The Desolation of Smog: The Delhi Edition


The Desolation of Smog: The Delhi Edition

Mumbai is the city of dreams, Delhi the city of dark, smog-filled realities. Today the dwellers of this entitled city witnessed a changeand with it Delhi was reintroduced to an old, dark friend: Smog.

The pollution uptick has rendered lungs useless and switched its citizen’s brains for Dhinchak Pooja’s, with Delhites roaming the streets sporting Bane-like masks, with Kejriwal in their hearts and migraines in their heads. Where once we used to look up at the sky and think dreamily about our place in the stars, now we quickly look down because fuck-my-eyes-hurt.

But still, we’re driving Volkswagens without the care of Delhi’s earnestly blinging hotline. “It’s over,” Drake crooned to her in the message. Did you know that global warming is an anagram of balls going warm?

In these dire straits, we looked up fellow Delhiites and asked them how they really feel about this crises.

The Dude who Thinks Pollution is a Left Conspiracy

This pollution nonsense is all a conspiracy funded by Kejriwal and the anti-national media. Like do these people think Ram ever let “grey skies” stop him from fulfilling his duty? Bah Savarkarbug!

I love India and hate NDTV. I also close my eyes each time Mahira Khan appears on TV.

I can’t wait for Arnab’s super mega exclusive today. He is the only one who talks about real issues like #IndiaAgainstAntiNationals rather than air particles and *air quotes* smog.

The Pollution Facial Protestor

I think the biggest problem has been like my grandfather is struggling to you know, like breathe. He keeps coughing and shit. My dog Bruno was also acting weird last Diwali. I don’t even know why he doesn’t like crackers. Stupid dog! Oh but pollution is really bad. It’s harmed my skin a lot and I can’t find a facial which will, you know, end pollution. When I think about it, I think pollution has also spoilt my phone. My Snapchat has a weird grey filter now.

The Previously Unbreakable but Now Broken Person

I was given a lot of advice before I shifted to Delhi six months ago. Don’t go out in the night, they said. I’m a man, I responded. Don’t get into fights with people as they have guns, they said. I’m a man, I responded. Don’t go to Paharganj drunk at night, they said. I’m a man, I responded. Don’t breathe in the polluted air, they said. I’m a man, I responded. Now I have fucking allergic bronchitis.

The Dude Who Left For Canada

These days when I look up at the sun, I wonder if there are 10,000 saanp bombs lit on fire, energising the Earth, because that’s how living in Delhi feels like. I’m no elitist, but the colour of the sky really matters to me when deciding what place to bunker down in. Do Delhiites even remember what clouds look like? Do you remember what breathing without coughing feels like? Do you remember Altaf Raja? Fuck odd-even, now I can’t even see the car in front of me. This is not how God envisioned us to live and this is why I’m dumping Delhi for Canada. No, I am not Punjabi.

The Runner Who Can’t Run

I like running. I’m in fairly decent shape too. I’ve run marathons, I’ve run from home to work, I’ve run from my ex and I’ve run from my boss’s wife. Did I mention my great shape? Running was my life and Delhi’s pollution has wrecked it. I’ve decided to leave this slow-ass, grey town for Mumbai to finally figure out if the myth of Joggers’ Park is warranted.

The Migrant Smoker Who Smokes Delhi Air

As a Chennaite as bad as the air quality can get in Chennai on occasions, it’s nothing like Delhi and Noida. I was actually trying to quit smoking around the time I moved here, but decided against it after sampling the air quality. At least, when I smoke, I feel a sense of autonomy in deciding how I actually get cancer.


During this intense research period, I have also met people who cannot read anymore and have just given up on their guitar lessons because “their throats feel all woozy”. Bravehearts all of them and all of them with dire warning: GTFO or be left in a hot box of angry people, sporting pocket air-purifiers, where everyone is scrambling home and searching the word “Green” on the internet.

This is an updated version of an earlier published story.