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.

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