Monday, 11 April 2016

To be in others shoes

The moving video of a Labrador (with a striking resemblance to boot!) insisting on and carrying his mistress’s favourite flower to her grave, praying for her and lying down with its mournful eyes looking at you was heart wrenching. Much as I my heart would wish to have Biscuit around till my last day, having watched both movies ‘Marley and Me’ and ‘Haachiko’, my cool head prays that Biscuit leaves earlier to meet our maker and reserves a place for me alongside.
Keeping these somber thoughts aside for the moment and returning to my daily runs, today was the 25th day of unbroken running stint since entering my 55th year. Yesterday night there was a disturbing news where the father of a youth killed by a schoolboy driving a high end car was being interviewed. Just into my run in the morning a big car stopped next to me. The driver, a young kid, could be just out of school asked me why I was running. Before I could answer, the kid at the back intervened in a slurred voice asking me the way to Parrys. Surely, they were not seeking guidance from an elder about the way to go, but, trying to pull my leg. He invited me for a duel, to which I politely declined. I told them to drive carefully and carried on. I knew that they were in no position to listen to any homilies from me. I stopped at the first police patrol vehicle and asked the officer to inform the beat vehicles on the route to Parrys to look out for the colour and number of vehicle to see that they do not come to harm or cause harm.
Just another day a bunch of youngsters with one young lady, the high decibels pointing to their being high, broke into a loud guffaw as I passed them on Beach road. Normally, I would have challenged them for a run, but, this time I tried to imagine my response at their age on seeing a middle (?) aged man half naked and barefoot running so early in the morning and smiled to myself. This is probably trying to be in others shoes! Takes lot of self control I tell you, particularly when you are being giggled at by a young mixed company.
Now, the readers may not think that I have become a Saint! I did bark at an Auto driver who advised me to not run near the middle of the road. I think I am touchy about people wanting me to abandon the middle path a join either ‘Kanhaiya’ (of JNU fame!) or ‘Mohan’ (, how do I tell them that both are names of Lord Krishna!
Could not complete the report started on Thursday last and what comes next is gist of experiences of runs on day 26th to 28th , the first two days with Manoj Bhat.
Apart from the general discussions on the perils of running alone and being confronted by road rage exhibited by fellow road users, where we found lot of commonality of experiences, the consensus was to work on improving our response so as not to excite the animal in our fellow travelers!
We had an interesting discussion on how to make running more futuristic. The issue of carrying/sourcing drinking water during long runs came up. I could only come up with water dispensers put up by charity minded individuals. Thinking further, we came up with some kind of device which can extract humidity from surrounding air to provide water on the run. We could also think of recycling sweat using desalination technology at a micro scale.
As for using the calories spent by runners more usefully (I used to get these looks from ordinary folks who go about their daily tasks laughing at me running without a useful end by their standards!). I thought of an idea of putting up stationary bikes in public places (Marina Beach for starters!) where anybody could come and cycle for a duration and coin machine could dispense cash/coupons (exchangeable at various outlets) in proportion to the energy generated. The energy so generated could be used to charge mobile phones for a charge or even ploughed back to the grid. Youngsters racing without helmets on speed bikes could instead prove their virility on one of these exercise bikes to impress the other sex. Kids could make pocket money on the side and improve their health too! If anything stops me from acting on my own idea, blame it on lack of entrepreneurial skills in my genes (TAMBRAM!) and my old bones!.
Finally, I was able to run a full marathon on Sunday. The forced rest today and aggravation of Monday blues as a result was not entirely due to the wasting effect of the Sun, but, family duty of receiving wife at the station. Jo Bibi se karte hain pyaar, who station se pick up karne se kaise karein inkaar! Hubli passenger would get back on rail from tomorrow!

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