This is the main artery of the campus. Which means, I travel it several times a day. Cruising in the car, sometimes I talk on the phone, sometimes I read my notes or papers (Yes, although the child is totally banned from reading in moving vehicles, I am not). I don't like this road over-much then. Its just a route to get to point O (office) from G (gate). Big deal.
But when I run on this road - which I do, often enough - its such a spectacular thing! I used to bike to the stadium, catch up with the peeps there and then we would run around the campus together. These days, as I am trying to up the mileage, I just run from home. Which means that I have to cross that awful road at the ridiculously irritating signal under the flyover. Up to that point my run from home is not bad, barring the occasional idiot who honks at me loudly or yells in my ear. But that signal just sucks. Honking. Trucks, Buses, two wheelers. Hateful.
So when I enter the campus it feels great because I am now cut off from that big bad world outside. I always think a bit when I cross the security cabin - should I show them my ID? Most times I just breeze past them and hope that they don't care. Or that they recognise me (of course they don't. I don't even think people see me sometimes, like when I am in lines or waiting for the vegetable person. Forget recognising me).
Soon, I am on Delhi Avenue proper. In all my times here, I have not used Bonn Avenue (you could, equivalently) to go into the campus. Occasionally, I go on it to come back out of the campus, or when I am running loops as we were this past weekend. But, somehow, I am a big fan of the DA. Spot 1 is the temple (the first one). There is one person who does the puja there - he is the thinnest man I have ever seen in my life. He is usually slowly walking to the temple, I run past him, in his orange/brown dhoti, and worry about his rib-cage. On my right then is my friend's house. Ah 15th Cross, I exclaim in my head. Soon enough I am staring at Bannu's car on my right again, and at the beautiful new faculty apartments on my left. I love the white fencing they have going on. In between sometimes, one can see some wonderful birds. Like yesterday I saw not one, but two flamebacks, between 15th Cross and Bannu's car.
Near the shopping center one finds monkeys, usually. I clutch my bottle tighter then. You never know. They did take away ludwig's precious gatorade bottle one time (the bottle itself is precious. It has a wide mouth that we all seem to like, and is exactly 0.5 liters in volume, an important consideration for runners for a variety of reasons). The next thing you may spot are then deer. If you are lucky, they may jump across the road. One look at the dynamics of that motion makes your own feet go faster, no doubt. The big map of something - not sure what - is soon passed and there is a nice curvaceous part of the road to encounter after. Now the moving is suddenly very fast. The yellow board that I don't really read but know belongs to the Durga Peeli Amman temple, the white board with the red word 'Stadium' painted thick on it, that beautiful old tree, the building that was the library back in the day, and bang, I have hit the circle with the two elephants standing majestically in the middle of the campus....
In a couple of weeks from now, Delhi Avenue will be pounded by many feet. Young & old alike are to flock here. Walkers & runners will tread this path that I have run uncountable number of times on. What started as a small-ish idea has exploded into what we hope will be the first of many mega-running events on campus! Come check it out!
MARG Chennai Runners Half Marathon & 10 k Race
Date: Nov 6th, Sunday
Time: 6 am
Registrations: http://crhalf.doattend.com/ (filling up real fast!)
More Info: http://www.chennairunners.com/chennai-runners-half-marathon/
The excitement is palpable, we are canvassing it hard, getting permissions, training first-time runners, talking all the time about this, and it takes me immense effort to focus on other parts of life, like work, and deepavali, and that long-overdue visit to Goonj (which I had hoped would be an annual thing), not to mention keeping my sights on that longer goal and getting my weekly running mileage in...