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December 14th, 2017

Yet again, the evil of child marriage in India

Read this story first, will you, and then we’ll chat.

This is such a tragic story, and one that highlights the power of ignorance and, of course, money.

We are so used to reading (sad to say) stories of little girls being married against their will, that one doesn’t often think about boys being equally exploited.

This story is shocking on so many fronts. A child being married against his will. A young woman having no say in, nor

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Click to continue reading Yet again, the evil of child marriage in India

December 12th, 2017

We don’t need no education…

This, dear reader, was part of a recent English exam for Class X students in Jaipur.

Read the full article in the Indian Express and tremble for the future of education in India.

Firstly, there are the unacceptable errors.

And secondly, being brutal, what on earth is a hagiographic portrayal of the Prime Minister doing in an English exam?

Since when did such fawning and flattering become part of a school curriculum?

When did such sycophancy become acceptable?

There is already way

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Click to continue reading We don’t need no education…

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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Click to continue reading Delhi’s toxic air makes you sick. Literally.

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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Click to continue reading Meet the man who hasn’t honked in 18 years

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

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:

[…]

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, […]

Click to continue reading Heart-breaking neglect of Delhi’s Safdarjung’s Tomb

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 […]

Click to continue reading We’re gasping for breath here! Anybody listening?