As I look out of my window sitting in the most polluted capital in the world with an AQI (Air quality index) of above 1000 (for perspective, at this very moment, Toronto’s AQI is 15 and Beijing’s, considered one of the most polluted cities in the world, is 94), I see the faint silhouette of my neighbouring building which is less than 20 feet away. The dense smog that hangs in the Delhi air, kills not just the visibility but the very spirit of its inhabitants. But all is perhaps not lost! That India is diverse, and changes North to South, East to West is a known fact, but never did I imagine that the change could be so radical! I am talking here about my recent trip to the North East.. to Meghalaya in particular… to picturesque Shillong… to clean Air and an enviable embrace of nature’s greens … to its stark contrast to most of India. I wish I could tell you more about Shillong…or about the North East, but i cannot and maybe, even will not…simply because a regular rant about how picturesque it is will sound incredibly boring and perhaps even grossly inadequate.
The reality that both such places exist in the same country is both, gratifying and disturbing. I find great solace knowing that there are still places that remain where man has chosen not to destroy what God has given to us in abundance… yet, it is distressing to see what is happening to the ones where the same species has shown abundant disrespect towards their priceless gift.
Delhi, and most of India’s larger cities are sadly a living (dying?) proof of this sad truth.
I can only hope now that good sense prevails sooner than later, and that the untouched continues to remain virginal (though there were hints of the smell of burning diesel in Shillong) whilst the tormented lands are gently nursed back to good health and purity.
Its the least we owe to the planet.
I hope you enjoy the images and I sincerely hope that someday, you get the chance to visit this hidden jewel of India.
Copyright: JJ Valaya/ All rights reserved. All images are the sole property of JJ Valaya. No part of this post/publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval systems, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission of JJ Valaya. This applies to all acts of use, in particular such as the reproduction of pictures and text, their performance and demonstration, translation, filming, microfilming, broadcasting, storage and processing in electronic media