Monday, 19 September 2016

What’s in a name?

However weighty the issues on hand, the customary invocation to Biscuit in the beginning cannot be suspended! The previous Saturday edition of Metro Plus accompanying the Hindu newspaper made our day when a long article on Biscuit’s brethren being employed in offices with fancy designation as CFO (It is Chief Fun Officer and not Chief Finance Officer!). Biscuit appeared sad thinking about the missed opportunities, but, the commercial world’s loss is our gain. He is like the humble housewife whose contribution is often underestimated as compared to the working women. Biscuit has a full day helping all the inmates live a full life while challenging squirrels and engaging in shouting matches with his quadruped neighbours in the block.
It takes something special nay foolhardy to join issues with the Bard of Avon, but, if you substitute Rose with ‘Pain in the B#$$’and the alternative name is as exotic as Piriformis syndrome, I think it is fair game. I felt like Kakaji in movie Anand, gloating over his ‘Lymphosercoma of the intestine’! I am speaking of unspeakable and unbearable pain in my glutes about two weeks back which had immobilized me and more importantly kept me from my running for a full three days. Thanks to a chance conversation with my Doctor brother, I got a name (a fancy one at that!) to bandy around which can be fashionably discussed even in mixed company. I have found this that sooner you can give a name to your medical condition and immediately you start feeling better, I guess it is because you move from the uncertainty to an area where others have gone before!
Dr. Google tells me that this condition afflicts people who sit on their backs and/or who run long distances. I think my job is the cause and my wife believes it is my daily dose of running. I have made a concession to walk around a bit during my office hours between files and meetings and a few stretches before the run. Thankfully, I am back to my normal quota of runs.
Weather gods have been kind to the running community these past few weeks and my recuperation has been greatly aided by it. I am normally quite chirpy during my runs and I only get chirpier if the rain gods oblige. It was on one such day that while running with Sameer, the swimming coach to youngsters near Anna square, I engaged in small talk with a person speaking animatedly near a water puddle and with hilarious consequences. When I answered his repeated query as to ‘How one could survive without the Sun’ with an assurance that the Sun would come out assuming he was worried about the puddle splashing people. He got agitated and asked if I voted for the rising Sun? He castigated me by saying that if one does not vote for the rising Sun then how could it come. Only then it sunk into my thick skull that I have been had by a hard core political analyst and supporter of the opposition party of TN. I got away by promising him that I would consider voting for the rising sun next time around!
The loop around the Island ground forms Km 19-23 of my run and should technically have me tired, but, with enthusiastic greetings from the Army men all through it is the most enjoyable. Now, this part of the run has got even better with the young kids practicing skating and their parents starting to acknowledge me with greetings as they whiz past me multiple times. One young boy really stands out as he seems to enjoy his sport and even greets me as he crosses me on my way back on the Radhakrishnan Salai when he is relaxing on the pillion of the scooter!
Many incidents worthy of adorning this blog happened in the last few weeks of the run, but, newer encounters get overwritten on the older ones. Two days back when I was refuelling myself at the water point near Saravana cafĂ©, an athletic looking man rushed to me and said that he is from Rajapalayam (a town known for its breed of dogs!). He said he has come for an event (It was Arignar Anna’s birthday!) and I thought would it be my introduction to the political class. He said that he has read about me in a Tamil magazine in a saloon while waiting for his turn and that led to his reading the book ‘Born to Run’. He stated that he has graduated to barefoot running and has inspired a set of youngsters in his town to take up long distance running. Talk of the power of the media! While I was about to ask him about his name and job, a scooter bumped into a parked car and fell down with the young rider thrown on the ground. We rushed to help him. The boy had a bout of fits and we helped him endure the episode politely turning down the people coming forward to give him a metal object. I quietly slipped away to complete my run feeling good about a chance to help a kid ( inwardly feeling sad that my repeated requests to them to wear helmets and not drive rashly goes unheeded!) and having met an admirer!

While on the topic of rash driving, the scene on the Cathedral road was gory today morning with lots of smashed auto rickshaws. This is the place where many of these are parked and drivers sleep in their parked vehicles. I had thought that it was another rash two wheeler riders doing, but, it transpires it was a drunk racing car driver who killed one of the drivers and smashed a few autos.