Sunday, May 18, 2008

The 10 km run

Reading the Selfish Gene (and the Origins of Virtue after that) screws up the way you think, at least for a while. You stop participating in human experiences normally. Instead, now when you watch people do something, you step out and think what's making them do it? or What's the evolutionary advantage that this behaviour gave us as a species? So this morning while I was running the 10k event in bangalore, I was noticing that there were twice as many people facilitating this event as there were running. Even I did my altruistic bit by egging on the stragglers. There were people on the pavements who had come there just to cheer the runners. And I felt this overwhelming sense of bonhomie towards everybody; the runners, the cheerers, the organisers and even all the people inconvenienced by this event. I could see that everybody was experiencing that feeling too. And naturally, I am wondering what evolutionary plot is behind this feeling. I didn't get the answer but I managed to finish the race in 55 minutes, 5 minutes lesser than I had initially targeted. I felt incredibly proud, despite knowing that those absolutely gorgeous running machines that drop in from Kenya and Ethiopia and other godforsaken places run this stretch in roughly half that time. Anyway, one of the best things about running is the way you enjoy everything else you do immediately after that. The water down your throat never felt better, Masala Dosas were never more satisfying, and I don't even have words to describe the cold shower.

All in all, it felt great to be in that sea of humanity, coming together for a seemingly inane activity, but nevertheless feeling that warm fuzzy sense of togetherness. At the parking lot, trying to get our cars out of the almighty mess, though, we were all back to hating each other.
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