Sun and Smog

Smog is a huge problem in India, with air pollution levels through the roof. However, a sun and smog combo does lead to excellent sunsets. Worth the price of polluted air… definitely not.

Before coming to India a lot of the photos I saw seemed to include a perfect sunset, an orb of yellow sun setting over a hazy skyline. Every photo looked like it had been attacked by every instagram filter and setting possible, it just doesn’t look real. How can the sun set like that every single day, bathing whatever it touches in a golden ombre giving a basic bitch’s dream shot? 

However, having been here for less than a week, every single sunset has been this idealized, perfect ball slithering it’s way down the sky turning it from pastel blue to mauve. India is by far not a clean country and it is fairly common knowledge that pollution is pretty high. In the cities at least this means smog levels are at fairly dangerous levels. While not necessarily visible or noticeable at ground level, from a distance it is really clear.  An absolute devastation to people’s health, the perfect sunset image created as the sun slinks through the thick and heavy air, is really just a glamourised reminder of this problem. Outside the cities the dust and sand help build this effect meaning that wherever you are, the sunset will boost your instagram game. However, the fact that this is only visible due to pollution does make this a slightly odd and twisted experience.

The smog problem and its causes were exemplified by this bbc article after Diwali this year in Delhi.  The smoke from the fireworks was so extensive that it looked like thick fog the next morning. Considering that it is about 34 degrees and only dropping to about 18 at night, you can imagine the shit fest this is causing the air cleanliness in India, and is only exacerbating the problem. I guess at least I can join the basic army with my endless supply of perfect sunset photos though. The sun and smog combo might not be good for my lungs, but it looks great on my insta feed. 

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