Monday, May 18, 2009

Progress Report

Hi guys,

Yes I am back on track, I have run today, went to the gym on Saturday and will continue doing so now. Feels so good to be back in the gym. The gym guy was surprised to see me after 4-5 weeks and quizzed if I was keeping well.
But, the best part is that despite many people and even the Gym instructor telling me to take it slow for some days, I went all out, matching my previous best performance.

On Saturday I ran close to 5 km on the treadmill and worked 5 main muscle groups. Spent 90 mins in the gym.
On Monday I ran my usual 7.5 – 8 km.

It was great fun and was very satisfying.

Keeping at it.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I want to run again

Running was the most fun I had in recent times. It was like doing the best you can every day, it used to be the maximum effort I could pour into any activity and it came with huge amounts of satisfaction.
It was late in 2007 when I realized that if I keep growing at the same pace, I may end up being the uncle next door, and the bald patch, now very conspicuous was not doing any good to my looks either. I blame it all on Delhi, the awesome food here and also my 1-month long state of deprivation in Bangalore where finding good north Indian food on a regular basis is a challenge in itself. So, when I came to Delhi, one of the seven sins caught up with me, Gluttony.
Eating no longer used to define my tryst with food, hogging was a better word. I was being drawn into it, and despite knowing it; I was doing nothing about it (well the chana bhatura’s were so tempting).
So, in the winters of 2007 I decided to run. My first day on the road was horrible, I just could not run, I did 100 meters on a light jog and was panting. Another 100 and the panting became ‘almost fainting’. But, I came again the next day, it was better, my first 100 meters became 110 meters and panting became huffing. Another motivation had been added to my morning routine, a tall blonde expat from Canada who used to run like a marathoner and my relationship with her started and ended with exchange of a few smiles and good mornings.
I braved cold winter winds of northern plains and in 3 months was doing 2 Kms. My weight was steadily going down and I was loving it, running felt like my only reason to exist and I started doing 2 runs a day. Man that was amazing period of my life, I used to go office beaming, worked with a hell lot of energy and was very cheerful. Gradually 2 kms became 5 and in 6 months I was doing 8 kms. I used to think about those early days when running was toil and compared with the present when I used to just eat out kilometers. My ipod was a big big factor. It helped me break that very crucial Body – Brain connection and I used to run long distances. I max-ed at 11.5-12 Kms, during my preparations for the Delhi half Marathon event (which I would go on to miss).

And suddenly, after a year and half of running daily, no matter what, braving colds, rains and fevers, I found myself fallen off running. Suddenly I was not running any more and I hated it. I just could not find that motivation and determination of last year. My weight was under control and I did not need to run any more.

And now after much introspection I have realized it is not that I need running, I now want it. So, since Mondays never come, I am starting running again tomorrow onwards, come what may, will be pounding pavements again.

Once a runner, always a runner.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Schmap : Sydney & Canberra guides.

Well, its proven now. I can have guys from Schmap ( vouch for me. I am more than an average photographer, taking into consideration the lack of a proper DSLR. I clicked these with an Olympus point and shoot, but people at Schmap think, they are pretty cool. And two of my pics from last year's Aussie tour got selected as part of Schmap city guides for Sydney and Canberra.

Check them out at :


or you can check them all at :

Happy clicking


Monday, May 4, 2009

What people from outside miss when in Himachal?

A few friends of mine happened to visit my home state, after a lengthy session of where to go and what to avoid, they got themselves trapped in the hard to avoid ‘Just another Tourist’ syndrome.
Let me explain to you what this syndrome is all about.

Firstly, it starts with NOT following the expert advice; people have to realize that someone who has been there and done that probably knows a thing or two (in this particular case, yours truly).

Second, comes the fact that mountains generate a lot of awe and if you are not used to being there quite often, the only thing you want to do is gaze at them and people comfort themselves and are satisfied by just looking at them.

Third, is most irritating one, Its called Shopping. People do not realize that mountains are there for a completely different reason, and shopping comes last in the list.

So, what does a ‘just another tourist’ do, he is the one you find sitting in the hotel, watching TV, when a smart one would have opted for a wonderful hike away from the town. He is also the one found sitting in the Cafes around the town, because he is so used to do it in the cities over the weekend. JAT (acronym for Just Another Tourist, didn’t know it would literally mean so much, lol) also keeps doing round of the most common places to visit, places swarming with fellow JATs. And in the process the JAT misses what mountains have put there on offer, the small hamlets waiting to be discovered, the un-spoilt village life, small summer streams that exist only for a few months, innumerable mountain trails, which take you to places of unimaginable beauty, and more practically countless stories, that no one has ever heard.

But, because JATs exist, all I get to hear from people returning from Himachal are things like, the place was “oh, so crowded” or “I bought these really nice T-Shirts there” or more commonly something like “ Man the chicks there are awesome”.

JATs, get a life, next time, just break the rules, take the path less traveled, get lost.

(I hope I didn’t annoy many people)


The new plan (new motivation)…

Every time this happens to me, I feel as if it’s the best phase of my life, and it’s happening again. Last time it was my pursuit of that Aussie holiday and this time, though much closer, its something I have been waiting for a long long time.
Spiti, the land of my countless dreams, the one destination I have wanted to be at for I do not know how long. Its happening now, this time its for real.6th of June, I set sail and its going to be 1 week of just me, my bike and the mighty Himalayas.

After several rounds of planning and discussion with my friends I came to the conclusion that may be this idea is my own, may be this thing gives a rush just to me and may be they are saying yes just because a NO on my face can make me feel bad. Now that I have come to terms with going solo, its like being on a totally different podium altogether. Now, more than ever, the planning has to be fool proof, now I have no back-up and now any screw-up can cost dear.

May be this is just the vacation I was looking for, where there are no fallbacks, there are no plan B’s and where help is just a relative word. I have heard, there are stretches there, where you find no human settlement for kilometers. The idea though scary, also provides me avenues of unspoilt fun. Didn’t I always want to just go there and get lost? Where else could I get a better opportunity?

So this is it guys, Spiti is happening, come what may. The first weekend of June, ahh I was so much waiting for it.
But first things first, have to get my bike and my itinerary in order. My bike goes to a couple of places this month, first is Karol Bagh, I will have it parked with an auto mechanic for a few days and have him operate it (I mean literally). It’s going to be the first real overhaul for it. A lot of stuff needs to be changed, starting for the handle bar to the meter pods, to the rubber ware connected to the engine, to the battery and lights,phew..The old guy took quite some beating in his time. Then after that’s done, the Pulsar 150 classic goes to Castrol Bike Zone, for the tunings and servicing.
That done, I need gear, rucksacks, gloves, maintenance kits for my bike and myself and a hell lot of SPF 40.

So, now that it looks like a plan and I have already started working on it, cant tell you how happy I am, just like last time, the time when I had a goal in front of me, like the days when I was trying to lose weight, like the time when I had to reach that target no matter what, pursuits that have an end in sight or in vision. I find it particularly interesting because I still have to figure out that one thing in my life, that one big goal that would keep me motivated, charged and happy every given hour and day. Till then I am happy with my little ambitions, mini goals and solo rides.

Will get back with the itinerary and the updates.