Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Receding Green Cover of IITM

It has been a while since I ran inside IIT Madras so I have been wishing to get a run there for some time and the opportunity came yesterday.  I was on the last day of my 10x10 and wanted to squeeze it in somehow in the evening.  Since I hadn't run in the morning, I forced myself to fight the traffic and head to IITM instead of running around Boat Club fighting traffic.
I always enjoyed running in IITM and I still do.  I like the relatively traffic free roads and the green cover.  But yesterday, I saw lot of 'fallen' trees.  Some due to nature and many others 'felled' by humans.  It would tragic to reduce the forest cover in the name of 'development' and I sincerely hope IITM is able to strike a balance between 'development' and retaining its green cover.

That said, my run inside IITM was otherwise good and I was doubly happy having managed to complete my 10x10.  Along the way, I met these third year students who were waiting for the shuttle bus near IITM Research park entrance.  I 'coaxed' them to run / walk with me till their Hostel.  They reluctantly obliged, but that set the stage for interesting conversations.  We talked about many things ranging from technology to 'what after graduation'.  Good Luck Nikhil, Karthik & Sadhvik.

ps: This 'tip' merits to be in Senthil's diary (in Boys movie).  So, if you wonder about the 'tip'.. it is.. Sivan temple in IITM gives 'pongal prasadam' at around 6:30 PM everyday.  Made a 'note to self' to 'time' my future runs around that time... :-)

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Kahaani 2 - Could Have Been Sharper

Went to Kahaani 2 with lots of expectation but returned with a feeling that the movie could have been sharper and shorter.  Like in earlier Kahaani, Vidya Balan is in almost every frame and has carried the movie single handedly.

Movie starts off showing the strong bond between Vidya Balan and her teenage kid who is confined to wheelchair.  All of a sudden, child goes missing and in ensuing panic Vidya Balan gets hit by a car and goes into Coma.  Then comes the dramatic twist about Vidya's past in a Kalimpong school.  All these does keep the momentum of the movie, but after a while scenes become predictable and one could also predict the next scene.  

Also,  I wish the story kept the focus and not branch out into to subplots.  Storyline should have just focussed on Vidya and the kid.  Instead, it starts veering into the first marriage of Vidya and the police officer, an unnecessary twist which just 'slows' down the story telling and doesn't contribute to the main thread.

But, I liked 'realistic' cinematography.  Art department hasn't tried to create perfect visuals, but has let the narrow streets of Kolkata and Kalimpong speak for itself.

Overall, enjoyed the movie and would give 4 stars out of 5. See it for Vidya Balan. (Rating - ****)

ps: For the first time, went to INOX theaters in Chennai Citi Center.  While getting in and out of the movies was relatively easy (unlike Satyam complex), sound system left much to be desired and definitely needs an upgrade.

Also, got to experience the playing of national anthem after the recent Supreme Court order.  My only gripe is that anthem version played was too fast.  It should have been slower.. lot slower.

#Kahaani2 #Movies 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Yoga By the Beach

I had been wanting to do this for a while.. got a chance today.  Thoroughly enjoyed the session, wish had done more..
 Sirasana - Doing this facing the ocean was tougher than doing it facing west.  It has got to do with the slope towards the water.
Anjaneyasana - Needed to stretch even more.. could have done a better job.. :-)

Saturday, October 29, 2016

'Stuff of the Legends'

Who is the legend in this photo?

So, I bumped into this guy in my routine Bengaluru flight.  I generally dose off during this puddle jumper to makeup for waking up early.  But this time I somehow struck a conversation with my neighbor and that made the generally monotonous one hour flight interesting.

Guy next seat mentioned that he has seen me in some runs and boy I started yalking away about my running 'exploits'.  As I was reeling off my running stories, I too remembered seeing him somewhere.  So, I asked him..

"I have seen you somewhere too.. Was there a story about you in The Hindu?"

"Yes".. He said coolly and politely.  What I discovered later about him, squarely shut my mouth.. :-)

He turned out to be Sridhar Venkatesh who is perhaps the only 'Indian' to have participated in Marathon De Sables, the gruelling six day, self sustained 250k trek across Sahara.  I asked him how did he train for it in Chennai?

Sridhar said, he got an online coach and ran a minimum of 10K per day and a marathon every weekend (with a backpack) for the Sahara adventure.  He also learned the value taking 'salt tablets', which according to him is very useful in the long runs.

Marathon De Sables is definitely stuff of the legends and I am glad I got to meet one.

So, now you know who is the legend in this photo.. A big bow to you Sridhar.  You have inspired me to 'dust off' Comrades from my bucket list.