November 7th, 2019

Whoa!!! You mean India’s pollution is actually all Pakistan & China’s fault?

Jeez.

I am SERIOUSLY fed up. I have just learned the possible truth behind the toxic air that is engulfing Delhi and much of northern India.

And you are NOT going to believe it!

The vile, toxic pollution that is wreaking havoc on the health of millions of us in north India may actually all be the fault of Pakistan and China.

Can. You. Believe. It?

Yesterday, I shared with you the fabulous news, from one of our esteemed national BJP leaders, that Indian cows produce golden milk.

Now just listen to the words of yet another esteemed BJP […]

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November 5th, 2019

Now what’s all this about India’s gold-filled milk?

There are times when I feel as though I’m living in a permanent state of April Fool’s Day.

Is it just me, or do politicians the world over talk utter tripe a lot of the time?

Trump.

British politics.

Indian politics.

You name it, every day there’s some seriously stupid/shocking/whacky/absurd/idiotic statement from politicians the world over.

Today’s gem from Britain, from Jacob Rees-Mogg about the victims of the Grenfell fire, is so distasteful that I can’t even joke about it.

So let me turn instead to the utterances of one Mr. Dilip Ghosh, the president of the BJP in […]

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November 3rd, 2019

“Best time to be in India”

This quoth our PM in Bangkok today, Sunday 3 November.

“I am eager to give you a picture of some positive changes happening in India today. I say this with full confidence, this is the best time to be in India,” PM said while speaking at an event here, where he outlined various endeavours of the government of India.

PM Modi spoke about India’s improved position in World Bank’s Ease of

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November 2nd, 2019

The horrors of Delhi pollution

I’m not a scientist.

Nor a climate change expert.

Nor a pollution expert.

I’m not particularly brainy, especially in the science department, and just about grasp the fundamentals of air quality readings.

But even I know that to be sitting in my home study, with the windows closed + the door closed + the air purifier whirring away at full blast, and yet my eyes are stinging and I have a permanent headache and a hacking cough IS NOT NORMAL.

IT is totally abnormal.

Unacceptably abnormal.

[…]

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November 1st, 2019

“Always think about the bright side of life”

As regular readers of this blog will know, I love, love, love the flyers that come cascading out of my morning paper.

They are, by and large, a source of great delight – a fitting counterpart to the usual gloomy news in the paper.

Take this beauty that floated out of my paper this morning.

It is so delightfully positive, borderline gung-ho, with the wonderful claim “Give me a student of class VIII or IX and take back a Doctor or Engineer

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October 29th, 2019

Nims! Let’s hear for this absolutely amazing man!

For some months now, I have been following the extraordinary saga of the Nepalese climber Nirmal Purja (aka Nims) as he set out to climb the world’s 14 highest peaks in a record time.

It was only when I was in Nepal just now, on my own w-a-y more modest climbing trip, that I realised how huge an icon this young man is in his own country.

All our sherpas were avid followers of his exploits, and when we got the news that his team had at last got permission from China to climb the final, 14th peak, Shishapangma, […]

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October 27th, 2019

Every dog has its day

Today it is Diwali and (somewhat puzzlingly) it is also “Kuku Tihar”, a Nepalese festival honouring dogs and their loyal, faithful service to mankind.

I always though Kukur Tihar preceded Diwali, but I am so tired after my climbing trip that perhaps my brain has misunderstood things.

I was in Kathmandu yesterday, where it was most definitely Kukur Tihar, and all the street dogs were lolling around with marigold garlands.

Yet today we celebrated this festival with our own dogs…ach, who cares about dates at this stage?

The fact remains that this is one of the nicest festivals I […]

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October 4th, 2019

Namaste Kathmandu

Finally made it to Kathmandu after a pretty epic trip.

Delayed flight.

Mother of all thunderstorms over Delhi closed the airspace for a couple of hours.

Further delays.

Another hour to get a visa (I’ll do a blog post about that particular nightmare anon).

So it was well past midnight when I arrived in Thamel, home for the next 4 days, before setting out on my Next Big Adventure.

It’s been a while since I was last in Kathmandu (I think it may be 13 years, though I’m sure it can’t really have been that long…) and I’ve only […]

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October 1st, 2019

Well hello there, little bird, after 137 years

I told you all a couple of weeks ago that I was having a hard time blogging of late, mainly because there is so much awfulness going on in the world. After a while, it all gets too much.

I’m trying to focus on the good, and this morning I was in luck.

A bird has been spotted in India after 137 years.

Yup.

Last seen in 1882 in Gilgit (now no longer part of India) a Sharp-tailed sandpiper was spotted right here, close to Delhi.

Such a nice story.

Here you go:

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September 29th, 2019

Ah India…

So there I was, this beautiful cool Sunday morning, driving back home after a run along Raj Path.

Raj Path is a wide road that links India Gate & Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of the President of India.

Today Raj Path was a woeful sight.

Litter.

Barriers everywhere.

Tents being put up for some function or other, with all the attendant garbage.

There is a small colony of beggars living near one of the lawns, right by India Gate, where I parked. There were 2 men defecating in the open when I arrived, and when I left another […]

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September 29th, 2019

Plogging for India

Now how interesting is this?

Plogging, an initiative that I helped co-start/co-promote in India about 2 years ago with my running mate Ripu Daman, is becoming mainstream.

When the Indian government puts out ads encouraging everyone to go run & plog on 2 October – Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday – then, who knows, perhaps some sort of societal change is actually under way.

As someone who loathes garbage, and the seeming blindness that most citizens of

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September 23rd, 2019

Talking rubbish

I know, I know, I’ve been pretty quiet of late.

Busy, busy, busy, that’s my excuse.

Plus, as I mentioned in my previous post, I am studiously avoiding anything too depressing or horrid, which (sad to say) excludes a hefty chunk of the current Indian news.

But today, I feel impelled to talk rubbish.

For those of you who don’t know, I am a runner and as such get to pound the Delhi streets at ungodly hours of the day and

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