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Pillow

As I place my head every night 
On this fluffy ball of cotton
I am transported to a different world
Of rainbows, castles and the sun. 

Sometimes it’s pixies and fairies
Sometimes its wizards and witches 
At times I am flying or falling 
Dancing or singing without any glitches. 

I am dining with the exotic species 
The March hare and mad hatter
Cheshire Cat, hobbits and elves
Engaging in a friendly banter. 

I am sliding down the rainbow
Riding on cloud nine
Casting spells of perfection 
Everything seems absolutely fine. 

My feet have wings
To soar far and wide
Away from the reality
As I go on a fantasy ride. 

The pillow is my key
A token to a world of dreams
How I wish I could stay forever 
In a world so surreal and full of cream.

If not for that tiresome ring
That jolts me back to reality
My pillow is my companion 
That ensures my sanity.

Every night after a long day
Of mundane routine and chores
Kudos to my fluffy little companion 
That keeps life from being a bore.

BYE

Written based on a word prompt. Something close to my heart..



It was in January 2003 when I saw him breathe his last. He had endured so much pain battling between life and death. Days went by and there wasn’t a day when I hoped that he would regain his consciousness. 

Just a few months ago,my parents had asked me to accompany them while visiting him. “Your grandpa would like to see you.” “Some other day,” I replied as the young adulthood inertia kicked in. Little did I realize that ‘some other day’ would never come. 

Instead it was a phone call a week later that informed me about his fall. He had hit his head and slipped into unconsciousness. He was still breathing and was taken to the hospital. The doctors kept him clinically alive before they asked us to take him home. With a full time nurse, he was placed in one of our rooms with a ventilator. 

Prayers and hymns were chanted. I hoped that he would finally wake up from his deep slumber and joke with me as he used to. That day never arr…

Educated: Book review

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Title: Educated
Author: Tara Westover
Genre: Memoir 

Educated by Tara Westover is one of the best memoirs that I have read so far.

This is a true story of a little girl who grows up amidst the mountains in Idaho. Her family is rather queer and does not believe in education or treating ailments in hospitals. Her father is quite radical in his views and her brother suffers from bipolar condition that makes him quite violent.

Out of frustration, Tara begins to educate herself and manages to get admitted in Brigham Young University (BYU). For the first time she learns about significant world events like the civil war and holocaust. As Tara delves deeper into her academics, she finds education taking her across the world and to places she only dreamt of including Cambridge and Harvard.

‘Educated’ describes the struggles with a little girl trying to survive in a world different from the one she was exposed to. It’s also sort of a coming of age story. Dealing with themes of family, loss, education…

Not every run is for a medal: The ADA 5k run experience

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It was sometime around the month of February when Doc (Kumar Janardhanan)- one of our runner friends from Chennai told us about the ADA 5k run. It was a run organized by the American Diabetes Association scheduled on June 9th2019. Doc said he was coming for a conference and said that the run would be a good chance to catch up. Amit and I signed up immediately and the registration was free of cost. 


We were up by 3:00 am on June 9th. Partly because of the India-Australia cricket match, tracking our friends at the Comrades runners in South Africa and partly because we had to be at San Francisco city by 5:15 am for our bib pick up which was at a place called Pier 32. 


One of the best things about being an early morning runner is the sights that you are treated to. It’s an entirely different world and nature paints a vivid picture. Streaks of pink in the sky are reflected in the ocean. The sun slowly begins to peep out of the clouds. The radiant glow of yellow illuminates the sky ensuring t…

Giving back in a small manner: My volunteering experience

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As a runner/triathlete, I always appreciate the volunteer support at any running event. To me they are our unsung heroes without whom our runs would deem impossible. Placed at regular intervals, these kind-hearted souls provide the much-needed hydration and refreshments like energy gels and fruits.
When I got an opportunity to volunteer at a running event organized by Vibha, I eagerly accepted. Vibha is a non-profit organization in the Bay area that focuses on the development of underprivileged children in India. One of the members of Team Asha-the group whom I train with, introduced me to one of the race coordinators. I was supposed to be the bike lead for the 10-km event. The bike lead usually leads the front runner/elite runner throughout the course. 
The day before the event, I was given a course preview. Incidentally I had done an event sometime end of March which was on the same course. It was an out and back route. So, it was important for me to know the exact turn around point o…

Why do you run:Global running day

On the occasion of global running day, penned down a poem which addresses the rhetorical question that runners often get asked. Why do you run? 
Why do you run
A question so rhetoric
Makes me grimace 
That I reach for a gin and tonic. Often asked by a non runner to a runner
Sometimes in a curious way,sometimes critical
This fail to understand us runners
Their comments get caustic and clinical. To which I reply
I run because it’s fun
To experience the endorphins
That comes with being exposed to the sun. I run because
It keeps me stable and sane
It keeps the worries at bay
As I cruise on the roads and lane. I run because
It makes me feel happy
It keeps me fit and fine
My mind so agile and far from being snappy. I run because
It gives me a community
Of like minded folks
And helps me gain a new identity. I run because
I see and learn new things
That refreshes my curious mind
To grow new wings!

The memorial run: My armed forces half marathon experience

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The memorial weekend was here. As runners, my hubby Amit and I decided to start the Saturday by running the armed forces half marathon organized by the armed forces at Concord. I had run this one last year and it was a beautiful course that took us through the naval weapons station. This was usually closed for civilians. 
Concord was an hour and a half away from Santa Clara where we lived. So, we decided to pick up the bib the next day before the race even if it meant waking up at 3:00 am. It was better than driving 3 hours back and forth the previous day. We reached Todos Santos Plaza by 5:15 am and collected our bibs. Having more than an hour to spare, we walked around inside the park, smiling at fellow runners and scanning the area with interest. The downtown was quaint with plenty of eating options. The vibe was friendly and warm which made up for the cold morning air. 



We assembled near the start line and listened to the national anthem being sung. The crowd let out a loud cheer at…

The dream

It was a misty morning and I was out on a run. It had rained the previous night. Little droplets were dancing on the leaves. The dirt roads on the trails were a little slushy so I had to tread on them carefully lest I slipped and fell. The dark clouds hovered above casting a tinge of gloomy spell. The trail looked desolated as probably the regular runners decided to sleep in this morning.  Enjoying this solitude amidst nature, I continued my run and decided to explore the trail more. I took a different route instead of the normal one. As I turned left and ran further, I spotted some wild mushrooms on the ground. Just then I heard a slight rustle and looked up to see a rabbit looking at me curiously. I took step towards it and it scampered away in a jiffy.  I continued my run along the trail which soon led to a stream. I paused to catch my breath and looked around. It had darkened suddenly and I looked at the clouds in dismay. Drops of rain began to ruffle the calm stream and I quickl…

Book Review of 'Memoirs of an imaginary friend'

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Title: Memoirs of an imaginary friend Author: Matthew Dicks Genre: Fiction

There was probably a phase in our lives when we all had that imaginary friend-the one who only existed in our fantastical world. 
Budo is that imaginary friend of Max who has been alive for more than 5 years. Probably that’s the longest existence as far as imaginary friends were concerned. Max is different from other children. Diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, he is socially awkward and is the victim of the class bully. Budo loves Max unconditionally and tries to save Max from trouble most of the time. However, one fine day when Max is kidnapped by the school teacher, Budo just watches helplessly. Will he be able to save Max by connecting with the human world even at the cost of sacrificing himself?
‘Memoirs of an imaginary friend’ is a first-person narrative of Budo who takes us through the world Max and imaginary friends. Written in an endearing manner, there are some tender moments that captivates readers and t…

Aim

Based on a word prompt (Aim), coined this one...




I recently stood at the start line of race where the course was on steep hills at 2100 feet elevation gain. It was slated to be one of the toughest courses. A nervous fellow runner asked me if I saw the steep hills that lay ahead in front of us. 

I closed my eyes and thought back to a story from the Mahabharata. The one where Dronacharya asks Arjun what he sees. To which the latter replies that he can only see the eye of the bird and nothing else. Such focus and concentration is probably what helped him become one of the best archers. 

When I opened my eyes I replied saying I could only see the finish line much to her amazement. Keeping my mind and eyes solely on the finish line, I finished the grueling race comfortably in one piece. 

The story of Mahabharata always comes to my mind when I am faced with tough challenges both during my runs and in life. It made me realize that when I fix my eyes on just the goal, nothing else matters. Not th…