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February 2nd, 2016

The Man Who Sued God. Indian style.

Ram-Sita

You know that lovely Billy Connelly film about a man who sues God?

You don’t?

OK, here is the story, in brief – when the insurance company refuses to pay him for his boat, destroyed by a lightning strike, claiming it was an Act of God and therefore not covered, a man takes the various religions to court, arguing that if they say they represent God on earth, then they should be liable for his boat.

It’s a sweet film, which makes you think.

So now let’s head over to Bihar, where an Indian version of this is starting to […]

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February 2nd, 2016

Yes! Common sense prevails in India. Sort of.

images

Well, common sense is prevailing, let’s put it that way.

This afternoon, the issue of gay rights took a small step in the right direction.

Let me quote from ibnlive.com, to make sure I get my legalese correct:

“The Supreme Court on Tuesday referred to a five-judge bench a curative petition against Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which criminalises homosexuality….A curative petition is the last judicial resort available for redressal of grievances in court which is normally decided by judges in-chamber.”

Here’s the back story.

1. A colonial era law of 1860, still on the Indian statute books, […]

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January 30th, 2016

Please may I stay here for ever?

7 nights, 10 game drives, 2 jungle walks…it all sounds so much and so leisurely at the outset of the week, and here we are, nearly at the end of our Kaziranga trip, wondering where on earth did the days go? A jungle holiday – just like a bush holiday in Africa – is pretty exhausting. Totally and utterly fabuloso, but pretty tiring. Up at dawn every day to be at the park gates bright and early. Packed breakfast on the go. Morning game drive. Back for lunch, with usually about half an hour down time to recharge batteries, download

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January 28th, 2016

A quick hello from Assam

We have got connectivity, and a decent-ish connection at that, so let me quickly say hello, sorry for silence on the airwaves, but I do have a perfect excuse.

We are in gorgeous Kazairanga National Park, and between the 5.15am starts and the fabulous l-o-n-g days out on game drives, and then early dinner, to get to bed early for the next day’s 5.15am start…yes, indeed, time to sit and blog is pretty limited.

But I have a spare half an hour before dinner (an early dinner, of course) so thought I’d use it to check in.

Kaziranga is as […]

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January 23rd, 2016

PAWS for thought

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So, amidst all the pomp and circumstance of next Tuesday’s Republic Day parade, there will be one marching contingent that I know will be cheered all the way down Rajpath.

The army dogs.

After 26 years, they are making their re-appearance in the parade, which is all for the good, though one has to ask WHY ON EARTH were they excluded all these years?

While we all yawn through the dull state floats – oh yaay! cultural dances from yet another state – these gorgeous dogs have been kept away from us.

As it is, the fabulous, OTT-gorgeous camels of […]

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January 23rd, 2016

Poor dear India

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When 2015 ticked over into 2016, I made a private vow to blog more, and also to blog more cheerfully.

Well, yes. There you go. The road to hell etc etc.

The end of January is nigh, and I have been horribly guilty of doing other things rather than blogging as regularly as planned…like running a marathon, she adds casually. THE most stupendous feeling ever, I have to tell you. Too, too fabulous.

I ran my first full marathon in Mumbai last Sunday – not even a week ago – and have still not yet come down to earth.

So, […]

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January 12th, 2016

Yes, indeed! We need to know! How many horses and radiograms do our bureaucrats have?

That’s the delicious question we are all asking ourselves, in the light of this fabulous survey sent out to bureaucrats just across the border in the neighbouring state of Haryana.

Love the idea, too, that even in the 1970s there was a mare allowance.

Reminds me – have to find a copy of the Indian customs declaration that we used to fill in, wherein we had to declare how many zips we were importing. I kid

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January 11th, 2016

Already back-tracking on our wifi enabled loos

I tell you.

You can’t take anything at face value these days. One minute we poor dilliwalas are going to get super duper wifi-enabled ATM-fitted loos. The next minute, well, they might not, actually, come to think of it, after all, in the long run, be quite as super duper as all that.

The skulduggery of the politicians and bureaucrats knows no bounds.

You see an article like this one below in your morning paper, and you look at that fancy illustration and you think “Well, I’ll be damned. It’s actually happening. Those wifi enabled loos I have been dreaming […]

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January 10th, 2016

Cut off finger, wrap in Rs1000 note…

…to thank God that Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi got bail in a case they are fighting involving scams, money, land…

I tell you, there’s nowt so queer as folk, as we say in my native place.*

WHY ON EARTH would you do that to yourself?

And for people like the Gandhis?

I cannot even fathom doing such a thing for your faith, but to mutilate yourself for a politician who doesn’t even know you exist.

Suppose you were to do that for your local politician, you might conceivably reap some kind of

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January 8th, 2016

Meet Tommy, the wannabe sniffer dog

Dearest readers, I fear I may just be losing my cutting edge. Instead of ranting about this story below, as was my wont, I actually found it rather funny.

Here, read it for yourselves…

As the owner of another Tommy, who can hardly manage “Down!” without a lot of shouting and – eventually – bribing, the thought of Tommy from Moradabad, complete with his winter coat, starting “a ruckus” on the platform struck me with a distinct note of

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January 7th, 2016

Yaay! Loos with ATMs ! And vending machines ! And wifi! Yaay!

It IS 7 January today, friends, and not 1 April? Sure? Promise?

Because when I saw this little gem of an article, tucked in an inconspicuous corer of my morning paper I thought to myself thought I, “Oh no. Here we go again.”

Am I the only person (other than my French girlfriend Carine Barbe) who remembers those fancy-schmancy loos we were promised for the 2010 Commonwealth Games?

The ones with coffee shops and an attached aquarium?

COME ON, you can’t have

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January 5th, 2016

Photo of the day 5/1/16…sigh…

This apology of a wastepaper bin is right outside my house in Delhi. It has been like this for years. And years. And years.

I am not kidding.

To whom does one appeal, friends, to get the damned thing fixed? Local council? AAP? Swacch Bharat people?