Friday, January 20, 2012

When Mumbai runs for a cause.......

It becomes the event where celebrities, industrialists, physically challenged, the elderly, and rest of the masses come together to honor a social cause and to spread the cheer! Officially sponsored by Standard Chartered, this is one of the biggest events in the city.

The much awaited January 15th finally arrived and many Mumbaikers across the city woke up during wee hours on a Sunday morning and boarded the locals at 6.00 am. The richest sporting event in Asia had been flagged off and the crowd was trickling in.

This year too, I shamelessly tagged along with a friend, to be a part of the festivities.

The turnaround was simply mind blowing! Azad Maidan was a sight for anyone with a sore eye. It was buzzing with a sea of people including hundreds of NGOs supported by various corporates with their volunteers in colorful costumes. Thanks to my blinding orange t shirt and matching cap I must say I blended in quite well! Most of the NGOs had their own mascots and folk dancers who stole the show. Stilt walking clowns, life sized cartoon characters, teenagers parading as Yamdoots against corruption, aunties sporting No Smoking head gears….…Mardi Gras? Well, almost.

Clearly infectious and a delight to watch is the sporting spirit displayed by every marathon participant and the harmony in which the event is conducted. It is almost like the entire city tacitly agrees to all the rules and regulations to render maximum support to this mega event. All roads which constitute the runner’s route map are cordoned off the previous evening and traffic is controlled so that the participants can run in peace, avoiding the blaring horns and traffic jams. There are assigned stand points for media, police, and the celebs. To top it all quite literally, there are helicopters flying above the streets for air security cover and gunned policemen at every nook and corner for ground security. Every now and then you also see volunteers on bikes carrying bottled water. And just when you think all of this is so comforting, you bump into an ambulance. Bombs or no bombs, we are definitely good to go.

It is said that every year half marathon receives the maximum number of entries, and this year the number was close to 14,000. The following day maybe a mad mad Monday, but then who really cares? The media frenzy was growing by the minute while the on-lookers cheered the participants into the last lap of this do or die event.

Later I got to know that the winner of the full marathon Kenyan Laban Moiben took home a whopping 36,000$! I mean just what are these guys made of!? The last time I managed to complete close to 8 km (Obviously I walked the second half) on Marine Drive, I was very close to being immobile! :-/

Old or young; the passion, enthusiasm and the willingness to take on a challenge heads on (with or without medical aid!), is absolutely admirable.

And it does leave you with that same inevitable feeling. Maybe, just maybe, it’s time you tried it too??

Friday, January 6, 2012

Awakening the Social Animal

One can't complain. I have my friends. Someone spoke to me only yesterday.
Eeyore, From Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne

The first minute I laughed as I pictured Eeyore saying this in his gloomy-yet-loveable manner! The next minute I was introspecting.

The first title that came to my head for this post was “The Antisocial Me” but then I have never burnt down theatres nor shot my fellow countrymen. Hence I don’t obviously qualify.

(I have developed this habit of organizing my thoughts in bullet points. So you will be seeing many more of those in the coming days.)

I digress. So coming back to why I have started to feel like I am almost a member of the “Unsociably Your’s” club:
• My schedule is usually packed with work, conference calls and gym. There is hardly any room for any “random” long phone conversations.

• Finishing neglected household chores suddenly seem like the best thing to do during a weekend.

• I prefer to send that BBM/whatsApp/FB message instead of making some much needed small talk.

• My phone conversations start and end with my mom, dad, in-laws, and sister. On repeat mode.

• I have forgotten my neighbors name for the umpteenth time. Now I seem to be forgetting her face too!

• I want to step out to buy a new lamp shade, and not so much for a cup of coffee.

• Apart from the hordes of book & movies, my constant companions are - The Big Bang Theory, Rules of Engagement, Sex and the city, and other fellow bloggers who care to drop by.

• I am wondering what to write next instead of what to wear next.

• I have been postponing that potluck party for the LONGEST time ever! Sigh!

• I send messages/texts to friends and if I do not receive an answer the first time, I immediately give up.

• I have mastered the art of shopping alone, while the spouse is obviously thrilled.

• I have stopped checking out photographs and updates on Facebook.

• Even on a vacation, I end up looking through people while they are trying to engross me in the most entertaining conversation.

• The number of bookmarks on my Mozilla Firefox page is growing at an exponential rate.

• Looks like I can’t recognize the most popular David Guetta song, which apparently plays in every club these days.

• I am not so gung-ho about eating out. Not even Fish n Chips!

• I go to sleep at 10pm to wake up at 6am to read/write.

• Someone actually yells at me “Jesus! Where the hell have you been??! It has been SO bloody long.”

• I chose to ramble here for the whole world to read, rather than whining about it to a close friend! :-/

Eeeeks! The weirdest part is I seem to be comfortable with this feeling. It seems like a perfectly normal phase. Strange? No??

Well, it better be just a phase.... cause the Social Animal (!) is slowly waking up to plan a potluck soon.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The New Year post

Dear 2012,

Selfish as it may sound, please be kind and see to it that I do ALL of the below. Pretty, Please?

1. Give this space a new look & feel (Done - check!)
2. Write regularly.
3. Read much more.
4. I DO NOT lose my phone or my wallet.
5. Exercise more. After this vacation, I really have to! :0
6. Drive without getting more dents.
7. Master the art of Perception Management at work.
8. Go out and meet more people.
9. Volunteer for some social work.
10. Travel more, shop less (Bandra does not count :P)
11. Explore Mumbai, a little farther. More road trips.
12. Cook more pasta.
13. Once in a while, practice the art of doing nothing. It does not hurt!
14. Errrr… Just in case you believe that 13 is an unlucky number.

I may whine now and then, act spaced out, and also feign laziness. Btw I also suffer from mood swings which may not be so pleasant. But no matter what, please make sure you shake me up, real HARD so that I snap out and get moving.

That’s all for now, I guess.

Also, please could you give 2011 one more hug from my side for being so splendid. I can never thank her enough!

Ps: Writing like a 13 year old is not such a bad thing afterall!