Yes. I am alive and well and kicking it!The last two months have been a blur as life around the Sharma household went up a gear. Here’s what’s been happening :

Wife bought a clinic. Yup. It’s official now. Charu bought a practice in Kitchener, Ontario and has started working part time at her clinic. Why part time? She has retained the previous owner to ensure that the transition is smooth. As you can tell, she is very proud of herself.

Rhea, my daughter, has been, as usual, has been handful. She has found out that I can be lied to quite easily and has been taking advantage of that fact. I am just afraid that her lying will go from innocent remarks to putting a spin on me. Anyway, am really enjoying this phase with her. She is funny…..

….she is laughing most of the time….

….she is learning how to swim better. And despite her complaints about swimming being complete boring, I think she has a pretty good time in the pool….

….and our bed time ritual is our favourite. We read a book to each other. She has been reading Dear Dumb Diary to me and I have been reading  Macbeth to her these days. There was a yikes moment when we stumbled on the word WHORE and all the linguistic jujitsu from me was not enough to satiate her curiosity. She being born in 21st century, activated the dictionary on the kindle and tried to read ”Promiscuous Person”. Saved! .

We have been trying to keep ourselves occupied this winter. Thankfully, mother nature has been good to all of us. No mountains of snow. Just enough to walk about in

As far as I am concerned, I have realised my role in this place called earth. My role is a supporting role. Supporting my wife through her business and supporting my daughter through her childhood. I accept this roles and am happy to see them fulfilled. The only time I get to spend with myself is during my commute to work and when I am running.

Yes, running is still a big part of my life. I am planning to run the Mississauga marathon on 6th May, 2012 and am seriously considering the 50 K Sulphur Spring Run in end of May. Still on the fence because I have not been able to do a really really long run yet. We will see how my training progresses in the next few weeks.

One of my aims is also to keep updating this blog. I know I have promised so many times before but this time I will aim low. I hope to update this blog once a week. And then we will see how to proceed from there.

Hope to talk to you soon!

Update : Here are some other pictures from the past few weeks that you might enjoy.

As you can see, her modesty just shines through :).

Can anyone guess why I took this picture? :)

Had the great pleasure of seeing the Heartless Bastards at the Horseshoe Tavern. They were, in a word, outstanding! Erika Wennerstrom pipes are just out of this world! Love the band and their new album.

Why Cheat In A Marathon?

Here are 11 runners who cheated during a marathon. A typical case would be :

4. Skip Miles 13-23: Anthony Gaskell (London, 2010)

At the 2010 London Marathon, 69-year-old Anthony Gaskell smashed records when he crossed the finish line at 3:05:00. It was the fastest time on record for his 65+ age group. But upon closer analysis of his recorded statistics, it was discovered that Gaskell supposedly ran the second half of the race (13.1 miles) in less than an hour – an impossible feat for even a world champion. It turned out he forewent running the there-and-back portion of the course entirely, skipping miles 13 – 23. Gaskell would later claim he hurt himself and was simply trying to get to the finish to receive medical attention. Nonetheless, his honorary plaque and title were revoked.

Each of the 11 cases presented above, the cheat was caught with consummate easy.  So why bother to cheat?

I know it’s easy to ask that question but I think the answers are always fairly complicated.I mean, running a marathon is a very big deal. Of those 11 cases, how many had run a marathon before and just wanted to finish and miscalculated and finished with fantastic times? I am not talking about the ones who either gave their chip away to another runner or just did not run at all. I am talking about the ones who were dedicated enough to make an attempt.

I have to confess that one I had a strong urge to cheat during my running as well. I did not do it, but almost did.

The run was the 30K Midsummer Night’s Run. The run was fairly grueling because the humidity was at around 85%. I was woefully unprepared for the run and went just because I had signed up for it. A crucial mistake I made was to switch from water to Gatorade  for my run. I never have Gatorade. Ever. And my stomach rebelled. At the 26K mark, I had to go to the bathroom and I was in for almost 10 minutes. When I came out, I realised that the bathroom was at a juncture of a loop. I could have easily walked into the bathroom at the 26K mark and come out of the bathroom at the 28K mark. And that’s what I started to do and then the little voice in my head said”what the fuck are you doing?”. I did not bother trying to answer and I turned around to complete the loop from the 26K back to the 28K mark. And then at the end of the run, I puked my guts out!

Looking back my reasoning was not to aim for the best time in the run. I was already doing awful. My reasons to cheat was to finish the run as soon as possible. But thankfully the Jiminy Cricket inside me was able to convince me that it was moronic to try and cheat. I mean, what for! So that I can tell the world I finished the run 10 minutes earlier than I actually did?

Mediocre Treadmill Run Ends Up Hurting Poor Moi

So this weekend we (wife, me and the lil_brat) ended up at Niagara Fallsview Hilton Hotel & Suites. The wife, who is fast becoming a GroupOn, WagJag & XYZ online coupon queen found this deal and we all took a mini vacation.

Overall I was not very impressed. I mean it was a good change from the daily grind but for the money we spent, it was quite ho hum. The lil_brat’s favourite was the pool, hands down! She and I spent at least 1 hour in it. Playing, swimming, splashing…….and lil_brat joined me in it. Before the swimming we took part in a winery tour at Hillebrand winery. The tour was really interesting mostly due to the guide but also due to the fact that the lil_brat kept it entertaining for us (and all others in the group). At one point when we all circled the guide as he was about to demonstrate how to taste wines, he asked who here knows how to taste wines. No one raised their hands except for the lil_brat! Everyone was laughing away while we were mortified!! Great tour but expensive wine. Since she has accompanied us to a few wine tasting/tours, she is well versed with the ins and outs of playing with the wine.

Anyway, I ran on the treadmill for a 5 K but somehow ended up injuring myself which I can only attribute to the different shoes I was using. I am familiar with this injury. A sharp pain on my left side of my knees which will go away after a few days. Am limping right now but hope to recover soon!

Test Run

7km run after the Scotiabank marathon last week. Not a bad run overall. I was basically trying out my legs and they seem fine even though I had an ache in my IT band. Lots of rolling with the foam in the next few days. Got the treadmill fixed so looking forward to putting in some KMs every now and then.

>Listened to the new Coldplay album and so far I like what I am hearing even though it seems repetitive (compared to their previous music). But I guess that’s the beauty of Coldplay. Lovely melodies all around and they always manage to throw in great guitar lines and lyrics.

Me And My Stupid Ego

My running schedule this year included, a half marathon in Feb, a full in May, a 30K in August and a full in Oct. Each of these runs represented it’s own problems and I could not give 100% on the day of the respective runs. Reasons varied from running in slush in Feb, to IT band problems (excessive training) and no strength (severe lack of training). I know it’s silly of me to focus on the time but I am a very egoistical person (in some matters :)) and I want to prove that I have it in me to improve my pace and be as good as my peers.

Therefore, I have decided to focus on distance rather than pace. Next year I am aiming to run a 50k. Have not decided which one but I will. To help me reach my goal, I will need to put in at least 40k every week until my “true” training begins. What does that entail? Lots of time on the dreadmill during winter months (hello gym!!) and at least one LSD on the weekends. This will put pressure on the home front (wife not a enthusiastic supporter of my running) and my on line activities (I love to wake up early in the morning and just surf the net).

We will see how it goes. Wis me luck!

The Technology In My Life

In our household, we have the following items:

1) iPod

2) 3 Laptops

3) 1 netbook

4) Phone

5) iPhone

6) Play Station 2

7) Wii

8) Xbox

9) Runner’s GPS (Garmin 305)

10) GPS

My family (yes, that includes my 7 year old) ask why I think I need a new gadget in my life (more on the gadget later), I decided to explore the technology in my life.

So let me explain each and everyone one of the items on the list above.

1) iPod : This is basically as useful to me as my right hand. I am a big music fan and I need to listen to music during all my activities (except when I am reading), in fact I am listening to music right now! The iPod really comes in handy during my long runs. I listen to podcasts, new music and books so needless to say without an iPod I feel naked.

2) Laptop #1 : My Windows 7 laptop is my workhorse. It’s the one where I run my web server, stores my photographs, acts as my entertainment centre and acts as my education centre.

3) Laptop #2 : My wife’s Mac book. It’s my wife’s workhorse. It’s the one she always uses for her minimal internet usage.

4) Laptop #3 : My old laptop. This is the one I use for experimentation. Although the last time I switched it on was about a month ago, I install everything and anything on it. I have Ubuntu and Vista. It’s a super slow machine but it helps the learning process.

5) Netbook : This one was purchased for my daughter. We were getting into dangerous territory when my daughter started using laptops. She would either borrow mine or my wife’s when we wanted to use it at the same time. As a pre-empt exercise, I bought a netbook for my daughter. Although I use it most of the time on my commute as a learning tool. I am practising MySQL and PHP on it at the moment.

6) Play Station 2 : Oh man!! The fun times I have had with this electronic piece! I remember staying up till 4am playing games :), all before my daughter was born!! Since her birth in 2003, I have not spent more than a few hours on the device. Time to sell it.

7) Wii : My daughter’s entertainment centre. She uses it regularly. In fact I have to cajole and threaten her to get off the Wii because she spends an inordinately long time on it. This is a keeper for the moment.

8) Xbox : Borrowed it from my friend to play Halo a few times. But ever since he upgraded to Xbox 360, he told me to keep it along with the games (apparently, Xbox games will not work with Xbox 360. How stupid is that???). But I have played it to my hearts’ content and it is now time to get rid of it.

9) Runners’ GPS : The reason why I cannot spend too much time on video games is mostly my daughter takes up my time and I have started running. I need to balance out my time so I decided it’s best to focus on what keeps me healthy (for the time being ;D ). This is a great piece of equipment and gives great data in real time! I have used it on my occasions including my first marathon run.

10) GPS : Well, this is a given. Everyone needs this to save arguments with your ‘better half’ when driving in a new part of the town.

So when we started to discuss about the iPad (the new gadget), I could not counter any argument put up by my family as to why I needed it. And I agree, for the moment, the iPad is basically an idiot laptop. Not of much use if you have all the above.


Hmmmm……but what about a kindle?

Am I back?

Time to get the blog rolling!

Still working in the bank I was contracted with last May. The job is interesting with quite a lot of challenges but the paperwork in this global bank is horrendous! There are definitely a lot problems when a bank at the global level is trying to “standardise”! The ratio to get something done here is 5:1 i.e. 5 times the paper work for 1 amount of work!

People are really nice and work culture quite different from the ones I have been used to in Canada. E.g. in my first job in Canada at an insurance company, I got the opportunity to learn from experienced people at that company. I not only gained access to a great network of professionals but also made great friends. (I also made and lost a best friend from that company). The bank I work at has a hybrid work culture. It is a chaotic mix of Canadian, Far-East Asian and South Asian cultures. I don’t want give the
impression that it’s bad or I dislike it. I quite like it but it’s different from what I expected. The best way to describe working at the bank is that it’s organised chaos!

Life at home has changed dramatically as well. The wife finished her course in NYC and is back in Canada which caused a lot of problems initially. Things are calm in the home front now :) and we are basically looking forward to the summer now. I think being locked up in the house during winter also caused a lot of friction!

Rhea, my daughter, continues to be the light in my life. She has become quite opinionated over the last few months and everything thing we ask her to do is an argument in the making! She is quite shy with other people initially but she warms up in a few minutes which I think is a good thing. Her activities (martial arts, Kumon, piano and swimming) keep me quite busy but as long as she is learning I have no complaints.

My running is going well too (or at least I think it is!). I am training for a full marathon on the 15th of May 2011. I will be running the good life marathon (I had already signed up for the good life and then realised that Mississauga marathon is on the same day! Aaaargh!). I am trying to put in as my KMs per week but obligations at home and work keep getting in the way. And when the wife is not supportive of your running, then the training becomes really hard!

I hope I will be able to maintain a regular update on this blog. I will aim lower and try and update once a week with mini updates every now and then.

Running Updated : Where I list me excuses on my lack of focus on my training

So how is my running going in the previous months. Pathetic.

I had thought this would be the year where I would take a big leap as far as distances were concerned. I had thought I would be able to attain my goal of running a marathon. Alas, it is not going to happen.

The problem is my training or rather my lack of focus on the training.

A few months ago I met John Stanton (at the Mississauga marathon expo) and we had a few minutes’ worth of chat but it was enough to get me super fired up about running a marathon in the coming months. And in the intervening month or so, I was able to institute a program that I stuck to quite diligently. And then I got a job.

The job ensured I would be able to put food on the table and pay my electricity and water bills, but my training took a back seat. Can’t run in the evenings at all because my wife works till 7:30pm and does not get back home till 8pm. Can only try and run early mornings but since I need to get on the GO train by 7:15am, that means I have to make sure I go to sleep early to get up early. And that is not feasible all the time since I do my studying and social networking and movies and music and blogging etc. at night time (since all these are totally off limits at work, I need to do all this at night time).

So, in this state of preparedness, I ran the Midsummer Night Run on the 21st, Aug. I ran the 30K leg thinking that I would probably be able to complete the run in 3 to 3:15 hours. And I thought I could use this to test my legs for the full marathon. Boy was I over confident!!

By 22K, I was cursing out loud enough for my fellow runners to overhear me. And each one of them bucked me up and I thank them all. I just was not prepared at all. And the run itself really bought me down. I mean, it was not until 9:07pm that I finished my run and I hate running late in the evening. I just did not account for that fact when I signed up for the run. And the weather was just downright awful. Intermittent rain, windy and a little chilly.

So all these factors have added up together to convince me not to run the full in Sep as I had originally planned. I will be running a half and try and get a PB in the run. Other than that, I will try and focus on a full marathon next year.

Woe is me!

Trip To India Postponed Again

Well, my trip to India has been postponed, yet again. I was really looking forward to the trip in Dec but a combination of work and life in general forced me to postpone it from Dec 2010 to Jan 2011 and then from Jan 2011 to April 2011. I will not go into the reasons but let’s just say life sucks when your plans don’t stick.

Anyway, I realised a few weeks ago that when I think about it, I really don’t know my folks at all. I mean, what were their aspirations growing up, what were their best friends like, what were they like as teens, their heartbreaks and their joys. Nothing. Nada.

So I have come up with some questions. I will be recording their replies and then I am going to up those files on my social network (after editing, of course!)

To that end I need your help. What questions should I ask? I know some specific ones but the general questions that might provide me with thought provoking answers. Here is a list I have in mind. Please add to it. It would make my life so much easier.

    1) What is the happiest memory you have till date?
    2) What is the saddest?
    3) What did you want to be when you were 15?
    4) What did you fear the most?

Canadian Patriotism

Not sure how to define patriotism. Sure I could look it up in the dictionary/wikipedia but I looking for a definition more attuned to my senses.

Growing up in India we were fed a steady diet of patriotism which I would, at this point in my life, term xenophobia. I am of course referring to the toxic mix of the equation that every Indian knows by heart : Pakistan = Evil.

No matter what the circumstances, no matter what the issue, it was the patriotic duty of every Indian to passionately hate every Pakistani. Be it a debate on war, politics, cricket or mangoes, every kid and every adult knew that India is better than Pakistan. And I followed this version of patriotism fervently. Even now at the mature age of 39, I have an inner monologue going on with the Pakistani hating version of myself. Thankfully that idiotic part of myself has calmed down a bit especially after tasting some heavenly mangoes from Pakistan.

By late 80s, this passion to hate Pakistan had died down a bit amongst the citizens of India. Not sure why, but the politicians saw that their rabble rousing against Pakistan was not really getting them the power they wanted and so patriotism somehow morphed into an ugly sub-version called Nationalism especially Hindu Nationalism. This religious version of patriotism was simmering for sometime and had a great following in Maharashtra. The leaders of this movement were able to export it to the national stage (through poor management by the Congress party, I might add) during the Barbari Masjid episode. And suddenly, to be a true patriot, you had to align yourself to defination put forth by Hindu nationalist leaders which was always one sided and quite violent. I was stupid but not a moron. I firmly resisted this version of patriotism that was sweeping amongst my friends and family. And this left me a little disillusioned. I wanted to be identified an Indian but not as one that required me to align myself to a “certain” kind of Indian. And so life went on blissfully where I just kept silent whenever the subject of patriotism came up because I found out that my voice would easily be drowned out by patriotic zealots.

And now I am in Canada which I have adopted as my country. Here things are radically different than they are in my country of birth. Democracy is practised with a transparency that does not exist in India. There are numerous flaws in this version of democracy as well but atleast there are great ideas floating out there and there is rational discussions on those proposed changes. There is however an under current of intense loyalty towards the flag that is becoming more vocal with each passing year. This group insists that to be a loyal Canadian, you have to SHOW OFF your love for the country (a decidedly US version of patriotism). And the only way to do that is to wave the flag, take part in the activities during Canada day that every Canada loving individual is doing i.e. drinking beer and attend fireworks displays and making sure that you have a Canadian flag pin on your shirt. This kind of patriotism eludes me. I mean I love Canada but to put it on my sleeve so that everyone knows I love this land is beyond me.

Another problem, I have an affinity for Canada as much as I have for India. India was my past and Canada my future. Why in the world do some true blood Canadians insist on me forgetting about India because it’s a country ”I have forsaken”. I don’t understand why some people refuse to understand that a person can love two or more countries at the same time. Utter nonsense.

Here’s my version of what it means to be a loyal Canadian.

> As a Canadian I am committed to the Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedom.

> As a Canadian I am committed to ensuring that I contribute to the Canadian economy.

> As a Canadian I am committed to helping fellow human beings (Canadians and non-Canadians).

> As a Canadian I am committed to opposing, peacefully, elected politicians and officials in power.

> As a Canadian I am committed to paying homage to fellow Canadians who have died making this a country worth dying for.

> As a Canadian I am committed to opposing the forces that want to disrupt our way of life.

> As a Canadian I am committed to caring for my brethren in Canada AND the world.

If this in anyway steps on other Canadians’ version of patriotism, then, thank god I live in a country where I can tell them, very politely, to fuck off.

Paper book vs e-book vs audio book : which is better and why

I am an avid book reader. There has never been a point in my life that there has not been a book around me. I mean, even when I doing number 2, there has to be a book near me. So, with the advent of e-book readers and audio books, one would say, I have reached my book heaven.

Er, actually, no. I am more confused than ever! What format should I adopt, completely? Should I stick with the paper version, should I buy a hardware (Kindle, Kobe etc.) or should I follow audio books more avidly?

Therefore, to answer my questions, I have chosen 5 criteria to gauge the desirability of one format over the other.

1. Read-ability

What I mean by this criteria is the ease with which I can read (or hear) a format. In that regard paper wins hands down. I mean there is no way the e-book readers can compare with the fonts and the paper background that a paper book. I have looked at both and I can conclusively say that ebook readers suck as far this criteria is concerned.

And what about audio books? Well, this where the audio book scores very high except in one scenario (I will come to it soon).

The biggest feature of an audio book is it’s ability to fill in free time. By that I mean when you go out running and you are not in the mood for music. Spend time listening to a book (other formats fail here). When you are waiting in doctor’s waiting room, listen to a book (in case you forgot to bring other formats). And so and so forth.

Audio books have an ease of reading that is unparalleled but they feel miserable miserably in one aspect. Night time reading. One of my most pleasurable moments of the entire day is night time reading. The evenings I am not able to read at night, I just feel the day has not ended on a high note. In that regard, audio books fail completely. I have tried and I cannot get used to the idea of listening to a book before going to sleep at night (which is strange because I use the drone of an audio book to put me to sleep on the GO train).

So, I will stick to a paper book as the choice under this criteria.

Paper Book = 3; E book = 1 ; Audio Book = 2

2. Browse-ability

One of my projects in my life is collecting books. And I don’t mean first editions or rare editions. Since I read 2 – 3 books at a time, one of the books I read is usually a repeat. I love to sit and browse through my collection trying to figure out which book to read.

Therefore, in that regard, a paper book wins again. I sometimes sit in front of my bookshelf for 20 to 30 minutes just browsing books – opening a book I have read before and just reading a page randomly trying to decide if this is the book I should read. That’s just not possible with ebook (ok maybe just a little bit) and definitely not with audio books.

Paper Book = 2; E book = 1 ; Audio Book = 0

3. Durability

Of course if I have a bookshelf and I like to browse, the books have to have durability. I don’t want to open a book after a few years and find out that the book is now junk because of a little moisture. Sadly, paper books fail in that sense.

Paper Book = 0; E book = 2 ; Audio Book = 2

That is not to say that if you take care of your books, they will still be destroyed. But the chances that I may drop a book in a puddle of water or leave the book on a plane are high. However, if I do the same with ebook reader or an MP3 player, I still have the book. Just not the hardware which I can easily buy again.

4. Environment friendly

Sadly paper books fail miserably, again. There is no easier way to say this……. Books kill trees and have a detrimental affect on the environment. That’s not to say that other formats have no impact at all. I mean, the ebook reader and an MP3 player have a huge carbon footprint when compared to a book. The thing is that you buy a hardware once and use it for many years practically negating the initial affect.

As an environment conscience guy, this is one of main reasons why I want to stop buying books and convert to the other two formats.

Paper Book = 0; E book = 2 ; Audio Book = 2

5. Second hand-ability

One of the main ways I purchase books are at the hand me downs shops tucked away in the various corners of a city. It gives me so much satisfaction to
roam around a bookstore and find a used book a second home in my life at a heavily discounted price. And this feature does not exist in the other formats. You pay for a book whatever the list price is at the back cover.
Unless there is a deal going on, the price never changes.

Unfortunately, this is kind of a deal breaker for me. My library consists mostly of used and discarded books and, on a rare occasion, a new book. I
look at my books as friends I have known for a long time. My copy of Starship Troopers (bought at $3/-) has been read and re-read numerous times. I can start the book at any page and immerse myself in it
completely. The same goes for Moby Dick. Or Brave New World.

This criteria alone tops every other criteria listed and is the sole reason why I continue to purchase paper books rather than other formats. Unless a dazzling new way of reading comes up, I am afraid I will be sticking to paper books and a few free books on other platforms.

Paper Book = 3; E book = 0 ; Audio Book = 0

Total Score :

Paper Book = 8;
E Book = 4
Audio Book = 6;


Man, I really need to loosen my blogging muscles! Ok, here goes.

Been a few changes in my life in the past 1 month or so. First and foremost, my wife has completed her education in New York and is back permanently in Canada. Now begins the arduous task of finding a job. It is not easy, I have to confess. There are jobs for dentists in GTA but in the last few years, Dentists have become a dime and dozen in this area. I havebeen trying to push her into trying for jobs more west of Toronto so hopefully she will get a good job in a month or so and I breath a sigh of relief :)

This is the year!!! This is the year I finally go for a visit to India!!!  Man, whenever I think about visiting India I get the chills. I am planning for a trip to India sometime in end of November for 3 weeks with my daughter. One of my cousin is getting married in December so it would be fun to attend the wedding and Rhea would get a chance to meet the whole family as it gathers under one tent. I have started the application to apply for dual citizenship so the process has begun. Woohoo!

Made a change in my job. I am now working at the IT department for a international bank in downtown Toronto. The work is pretty good so far. I can chalk up a new technology on my resume. Colleagues are nice andfriendly and diverse! White guys, brown guys, black guys, yellow guys……but severe lack of women :(

Running is going on well. Not as good as I had expected. I had thought thatonce my wife is back I would be able to focus on myself but things have not got back on track on the home front. We are still trying to figure out howto live together after 3 years apart. It’s a challenge and my theory is that it will remain a challenge until my wife gets a job.

Football World Cup 2010!!! I wait for this event every 4 years and followit fervently. I have no clue about the teams, the players the odds etc. I just want to watch the game. And it never fails to excite.

Will turn to regular blogging soon.

Rhea – An Update On Her Life

My daughter called me yesterday and I was surprised to hear her voice at 2pm. She should have been in school! Turns out that she was pushed by a student (who is mentally challenged) and she got a bruise on her head.

As Rhea was narrating me the story, I felt a pit in my stomach and my first inclination was to abandon my work and reach her as soon as possible. But my next thought was “no”. She is a strong independent girl and she will handle it herself. And by all accounts (the way she was talking to me and at the same time telling me of the new J. Bieber song she was listening to) she seemed fine. Then what in the world was she doing at my in-laws house in the middle of the day?

Turns out that the school had called my in-laws (who live very near my daughter’s school) and they immediately went and picked her up. For a few moments I was REALLY angry with my mother-in-law. But then I realised they are just being grandparents. So I let it go.

Reason number 234 why I want to be working nearer to home and not 1 hour away.

Giving Up

Well, that’s it. I am pulling out of the Mississauga Marathon and enrolling myself to the ½ marathon.

The reasons are fairly straightforward. My training was a pathetic. Sham is a better word. I just could not find the time to prepare myself for the marathon in the last 4 weeks. The training was going really well until end of Feb (when I was out of a job) but in March, my training went downhill. Between my job, my house and my daughter I just could not keep up with it. I have not been able to break the 25 K mark and my motivation levels have dipped. Before I really start to lose myself, I am going to do the right thing and aim for setting a personal best in the ½ marathon and focus for a full marathon in Oct 2010 (Scotiabank Marathon). My wife will be back in town permanently in May so I will be able to pay more attention to my training after she comes back.

I have discovered in the last 4 weeks that running a full marathon is not as easy as I thought it would be. It is infinitely more demanding and requires 100% devotion and dedication which if lacking means injury (which I had) or demotivating you to run (which I had as well). My training was hotch potch i.e. I would just go when I thought I had some free time which meant an erratic schedule. Moreover, there were numerous times when I would start my training and then get a call from Rhea (my daughter) imploring me to come back home as soon as possible. How can you say no to a 6 year old?

Anyway, I hope to put better input in my upcoming ½ marathon. I feel I am well prepared for it. Wish me luck!!

New York Trip (Feb 2010)

So I had an opportunity to travel to New York city and I took it :)

This city is absolutely fascinating. One can actually feel the pulse of the city and I have raved and clapped numerous times about New York here and here. But on this trip I have had some bad experiences.

I mean Mr. Bus Driver, I did not see the disabled man trying to leave the bus and there was no need for you to shout at me and my daughter to “stop blocking the way”. Ms. Dog Owner if you want space to walk your dog please take it to a park. Don’t expect me to take a bow because “your dog needs space too” on the pavement.

And my favourite, Mr. Cyclist. I know you earn pittance delivering food around the city and the faster you go, the more money you could make. But as a pedestrian I have the right of way and you were out of line shouting at me. BTW, next time, be a man and stop if you want to argue and not run away. I am pretty sure that the nasty weather had some role to play in it. It is quite cold and snowy and slippery and generally gloomy here in NYC at the moment.

But that will not stop me from loving this city. Every gloomy and bad experience can be blown away by a scintilating walk (on the one sunny day) by the lake on central park, by meeting good friends from one’s teen years, from having the best pecan tart with awesome coffee at a small cafe, walking on the streets of NYC with Rhea, my daughter who was using our umbrella to make sure her Barbie did not get wet.

New York, even in the throes of winter, you continue to rock!!! I salute you.


For some reason the idea of death come to my head the other day. Not what happens after I die. Throw me in the furnace after harvesting me for organs. I don’t care. But what I have been thinking about is the Moment before I would die. What would happen? What would I be thinking about?

This question has been bugging me quite a lot. And the worse thing about me is that the way I answer troubling questions is to actually imagine it happening. And that’s what I did twice today. I placed myself at the moment of my death. I am on bed, wearing PJs with sheets covering me and I am dying. The thing was that the only thing that I was fretting about at that moment was how sad it would be not to see the people who matter to me anymore. Literally bought tears in my eyes.

At first I was really upset about it but then it occurred to me that maybe that’s what the IDEA of death is…..to make us live more fully. I know I will die one day but as long as I am alive, I am going to make the most of it!! And my main purpose in life is to make sure that everyone around me knows that I love and adore them a lot.

Since then I have been feeling better and feeling more alive than ever before. Try it yourself. Place yourself at the moment of your death and everything will become clear about what you really want out of life.

Good luck :)

Update : I just realised the massive Cliché in this post. The simple fact is that it’s the truth and that’s why it’s a Cliché!!