Bridge it all the way

Relationships are built everyday.

I termed these relationships as “Bridges”, and why. Why did I name it as a Bridge? The reason is that a Bridge is meant to connect two ends which are far apart. The ends which would have never met without the help of a bridge.

Bridges get built between friends, colleagues or with people wherever you go. Be it close or distant friends. Life of a Bridge is dependent upon the nature of each individual. Some Bridges are built fast and for a shorter duration in-order to enable you to travel shorter distances and some last long and forever helping you to have a safer journey through out. One may have a few bridges and others may have many bridges but more important is the life of each bridge and the medium how it is built.

Till now I have been successful in building many bridges, some strong and some weak too. I tend to start with a weak bridge and then over a period of time I try to invest time and put my best efforts to make it strong so that it can last long. Again, it is not necessary that all strong bridges last forever. Sometimes it also happens that I have started off with a strong bridge with the best of material used (i.e. honesty, trust) but these materials may get decomposed over a period of time if both the ends tend to forget the reason the bridge was built and hence may not last long.

Wise people have said that it’s always better to have one strong bridge instead of many weak bridges; which might not be able to sustain heavy loads or burdens. In my opinion I feel I should have strong as well as weak bridges in-order to balance out both.

Changes in weather occurs all the time. Similarly, changes are seen in the life of the bridges as well. Sometimes we experience bad weather and natural calamities (like cyclone) which is out of our control, in the same way the strongest of the bridges might fall. Possibly the amount of time invested in building it up was not good enough to sustain it any longer.

Sometimes it also happens that you might need to break one of your favorite bridges. Maybe this bridge could mean everything to you, it was one of the vital parts in your life. The flowers and fruits borne were most beautiful till now, however maybe the soil which was holding both ends of the bridge got spoiled beyond control and the last option was to bring it down.

Breaking existing bridges might help building new stronger bridges. Bridges are the way to move ahead in life. It should not become a hinderance. Remember that all bridges will break eventually at the end of your life.

I’d like to end with this apt quote “People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime”.

It’s upto you how you mould and cherish the time and the bonds you share with the people around you.


Advantages of being a Tortoise

In my previous post I had mentioned a few random thoughts popping up in the mind of a slow runner. Incase you have missed it then you can read it here Tortoise in running shoes

I have observed that many runners feel that running at a slow pace is a waste of time. Running can be a simple, beneficial exercise for many people. Slow or fast, you’ll still reap loads of benefits and if you are slow, you are certainly not alone. So before you change your mind and throw away your running shoes just consider that slow running can also be beneficial. Continue reading

Tortoise in running shoes

Just some random thoughts came into my mind which I felt like penning down 😊

If one can recollect an old story of the legendary race between “The Hare and The Tortoise” where the Tortoise had won the race in-spite of Tortoise been a slow runner. But if one compares this scenario with any recent Marathon event then imagine the thoughts that would have popped up in the mind of today’s Tortoise ….Tortoise

  • Getting lost – I know you must be laughing but this is serious. For long races with loops and having lots of twists & turns then the runner tends to forget the way. If the runner has no sense of direction and if there are no sign boards then this is bound to happen.
  • Running out of water – Chances are high that the water stations might have finished their storage of water and if you are among the last runners than possibly they might have closed their water station too.
  • Reaching last – What if I reach last ?? … I mean the last person to reach where there is no one to overtake me.
  • Not making it before the cut-off – there are certain Marathon events when there is a cut-off time to cross the final mat and what-if-i-don’t-make-it-on-time ??.
  • Not getting a medal – If I did not finish the run before the cut-off time then I will lose my medal and hence all my efforts will be wasted 😦
  • Click-click – This is the most important part of running a Marathon. All the official photographers are busy capturing the main runners and forget to click pics of the slow or rather last of the lot runners. Not a single official pic of yours running in the Marathon = #youhavenottakenpartintheMarathon 😊

Distance running is about personal goals, improving your health and finding positive energy.

These are some real issues to think about for slower runners but there’s also many positive things that come with the back of the pack. I’ll talk about some of the wonderful things about being a slower runner in another blog post.

A Priceless Metal

Last week, I got a surprise gift from my very nearest and dearest running buddy. It’s a medal hanger with wordings “I CROSSED THE LINE”.

Only a Runner can understand and feel the joy of crossing the finishing line. I recollect that I, myself had tears in my eyes when I completed my maiden 10km run and the same feeling I had when I completed my first HM (Half Marathon 21.097 kms) and even while crossing the finishing line of the 25km marathon too (one of the toughest for me until now since it had 4 times inclines included in the route and the last few kms I was all by myself with all my known buddies either ahead or trying to catch up with me to reach the finish line).

This is a perfect gift for a runner who has thrived hard to earn a medal for himself/herself. The medal is the proof of the sweat burned, proof of waking up early (even before the milkman or the newspaper guy comes at your doorstep 😊), proof of calories burned, proof of determination to run every day, proof of not giving up no matter whatsoever the weather; be it a hot & humid day in summer, be it a heavily rainy day in the monsoons or a chilly winter morning; which never stopped me from running.

The impatient me could not wait any longer and I immediately got it fitted in my room with all my medals hanging. I also added few medals earned by my daughter and wife. Looking at the hanging medals I already am getting charged up to earn more. Frankly neither during my school or college days have I earned any medals and hence achieving such success at this stage of my life makes all these medals very precious and dear to me.

Running is not only about earning medals. I have been actively running since over 2 years now and running has taught me many things. Running helped me to know how to stay fit & healthy, it has helped me to get disciplined at late night outings as most of the weekends I have my long runs scheduled and for this I need to get up early so this means I have to sleep early 😊. Running also has got me connected to lots of other athletes and helped me make new friends who now have become an integral part of my life. It was because of Running I now have a very near and dear friend who is my mentor as well as my running buddy.

Experience one cannot forget

Roshni Cecelia Pereira is an avid runner, a house-wife and loving mother of 2 children. She happened to get into running to lose weight and since then she is unstoppable. Roshni was nominated twice for the Mumbai Road Runner Award night; in 2017 for Improved runner and in 2018 for Best runner.

Roshni till now has officially ran One Full Marathon, Eleven Half Marathons, Maiden 25Kms run, Seven 10 kms & One 5 kms and has won many podiums till now :-

  • 1st runner up @ Yeour Hill run – 21km
  • 1st runner up @ Keep on running (KOR) – 10 km
  • 1st runner up @ Goregaon Spirit of Sport run – 10 km in year 2018
  • 1st runner up @ Goregaon Spirit of Sport run – 5 km in year 2019

Pacing is the new liking of Roshni and she recently also had the experience as a Pacer to drive her bus loaded with people on time to the finishing line.

In just 2 years of time she achieved her initial goal of becoming a Marathoner.

You can read her experience of running her 1st official Marathon from her own heart.


The Experience of running my 1st Full Marathon !!!

“The pride in finishing a marathon is much greater than all the pain endured during the marathon.” Hal Higdon

On Race day…

I woke up at 1.20 am when the alarm rang in a fraction of second, no, it wasn’t the excite of the race, but the frustration of fight (silly one though) which had not allowed me to sleep whole night. Got ready by 3 am left with Sunil and Varsha to the station to take 3.30 am train for CST station (now I wasn’t in the mood at all, as I had not cleared my bowel). Reaching station my friend Varsha asked  me where is the  Garmin, and I was like, Holy Christ!! no records of my first FM on such expensive gadget what a waste 😉 …….Uff…… but I was still chilled……. Met my BBG gang in the train and I was normal by then… Samuel was asking me to take his Garmin watch, that was very sweet of him even my other runner friend Sunil was giving me his earphones, he runs with his earphones all time, for me it was ok, as I run without it, so it didn’t matter. After wishing goodbye to the HM’ers who got down at Mahalaxmi, we others sat there relaxed. We (Alwin, Rahul, Xavier, Jaj and me) reached the venue and started with the warm up….. I heard a voice shouting my name and it was my friend Ritu along with her hubby passing by, I told her to carry on I will catch up at the B line up………. At the time of stretching few thoughts started running in my mind, how I registered for this day.

Registration period / Training ……..

It all started in my Runners forum  group ,lets register for FM this year and train together….the ones who wanted to do, had registered for FM immediately once the registration had started, I was still reluctant about it, frankly speaking,  I’m a bit lazy to get up early in the morning during winters, and that’s only best time to train for us runners and  Running a marathon is not anybody’s cup of tea. It takes huge efforts, determination and commitment for a long time. and I was asking myself : Do you think you have it in you ?. Finally made up mind and registered on 13th September 2018. I thought. I was excited, nervous, and anxious. What I didn’t realize was how much training for a marathon would change my life…for the better. Started with the Gym training since then and running most of the time 10kms, 15kms and 21kms in months of Nov and Dec apart form this only one 35km I had done with help of John (hubby) for water support, poor fellow was in the car for 4hrs ;-), everybody in different groups encouraged me a lot. But still I wasn’t satisfied with training plan the reason is, it was not a systematic one, the way the actual Marathoners train……no coach to guide, just got useful tip from few friends and my runner forum group and Sam (Samuel) he guided me with all the do and don’ts all the time till the race day (yes but this is for sure I trained hard and strong). So I decided do a 42 Km to overcome my fear before hand and later not crib on the race by saying Why did I register for the race, or abusing my friends for it who had asked me to register ;-).  I always wanted to do a Full Marathon but I didn’t knew it would be this soon in two years of running (Also, I dream of running Comrades 🙂 ) …. So on 22nd Dec 2018, I get up early at 4 am get ready and leave the house by 5am and after warm up of 10 mins, I start my run in my locality finishing around 10kms and I go running to Goregoan west (3kms) , and a few kms I run  there at back road (Malad west near behind orbit mall) , then I proceed on S V road till Dahisar end and return, I come to back road doing last 4kms there, weather was so pleasant  it felt like never stopping that day. I took few breaks at general store, chemist, D’mart to purchase water…….during this run I was only on salted dates, water (before the run I had eaten 2 bananas which I always do during run or event days)……. I finished my 42.24 kms in 5.09.35 hrs (including all the breaks) … What a satisfaction it was !!!! ………. that’s it I’m ready!!!, there  was nothing as such hitting wall that day……… We had planned for few days trip to Goa where I relaxed completely and recovered as well (for a week). after that did few runs in 2nd week of Jan and gymming for few days ,then last  week I was  completely on rest till the D-day arrived, as people around me kept saying I overdid it, I reached to peak and etc etc,  so I controlled myself by not doing anything more further which could lead to injury and failure of the mission, only things I did was hydrate, hydrate ,hydrate  carb loading, sleeping,  stretching  from the  third last day of the D day.

Back to race day ………..

Reached the B line up section I met Ritu and her hubby Vijay as we were talking n walking we met Bijay and his friend we exchanged greeting n wishes, my eyes were looking out to my friend Vishu (Vishwanth) as we both had planned to start the race together n support each other but missed meeting him. I met Sameer, he gave me some tips and that was my actual plan (not to run with pacer) run on your own. Meeting such friends who inspires you, gives me always positive kind of vibes. I’m happy to meet them before the race. 🙂

The race started bang on time at 5.30am by the time I could reach the timing mat  it was 5.33 am , it was dark, the road was narrow , I felt like everyone were going slow  or maybe it was over crowed, few of runners  dashed me , one guy stamped shoe from behind , so much of chaos starting 2 /3 kms, was going on a steady pace not shooting the HR(Hear rate), few kms later I saw Sunil sir and Sangeeta ma’am running together I went towards them and greeted n moved forward , I was running on the middle of the road  stamping  some of the reflectors , that’s when Sunil sir called from behind and said don’t stamp over it …… Thank you sir I wasn’t attentive enough at that moment . While I was reaching peddar road I heard sound screaming like some herd is approaching it  was 4.30 hrs pacer bus I was with that bus till the peddar road down also met my friend Mani who was running strong,  then I left as I wanted to go with easy . I was feeling better and the weather was also ok till then, I felt, when reaching at Worli I was searching for HMers friends who were running couldn’t see any. Slow and steady I reached Bandra Sea Link I was still feeling strong , At 19 km I stopped to use portaloo , told myself few kms and the half way is over, reaching Shivaji park it was 24km and I don’t know what happened then negative things started  running thru my mind felt like stopping  and walk off home, but I told myself why you want to do that did you train for this day to quit over a small silly fight  ,(this silly fight happens in every house and especially if your spouse is a non runner, mentioning about it here because one should fight with your moods and not to give up under any such type of circumstances) No I said, I shouldn’t give up, I’m running for my joy and I’m going to complete it !!…. battling with my heart and mind (also praying). At 28.5 kms mark I again stopped for portaloo  had to wait there for few secs as both of the portaloo was in use, I somehow reached Worli dairy where we had to go in loops which was a bit boring where the turn wouldn’t come it was like going on and on,  but  at the same time it was sight to see the Kenyan elite runners  running from nowhere pass by next you…( from 27kms  to 40 kms I was stopping at all the water stations for drink water  feeling  like throat was getting dried all the time but at the same time enjoyed the presence of Mumbai crowd along with their little ones offering salted oranges, salt, dates, jaggery, water etc etc.) reaching before 36 km I  crossed my friend Alwin then met my friend  Ravindra , at the  start of Peddar road met my dearies Shweta, Ami, Sopan, Umed (God bless all the angel volunteers and the crowd for cheering out there for us ) so sweet of my friend Ami  who offered me a piece of dark chocolate . few meters ahead met Prerna and Alpa they were shouting just run 7kms to go, run. At 38 km I met a friend Dinesh I wanted to run together but I told him to carry on and not to slow down for me.

Then the WALL HIT !! at 40 km, it sneaks up on you like a thief in the night. I wasn’t feeling pain, but my legs were starting to deflate, (but didn’t felt the same  during training run ) suddenly felt a kind of push from behind and it was Raj Vadgama sir  he told me don’t walk keep moving slowly, we are just reaching , it’s another 1.5 km to go and can be completed in 5hrs , come on keep moving he said to me. Thank you Raj sir for that push. Those last 6km I felt very humid with no shade that’s when I did biggest mistake consuming lots water which further slowed me down. At reaching the 41km mark suddenly I heard loud cheers from my friends from MRR cheering zone that boasted up my energy (thanks Yvette, Sam and Hemang), then my friend Hemang started pacing for that last 1km, I can’t thank him enough for that. He left at 100mts saying he will meet me later. Finally I reached the finish line with tears of joy in my eyes…….. And at last I said to myself, I’m a Marathoner !!!!

There was no target in mind as it was my first marathon and I wanted it to enjoy it fully, without any injury or tiredness left at the end of the run… I’m glad it happened the same also with an unexpected timing of 4.55.44 hrs of finish, what more I could ask for !!!  Amen.


Investment is the best policy

As per me there are 2 types of investments that one has to make in life – one, which your financial advisor guides you to invest in to secure your old age and the second, which no one mentions or rather you hardly hear about it.

I am not a financial advisor so forget the first type of investment, I firmly believe in the second type of investment which is Invest in YOURSELF. I came across this phrase as I was searching something for work, “if you want to invest in something with minimum risk and a guaranteed big return, invest in yourself

We spend majority of our time working in an organization; but we do not spend enough time Thinking and Planning for ourselves, for our personal growth, for what we need to INVEST in our self. Investing in our self is one of the best returns on investments one can have. It helps one to think and focus on what really matters to us, which would improve the quality of our life. And the best thing is it doesn’t require much money.

Here are a few investments I do which helps me and hopefully can be helpful to you:-

  • Invest in Reading: According to a research, reading just 6 minutes or 10 pages a day can help one reduce stress levels by 68%. Reading is an awesome way to gain knowledge because books give you the power to explore new things and belief in oneself.
  • Invest in Writing: If you are writing or replying to emails, messages (be it on any social media platform), then you have a writer within you. Try maintaining a journal or try writing something daily. If not daily, then atleast periodically. Writing helps to enhance communication skills and helps to become a better thinker. You can read my blog on “Why do I Write
  • Invest in Genuine connections: Genuine people will always be helpful in your life. These are the bunch of people who will always stand by you at any time irrespective of anything. It’s very important to identify and maintain genuine relationships, you will surely get wonderful returns against this investment.
  • Invest in Kindness: Kindness does not mean saying yes to everyone. Kindness means understanding others, helping others and being concerned for others genuinely without any ulterior motives. I have been helped by many people from whom I have never expected anything in my life and in return I am trying my best to be of help to others whenever and in whatever way I can. Again, kindness must be without any expectation of reward or returns. My way of Joy of giving and Helping hand to a child.
  • Invest in Positivity: Our thoughts make us to do things. Each thought of ours shapes us and makes us act accordingly. No matter how bad a situation you are in always feel grateful that you are not in the worst of situations. Gratitude helps our thoughts to change, look at things in a better way and it ultimately helps to change our actions. We cannot have control over what happens to us but we can control our reactions and what we choose to focus on.
  • Invest in making a To-Do list or a Wish list: If you do not have a to-do or a wish list then make one now itself. Just write the things you want to do in your life no matter how small or big these things are. It will help to motivate you in the right direction and something to look forward to.
  • Invest in Fitness: Health is the only real wealth you have. If you invest in your health, you are free of all diseases. Almost all of them can be avoided with a little change in your lifestyle. If you invest only 30 minutes of your time daily performing any type of exercise you will get amazing rewards of it in the future. My way of staying fit.

Well these are a few of my investment tips from the new guruji on the block 😉. I hope they are of as much use to you as it is and has made a lot of difference in my life personally.

A perfume bonding

It was that time of the year, the Christmas festival which is known to bring cheer in life, an occasion that brings people closer with endless happy moments.

Last year, Raj Malhotra a Sales executive working with a multinational company clearly recollects that day which made a big change in his life.

It was the very first time that the newly joined HR head of Raj’s office introduced a new concept and hence came up with the idea of “Secret Santa”. For those who are not aware about this game then here it is; one has to pick up a chit and there will be an employees name written on it; he/she has to get a gift for that person whose name was picked, wrap the gift and drop it in the collection box in the office (ofcourse without writing the name of the person who has purchased the gift as the name of the game is Secret Santa 😊). Then on the decided day the gifts from the box are distributed as per the “To” name written in presence of all. The HR head made this Secret Santa game a mandate for each and everyone to play along. Raj has been working with the Sales team and is a hardworking person and most of the time traveling, meeting clients to reach his monthly targets. Raj would hardly visit his office and hence was not a very famous person among his office colleagues of almost 100 + staff on his office floor.

As usual Raj was out on field work when the HR person had distributed the chits across the office. In the evening once Raj was back in office to complete some work, at that time the HR person came and handed over the last chit remaining to Raj. Taking the chit in hand (without opening it) Raj was thinking whether he is unlucky or lucky to get the last left chit. Little did he know that this last chit will change his life.

Raj from his childhood days was always very particular about his style of dressing. He always had a liking for perfume and never missed out on applying it whenever he moved out from his home even if he went to play. As a kid he used to secretly use his father’s perfume whenever he got a chance to do so. His liking and taste of perfume increased as he grew up and from the last couple of years he had started using a very good perfume brand named “Kara Scentric”. Raj was awed with the fragrance and the long-lasting effect of the perfume.

So, the chit which he picked up was of a girl named Anjali Mehta. Raj was completely blank on the name as he hardly knew any of his office colleagues. Upon seeing the blank look on Raj’s face, the HR person informed him that Anjali had recently joined the company and is working with the Finance department. She is a hard-working girl and smart looking too (with a wink). Raj started thinking about what gift he should buy Anjali. Being a very shy person, he just could not figure out the perfect gift. Raj did not want to disappoint Anjali with some cheap and not useful gift and was not able to sleep properly that night and tossed and turned around with all these pensive thoughts. The deadline to drop the gift in the box  at the reception of the office was by the next EOD.

Early morning Raj got up and was about to leave when his mother asked him why he had not sprayed his favorite perfume and this sentence from his mother clicked a bell in his head and a big smile came to his face. He immediately hugged his mother and said thanks and ran out. First thing Raj did was catch an auto and went to a mall and he knew exactly which shop he had to visit. Since he was early the shop was not yet open and he had to wait for a while. During this wait he started thinking about Anjali and created an image of hers in his mind based on the description given to him by the HR. As soon as the shop opened he entered and asked for his favorite brand “Kara Scentric” perfume for women. The shop keeper knew Raj well as he was his regular customer and was also surprised that Raj asked for a women’s product. Raj asked for “La Dame” product of “Kara Scentric” and immediately got it gift wrapped and hurried to office to drop the gift in the box.

On the D day the gifts were distributed by the HR person, Raj was out as usual for a field meeting and hence he was not able to attend the get together. He was cursing his client for finalizing the meeting at the same date and time as the get-together. Since it was the Christmas weekend the office was closed and Raj was very anxious that whole time thinking whether Anjali would have liked his gift but on another note Raj was sure that the fragrance of “Kara Scentric” would make Anjali fall in love with the brand.

The next week was the usual routine as Raj was too busy with his field work and was not able to visit the office. He either went to the office early in the morning or late evening when most of the employees had already left for the day. One day Raj happened to be in office during lunch hours and was sitting at his desk engrossed in his laptop when all of a sudden the smell of a familiar fragrance made him look up. Yes! this was the scent of “La Dame” of “Kara Scentric” the perfume and Raj was very confident that this is same perfume he had brought for Anjali. And the lady who passed by him was a young gorgeous female. Raj could not control himself and gave a shout out to Anjali. On hearing her name Anjali immediately stopped and turned around to check who that person was. She was also surprised as how someone knew her name as she had recently joined the company and hardly knew anyone in the office. Raj got up from his desk and extended his hand to Anjali introducing himself and once they were done with their pleasantries. Raj immediately understood that Anjali was startled and shocked by such a spontaneous calling of her name.

Raj being a sales guy did not miss this opportunity and said “nice perfume, I liked the fragrance”. Anjali was speechless, she was not able to find any words to reciprocate her shock. Raj mentioned the name of the perfume she was wearing “Kara Scentric-La Dame”. Initially Anjali could not figure out how this guy knew her name and also the brand of the perfume she was wearing. She just said “Thanks” to Raj and moved on. That night Anjali could not sleep a wink trying to figure out how Raj knew details about her and all of a sudden it struck her that he could have been her Secret Santa. Next morning the first thing after punching into the office biometric device she went to that same place where she had met Raj, there he was seated at his desk having coffee and reading something in his laptop.

Raj smelled the fragrance once again and immediately looked up to see Anjali standing at the door looking at him. They both just stood looking into each other’s eyes dumbstruck. It was the breaking of a cup which made Raj and Anjali come out of their trance.

This was the beginning of a romance between Raj and Anjali which eventually ended up by tying the knot. Anjali was equally a perfume lover. “Kara Scentric” helped Raj and Anjali meet their love of life. Raj will never forget as how a perfume helped him find a partner for life.