Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Marathon Mania

yeah..yeah..it's me there..

Believe me, Marathon Mania was very much a commoner's vogue world from the times of Chanakya. Just that world wakes up to it in vivid ways. Right from the Battle of Marathon, and the secrets of the "Raramuri runners(barefoot runners of the South America)" being unearthed, after centuries today we witness run for a cause, run for fun and many such events. Haven't you heard of Boston marathon? Surely about the fancy dress marathons of London? Well, the best one is the Pinkathon of India. The scene is jaw dropping. Thousands of women on roads, running miles and miles with smiles.

Running like few 10 kilometers is not a joke. Phew, it's an abuse to the body is the opinion of few. And there are more than few who appreciate a marathoner.  If injuries is what you are thinking about, be reminded of Philippides. He was that Greek messenger who ran from  battle field of Marathon to Athens announcing the military victory of Persians in the  war , collapsed and breathed his last, right in the assembly.

Philippides had zinged off  over 300 kilometers, at a stretch in two days! Can't you do a few 10 kilometers with all modern amenities? The question I asked myself few years ago. I was beginning to discover the lost athlete in my soul. Lost decades ago after the college times.

Ever since, the long runs have been named after the place Marathon, today it is an entire way of life. We have distinguished clubs to "train" for a marathon. We have an potpourri of running accessories like, pedometer, head band, sweat band, runners pouch, sports watches in variety. Apparels, footwear, electronics, name it and find it. Legacy of Philippides has grown far and wide, tall and strong.

As for me training too is self styled. I am not a fashionista but running "nanage ishta"(nanage ishta=i love, in kannada).
If you found someone spinning around in your community with the few uncles and aunties walking, they have their own tales to tell you like me. That one lady in sports attire  huffing and puffing with the timer on, in our residential community could be me. And I have my own anecdotes. Training sessions are something I look forward to fondly. Every morning alarm though disgusts me for ruining my sleep and dream, I spring out of bed planning the running session!

I am self trained. There's no trainer for me but only entertainer

Now, I say this, because, as I do my rounds in the compound, I come across variety of people. Some walk for purpose, some simply to kill boredom, few run for fitness, and a handful who enjoy the evening weather. People of different nationalities, different views but all wait to smile and each other during our morning/evening strolls/runs.

If you see that uncle in brown jacket, hands tied at the back, please try and give him a jadu ki jhappi. His walking mode is more or less the slow motion video on my phone and it's lovely how he adores his slow motion walks with occasional nods. When my calf muscles yell at me for the abuse, I slow down walk a bit and amuse myself wondering if the uncle's occasional nods do have a purpose or are wind driven. It seems he's more happy outdoors. But there's one uncle whose whistle can be heard like in a 100m distance. He's the one who will greet you with warmth. He's a walker too. But a "walker" whistling all along. Each time we cross by and he finds me walking instead of running, he doesn't forget to ask me "how many kilometers lady" tired today?

Do you believe in good luck ideas? Well, there's this uncle who probably believed walking is lucky for his business deals.  Always see him on his mobile, brisk walk, loud  business talks. Who ever said men can't muti task!

So much about uncles, the lovely aunties were lesser in evening and more in the morning. One of them always decides to praise my run and with my widest grin I stop to make her talk more. Definitely aunties are more honest walkers and better  at multi tasks. They can cover whole lot of subject in a span of 3 kilometers to 5. from lunch menu, the new sale offers in splash, to the "dekha renu ki beti ko, haay ram, chikni chameli jaise kapde aur dance , ooof". This isn't eves dropping folks. When there's so much entertainment that swirls and wriggles into your ears when you run, how could you deny it?

Well, after all these encounters, I gifted my apple i-pod to my daughter and declared I had enough entertainment to inspire me for my training. Yes, I can do it without the music. I had a lot much  one could not ask for more.

After accomplishing every marathon event, and see the medal hung around my neck, I smile proudly thinking of my future self training sessions. Aah, I might have to join a Nike Training Club if I do not have these uncles and aunties of my community in my life, who cheer me up daily.

Run, run for your life. Life is not short. Nor a sprint. It's a marathon itself. 

Life is so Run-derful.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Converses With My Shadow

PS- Selfie

"you are the keeper of my beautiful thoughts

unending dreams of mine that you share

following me amicably, all day long

I ignore, but your determined follow!

you cant tease me by growing taller than me

and sometimes you just vanish into tinier version

simply wriggling in out and around me

at your own will and wish

teasing my naughty soul

your sunny tallness mocks at me

and you slip off into a rat hole when it rains

mountain of support, you enhance my existence

my only soul mate on tougher roads

the strength, whom I can converse in whispers

my doubts, my silly thoughts, perplexes

you never back off even at my betrayal

baffles me, but our unconditional bonding

you are my only friend

follower of my thoughts, rainbow of my life,

where do you hide when I sleep at night?
        or do you prowl upon my brighter morning?
where do you disappear in the dark?

may be the contour of my spine

you shall not betray even my dead soul".

Monday, January 23, 2017

Blank Draft

Arabian Night Experience In Wadi Rum Desert Of Jordan

A maze of monolithic landscapes; The steep inclines of the mountains amidst the red sands; Crevice-riddled cliffs; Ever evolving light; Cozy marquee tents; Trudging camels; Few hulking red dunes; Bumpy jeep rides; Tranquility in the boundless empty spaces; Puffy clouds, inspire a unbridled awe. 
Jordan's desert is simply called the "Valley Of The moon".

The name "Rum" comes from Arabic rooted word meaning "highly elevated". To stress on Arabic pronunciation, it is often called as "Ramm". And if you want to pronounce Jordan the Arabic way it is very cute,  "Jor - dan - dan as in then-". The highest elevation in Wadi Rum is recorded to be as tall as 6000 feet plus. Exploring the canyons and the numerous "jebels" (mountains are called jebels in Arabic) is quite an experience in the jeep rides of about 4-5  hours. However few trekkers here and there are a rare scene too. 

Spotted black tents is the camp area. With well facilitated King Size rooms.

Historically renowned as UNESCO Heritage site, Wadi Rum sees remains of rock paintings, symbols, small temples and things related. Mostly inherited from Nabatean culture. Nabateans are the ancient Greek nomad tribes that inhabited the Arabian deserts.These rock art and graffiti are the testimonials of the human habitats and their cultural facts.

Getting lost in the desert is just easy. Even your echo would be lost in few seconds. You remember that tiny ant you watch in your backyard when you walk past the humongous desert alps. You are like a speck of a dot under the blue carpet and over the red, in middle of valley of granite rock. The spectacular series of mountains, the natural arches, the dramatic weather, sky scraping cliffs are evidence of the complete aesthetic values of the iconic desert. Much said is less and words cease the unique experience of my being present there in the winter days and a rainy night. 

Several hollywoord and bollywood movie shootings have been a fancy in this wadi and one of our Hindi popular being the Krish 3.

The Bedouin (The local dwellers belong to a tribe called Bedouin) walk long marathons in the desert along with their camels. Not always are the beasts burdened, but for fancy rides for the travelers. Few irregular tents set up by these locals traders in the middle of mountains will sell you exotic attar, mascara and other beauty products that are made of natural ingredients.  So a good customer also gets  the luxury of a complimentary Sulaimani Tea that you could make yourself (Arabic tea Sulaimani is strong version of our black, masala tea). Also one can get to experience trying their traditional attire or at least the keffieah (turban) and feel like an Bedouin.

A perfect "Sholay" set up of the caravan for the night camping.
PS- Here
Cozy tents which are more or less a three star facilitated one. What more would fascinate you, but even Wifi in the rainy night in the desert! Talk of food and the non vegetarians would just love the traditional food cooked in the tents that is called "Zarb". It's the Bedouin's traditional food cooked underground with meat, rice and chicken. Yes underground! A hole is dug, big enough to fit in the metal multilayered tray. Next, the natural oven is heated with fire for a while till red hot. The metallic tray decked with vegetables, meat and rice is then placed in the hole and cooked for over two hours before one can devour the delicacy. I could forget the taste of coal over my food that I barbecue in my backyard. The zarb is a amazing tongue tickler. 

Ask me, and what an jaw dropping experience it was. Winter air tickling your spine, and occasionally you give out the Govinda shakes even with your 2 inch thick jackets on. An unusual experience of feeling the rain did not let us sleep. With mixed feeling of thrill as well as new fear we laughed if we were sleeping in a fabric made cold box in middle of sand heap.
However the following morning saw one of the most beautiful dawn we could ever dream of. With blue castles of clouds dancing right over the mountains, we drove for hours in open Jeeps in the desert. Experiencing the nature's vivid colours at best. A trip worth taking that will mesmerize you with it's amazing heritage facts added to all other factors. The only non alcoholic rum made of nature that can actually intoxicate you!

Just the place for the "Kitney aadmi they" pose
Key Notes :-

  1. Say absolute no to the summer (March till August) travel.
  2. October and later is best time to camp in the desert.
  3. Be prepared for unexpected rains in winter though.
  4. Don't forget your sneakers and warm attire.
  5. Arrive at Wadi Rum few hours before sunset.
  6. Keep the Jeep ride desert exploring for the morning.
  7. Hot air balloon rides, camels rides are offered in the camps you chose.
  8. And if you do take tips from post, please link it whenever you post any travelogue or pictures of yours!