Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Spare a Thought

The recent events in M'lore isn't really the most comforting news to anyone who has the habit of frequenting flashy restaurants with female company.
If you watched the video, you could see girls getting beaten up worse than how you'd dust your carpet against the wall on a Sunday morning. Not to be funny, but that the only other activity which comes close to the force with which these girls were hit before they could figure out where to run for cover. All because of the allegation that they were doing, may be, drugs/some dancing or drinking/ improperly dressed. All these are a possibility, people doing drugs are a lot closer to you than you would've previously imagined (for people who don't know), yes, there was some skin on show, a lot more fair skin than what the assaulter would've seen in real life all his life, but, blankets, cloaks compared to what those hooligans would probably see on the Internet every night while they jerk off. And yet, nobody is policing the Internet as aggressively as it is required today.
People taking drugs should be punished, yes, people smoking should be punished, yes too. people who drink too, i agree. As of now the police are cracking down on narcotics irrespective of gender, race and nationality, I'd stand up and clap for that. But, you don't see men slapped on the face, surrounded by a group of men and hit on the head with slippers or hurled across the street like a piece of wood if they're found smoking, drinking booze or visiting brothels, do you? No, you don't, then why this "special" treatment? Booo.... You don't have to be a feminist to figure out what happened recently wasn't merely barbaric, but totally uncivilized, heinous and fundamentalistic.
This wasn't the first of all crackdowns in the country, When i was in Chennai, there was a crackdown on a pub where a few school and college kids decided to try out a few drinks. The police raided the bar, took everyone they found (there were under-aged ones too) into custody, kept them overnight at the station, called their parents / took contact details the next morning and let them go after giving them a stern warning. Well, that was the police. The fact that a fundamentalist organization carried out this raid and not the body in-charge of law-keeping says a lot on how much control the police have over such issues of fundamentalism and extremism in the name of religion, moral values and anti-western movements.
In retrospect, a group of drunken men outraged the modesty of two women in Mumbai in full view of the public and the press, when the masses were questioned, it was largely put on the women, them being improperly dressed and wandering out at the wrong time of the night. A group of non-drunken men groped and molested college girls during the parade celebrating India's victory in the 20-Twenty world cup, the press even shamelessly took statements from one of the girls which described everything that they did to her, published them in the papers and in two days, the news just disappeared from the papers, but i see the news of Scarlet Keeling's murder in the papers even till today! Why double standards? Why don't they slap those men on their faces, beat them up with slippers for molesting? Are they afraid of something? Or do they think it's justified? Were the women "very inviting" and therefore, men being men, did it?
Whatever it is, it has happened, and I am at shame for it in front of people from other states i know. I'd surely be scared to go out with my friends, girls now. Who's to tell where they'll attack next and what guarantee do i have that I'll not be beaten up for having coffee on the 14Th of Feb with my friend (a guy) cause some deranged group of people might think I'm gay or (a girl) that I'm embracing western cultures and becoming westernized? Moral policing, the disadvantages with that according to me is that it's very perspective-based and there're no hard set rules which apply to all. I hope heads will roll over this issue and something will be done to the people responsible, be it politically or personally responsible, they should all be punished as the same.

Monday, January 26, 2009


It had been quite a while since the last eclipse had occurred, but even then, the hype was pretty low, no warnings, no live coverages, to exclusive shows on TV channels talking for hours repeating the same 10 second clip of a woman looking at the sun through tinted glasses and no "do's and dont's", no coverage of the of the special poojas for world peace, politicians success/others' failures, country's growth etc.
What did happen without even having been asked for is the shops shut right on time, in fact, some hotels didn't even open, hard luck for a guy trying to escape from the spring cleaning (in winter) going on at home by a very over enthusiastic mother to get a cup of coffee. Roads looked deserted, there were few cars, fewer bikes and even fewer policemen, everyone having been pulled up for the R-Day parade in various places. That left Mysore like how it was supposed to be all this while, peaceful and quiet! The day was nothing special really, just another day in the cosmic sense of it all! just the sun and the moon doing their job, the earth doing it's job, and incidentally, earth happens to find itself in the right spot at the right time, sometimes to watch Venus pass by, or as in this case to watch the moon do so. I sometimes wonder, if the sun and the moon had any voices (and some attitude) they'd watch us getting all excited and the physicists trying to set up instruments to take measurements to confirm the general theory of relativity (yet again, during totality) and they'd go "yeah, so???..... dude, you just got lucky this time, we do it all the time, just that you're not around to see it!" Just a bit of nonsense thrown in to keep things light! Well, at around three in the after noon, i got bored of playing Colin McRae and beating the living daylights out of my fellow competitors, so decided to go out and witness the event and may be even take some pictures. It was a nice sight, the pics came out well too. Have a look!

Among other things, I'd been to an ice cream parlour, Kind of a famous one in Mysore and notice around eight to ten, well, as my friend sub calls them "F.O.Bs" or Fresh Off the Bus people. They weren't fresh off the bus from any town. They were fresh off induction, you know, not just any induction, Infy Induction, the time when they make you sign books full of forms, policies, waivers etc... give you a debit card with no money in it and no name on it and a flashy tag to wear! yes, the flashy tag, ID card, the most annoying piece of attire, both inside campus (when i was employed) and outside, as it was the case this evening! I remember all the HR ppl (doing their job for once) shouting at the top of their voices, still in diplomatic language, to "remove the tag when you step out of the gates, do not display your tag outside the campus" and you can always hear them think "else you're asking to be robbed (and/or groped if you happen to be dressing up like the girls i saw)". But, they never listen and they'll never learn (they actually will, when they get into production and start hating their job at which time they'll be embarrassed to admit they work in infy), unless they're robbed once, and believe me that happens! So, if you're reading this and if you're from infy, don't, i repeat, do not wear your tag on the road, nobody's gonna respect you anything more cause of that piece of thread! in fact employees look down upon you as ignorant fools! Anyway, that's my bit of social service for you! rest is your luck!
That's about it from me for today! Goodnight!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Case of Frozen Knees

After many a days of practice and "psyching up" for a big run, the day was finally upon me, a clear and sunny day but chilly nonetheless. today myself and sub didn't plan on doing much. Just a stroll, eat well, sleep, have dinner and run was the plan on our minds, but turned out a little differently, I have to say. Firstly sub had to get his insurance renewed, so was off to somewhere near Mahaveer Jain college, while he was busy honking away at the chicks to make way for his one-shock machine, I was *cough* busy with other things. Once the insurance formalities were done, we were almost near his place when I, like a block head, came up with the idea of going to Gangarams. It was about turn and back to M.G road again, after doing two laps of M.G in search of parking, we finally set foot on the road and were on our way to Gangarams. I made him buy FEM (sorry sub) and I bought Bertrand Russell as usual and some book on time management, well, yes, I suck at it, thanks!
By the time we were done there and came back, it was post-lunchtime and pre-snack time at all the hotels, all except, of course, pizza hut and the good old Murali the waiter! But we didn't want to have something as heavy as a pizza, something which is good in calories, what else, pasta, garlic bread, green salad and ice tea. This is probably not the best combo of food 7 hours before a half marathon, but we couldn't improvise any further.
After that, we split wanting to catch some sleep, but both of us couldn't get any sleep, the nerves had stretched themselves tight by now! so I passed time tossing in bed till it was 1930hrs and arrived at sub's place while he was still having dinner.
There was a small discussion on what to wear and we finally agreed that we would wear something warm. But, I didn't want to run in pants, so, told him I'll change there into my shorts. When we arrived at the venue of the event, it was a medium sized part going on with bands, salsa, food and lights! I saw the Ethiopians warming up at the end of the field, and I thought I would need some warm up too (not to compete with them, mind you). I started running at a very slow pace and immediately felt the tightness in my left knee, it was then I realised that it was gonna be a long, long night!
Start time nearing, I was all set to run, when the clock hit zero, everyone started their own race, and I started mine, so extremely slow, sub was already way ahead of me, I was still cold and showing no signs of warming up. I couldn't possibly run any faster without pushing my knee over the limit, so relaxation and breathing was the key as I set my own pace, acknowledging the every enthusiastic people who were standing at the side of the road bearing the freeze just to cheer us on. At around 15 Minutes into my run, I was swamped by a group of girls each one smelling of a different perfume, perfume! in the middle on the night! the fragrance was the least of my worries! Because these were not the seasoned running girls, these were girls who belonged on the ramp, figures, you know, with the dimpled elbows, knees which've never had a scar in life and rounded calves. seeing them overtake me, caused a panic in my head. With all due respect to those girls, well done for their run, but I have been running for a year and a half now. completed 3 big runs and have been constantly practising for this, being overtaken was the last thing I expected from them. As I looked on while their silhouette kept getting smaller and smaller in the orange light, I began to calm myself down saying, "relax gk, they won't last long, they won't last long, you'll pass them all, they don't know they're going too fast, you've had more than enough training" but I was wrong, they did last long! very long! while I was nearly a kilometre before the U-turn in the course, I met sub, he was nearly two km ahead of me on the course, I asked him how long I had to run before I could turn, clearly he wasn't keeping track of distance cause all he did was shrug his shoulders and point in the direction I was running!
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the U turn came. and I was glad to make the turn, I had to go back to the start line and do this once more to finish the half marathon! surely, I could finish it walking at least. But there was something worse waiting for me. Just one hour into my run, my trot became a walk and I saw the first of the marathoners in full gallop as they zipped past me like someone was chasing them on a cho-cho match! I walked to the 10km walk and tried to run again, by then my thighs were too cold, I couldn't feel my hands and my knee was frozen solid refusing to let my leg bend! so I walked again, trying to explain to curious people why I still hadn't worked up a sweat, wasn't even panting for breath, but was already limping on the road. I made it two km and decided that I'd act wise and just call it quits, there was no point in continuing any more, I would have been risking my knee and my entire future athletic life if I had decided to continue. So I came to a stop, jumped the median and hopped on an ambulance to hitch a ride to the finish line. In the ambulance, I found one of the Ethiopians lying with cramps in both his legs, caused, he claimed, due to lack of practice owing to a sickness he'd suffered earlier.
Having reached the finish line in an ambulance, cold and broken-hearted, I went to collect my warmers and jacket, the Ethiopian was helped out of the ambulance, he was in a worse condition that I am, visibly in pain and unable to walk. I collected my clothes and was warming myself up, striking a conversation with some people nearby and waiting for sub to come. But there had been a little confusion regarding the meeting point, cause while I was sitting here waiting for him, sub had finished somewhat of a power nap on the median after finishing the race in a very decent 2hours and 56Minutes! After meeting up with him, we decided to have coffee in the nearby coffee day (we always seem to be lucky when it comes to coffee), there was a mad rush with people waiting in a queue for coffee and the ones who were lucky enough to get access to the restroom, coffee and a chair, in that order, were fast asleep in their seats! We managed to get some seats finish out coffee and were on our way back home riding in the shivering cold. we stopped on the way somewhere at a tea stall hoping to warm ourselves up with some tea. Sub here had a moment spilling the tea with a uncontrollable jerk due to the cold! The rest of the journey was pretty fine, we reached home by six and I was soon fast asleep with the thick blanket sub gave me. He on the other hand was in somewhat of a rush having completed his first half marathon and didn't sleep! so the rest of the day, he was understandably drowsy.
This was the way my first attempt at the half marathon had to end! Sad, but then, looking back at it, I consider myself to be lucky that I was able to get back to cycling the very next day. The next one is a 10k run in May. It's gonna be a different story then! Chao for now

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Big Run.

This weekend's the TOI Bengaluru Midnight Marathon a much anticipated event since it's going to be my first half-marathon, considering I complete the whole thing in some decent time! In view of that I started preparing for it since the past week or so and my injured left leg hasn't made it optimal so far. I thought rationally and decided that since my left leg is going to get injured again in the marathon anyway, why should I strain it even more in training and risk the chance of completing the event? but, if I become a couch potato for a week it'll mean the end of this run! I won't make it past 5K for sure, so, I needed to keep the legs pumped up, at the same time, avoiding any further impact-related exercises which would harm my left knee any further. What's the only alternative? yup, cycling! The plan was to do around 25km a day in the morning cold. Things have gone slightly off track cause I've managed to cycle 10km one day, 16km the other and today I somehow managed a good 28km in the morning,Chamundi Hill to back. (heh, some consolation). It was difficult today, may be because of the dinner I had yesterday, only chapathi, no carbs etc. The plan is to eat as much carbs as possible this week, but it's only easier said than done when you get bored easily with more than two servings of rice, potatoes are bad for our stomach, high-energy chocolates are expensive and late to kick in and there're no banana shops in the morning when you forget to keep a stock of it at home.
28 minutes was the time it read on my watch, 4 minutes slower than my best time, but a very effective one as I concentrated on using all the muscles in my legs and backside, equally in both the legs, which ended up giving me a backache when I was almost at the summit.
Things are going fine, my impact-free exercise routine seems to be working, my knee is recovering, I'm burning off whatever little fat-pockets I had remaining and my muscles are getting used to being used for hours at a stretch without complaining. Fluids levels are on the level most of the times unlike Nov/Dec 2007 when I used to dehydrate every alternate day and had to top up salts externally to stop myself from going dizzy and disoriented while walking, heart-rate is in the late 40's early 50's beats per minute, so physiologically I'm prepared, mentally I can force myself to be prepared, physically, hmm , not so sure about my left knee to be frank, still a little worried about that. The race is going to be in the middle of the night, and at that time, the only logical way would be forward whether you are able to run or not. It's not like the earlier races I've run, where people could just skip the median, catch an auto and go back to the parking lot in the stadium. This is going to be in the middle of the night, thinking about it, it'll be 1 in the morning, 1 AM when runners are going to start giving up, probably 10k into their runs, due to multiple factors, the darkness, not being able to see the road that far ahead causes an anxiety which can sap you off energy, improper dinner/dinner time, the cold which might cause cramps, the time of the day and how it affects the body in the form of fatigue and sleep etc. Many factors totally.
The cold is now one of my biggest worries. I've observed that I always take time to warm up. It would not be a good idea to turn up to the even in those skimpy running shorts and tee shirt. I'll have to wear something very warm till the time I go join the group to take the start, but then how long will that take? where will I keep the warmers? how long should I warm up? I'm sure it's going to be at least 12 degrees on that night, probably even lesser. may be it wasn't a good idea for the organization to hold a midnight race in the dead of winter.
But then, all these are just thoughts, once I put on my shoes, I'm sure many of those thoughts are going to disappear, leaving very few things to worry about, probably only the cold. being stranded in the middle, probably will never happen, but even if it happens, I'm counting on the race volunteers to help me out with it. Hmm , so a few more days of exercise left. Planning to stop with Friday morning's workout and then keep stretching, warmed up all of Friday and Saturday, eating good food, having a good sleep and using my legs as little as possible.
Interesting indeed, have to wait and see how this one turns out! One thing is for sure though, I will be a little more fitter than at least a few people in the group, so if I'm having these worries, they should be having nightmares about it. So, if they're fine, it's either ignorance or confidence, either way, it helps not to worry about such things, yes? Wish me luck!

p.s. if anything goes wrong, Shazo will be on standby I hope. Stay awake Shazo!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The last meeting of 2008, zara hatke!

I couldn't have put it better than Shazo did! :) Just read and enjoy!

My First Long By Shazo!

P.S. Congrats Shazo!