Tuesday, October 17, 2006

dilli ki sardi



October, and it's already as cold as the worst of Delhi winters. Day time temperatures of 13-14 degrees, night time temperatures of 5-6. (Yeah I know Delhi went down to 0.7 degrees last January but that was one day, people.)

This fall weather/cold front/whatvever it is is brilliant. I could go on and on and on about the angled light, the turning colour of the leaves, and so on and so on, and I will, in another post. Right now, I'm just bothered about the temperature.

People die when it's this cold in Delhi. And it's going to get colder still, going down to -18 on real miserable days. How on earth do you bear cold like that when you're living out on the streets?

Some gullible third world part of me is still in shock about the number of homeless people you see in New York. The number of people living out on the streets , wheeling all their worldy goods in ex supermarket carts. (Apologies for the unsubtle irony of the first photo, but I couldn't resist the (cheap) shot - wheels look at wheels.) The number of people, on the streets, in the subway, asking you to help them out, asking you for money. And this is, shockingly, the total mindfuck for me - people begging in English.

(And then there's the other dilemma. Do you give? How much do you give? Especially when you're a grad student and you feel poor yourself?)

How long can you sleep out under the bridge on a piece of cardboard when it gets below freezing? Where do you go when it starts snowing? How do you survive the winter?

I really want to know.

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