Choked!, tells the story of pollution in two of the world’s most polluted, yet economically successful, cities: Beijing and New Delhi. Part memoir and part investigative report, Choked! is topical and urgent. Drawing on her experience of living and raising two small children in Delhi, Beijing and Jakarta, author Pallavi Aiyar describes the trajectory of the fight against air pollution, gets expert opinion on assessing poor air quality and how it affects the health, lists the lessons that Delhi can learn from Beijing’s successes and failures, and points out why short-term measures won’t work.


  • Delhi’s air pollution: What China got right and where we fall behind by Allison Saldanha, Business Standard

    Aiyar, a journalist who’s lived and reported from some of the most polluted cities in the world, including Beijing and Jakarta, argues that many countries have been in India’s situation, and India would do well to learn from their experiences.

  • Gasping for clean air: Extract. by The Hindu Businessline

    Choked shows that no matter how hard parents work to ensure the best schooling and nutrition for their kids, the most-taken-for-granted element remains poisonous

  • Breathing Uneasy by Daryl D'Monte, Biblio

    Aiyar’s book is a good example of how one can tackle a complex and statistically-loaded subject...It is simply, yet effectively, argued and blends the personal with the political.

  • Pallavi Aiyar’s ‘Choked!’ exposes how India inhales polluted air at home by Maya Palit, First Post

    Aiyar’s book makes clear is that ...we need to urgently develop a more panoramic perspective on air pollution in the country – one that moves beyond considering only what the middle class in Delhi feels on the subject.

  • The Globalist Top Ten Books of 2016 by The Globalist

    Choked ranked 2 of top ten books in 2016 by the Globalist.

  • Excerpt by The Wire

    In Choked!, author Pallavi Aiyar explores what it’s like to take care of a child, find employment, experience privilege and explore belonging in one of these cities

  • Choked! Living Inside the World’s Most Polluted Cities by Jeff Kingston, Japan Times

    Aiyar speaks with authority on the subject...The government and public remain touchy about such criticisms, and Aiyar powerfully conveys the denial and self-delusion that prevail in India’s discourse on the environment.