“Breakfast during a marathon: My First Half Marathon Experience”

Dec. 23, 2018

Few months back I was about to run my first baby marathon – just 3 kilometers, and before that I was saying to my cousin – next I will be running 21 kms.

When I started running for 3 kilometers…midway I realized running is not so easy and by the time I finished the race I was sure I would be running for 3 kilometers only in next marathon.

So true to my word…I ran 3 kilometers at Forum Purple run on Sept. 30….and then 5 kilometers at J. K. Swaccha Ability run on Oct. 10.

Now what next? Of course I was going for 11 kms. But Sensei – My guru and karate teacher…asked my why not 21 kms?

So I simply registered for 21 kms.

A day before the race…I was a bit nervous and very excited about the medal I would be winning soon.

It was a very chilly morning and after warm up I was all set to go.

Little did I know what was about to come. We started from Rajeev Gandhi park and we had to go to Moti Mangri then return to Rajeev Gandhi park and if that was not enough…we had to repeat the process twice.

For once it was manageable and fun…but twice….I had no idea it would be so exhausting.

Route Map

The first round was easy and I finished the 11 kms easily. The problem began when my legs were screaming for rest during the second round.

Near Fateh Sagar the breakfast stalls were being put up and the hot kachoris and their heavenly smell was way too tempting. Only I know what kind of self control was required for not stopping midway and keep running. I knew that a stall near Moti Mangri would be giving bananas. So somehow I managed to run slowly and steadily till 15 kms but then I could take it no more and as soon as a volunteer came towards me with bananas, I grabbed a couple and then another came with oranges, Dear God…I just couldn’t thank him enough…I kept walking savoring the delicious fruits.

Soon I realized my stomach was full and I could barely run anymore….at that moment I realized that eating in between was a huge mistake.

I was feeling like the rabbit who started resting and all the tortoises started getting ahead of me. For a moment I didn’t really care but I was not giving my best. Lesson learnt.

I kept going, walking and running until I could see the finish line. I was expecting a huge crowd waving and cheering for me, welcoming me, but the truth was, I met few guys leaving the place with their certificates and medals, the welcoming gate had no one to welcome and the breakfast was finished.

My legs were paining like anything. I collected the beautiful medal, my certificate and came back home with infinite pain and happiness.

But suddenly I was feeling hungry again so I turned my vehicle back to JMB, ordered a plate of Khaman, Kachori, Fafda and papdi and ate it all with ease. It was cold but only a hungry stomach can find it tasty.

No matter what, the only thing I will remember the taste of those delicious bananas and oranges forever.

Thank you Mewar Group for organizing such a wonderful marathon on the shore of the serene lake Fateh Sagar. It was one of a kind marathon.

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“The Social Media Madness”

Impact of social media – against
To all dear members, if anyone of you is checking whatsapp or messenger right now, I would like to request you to keep your phone away for a while.
We are here to discuss the impact of social media. Yes social media is amazing platform to show off your recent travels. Now a days more than travelling, the show off of travelling is in trend.
Getting famous doesn’t really require talent anymore. You can simply sing songs in the worst of voices and become a huge loser celebrity.
There are so many free people in our country, they have a non paying job of Facebook where they are online all day long, simply there to like a new post as soon as it is out.
Trends do not require any ethics, moral or safety anymore as “kiki challenges” are so hit that celebrities dance out of moving cars and take pride in sharing it. We are really moving ahead but in wrong direction.
Fake news and the knowledge from WhatsApp University is priceless.
Few of my friends and many many people keep checking their whatsapp to check who has pinged them even though the WhatsApp inbox shows no new messages.
People are so addicted to sharing things that if a car is hit and if someone is burning, instead of helping them, people simply start making videos and start sharing on their whatsapp groups immediately.
Yes social media is helpful in many ways but how many of us are truly using social media for a good purpose? How many of us really enjoy the travel? How many of us remember the most peaceful and happening moment of their last trip?
Rarely we will get answers as people were busy clicking pictures instead of enjoying the moment.
Yes social media has made life convenient as my friends would say, I agree but when you will sincerely look around yourself, you will find small kids replying to birthday wishes, 1 year kid being wished happy birthday on Whatsapp and the mother replying all the relatives like thank you mama, thank you masi on behalf of the one year old kid.
Have we lost our common sense? Yes indeed. Relationships have become more fake, people send laughing smileys even if they are sad, feelings have lost the credit, self praise is the best trending thing, I would like to thank social media for making every other person a photographer, every other person is now a blogger and you tuber, most of the people live in a virtual world with their end number of followers and in real life the person is as lonely as it gets, they don’t have any true friends to give them a hug when they require it the most.
I hope husbands and wives do not wish each other on WhatsApp groups and people find time for real people instead of virtual friends and living a life where your eyes are good, your hand is not glued to your phone all the time and live a peaceful life.
At last I would love to say that social media is only good till an extent, it is only good if it is used for a limited time. If you give it priority, it will take away your health as well as real people from your life. Social Media is not worth losing real friends and family.

 

2 Fistful Almonds – A Tiny Story

I was about to leave for college. Mom was packing almonds for me. She almost gave me more than half the packet and had I not stopped her she would have
given me all.
I said, “that would be sufficient mom.”
As soon as my eyes drifted to door and back on her, 2 more fistful of almonds were stuffed in my packet. I saw it from corner of my eyes and
a broad smile took over my face.
Watching me giggle all of sudden she asked, “What happened?”
I said, “Only this morning I was thinking no one loves me.”

Sid
May 8, 2016

“SILENCE” – Short Story

It was a dark thundering night, raining heavily outside.

I was in kitchen preparing coffee.

The whole house was haunting me, the noise of raindrops and water horrifying.

Suddenly the doorbell rang and I shuddered at this sudden interruption. I was shaking with fear. No one was at home and at this hour, heavily raining outside, who the hell was out there?

Slowly tip towing towards the door, placing my every next step slow and steady such as no one could hear me coming, I reached the door. I looked through the hole and was stunned to see a wet girl.

My horror turned into excitement, I opened the door, we saw each other, I couldn’t speak, my throat choked, I just pointed out to the sofa in hall managing the situation and locked the door.

She went straight and stood there. I went inside and quickly brought a towel and watched her dry her hair.

I pointed her to sit and she obeyed this time opening her long boots.

First time speaking, I asked her for coffee and she nodded. I went inside and quickly made 2 coffees, running back to hall, handed her the coffee mug and sat opposite to her.

I couldn’t look at her, my eyes staring her fair feet, I took a sip from my mug.

We finished our coffee; she looked into my eyes and smiled. Putting the mug on table between us, she moved and wore her shoes. I quietly went to the door and opened it unaware that the rain has stopped.

She went out and I kept looking until she disappeared in the fog.

  • Siddhartha Taya (Feb. 14, 2013)

“Searching for God” – Tiny Story

I took her palms in mine and watched the burns she got while cooking.

I looked into her eyes and remembered the times I have brought tears in
those eyes.

While washing my cloths in hostel, my back pained, and from how many years
my mother is doing this?

When I got bored of my job, I realized my mother has never complained.

When I washed her feet first time, I knew those feet have run day and night selflessly.

O Mother, and all this time I was searching for God in Temples.

“FLYDO” – a short story

Part 1

FLYDO

When she opened her eyes the little bird could see a big cage. She grew up in it explained by elders that this is their world.

There was a big banner that said “BIRDS ARE MEANT TO BE CAGED.”

The cage was huge full of many different colored birds. What they didn’t realize was that it was just a part of huge cage.

But that little bird had eyes only for the sky. She just sat there looking towards the beautiful blue sky and wanted to fly, just fly and touch the sky.

The elders said, “No one has ever made out of the cage before dying. The birds that die are the only ones who got to get out of the cage and their souls fly.”

But that little bird was cut out of something different. She knew there would be a way to go out, if there was no way then she would create one.

That was the spirit of that little bird. When she named herself “FLYDO” everyone in the cage laughed and laughed till their stomach ached.

That made Flydo more resolute and firm towards her goal. Other birds started avoiding her thinking of her as a fool and some kind of mad bird. She got strange looks from everyone in the big cage. Other birds told their little ones to be away from this crazy little bird.

Even her parents told her to adjust to the customs of the cage. They told her why you want to get out when you are getting good food here. Why do you want to take risk when we are so safe and secure here? Why do you want to do something different? Why can’t you fly in this cage and be happy? Everyone else has lived happily here for generations.

She just said one thing, no matter if I get less food, I can’t leave my passion to fly in the sky, I got to be free. There can be nothing more marvelous than touching the sky, falling from cliffs and just fly. The dreams kept going on and on in her mind.

Nothing mattered to her. She had only 2 things with her, her dream to fly and the madness to believe that she could achieve it.

She began practicing secretly. When everyone slept at night she started biting and bending the steel string at one corner of the cage. It pained her beak so much the next day that she couldn’t open her beak for the whole day.

Did that stop her from doing it again? No, as I said, that little bird was made of some different stuff. God did spend quality time creating her.

Next night before going to corner she began with one steel nail; she practiced chewing it and bending it from beak. That night when she tried same on corner steel string her beak bled but giving up on her dreams was one thing she never learned.

She did it again and again for 1 week, one month and what seemed impossible happened after one year.

The bend in the string made her jump with joy. She danced, jumped under the moon, bathed in moonlight with stars witness of her triumph. She just needed little more bend to finally get out.

One morning 2 months later when no one saw FLYDO they panicked. A search began. No one could control the sobbing mother until they saw the Banner that was modified as “SOME BIRDS ARE NEVER MEANT TO BE CAGED.” And believe they did not, with shock and eyes wide open with horror. When they found the bends in corner they were horrified. The broken steel string had blood on it, fresh blood that was result of getting out of the tiny space she managed to create. The elders of the cage sealed the hole with twigs and leafs and declared the little bird outcast.

 

Part 2

The Flight of FLYDO

When Flydo got out of the cage that night the fresh breeze of freedom eclipsed the physical pain. The wound would heal she was sure. She ran and flew and flew higher and higher silently savoring every moment of freedom.

Flydo didn’t stop, she just couldn’t stop. It flew over trees, rolled in broken leaves; saw the blinking fireflies in middle of the night and couldn’t help being mesmerized by the beauty of Mother Nature.

She found a place to sleep at night. Next day when sunrays woke her up she heard chirruping of birds, waving flowers, daffodils, roses, sunflowers, lilies, lotuses and what not.

She sat on the mountain top on the cliff; she saw the depth from mountain top to the surface of the sea. She was scared at first but it was her lifelong dream to jump from the top cliff.

She ran few inches and jumped.

And next she remembered she was screaming whoooohooooo….on top of her voice. The thrill and beauty of going down without fluttering wings was beyond anyone’s imagination. When she reached the bottom of the hill where sea started it flew over sea, over waves where water sprinkled when waves crashed, the fresh shower, the fragrance of the sea, she just couldn’t take in so much happiness at once. She was bursting with joy, thrill, adventure and fun all at the same time.

Now she decided it was time to go home and tell everyone what she has seen.

When she came back to cage she was not welcome. Only her parents came and many excited little birds who secretly admired her courage as the first rebel, the first one to go out of cage, the first fighter who went for her dreams against all odds.

When the baby birds heard her story their eyes widened in awe, their beaks opened as they listened, dreams forming shape in their minds and hearts.

A little bird said her to come back on the tree just in front of the cage a month later only at midnight.

When she came back a month later at night on the branch she found a book kept there. The title of the book was:

FLYDO – The Legend of Sky.

Flydo touched the cover of the book touching every letter of the title and couldn’t stop crying.

5 little birds were peeking out from the above branches hiding in the leaves. They all clapped and clapped for her till their wings pained. This was the best gift Flydo has ever received. All the efforts, pain and suffering were worth living her dream.

The next day under the command of Flydo they established new home, a new world and on that tree there was only one big banner that said: BIRDS ARE JUST BORN TO FLY AND TOUCH THE SKY.

The Art of Wasting Time

“The Art of Wasting Time”

Social Media has made me super effective. I have so quickly mastered the art of wasting time that even I am surprised with my pace.

I so efficiently and effectively waste my time that I don’t even realize when the time sweeps by.

During my 2 years absence from Social Media, I used to do end number of things every day. I used to read books, spend time with friends, maintain my journal, writing poems, read news paper and what not.

I used to climb mountains on weekends totally off radar with no network and without a bother to click a single picture sometimes as I had no platform to show those pictures. No whatsapp, no facebook, nothing at all.

I even utilized my time fiddling with my camera and concentrating on photography.

Frankly those were the most peaceful days of my life, not only peaceful but happiest days. I didn’t have to bother about a thing. The most beautiful thing about that time was, I had the most wonderful sleep in the world.

Let’s come to the present date.

I am not only social media addicted but also addicted to my phone. I wake up with my phone and sleep checking my phone. Now I don’t have patience to read news paper, I simply hover through all the pages checking mostly photographs.

My patience level is worse than ever. I get angry easily. Every morning I struggle to wake up, my eyes pain constantly, my sleep deprived eyes beg to me constantly to shut the phone off, but I chose to ignore the warning.

If that’s not enough, my concentration level is not even half as good as it used to be, the Varanasi Diaries (the pending blog post) is still incomplete after 6 months and the brand new DSLR camera I bought 2 months back is still in my cupboard as it is. I don’t maintain my journal anymore.

IT has been a while since I last shared something on facebook and I am anxious to share something as soon as possible.

I didn’t do justice with my last blog posts in hurry to share them. I wrote them way too fast and the result was: the blog could have been far better than it is.

I am wondering from past few days where all my time goes by? It goes in checking whatsapp status of others, watching YouTube videos, checking my phone again and again, reading news feed, checking apps constantly, instead of remembering things I take plenty of screenshots and photos….and a lot more.

Last year I read 40-50 books (I started using social media from last year November), this year books I read: zero

I used to remember many phone numbers; today I barely remember 3-4 phone numbers.

I was very attentive, remembering vehicle numbers of many friends and family, few days back in a parking lot, I struggled telling the guard my vehicle number.

I wondered if I should take screenshot of my vehicle number too.

 

Today I have decided to:

  1. Give my eyes proper rest (i.e. sleep on time).
  2. Close my phone 1 hour before I go to bed.
  3. Using Whatsapp just for half an hour per day.
  4. Keeping net off for whole day and using only when necessary.
  5. Using facebook just for one hour on Sundays.
  6. Using alarm clock instead of phone alarm.

 

And utilize my time doing these things daily:

  1. Maintaining my journal every day.
  2. Try my hands on photography.
  3. Spend time with family and friends.
  4. Start working on script of standup comedy and motivational speech.
  5. Articles and new blogs to write.
  6. Read paperback books instead of eBooks.
  7. Reading news only in news paper and more attentively.

I have started following these guidelines from today and I will get back to you post one month with the results.

Siddhartha Taya

June 14, 2018