I have fallen behind in my daily narratives. Having had a busy weekend and a rainy and depressing Monday has left my head bursting with memories gathered on the last three days of running (I bunked on the 26th after the long run to ECR road on the Christmas day!). They seem to pop up back when I cross the same place on the subsequent days run. I need to format my hard disk!
Instead of boring you all with timings and stuff which I have got mixed up by now suffice to say that in the last four days I have run the usual one loop which is a little more than a half marathon with timings ranging from 2 hour 15 minutes to 2 hours 31 minutes (the slowest today!). On Saturday and today I ran alone and Sunday was Sundar Purush and me and yesterday of course was the quartet of Muthukrishnan Jayaraman, DrAvk Mohan, Sundar and me on a post paid plan run after brother’s birthday celebration the previous night. Today again I ran alone as Sundar ducked out in the last minute due to office pressure.
I shall try and post incidents during the runs on the last four days for my future record.
One of the incidents led to the familiar debate with the guardian of the law asking me to run on the edge of the road. Why this incident stays in my mind is that he started to throw his uniform at me and then after I explained the edge of the road having pebbles and not being barefoot friendly, he came down to explaining how an Army officer’s daughter hit a runner a few days back. I told him there is no protection from a novice driver losing control whichever part of the road or pavement one runs on, he agreed with me and went away shaking his head (kids will be kids!). I then realized that he himself was not wearing helmet!
On Sunday morning when we (Sundar and I) had just got off the flyover where the MRF man was perilously holding on to the ‘Tyre with a muscle’ which our God of cricket used to advertise for, a young boy came on the other side of the road divider and struck up a conversation with me. What struck me about me was the way he started the conversation, ‘Can I ask you how young you are?’, I parted with my age and asked him back how old he was, he was all of 20 years only. I asked him why he was on the road at such an ungodly hour (he was not dressed for a ride like professional cyclists who ride for exercise in the morning!), he said he got up early and since he did not want to sleep again and risk missing the Sunday choir where he plays keyboard, he came out for a ride. He had the usual questions about the distance I run and whether running barefoot hurt (surprisingly, my attire did not invite any questions!). With youngsters like him (his name is John Daniel!), there is no reason to despair of the younger generation!
Our friend Venky has been regular in his duty as our unofficial cheer leader, but, he disappointed us by slipping in commerce into what I thought was a platonic affair between us three. I had detected this in his parting question to Sundar on the day we were running to ECR road and he was busy talking to Vipul Kumar. Venky has been asking Sundar for a mobile instrument. My attempt at playing Santa to him was shot down as my home ministry refused to part with an old spare instrument we have at home (it is spare unless Biscuit demands his connectivity rights!). I however, seemed to have overlooked the possibility of one of our instruments (most probably mine by my wife’s assessment!) getting out of order.
Another incident which showed the adage that power corrupts in a run organized this Saturday stays fresh in my mind. While Sundar was busy taking a water break at War memorial, I saw one of the cycle riders who was acting as a road marshal (fully attired in his riding clothes and helmet) blowing at his whistle at an old man pulling a tricycle and trying to get out of the way. What took the cake (or Idli if it pleases you!) was the way he kept shouting ‘Move’ in his heavily accented English much to the trycyclists confusion and embarrassment. The irony was the runner whom the marshal was guiding was not any elite runner at any express pace and the runner had lot of space to maneuver around the cyclist. I gave the marshal a mouthful and asked him to be polite and at least speak in the local language. The policemen standing nearby seemed to appreciate the support for the tricyclist! Why I mention this is that the same rider (now marshal for the day!) is pushed around on the road by the policeman and heavier vehicles on any normal day was returning the favour to a person lower down in the pecking order. I could not but see how this plays out in bigger situations like class monitors, gram panchayat members etc.
Finally, I would finish by giving the analogy I gave to Dr. Mohan about our usual running route. I call the run from home to light house as the soup and the return run from the lighthouse to home as dessert. In between we have as many loops (or courses if you will!) depending on the time and appetite.
Here is wishing all friends a very happy new year 2015 in advance, our plans as of now are for a marathon on the new year’s day followed by a temple visit!