Part 1 – Comrades – An Introduction

Either you have work or you have not.

When you have to say, “Let us do something,” then begins mischief

My earliest introduction to the word ‘Comrade’ was when I attended a Trade Union meeting with Dad as a little boy. (For those wondering if that was my introduction to my ‘communist’ way of thinking, you are wrong.) I had no clue about the meeting; Then, many others looked equally clueless about the meeting (as well as trade unions.) I can clearly remember two things from that meeting – some talk about BCCI (a bank in middle east that failed around the same time) and the word ‘Comrade.’

The Comrades marathon was introduced to me by Shahid in late 2009 when he had registered for the 2010 edition of the race. While the rules of the game sounded weired, it as interesting to note that the event had survived almost a century. I even attempted to join Shahid during his training runs on couple of occasions, and witnessed some of the hardships of training for Comrades – from starting to run at insane morning hours to changing socks, or shirts on the run and getting a cooling shower from one of the gardeners of the palatial minister bungalows on Greenways road. It was around this time, I got acquainted with Amit Sheth – through Shahid as the Ambassador of Comrades Marathon in India and also, through Auroville Marathon, in which he and Neepa were running.

It goes without saying that a majority of the Comrades runners in India (which is actually a minority)! were inspired/made aware of the Comrades marathon through Amit’s book Dare to Run. My objective opinion on the book would be disputed for it contains some undeserved praise for me in one of the chapters. It is a simple, beautiful book with wonderful anecdotes from a ‘daily life of a runner.’ Just like his book, Amit’s blog Dare to Run has always been a wonderful read. One must definitely his 2012 Comrades experience which I was lucky to witness in person.

It was in the same year that Tanvir Kazmi, author of the famous blog Running without limits, also ran his first Comrades. Tanvir’s blog on the Comrades was a wonderful account of a first timer’s experience at the Comrades marathon. Tanvir has subsequently been active every year on the Comrades day tracking the progress of every Indian runner. It was a fabulous to see him to track the runners so earnestly in 2011 and follow it up in 2012 too.

3 thoughts on “Part 1 – Comrades – An Introduction

  1. Venu

    Reading your blogs after a very very long time…must say maturity level has increased…(doesn’t mean your earlier blogs were immature :-)…)

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