The unbroken trend of run continued into its sixteenth day today. Running being the mother of all addictions stands proved in that the antics of the cricket crazed nation and its demi-gods (the God of cricket has retired!) could not keep me from my bed at 8 PM come B’desh or Ozzies. I was joking with my daughter that my weak heart cannot take the excitement of the game and I prefer the highlights the next day after securing the usual run in the morning. Real test is from the Semi-final stage, lest absenting myself from cheering for India be taken as Anti-Nationalism!
I was feeling bad about having escalated the encounter with the man near the shrine of Velankanni to near name calling. I kept a look out for him the next few days. I found him praying fervently on the Easter Sunday, I waited for him to finish and apologized to him for my bad behavior. I told him that I understood that he advised me for my safety and that it was not the message, but, his tone which got me angry. He said that he is the Asst. Commissioner of Customs and Excise as if that should explain his tone. I humbly submitted that I too was a Joint Secretary level officer of the Govt. of India. We parted as friends in that what threatened to escalate into name-calling ended tamely in throwing ranks!
The day seemed to be my day for durbar. A group of municipal workers waiting for their early morning chores to begin outside their lorry station opposite Hotel Sangeeta tried to get my attention my whistling. Fresh from Fridays over reaction, I simply looked to them. They walked up to me and asked me if I had acted in the movie with Shiv-Kartikeyan. Scenes of runners participating in The Wipro Chennai Marathon a few years back were used in the movie ‘Edhir Neechal’ and I had a reasonably bigger clip because of my unusual running gear. I told them that our footage was used without our permission by the movie and that I would like to have a rematch with the reel hero in a real run (the hero is shown as winning hands down in the movie!). I am sure that the reel life hero must be envious of the Vanquished getting all the attention when the Victor languishes! Now I get daily greetings from this group at the start of the run.
That the elections are upon us is dawning pleasantly with the politicians cut-outs letting the lesser stars have their moment of glory from the walls. Today foud a police patrol with a videographer in tow searching passing vehicles for cash in their booties. Was pleasantly reminded of my stint as Election Expenditure Observer in Kakinada last year and the many good runs i had on the highway there!
Three policemen (must be senior going by the number of stars on their shoulders!) stopped me in my run. What followed was nothing less than an enquiry with questions flying thick and fast, not, there was no strong arm tactics or third degree. The questions ranged from my area of operation (one of them was happy that his having seen me near DLF was proved right, this must have been the 10K run in DLF last year!). The usual questions on distance and time duration of run and the inevitable one on diet followed. I got three adherents to Vegan diet. I was let off after a photo on the senior’s mobile. I do not know if anybody could feel happy about being questioned and photographed by the police!
My friend of the Port trust has started to run a few paces in between his walks. Today was his last day of the week of night duties and he informed me that he would be in day shift for a week starting tomorrow!
The Runversation was continued by an oversized man returning after crossing me on his bike to check if running could help him shed weight. Looking at his weight, I suggested to him start with walk and cut down on Non-Veg and dairy in his diet. I told him to be patient and trust and enjoy the process and the weight would surely come down. Running can happen after the weight becomes manageable for his knees! Another Vegan recruit!
Last but not the least, I met the Amit-Jaya pair relaxing after their run walk near the Labour statue. I told the husband the names I have given them in my blog. He was much amused and wanted to know optimistically if it was due to their looks. I told them it was because of their professional rivalry of the athletic kind. I also congratulated him that he was leading his better half in the latest runs!
Back in the colony during my walks after the run with Biscuit, I have found on interacting with the health workers , who sweep the colony roads of the dried leaves of autumn that it takes them more than three hours of double handed sweep non-stop from 6 AM. I found that it was no less than my morning run effort, the only difference being that they get a core work-out and back strengthening while mine is a less strenuous one!