May 23rd, 2019

Your Hindi word of the day : Aandhi

Don’t worry, I am not going to give you a political word of the day today.

Absolutely not.

Instead, my word of the day is the one used to describe what is happening right now as I type.

Delhi is being doused with lots of lovely rain after crazy hectic winds, and the sky has gone dark, and the temperature has dropped significantly.

First you get the wind, a fierce wind that sent our flower pots crashing,

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May 23rd, 2019

Elections. More elections. And milkshakes

It’s mid-afternoon here in Delhi, as I sit down to write this blog. It is currently 40C and my trusty weather app shows “unhealthy air quality.”

But there are other things to worry about right now, than the heat and dust.

The general election results are flooding in, and the Hindu nationalist BJP has decisively won a second term.

Mr. Modi

I am not exactly in shock – that would be a tad overdramatic. I’d already reluctantly accepted that the current government

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May 11th, 2019

What’s with wheelchairs at Indian airports?

In everyday life, how often do you see people in wheelchairs?

Not that much, right?

And thank goodness for that, since it means people aren’t injured or handicapped, right?

Ah well…I have news for you AND, most importantly, I have the latest question for you, in my things-about-India-that-have-puzzled-me-for-years series.

Namely, why are there so many wheelchair travellers at Indian airports?

Ready and waiting. Air India check in, Delhi airport

In January this year, when I landed in Mumbai for the

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April 28th, 2019

Why can Indian politicians contest from 2 constituencies?

And please don’t quote the Representation of People Act 1951 to me.

I can Google like anyone else 😛

What I mean is, no really, why on earth are politicians allowed to hedge their bets like this?

What is the logic?

How does it work, expenditure-wise? Aren’t there ceilings on how much a candidate can spend? Or is that per constituency, meaning a double-constituency candidate gets double to spend?

Is there no requirement for a candidate to have local links? A home in his/her constituency? (Clearly not…)

And why don’t YOU, the lucky people who CAN vote protest?

Quick aside: […]

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April 26th, 2019

Why do Delhi buses never stop at bus stops?

I have no idea.

And with that answer to my own question, this could, potentially, just be the shortest blog post ever.

Flippancy aside, let me tell you what I’m doing here.

Despite having known India for over 3 decades…

Despite being married to an Indian…

Despite living here…

There is still WAY too much about India that I neither understand nor “get”.

And it suddenly struck me that I have a prime resource, right here at my finger tips.

You, the reader.

Especially all of you who live in India.

You’ll definitely be able to answer my questions […]

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April 24th, 2019

Summer time & the living is…

…well…

The answer depends who you are, really.

Delhi summer living is uncomfortably hot. As I write, it is 42C.

Here, don’t believe me? Screen shot, taken just now.

Next week, the temperature will hit 44C, and we are still in the month of April.

OK, fair enough, Tuesday,

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April 3rd, 2019

Pottering amongst the birds & the bees

I’m back in Delhi after a fab trip to Shanghai, and in the 2 weeks we were gone, spring has given way to summer.

And how.

We are already in the mid-30s during the day, and as I type, mozzies are chomping away at me.

Such horrid things.

I am feeling most unprofessionally weary of some of my staple blogging topics – politics in particular – with the old home country (the UK) and the new home country (India) are both up to their eyes in political shenanigans.

I am so Brexit-ed out it’s not funny, and as for […]

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March 26th, 2019

Of memory lane & Insta friends

First of all, a bit of quick scene setting:we’re holidaying in Shanghai, where our son Hari lives.

Since I now have a connection with this fabulous city, I follow quite a few Shanghai Instagram feeds, and in the space of 2 days, I’ve met 3 of my Insta “friends”, so had some definite fan moments!

Take, for example, the amazingly knowledgeable duo of Tina and Patrick, who run the feed @historicshanghai, and who are helping me ID some of my old photos.

Quick explanation:

I’m on a mission to digitise the thousands and thousands of transparencies that I took […]

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March 11th, 2019

And we’re off!

India is officially in election mode.

The general elections were announced yesterday, and so now, let the clichés roll 😛

“The world’s largest democracy” is the obvious one. To be fair, that’s not actually a cliché but a statement of fact, but there it was in every report I read in the papers this morning!

To be fair, the statistics are pretty mind-boggling.

“The number of eligible voters is almost 4 times the number of voters in the next largest democracy, the United States, and it is also more than the entire population of Europe. About 84.3 million people […]

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March 8th, 2019

Wild Delhi

And no, I don’t mean the driving!

I’m talking about genuine wildlife seen up close and personal, right here in the big city.

2 days ago I was running in my local park, which is, admittedly, a bio-diversity park.

Over the years, I’ve had smashing sightings here of nilgai (blue bull), & I see jackal on nearly every run.

As for the birds – you can’t move for peacocks in the park, which is utterly wonderful.

But this was a very different sighting.

I spotted a small crowd of men, mainly park workers & 2 men out walking, and […]

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February 28th, 2019

Praying for peace

Praying for good sense.

Praying for cool, clear heads.

Praying for an end to the ugly jingoism that has been on display these last few days.

The 70-year old bitter enmity between India and her neighbour Pakistan reached new lows these last few days, as these 2 volatile, nuclear nations seemed to be inching ever closer to conflict.

Last week a suicide bomber with alleged links to Pakistan killed more than 40 policemen in India, in Kashmir.

India

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February 19th, 2019

Cry, the beloved country

It is 36 years since I first visited India, flying into what was then Bombay, on a sunny January morning in 1983, eager & ready to start work.

From the second the plane touched down, I was hooked.

Intrigued.

Instantly in love with the sights and sounds and smiles and colours of India.

I would soon meet the young man who would, nearly 5 years later, become my husband.

We moved away from India for work, back to India, away from India again, until Himmat’s retirement in 2005, when we moved back here for good.

Our forever home.

We […]

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