Breaking a streak can be SO liberating

We are all prisoners of our own device. – Eagles Streaks are wonderful things. For the sports aficionado, it’s such things as consecutive games in which an NBA star has drilled at least one 3-pointer, consecutive years in which a tennis superstar has won at least one Grand Slam tournament, seven consecutive wins at the Western […]

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Driving with the brakes on

This was a song and band I hooked on to during my Chicago years (1994-98). Easily the era where my musical heart was at its spongiest best. Recently the lines driving with the brakes on and swimming with your boots on seemed evocative of my last five years of barefoot running. I’m usually not much for finding out […]

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Squash and the City

Serious runners are crazy people. Serious squash players are no less crazy. The crazy squash player I am thinking about is my friend. Sanjay (now a Princeton, NJ resident) was my senior at BIT Mesra and we became close friends during our years in Jamshedpur. Unlike my sporadic dalliance (2 years of squash initiation in […]

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What drives birders

A thing of beauty is a joy forever. Decades ago this was the topic for a school essay. It required the utmost imagination and sleight of hand to cobble together a few paragraphs. If one were to write on the same topic, words would flow better.  Beholding flora, fauna and mother nature up close and personal — […]

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That moment when I stopped!

For a few hyperloops more…

[Editor’s note: The prequel to this post is Softly, as in a spiritual sunrise (a low-key announcement of a personal ultra run on Nov 27, 2015. This post was written in 4 sessions: Part 1 (on Jan 2) written at the Landmark bookstore in Forum Mall on a 3 year old Samsung Galaxy S2 (yeah – WordPress […]

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Softly, as in a spiritual sunrise

Two years ago, I ran in 3 races. Last year it came down to two. This year I ran the Kaveri Trail Marathon and it’s my first (and last) race for the year. My running goal for 2015 was rather basic – “just keep running”. Under normal circumstances, this would have meant following the Triple […]

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Arun Nehru and Lalit Suri

I thought I knew all the major players in the ‘organized’ 1984 Sikh riots. I was wrong. Hartosh Singh Bal’s Caravan article uncovered these two gentlemen – one a Gandhi extended family hawk, the other a hotelier. Gathering feedback on possible ‘war games’ is one thing: “As one of the few Sikhs in a senior position […]

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Postcards from Bokaro

A reunion in Dallas (circa 2006). An email to a Yahoo alumni group on March 10, 2010 that triggered an outpouring of memories. Memories of grief, sadness, bravery and an innocence lost. Two and a half years later (on the 28th anniversary of the riots), I posted the first-person accounts of  Jasbinder, Sunil and Priti on this blog. Last […]

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Stumbling upon LSD

After the ignominious end to my debut cross country run, the rest of the day was a daze. An unpleasant cocktail of emotions enveloped me.. Shame, defeat, dejection, inadequacy, self-pity dominated what would eventually be sufficed with hope. Moodily and half-heartedly I cheered the track and field participants. The outcome of no event mattered to […]

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Understanding meat eaters through the lapsed vegetarian lens

[Editor’s note: This is the first in a series on vegetarians, omnivores, food habits, diets adopted by successful athletes (bias towards runners of course), perhaps eventually leading to a psychohistory of food. Several years of Facebook sharing has taught me that *any* article on these topics (lengthy, nuanced or researchy) invariably lead to defensive or […]

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Poetry in tortuous motion

I parked the car, got the kids’ bags from the trunk and walked them over to the school gate. As we crossed the median, my runner friend B went hurtling past. He was obviously doing a speed workout. I asked my kids “Did you see him?” “That’s your friend B right?” Replied S. “What else […]

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When finishing fourth became a game changer

April 1991 After years of asthma suffering, things seem to be turning around. I was still living in a city with cold winters (Jamshedpur) but.. I had started making an effort. Picked up that beautiful sport called squash. Had little natural talent but boy did I run around wheezing trying to chase that little ball. That […]

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