The Nadal Nola match kept us spell-bound and for good reason the usual soaps on TV were avoided. I bunked the evening visit to Venkateswara temple. The planned visit to the Dargah during the day was also stymied due to unexpected guests. I will have to make up with the moulvi on my run today. Woke up on time, there was not much activity on Dailymile or Facebook during the night to hold me on to the desktop for long. I had a good spinning session on the charkha till Biscuit claimed me for his morning walk. His walk concluded uneventfully, he returned to base and I was able to hit the road at 05:53 AM.
My mind kept going back to the Nadal-Nola match and the unfairness of only one of them being a winner and the other being consigned to anonymity of the cruel system (I was reminded of Prof. Virus Buddhe’s of 3-Idiot’s fames’ comment of nobody remembers who came second). Could Nola have played such exquisite tennis if Rafa did not raise his game? Can it not be remembered as Nola-Nadal encounter of 2012? Can we not remember the sportsman spirit behind the water bottle handed to Nadal by Nola while the long winded speeches were being made? I really dread if the Marks for Sports campaign comes through with sports being the rat-race it is now, we would encourage ratting in today’s students rather than bringing about sportsman spirit in students. Nadal won hearts and definitely some fans from Nola if not the Australian open cup yesterday!
I continue to build friendships through my morning runs. Today, I met Simon (the Carnatic vocalist) between KM 3 and 4. I stopped to ask more about him. He is a retired Railway workshop employee and is 63 years of age. Yesterday was his day of singing Lord’s praises in the church and not serenading nature as is his wont on other days. I exhorted him to keep singing.
There is one other person who zips past me every day with a mysterious smile, today I found him next to his bike parked near the petrol-bunk. I named him the (K)night rider. He informed that he is a Union bank employee and comes riding to cool off after his run in the city. No response from Raghavendra today too, all not well yet, I suppose.
I reached Benkiya-Badariya point, the dog-duo had still not forgiven me. However, their master, the young boy was on my side. After pulling them back, he accompanied me till the canal for cleaning his break-fast plate. His name is Jenaab and he is from a nearby village (I didn’t get the name, but definitely beyond my 15K mark). He goes to school, he said. On my way back he wished me good morning, Sir and hoped to meet the next day.
There is lot of cotton bolls flying around and found stuck to grass on the side of the highway. I had picked up conversation with Shri. Mohan a farmer who grows chilli’s and cotton at KM 14 a few days back. He educated me that the cotton being grown was the notorious Bt, but, that it was good to farmers like him as it gave good price. He also said that there was no need to depend on multinationals for seeds as seeds from present crop can be used for planting next crop. He came to befriend me as his children had told him about this old man (yours truly) who runs every day, and he was keen to meet me. I told him of my interest in cotton as I spin my cotton yarn for giving it to a weaver. He promised to find out a good ginning and pressing factory in and around Hubli for me. I pick up cotton bolls as the fresh white cotton lying on the side looks like innocent children abandoned by the plants to the vagaries of nature. The state of sullied cotton of earlier days make you want to rescue the virgin bolls carried by the wind during the night. I have a decent collection at home of the cotton so collected (My timing is taking a hit because of this, what’s a few minutes when it comes to rescuing young ones!).
I did not meet the moulvi either on the way up or down today, I have one more day, maybe, to think of softening the blow on him for missing the appointment yesterday.
I was stopped by one elderly gentleman today near KM 5 (petrol bunk) to ask how far I ran too and if I run every day. My RAM being full and unable to remember any more names, I gave him my lap length and just found out that he was a retired businessman (do business men retire?) and of 64 years age and that he comes from Madhura Colony (near Anup’s house). I saved him for future friend list.
Finally I met the school children (C’mon Uncle fame) on my way back today. They had still not cracked my Birthday puzzle (I repeated the question today again). I found that their leader was Anuj and that he is on facebook. He took my user name and profile picture. I must befriend him.
I finished the run in 3 hours 15 minutes today, without making any adjustments. A satisfying run and importantly 8th consecutive daily run of 30K prompting my friend, Bala, to send a team of scientists to check my bones (or was it mind!).