Monday, December 08, 2008

Matters of the heart....

Why does the heart yearn for the unattainable?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Home They Brought Her Warrior Dead

This poem, by Alfred Lord Tennyson used to be one of my favorites in school.

It has been really long since I last remembered these lyrics. The 26/11 blasts in Mumbai brought it to the fore.

Home they brought her warrior dead:
  She nor swooned, nor uttered cry:
All her maidens, watching, said,
  'She must weep or she will die.'

Then they praised him, soft and low,
  Called him worthy to be loved,
Truest friend and noblest foe;
  Yet she neither spoke nor moved.

Stole a maiden from her place,
  Lightly to the warrior stept,
Took the face-cloth from the face;
  Yet she neither moved nor wept.

Rose a nurse of ninety years,
  Set his child upon her knee—
Like summer tempest came her tears—
  'Sweet my child, I live for thee.'

- Lord Tennyson

Monday, December 01, 2008

India vs England ODI

Continuing my talk of firsts in my life from my previous post, this was another first for me....the first cricket match which I saw live.

Though not much into cricket, I really enjoyed myself. Inspite of the match being stopped twice due to rains, the energy in the stadium was unbelievable. I whistled and jumped and waved the tricolor.

I also saw Sachin and was quite thrilled about it, since he has always been and will remain one of my favorites.

India played very well and won the match. Needless to say, that made my first live match even more unforgettable.

Here is the last winning ball of the match, which I captured with my camera.

And thus went November.....

The month of November is gone, bringing us a step closer to the end of the year.

November was quite an interesting month for me, in more ways than one. There were several highs, as well as lows, a lot of first time events for me, as well as some unplanned enjoyable activities.

One of the firsts in my life was my very first half marathon, and that too Ultra. Yes, its true !!! I know those who know me personally would find it impossible to believe that I could manage to run a half marathon. I have never been much of a sports person, and have been on the wrong end of the weighing scale for most of my life till now.

I started running at the beginning of 2008. This was one of my New Year resolutions (am glad that the year is about to end, and my resolution is still alive and getting better). As expected, running was tough for me. It needed a lot of practice, discipline and strong will. Practice I did, though not as much as I would have wanted to. Within a month and a half, I enrolled for a quarter marathon in Pondicherry (Auroville was organising a marathon as part of some celebrations). I managed to complete the distance inspite of the scorching heat and not much experience and practice. That kind of boosted my confidence, though the timing was not so good.

I continued to run on and off after that, till a ligament tear while crossing the road put me out of action for a few months (what a shame it is for someone who runs to get a ligament tear while walking !!!). My leg was in cast for a month and the max I could do was limp with great difficulty from one room to another.

Post August, I started running again, now with more seriousness, since the last quarter of the year is the marathon season, when most of the big marathons are held in the country.

I missed the Kaveri Trail Marathon (KTM) due to my trip to US, but did enroll for Bangalore Ultra 2008 , before I left for my trip. For those who don't know, the Ultra marathons are tougher marathons and their philosophy is to push oneself. So while the normal half marathons are 21km, Ultra is 25 km.

I started getting cold feet 3 weeks before the Ultra. I had not practiced much and was afraid of not being able to complete the distance and giving it up midway. I kept telling myself that if I could not run, I should be able to walk the distance (this confidence was due to a recent Himalayan trek where I did uphill walking for upto 14 km a day).

Friends and fellow runners convinced me to give it a try and so I did. I managed to complete the 25 km, and ran much more than I thought I will be able to. I did walk some distances, esp most of the last 6 km, since my right leg gave away (I definitely needed to practice more than I did). I was however determined to finish the marathon, even though it meant putting spray and getting my leg stretched by the meds at every aid station. I finally made a limping finish.

It was tough but it was worth it. I believe what carried me through was simply my will power.

I received a certificate and a medal (my lifetime first for a sports activity). And last but not the least, a real sense of acheivement, and stronger belief in the saying "Nothing is Impossible".

There are 3 more half marathons in the near horizon. I am looking forward to them....