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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Click to continue reading Well hello there, little bird, after 137 years

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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September 12th, 2019

Seeking out the good news stories

It’s been a while since I blogged.

Guilty as charged.

I’ve been busy, it’s true.

I’ve been travelling. Also true.

But I’ve also been in quite a “down” mood about the India we are living in.

Crazy politics.

Daily (or so it seems) ever-more idiotic statements from our politicians.

Kashmir.

The never-ending sexual attacks.

I could go on, but I won’t. It’s all too depressing, actually.

So until I get my head (& my India-loving heart) back into the right place, I’m going to stick to good news stories.

Like this one, about a just-opened restored building in Delhi’s […]

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August 29th, 2019

Confession time! I have a copy of “War & Peace”

Back in the ol’ home country, Blighty, people are protesting against the prorogation of Parliament.

And damn right they are, too, to protest.

People are planning to meet, to march and to do Lord knows what else.

In my adopted home, India, we have so much to protest about, that we hardly know where to start.

Kashmir.

Yet more unspeakable rapes.

The economy in crisis.

Yet despite all the doom and gloom in contemporary India, there are moments of humour amid the insanity.

Bless the lovely people on Indian social media who, like me, are proudly announcing that they, […]

Click to continue reading Confession time! I have a copy of “War & Peace”

August 21st, 2019

No, no, no. Not again, Mr. Trump!

Oh good Lord, he’s at it again.

Mr. Trump has made yet another declaration of intent about Kashmir.

I listened to it.

It is puerile, ill-informed and has a dubious comment about India and Pakistan. To wit:

“They’ve been having these talks for hundreds of years…”

Really?

I think you’ll find the 2 countries are only 70 odd years old, Mr. President, not “hundreds of years.”

Just what is it with this man, with his infantile sentences?

His sense of self-importance?

Why on earth does he think he should get involved in an issue about which he clearly knows […]

Click to continue reading No, no, no. Not again, Mr. Trump!

August 18th, 2019

Fair & handsome. Ugh

In my last blog post, about creepy Indian politicians salivating over getting fair Kashmiri women as brides for Indian men (do read it – it is amazing stuff in a stomach churning way), I mentioned one of my most hated products in the world – the “fairness” product “Fair and Lovely”.

As if on cue, my morning paper today has this ad.

How much do I hate this ad? Let me count

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August 10th, 2019

Fair. And very, very un-lovely

One of the vilest products on sale in India (&, sadly, exported to much of Asia) is a skin whitener called “Fair and Lovely”.

It is a product based on a horrible premise, namely that the fairer the skin, the lovelier you are.

Research carried out by the manufacturers of Fair & Lovely, Hindustan Unilever Limited, claims that apparently “90 percent of Indian women want to use whiteners because it is aspirational, like losing weight. A fair

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July 23rd, 2019

Curiouser and curiouser

So Mr. Trump is offering to help resolve the Kashmir dispute between India & Pakistan, is he?

“I was with Prime Minister Modi two weeks ago,” Trump recalled. “He actually said, ‘Would you like to be a mediator or arbitrator?’ I said, “Where? He said, ‘Kashmir.’ Because this has been going on for many, many years. I was surprised at how long it’s been going on,” Trump added, revealing his lack of knowledge about the history of the conflict. 

Trump added: “I’d love to be a mediator.”

Someone please, pretty please tell me that today (July 23rd) is actually […]

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July 17th, 2019

Hamba kahle, Johnny, and thank you for the music

As my Cape Town based American friend Brandy, who is married to a Zimbabwean, posted on Facebook this morning:

“Half of my feed is South Africans mourning the huge loss of Clegg…the other half just continues on, not knowing what they’ve missed.”

My Facebook feed is also very clearly demarcated between South Africans, and those of us privileged to have lived there, united in grief at the death of Johnny Clegg.

And, as Brandy says, the rest of my friends don’t know what they’ve missed.

[…]

Click to continue reading Hamba kahle, Johnny, and thank you for the music