Sunday, December 07, 2008


I want to share a link on why running the Pune international marathon is not a good idea - the author of the original message never says that, but I am saying it based on what he has mentioned.

I am undergoing physiotherapy sessions for my shin splint. My target of running 3 half marathons in a month is still unfulfilled, but the glow in which I was after finishing the Ultra is still there. Doctor's orders now are not to run for atleast 6 weeks, and after that "let's see".

It's only ice packs, lower leg exercises, foam rollers now. Feeling the goose pimples while watching running movies. Digging out distance running videos on Youtube. And waiting for the day when I can lace up my running shoes again.

Somebody said the best cure for running injuries is patience.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

To Run Or Not To Run

My running season this year started with the Delhi Half Marathon. It was almost sabotaged by a viral infection. I was on antibiotics till the day of the run. But by then I was feeling much better thanks to the ENT specialist I paid a visit to. Nothing like getting advice from your doctor to 'definitely carry on running'. He wished me luck for the run, which boosted my morale a lot. I'm sure runners who have not been able to run due to injury or illness know what I mean. The weeks before that were sort of depressing, with uncertainty nagging at every point. I was not able to train for a couple of weeks.

The Delhi run went well. I clocked 02:11:28, my best time for 21k. One week after that I had the Bangalore Ultra Marathon. It had 25/50/75/100k editions, and more if you want to run. Yes, it was not the usual marathon (we have so less of them in India). Organized by Runners for Life, it was the most perfectly managed running event I have been in till now. The reason? The organizers were runners themselves. Unlike Mumbai (which is still the best organized among the 'normal' marathons in India) and Delhi, the focus was on runners' needs and fun rather than media attention and keeping the sponsors happy. The RFL guys really understand what running is about. I had a lot of fun, plus it was my longest run till date. I registered for the 25k, and ended up changing it to 50k. I did complete 50k, although I had to completely walk the last lap of 12.5k due to knee pain. Still, 50k - Whoo! The distance is still unfathomable for me. I cannot visualize it like I can for 21 (which is essentially 2 rounds around the Hussain Sagar lake, plus 2 k).

The target this month was (and still is) to complete 3 half marathons. One of them is over, one of turned out to be more, and the last one is next Sunday, here in Hyderabad. The Hyderabad 21k is still not very well organized even after all these years - but I hope this time they will do better. It's like running in your own backyard, so I'm not much bothered.

My problems started today when I went for a run in the morning to see how much I have healed post-Ultra. After 2k both my knees started paining to the point where I had to stop. It was not the usual kneecap pain - it was lateral - along the side of the knee. Some research later, it seems that I have another common running injury - ITBS - Iliotibial Band Syndrome. Have been trying out ice packs and some recommended stretching exercises. Let's see if it gets better in the 6 days left for the half marathon. If it doesn't, well, :(

My mantra right now is a marathon runner's words - Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. (Haruki Murakami quotes this in his book 'What I talk about when I talk about Running'.)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Morgen Ramble

It's 0903 hours, and the morning's still surprisingly quiet. I'm trying to get some things done before the mindless noise and pollution of Diwali starts hitting the senses. I've been nursing a viral infection for a week now, the worst effect of it being me not being able to run with 2 half marathons scheduled just 10 days from now. The old bod's going to be under some strain getting up to speed. Today morning I am feeling much better, but some new viruses have apparently decided to settle in and give me a runny nose. Considering the thumb rule that it's ok to run if the illness is above the neck, that's an improvement.

If you're into running, and in India, check this out -

Update : Paid a visit to an ENT specialist, which resulted in another lineup of antibiotics. He also gave me explicit permission to run (Yay! not that I would not have run anyway), provided it's not in the fog :D

Saturday, August 09, 2008

On rewatching a movie

Every time you watch a seminal movie you have watched earlier, the experience is different. You already know what's coming in a particular scene. That gives you the liberty of focusing on things you never noticed in the earlier viewings.
You finally understand that mumbled dialogue.
You finally see how much attention has been paid to detail in the story. And how much attention has been paid to rendering that detail in the movie.
Or you can just focus on the soundtrack, and notice how it complements the story. Keeps the script on its toes.
You can savour the scenes you like again and again. Brace yourself for the thrill.
You can look forward to feeling the goose pimples again as he gets ready to jump from a Hong Kong highrise, and soar like a, yes, bat.

Seminal (adj): Containing seeds of later development.
That's what it promises.

I won't write a review. I am sure there are a lot of them out there. I would suggest you read Samit Basu's thoughts for a wider perspective.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I just watched The Dark Knight.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Wondering about stuff

You were made and set here to give voice to this, your own astonishment - Anne Dillard.

Anne Dillard is an American writer. This is the first time that I had heard of her, when I came across the above quote in this blog entry about how to write well.

Here are a few things that have made me wonder recently. Not astonished or feeling the sense of wonder that any SF reader would feel, but plain wondering about something. I feel that Anne Dillard meant it in the former sense.
  • The paper coffee cups in my office have the following printed on the bottom - 'Empty Cup' manufactured by 'Imaginative Flexipacks Ltd, New Delhi'. Why make it explicit that the contents of the cup are not the cup maker's responsibility? So that no liabilities arise for him if the content in the cup is undrinkable? But what if hot coffee spills on your lap - whose fault is it then, yours or 'Imaginative Flexipacks' for not making the cup spill proof?
  • I got a Holi ecard from a person whose acquaintance I had made over the internet some weeks back. He happens to be a good science fiction writer, among other things. The text on the ecard was this -

    May your life be coloured with the colours of joy, friendship, fun, love and happiness.
Its true not only for this card, but when you read these words after removing all biases like 'Yes I've seen this before, its a cliche', and really see what the words mean, its a completely different and wonderful realization. No I am not getting old and sentimental.

  • Nicholas Boothman, in his book How to Make People like you in 90 Seconds or Less, says that parents the world over hold their child in the same position - on the crook of their left arm, and the right hand covering the child, holding it close to one's heart, which is supposedly on the left side of the body. I wonder what left handed parents do?

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Indian SF stories

Dr. Arvind Mishra writes about the first SF stories in India.

It would be a good idea to construct a timeline for this subject. A database that would have a comprehensive list of such stories in regional Indian languages for those early years. Articles get published every now and then on this - it would be great if the data in them could be aggregated.

Monday, February 04, 2008

The Man from Earth

Why is the movie 'The Man from Earth' named liked it is? If you can figure it out after watching it you are smarter than I am.

It is about a university professor who claims to be 14000 years old, practically immortal. The movie picks up when he's about to leave his job for another so that people don't start wondering why he does not grow old. The rest of the movie is made up of the conversation between him and his colleagues at his farewell party.

There is no passion, no great revelations, a cliched view of world history, a single attempt at jolting Christian audiences. It's a very short movie. Not in length but in content. Minimalist is the word.

I liked K-Pax better. If you're thinking what these two movies have in common, it's the nature of the ending.