Choking on air

(Delhi yesterday)

No clear skies, no moon, no stars
only haze hangs low over the concrete maze
verdant greens wear a sooty grey suit
malevolent air chokes the throat
babies and elders are trapped indoors
effing cough refuses to subside, making everyone
reach for the ubiquitous air purifiers!

Written for David’s W3 to Paula’s prompt to write an acrostic on November.

You can read about Delhi’s pollution here and here.


79 thoughts on “Choking on air

      1. Sigh…..
        We have too muxh population to spare
        We have too little awareness to see the harm we are doing
        We have too little compassion to do something for the future generations
        We have too much greed to thibk of anything else except making big bucks!

        Sorry for the rant… Could not stop myself:(

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Tracy, there are farm fires in neighbouring states, especially Punjab. After rice is harvested, the stubble is burnt because that is the cheapest and fastest method to clear fields before the next crop is sown. The seeder machines are very expensive and though the Punjab government is loaning them to farmers, there are very few of them.
      But, there is a huge BUT, the air quality of Delhi is poor throughout the year and gets exacerbated in winters due to these farm fires, fire crackers burst during Diwali and the slow movement of cold dense air.
      Vehicular pollution is very conveniently blamed, and to be honest those large diesel trucks do contribute. But firewood is being used by the poor as cooking gas has become prohibitively expensive. Despite there being compost pits in most parks( and Delhi does have many parks) leaves are burnt. This is also the season of mosquitoes and to repel them people burn anything…from paper, cardboard, styrofoam to discarded tyres. Phew!
      I could go on and on, Tracy. The problem lies in the intention. The government/bureaucrats, those in power are not ready to bring in changes which will inconvenience people in the short term but mitigate this problem in the long run.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. It looks like the Government does nothing except to make some cosmetic announcements and make people get used to this Smog! An issue that happens every year this time. Real sad.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. It’s a heartbreaking situation, and worse, that no one “in charge” anywhere seems to care. It is their children and grandchildren they are killing too. Inhuman. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been stuck in that Delhi daze desperate to escape to HP, sympathy to you all. Always used a face mask and hand sterilizer in Delhi and Kathmandu so during this pandemic these were no big adjustment for me … but to be locked into living there, my heart goes out to you all sis!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. We are trying our best, desr Kate. Have limited outdoor activities.
        Hubby’s job has not exactly changed. He has been alternating between teaching and sailing for the past many years. We are here mainly for the kids education. Delhi offers better chances for higher education. And now with son’s condition, Delhi offers better medical care.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. beggar that you are tied there for worthy reasons … but I would be happier knowing you were exploring options? India has many large cities with good medical services and surely hubbies work would fly him in and out? Anyway no point in having a great education if your actual health is in peril … love you all!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Kate, sadly the other big cities have no less pollution. It is just that Nov to Jan it is really bad in Delhi. I agree good education at the cost of health is not a good bargain but moving out of Delhi too doesn’t solve the problem. The only option is to move out of India.


  3. This is a global problem, and no one is immune! I am so sorry that you are suffering from smog. When I lived in the beautiful rural Shenandoah Valley of Virginia thirty years ago, we used to experience inversion layers in the summer. Thank you for sharing this vivid poem about air pollution. We all need to be concerned!

    Liked by 1 person

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