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January 11th, 2017

An open letter to the people of Mumbai

Dear Mumbai,

I have come to visit you, because I’m running a marathon this weekend.

And so, while I’m here for a few days, if you don’t object, I thought I’d just point a few things out to you.

I live in Delhi. You have heard of Delhi, right? We are the national capital, never forget, and we are home to more VIPs than you can shake a stick at, so we are, by and large, terribly, terribly important. You do all get that, don’t you?

Right now, it must be said, Mumbai that you do have the advantage over […]

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January 4th, 2017

This blog post comes with a warning

Dear readers, I give you another of India’s finest.

Here is Abu Azmi, a 61 year old Indian politician, sharing his views on the Bangalore New Year’s Eve molestation.

They are not nice views.

Not nice at all.

This blog post therefore comes with a warning that you may want to scream, shout, weep when you hear what this politician has to say about drunken men molesting women:

“You have to keep petrol away from fire. And if there is sugar, ants will come

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January 3rd, 2017

Sexual molestation…”these kind of things do happen”

Here we go again.

Sexual molestation.

Outrageously insensitive idiocies from the mouth of a politician.

And the seeming inability of anyone in any position of power in this country, to utter those dreaded words “I’m sorry,” “I am responsible”.

Instead of accepting that mobs of out of control drunken men groped and chased and harassed women in Bangalore on New Year’s Eve, and that the cops were not up to the job, what does yet another of India’s finest have to say?

The usual claptrap, if you will excuse my French.

Just listen to this man, the Karnataka home minister […]

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January 3rd, 2017

Delhi’s flowery New Year

Every new year, and whenever there is a special state visit – like President Obama a couple of years ago – and sometimes, for no apparent reason at all, the municipal gardeners of Lutyens Delhi get their creative mojo on, and we are all treated to fab floral displays.

Lutyens Delhi is full of roundabouts – courtesy of the Brits, I suppose – and when the “malis” (gardeners) are doing their stuff, just about every roundabout sports some flowery confection or other.

This new year did not disappoint.

Here you go, a little look-see of Delhi’s roundabouts:


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January 2nd, 2017

Disturbing news from Bangalore

Reports are surfacing in the last couple of hours that New Year’s Eve in Bangalore, supposedly one of the most cosmopolitan cities in India, witnessed gangs of drunks molesting and groping women.

At the risk of sounding wimpy, I’m only going to touch on this horror story for now, until we get more details.

But the thought of yet more sordid stories of sexual harassment is just so depressing…and how terrifying must this news be for the millions of young women who live and work in a city known for its IT culture – which one imagines means better educated, […]

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December 31st, 2016

And your Hindi word of the day is “mitro”

In a few minutes the PM will address the nation – a thing he loves doing – and will no doubt address us all as “mitro”.

Like so:

The Hindi word “mitra” means, essentially, a friend or an ally, and thus “mitro” is the plural form.

As in the PM declaiming “My friends….”

Now, given the fact that the last time the PM addressed all his fiends, he announced demonetisation, it’s anybody’s guess what he has in store for India tonight. I’m sure it’ll be something jazzy and uplifting. It is New Year’s Eve, after

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December 27th, 2016

Your Hindi word of the day is CHUMBAK

And, yes, how right you are – today’s word of the day is indeed seasonally relevant and connected to Christmas, because I was given a few lovely Christmas presents from a design company called CHUMBAK 🙂

The word means “magnet”.

So now you know.

December 27th, 2016

A (bit of a showy-off) photo of the day

I have to thank one of my running mates, Harminder Singh, for spotting this, & telling me that one of my photos was used by on Christmas Eve.

As I said, it is indeed a bit showy-off-y, but…

Happy holidays, everyone, as we segue from Christmas to New Year.

December 21st, 2016

The changing goalposts of Indian demonetisation

Six weeks ago today, on the morning of November 9th, we flew back from Shanghai, landing in Delhi in the early hours of the morning. We switched on our mobiles, as one does, to be greeted with a Whatsapp message from our daughter that the Rs500 & Rs1000 notes had been demonetised the previous night.

Fast forward six weeks, (I repeat six weeks, people) and what do we have?

New notes flowing from the ATMs?

Everyone happily digital-wallet-ing away?

Black money finished?

In all honesty, I don’t have a clue about the black money dynamics, but what I do know […]

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December 8th, 2016

The circle of life. And money, of course

Talk about the circle of life.

A year ago, we travelled to a Sikh holy town – Kiritpur – to immerse the ashes of one of Himmat’s uncles.

A long exhausting drive, there and back in one day, and a sad occasion.

The next morning, still trying to get over tiredness and sadness, I received a phone call from my sister telling me our mother was critical, back in Yorkshire. I got on a plane that very night, managed to arrive in L.eeds in time to meet my mother, who died the next day, peacefully and – thank goodness – […]

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December 3rd, 2016

More on that elusive Indian thing called cash

My blog post the other day offering advice to rupee-less people coming to India garnered some truly helpful advice, which I am going to share with you here, in an expanded, add-on post, as it were.

But before I do, the situation here in India is still tough for anyone who needs cash.

Well, to be fair, I can only really speak for Delhi, so if anyone has other inputs from around the country, I’d love to hear from you.

But here in cold and oh-so-foggy Delhi, the long lines in front of the banks are still there, the ATMs […]

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December 3rd, 2016

This is bull***t. Total bull***t!

Forget demonetisation. Forget enforced patriotism. There are now rules governing how much your cow can defecate.

I know you don’t believe me, so here you go, oh ye of little faith.

You could not make this up. Really, you couldn’t.

“a special flying squad will be constituted to measure the size & weight of the cattle dung”…and you thought you were having a bad day in the office 😛

Go on, admit it, this piece of

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