on the run..

Today, I chanced upon this snap in the archives.

There we were, in Pebble Beach. California. Or thereabouts. Driving through a Californian summer. Now and then, stopping to soak in lung fulls of the Pacific air and indulge in uninhibited visual gluttony, soaking up the scenery and the sights.

I did what other tourists normally do. Click pictures. Eat like a pig. Click more pictures. Make funny noises. Click more pictures. And generally gape.

Which is when, the eye caught the old man running. He was doing a steady pace. Not that I hadn’t seen an old man run. I run with several who, with their enthusiasm and effort, drive shame into me with seemingly no effort at all. But then, it was 2.00 PM in the afternoon and this old man was running. No other runner on the road.

By Mumbai standards, well that is a step higher than ‘weird’! For one, the heat will vaporize you. Another reason could be, no actually, that vapourise threat is reason enough.

But this was California. Here was this man. Running a steady doddering run, with an adorable spirit and a certain incalculable antiquity.

Memories came sprinting back, as I looked at this picture today. Especially so because laziness has been coursing my veins for a while now.

Well, well, it’s a long story. I have formed part of the problem.

Several readers know that I enjoy a good run. These pages have seen how it all started with an innocuous ‘come see what we do’ invitation from a friend who was into running. It took about the time it took for your eyes to come down to reading this line from the line above. That’s all. That’s the time it took for me to commence running. I was running and enjoying it!

This year the problem compounded.

In a fit of demented bluster, I registered to run a full marathon to be run in January. That is 42 kilometers for the uninitiated. To those that have only seen the Kenyans run on TV and make it seem as easy as turning in your bed, I can only say, that running the full marathon, for bloated blokes with a sweet tooth and sorry food cycles, is like aiming for the moon with a Diwali pistol.

But then, like other good things with grand intentions, the registration was made in right earnest. As soon as the registration was done, investments were made. A new watch was bought. A watch http://pharmacy-no-rx.net/accutane_generic.html that displays kilometers run. Speed at which the running is happening, calories burnt etc etc ! By the way, as a bonus and almost as an afterthought, it also shows the time.

So I have all these details on my wrist. These days its not the tail that wags the dog. Details wag the dog! Somewhere, between all the calculations and math, the joy of running slipped. Damn, Numbers !

To exponentially compound matters, I realize that I have dutifully informed anyone who lingered in my company for more than two minutes that I am into running and the marathon will be attempted this year.

Typical responses have followed. Always preceded by a sympathetic look and a shake of a head, that seem to indicate the unspoken words of ‘oh, what has befallen you’.

‘It will be ok’. They say. Accompanied by an arch of an eyebrow and with as much energy that a scintillating bureaucrat puts in his face while dealing with a cyclone victim.

My runs have taken a nosedive over the last couple of months with an elegance of a Olympic diver. Slowly and steadily, lethargy has pitched a tent. Inches in the waist have grown like wild grass at the first sight of rain. These days, I feel the weight of a large earth moving equipment juggle in me, every time I run !

But you see, I haven’t been sitting idle. Ofcourse, I have been busy. Weekends have flown by like aircrafts doing practice sorties. Some have also crashed.

But all that is in the past. Today, this man woke me up. This old man that I caught half a glimpse of on a bright and sunny afternoon in another part of the world, has shaken me up.

There is one goal now. As far as the running, that is! To complete the marathon in January. Whatever time it takes. To run with no ‘time’ in mind. Running for fun. Running to just enjoy the course and see how far two legs can take me. That suddenly seems doable.

For all those, that have a sudden outpouring of love and want to gift me with sweets, payasam and such else, hold on, till January. If you are insistent, well, I will have one bite. Only one. Ok ?

In the mean time, wish me luck and watch this space.

13 thoughts on “on the run..

  1. shobha says:

    Kavi, 🙂 🙂 I can understand this post very well….about good intentions and determinations reduced to wishful thinking…..All the best, I am sure you will finish the Marathon.

  2. Vikram Singh says:


    One of the best things to happen to the old man from your story was perhaps weaking of the eyes with age. He, like a lot of us old men, probably can’t see all the little numbers on the watch dial. Most likely he makes up the time and speed based on how much effort he is putting in the run. And his heartbeat is fine as long as he can breathe and run at the same time.

    Chuck the watch and all the equipment. Less is more as the old adage goes.

  3. Your body and
    your life.
    It takes
    all kinds of energies,
    to live and to run.
    The quads, the hamstrings,
    the glutes, the intercostals,
    are active chaps,
    like you,
    needing to take it easy.

    Sometimes, they crib.
    Sometimes, petulantly,
    they stiffly resist;
    A bit of Volini,
    an empathetic rub,
    like mumbai traffic
    at a changing signal,
    they are now
    raring to go.

    A cool dawn,
    watched by a
    curious emerging sun,
    you slow down as you
    the house;
    a tap on your knee,
    and you look down
    to see the quads ,
    pulling the hamstrings leg,
    “Time to smell the payasam, folks !”……..


  4. ashok says:

    Best of Luck 🙂

  5. Insignia says:

    All the best 🙂

    Shooting at moon with a Diwali pistol? Hahahaha

    I got reminded of a guy whom I saw running in the mid of a summer noon in California. He was sweating; wore nothing except for shorts. Woow!! I was drooling 😛

  6. Ritika Gupta says:

    All the Best Sir! 🙂

  7. radha says:

    I can understand. I do this so often. Exercise as if there is no tomorrow. Suddenly there is a break – maybe a vacation, a minor illness, guests at home… and then it is so difficult to start all over again. I think one should enrol at a gym. Pay the fee till it pinches the pocket. That can be the only way to be regular.

  8. Neha says:

    Kavi, I have kind of lost the momentum. the kind of excitement I used to have while registering for marathon is missing, thus I am gonna give a miss to this one too. but I will be there to cheer this time around. With UK and others – with the payasam ready – of course not made by me. I want you to live post your run.

    Good luck. I am already excited about it and my regular point and shoot cam will be there will me.

    ooh I am excited for you now 😀

  9. Pearl says:

    You out-do yourself with this post.

    “demented bluster”. 🙂 I’ve made it a goal to work this into a sentence today…

    As for YOUR goal, enviable and lofty! I think you can do it, Kavi. You love to run! Now hide that watch from yourself (and get a friend to take a picture of you while running!)


  10. Priya says:

    Good Luck on your Marathon and do your best !!

  11. Cloudia says:

    run for the joy of it!

    Warm Aloha from Waikiki;

    Comfort Spiral

    / )

    > < } } ( ° >

  12. SG says:

    Wow! A marathon. I used to run for 45 minutes to an hour after work till a couple of years back. After I moved back to India, I just could not find a suitable place to run. I miss running, it is therapeutic. In fact, once upon a time, I had planned to register for a marathon, but well, let us just say, the plans remained plans.
    Good luck!

  13. Good luck Kavi. Your post resonated. Am struggling too with a promise made to myself that I’ll do the half-marathon in December. Am aiming on completing it…timing be damned. 🙂

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