As Delhi’s Air Quality Index (AQI) continues to rise above 300, indicating severe health effects for everyone and not just for the sensitive groups, it seems poetically apt to say that Delhi’s lungs appear clogged.
Consequently, the average Delhiite reports trying to stay indoors, schools stay closed, and constant coughing is a norm.
For the diaspora Indian, and one who can claim to have spent some lovely years in Delhi, while the pollution is not so tangible, the emotion for Delhi –India’s lofty capital city – is strong, and as always, a mixed bag.
This is especially because wherever I go these days, one of the first things my international colleagues say is how sad they feel for Delhi, and for me.
It is then that I remind myself that yes, Delhi’s lungs are clogged, but its heart is always golden, almost sparkling.
The Essence of Delhi
I claim that Delhi has forts – old, battered, preserved, and beckoning. It has gardens with the most pretty and prickly roses.
It has seats of higher learning that invite the country’s brightest hardworking pupils with promise of a brighter future.
With a speeding top of the line metro train, it transports the everyday person in air-conditioned coaches on time, to various destinations.
And last but not the least, it has some of the most loving and caring people, and the most delectable dishes.
Delhi is the keeper of history and the beacon for future.
Delhi is truly golden, only if we could remove the black soot over it.