May 31, 2005

Summer holiday 1: Training day

cliff richards sang we are going on a summer holiday in the background as i took the train to pune.

hadn't been in a train for 5 years, so sat at the edge of my familiar blue rexine berth, waiting for the magic to happen.

and it did. age cannot wither it, nor custom stale its infinite variety.
there were people selling dal wadas and chai-chai ing as soon as i got in. even kela bhaji (unless i heard wrong). i went through meera syal's anita and me, and rushdie's fury..

and the naps i took! there's nothing quite as relaxing as napping on the upper berth of an ac compartment, when you know you're going to be away from work for a whole week.. you sleep, you read a little. then the gentle swaying of the train lulls you back to sleep.. perhaps a stroll at the next station and a pre-nap snack?

unfortunately, the return journey had teufelkinder in my compartment. they spilt water, played with the light and fan switches, stepped on everyone's feet, shouted at the tops of their voices, played with their mum's cellphone till midnight and in the morning it turned out that they were both bedwetters.
note to self: do not use railway sheets or blankies in future.

totally blame the parent though- her idea of disciplining the brats was to feed them chips, cuff them on the head or ignore their antics. the train trip was totally wasted on those kids. they didnt once try to walk from one end of the train to the other! or crisscross from one upper berth to another. or even play the railway station name game..

May 16, 2005

best of the best

cheekiest tshirt of the bangalore marathon:
my grandma runs faster than you

sunniest part of the race:
the treeless part near raj bhavan

least helpful comment from an organizer:
you're 1 km away from the end. almost.

most irritating war cry of the race:
go aditi go. go aditi go. this is half an hour before the start. where, pray, does aditi want to go?

moment of pune pride:
the full marathon was won by k.c. ramu from the army sports institute, pune

personal resolution at the end:
pune half marathon at the end of this year. goodbye sweaty masses, hello real running

and a good time was had by all.

May 12, 2005

olive oyl

why is olive oil always drizzled over food?
never smeared or sprayed. decanted or daubed. poured- forgeddaboutitt
drizzled makes it sound so light and healthy, like summer rain

May 10, 2005

the postman always rings twice

a parcel was sent to my old address. went to the hatchet-faced landlady to recover it. she stoutly denied i'd received any mail since leaving. stoutly.
then i cunningly asked "and the parcel?"
she broke down and confessed. there had been a parcel. from amreeka. but the name was wrong. (i stepped on her toes till she admitted that the wrong name was mine) so the postman took it back.

so then i discovered the post office in the area. no place to park, and its located practically under the dairy circle flyover, so stopping there was not an option. i tried not to feel very guilty about parking in the kidwai cancer hospital next door. but i paid and there was plenty of room and there seemed to be a large number of people taking siestas under the raintrees. so i felt better about the parking and worse about the cancer patients.

the postmaster directed me to a postperson who cross questioned me about the parcel. i stuck to my story about a parcel from amreeka. began to get ready to step on his toes, but he scurried away to look in three cupboards for my parcel. like mother hubbard, his cupboards too were bare.
then he explained that the parcel had been returned to sender. just like the elvis song.
so my pore parcel will have travelled quite a bit.

am wondering though, who pays for this? the indian post? but it's not their fault. u.s. post? why should they?
or the sender- sounds most likely. pay for it, or the parcel gets it!!

poor jenn, thats the last time she sends me an easter present.

May 06, 2005

ghosts of marathons past- part deux

the last race i ran was the pune international marathon.. run against aids. describing it makes mme want to start with the love story song "where do i begin, to tell the story?" and at this point the lyrics change dramatically..
the marathon was on in winter- a pleasant time to run in pune, apart from all that lowlying smog. the start was on the garware bridge, leading on towards lakshmi road. i wont quibble about the giant tshirts airtel provided us with. i wasnt planning to run in it anyway, but it would be nice to have it for future runs.
(sometimes it seems like people do things just to get the free tshirts)
so 7 am on garware bridge. we're running the "celebrity run". so we had mahesh bhupathi, anju bobby george and bobby anju george. kader khan appeared but did not run. having seen him, i can tell how michael j will look if he puts on weight and reaches a ripe old age.
a band begins to play. rather pleasing. then a loudspeaker is turned on, with recorded music. the band tries to compete. the loudspeaker wins and the band sulks.
a moment of grotesque horror is introduced by the larger than life size mascots who appear. they are in animal suits- one looks like a tall, emaciated garfield, the other are unrecognizable to me. grotesque because they are lanky instead of being cuddly. they wave an arm occasionally, in an attempt to dance and get the crowd moving. all the animal suits are grubby! makes you wonder what these mascots get up to in their off hours..
i'll skip the bit about shaan singing the aids song.. the wheelchair race is flagged off. meanwhile a few serious marathoners are warming up. a little later, all 20 of them are off too.
then 10,000 school children run (hence the publishitty that 10,020 puneites are running against aids).
all this time we're not allowed to move from our seating area. suddenly we're herded out and suresh kalmadi in a trademark blue suit and white sneakers sends us off, while rati agnihotri smiles and waves. i promptly get separated from my mother who was also running. so i cling to mahesh bhupathi, assuming that if there's a stampede, he's the first one they'll save. a tall white guy who looks like a bouncer gets me out of 'hesh's way. later i learn that he's not a firang bouncer, he's aditya pancholi (panscholi?). that does it, i'm never watching any more of his films.
it's still a lil chilly, but the crowd thins out as the first mad sprinters are already slowing to a hobble. we run up lakshmi road, while children wave and brass bands play. this is the best moment - i dont usually get this reaction when i run.
there's a right turn on the road to go towards nehru stadium, where our 3k odyssey ends. a blue suited chappie with sneakers, cap and whistle (marathon official uniform) tells me to keep going straight. i point, mutter but shrug and keep going.
a jeep passes us with 'hesh, bouncer and 'resh. they wave and smile. apparently the jeep picked them up 100 m from the start.
the legs begin to tire. 3k have never seemed so long before. we run over a slippery area where the 10,000 kids from before have burst water packets.
i see a sign saying kilometre 5.
then i see people turning back.
i too turn back and start walking/ jogging from 7 loves chowk towards nehru stadium. since this isnt part of the marathon route, traffic is all over the place.
everywhere i see the same baffled expression on people's faces: why oh why did we leave our car keys/cellphones/money behind?
it is less amusing to see people running the veteran's marathon- one i met was over 70 and running barefoot. no organizer is around to transport him or some 8 year old kids to the stadium, as the heat rises.
i finally stumble onto nehru stadium, from behind the finish line, an hour after the last of the people who managed to take the correct route.
dad and i then wait for my mum. knowing her, we expect her to finish the 26 miles.. she arrives half an hour later in a rickshaw. she'd run down CDA, main street, ambedkar statue, and to nehru memorial where theyd told her a nehru bus would ferry em back to nehru stadium. the bus was there but without instructions, his hands were tied. as a special treat, boiled eggs had been laid out for tired runners. after running 8k, in the sun, boiled eggs would exactly hit the spot, no?
anyway, we shrug off the whole thing, go off for breakfast. on our way home, we pass the real marathoners nearing the end. loudspeakers blast "karu nahitar maru" ("we will do or die") at them.
ahhh, so was there cunning plan to rid pune of its pesky celebritites?

May 03, 2005

Billions of blistering barnacles!

got my official blister for the Bangalore marathon today. high fives all around! dont wanna drive away my straggling readership, so shant ad nauseumate about the blister.
Am compiling bad running songs, the entries so far:

-Gloria Gaynor's I will survive
Ludwig says so. ludwig doesn't get the chick empowerment thing.

- Aaj jane ki zidd na karo from the monsoon wedding soundtrack
can you imagine trying to keep running, when all you wanna do is lie back under the stars surrounded by thumris, jhumkas and sleekh kebobs

-O'bladdy o'bladda
i love the beatles, but this song is not conducive to pacing yourself for the long haul. would make one want to gambol about like a puppy. and anything that reminds one of one's bladder is a definite no-no.

-Fat bottomed girls -Queen
no explanation necessary

May 02, 2005


this blog wasn't started with any definite purpose.. to stop it from being completely useless, here's a request for information:

does anyone knows of a place in bangalore where western classical instruction on the violin is provided? those suggesting the bangalore school of music and the place near the koramangala club, pliss excuse.