My body was still sore from the previous days cycling expedition. I used to think cross training with swimming or cycling was for the non-serious. I had a puritanical approach to running to all other means of exercise. To me, running was like classical music not to be lowered by other lower forms. My experience with cycling yesterday set me wise, it was serious business. I was aching at places which I didn’t seriously give a thought to.
But with a single minded devotion of an alcoholic I woke to my alarm at 03:30 AM, completed my unfinished account of my previous days visit to Yamanur half-heartedly. It was 05:30 AM by the time I finished my blog, Biscuit was straining for his leash and his morning’s pound of flesh. I sleep-walked through his morning walk. I came back with options of reduced mileage for the morning run. We came back at 06:30 AM, decided to take a small nap and go for a truncated run later. Next I knew was I woke up with Biku (short for Biscuit) curled up next to me on bed and clock showing 08:00AM. I was devastated and felt miserable. I announced on my status to my Dailymile peers, ‘Putting my feet up, pampering them and taking a break’, having committed in writing, felt better.
The whole day was spent in endless eating and dozing, felt bloated and guilty. Gave Biscuit a long walk in the Golf course in the evening and took an extra round with wife on the colony roads. Biscuit was grateful and thrilled.
I go on a cycling trip to the Venkateswara temple on the hill top most evenings (Hubli is a place with steep ups and downs), I don’t count this in mileage for the day. The time in the temple helps me train for the meditation. Today I decided to share my visit to Lord of the hill as my blog offering much as visiting teams play an unofficial match on a rain shortened day to reward the spectator’s persistence. Yesterday I could not go to the temple, as my bottoms refused to get on to the bike after the battering they got on the long ride to Yamanur. I delayed my departure for the temple so that I could stay for the evening Aarti at 08:30PM.
I met Raghavendra (my running mate who is training to run 5K in 25mts to qualify to become a constable in state police department) outside my colony gate, he enquired about my marathon performance and if I would come the next day for the morning run. The ride to the temple has steep climbs, when I see young children on their flashy bicycles effortlessly climb while I have to walk to negotiate the climb; I feel what Murakami felt about young girls in pony tails who overtook him on his evening run on the riverside.
I reached the temple at 08:15 PM, which gave me enough time for my prayers before they start the shutdown routine for the Lord. Two gentlemen were reciting the thousand names of the Lord (Sahasranama), today’s prayer was sponsored by a person (he footed the bill of Rs. 120/-) who had brought his young son of 5-6 years along (Manikantan). The child joined me in circumambulating the lord five times and falling at lord’s feet after each round. We sat down to wait for the Sahasranama to end and closing aarti to begin. Manikantan picked up the folder containing the text to read along and kept it down as he could not read; I took it triumphantly to impress him. I had to eat humble pie as the matter in Kannada which I did not know. United in ignorance both of us joined in the common refrain of ‘Govinda Govinda Venkatramana Govinda’ after each appellation was read out by the main singers. We formed a deeper bond by the time the prayer ended.
I felt like the Royal family of Travancore must have felt at the Aarti of the Lord Ananthapadmanabhaat Trivandrum. I was the only guest other than the sponsor to wintness the aarti. The sahasranama archana was followed by an Aarti with three different kinds of lamps with many wicks and offering of Prasad to the Lord. This was followed by the last item of the day of singing of lullaby (La-Li-2) to put the lord to sleep. We were offered Prasad of Bengal gram savoury, Kesari a sweet dish of broken wheat and a banana, which I brought back home. I met my cycle shop owner who repairs my cycle on the way back and informed him of the cycle’s adventure to Yamanur the previous day, he offered to give it an overhaul this weekend. The guard outside the colony gate was taking a walk to keep off the after dinner drowsiness; I pitied him his long vigil for the night in the cold. Biscuit eagerly awaits my return from the temple, waiting to get a small bit of the Prasad.
I am looking forward to my long run tomorrow.