For the last few days there have been parts of Delhi with extreme pollution of the super fine particles that get lodged in your lungs. Anyone with breathing difficulty needs to wear a mask. It smells like you are in a city with multiple fires burning and can't go outside since it's hard to breathe. And it's foggy so the particles stay in the air. It gets on your face, absorbs into your skin, and makes you reach for cough drops throughout the day. I'm not even in the worst of it, I'm still in the purple area. I can't imaging what it's like in the red area. Air masks are $40 and selling out quickly.
The below picture was from a couple days ago. I'm working in the purple and red areas. (263, 301, 228 today) I don't know what the airport index is since it's grayed out. My hotel is right by the airport so for all I know, I am in the worst area. The numbers were higher a few days ago but there were a few light rains that lowered the index.
While the map shows under 300, here was the reality a few days ago:
Below is Beijing from a couple of days ago. Numbers overall are higher but since of the 20 monitoring stations in Delhi and only 5 numbers on the map, it's probably worse here but not reported. Beijing tells people to stay indoors, Delhi has no such warnings. Millions of people live outdoors or in slums with no doors so what are they going to do? Survive the best they can.