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February 16th, 2018

You run & you learn

The regular expression is “you live and you learn”, right?

But this morning’s long slow run through central Delhi was most definitely a case of you run and you learn.

As we ran past Jantar Mantar, we saw a crowd of people seated on the ground, in neat rows, behind a police barricade.

So, naturally, we stopped to see what was happening (“we”, by the way, was my running mate Ripu Daman and yours very truly).

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February 14th, 2018

#girlswhodrinkbeer

Indian patriarchy just scored another home goal. Actually 3 home goals.

The Chief Minister of Goa, one Mr. Manohar Parrikar, this week lowered the already very low bar of men patronising women in India, with the following incredible comment:

India’s feisty young women instantly responded in style, posting photos on Twitter of themselves drinking beer, along with the hashtag #girlswhodrinkbeer.

There were photos of girls drinking beer alone, or with their fathers, or with their dogs (that was a

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February 14th, 2018

Memsahib vs Mali

Every day, I open my morning paper hoping against hope that it won’t depress me with its news.

But that hardly ever happens.

Rape, death, communal tension, politics as usual – there they are, day after day, wearing down your spirit, so early in the day.

Today is no exception, so I’m doing that cowardly thing again, and ignoring the news, and shall instead chat about my garden.

Much more satisfying. Well, for me, at least.

February is, I think, the nicest month in Delhi, with a combo of good weather & all the spring flowers out, so it’s a […]

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February 12th, 2018

A beginner’s guide to PLOGGING

Gosh.

Never have I been so bang on trend as these last few days.

What I call “picking up rubbish when I go out for a run” is actually A Thing.

It’s a cool, Swedish inspired Thing and it’s called PLOGGING.

I have always tried to pick up the trash when I go out for a walk and, in the last 4 years since I started running, whenever I go for a run.

Many moons ago, when we lived on the beach in Mauritius, every morning

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February 10th, 2018

“Rubbish has become invisible”

I shared with you, a couple of weeks ago, that some of us in my Delhi running group are tackling the terrible rubbish problem as best we can – by picking up the trash in the park where we train, rather than run past it & ignore it, which so many people are content to do.

After every session, anyone who can spare 15/20 minutes pitches in, and invariably we pick up alarming amounts of rubbish.

One of the youngsters today made a very valid point, when he said that rubbish has become invisible.

He is so right.

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February 10th, 2018

Partying with a holy cow

Ah, India. There are times when you really do hit the jackpot, as far as the news cycle is concerned. Fed up with my morning paper’s diet of sexual horrors and police negligence and politics-as-usual, this was the story I needed, to stop myself from feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all.

Meet Kishori, a real live holy cow, and a beauty as well we are told, who is about to have the mother of all birthday parties, bless her. […]

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February 1st, 2018

How to travel with a peacock. Or maybe not.

This is THE best story this week.

Too deliciously bonkers not to share.

There is no Indian connection, per se, which is why it is classed as “Just because” story…except that peacocks are, after all, our national bird, so actually, you know what, I think that this most definitely counts as an Indian connection 😛

Now secretly, I think I’m pretty cool because last summer I had this ongoing “relationship” with a peacock in my local park, who would always dance, whenever I trotted past on one of my runs. He never missed a chance to strut his stuff as […]

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January 31st, 2018

More on the 8 month old Indian baby who was raped

Earlier today, I shared with you an absolutely horrific story about the rape of an 8 month old baby here in Delhi.

It appears the poor wee mite is stable, after a colostomy, with the prospect of a possible reversal of the operation in a year.

Thank God for the doctors at the hospital.

Oh God, I feel like crying as I write this, just thinking about the baby’s pain.

Poor, poor baby, and as for her family…once the political and media attention moves on, what happens to them? The father is a labourer, the mother a domestic help. They […]

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January 31st, 2018

I have no words

It’s been a while since I blogged about rape. As a result of well-intentioned, well-meaning advice from my nearest and dearest, who suggested I was being too critical and negative in this blog, I eased back on reporting some of the more disturbing stories that sadly take place here in India. I was urged to be more upbeat.

So I was/still am, I hope, focusing on funny, happy, quirky, interesting stuff.

But there are times when the veil of funny/happy/quirky/interesting needs ripping away, and the harsh light shone on some of the more sordid things that happen.

Sadly, I’d say […]

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January 28th, 2018

What’s in a name?

On a cold, grey, foggy Delhi morning, there was an absolutely delicious story in my Sunday papers that made me smile.

It’s the story of 7 brothers from the southern state of Odisha (aka Orissa) whose father, a village tailor, “had a fierce desire to travel the world, and when he realised that he had no chance of fulfilling his ambition due to his impoverished circumstances, he decided to name his children after countries and continents.”

Meet Prithviraj, America, Africa, Bharat, Japan, Russia and Asia Kumar.

Here, read their […]

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January 27th, 2018

Be The Change

Those of you who know me in person will know that the wanton littering and garbage that blights so much of India drives me absolutely nuts. It is something I hate with a passion.

Those of you who follow me on Instagram will also know that I made a decision in the New Year to stop complaining about the garbage and do something about it, however small. I pick up litter every time I’m out for a walk or a run, using the hashtags #putuporshutup and #bethechange.

This morning, galvanised by one of my young running friends, Ripu Daman, who […]

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January 26th, 2018

My photo of the day “…Vindhya Himachala Yamuna Ganga …”

…goes one of the lines of the Indian national anthem, and can be translated roughly as:

“(the name)…echoes in the hills of the Vindhyas and Himalayas,

Mingles in the music of the Yamuna and Ganga”

The words of any national anthem are always a little stiff – is that the word I’m looking for? – but basically in this section of the anthem, the idea of pan-Indian unity and patriotism is being invoked, in the ‘from the hills to the rivers’ analogy.

So this memory of 26 January last year fits the bill perfectly.

I was doing the Chadar trek, […]

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