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July 14th, 2015

Delhi’s seed bank project

India_New Delhi_P1000632

There are days when I have to admit that I do somewhat lose the faith as far as Delhi is concerned.

You walk in the filthy, encroached-upon streets, with rubbish strewn everywhere, and no-one seemingly the least bit bothered by it. The noise is incessant, the driving is awful, road rage is on the serious rise…and just when you feel totally demoralised by it all, then you come across good people doing amazing things, and voila, the faith is restored.

Take this initiative, for example, by DILY (Delhi I love you) to protect the city’s native trees, which sounds absolutely […]

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July 13th, 2015

Introducing DILY – Delhi I Love You

After a weekend of rain, lovely rain, Monday has dawned hot and sunny and humid, and the 25C dampness of yesterday is already a distant memory.

So it seems an appropriate moment to share with you a lovely video I was sent by Delhi I Love You.

Here, listen to what they have to say about DILY in their own enthusiastic words:

“…it’s a project that celebrates the art, culture, history and idiosyncrasies of the city. It’s a part of the Cities of Love series and, after New York I Love You and Paris Je T’aime, we’re looking to create […]

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July 13th, 2015

A is for apple, B is for boy…D is for…?

Drunk as a skunk apparently.

Having woken up this hot Monday morning feeling wretched and headachey after a night of drinking water, whilst all around me quaffed red wine***, this dotty story (below) appealed.

(For non Hindi speakers “daru” = booze & “piyo” = drink. As in the command. Drink up!)

*** Did any of you read about a bar that’s opening up in London’s Borough Market, where you breathe in a cloud of alcoholic mist, thus absorbing booze into your bloodstream via your lungs and eyes? Perhaps my house

view full post » […]

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July 12th, 2015

What a bizarre way to promote mangoes

From time to time you see reports or – even more gross – TV clips about hot dog eating competitions, where people stuff as much food as they can inside their mouths in as short a time as possible.

These spectacles have always struck me as horrid – actually borderline obscene – so the thought that such a competition took place here in Delhi this week filled me with dismay. It wasn’t a hot dog eating competition but a mango eating competition, and apparently it has been going on for years.

At the risk of incurring the wrath of the […]

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July 11th, 2015

Bit of an own goal, India?

Quick, quick, please tell me that it’s not April Fools Day. Someone?

But if it isn’t, how on earth am I to take this following story seriously?

India hosting a footie tournament?

I’m all for this country getting to grips with a sport other than cricket, I really and truly am, and have blogged to that effect in the past…but to host a footie tournament?

In which India will almost certainly come last?

Like, WHY would you do that? Does our esteemed PM know how India stands in the FIFA rankings?

Brazil 6

Russia 28

SA 70

China 77


Click to continue reading Bit of an own goal, India?

July 6th, 2015

Today’s Delhi joke : “they have desilted all the drains”

I am sitting on my little balcony, with the rain pattering down, the sky grey, a slight breeze. Pretty damn perfect weather, after weeks of unremitting heat. Usually the first day of heavy rains (& it poured down earlier) is the best day ever, because the temperature drops so suddenly, but there hasn’t been enough time for the inevitable water logging and flooding to set it.

Except this year.

After probably 20 minutes of heavy rain while we were running/walking the dogs at the polo club, the drive back was a nightmare of already-flooded potholes and choked drains.

All I […]

Click to continue reading Today’s Delhi joke : “they have desilted all the drains”

July 2nd, 2015

Another day, another slogan

So we had another Prime Ministerial initiative launched yesterday here in Delhi. Digital something or other.

Yes, there you go – Digital India Week.

Fab stuff.

That would be in addition to the #selfiewithdaughter campaign he launched on Sunday?

And the Yoga Day tamasha last week?

And the Make in India initiative of a few months ago?

And – of course – the Swacchh Bharat initiative (Clean India).

So many fancy sounding initiatives.

So many launches & slogans.

Yesterday’s launch saw, so we are told, the who’s who of India Inc there, to launch M governance, which is, so I […]

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June 30th, 2015

Whatsapping the Delhi Traffic Police


Lovely long slow 2 hour run this morning in Lutyens Delhi.

Felt great.

Got into car and set off back home, feeling good.

Then I got to Moti Bagh – the place I loathe above all others in this city – and all that inner peace and zen and all those runner’s high happy hormones garnered during said run were DESTROYED.

More than 45 minutes to cover a distance of – what? – 3/4 kilometre, possibly less.


Probably not even 750 metres. Traffic of such density, such mindless stupidity, such incessant pointless noise and, most of all, such supreme […]

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June 29th, 2015

Feeling very blue


Sorry, folks.

Not really in the mood for blogging and chit-chatting this evening.

At lunchtime today Tifi, our darling old cat, died. She was 16 and a half years old, and had lived with us in Mauritius and South Africa and, for the last 10 years, here in Delhi. So, yes, she did indeed have a good, well-travelled, globe-trotting, long life, but that doesn’t make today any easier.

Tifi was fished out of a swamp in Mauritius on January 25th 1999, where, as a newly born kitten, she had been put (with her late brother Sooty) in a box with […]

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June 29th, 2015

What on EARTH are they talking about?

Sometimes I read my morning paper and ask myself, in all seriousness, “Is it me?”

Is it just me who cannot understand what the heck they are jabbering on about some of the time?

Like today.

What on EARTH does “with his drink down the stemware” mean?

Is it code?

Is it slang?

Am I out of the cultural loop?

Am I just plain old-fashioned and not up to speed on the new lingo?

I guess the truth of the matter is that I do not haunt swanky suburban bars with an entrancing ambience under halogen lamps.

That’s the crux […]

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June 28th, 2015

Hey! Where are all our missing monuments?

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I demand to be told.

Read this article from today’s Times of India, and we’ll chat on the other side.

A little under 2 years ago I had run a similar story in this blog, which I called The Curious Case of the Missing Monuments.

Then, the blame for the missing monuments was laid fairly and squarely on an error committed sometime between 1908 and 1925. As if that explained everything.

This time round, we are just blandly informed that gates and mounds and statues and tombs have gone AWOL.

Oh yes, and 2 cemeteries.


view full post […]

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June 27th, 2015

Arre yaar, what’s with this killer Delhi air?

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This just about sums up my mood at the moment.

“Arre yaar”, which has just entered the hallowed verbal portals of the OED (Oxford English Dictionary, yaar) is a ubiquitous phrase you hear here in India, and can mean anything from “Hey buddy” to something akin to “You’ve got to be kidding me” – which is the meaning I am meaning tonight.


Arre yaar, you’ve got to be kidding me that our pollution scenario here in Delhi has just got even worse. This is my ‘hood, right now, from my iPhone widget. Hitherto we have all been fretting about […]

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