I had run 30 kilometers every day since Monday last. I was excited as the whole nation was in anticipation of Sachin’s one hundredth ton. My body felt good when I woke up at 03:30AM today. One corner of my mind was sulking like a Government servant called to work on a holiday. I avoided my wife’s stares (if looks could kill) daring me to go near my running shoes. She made an exception and gave me a lecture on how one day’s rest was mandatory in a week. I received the lecture with the same seriousness as an alcoholic does before pushing off to the Bar in the evening. My friend Bala’s call at 05:00 AM that he had completed 16K of his planned 33K run proved the last straw. I made up my mind to go for run today also. Biscuit could not appreciate the delay in decision making, his morning walk was getting overdue (he expects 7day service twice daily). He lingered over his morning walk and rounded it off with an attempted sprint to chase down my neighbour’s pussy.
My phone call to Raghavendra went unanswered. Maybe, he is from the weekly rest school of thought. Street lights and colony lights were off as if declaring their non-cooperation to my effort in sympathy with my wife’s boycott call. I was made of sterner stuff, making do with Moon’s feeble but unstinted support, I started my run. The time was 06:15 AM by my mobile. Themobile went into the pocket to silently keep time without putting me under pressure for performance. I silently prayed at the small Muslim prayer kiosk at Keshwapur cross (Today, har ek friend zaroori hoga!). Back of thigh on my left leg had a small twitching pain, not very painful, should get better as the old machinery warms up in the run. Milkman setting his shop was too absorbed to spare me a look (Had he also been recruited by my wife, uske aadmi chaaron tharaf faila hue hain lagta hai of Ajith’s fame!). Mr. Jayanthi bhai (I got his name last week, but he hasn’t been introduced yet because that episode has not been uploaded yet!), was not attending to the Self help group temple at KM2, and the idol was enjoying its well earned weekly rest (Was it a sign for me?). Reliance fresh was up bright and early proclaiming the industry or exploitation of the private sector. The road was dark and slog overs for the forces of darkness were on before Sun came and banished them.
Thinking of slog overs my thoughts wandered to cricket and Indian team’s dismal show Down Under. I realized with surprise that I had not watched cricket these last five days. If, Cricket is a Religion and Sachin God; and if Religion is the opium of the masses as per Karl Marx, by corollary, the God Sachin failing us may have cured the masses of an addiction (We should always look at the brighter side of things). Maybe, India would not be afflicted due to the Global meltdown and Sachin would have improved our Economic performance. With Bharat Ratna looming large, Sachin cannot be expected to take a narrow view of looking at his cricket scores only. Pup, Michael Clarke, is unnecessarily gloating over his team’s performance without realizing the grand patriotic action of Sachin. Captain cool banished for one match, the stars in separate groups in the sky in the weak light of the crescent, were looking like Indian players grouped together in separate camps in the presence of a stand in captain. Enough of the morbid thoughts, I switched channels, and started to look around for diversion. Soon I reached KM3, my first biological break station. My legs had nicely warmed up and the left thigh had resigned to the holiday booking.
Let me confess, I got the name of the Carnatic singer, Mr. Simon last week. I also got his permission to bring an end to his anonymity on my blog. Readers must be wondering why I am on a name calling spree. I have been influenced by Barkha Dutt’s interview of Oprah. I had then decided to make the first move, or, go the extra mile to know my customers (before SEBI legislate the same for blog characters). Mr. Simon, his cover blown, has not been seen thereafter. I hope all is well. No Anup either, he also after promising to send friend request on FB, when we parted last on 26th has done the vanishing act. Maybe, I bored him too much. I had set up an appointment with the Moulvi, Shri Mohammed Sheikh, for prayers for me and my wife later in the day on the occasion of our 21st marriage anniversary. He reminded me of the appointment after exchanging greetings, as he warmed himself by the fire.
I got a phone on my mobile, Raghavendra was calling, and will he meet me? I was very close to the point on the highway where his house was. He told me that he was a bit under the weather and promised to join me the next day.
While I was busy in all this, the Sun had surreptiously made his way and had turned the heater at full throttle to beat the cold. I reached my WSL (nee sunrise point) to the warm welcome of the Sun. I indulged in an uncharacteristic session of photography (the full blown sun against the mighty peepul tree was a sight to be captured, even if the crowning glory of a few white gulls were not present today).
I took a biological break, but, resisted the temptation to take a few swigs from my water bottle. I wanted to postpone my first water break to the mid-point. The harvester team of four who have been at the crop just off the KM 11 culvert, whom I had likened to the infantry support for the Aavarum Poo for breaching the KM11 culvert, had finished the balding of the crop and left. The Aavarum Poo had to fend for themselves for breaching the 11K mark.
Just beyond KM 13 (where the first gory scene of a dead cat was reported) there used to be a mother son pair industriously harvesting wheat. Yesterday, after a few days of smile exchanges, I had got to hand waving stage with the Son. Today I walked down the steep embankment and got talking to him, his name, he said was Gurusiddappa. I had earlier reported of the vanity of marigold flowers amidst the serious wheat and maize crops, I asked him about the flower plants in his wheat patch. He educated me that it was not marigold but ‘Kusubi’, an edible oilseed crop. Readers will excuse me the hasty judgment of vanity on the strategic oilseed crop, my vanity was only exceeded by my ignorance. My sincere apologies are due and given. I took a snap of the farmer against the offended Kusubi plant. I shall study more about the mysterious Kusubi (will ask Dr. Google of course!) and get back in future episodes.
I got back to the highway and enthusiastically got down to demolishing the last few KMs’ to the mid-point. The band of four harvesters (nee contract killers) crossed me from behind and one of them asked me why I was late today, I claimed the privilege of concession for working on a Sunday. They asked me if I work in an office, having become friends already, their demeanor didn’t change even when I told them that I worked for Railways. The last of the quartet informed that they were residents of Kusugal (our friend Raghavendra’s village) and went to near the Road over bridge beyond (there is one at KM 18, which I had crossed when I went to Yamanur last Thursday) for work. He also claimed affinity by telling me that earlier he used to walk/run to work, but, now because of age had shifted to bicycle (their hierarchy of transport was need based walk over cycle and not status based like us, thankfully!). I reached the mid-point at 07:45 AM (one and half hour, not bad Pani Sir, given the diversions).
I had also crossed a shepherd family (like our friend Kalappa of KM 7) beyond KM 14, nursing the patch next to the Sunflower for its next stage of bearing and rearing. This shepherd had two donkeys as beasts of burden to one Pony of Kalappa, the rest of the family composition was similar but for the heads of sheep (this man had smaller holding). Why this family entered the narration, however, the two small dogs (Venkia and Badra, the young boy of the farmer informed me after trying to shoo me off from danger). The dogs seemed to be a blow hot, blow cold pair (their names stood for Fire and Cloud) and were threatening to climb the embankment to charge me, I could not but shoot them down with my mobile camera (it being rendered cartridgeless (read memory less) after the shot) Their spunk was an inspiration for educating Biscuit, who I am sure would never think of coming anywhere near the highway with such heavy trucks (easy living and exercising in golf course takes its toll).
Only other item worth mentioning is the rich dividends my Gandhigiri with drivers has yielded. Today two NWKRTC drivers honked and called my attention and waved to me. The power of non-violence has been fully established with the conquest of the Road transport corporation drivers. I now qualify to lecture to the DTC drivers, is Shiela Dikshit listening.
I completed the run in 3 hours and 4 minutes today, I have logged 210 KM this week, the highest after the week with 231 KMs’ (the week of Bangalore Ultra 2011).