Friday, 27 February 2015

Ek Macchar Insaan ko ….. Bana Deta Hai!

Normally Biscuit and I enjoy the solitude of the morning walk. Barring his canine friends and a few sleepy policemen who ignore us, there are no other witnesses to this daily ritual of ours. This being the norm, we were surprised when we saw four men fully wrapped up in bed sheets sitting cramped in a bench at the usual spot where Biscuit likes to do his potty. Since they looked like the residents of the nearby workers sheds, I asked them the reason for their early morning watch. Out came their agonized complaint that mosquitoes had made it impossible for them to sleep. The stench Cooum, still air and buzzing hordes of mosquitoes corroborated their version. Was reminded of Nana Patekar's now famous quote and wished I could let loose Rajnikant of Robot fame to their rescue! I hope the Ganga cleaning mission extends to Cooum cleaning also! Biscuit had to walk longer for his spot.
Even at 3:30 AM in the morning, the mannequins at Diva showroom had already changed their attire for the day and were looking ready to entice unsuspecting customers. How they manage to change in glass houses on a busy street which never sleeps amazes me!
I took my time over green tea after Biscuit’s walk and left at 4:34 AM only. Biscuit, his hopes kindled momentarily at the delay in my start, after failing to get me interested in his Pink Piggy toy reluctantly went back to continue his sleep.
It took all my patience to keep my shirt on till the usual strip-tease point. The Regional Metrological Center enroute was standing a mute spectator to the insidiously creeping in summer. It was a relief when the top came off. Pant pocket having given up due to the daily onslaught of banana peel and mobile, the precious cargo goes into the shirt pocket and around the waist, so no split timings!
The prayer halls on the Cathedral road were doing a silent protest on the slur cast on the country’s famous daughter. As I was climbing the TTK flyover, I could see no action in the HSBC bank below even though the lights were on, the guard was sleeping oblivious to the beating the bank has taken in the recent times for its shady deals. The early commuters were already thronging the bus shelters, they had no time for the daily skin show put up by me. The road was partly wet, it must have got a shower earlier. I could do a Cadbury lady jig if only the weather god could spare me some showers! The milk van was waiting as the loot of the exploited Dairy animals was being counted. Banana peels carried by me felt like insignificant recompense for the atrocities the Dairy animals bear to yield us their life-blood.
Stopped for a breather at the Lighthouse and took out the mobile to see the time, 5:18 AM it was, must have missed the Doctor! I took the banana peels in hand and put back the mobile in the shirt pocket and back it went around my waist. I carried the peels in hand hoping to get a cow soon. I had the ignominy of carrying the peels for till the end of the first loop and not finding a receiver. I finally left it on the green patch opposite the Prasar Bharthi office where I have seen a cow and calf brought for milking every day. As if to rub it in, a convoy of mail vans screamed past me on the Mount road. I did not even have the time to make my wish!
The diligent guard outside the Flag staff house was polishing the brass name board, looked like he was trying to keep the top brass of the army blemishless! Today there were two three groups of armymen doing their prescribed run. The exchange of salutation was muted. Completed the second loop of the Island ground and as I was crossing the man near the Labour statue who sits with the weighing machine, I saw that owing to lack of foot falls on his machine, he had shifted his attention to weightier matters reported in the previous day’s papers. I crossed Sundar today while returning on my second loop from Lighthouse.
There is this middle aged lady who has started running in the last few weeks and has been making a steady progress. We exchange glances when we cross and today she got cheers from me for doing a longish stretch much to her amusement. I reached the Gandhi statue when it was past 7:15 AM by the clock. I reached home at 7:52 AM, completing a 3 hour 18 minute 32K for the day. Tomorrow should be a full!

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Break ke baad

            The previous weekend was very productive in that I could run a full marathon in 4:16 and 4:22 respectively. On Monday I ran a 3:22, 32K. All the runs were solo and done at my own pace without any competition. The incidents which stand out of these runs;
            The pavement dweller calling out from inside the protection of his sheet for the time on Saturday. I dutifully replied about 4:30 AM. He went back to sleep turning to the other side as if it was still not time for ‘Ache Din’.
            The children who have been in mocking phase on the Mount road leading to the Flag staff road (the incident when they gathered around me on Bhogi Pongal when there were gangs going around beating pots pans and drums and these kids were pulling my leg is still fresh!) cheered me and the leader addressed me as Thalai- Did you have food? I know it was their way of respecting my persistence. I must work towards getting the title, Talaiva (I know they call Rajnikant that and that would be the day!).
            The policeman at the foot of the Napier bridge was directing operations under the Neem tree on the banks of Cooum of burning leaves. (I had earlier made his acquaintance while crossing his patrol vehicle thrice in the Island ground loops!) I stopped him and explained the dangers of Carbon emission and carcinogens from burning plastic waste, he immediately asked the hanger on to put out the fire. I try and dissuade burning of garbage wherever I get a chance to.
            Monday run was after a lot of mental battle between the inner voice asking me to take a break and the daunting thought of next two days of no run due to the late hour of the train arrival at Mysore and on return at Chennai the next day would not permit me a run was enough to force me to go for a run. While there was nothing noteworthy during the run on Monday, encounter with the smiling guard outside US embassy in the evening when returning on foot from the British council (he recognized me from my morning runs!) made my day.
            Biscuit for hungry for his morning walk as was I for my morning run after two day’s break. He took his time over his walk and consequently I could start only at 4:14 AM. A group of cyclists crossed me on the Nungambakkam high road (that is after my strip tease point!) commenting among themselves that this old man runs every day. This had started happening to me in Hubli when people started updating each other on my running madness without referring to me, I lost out on getting introduced to lot of friends due to that. I would stop these guys and talk to them the next time.
            Doctor was encountered after the Queen Mary’s college and we ran together after the customary hello! Rest of our run together was without a word exchanged between the two of us. We now seem to understand each other perfectly and no words are required to be exchanged. I did not stop to lure the distant cows sitting and chewing their cud fearing rejection of my offering. Luckily, a cow came from the opposite direction and took the offering on the run without requiring me to break my run for long.
            The pup (of the Kejriwal type!) was missing from its post on the Sivananda Salai. The skaters was conspicuous by their absence today. The Doctor took care of responding to the guard of honour presented by the Army runners who crossed us. An MTC (Metropolitan Transport Corporation) bus driver waited at the U turn for me to cross on the busy Anna Salai and gave me a smile and waved me on. I was happy that my Gandhigiri was finally bearing fruit (the MTC drivers are considered rash drivers!) Still there are drivers who curse me and get me worked up causing me to wave my fists at them. It’s a slow process controlling one’s temper and winning over drivers on the road!
            A guy in a saffron dhoti with a bare top sanctioned by faith usually meets this bare top and normally has a condescending look of faith looking down on passion. Today he greeted me and I reciprocated. While I try to project Gandhi in my bare top, I think some people get to see Salman and refrain from meeting me in the eye. I shall strive on till Gandhi quells the Salman in me!

            Most of the beggars have got to greeting terms with me and do not expect any alms from me. I am contemplating presenting each one of them a shirt of Khadi by next Gandhi Jayanthi.            Returned home at 7:27 AM. 

Friday, 20 February 2015

The Power of the routine

            There is this person in my office that comes every day to the room and checks if the phones are working. He wipes each phone and checks if they are working. He looks very young and goes about his work with a smile on his face. I was surprised when he informed me that he is to retire in six months. Railways largely have legacy systems and a major portion of the work force is engaged in repetitive and mundane activities day in and day out. I was thinking about them and what keeps them enthusiastic in their job. I had to look no further than my Biscuit (my six year old Labrador for those of you who haven’t been introduced to him!) jumping out with enthusiasm for his morning walk at 3 AM today. I felt guilty about complaining some days about the same old route and imagining aches and pains to bunk my run. So, after a bunk without reason the previous day, I was at the start line at 4:21 AM today.
            I am guilty of over reporting on the Diva showroom which sells women’s wear while not commenting on the Tailorman outlet further down the College road. Since the controversy between the ‘Suit’ and the ‘Muffler’ became topical, I have been meaning to write about the peaceful co-existence of the suited booted mannequin with the guard sleeping at its foot wrapped in his bed sheet. Today the guard was missing, I feared if the muffler has fled after coming to know the real price of the Suit!
            My strip tease point is next to a Petrol pump where the attendant shares his floor space and more importantly the bed sheet with his canine friend. Today owing to the rising temperature presumably, the man was seen separated from his best friend who was sleeping farther away on the cold flooring.
            I crossed a van with a cargo of cooped up chicken. They were either asleep or resigned to their fate snuggled together. The driver was away answering nature’s call probably and I was tempted to let them free, only I wasn’t sure, if they had the wings and the will intact to fly even if released.
            I reached the Light house at 5:01 AM. No sign of the good Doctor and I started a slow run on the way to Napier bridge. I found a healthy cow (black and white patched, must be new to this part!) and she virtually finished of the banana peels (four, two of yesterday’s) and licking my fingers for a good measure. Her friend who came a close second did not get any consolation prize. I was lucky to be spared my fingers and the plastic cover (for recycling!).
            The Dogs were faithfully following the guy on the tricycle with his precious load of food. Lady Kindella was being virtually presented a guard of honour by her admiring charges. Today a murder of crows had joined the festivities and I presume all must be well with their admirer and friend the original ‘Common Man’ who must now be plying his trade among the celestials!
            There is a small pup who is generally found sleeping on the Sivananda salai though not exactly in the middle of the road, I try to shoo him away for his own safety, but, his Kejrewalian instincts and stubbornness prevail and he is back there every day and every loop. Wonder if he is aware of the free food available near the labour statue!
            The children were getting ready for their skating and doing gentle stretches. The army men were perfunctory in their trade mark salute, guess its reserved for the good Doctor. The army guard near the start of the flag staff road was briefing the new policeman about yours truly’s madness. I completed the second loop near the Napier bridge at 6:01 AM. I took my usual biological break near the Neem tree at the bank of Cooum river. Even all the goodness of the Neem could not withstand the stench of the river Cooum and my offerings and the withering leaves presented a sorry sight!
            I reached the Light house at 6:19 AM. All the usual friends had been greeted and waved. Yesudas and his wife were conspicuous by their absence. During my second loop to Napier bridge two events of import happened, one was I met the Chennai express and the bigger one was I found a person (looked like a policeman in plain clothes by his bearing) beating a person (the cracking sound of the slap on the neck and back of the head was sickening and the fact that it was happening not far from under the nose of the Gandhi statue was ironical to say the least. My attempt to intercede on behalf of the victim was brushed aside by the aggressor. Two passersby supported the policeman, the crime the person was charged with was misbehaving with ladies. Taking law into own hands by the constabulary and use of disproportionate force did not seem to be an issue with the gentle Chennai crowd. I felt like a dharnebaaz, but, felt good for having tried! Came back to read in today’s newspaper about how children who were caught travelling ticketless were punished by the Railway Protection Force. I think our conscience only bleeds when our people are assaulted by foreigners, home grown violent disciplining does not seem to be frowned upon.

            Met Sundar near the intersection where the road from Amma’s residence meets Cathedral road. There on we ran together, even if at the two opposite sides of the road, he stopping a while for me to catch up when I got caught in the Gemini signal. We reached my colony gates together at 7:29 AM. Looking forward to long runs over the weekend!

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

I lost my shirt today, well, almost!

Consequent on shifting from the airy fifth floor room to the first floor office which is claustrophobic, I have been struggling to post. Decided to get it off my chest today!
Last week has been good for running with a Full on Valentine’s Day and the usual 32K on other days with only two days of bunking. This week’s share of the bunk started with the one yesterday, stiff heels was the official cause for the record.
Even though the summer is insidiously creeping in, the mornings are still cool and running upto 7:30 AM is still manageable. Chennai Express has rescheduled to 5 AM and our meetings have been few and far between. Kakinada Express has been very regular even though the meeting point has become flexible to any point on the route instead of the mandatory waiting at the Light house. We run quietly much like a much married couple who don’t need words to communicate! Today I started at 4:14 AM.
As I crossed the Citi bank ATM, the sleepy guard with his head dropped over his chest seems to be belying the adage, the Citi never sleeps’. My new friend Selva kumar( he works at the petrol pump, ‘Pure for Sure’ outlet next to Prince Jewelers shop) who made my acquaintance on the TTK bridge on Valentine’s day seeking remedy for his diabetes. He was on duty at the pump today and gave me a big wave. The guard outside the AVM choultry who was lectured by me about quitting his smoking habit of over 15 years when I had met him after my water break after the marathon last Saturday, was catching up on sleep before the fixture for the day at the venue claims his full attention.
The cows have been shying away from my offering of banana peels much like the cops in Delhi shying away from Hafta, wary of the Kejriwal! I had to carry my precious gifts for them till the second loop while I had to walk to my trusted black beauty, who despite having had her fill (was already in the cud-chewing phase!) obliged me, she must have to do an extra loop in the evening walk today!
Today I met Yesudas look alike before the Labour statue ( and did I tell you this, his name is actually Yesudas!). He rides a motorbike and usually stops at the Saravana Bhawan outlet before coming to Marina for his walk with his partner. Today we had met near Saravana Bhawan itself earler.
I reached Lighthouse at 4:54 AM. The dogs were sitting on their haunches near the Labour statue as their gravy train seems to have been delayed today. I found a young man walking in the nude oblivious of the crowd of well heeled walkers, he seemed to be rebelling against the overdressed milieu around him. Even I in my shorts with the top tied around my waist was feeling overdressed in his presence. A thought crossed my mind if I should put on him my top (it would have not covered the bare essentials, as my top is skimpy like GolMaal Amol’s kurta,  just enough for ‘upar ke sharer ke lajja nivaran ke liye’!). I was also wary of his reaction to my act, would he take it as my curtailing of his freedom of expression. While I was doing this intellectual gymnastics through my two loops around the island ground, he seemed to have vanished by the time I came back on the Marina stretch. I reached the Gandhi statue at 6:44 AM by my mobile (the clock at the intersection, the one which chimes every 15 minutes, seemed to have stopped at 6:30!).The return journey home was uneventful and I was outside the colony gates at 7:19 AM. This equaled my fastest 32K of 3:05 even though I seemed to have taken it easy but for the brief speed run at the end of first loop with the Doctor while reaching the Lighthouse.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Fresh dates and a bottle of tea…

My body was finally getting adjusted to the Chennai weather and I was celebrating the eight days of continuous running. After the Sunday marathon run I had a painful calf yesterday which I was hoping would get okay by the time I would have to report for the run today. My wife has been building up a case for a break and as I was debating in my mind the small voice for the break got emboldened by the pain in the calf. Biscuit knew something was afoot and stayed on the sofa till the decision was made. In my moment of weakness, I texted to both my running partners of the cancellation of Hubli Passenger’s run for the day. An instant relief on sending the text was immediately followed by waves of guilt. I went and slept it off and Biscuit was not complaining. I also decided to have an extended spinning session in the morning to atone for the bunk!
Time to put down the narrative of the run over the weekend. It has not happened since my arrival in Chennai that I have been able to log two successive Full marathons and that way February has been good to me. The Sunday run was to be in sympathy for the missed Auroville run, I started at 4:27 AM and even though the Doctor’s absence due to Sunday being his cycling day was known, my foster Son’s plan was not known. It was the first time when I was running without the goodies for the cows (thanks to my Man Friday using the peels for the compost!). I decided to go at a slow pace without any target in mind. I have been running with a banana before the run (which I did not have today!) after about 750ml of green tea. The spent tea leaves and two fresh dates are what keeps me salivating for the long run. Sometimes I stop for water outside the AVM Rajeswari Marriage hall while getting back from the run in the last five kilometers.
I still reached lighthouse in 42’, at 5:09AM. The first run to Napier bridge was in relative darkness and with sparse walkers traffic. The three loops around the Sivananda Salai and Flag staff road were comfortable even if the traffic built up by the second loop. I reached Lighthouse after the three loops (that would be 24K, by 6:54 AM). On the way to my second loop to Napier bridge and back, a person called out to me and I normally stop to talk without discrimination. This guy asked me that ‘You just went by and are going back, how many times you will run?’ Something in his tone or the smell in his breath angered me. I told him that since he did not seem to have any work, he could stay and count for himself! I felt bad after this, this was similar to questions I routinely get from people on how much I run etc., I seem to have decided based on his attire. He was not there when I came back next and could not apologise.
When I went to Napier bridge on my third loop, a bunch of young kids danced around me and when I stopped to chat with them, after the usual questions on why I run, my age etc, one of them asked if I have acted in the movie ‘Edhir Neechal’ (meaning swimming against the current in Tamil, and a recent movie of the same name as a old classic of the same name starring the comic legend Nagesh). Actually, this movie has a small footage of runners of The Wipro Chennai Marathon, and the hero of the movie is shown winning the marathon. Your’s truly is visible for a decent time and noticed because of the unusual attire. I clarified to the kids that I did not act, the hero of the film did and that the film used my actual running in the movie. I don’t know if they understood, they asked me how many other movies I have acted in. It made my day and I got renewed energy for the rest of the run. The place near Kannagi statue and onwards was crowded because of some run and a registration for Womanathon, how apt registering for Womanathon right under the nose of the Woman of substance ’Kannagi’.
When I was waiting at Gandhi statue for the return trip, Sundar Purush​ caught up with me and we ran back together. I completed the run at 8:44AM, a 4:17 full marathon. The surprise does not end here, my wife had decided to give me a surprise and she had Pongal for breakfast knowing fully well how much I miss the sumptuous and the typical breakfast after the Auroville marathon (the icing on the cake was that the Pongal was Vegan!). For the record, the full marathon run on Saturday, 7th February was from 4:34 AM to 8:52 AM and the good Doctor gave me company for the three loops around the Island ground. Looking forward to carrying on from where I left off today and making the good form last!

Friday, 6 February 2015

The Hubli Passenger chugs on…

The toughest few steps are the ones from the bedroom to the bathroom, if that initial urge to silence the alarm is resisted, the joys of running is for the asking. Woe befalls one on the day when the temptation to linger on in bed after throttling the alarm and the penalty is one full day of misery. I have been successful in curbing the violent thought of throttling the alarm now for the last six days in a row and it definitely calls for a pat on the back! The next test is to close the door on lingering Biscuit( my six year old Labrador!) before going out in the cold. Once the self locking door locks in there is no going back, even if Sundar​ is not at the gates, as it would entail waking up wife/daughter at 4 AM or thereabout!
Lots of experiences in the past week have been sloshing inside my head and the only way to exorcise them is to pen them down, but, I have been having some kind of block in expressing myself. Will document today’s run and include any earlier thoughts of the past week during my future accounts if they persist in my mind.
Since the time Sundar has taken leave till the coming Saturday to join the morning run at the usual hour, I have become flexible in my start time. Today it was 4:22 AM when I started. There was some patch work going on the Nungambakkam High road where I usually stop to do my Salman Khan act. It was looking like the road was licking its wounds after the battle with the fuming monsters the entire day. Further down a group of workers were tying up loose ends fixing the communication cable, looked like the service providers were trying to repair broken relations of the past day while sleep restored the warring parties. The Petrol bunk standing shoulder to shoulder with a Jewellery shop was giving a character certificate proclaiming ‘Pure for Sure’.
The greetings from the gatemen of the big hotels and the gated communities have become more subtle with growing familiarity, sometimes just a smile of recognition, saving me the labour of waving my hand. Every day when I cross the gates of Stella Mary’s college, I instinctively look to see if the four Alsatian dogs would show up again. But for the photograph of them on my mobile, I sometimes start doubting if it was a figment of my sleep deprived mind. The TTK flyover which initially was a nightmare for my soles has partly due to the efforts of the Corporation and partly due to hardening of my soles has become tolerable. My friend Balu was missed.
Lord Ganesha was standing in his dhoti in preparation for his morning bath, Amma looking on smilingly from her wall at his discomfiture. I said my brief prayers with closed eyes reserving the right to have a longer tete a tete on my return. My unnamed friend greeted me from the bus stand, we have never interacted beyond the cursory greeting every day. He went on to get into an animated discussion with the other people waiting with him at the bus stand. I hope I am judged fairly!
The lady with the overweight Pomeranian crossed me under the MRTS flyover, neither of them have made any advance to get introduced, I continued to woo the man’s best friend and hope to gain his tail wag soon. Tea shop was doing brisk business and my friend at the counter did not look up today. The lady next door having washed the space on the pavement outside the house was engrossed in unveiling today’s rangoli. Few men sitting on the pavement looked up from the newspaper in hand (must be previous day’s!) and ordered me to keep running strong. I found this with some drivers and passersby, their method of cheering is more like a Sergeant Major’s double up! I could hear the clock opposite Gandhi statue chime 5 AM, I reached Lighthouse at 5:04AM. This was well past the departure time of connecting Kakinada express. I hoped I would catch up with him sometime later.
Mahatma Gandhi was looking relaxed after a hectic time first hosting the elite for the Republic Day pageant and then bearing stoically the huge garland (in this part garlands are usually large and require a strong neck to handle fame and respect!) presented to him on the Martyr’s day! Today was an easy day as far as cow feeding was considered, my trusted black beauty with a necklace of shells walking up to receive the offering and getting patted in return.
I caught up with the Doctor a little further away and he complained of a late night yet again. We ran together silently as has been the new protocol to aid meditation. I had reported earlier in my runs that I used to meet one distinguished looking old man who sits near the Perumal temple (from where M S Amma no longer sings!). I was concerned about his not being at his usual spot for almost a whole month. He was sitting there wearing a new red shawl and his trade mark wide smile two days back when Sundar I were running together. It seems he had gone to his native place near Tiruchi. He had not set up his shop yet! The dogs were frolicking contentedly meaning the food was delivered timely by Kindella’s minion!
Sivanda Salai was lively again today after a long time as we found children warming up for skating and parents fussing over their gear. We could not find out if the absence was due to studies or some tournament outside, I hope it was the latter. We completed both the loops of 4K each. Both of us ran to the Light house and back and parted near the Police post at Napier bridge.
I settled into a slow jog for the solo run back to Gandhi statue and home from there. Reached home at 7:37 AM, a 3:15 32K. If I run a full tomorrow, it would be a week of running without a break after a long time. Fingers and toes crossed! All the best to the friends running Auroville and Run of Rann, will try to run on Sunday to be with you all in your thoughts during your run.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Chai pe charcha

Every morning I wake up with stiffness in the body and it trying to convince the mind to take a break. What follows usually is a session of Green tea and spinning on my charkha for about an hour. Do not forget the moral support by Biscuit (my six year old Labrador pet!) who lies around sometimes dozing, but, sure as hell to claim his walk come rain or high waters. The action of the magic potion and the therapeutic effect of vajrasana on the thighs and the feet on one hand and mind waking up to the highs after the run invariably means that by the time I have given Biscuit his walk, more often than not, I am at the gates ready for the run. This Saturday, the body won and I slept. This was more than made up by two good days of run on the Sunday, a Full marathon, and today the usual 32K.
What I have experienced in the last few years of my running is that the physical aches and pains go away as  a few kilometers are put in. I try to go at a very gentle pace and the speed is adjusted to the feeling inside. I have returned battered in body only in competitive runs where the atmosphere gets me and I try to run to beat the guy in front. All this was good as long as I was running alone at my own highway NH-218 back at Hubli. During my runs here in Chennai, while the company of runners gives me reasons to cheer, it also sometimes leads to my running beyond my natural pace at which competition sets in and observing the surrounding or talking to oneself ceases.
While running in Hubli, I first became aware of my body and after a while I was able to run at my natural speed. Since the traffic was very less on the highway and the drivers became friendly over time, I became aware of the nature around me. Finally, even the wondrous show the nature put up each day, only received my side glances. I was able to turn inward and experience the meditative state of running. I was at the stage of attempting to switch off my mind and body to be able to rest while on the run to really stretch the period of run. All this was possible as I kept to the same route each day. The entire sequence was like the hula loop dancer act with each stage being one more hula loop being added to the waist.
In my four odd months of running here, I had to start again to learn the road and cultivate friends on the way. I have not been able to reach the stage of observing nature as I still am not confident of the drivers I meet on the road. The breaks on the beach road and negotiating walkers means not proceeding beyond the first hula loop! This means even though a certain amount of run means a fix of feel good endorphins, I have not been able to proceed to the meditative benefits and this has been frustrating. The latest addition I have tried in the last few days is a being silent while running. This may be rude to my running partners, but, I hope it would enhance the experience.  Added to that is the limitation of finishing the run before 9 AM to beat the traffic and the Sun. The stretch on the Sivananda Salai is the closest to the NH-218 feel I have been able to get. I think it’s time now for me to go for a long run with a group to re-ignite the Mojo! The virtual challenge ‘Run for Month’ started by Nagraj Balgi would have to do for the present!
I ran a four hour twenty minute full marathon on Sunday and a three hour seventeen minute 32K today. The experiment continues!