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September 30th, 2014

Delhi’s fabulously flowery wild animals

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There are some days when Delhi is just so dotty that it makes me laugh out loud.

Take this morning, for example.

Off I go on my becoming-my-early-morning-fix run through Lutyens Delhi (and oh, how I so look forward to these runs…) Am just about getting into my stride outside the Samrat Hotel when – whoa – what do I see, but the most splendiferous cow made out of flowers. Utterly divine.

 

There was a bloke just waking from slumber next to this marvel. He shook out his sacking bedding, stood smartly next to

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September 29th, 2014

Not getting Indian politics today. Not at all

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There are days when I feel that even after all these years, I still do not understand anything at all about India.

As in totally just don’t get it.

And today is one such day.

Away from all the hoopla in the US, where Mr. Modi seems to be single-handedly wowing them in the aisles (brotherly hugs with the gorgeous Hugh Jackman forsooth) I turn my sights down south. Where the fragrant Chief Minister for Tamil Nadu state – whoops, silly ol’moi – the former Chief Minister is now languishing in jail, following a corruption trial that found her guilty [...]

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September 26th, 2014

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills…

It’s been a tough end of the week.

One dear friend was buried in London yesterday.

Another dear friend died yesterday in the US. She thought she had a few months left. Turns out she had 3 weeks.

Damn cancer.

So forgive me if I’m not feeling too chatty tonight.

If I need the serene beauty of the mountains to get me through long-distance sadness, God alone knows how the grieving families are coping.

I’ll be back on form tomorrow. Pukka.

But in the meantime I give you my “hills” – the majesty and sheer gorgeousness of

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September 25th, 2014

Delhi Zoo management. Hang your heads in shame.

I’m sure you have all read about the horrific incident earlier this week at Delhi Zoo, and some of you may have seen the photos (more on those anon) but if you haven’t, here’s a quick link to the story to get you up to speed – but you will get absolutely no photos. Basically, a young man was killed by a white tiger, because he entered the enclosure.

When the story initially broke on Twitter on Tuesday night, first reports implied that the tiger had jumped over the enclosure and attacked the man.

But as the cyber-hysteria calmed down, [...]

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September 24th, 2014

I blame, no, no I mean I bless the politicians…

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Well, one politician in particular.

One Mr. Ajit Singh to be precise.

Thanks to Mr. Singh, for the last 2 days I have had the luxury of running down 100% traffic free roads in Lutyens Delhi.

Like this :

(That van is a police van, by the way)

 

Let me explain.

Mr. Singh used to be a minister in the last coalition government which means he lived – sorry, I mean still lives – in a stonking great Lutyens bungalow.

#12 Tughlak Road, to be precise.

Here it is:

Not shabby

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September 22nd, 2014

Yet again, I have NO idea…

…as in NO idea whatsoever what was going on here.

We were in Safdarjung Enclave, on a roof terrace, when we heard drumming. So obviously I peered down through the wires and cables, to see what was going on in the street below.

Take drummers + stark naked man + wheelchair and, please, you tell me what on earth was going on.

No-one around seemed to have any better idea, so this is my theory: the gentlemen is a holy man of sorts. Who needs a wheelchair. And doesn’t wear any clothes. And who carries a peacock feather fan.

Here [...]

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September 19th, 2014

There’s no such thing as boring in India

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Ever since I became a (late) convert to the joys of running, I have started reading articles and blogs about running, and one little nugget I have gleaned is that it is good to vary your route from time to time, so that boredom doesn’t set in.

Which is why I run pretty much the same route every day, through Lutyens Delhi.

Because – as those of you who live here and/or have visited here know full well – there’s no such thing as boring in India. Or repetitive. Or same old-same old.

I may well run down the glorious [...]

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September 19th, 2014

What could be the collective noun for these?

Last month, on the second day of our trek along the Markha Valley in Ladakh, we crossed over a low pass and descended to our lunch spot, in a tiny shady grove.

As usual, the pass was marked with prayer flags, but also with masses of white silk “kata”. Not just a few of these ceremonial scarves**, but dozens upon dozens, so much so that their weight was almost touching the ground.

As I sat and marvelled, I thought idly about how you could describe this sight. To say “there were a lot of white silk scarves…” is way too [...]

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September 18th, 2014

Photo of the day : Ladakh

Less than a month ago, we were approaching our Base Camp, and getting ready to climb Kangyatse II, but such is the speed of life that it already seem a long time ago (so much for being senior citizens and in the slow lane…).

It is hard to think of Kashmir these days without images of the dreadful flooding being in the forefront of one’s mind – and I am worried that I have no news of Rahul, one of my climbing buddies – but a day of picture editing has brought back the beauty of this part of India.

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September 17th, 2014

Delhi is a pretty “fine” place these days

I remember when I first went to Singapore (aeons ago) the must-have souvenir was a T-shirt that said something like “Singapore is a fine place”, and then listing all the things you could get fined for – men having long hair and chewing gum being the 2 classics.

Fast forward 30 years and, who knows, perhaps hamari Dilli is heading the same way.

There is a whole slew of proposals – according to my morning papers – aimed at making Delhi clean and un-smoke-spit-pee-poo free.

Yes.

Quite.

These proposals were all announced last month, and I would love to be [...]

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September 14th, 2014

We zumba-ed at dawn. We danced to Bollywood as the sun rose. And then we ran a 10k.

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Don’t believe me?

I have some clips of my dancing divas for you later on, but first of all, a bit of scene setting.

5.15am on a muggy Sunday morning and the traffic is pouring into the Jawarharlal Nehru Stadium.

It’s Pinkathon time, and if you wish to see a reported 7000+ women dancing and zumba-ing and taking a zillion selfies and then running 21/10/5/3km, then that was the place to be. (And we’ll have no comments about the cheeky ladies in saris (yes!!!! So divinely Indian) who were doing the 3km and all

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September 10th, 2014

A day is a long time in…in…

…in running.

Forget the concept of “a week is a long time in politics”. Introducing “a day is a long time for a newbie runner.”

Lemme explain.

Yesterday I wrote 3/4 of a blog post about running, in which I mentioned feeling discouraged and out of shape and out of sorts. I didn’t post the post (if you see what I mean) since it wasn’t finished.

This is what I wrote early yesterday :

“Indulge me, while I muse aloud about running in general and this morning’s run in particular. I am supposedly training for a 10km run this Sunday [...]

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