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Monday, September 28, 2009

Of an indifferent brother, harmless accidents and a romantic Bee

Thanks for all the comments. They have renewed my commitment to blogging and….running. More on running in the next post. This article is about something else. If you figure out what it is about, let me know as well.

My brother arrived on Saturday morning for the Singapore F1 weekend with nothing but a handbag or a smaller version of a travelling bag as he calls it. I think ‘tiny’ would have been the right description and even that would be stretching the limits of imagination. But really, packing was just a glimpse of his under-preparation. The full extent made itself apparent when it turned out that he was expecting me to be his tour guide for the weekend. I rightfully advised him to spend some time on the internet and figure out his itinerary by himself. He reluctantly did that while complaining an awfully lot about it.

Oh…and complain he does. In fact, that’s all he does. Either the food is not good or it is too hot or the TV menu is difficult to figure out. Apparently, the immigration authorities also warned him that they wouldn’t allow him to travel on his soiled passport next time. I wouldn’t blame them. They were probably and rightly worried about the potential spread of negativity and depression.

When his negativity is augmented by his indifference, you wonder how this gene made its way through the evolution. He is just not curious. I took him to the East Coast Park for lunch and he simply…..ate. And he did nothing else. He didn’t notice the green panorama disappearing into a shallow coastline. He didn’t notice the busied human beings showcasing an alternate life-style. Hell, he didn’t even notice the pretty girl sitting at the next table. Back home, I had to specifically point out the stylish interiors of the apartment that I live in, in an effort to extract a compliment. My car received five compliments from his couple friends in a short five minute ride while it is yet to be regarded favorably, or for that matter unfavorably, by him.

So I wisely left my brother to himself. Instead, I surrendered myself to a series of random and not so random events that unfolded. It started with a spare pass for a guided tour to the Red Bull Garage. I took a cab because of the road closures. The cabbie promptly ran into the nearest concrete divider that was also lined up with some serious iron railing. All of it happened in relatively slow motion with no other vehicle within a mile on either side. I could see the road curving but the cab wasn’t. A quick look at the driver showed that his attention was caught by something in the glove box. As I screamed bloody murder, he lazily pressed the brakes out of reflex action. The car hit the divider at about 60km/hr, came back on the road due to the equal and opposite force before swerving and finally hitting the curb from the rear side. When the dust had settled, we got out to survey the damage. The rear right door was wedged in at an acute angle and so was the case with one of the iron rails. Both of us survived without any scratches. The car was not so lucky, though. The hilarity of the situation was further accentuated when the driver asked me – How did this happen?

Luckily, Mark Webber’s car had also crashed the day before and as we walked in, the car was wide open and was being operated upon by various sleep-deprived technicians. You would have expected a lot of rocket-science to have gone into the car but it was just a hodge-podge of tubes, card-boards and similar other junk you can find in your neighborhood dump-yard. It is amazing how a bunch of engineers operating out of their garage can manually assemble a car that is at the cutting-edge of racing technology. What is even more unbelievable is the disproportionate presence of hot females in a crew which is otherwise dominated by engineers and in a sport (if you can call it that) which has a largely male following. But I wasn’t complaining. Neither was Rubens Barrichello when I ran into him.

I was entertained in the evening by Black-Eyed-Peas and Beyonce. I danced after a long time. A bee got too excited in the process, bit me, paused to reflect upon its life and then decided to die. It must have been because it realized that it would never be able to achieve anything more significant in its future life. I, on the other hand, have different ideas. I will see you around.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Run Beta Run # 1

In the past month and a half, when I didnt post any article, my hit count has more than doubled. Taking the hint, ideally, I should not be posting at all. Instead, I should just monetize my blog and make easy money. But I have been inspired otherwise in more than one way. More on that later. Meanwhile, if you are real people, please join my sparse but exclusive followers list and/or leave comments. If it is too much pressure, dont run away and at least continue to visit this space.

So, I have started running again. Not sure why as yet which is quite ironic because just recently I totally psycho-analyzed a friend who had taken up running after investing a life-time into cultivating a vain, shallow and incoherent life style consisting of largely drinking and eating, in that order (Thats a typical Malay for you anyway). He was also not sure why he had suddenly started running. Roles have reversed now. Thankfully, so far he has restricted himself to providing me with running tips only. Quite likely, he is subtly passing me the message that one should always mind one's business. Message taken and would be ignored only selectively.

The first day (or more like night), I ran for 4.4 kms or 2 rounds of a lap which was carefully measured the next week. It told me many things. First and foremost was that I am not fit at all. Second was that it is very difficult to run without music (You see my iPhone was playing the same song over and over again and I had to switch it off. Later I realized that it was a simple case of changing the setting to 'Dont loop' but that was in future). Third and the most important thing is how still your mind can be when your whole body is screaming in cacaphonic agony. Your legs are at a breaking point. Your heart is about to burst. Your hands are shaking uncontrollably. But your mind is hell-bent on trying to achieve that harmony in this chaos. It is focussed on breathing in and breathing out in a rhythmic manner that you can use to tell the time. Pretty soon, nothing matters except that next step that springs from the previous one.

The second evening, I improved upon my distance. I was at 8.8 kms or four rounds of the same lap. The first two laps were easy. It also helped that whenever I felt like giving up, I ran into small crowds and I felt compelled to show off my stamina. I actually increased my speed then. It was only by the third round that I was able to attain that stillness of the mind again. And it felt so good that I continued on for another round after that. Funnily, I couldnt sleep at all that night and the following day, I could have used clutches.

As I write this now, I have increased the distance to 13.2 kms covered in about an hour and a half. It could have been that many kms but really, I still think in terms of number of laps which stand at 6. I really think that if I had chosen a bigger lap in the beginning, I could have covered more. Looks like, I am the victim of my own underachieving myopic vision. I need to find another bigger stretch.

Now, that my breathing is pretty much on auto-pilot mode, I am also thinking of including music in the mix. Tomorrow, I will put together a playlist of angry, anti-establishment rock songs. The body is evil and it needs to be punished.