Marathon Heroes

Posted by Anantha | Posted in | Posted on Wednesday, October 17, 2012


[Ok.. now that I have shrugged the inertia off, here I am publishing my account of the Hyderabad Marathon at last]

I sprawled on the soft green grass of JMC Balayogi stadium, Gachibowli - where the Airtel Hyderabad marathon route ended. Took off my wet shoes and socks to check the boils I had got between my toes. Thought I should wrap the little toes with tapes to avoid it in future runs. Stretched my calves and quadriceps savoring the sweet pain of the marathon.

Thanks to the drizzle and the cloudy weather on the race day, I had achieved my personal best of 4 Hrs 31 Mins to finish the arduous 42.2kms. Quite a disciplined training of three and a half months, pretty decent rest in the last week, proper hydration during the run had been fruitful.

Munching on the post-race snacks and sipping a bottle of water, I was waiting for my friend Karthik to finish his race. He must have been telling his mind not to listen to his aching legs, still a few kms away from the finish line. Every marathoner fights his own battle in every marathon he runs, the battle that is unique and unfamiliar to any of the battles he has fought in his previous marathons! My friend Karthik has asthma from a very early age. He says, he started running to see if running works as a cure to Asthma. The night before the race, he had told me that he had not practiced much for this marathon because of his asthmatic conditions. He had run his last marathon four years back! It is almost like running the first ever marathon for him.

The photographers near the finish line were clapping and cheering every runner approaching the finish line. Encouraged by the gesture, victorious smiles used to bloom on the sweaty and tired faces of the runners. Some old, some young, some limping, some sprinting to shave off few seconds from their finish time – were trickling to the finish line. The relatives and friends of the runners clapped aloud welcoming them near the finish line. I too contributed to the clapping noise. I clapped hard whenever a panting old lady/gentleman came running to the finish line. Yes, many senior citizens too take part actively in these events. Some of them beat young legs by a considerable margin also! A gentleman I know who is in his late sixties finishes every marathon around 3hrs 45 mins. As ChrisMcDougall says, probably marathon is the only sport where a 60 yr old can compete with a 19 year old with elan.

When one of the runners was approaching the finishing the line, something special happened. His wife was near the finish line holding their daughter eagerly waiting to welcome him. That kid must be of 4-5 yrs of age. He was few meters away from the finish line, he waved his hand at his family, heralding his achievement. His daughter ran towards him crying 'pappa.. pappa'. Emphatic father lifted the kid, kissed her and made her sit on his shoulders. When he crossed the finish line, I believe the loving father and the adorable kid got the loudest applause from people around. I am sure that father made his daughter feel, her dad is her hero.

Such inspirational stories are aplenty in every marathon. From people who run marathons for the pure passion for running to people who fight chronic diseases bravely and return to run marathons as if they mock at the disease... Every one is a hero here. Cheers to the spirit of running…

English Vinglish

Posted by Anantha | Posted in , | Posted on Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Dir: Gauri Shinde
Cast: Sridevi, Adil Hussian

The movie is just not about Shashi learning to speak English, it’s more than that. It’s about how a neglected, taken-for-granted housewife and mother of two re-establishes her identity and makes her family realize she and thousands of other women like her who undergo similar situations deserve a lot more respect from their family members. It’s about Shashi learning to love herself only to be loved back from her family members. It’s also about Shashi realizing that it’s OK to put one’s interest before her family’s to regain the lost self-esteem. It’s also about showing it’s never too late to learn anything... never too late to make friends [check out Shashi’s husband’s priceless expression when she introduces her spoken English tuition mates as her ‘khaas dost’ at the end of the movie].

From the very first scene where Shashi picks Navabharat Times in the morning to glance through for few minutes before she gets into the whirlwind of daily chores to the end wherein in a brief speech she expresses what exactly she wants from her kids and her husband, the director Gauri Shinde involves the audience very much into the movie, as if she is telling the story of our own mother/bhabhi/sister/aunt who would have been juggling all the thankless daily chores 24/7 without a moment to spare for herself. An awesome performance by Sirdevi. A must watch movie for all...

Ironically, my sis who was more than willing to join me for the movie, drew back at the last minute thinking people back at her home would not be able to manage her two kids in her absence of 3-4 hours!! :(