Today the weather here in Delhi has been spectacular. Thunder, heavy downpours – just fabulous.
Felt monsoon-y, rather than baking-hot-May-summer-y.
Yet despite such gorgeous weather, my mood all day has been one of borderline despair, accompanied by a desire to scream and shout and weep, all at the same time.
India was arbitrarily locked down, with exactly 4 hours warning, on 22 March.
Today is the 3 May.
You can do the maths.
Hundreds of thousands of poor Indians – mainly migrant labourers – are STILL waiting to be allowed to return to their villages.
They have no work, they have no money. Some of them are in camps, many are sleeping rough. Some are trying to walk hundreds of miles across the country to get home.
And still they wait, the poorest of the poor, for the government (led by a man who proudly flaunts his humble origins) to help them.
There is talk of special trains to take the migrants home – but they will be charged for their tickets.
There were, however, buses available to bring students back from coaching centres in Kota in Rajasthan, but not for labourers.
There were planes available for Indians returning from overseas, but nothing for labourers.
Today, we had military flypasts, showering rose petals over hospitals, to “honour” the medics.
The very same hospitals where there is a shortage of PPE.
I saw the fighters flying over our house – first 3, then a few minutes later, 6 planes.
It was over in a trice, with God alone knows how much money spent in the process.
Warships are being lit up.
Military bands apparently played outside hospitals.
So obviously there was transport available to move bandsman & their instruments around, but not for migrant workers.
I want to weep.
Try telling the starving labourers about the rose petals.
I’m sure they’ll feel much better.