Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Keep the child alive in you

Biscuit no longer gets up with me and prefers to get his eight hours of recommended beauty sleep. Does that make me lonely when I am sipping green tea and spinning the charkha? A persistent cuckoo in the neighbourhood gets up around the same time and polishes her singing. The signal for me to stop spinning is when a raucous bunch of birds start their chorus drowning the pleasant cuckoo’s crooning. Interesting how these little creatures have a perfect sense of time.
A dog has littered in the colony and the pups have grown right in front of our eyes. Biscuit watches over them with a longing look as the pups follow their parents having their ‘Masti ki Pathshaala’. They have now been granted independent charge with their parents abandoning them to their vices. The pups (at least the most intrepid and vocal of them) bark at Biscuit as he passes them by in his walks. He does not mind them a bit and has a proprietary air about them. Do I see a wistfulness in Biscuit in having traded for security over freelancing!
Today was my 16th day in a row of running after the long walk during Pinkathon on June 5th. Usually the dogs do not trouble me and mind their own business. Today a dog (veteran of many fights going by his mutilated ear) decided to take me on. Two people in the shadows came out in my support, but, an old man told them to stay put and watch. He told them that I would purr to the dog and it would go back wagging his tail. I was thrilled at this compliment. The dog did not disappoint his trust in my Pied Piper like skills on mesmerizing dogs.
Long distance running as I am sure must be the case with all endurance sports makes one view one’s body with a sense of detachment. This we do experience when we talk to our parts of the body coaxing them to bear the pain with the tacit understanding that given time and persistence the niggle eventually goes away. This came in handy when I was down with dehydration and fever recently.
Unable to get the flow the narration was abandoned here yesterday, today a mild drizzle welcomed me as I started for the run. A police vehicle came very close to me from the opposite side when I was on the Savera flyover. I was surprised that a police beat vehicle was playing truant. I crossed over to the other side of the road across the small divider bracing for some tough questions. Two young policemen in their muftis asked me why I was running in rain. I asked them to remember how we used to welcome showers when we were young. I asked them if they do not feel like walking/running in the rain, they smilingly confessed that but for the expectations of the position they were in, they would love to join me in running in the rain.
After lean attendance of Boyz and Girlz on bikes (they have this emblazoned on the back of their T-shirts!) in the last few weeks, they were out in full strength today. I heard the people waiting in the bus-shelters commenting on the madness of the youngsters in riding in the rain, but, the real comments/guffaws were reserved for the half naked ‘your’s truly’ when I passed by them. The mentally challenged lady singing to herself as she blissfully walked in the rain on the Napier bridge was the only one matching my thanksgiving spirit to weather gods for having blessed the city with showers.
The going on the smooth flooring on the pavement between Lighthouse and Labour statue was ginger and the usually slow pace of the Hubli passenger was further compromised today. I had Ramani Ramiah and his brother for company as I started on my second loop from Lighthouse. It was not for long as the two put in a decent gap very quickly and I preferred caution over bravery in not trying to match their pace mindful of the slippery floor!
Last Sunday Mani Iyer, I will call him the Mumbai Express, joined me for run from Saravana Café after Savera flyover. Close to two weeks of continuous running had me running slowly and I must have dragged his performance down. I gave him choice vintage location during the biological break near Napier bridge and treated him to ice-cold water at Zuka point on the way back.
Yesterday was IYD (this needs no expansion), a group of singers were asserting the diversity amidst the sea of Yoga camps on Marina to mark the World Music Day (Did they come to Gandhi statue to seek his support!). We Babus bent it like Beckham at office too to mark the occasion of the IYD (I took the message that finance officers must become flexible!), Jokes apart it was a nice way to bond with colleagues watching each other contorted in various shapes and poses!

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Oh to sweat!

Biscuit is incensed, and rightly so, that the sore backside of his master has been getting more footage than him in the recent blogs. He has had an inflamed eye and has been going around like a peeved Lalita Pawar for the last few weeks. Despite highlighting this to the vet, he refused to give it any importance or medicine saying that it is nothing and will go away. He is back to his normal two eyed exchanges with his constituents!
The much discussed LSoM run of Marina Minnals came and went this last Sunday with much drama and tragedy! I started at 3:45 AM to ensure that I reach Gandhi statue at 4:30AM. Except a few canine friends, who also did not seem concerned by the early start of the Hubli Passenger, the run was usual and relaxed till Gemini circle. I was welcomed with a ‘Va Ya Kabaali’(Welcome Kabaali, the latest avatar of Superstar RajniKanth!) by a person who was diligently applying adhesive to Amma posters sitting on the road. This is how the locals tease (I take it as a praise!). I went near him and thanked him for the superlative praise. He was slightly drunk and explained to his autodriver in waiting that he meets me at many places and that too so early in the morning!
Being compared to superstar was all I needed to counter my niggle! The praise-purana does not end here, when I was crossing the city-center, a youngster jocularly challenged an old man sitting next to him at the bus-shelter to chase and catch me! He said what of him, even the youngster could not catch him and that if he wanted to catch me, he can see me at around 7 AM when I will return the same way! Now, this recharged my battery to full five bars! I felt like I was being compared to DON, (of ‘peecha karna mushkil hi nahin namumkin hai’ fame!).
Hubli passenger had reached the start point before time (4:25AM by clock opposite Gandhi statue!) and even though some people had assembled, I did not want to waste the beach breeze and spare time and did a small loop of about one Km. To complete the ‘Hubli Passenger Jaisa Koi Nahin’praise chant, a young lady walked up and asked why I run every day from Nungambakkam and that too barefoot? It seems she works the graveyard shift in a building near Sterling road signal and has seen me pass by every day. She, it seems, comes for a spin with her colleague for a break from work to Marina. I gave the usual answers to the oft repeated questions and also disclosed the vintage of the Hubli Passenger!
The onerous task of flagging off was taken over by Ramani Ramiah Venkat Sir and we all set off on the run. It was a slow and chatty run and running behind the back of the statues on the service road for new to me. We came to the main road near the Labour statue. The runners had thinned out and I took my middle of the road option and ran alone. The route was a bit new with a diversion of Walajah road till Kalaivanar arangam (I had confused this with “Kalaignar”and trolled the race director, Deepa Bharatkumar, about mispronouncing DMK patriarch before the run!) being added in addition to the Island ground to complete the 21K.
When I was finishing 21K near Gandhi statue it was 7AM and therefore the normal return time for the Hubli Passenger. I crossed a rally of youngsters against Rape and demanding freedom of choice in dressing (I could not agree more, running topless through a bunch of well dressed youngsters!). I did not wait for the post run ceremonies and started on my way back. The run was extremely well organized and the volunteers were very dedicated and enthusiastic!
There was no water at the Zuka (Chocolate Rajni point!) and I could manage a few glasses from a dripping AVM RO tap! Normally, watering the system during run leads to water oozing out in the form of sweat from the body leading to cooling happens, that day the water stayed put. I reached home tired and drank my usual quota of two litres (not exactly, half a bottle left!). This was a mistake, still no sweat outpouring! I took a bath and looked forward to curl into bed with my favourite bowl of richly jiggery sweetened multigrain porridge and the newspaper. The difference was I was not feeling like eating the porridge. What followed was a violent throw up (in the bathroom, not in bed!), much to the distress of Biscuit (he hasn’t seen me performing this before!). The act was repeated after consuming the porridge in another one hour. All this while no excretion of water by way of sweat. I found my temperature rising and thermometer showed a healthy 102.9 deg. F.
How the battle of fever was won with the aid and assistance of my Doctor brother in remote attendance (it helps that he is an avid and as passionate runner!) will be the subject of a separate blog. The sum and substance is that there is no life without ‘Sweat’. I sweated on Monday evening breaking two days of strike like Monsoon breaking through drought hit Vidarbha and with as much relief.
The Hubli passenger is still grounded and hopes to resume service at 4 AM tomorrow!