Let the ass kicking begin…

Santa Cruz squash club (circa 1999) It was my second year of playing squash seriously. ‘Seriously‘ doesn’t mean I was any good yet. I was at that rookie stage of a squasher’s evolution when I was constantly looking for easy winners (read “low percentage drop shots or optimistic boasts”). I had signed up for a squash …

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When in Rome be a barefoot runner

When in Rome be a Roman. If you are a runner there’s possibly no better city than Bangalore for year-round running. There’s at most one hot month and even then the mornings are nothing remotely like Chennai. There’s hardly a run where I don’t thank my stars I’m in Bangalore! While it’s widely known that …

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Three Act Play for the Fourth Time

“The human being, by and large, is a very bad companion for himself; where he has to face himself for any length of time, he acquires a deep disgust and a restless anxiety which makes him seek almost any escape.” – Victor F Nelson [Editor’s Note: Started this post the Monday following Bangalore Ultra 2016 …

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I’m racing, not running!

Progress is linearly proportional to one’s efforts but results often come in cycles. – several wise men Coming off a 22-month streak, the 2013-14 season was looking rather normal. KTM in Sep followed by 75k Ultra in Nov and finish off with SCMM in Jan. I had come within flirting distance of sub-4 times in a few training FMs and finally did …

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A marriage in the winter of 1962

[Editor’s Note: My mother is a late adopter of the Internet. In the pre-Internet era, she used to write the loveliest of long letters to her children. The letters stopped after I returned to India. In the past year, after she got comfortable with connectivity and gmail, the letters resumed as emails to her children. She’s …

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Importance of being intervaly

I will not last forever, but I am damn well going to know I have been there. – Dr. George Sheehan Roger Bannister is etched in my memory since at least 1982. My correct answer in a quiz qualifier test would turn out to be decisive enough to beat out 3 senior grades to make …

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Why do vegetarians annoy people who eat meat?

Why do vegetarians annoy people who eat meat? A 2012 psychology research study, it turns out, has the answer. But before I get to the study (bulk of this post anyway), I want to give some background. I wrote this post a few days before Eid 2016, a rather unremarkable piece recounting my witnessing the slaughter …

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Been there seen that

A common thread running across all Indian/Eastern spiritual traditions is some form of meditation. The variations come in the form of how one meditates, whether it is the sole instrument for spiritual advancement or step 12 of 12, use or non-use of an internal mantra, generic or personalized mantra, addition of a group meditation session …

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Witness to a slaughter

It was my second year at BIT Mesra. My friend was the hostel mess secretary (hostel #7). One of the secretary’s responsibilities was to accompany the hostel mess manager for the weekly groceries+produce shopping. For one of those weekly trips, my friend couldn’t make it so I substituted for him. Pretty uneventful stuff for the first few …

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The Guide’s trouble with the Censor Board

If you thought Bollywood’s troubles with the Censor Board are a recent phenomenon, think again. R.K. Narayan recounts, in The Writerly Life, his experience with the movie making process of The Guide. He appropriately titles that episode in his book as The ‘Misguided’ Guide. He devotes 13 pages to that episode, fine Narayan reading of …

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