The Day I Ran for the SnT Run!
I would advise you to go to the end of this article and see who has written it. If my name generates a spark of recognition, then go ahead and read the title of this article once again. If you are one of those who has the (mis-)fortune of knowing me, then you are probably rubbing your eyes vigorously, incredulously even, your eyes switching rapidly between the title of this article and my name and you’re thinking, “He ran??? I thought he was not capable of running. Science and Technology and the Environment must really mean something to him. I never knew that.” Of course, there may be a few of you who’re practically splitting their sides up laughing, imagining me going through the routine of tying up my laces, hitching up my trousers and waddling (the closest word I could find to pictorially represent my running). I do not blame you. In fact I must apologise, for misleading the whole lot of you. I did not run in the SnT run that took place here on April 11, 2010. I ran (jogged for a very short stretch between the ECE department and the Main Building) so that I could reach the Main Building on time. So I didn’t actually run. I doubt whether even Katrina (the Hurricane) has the power to make me run!
The first things that struck me on reaching my destination was the activity that was going on at the venue at 6:30 AM. And the fact that the good ol’ Sun does rise by 6:30. I am, you see, one of those who likes to work in the dark, literally speaking. Figuratively, I want to hog all the limelight! And I am usually a late riser. So it was nice to observe that early morning is actually morning. I was up that day, by virtue of not having slept the entire previous night. Now, before you run away with the idea that I am one of those dedicated students , erm.. I am one, actually, but I’d like to clarify that on that night, I was awake because I was soaking myself in fiction. And I am glad that I did take the trouble of stopping myself from continuing on my reading spree and coming to the venue. I had a whale of a time there, and as a Voiceian, my experiences ranged from funny to educational.
I had the opportunity to talk to a few children who were participating in the Run and it was fun interviewing them. Their reluctance to speak and their shyness brought back memories of my own childhood. Those were indeed the days! When I was too young and carefree to worry about the future. And with not many memories to brood over the past!
I also got to learn a lot. Before the 10K Run, we, at the Voices desk, were introduced to Mr. Janardhan, who, at the age of 77, was participating in the 10K run. He is also an avid cyclist. He’d just told us the amount of cycling he can do at a stretch (I have unfortunately forgotten the distance he quoted, but it was an awesome figure), and I blurted out, “Wow, I don’t think I have the ability to cycle that much!” and pat came his reply, “I know you can’t”. It is needless to say that I was taken by surprise (“How does he know for sure that I can’t ride that long?”) and the succinct and final way in which he made that proclamation did hurt and offend me a little. But he went on to say, “The minute you think you can’t do a thing, you cannot do it. That is the problem. The minute people see a motorbike or an auto, they throw away the cycle and commute by that.” I must say, I was awestruck by the wisdom in his words.
I also had the privilege of interviewing Prof. D. D. Sarma (SSCU). He had won the 2.5K Walkathon (having completed the circuit in around half an hour!). And he was preparing to run in the 5K Run. When I asked him how he felt on winning in the Walkathon, he said he was feeling great. He added, wryly that people told him that he walked very fast. When I wished him luck for the 5K Run and added that I hoped to see him win there too, I was in for a surprise. He smiled and replied back saying, “Oh no! I participated in the Walkathon to win! I am participating in the 5K Run to lose. One must experience everything in life!”
I wouldn’t say that I didn’t know of these things before. But the lessons I re-learnt that day, from Mr. Janardhan, namely “Doing something requires conviction and belief in one’s abilities” and from Dr. Sarma, that “In the end, winning and losing are just a part of the experiences and memories that we’d come to cherish. Participation is what is most important”, I would certainly say impacted and inspired me more because there are people who’re actually implementing them!
I learnt one more lesson that day. And that is, that staying up the whole night and trying to work the next day made me (in my humble opinion) very humorous. But sadly, opinions differ. Some of my poor teammates who were at the receiving end of my jokes gave me the impression that I was a very bad cook. They kept telling me, “Paka mat (Don’t cook) !!!” I wonder why.
All in all, it was a wonderful experience. Perhaps, the next year, I may even run!
– K. Vijayanth Reddy (ECE)