince in his forest palace

With the death of the last remaining member of the family who claimed to be descendants of the deposed King of Oudh, the mystery surrounding the ruined “palace” where they lived in the middle of a Delhi forest draws to a sad close.

I’d shared with you on Sunday the news of the death of the Prince – here’s the link, in case you didn’t read my original piece.

Actually, if you haven’t read the original blog post, do please take a couple of minutes to read it now, since it puts the following interesting story into perspective.

view […]

Click to continue reading Remembering the reclusive Prince in his forest palace

November 5th, 2017

The terribly sad end to the story of the haunted Delhi palace

Just 2 weeks ago, I shared with you here in this blog, the story of the “haunted” hunting lodge, deep in a Delhi forest, inhabited by the 2 remaining siblings of the erstwhile royal family of Oudh.

If you didn’t read my original story, won’t you please take 2 minutes now to read it?

It is a sad, strange tale and the background will definitely help you understand this new post. Here’s the link.

On October 23rd, I had gone running in Malcha Forest with some of my running group, and we had a quick look at the ruins of

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Click to continue reading The terribly sad end to the story of the haunted Delhi palace

November 4th, 2017

The magic(al) flute

Dear readers, I’m going to give you the briefest of contexts for this blog post, and then please, I beg you, turn your computer/phone/iPad volume up to max, and enjoy what for me was possibly the most spiritual moment I have ever experienced in Delhi, in all my years of knowing this city.

I went to the Lodhi Gardens this morning for a training session, and got to our group meeting place, in front of the 15th century Shish Gumbad (glazed dome) at 5.50.

It was still dark, there was no lighting in the gardens, and just one other early-bird

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Click to continue reading The magic(al) flute

November 1st, 2017

Begone bad news! Here’s the cutest little prince ever

Delhi’s pollution is getting worse.

Nothing but the usual sordid fare in the morning papers.

If I see another story about rape or murder or 13 year old girls being married off to 38 year olds, I might just weep.

And it’s only 9.30 on the morning.

So in order to keep the morning from spinning out of control, let me share with you the ONLY good thing in the papers today.

The ONLY thing that made me smile and go “Awwww…”

Here you go: the King of Bhutan, the Prince of Bhutan, and India’s Foreign Minister, Sushma Swaraj, who […]

Click to continue reading Begone bad news! Here’s the cutest little prince ever

October 31st, 2017

100 year old Indian woman raped

Sorry, folks, but my attempts to ignore the bad news and give you nothing but cheery, positive news from India came to a grinding halt this morning.

And for once I am not taking issue with the Times of India for having this story on its front page:Feeling sick to my stomach.

“Poor woman” doesn’t even begin to cover what one feels for this old, bedridden woman.

It is too, too revolting, and the sooner this evil man is locked away,

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October 31st, 2017

No dirty “stinkly” chewing people here, thank you very much

Some of the flyers that float out of my morning paper are interesting, some are unintentionally funny, some are vaguely useful (though I rarely remember where I’ve filed that useful address when the time comes).

And then there’s this.

It’s an ad for mechanized water tank cleaning.

As in “how boring can THIS ad be?”

Just read it:

Initially, it all looks good, with quite justifiable worries about your kids brushing (sic) with dirty water.

Then just read the next bullet point:

“NO worries

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Click to continue reading No dirty “stinkly” chewing people here, thank you very much