Monday, June 09, 2008

Somini Sengupta takes a look at the lives of India's wealthy apartment dwellers and their shanty-dwelling servants across the street:

Inside its gates, the Chands have everything they might need: the coveted Sri Ram School, a private health clinic and clubhouse next door, security guards to keep out unwanted strangers and well-groomed lawns and paths for power walks and cricket games.

“Women and children are not encouraged to go outside,” said Madan Mohan Bhalla, president of the Hamilton Court Resident Welfare Association. “If they want to have a walk, they can walk inside. It’s a different world outside the gate.”

The pictures are almost better than the article, however. India runs the gamut from the very light-skinned to the very dark-skinned, from the Himalayas in to the north to the tropics in the south, from those who stole Kashmir from Pakistan to those who merely borrowed it, and from the extremely rich to the extremely poor. India has about a quarter billion people living in complete poverty, an underclass the size of the United States. The problems and contradictions in offering a billion people the chance to live like Americans are immense, but let's leave that aside for now. India is at least somewhat responsive to the poor, if only because they overwhelmingly outnumber the rich when it comes to votes, a novelty in much of the world.

Speaking of sweaty brown people, I think I should append my week of running to the end of this entry:

Monday – 9k
Tuesday – 6 x 800 in 2:51 with 400 jog, slow first lap and fast finish (90/82ish), back pain slowed me down, good fitness
Wednesday – 13k
Thursday – 6k tempo, 12k total
Friday – 13k
Saturday – 4k
Sunday – off

63 km

It was a weird week. I ran well on Tuesday, at least well enough to show sub-18 fitness and probably more given how easily I ran 82-second laps. I didn't end up racing yesterday because of how tired I was, and took the day off altogether, which didn't matter too much since the course was about 100-150 metres short. Still, this laziness can't continue over the next couple of weeks. My next race is the Night Crawler 5-miler on June 18, which offers a bucket of said worms to the winner. I was 9th last year.

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