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July 25th, 2016

Indian Summer-ing

Before anyone (like my sister) points it out – yes, fine, I admit it.

I’m a hypocrite.

Having hated the TV series “Indian Summers”, now we are staying in Georgetown where the series was filmed, obviously we wanted to see as many of the locations as possible.

For those of you who don’t know the British TV series, it is a tale of passion, love, betrayal etc etc set in the dying days of the British Raj. The story of all this passion, love, betrayal etc etc is supposed to take place in Simla in India, but it was all […]

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July 15th, 2016

What the **** is this?

Already feeling more than a little sick to my stomach this morning as I read about the Nice attack on Twitter, I scrolled down and saw this.

What in God’s name are they thinking of? Well, other than getting people like me to talk about their cover, obviously.

Beyond unpleasant.

July 8th, 2016

Running in the world’s “cruellest” ultra marathon

Take extreme altitude. Add fierce sunshine. Add freezing night temperatures. And breathtaking views.

Then throw into this mix a small group of dedicated ultra-runners, and an equally dedicated crewing team, and you have La Ultra.

The 7th edition of this extraordinary race in Ladakh will take place in August – in just about a month.

It is one crazy, amazing adventure.

I was in Ladakh in the summer of 2014, acclimatising for my climbing trip to Kangyatse, and so spent time in Leh with the La Ultra team (runners and crew) who were also acclimatising.

I can therefore tell you, […]

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July 8th, 2016

Holy cow! This is racist bulls***t!

There are days when, on opening, my morning paper, I have to stop and think “It’s not April Fool’s Day today, is it?”

Today is one such day.

Read this article, and you’ll see the cause of my dilemma :

Only Indian cows get to be called “mata” (mother)?

The urine and dung of foreign cows are impure?

This is shocking, flagrant, outrageous racism against our bovine friends and, as a foreigner myself, I am appalled.

Doubly insulted you could almost say.

Poor Jerseys. Poor

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July 7th, 2016

Countdown to La Ultra, the world’s “cruellest” ultra marathon

la-ultra-the-high-218x150

Over the last few days, I have shared some amazing photos of La Ultra the High with you, a race that is – quite simply – like no other.

I’m now going to try and explain something of this extraordinary event to readers who might not be familiar with Ladakh, the high-altitude plateau in the Indian Himalayas.

Ladakh is, first of all, one of the most stunningly beautiful, fabulous, gorgeous places you will ever see.

Stark, arid, empty, the Ladakhi landscape stretches for ever, towards endless ranges of mountains, under an over-arching deep blue sky. The sun

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July 7th, 2016

Meet India’s rockstar magistrate

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Today, like almost every day of late, the morning papers were full of nothing but gloom and doom.

As I said in an earlier blog post here, I really am trying to share the happy, good news stories with you. Lord knows there’s enough worrisome stuff going on not only in India but all over the world, and we could all do with a dose of happy news.

It is in this spirit that I bring you chief judicial magistrate Gangacharan Dubey.

This man has a completely novel, out-of-the-box approach to the cases brought before him.

Last week, there was […]

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July 5th, 2016

Photo of the day from La Ultra The High

Sitting wilting in Delhi’s horrid humidity, it’s hard to imagine snow, and mountains, and freezing night temperatures, but this is what’s awaiting the crazy intrepid souls who take part in, and crew for, La Ultra the High, one of the world’s toughest ultra marathons.

In just a few weeks, this is the kind of amazing scenery they will witness in Ladakh, as the runners aim to cover distances of 111/222/333km.

Just imagine,

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July 1st, 2016

Photoshopping your way to Everest

Some people, it seems, will go to any lengths to try and achieve glory.

Or, in the case, of Dinesh and Tarakeshwari Rathod, a husband and wife cop couple from Pune, they will (allegedly) go to any heights to try and achieve glory.

I was first alerted to the unbelievable story of faking your Everest summit photo 2 nights ago on Facebook by my friend Kuntal Joisher, who summited Everest in May this year.

As far as one can piece things together, the story goes something like this.

A climber from Kolkatta, Satyarup Siddhanta, has claimed that his summit photo […]

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July 1st, 2016

Photo of the day from “the cruellest run in the world”

Those are the words of Dr. Rajat Chauhan, by the way, the man who thought up the idea of running 111/222/333km in one of the harshest terrains on earth.

As I mentioned yesterday here in this blog, over the coming weeks, through photos like this, I’m going to be showcasing this amazing feat of craziness – whoops – silly me, I meant to say this amazing feat of, well, sheer amazingness.

This really is an extraordinary undertaking, and if you

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June 30th, 2016

Countdown to one of the world’s toughtest ultramarathons

6 weeks today, on 11 August, one of the craziest, most thrilling races in the world will kick off. La Ultra the High.

The venue?

The Nubra Valley in Ladakh, that beautiful, arid, high altitude desert that links India to Tibet.

The race distance?

Ah, well, you can take your pick.

111km, or 222 km or 333km. (What did you not understand about the word “crazy”? 🙂 )

Runners will cross the highest motorable pass in the world, Khardung La, at 18,380 feet.

This is an ultra like no other.

I’m going to be showcasing photos of La Ultra the […]

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June 28th, 2016

Bringing you the good news stories from India

There are times when reading my morning papers here in India becomes an effort in survival.

In a sad reflection of society, there is hardly a day goes by without a story about rape and sexual attacks.

Of late there have been stories about campaigns to stop open defecation.

Quite.

A bit much for first thing in the morning.

These are all issues that must be/have to be/should be/need to be addressed, and I often tackle them here in my blog.

It’s just that sometimes, the morning seems ugly and blighted almost before it’s begun.

So, in an effort to […]

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June 26th, 2016

Arrested. The girl who was not a “topper” at all

Vaishali: Youths climbing the building of an examination centre to help the candidates in cheating, by passing notes through the windows, during a Matriculation examination in Hajipur, on Wednesday. PTI Photo (PTI3_19_2015_000204B)

Well, well, well.

For once justice has caught up with a wrong-doer, and in super-quick time.

Remember Ruby, the so-called “topper” from Bihar who thought that “prodigal science” (aka political science) was all about cooking? Here, if you have somehow forgotten this astonishing story, here’s a link to my original blog post.

This was at the beginning of the month, and this weekend, young Ruby was arrested:

Boy oh boy, I bet she bitterly regrets giving an

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