Friday, April 27, 2012

It's safer on Indian roads now - sort of

New Delhi's female pillion passengers to wear crash helmets

Female pillion passengers in New Delhi, celebrated for their poise while precariously riding side-saddle, are to be forced to wear crash helmets amid growing concern over the number of women killed in motorbike accidents.

Amandeep Singh Bedi, of the Institute of Road Traffic Education, said women must choose between their beauty and their lives Photo: Alamy By Dean Nelson 2:51PM BST 26 Apr 2012

Under pressure from road safety campaigners, the Indian capital's government is preparing to force all pillion passengers to wear helmets.

The move, in response to a High Court case, could also bring an end to one of India’s enduring images — the unprotected Indian family of five perched perilously on one motorcycle.

The authorities were alarmed at figures which show almost all of the women killed in motorbike accidents in the capital New Delhi in the last two years were pillion passengers riding without helmets.

Amandeep Singh Bedi, of the Institute of Road Traffic Education, said women must choose between their beauty and their lives. “Road accident data suggests that if a woman is riding a pillion with a man wearing a helmet, and they meet an accident, the chances of the woman getting killed are more than that of the man.

Women have to choose between their life and beauty or aesthetics. There is no other option, if you are on a two-wheeler, it can crash anytime,” he said.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

ANZAC Day in New Delhi

We celebrated ANZAC Day this morning at the Delhi War Cemetery (about 20min from our house).

It was a lovely service - organised by yours truly (I can now add "events co-ordinator" & international relations builder to my resume). I spent the last two weeks organising ambassadors, defence attaches, expats & the Indian military to attend the service.

The Indian military (particularly the buglers) proved to be the hardest because they would never formally commit to attending (certainly not in writing).

You always knew they would - they've never let us down yet but it was SO infuriating. In the end, it all came together perfectly....well....sort of. There was a bit of a mix up with us handing the Deputy US Ambassador the Papua New Guinean wreath & vice versa. The Deputy Ambassador took it very well. Here are some photos:

The wreaths all lined up
Dr Lachlan Strahan (DHOM) speaking at the ceremony
Some of the local Australian military contingent
The ceremony
The buglers that I was fretting over
My boss - the Defence Advisor (DA)
The DA with the priest. The priest is a regular feature of the ANZAC Day ceremony
The Indian Air Force laying their wreath
The buglers doing what they do best
Standing at attention
Standing at attention (2)
Standing at attention (3)
The buglers were a very proud pair
In a nice touch, the caretakers at the cemetery placed a rose on top of all the Australian & New Zealand graves

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lior in Concert

The Henry Lawson Club recently hosted the Australian recording artist Lior. He played a great show for everyone.

Here are some photos:

A Punjabi Wedding

Recently, two very good friends at the High Commission (Tiana & Andrew) celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary (well done !!).

Rather than go out to a fancy restaurant for dinner, Andrew had something a little more "topical" in mind. By topical, I mean, he orgainsed a full-on Punjabi wedding complete with musicians, drummers & dancers.

We all had to come dressed appropriately (as you will see from the photos).

My ears were bleeding from the constant noise that surrounded you.

Anyway....hope you like the photos I've chosen for you.

This is the gear I picked up in Cochin...I reckon I don't look half bad !!

This is the groom - he mounts the horse & begins the parade to the reception centre, surrounded by dancers, musicians, fire eaters & all other forms of chaos. The bride has to walk !!

Some of the local staff dressed up for the occasion

Some of the A-based dressing up for the occasion

These are the fire-eaters & acrobats

One of the musicians - he was battling to be heard over the drummers. The musicians & the drummers don't seem to co-ordinate what they play. It's simply battling "noises".

These are the dancers're seeing right about those chandeliers

This is the "portable" generator powering the chandeliers

A dodgy bunch of characters

An even dodgier bunch of guys

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Easter in Cochin - Part Three (shopping in Jew Town)

On our last day in Cochin, we popped over to Jew Town for a spot of shopping. We bought a few things (say no more). This is Tania & I standing next to the world's largest Varli.