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Delhi Follies:
Postcards from the Bizarres of India





This is the first of a new series -- DELHI FOLLIES: POSTCARDS FROM THE BIZARRES OF INDIA" -- that will appear as a regular feature on, authored by Girish K.N. Yadav



As we approach winter, a blanket of smog has settled over New Delhi. The pall will hang over us for a few months, threatening to smother us in our winter sleep.

We will somehow cough and wheeze our way through it, as we have every year, for as long as I can remember. Some of us will die as a result, but we’ll ascribe it to fate.

The scooters and motor-bikes, the tempos and the phat-phatiyas, the cars and the buses, the tractors and the trucks, will, as always, continue to pour poison into our lungs. Factories and industrial plants will do their share. Private generators will splutter on. Campfires will sprout up all over the landscape and be kept alive until Holi.

But all is well. We still don’t need to do anything about it. Not this year anyway.

Why not?

Because we have a new scapegoat this year.

It’s Punjab’s fault, our politicians say. It’s our death knell because farmers in Punjab are burning their post-harvest stubbles, and the soot is all coming to Delhi. Tons and megatonnes of Carbon Dioxide.

Haryana? Himachal? Well, they do it too, but their soot doesn’t bother us at all.

The problem we have is nobody but Punjab’s fault.

Therefore, we needn’t do anything here in Delhi. Again.

Sure, they’ve been doing it since time immemorial. But this year, it is their fault.

The NASA satellite images are showing the pestilence hanging over our heads. 

Yes, yes, they show the same every year, year after year. But this year, we need to show how yet again the extremists in Punjab are threatening Bharat Mata. So, this year’s NASA image is more important than previous years.

Not to worry. A few more hundreds of crores of rupees have been allotted to study the problem - [1 crore = 10 million; Rs 55 = $1]. The sons and daughters, nephews and nieces, of our politicians have been given the funds needed to produce the necessary reports.

Until then, nothing needs to be done. Unless more reports will be needed.  

In the meantime, bad! Punjab. Being very, very bad again! Killing innocent people in Delhi and all that …

Conversation about this article

1: Manpreet Singh (Hyderabad, India), November 09, 2012, 11:45 AM.

Waiting for more!

2: Satvir Kaur (Boston, MA, USA), November 09, 2012, 12:45 PM.

The Indian media is intent on depicting Sikhs and Punjabis in a negative light, no matter what the issue. Looking forward to reading more in this series!

3: Manbir Singh (Ludhiana, Punjab), November 09, 2012, 11:46 PM.

But the Indian media is not bothered about us here in Punjab. Like every year, this time too, we are inhaling this very smog. Read the local papers, every year DCs of respective districts have ordered rural folks not to burn their fields. But who cares. Every family in Punjab has 'Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease,' destroying the life whatever is left after the destructive dance of other intoxicants! This year's Smog Dance in Delhi may have some useful effect. The slumber of the elites in Delhi may get broken to make them realize what we Punjabis had been suffering for so many years.

4: Sunny Grewal (Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada), November 10, 2012, 2:13 AM.

A gift from Punjab to Delhi. How thoughtful!

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Postcards from the Bizarres of India"

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