Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions

Journal

Thunderbolts & Lightning

November 17, 2009 by Richard Wright in Journal, Life

A couple of nights ago we had our first real thunderstorm over Delhi since we arrived. It was loud, right overhead, so we drank wine on the balcony and watched the sky light up.

That said, we didn’t see any actual lightning. Instead, we saw the results of lightning, namely the pollution flashing a dazzling white above us. We were told a week or two ago that as winter draws in over Delhi, so too does the pollution over the city thicken to Nineteenth Century London smog levels of thickness.

No lie. You can safely watch the sun from late afternoon – it’s that dim, pale disk in the sky, that you might mistake for the moon in daylight if it was white instead of orange. It’s been a couple of weeks since I saw stars, even on cloudless nights. Even when I could, I could count them without running out of fingers, and two of those were probably planets.

On the other hand, the other day I found two excellent bookshops with a strange and eclectic mix of titles in English. Books in English are the norm here, but I loved the strange selections. These are far from the Waterstones, Borders, or B&N’s I’ve grown accustomed to. These are places for browsing in narrow, packed isles, and stumbling across things that you never knew you wanted to read. I had no cash on me at the time (else the lovely, hardback compendium of Grimm’s fairy tales would have been mine), but in words, I’ll be back. Often, I suspect.

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