Friday, 12 August 2016

Kitna Deti Hai?

We irreverent Indians are not impressed by atmospherics and believe in quickly getting to the heart of the matter. I am reminded of one of the advertisements where when explained the displacement and size of a Dreamliner, a person is shown asking ‘Kitna Deti Hai’. Every time I have demonstrated by spinning wheel to an interested person the initial question invariably has been, how much yarn I can spin in one day and how long it takes to get enough material for my shirt?
This time before the Times of India reporter came knocking, I was prepared. The raw pressed cotton comes in bundles of one hundred grams each. Each bundle approximately translates to over one thousand meters of yarn, at my present level of proficiency of spinning. The yarn is removed from spindle in bundles of five hundred meters each and one hundred such bundles in turn becomes about ten to twelve meters of cloth. I am able to spin about two hundred and fifty to three hundred meters along with my morning green tea hydration session of between an hour or two. About six months of laboring at the spinning wheel gets me enough cloth for about ten shirts! See it requires no Ramanujam maths!
While externally, spinning can be evaluated in terms of meters of cloth generated, at a deeper level it is relaxing and meditative. Taking the analogy to running, while a run can be physically seen in terms of distance, speed or time spent, but, the internal transformation it brings to one is to be experienced and cannot be described. I will belabor this point further; when I was working in the Ministry, in my frustration at the Sisyphusian task of moving files up and down, I had ranted on one of the chat sites. One of my seniors had sent me the following story on my personal email id;
“God once asked a person to push a wall, the person after dutifully doing it for a few months cursed God that it was useless as the wall had not moved an inch. The punchline is God seemed to have appeared and asked the person to his arms and back muscles and the strength he had gained”. The fault sometimes is we are too narrow in defining our goals, be it speed or distance!
Now, a small episode from Biscuit’s friends’ lesson in stretching to lighten the atmosphere. Before the Last Sunday of Month (LSoM) run of Marina Runners when a trainer was leading his wards through stretching session, a stray doggie couple came to the center and did a synchronized and graceful perfect doggie stretch as if to ask what is so great about it, much to the amusement of the wards and embarrassment of the trainer. Biscuit on his part restricts himself to walking in measured steps unexcited by the provocations of his brethren in the colony (even the belligerent Tiggy!).
Having missed the 36 hour stadium run last week, the decision now was to whether or not to attend the 12 hour Independence Day run at Mumbai. The office situation decided the issue. I will have to miss the trip. While it hurts to be deprived of the cheers of the friendly Mumbai runner community and the famed @Pranav hospitality, I thought about the saving grace in the missing of the run during my morning constitutional 32K today! Twelve hour run on Monday would have involved missing my daily run from Saturday to Tuesday (four days at 32K would be a healthy 128Kms). I could have at best put in at best a 100Km in the 12 hour run on Monday. So even by ‘Kitna Deti Hai’logic, Lalithaji, Hometown mein Daudne mein hi samajhdari hai!

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