Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor took to Twitter on Saturday to share a dark joke about Delhi's air pollution.
With Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal calling the city a "gas chamber" and the Supreme Court declaring a public health emergency, the capital is in a state of panic.
A thick cover of smog continued to envelope Delhi-NCR on Saturday morning with air quality oscillating between the ‘severe’ 400 and 500 mark in several areas of the national capital region, breaching the maximum severity mark in two areas.
While schools have been ordered to remain shut and the government distributing masks to citizens, Delhiites are trying to find respite from the plume of smoke with some dark humour on social media. Many likened breathing the city's polluted air to smoking cigarettes.
Not one to stay behind social media trends, Tharoor also posted a sarcastic joke on Twitter. The limerick he shared can be roughly translated to mean "How long will you cut your life short with cigarettes, bidis and cigar? If you really want to cut it short, come to Delhi NCR". The line was a play on slogans used by Tourism boards to promote their states.
pic.twitter.com/IpleAVugeS? Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) November 2, 2019
Kab tak guzaaroge zindagi cigarette, bidi, cigar mein.. Kuch din aake bitao Dilli NCR mein...#WA? bhaavna arora (@BhaavnaArora) November 9, 2018
Delhi is injurious to Health. #DelhiAirEmergency pic.twitter.com/l0AjBc2nHG? Adv Pragya Bhushan⚖️ (@pragya_bhushan) November 1, 2019
Delhi air right now is like smoking 50 cigarettes a day #DelhiAirEmergency pic.twitter.com/ZfO4orPMCQ? Gaurav Sharma (@Gaurav_sharmaa) November 2, 2019
#DelhiAirQuality #DelhiSmog #DelhiPollution Meanwhile in Delhi ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/8CakHOObel? Prakruti (प्रकृति) (@PrakrutiTweets) November 1, 2019
Similar jokes were shared on WhatsApp as well.
Air pollution is said to reach emergency levels when PM2.5 (smaller than 2.5 micrometers) levels cross 300 µg/m3 or PM10 (smaller than 10 micrometers) levels cross 500 µg/m3. PM or particulate matter are small particles that embed themselves into the human body and cause a host of health-related issues.
With AQI not showing any signs of improving, should Delhiites be worried? Yes.