Delhi Ki Sardi: Breathing in an Open-Air Kingdom of Poison

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Delhi Ki Sardi: Breathing in an Open-Air Kingdom of Poison

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

H

ow would it feel to play football with masks? An element of deception is central to football but that does not extend to covering your face. Twenty-two men hurtling on the pitch with their mouths covered sounds like a ridiculous idea but it is not as far-fetched as it seems. Earlier this week, footballer Gianni Zuiverloon used a mask while warming up for Delhi Dynamos’ Indian Super League encounter. And he was not the first one to do so in the Capital.

Over the past couple of years, winter has become the time of difficult breathing. One waits with bated breath, more in fear than anticipation, for a period when inhaling air is an act of self-harm. The throat itches, the eyes water, the nostrils hurt. Everyone at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Tuesday was breathing in a storm of dust and pollutants. Imagine playing football!

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