This weekend there's a run for peace with anti-terrorism being the main theme, It's a course covering 12km according to the papers. So this would be a good thing to start off with for the preparation to the Sunfeast 10K in may. I'd been to register for the event a few hours ago and a peculiar incident happened. As soon as I entered, I was rushed to a counter by a guy with curly hair (if I remember correctly) where two girls stood, both of them, in turns, were trying to talk me into participating in a slow-bike race which was either happening or going to happen later in the day. At first I asked whether it was bicycles, as I planned to go and get my bicycle from home (little did they know they were talking to a two-time slow-cycling podium finisher, mere mortals, ha ha). But they immediately revealed that it was motorbikes, with gear, without gear, anything goes they said, “just go and participate” was the word of motivation given by the tall girl who pointed out where the event would happen, inside the campus in the shade of the trees I assumed. As badly I didn't want to dampen their spirits and be snobbish, my heart also went out to my bike, the Yamaha, it wasn't in a good condition at all, it has a bad clutch slip, bad handling, a bad cooling problem, so much so that you could smell something burning when you parked the bike after a ride, probably more of that old clutch! Most of all it had no brakes, or very little of it to be precise. So I didn't wanna keep blipping away to glory in first gear while the bike would burn its insides out by the time I'm done with the race (and thus give me a 2000 Rupee repair bill, which I'll have to bear apart from fixing it myself!). So, what could I do, I had to tell them, the bad truth, well, I say bad cause, me being a big bike freak apparently, it's a insult to say your bike is not in a good condition, but I went ahead anyway and told them “my bike is not in a good condition, technically” in a sheepish voice and a smile to go with it to break any possibly perceived “attitude problem” and make them understand that I was avoiding it intentionally but sadly inevitably. Then the second girl standing a little further away from me behind a table and leaning into it who had the bluest crystal-like crisp eyes I've ever seen on a person came forward to stick her oar in the negotiation. Try to be a sport, as was the guy and the other girl, she said with a smile that it's a slow-bike race and slow-bike race doesn't demand the bike be in perfect condition, I guess that's what she thought. Well, I couldn't explain the technicalities of my ordeal, so I stood my ground, albeit with half a heart to go and enter the race, one eye on the lookout for the marathon stall and another eye firmly planted into this girls eyes!
Alas, finally, even when the girls had almost torn off the participation ticket from the book, I made some lame excuse, for which I certainly feel bad, that I'm hard-pressed for time, not that I wasn't but not so bad that I absolutely had to miss this event at all cost! They looked disappointed too, all three of them, and they pointed to the marathon stall with a cold glance. I could do nothing but smile and really appreciate the spirit something which I lacked today and I'm ashamed of it.
The marathon guys on the other hand, were more than happy to welcome me and since I already knew the route and other details, the transaction was very brief and quick. I would report at 6AM and get my number and a tee shirt. I said a big thank you and was on my way. Heh, I felt bad and my memories were going back to my college days where I was the silent rebel, almost an outcast. I used to wake up at 8:15 for the 8:30 college, leave home at 8:22, 8:23 would be too late, and would red-line my bike on the revs all the way to the college, many times with an 85 kg ballast in the back seat, managing to reach at 8:29. In college, I never talked much to anyone, kept all to myself and my mind, never participated in anything except being an audience at the rock show every year during the college fest, which I followed quite religiously.
But after I left college I changed my outlook towards the world, became more social, probably more approachable (as a close friend puts it). And learned never to say no to any invitation which came from the heart, in true spirit. Learned to be a sport. But I guess sometimes old things are hard to forget, cause while I was standing there, I was thinking “why don't they just let me go”!! I know why they didn't let me know! And it was a good thing!
Well, you three, the two girls and the guy, if you're reading this, just know that I wanted to, but couldn't. Will hopefully run into you on Saturday. Till then! Cheers!