Volunteering for a Half Marathon

Few things are as uplifting and inspiring as witnessing runners of all types – the kids and the young, and the so called old, fit and those who didn’t look fit, those with a flowing and flying gait and  men and women run. During my many races I have admired the volunteers who help us with water and directions and I have marveled about what it would mean to volunteer myself. I imagined that it would be a wonderful experience.

My previous opportunity to volunteer for a running event came last November when I was asked to be a pacer for Half Marathon in Pune’s popular race Pune Running Beyond myself PRBM 2017 edition. Unfortunately, a foot injury meant that I could not only not run but also I couldn’t set a foot anywhere near the route. I had to sit it out and could not go even to congratulate our Anyone Can Run! group’s runners. Following my recovery, I have been running well for several months. Another opportunity of volunteering came.

A Half Marathon and 10K, 5K, and 3K runs known as Last Sunday of the Month (LSOM) as were organized today by Pune Running Group. Today’s  run was by Kothrud Deccan area runners in aid of autistic children. The LSOMs are quite popular and attract over a thousand runners. Our group decided to help out as volunteers. Some of us got water station duty, some to handle traffic. I was part of the group at managing traffic at the busy Karishma junction slightly off Karve Road.

Within  few minutes  of flag off at 0500 AM, a small group of runners came and blurred past our junction about 1.5 Km from starting line.  The traffic was negligible, so we could watch their gazelle like stride and clap.

Other runners followed. Soon runners started coming from both ends and the traffic was building up. All five of us at the junction were fully engaged in a battle of wits with the marauding road warriors who wanted to cut across the runners’ stream. We were trying to find safe gaps for letting the vehicles pass through.  Many motorists and bikers stopped willingly. Some argued ‘why don’t you stop the runners, I am getting late’ .  Some just drove through  ignoring our calls, fortunately we could stop the runners keeping them out of harm’s way.  Some admired and asked us what’s the name of the race. One of them, driving a car, told us  that we were doing it wrong ( traffic management) at the same time ignoring our signs and cutting through. Ironically the young (and supposedly foolish) mostly stopped willingly and the old ( and supposedly wise) broke through. The tempo drivers and those with big fat numbers came menacingly close to us. But the worst were the so called educate elite, who on a Sunday morning were in a tearing hurry to get somewhere.

I was super excited about volunteering.  I usually sleep well the night before my races, but in this case, I got up a couple times before the 3 AM alarm just to check time. But actually doing it was very tiring, less due to physical efforts of standing for four hours, and more due to the taxing job of stopping people from doing something. I had to turn my back to the runners and face the traffic while standing bang in the middle of the road to block it. I missed many of our Anyone Can Run! group runners failing to cheer them. I missed clapping and shouting for runners. I would have to liked to run a little with some of them, particularly those who looked tired. I would have liked to race a bit with kids.

I felt good that I did something that was crucial for runners but I did not feel good while doing it. I felt famished and hungrier than I feel after my Half Marathon runs.

Life is like that, we have to do what it takes to make a positive difference.  The LSOM organizers did a fine job judging by reactions of the runners.  So it was all for good.

May be, I would have been better off if I had put in a run of about 5 Km from my home to the LSOM venue. As if to make up for that, I went off for an evening run  along the busy Ganeshkhind road and Senapati Bapat road.  It felt good.

As the evening turns into night, I am happy that I volunteered and I ran.



Why Congress wants to impeach the CJI?

For several weeks now the Congress has been talking about impeachment of the Hon. Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra. Today it has filed the motion.  Why is it hell bent on pushing the motion when it knows that it will be defeated by a huge margin?

Consider these recent developments.

  1. Congress is facing prospects that SC judgement in Ram Janmbhoomi case by the bench headed by the CJI may will go in favor of Hindus.  SC had earlier refused to stay the hearing until the completion 2019 elections which the  Congress wanted.
  2. SC has thrown out ‘Public Interest Litigation’ in Judge Loya death case. It has castigated the petitioners supported by Congress the petition as ‘scandalizing judiciary’, ‘trying to use courts for political purpose’, and ‘frivolous’. The SC judgement has also dealt a body blow to Congress ‘theory’ of ‘Saffron Terror’
  3.  Trail court in ‘Mecca Masjid blast’ case threw out charges against Aseemanand and said that evidence was fabricated. This also nailed the Congress lie about ‘Saffron Terror’
  4. The Malegaon blasts case in which Col. Purohit and sadhvi Pragya were framed has seen that bail has been granted to both.  A frame up was done to scuttle Col. Purohit going on busting Islamic terror modules and to peddle the ‘Saffron Terror’ theory.  purohitframeupThe prosecution has failed get charges approved the trial court, years after their arrests. This case is on the verge of collapsing.

From days of Indira Gandhi , who was convicted for corrupt electoral practices, who changed the law to undo the court judgement and who wanted ‘Committed Judiciary’,  Congress has been trying to manipulate the judicial processes to suit its agenda.

Where the Congress could not buy out the judiciary, it has tried to threaten it. When the press conference by four judges of SC failed to pressurize the CJI, Congress was staring at prospects of its big lies being exposed by courts.

Congress knows, that despite some obvious and long standing short comings, people have faith in Indian Judiciary.  It must have calculated the heavy political costs of being exposed by the courts.

Congress is already looking at political oblivion.  It can not anymore ‘count on’ judiciary. It has only main stream media and intellectuals on payrolls on its side. It knows that their help won’t be enough.

Congress is desperate. Its agenda is to break India. Weakening judiciary can surely weaken India make it easier to break. It thinks that it can hoodwink the CJI. That’s why the impeachment motion.

Congress is making a fatal mistake.  A public discussion on the impeachment motion will expose Congress even further.


Buried: Congress’ Saffron Terror Theory

Aseemanand has been acquitted in Mecca Masjid blast case and the Saffron Terror Theory of Congress has gets a burial

Congress leaders Diggy and Chidu floated this theory. Diggy blamed RSS for 26/11 Terror attack by Pakiatan. Chidu painted terrorist Ishrat Jahan as an innocent victim.

All Congress lies continue to get exposed. Yet it continues its Gobblesque propaganda amplified by our compromised media and supported by some sold out and some stupid Hindus.

Shaming India by Outrage Industry

The Outrage Industry has a business model of using  incidents or crime, real or fake, to spin lies to shame Hindus and break Hindustan that is Bharat that is India . Every real or fake crime against Muslims or Christians is used to shame India, while rapes and murders of Hindus and pedophilia by Christian priests and rapes by Muslim clergy get passing mention in main stream media.

The unfortunate and a wholly condemnable crime against a child, Asifa, in Kathua is another case which the Outrage Industry funded by Congress and religious bodies outside India have used to drag Hindus and their temple in it. Reports say that the villagers of Kathua are angry that there temple has been falsely mentioned in the ‘story’ spun by the above Industry.

Latest report says that the accused have pleaded not guilty and have demanded a narco test. Normally it is prosecution that asks for narco test to be done on the accused. So this unusual development is noteworthy.

By the time the truth comes out, the Outrage Industry will have spun another web of lies.

The real issues are:

  1. Police and Judiciary fail just too often to do their basic jobs. This has nothing to do with the nature of crime -rape, murder, or terror.
  2. The selective outrage as mentioned above.
  3. How Hindus and those who consider this land and its heritage of millennia (It is essentially a Hindu or Vedic or Sanatana Dharmic heritage at the core with the migrants and those sought  asylum from persecution in their lands getting integrated here without having to let go of their methods of worship ) respond to the threats.

K2S a trek to remember

According a version of history, Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj used this route to get away from Shahistekhan’s army after a midnight raid cutting the Khan’s fingers and sending them on a chase behind running bulls with horns having burning torches. One thing is sure: No way Khan’s army could have chased the great Shivaji and his raiding party on this route that runs over ridge connecting many hills. It was a brilliant tactic.

Katraj to Sinhgad is a trek (K2S) that takes you from the old Katraj tunnel to the Sinhgad fort. 15 Km long, the trek has innumerable hills with no bypass tracks. A Facebook post says 14 hills, but believe me, they were innumerable! You must climb up and down each of them.

We started the trek with chants of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj ki Jai! Jai Bhavani, Jai Shivaji ! and Ganpati Bappa Morya!

It was a tricky  trek because there were no rocks to land on, no trees that could hold soil together. Nothing except gorges filled with gravel. No shoes, not even those with studs, can give you a firm grip on gravel filled slopes. Almost every hill had such an ascent and a descent. Every step climbing up was a test of stamina and skill of not slipping too much while gaining toeholds and finding a rare stone or root to grab if your toehold wasn’t enough. Every foot down was a test of how not to get washed down by the treacherous gravel. Any spotting of rock against which you could plant one foot brought relief.

Gravel filled descents meant that most trekkers had to use all their fours and even bums while trying to control their downward travel. So there was an hour’s traffic jam right at the first climb down.

It was a lovely full moon night, but the trail was barely visible. The full moon night and our gravel addled brains had consequences.

Pic by my runner friend Himanshu

When I reached one of those heavenly horizontal gravel sections, I was looking for a place to throw down my sack and sit down. I chose a shade of a tree! The tree had indeed cast its shadow on ground and I found shelter in it! My fellow trekker came by and said ,’ Why aren’t you coming for the moonshine? ‘ I realized what I had done and started laughing . She said she had done the same silly thing! So we laughed at ourselves and at each other.

A late start and traffic jams enroute meant we reached the end point after the sun was well up. Dahi and tak seller guys were there. So we sprawled around and had glasses of tak.

Six of us from our Anyone Can Run group trekked together. For me, it was a first trek in eight years. I did better than I had expected. It was a nice comeback trek.

K2S is a trek to remember.