Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Why am I not excited?

Why then am I not excited
Isn’t this the journey I wanted
More challenges, a canvas more colorfully painted
Why does this dream feel a little dented?

Why then am I not excited
Certainly the prospect is still far from blighted
No danger nor risk expected or sighted
Where has it crept from this feeling slighted?

Why then am I not excited
It was always uncertain I had debated
But the chance was definitely highly rated
Why has some passion abated?

Why then am I not excited
For greener pastures am I fated
How long before I seize her, the destiny who waited
Will I continue or shall I allow to be baited?

Why then am I not excited
Is it real or in my heart created?
This silhouette of opportunity the desire heated
May this fire foment unabated

Wonder for what am I really slated

That keeps me charged and always excited...

Friday, 17 January 2014

Why Chasing the sub 2 hr Half Marathon is Deja vu for taking the CAT

That’s all there is. 2 Hours to change something in you, something about your outlook towards life in general. 2 Hours to glory, to a sense of achievement or despair.
Over the years, as I have chased the elusive (sub) 2 hour mark for the half marathon, I have been reminded of the preparations for rigorous CAT that I had taken a little over a decade back. Some crack it, many despair*.
Though a marathon may not change your life the way clearing the CAT does (perceptibly at least), but I have found that in a small but significant way, it does change something in you. That aside, there are some stark similarities between the two that I have enlisted below:

It’s all about Practice, stupid: I have heard of outliers who wake up one morning and decide to take the CAT at crack it with flying colors with just a month’s preparation. Those aside, for lesser mortals like us, it is a tenacious effort. Months after months of resolute training coupled with personal sacrifices define the Marathon preparation like it does for CAT. Parties missed for the long runs next day, skipping beers at brunch for fear of dehydration in the weeks before the Marathon, waking up early on Sunday mornings to clock those miles while the whole wide world is sleeping – it’s a different world that runners live and thrive in. Practice. Practice. Practice

Master of all trades: You take mock CATs with varying degrees of difficulty in order to hone your skills. There is quant, data interpretation and verbal efficiency – you need to be able to do well across all the sections. You run hills, you fartlek, you do tempo runs, you strengthen your core – all ensuring that your right muscles are getting the right attention. Running requires all your muscles to have homogeneity of purpose towards that single goal

Strategy and Pace: No matter what your preparation, come race day, you ought to be ready to improvise a bit. A slow start, an unexpected incline, rain, humidity, blisters – any of these factors could thwart your preparations asunder. Both are races against time. Believe in the process and make the adjustments. The results will follow.

Support Staff: As all runners would vouch for, around every runner exists an efficient ecosystem of support staff that accommodates the whims and sometimes, tantrums of the runners. A sleep-deprived spouse who is there at the finishing line, a cheering child egging you on, a parent getting up at the dead of the night to wake you, the coaches, the friends who mock but secretly admire, the fellow runners, competitors that are constant source of inspiration – you can’t do it unless you have them around you. Truth be told – we draw our strength from them. Their love and affection get manifested in their various acts of kindness and personal sacrifices. So let’s do it for their smiles and cheers and unconditional support to our personal goals. Crack the CAT or record you new PB – make them PROUD!

It’s all in the mind: Whether you think you can, or you think you can't – you're right (Henry Ford). I couldn’t have put it better. A positive attitude goes a long way in determining your success. That and a little bit of luck may be:-) 

It’s a test for hours two
What makes a marthoner special!Every race is a sense of déjà vu
Practice, practice and practice more
Run some hills, strengthen the core
Come race day conquer all your fears
Run for glory, smiles and the cheers (and beers!)
If in another direction the wind blowed (sic)
Despair not, for this ain’t the end of the road
Keep toiling and step up the drill
Another day another race, you finally will

Happy Running! 

*Note: For the record, I didn’t crack CAT. And my PB for the Half Marathon is 2:00:03 – Yeah, That close! 

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Storm in a teacup?

Why in this world so tranquil
One filled with care and goodwill
I let these drops of love slip between the fingers
And tread a path where nothing but hope lingers

Am I disheartened, I ask
Isn’t this glory in which I bask
Why must then the heart wander
Burn bridges and break hearts tender

What about the dreams we shared
All those promises I made saying I cared
There is no reason not even the slightest fray
Why then all that mattered is going astray?

I know not if the answers exist
Not sure what is it that I insist
On one side is peace and happiness bright
Why then it is the flicker that holds my sight!

Run Run!

Getting into the marathon mode... And what better way to get into the groove than penning down a few lines...

I run
Sometimes to beat the humdrum
Or just for fun
Like a yarn well spun
I run

From chores undone
And thoughts wanton
For spirit to enjoy gay abandon
I run

Be it the harsh sun
Or rain out of season
Without any rhyme or reason
I run

Out of happiness
Away from sorrow
Embracing none
I run. 

Aila Sachin!

I love Sachin, we all do. May be that's the reason why I find it so difficult to digest when he is not able to perform at the Sachin Standard - the gold standard in Cricket. 

It was after a series of such poor performances, where the whole world & their grandmothers wanted him to call it a day. Thankfully, he's now retired from One Day Matches - and the sinking feeling is that Test Matches are not too far. 

I respect Sachin - it is not possible to not love him, adore him, for he has provided us the reason to follow and cherish cricket for over two decades. Below are just some humorous lines on SRT's form of late... Needless to say, and I am sure Sachin would agree, such banter means to offence!

1) Nursery Rhyme revisited:

Ding Dong Bell
Not all is too well
Why put him in
Our Little Master Sach-in
Please pull him out
Save the ugly rout!
What a wonderful boy was that
But now back at drop of the hat
Who never did anything wrong
Will this series be his swansong?

(this one was written during the last England tour where they hammered India both in Tests & One-Days)

2) Why was Rahul Dravid wearing a t-shirt that said ‘retire’?
So that Sachin could see the writing on the Wall!

3) What’s the similarity between Life of Pi & SRT?
One’s lost in the sea looking for ground & the other is at sea on the ground. 

4) Teacher: Opposite of ‘in’ is ‘out’. Give me another example
Little Johny: Sach-in opposite Sach-out

Knock Knock
Who’s there?
Sach who?
Sach is life!

Aila Sachin!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Tiger Tiger Burning Bright!

The maximum city comes to a standstill with the passing away of one of the most influential political leaders in the state. Many are crestfallen, mourning the end of an era. While there are others who are left wondering whether grief (both the feeling and the display) is a matter of personal choice. 

William Blake's famous lines revisited for the present context in Mumbai! 

Tiger, Tiger, burning bright
Not a man nor car in sight
Matters not what is right
For fear makes respect slight

In what distant depths or skies
Was this man who now lies
A leader extraordinaire for sons of the soil
But why no regard for others who also toil

Why then the love for another man
Greater when it only is for the clan
With gusto and blinded reason followed fraternity
In enforcing ideology it transgressed liberty

Such love such adoration in his final call
Yeh hai Mumbai meri jaan, after all!
Teeming millions gathered for last rite
Tiger, Tiger, burning bright!

Bala Saheb Thackeray - R.I.P

Thursday, 4 October 2012

The Spanish Chronicles (Part III)

The Trip

It would be foolhardy for me to try & capture the details of the Spain trip. For one, there's so much that i saw and did and ate! For another, the whole trip was so surreal at times that words can't really do justice. I can, of course, resort to the more popular style - post photos on Facebook and here with some attempts at witty one-line descriptions. 

Confused that I am, I have, therefore, tried to capture some of the facets of the trip - with the trademark one-liners wherever I could conjure one!

Real Madrid - The 1st Love!

In Madrid the affair with Sangria, Paella & Tapas started, oh heaven
Scene of life cosmopolitan, vividly urbane and protests even!
Herein of course,, lies the revered Santiago Bernebeu
Enthralled by their glory, I visited & paid respects due

Sevilla was on the agenda next
There was of course no football pretext
Beautiful gardens, grand palace and magnificent cathedral
The mesmerizing flamenco appealed to senses artistic & cerebral

Cadiz - Picture perfect!

The ZNMD moment - driving through Spain!

Rented a car and set off to Cadiz sans 'Bagwati'
The left hand drive and the high speeds se thodi to phati
The white sand beaches, the green sea stirred conscience
Making the ZNMD moment quite an unforgettable experience

Exotic Marbella!

Marbella was undoubtedly the place most exotic
But the weather almost turned our visit Quixotic
The pristine beaches, fancy cars and yachts docked nonchalantly
My notions of a good life were assaulted completely

Gaudy Gaudi or Gaudi Gaudy?

The temple of the beautiful game

Our last stop was grand old Barcelona City
We had only four days, Oh! what a pity!
From football to history to culture to works of Gaudi
Barcelona has so much to enthrall just about anybody

This trip to Spain was indeed a metaphor for life
Sometimes beautiful sometimes besotted by unexpected strife
Charmed by its life and beauty, my heart's grown fonder
But then, isn't Journey the Reward, I wonder, I wonder!