22 October, 2020

Breathless

What’s with the air in Delhi that a festival of lights plunged it into darkness? Can we read the signal in the smog?

Capital Haze
Delhi- NCR under a blanket of post-Diwali smog
Photograph by Narendra Bisht
Breathless
outlookindia.com
2016-11-16T11:52:37+05:30

It is an emergency, and there is no other way to look at it when ­Delhi government’s health advisory this week is that we’re all grounded. “Stay indoors,” they said. No, we have not been hit by the Zika ­virus, and neither is this a Hollywood apocalypse movie. Yet for those walking around like they’re headed to a masked ball—wearing face masks that can look like anything from simple surgical masks to intense Darth Vader-­esque masks—there’s no fun at this party. In fact, it is being described quite accurately as “chilli in my eyes”.

Social media, from being awash not so long ago with tricolour filters on profile photos, now has people posting views from their windows—of nothing. And that’s not because of their preferred Facebook filter. It is because there actually is no view, ­because there is no visibility.

The gunfire simulation of Diwali night brought Delhi’s pollution to its climax. No, it didn’t cause the pollution, but it tipped the...

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