Poisonous Air

As the air becomes poisonous, schools to remain closed till the 5th of Nov.

The Air Quality Index remained in the ‘severe’ category.

Air quality index above 400 is considered severe, whereas, above 500 falls into the ‘severe plus’ range.

Doctors claim that the masks aren’t particularly effective.

The government has advised people to remain indoors. 37 flights were cancelled due to poor visibility.

The Odd/Even scheme which is supposed to begin from tomorrow, may bring some respite. Though the BJP is vehemently opposing it!

Two wheelers are exempted from Odd/ Even, as are women drivers and any vehicles with children in uniform.

As it becomes impossible to breathe, the streets are less crowded. Eat carrots, drink water, consume vitamin C, remain indoors and pray for better days, is what the experts advice. This while the Centre and the State play the blame game!

Dilli Ki Diwali

Growing up, irrespective of how sick my mum was festivals, were huge. My brother’s passing has sucked the fun out of everything. Once in a while, we make a half hearted attempt to celebrate a festival and yet we seem to be stuck in limbo. ‘ If you would just get married or make some babies, it would change everything!’ I am told. ‘Char din ki chandni aur phir andheri raat!’ is my view. Thanks but no thanks!

The festival of light maybe a celebration of light over darkness but for some it can be a lonely experience. I wouldn’t be surprised, if in a few decades we begin to hear how the festivities have triggered depression and suicide amongst people, like Christmas does in the West.

With more and more people choosing to work away from their families, or choosing to remain single, how do you celebrate when everybody is busy with their loved ones? That’s what you have friends for and now you also have something else to do- go for Delhi Ki Diwali!

For the past five years (ever since…) one doesn’t know what to do with oneself and my Sufi group is kind enough to celebrate the evening with me. So while most people I know are busy doing Puja and playing cards, we roam around the streets of Delhi, looking for something to do. Khali sadke napte he aur kuch khaane ke liye dhondte he.

It’s damn difficult to find a restraunt that is open on Diwali, FYI. We head to any eatery which has a Muslim name and hog away to glory. To have them by my side is a blessing. As is the fabulous programme organised by AAP. Four days of festivities, where you can listen to fabulous music, watch a laser show in the middle of CP and that too free of cost!

For the first time, the celebrations were beyond anything I have experienced on Diwali. Thousands of people, came together to celebrate a festival not all of them, would normally. Foreigners were dressed up in Indian attire, women in hijabs roamed excitedly around with their families, while students from north east sat on the grass grooving to the music. The fabulousness of this country was on display, on the streets of Delhi that night and even if you were alone in that one moment, you would feel as if you belonged!

Kashmir Update

The people of Kargil are protesting the move to turn Ladakh into a UT

Ladakhi student at the stand with Jammu and Kashmir, protest yesterday.

 

 

Brinda Karat at the protest against the abolition of Article 370.

Shehla Rashid Shora at the same protest, giving an interview to the press.

 

On the fourth day of the Kashmir lockdown, Ghulam Nabi Azad was stopped at Srinagar Airport and sent back. Prime minister Modi , reassured people in his address to the nation that the Union territory status, is temporary and the locals would be allowed to celebrate Eid. Kashmiris remain cut off from each other, as well as the rest of the world. News of hundreds injured and six dead, somehow manages to reach the mainstream media. A number of separatists are said to have been shifted out of the Valley, while Kashmiri diaspora organises protests in London and Germany. Nitasha Kaul, an eminent Pandit, speaks to the international media against the abrogation of Provisions of article 370. Kashmir is said to be the most dangerous place in the world at the moment and tomorrow I will be stepping into it. I’m assuming this is my last post, till, (if) I return. Godspeed.

Jashn-e-Rekhta 2018

Jashn-e-Rekhta, the celebration of Urdu, is an event that has been marked on the calendar of the culturally inclined Dilliwallah. The fifth edition of Rekhta, saw the usual mushairas and qawalis, the renditions and recitations in each corner, that one now associates with a Rekhta event. Some of it is passe while most of it divine.