July 9th, 2018

When the left hand clearly doesn’t know what the right hand is doing

There are days when I wonder if I’ve wandered into a weird Delhi version of a parallel universe. Or whether it’s April Fool’s Day & I haven’t noticed.

Like the story I read in my morning paper today.

Please take a second to read it (if you haven’t already) and we’ll chat in a moment.

Where does one start?

3,100,000 trees (thats 31 lakh, by the way) to protect us from dust and pollution.

3,100,000 trees.

Who will look after them, water

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July 5th, 2018

We the people! We won!

I was away from Delhi for a week, and though I kept in regular touch with friends here about the threat to our trees, it still came as THE most amazing relief when I received this message from jhatkaa.org, one of the organisations that has been galvanising public opinion about the shocking decision to fell 16,500 trees in south Delhi.

Hot on the heels of this piece of good news came the Delhi High

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June 25th, 2018

Delhi’s trees get a partial reprieve

To everyone who read my blog yesterday, you deserve a quick news update.

And it’s good news.

These are the words we were all waiting for.

“We could understand if it was a road-widening work which is inevitable. You want to cut thousands of trees for housing. Can Delhi afford this?”

And with that statement, issued by 2 judges of the Delhi High Court vacation bench today, we gained a few day’s breather.

Literally. A few days more with the threatened 15,000 trees still standing, to help combat our filthy, polluted air.

Until July 4th, no more trees will […]

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June 24th, 2018

Mourning Delhi’s trees

This morning was brutal in many ways.

It was brutally hot and brutally humid, as we all did our traditional Sunday LSD run – long slow distance.

And then, when a group of us went to protest at the venue where the tree felling has already started, if ever you wanted brutal…that was it.

I told you a little of the background of this ecological nightmare in an earlier post. If you didn’t read it then, please take a couple of moments to do so now, to help put this terrible situation into context.

In a nutshell, in Delhi, one […]

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June 22nd, 2018

The tragic saga of Delhi’s 16,500 doomed trees

Most of you will know already that Delhi is a city with a dubious reputation, that of one of the world’s most polluted cities. I think we were THE most polluted at one time. Now we’re just one of the most, perhaps the 11th most polluted in the world. Not that this ranking is anything to be proud of. Far from it.

What is alarming at the moment is that we are at the height of our brutally hot summer.

And many of the usual winter-pollution-culprits are not in the fray now and so we cannot blame them, as we […]

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June 18th, 2018

Rubbish!

On a scale of things that drive me nuts, littering ranks right up there.

Long before we all started advocating the banning of single-use plastic, and long before we runners had started plogging, I’ve been a litter Nazi.

Cannot bear it.

I have picked up trash, rubbish, litter, garbage – call it what you will – for years now, enduring indifference and ridicule (at best), and abuse and being spat on (at worst).

Here in Delhi, over the last few years, I’ve been called a” f***ing foreigner” and told to go home – that was from the entitled young man […]

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June 13th, 2018

Summer time & the livin’ is…damn tough

It’s been almost a week since I got back to Delhi from a climbing trip in the Himalayas. A week of grinding, remorseless heat and equally remorseless exhaustion, so I’ve flopped indoors most of the time, with just the briefest of sorties out into the heat & dust.

Now, though, energy levels are s-l-o-w-l-y returning to something-like-normal, so off I trotted this morning for the slowest 8km run in the history of the universe. I think I ran slower than I walked, if that makes any sense.

It was 35C at 5.00 when I got up.

That’s mighty hot – […]

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June 9th, 2018

And then the sky turned black

At 5pm this afternoon, as Delhi was battered by a powerful dust storm, high winds & then a lovely downpour.

Crazy, crazy weather.

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Less than an hour later, the storm has abated & it’s drizzling, & we are left with ripped shade cloth, brand new blinds destroyed & plant pots scattered hither & thither.

Let’s hope it stays nice & cool until tomorrow morning when, inshallah, I’ll go for my first run since returning from climbing Banderpoonch.

June 8th, 2018

From the sublime to the ridiculous

Sitting wilting in Delhi’s brutal heat (try 33C/91.4F at 6 o’clock in the morning for size, dear reader) it is almost impossible to think that just a week ago, we were at Banderpoonch Base Camp, swaddled in layer upon layer of fleece and thermals.

The thought of curling up in my wonderful arctic-temperature-rated sleeping bag, as I did a week ago, is almost unbelievable.

We ate inside our tent most of the time, too cold to venture out…

You get the picture, right?

[…]

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June 7th, 2018

Do you know what day it is today?

“Thursday 7 June”, do I hear you say, as you roll your eyes in disbelief at how dumb & out of it I am?

I KNOW it’s the 7th of June, friends, I know.

But what I didn’t know (until I read my first paper in almost 3 weeks***) is that today is International Level Crossing Day. Did you all know this delightful tidbit?

Anyway, here you go, folks. International Level Crossing Day it is.

Pity that the dear lady in her sari, sitting demurely behind hubby on their scooter isn’t wearing a helmet, though…

[…]

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May 13th, 2018

Blown away here, folks!

So…Delhi got the promised storm.

And how!

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The sky went crazily dark, the winds howled, thunder & lightening, torrential rain – we have the whole 9 yards happening right now.

Plants pots crashing to the ground.

Shade cloth ripped to shreds.

Our many wind-chimes going crazy.

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We’ll assess the damage later, when it’s subsided, but for now, from my position of comfort & privilege, secure in the knowledge that my chicks are safe – ie Anjulie is cosily in her flat, and the dogs are curled up at my feet – it’s all rather exhilarating to […]

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May 7th, 2018

India’s rape epidemic

Please don’t misunderstand me when I say that I’m not sure just how much more of this I can take. I’m not being precious or anything. Simply, I’m not sure how much horror can we all take. How much anguish. How much revulsion.

I’m talking, of course, about the seemingly non-stop horror story of rape and abuse and murder that is taking place in India.

I am not a victim.

I am not a doctor or a social worker having to

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