Independence Day 2012 could have been my tryst with destiny. But for the unsympathetic volunteers at the BNP run, it just could have been my day. To many of you, brilliant runners, it may seem that I am seeking just a cheap thrill. But for me it would have been the aha moment. But alas, that was not to be. Cruel, heartless volunteers.
The moment is etched in my memory for all time to come, not to mention my garmin. It said 1:29. The finish was just 100 metres away. A gust of wind from behind (where else would it come from, you silly) and I saw Don surged past me. For a moment, for just a moment, I was ahead by a belly. But the sight of a photographer clicking us both, caused to me to tuck my belly in and at that very moment the advantage was lost. At that moment, I let him go, though I could have easily finished ahead of him. Because, I can run 100 m at Don’s pace. Really. I really can. On my fresh legs, I can run 100 m at the same pace as Don can when he has already covered 50 k. But I let him go.
As I did so, a thought crossed my mind. I looked up at the finish line. There were some 20 volunteers lined up, I did not know most of them. That should help, I thought to myself. But what if they knew me, I wondered? Did they know that I am the slowest runner on planet earth? Perhaps, then again perhaps not. Could I fool them into thinking that I too was finishing? I remembered that Giles had announced that every finisher need to have three rubber bands on his or her hand. I quickly managed to convert the rubber band I had into a three layered one. Who’s gonna count, they will just wanna see whether i had more than one rubber band, right, I told myself. I was still 50 m away. At my pace, even as time moves at its own pre ordained pace, distance moves very slowly, you see.
But the thought of being labelled a cheat was worrying me. As I was reflecting on the consequences of cheating, a second runner ran past me, and very soon, the third. I turned back to find that no other runner was in sight. All that I had to do was to cross the finish line and claim the position. If they had asked to see my hand, they would have seen what looked like 3 bands, though of the same colour.
As most of you know by now, I take a long time to cover 100 m, to cover any distance really, especially a long distance. By now I was 30 metres away from the finish line. My mind was made up. If even one volunteer had shouted so much as a word of acknowledgement, if even one volunteer had applauded me as i approached the finish, I would have claimed the fourth spot. But none of them did, and my heart broke.
Cruel, heartless, these volunteers are. Very cruel, Very heartless.
Bad, Non encouraging People @ BNP.
Bach Nahin Paya