The best thing about waking up in Delhi is that it makes you feel humanity's power over time: We have finally brought it to a standstill. It stands still, frozen in dark, gloomy haze.
For a few brief hours, the Sun, like a trapped tiger, tries to come out from behind a prison of smog. Its golden rays try to pierce the grey walls of Delhi's smoke chamber. But, it gives up.
Noon looks the same as morning, evenings are just a shade brighter than night. But, we will get there soon. No 8 am, no 4 pm, only PM 2.5 and PM 10.
Every man and woman has been brought down to the same level — that of a faceless entity trying to breathe from behind a mask. Is pollution socialist, or is it a Fascist tyrant? Maybe, it is just sick-ular. So, which ideology do we blame?
Delhi mornings remind you of Harry Potter. We have turned into living embodiments of Dementors that JK Rowling had imagined in her world: Forces that cause depression and despair all around them. Dilli Dementors ki?
They remind you of that troubled genius Jim Morrison, who once sang in his gravelly voice: 'Five to one, Baby. One in Five. No one here gets out alive...'
They remind you of Jimbo's song that forms the backdrop of the opening lines of Apocalypse Now (fittingly perhaps): This is the end, my beautiful friends. Somehow, you can also feel the smell of napalm in the air.
If ever there was an Emergency, it is here and now. But, maybe Emergency is just being forced to watch a film with Pakistani artistes.
So, we endure it with great silence, like those zombies in the Matrix living a pre-destined life. Like the colluding crawlers of the Third Reich dying to shout, In-Heil Hitler!
Since the air is heavy, some see the lighter side.
A colleagues jokes: What is the capital of India? Then replies: New Deadly.
Another says pollution is good, it helps you save money and remain India sanskari.
When you want to smoke, just step out in the air, do Ramdev's kapalbhaati. That's the money saved on 40 cigarettes. When you feel like kissing, try doing it with the masks on. And then there is that legitimate excuse: "Not tonight, darling. I have a bad wheeze." So, kick that vibrator, pass on that bronchodilator.
Who do we blame? Jawaharlal Nehru — maybe he was too liberal to allow all those toxic gases remain in India after Partition.
Could have just ordered them to Pakistan. Also, he was the one who believed sick-ularism, didn't he? Now, we are all destined to be sick-ular.
Arvind Kejriwal? Why is he not doing something that we can all criticise and laugh off as a stunt in advance? Inhale on odd days, exhale on even? Last year at least he was coughing often enough to remind us of pollution and its impact on health. Let's send him to Pakistan, er, Punjab.
Maybe Rahul Gandhi? Isn't the main cause of the toxic air his stubble? Or the PM? We voted for PM 56, and ended up with PM 2.5 and PM 10.
Let's find someone to blame. And when we find someone, let's celebrate like it is Diwali again. Buy a few more vehicles this dhanteras.
Let not our culture and tradition die.
Delhi can go to hell! Oops! Maybe it is already one.
As Maximus says in the Gladiator, "If you find yourself alone, riding in green fields with the Sun on your face, do not be troubled; for you are in Elysium, and you're already dead!"
Pity NDTV didn't tell you this: The Sun doesn't shine on Delhi any more.