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!