Millennium Post

Record-breaking weekend

Delhi has recorded many firsts, and it did yet another on this Sunday. For the first time in 140 years of Test cricket history, pollution interrupted the game between Sri Lanka and India. Lankan players wore pollutions masks and requested to hold up play twice, citing the exigency of rocketing pollution levels which subsequently resulted in nausea among players. Pothas, the Lankan coach, pointed out that two pacers were struggling to breathe and several more had gone in to the dressing room, vomiting and requiring oxygen cylinders. India claims that this could have been an underhand tactic by Sri Lanka to delay the match—yet there is no denying that the Delhi air is suffocating, nauseous and honestly, fatal. For Indians, mostly Delhites, this pathetic air condition has become a routine aspect of everyday life—a known enemy whom we must accommodate in our day-to-day activities, whether we can cope or not. Our immune systems have adapted themselves to this devastation while nevertheless being decayed from within. The Lankans came dangerously close to forfeiting the game as they had only 10 players on the ground with substitutes refusing to go on in the fear of smoke and haze. It compelled Coach Pothas to submit himself as a substitute. This drove Kohli, the otherwise star of the day, to declare the Indian innings at 536/7. Kohli had a magnificent run earlier during the day, becoming the first Captain to score six double centuries for his team, beating Brian Lara's previous record of five. However, some of his jubilance was subdued with the Lankans forcing him to call the Indian innings off earlier than he'd probably desired. India ended the day with two new records, one to be proud of and one that demands serious correction. Pollution is plaguing the world, but Delhi is particularly falling prey to this awful menace. The Air Quality Index continues to rank the capital at 'very poor'. Metro fares continue to rise and public buses are rarely spotted on the streets—primarily due their limited numbers, further accentuated by the hazy vision that limits peripheral view. While Indian players bravely took to the field without masks or worry, their Lankan counterparts were distressed with Delhi's air—which is a curse to breathe. Even now, not much seems to be underway to find a perfect solution for this menace. The BS-VI vehicles are scheduled to come in by 2020—more than two years away. Till then, wild Diwalis, burning crop lands and increasing vehicles will continue to choke our capital, the city of murky dreams.
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