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December 8th, 2017

When unhealthy is brilliant news

This is the second morning in a row that the sky has been blue.

And everyone in Delhi is relieved.

“Look, look” we exclaim, delightedly. “Won’t you just look at that blue sky?”

For the first time in weeks, we feel we can breathe.

Well, at least we can breathe easier then before.

But it’s still unhealthy, people. It is still damn unhealthy.

Like so.

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December 5th, 2017

Delhi’s toxic air makes you sick. Literally.

Never mind me sitting indoors at my desk wearing my Vogmask, with a persistent low grade headache.

I am unimportant. A mere tax-paying, full-time resident, condemned to live here and suck it up. In every sense of the word.

So what if my eyes stung all day yesterday?

So what if I have felt vaguely nauseous all day?

In the scheme of things I count for naught, whereas cricketers…ah, NOW you’re talking.

Sri Lankan cricketers, playing here in Delhi, have been wearing masks against the foul air, and

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December 4th, 2017

Meet the man who hasn’t honked in 18 years

As in honked his car horn, people.

Honked his car horn.

Really…

Right, back to Mr. Das, who sounds like THE most wonderful fella, and I just wish there were millions more like him.

Especially here in Delhi where the noise of car horns is incessant.

Sitting at my desk, I can hear the non-stop cacophony from the street outside, and – if I’m honest – I know that I use my horn w-a-y more than I should, but the kind of

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November 28th, 2017

The law is an ass. Which is why these Indian donkeys went to jail

I got back yesterday after a lovely week away, and, as is always the case, I find settling back into Delhi a bumpy ride.

Firstly, as you drive into the city from the airport, there’s the sheer shock at the noise and pointlessly aggressive, crappy driving, and the garbage strewn everywhere. It never ceases to shock. Even after so many years.

Now there is the additional headache of air pollution to deal with.

Visible from the air, people.

Like so:

Then there’s the

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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 […]

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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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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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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, […]

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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 […]

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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.

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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