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Showing posts from May, 2019

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…

Fly (Based on a word prompt)

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I was born in a nest With my siblings full of zest My mother mostly away In search of food and prey
Perched on the rock  She’d flap her wings Gliding in the air with grace  Smoothly at her own pace
How I longed to be like her To explore the world  Of clouds and the sky  With an occasional rainbow like dye
As time elapsed  My siblings and I grew  You can now fly she said  Spread your wings and move ahead
I was hesitant at first Fear clasping me in its mould I wanted to badly fly To touch the clouds and kiss the sky 
Slowly and steadily I set off Following my siblings dutifully  Gradually I gained confidence  Which grew in abundance 
I was born to fly I told myself  Flap flap flap I went Showing off my skills and ascent 
It was poetry in motion In a continuous rhythm  Rest of the species appeared like dots Like a speck of dust and tiny tots
I was enjoying this freedom Basking in the glory of sun and wind  As I soared amidst the contours of blue I realized this was the only world I knew…

Grit, Gravel and Gear : Book Review

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Title: Grit, Gravel and Gear
Author: Dhruv Bogra
Genre: Memoir

15000 km, 10 countries, 400 days and a solo ride. In 2016, Dhruv Bogra decides to embark on this unconventional voyage on his touring bicycle named quest from the Arctic to the Andes. 
Facing extreme weather conditions, Dhruv describes his hardships and struggles which are accompanied with a sense of joy and freedom. He narrates about his his tryst with nature in its purest form while camping outdoors and coming face to face with bears, wolves, raccoons and elks. Simultaneously he also encounters fellow cyclists, tourists, homeless and experiences some kind heartwarming gestures from people enroute. 
It is often said that a book has the ability to take the readers to exotic locales just by sitting in one place. 'Grit Gravel and gear' is one such read. The author is vivid in his descriptions as he goes on to describe the history and culture of every place that he lands in. Be it Alaska, California, Mexico or Peru. …

The Island of sea women :Book Review

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Title : The island of sea women  Author: Lisa See Genre: Historical Fiction 
I had read the author's earlier book titled 'The tea girl of hummingbird lane' and was quite impressed with the narrative. The island of sea women was equally impressive if not more. 
This book explores the story of 2 women from different backgrounds who work together in their village’s female diving collective. Mi-ja is the daughter of a Japanese collaborator who lives with her uncle and aunt in the Korean island of Jeju. Young-Sook is born into the Haenyeo clan who are primarily divers. They develop a close bond over several incidents that occur during the dives. 
Set in the time of 1930s and 1940s, the book traverses through political situations like Japanese colonization, World war 2 and the Korean War.  It showcases the severe impact of war on several lives. This includes indiscriminate killings and unsafe conditions for women especially. 
Despite their close bond, unforeseen external forces…

To Sur with love-The big sur marathon experience

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When I woke up at 3:15 am on the day of the Big Sur race, my part of the world was still and dark. On another side of the world, London city was bustling with energy with the London marathon where Eluid Kipchoge was competing. While getting ready for my race, I was simultaneously tracking the elites. I drove down to the Marriot from where I was supposed to board the shuttle bus that would take the 21 miler participants to the start point at St Andrew park. 
Before boarding the bus, I saw that Kipchoge had won the London marathon and clocked a terrific timing of 2:02:37. What a performance, I thought, my energy levels instantly spiking up as it always does when I watch sports or my favorite athlete winning. The 45-minute bus ride wasn’t so tiring as I engaged with a fellow runner seated next to me. When we reached the starting point at 5:30 am, I still had an hour to go before my race began at 6:30 am. It was cold and runners were huddled together on the ground. Some were sipping coffee…