Vantage point

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

In non-cricket related news, I started jogging today. For the uninitiated, I had stopped jogging for over 2 months, because first I had viral fever, which left me very very weak, and later I had a sprain in my leg and the Doc said I better take it easy for 4 weeks. The abandoned attempts to go jogging once in a while always ended with a sore right leg (just above the ankle, in case you are one of those readers who are hungry for details).

Now before I stopped two months ago, I was able to jog for 16 minutes non-stop covering about 3 KM. This was after 3 months of almost daily jogging, because in August or so, my stamina was equal to just about 6 minutes or so.

Now after this 2 month sabbatical, during which I suspect I may have gained a kilo or two, I was sure my stamina had hit rock bottom. So I started jogging cautiously, with my "in-in-out-out" breathing routine. Sunil was with me. As we crossed the Med Centre, Manthan - MDP Centre, and approached the Director's residence, I noticed that I was not feeling short of breath. After we turned left, Sunil stopped, saying he was going back to the Hostel. I looked at my watch, it had been 4 minutes since I had started running. I thought I would probably run longer than the 6 minute stretch, and felt quite pleased.

I jogged on, and passed the Faculty Block - Chintan, then the Library - Gyanoday. I was on what is perhaps the longest straight stretch on tar road in our insti. At the end, I turned left and ran straight, passing the back end of the resthouse - Patanjali. At this point of time, I suddenly started thinking about soemthing. I don't remember what it was, but as I kept jogging, I was deeply engrossed in my thoughts. The chain of thoughts was broken when I noticed the lights of the fountain next to me. Arjun was standing on his chariot with a bow in his hand, and Krishna controlling the steeds. As I passed this stone sculpture at the entrance of our insti's campus, and ran on, glancing at another sculpture, the depiction of the Dandi March led by Gandhiji, I was suddenly struck by the import of my location. This was the standard "10 minute" spot. This is where I used to end my jog in the days when I could run only for 10 minutes.

I glanced at my watch, it showed "10:37". Great, I was still not at the end of my stamina, and I had already passed the 10 minute spot. I wondered if I could go the distance. By the time I was wondering about this, I had reached the front side of Patanjali, and passed Chanakya - The Executive Enclave. Great, I thought, just don't think about this, keep running until you feel you are trying too hard. I passed Hostel five where I encountered Manish, my first Ohhhho-er of the day. An Ohhhhoer is one who says "Ohhhho" if he sees you exercise/studying/working......i.e indulging in any productive activity. I am not sure whether this is an "Ohhhho" of genuine admiration and encouragement or a euphemysm for "Hahh, let's see how long this lasts!!".

As I was finalising the definition of an "Ohhhhoer" in my mind, I had already passed Hostels 1-8 and was near the Mess. What followed was the final 100 metres or so. I was feeling a bit out of brath, but not excessively. There was no pain in my side, as is the case when I am pushing myself beyond limits. I passed the Security Barracks, then smiled at the empty "Multi Utility Centre", waved at the watchman who guards the back entrance of the institute, and before I knew it I was back where I had started, right in front of my own Hostel 11. I slowed down and started breathing consciously slower.

Then I stopped and looked at the stop watch. It said "15:44".