An important engagement required my being back in the hut by 6 AM. Having discounted out the “no run’ option, only two factors remained to be decided, how soon can I start and how much can I run! It was like a rain affected match with the super-computer crunching out the results of the Duckworth-Lewis formula. If I left before 4 AM and restrict the match to 22 overs (one loop of 10K on Beach!) I could make it in time.
Biscuit obliged with a clinical performance, refusing to be drawn into a slanging match with the stray dogs who seemed to have overrun the pitch. Biscuit sure has become responsible after his foray into the blog with a decent meaty role. We were back home by 3:30 AM beating the milkman by a big margin.
Hubli Passenger left before time at 3:39 AM with only a bunch of strays giving a send off. The policemen both at the Sri Lankan deputy high commission and on the intersection between Diva showroom and Cakewalk caught napping. Shanmugam, the milk packet distributor, was silently working at collecting the goods unmindful of my departure.
The Suited mannequin at the Tailorman outlet was looking down on the few sleeping Mango people wreathed in bed sheets. Three of them were sleeping sharing a auto backseat cushion for pillow, giving a whole new meaning to ‘putting their heads together’.
Knowing the reduced mileage planned, I was in a dilemma whether to go for the shots early (read speed!). Finding that the traffic was not any less as compared to my usual outings, I stuck to a steady pace. The policemen near the Poes garden intersection were sleeping. The temporary structure with lots of Amma’s pictures purportedly for dispensing water in summers was deserted, it did come to life for a day on the Ramnavami. I must stick to the secular charity of AVM rather than these seasonal religious offerings!
I crossed my friend Dog going towards Beach and in much better control of his breath and his tongue fully in cheek. I crossed Gandhi statue on the way back from Lighthouse at twenty minutes past Four AM. If I thought the early hour would mean an empty stretch to run, I was surprised to see many runners already coming from opposite direction. Earlier starts to beat the heat surely would not raise any eyebrows in this city which never sleeps, the home resistance is what needs to be worked on!
Today one boy did to me what I had done to the girl yesterday. He overtook me and I couldn’t catch him till he stopped on his own. The dogs waiting for the gravy train near the Labour statue were listlessly lolling around. I witnessed the mobilization of the hungry dogs and how they call each other out when I saw Dr. Kindella’s assistant on the tricycle with his precious charge on the back.
Today the recipient of the banana peel trophy was an early bird cow sauntering near the Anna square police station. Her affected walk due to the oversized udders seemed to be blaming the humans for their greedy tampering with the nature.
The old couple who are regulars near the Periyar bridge sorting the garbage were busy at work. The Mount road stretch was in total darkness. The army men were squatting in a row near the war memorial in their full gear waiting for the start of the run. Owing to only one loop, I may not meet them in their run today, I wished them as I passed them. It was five minutes past five AM when I stopped at Napier bridge for a break.
I met Jesudas and his partner coming from the opposite direction, surprisingly they did not comment on the change in schedule of the Hubli Passenger. Neither the Venkateswara temple nor the SengudiNeeradi Amman temple were open for the devout when I crossed them. It was twenty minutes past five AM when I reached Gandhi statue. I was on course for reaching home by six AM.
The return run was interesting in that I crossed lot of runners going towards the TTK flyover. It was like a regular run event with so many participants. Only the first two, both ladies, reached the bridge approach before I caught up to them. I did not break for water at my usual joint as I was not sufficiently strtched today.
I was at the colony gates at 5:59 AM and in time to avoid giving any anxious moments to my better half. A 2:20 hour 22K meant arrears of 10K in the bank to be made up during the week. I know I am in business as Good Friday holiday means opportunity for an extra Full in the week!