Kim Farleigh


In New Delhi, people eat and breathe anything. The pollution at night is surreal: neon lights blurred in a filthy mist. It is an alien world of docile cows and loud traffic in an atmosphere of oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon monoxide. Visibility is often down to three hundred metres. There is an overwhelming sense of decay. Pockets of stench enter the nostrils in the rickshaw wind. The stars are blocked out by the gaseous mess. There is the continual presence of eccentric noise. Vehicles bleat like ducks and camels. Magnificent historical monuments rise out of smoky slums. A fingerless, grimy beggar waits at the traffic-lights for donations to a cause that I will never know. A legless man, semi-clothed, drags himself along on a trolley. Camel-drawn carts trot through the streets. The idle cow wanders free. Cows are littered everywhere like dozing cats. I know I'm going to be amused by actions foreign to myself, but by whom? Almost crushed at forty miles an hour between a car and an elephant. Staggering nonchalance of those using the roads. Occasional sights of people defecating and urinating in public. Stagnant pools of murky water. Liquid death beneath smoggy filth.



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