My radio silence in the last few weeks was giving me the same constipated feeling which the Bhaskor da of ‘Piku’ suffered through his life. We were a reserved family and did not talk much on the topic of motions till the movie proclaimed boldly that ‘Motion is Emotion’. I can say for runners though that the most important preparation pre-run is the complete emptying of the bowels.
I am glad that I was hustled into going for the movie by wife and daughter. The deft handling of larger issues like (E)motional atyachar of the aged, casual sex, women’s lib etc., under the running theme of motion was too good. For once I could catch a glimpse of the old Amitabh Bachan of Chupke-2 and like. The movie uncharacteristic of Bollywood felt short and we wouldn’t have minded a few more reels of Bhaskor Da-Rana duet, if not, Rana-Piku. A must watch family movie!
Now from Piku to Biku (my going on seven Labrador pet, for those not yet introduced to him!). He has made a momentous transition to Vegan and Gluten free diet since I went off air. The Doctor’s feel that his skin rashes have to do with packaged food. He is now on plain old Rice-Dal and vegetables and his bowel movements would have been Bhaskor-da's envy.
I am going to overstay my welcome and narrate a few encounters during my morning runs since I last reported.
Third Umpire saved the day
Yesterday when we were entering the movie theatre at the City Center, I recognized the tender coconut sellers who sell their wares outside on either side of the road outside the venue. I did not initiate the dialog as I was not sure they would recognize me in my Jeans and shirt (having seen me barefoot and topless!). The vendor on side closer to the theatre waved to me and alerted his friend from across the road much to the joy of my wife and daughter. I narrated to them the story of how they keep track of my attendance. Once during the last week I was challenged for having been absent by one of them and dispute was unresolved by the on-field umpires, the matter was referred to the two guards of the Mall. They ruled in my favour and saved my day.
The Hubli challenge
Whenever I am confronted by a group who mock me on my run, my usual retort to the leader of the gang is challenging him/her to join me for a few kilometers and inviting them to see who remains smiling after the same. I call this the ‘Hubli challenge’. Though I have thrown this gauntlet many times, I am yet to be taken up on this so far. Last week, a bunch of teenagers were standing mocking me near the signal before the city-centre. I confronted the leader of the gang and challenged him to a run till Gemini flyover (must be 2-3 Kms!) and promptly forgot all about it. Imagine my surprise after my water break at AVM kalyana mantapam when I broke into a run, I found this youngster waiting at the foot of the TTK flyover barefoot ready to accompany me. I was impressed by his spirit and applauded him. He lasted about a few hundred meters of the jellied climb (the worst stretch of the road!) and after saying bye to me took a lift on a scooter. His friends followed on a bus and there was much cheering when the bus overtook me on the summit of the flyover.
Be careful of vehicles Grandpa
I cross the people sleeping on the Quaid-e-Milleth bridge near the start of Mount road every day in my run. I am uncomfortable with seeing men and women carelessly lying in sleep as I cross them and I avoid eye contact with them (this was one of the reasons for shifting from the RBI route where a big such stretch is there!). All this changed when a young girl started calling out to me every time I crossed that’ Thata (for grandpa in Tamil) watch out for the vehicles’. It took her exchange to break the ice and now the entire group (the waking ones!) greets me whenever I cross them.
He acted in the movie ‘Edhir Neechal’ (swimming against the current in Tamil!)
Before my debut in the movie ‘Two feet to fly’, a clip of my run in The Chennai Wipro Marathon was used in the Tamil movie. One of the cognoscenti of Kollywood movies near the slum at the Quaid-e-Milleth bridge remarked to his audience that I have acted in the above Tamil movie. I could not stop from telling him that the hero of the movie ‘acted’ and won the race and I had ‘actually run’. I don’t know if he got the wit!
I will not overstay my welcome and end this narrative assuring readers that Hubli passenger has been chugging on even if the usual mileage has come down to 32 (as low as 26 and 28 on hard pressed days!) even on holidays. The ‘Rising Son (I meant Sun!) even if overshadowed briefly by the resurgent Supremo of the opposing party has enough punch to damage the ageing barefoot runner from behind the clouds.