Monday, February 14, 2011

Auroville Marathon

So I finished my first half-marathon in 2:09:30 at Auroville. Enjoyed everything about it. Preparing for the run was exciting and fun (and my running mate had a strong finish too). The marathon ended up being a nice excuse to get together with friends at Pondicherry.

Lots to be said about the event too; the trail is one of the most beautiful ones I've run on . It was also nice to meet several ex-colleagues and former classmates along the way. It definitely took my mind away from the non-trivial task of running 21-odd kms.

And then, of course, there is the sense of accomplishment that makes people do ridiculous things like this. I'm still not done feeling like Superman. Well, the kinda of superman who believes he can do anything but can't climb the stairs without grimacing.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Which is India's Poster Sycophancy capital?

Technology has found a new way of being a pain in everybody's ass here in South India. Ridiculously low cost of printing has given rise to a new culture where every dude who is remotely political expresses his (it's almost never a "her") affection to the one above him in the pecking order by putting up posters that have a minimum of these five elements
* Center-area dominated by a full-body shot of the big goon
* Bottom, littered with rows of mug-shots of self-conscious wannabe goons
* Corners, optionally reserved for colored sketches of their spiritual gurus; Ambedkar, Marx, MGR, Kuvempu etc depending on your niche constituency.
* Overall, poor color-preservation in the printing
* The words "beloved" and "heartily" used liberally

Now, this trend is likely to have started in the metros, and empirical evidence had suggested to me that either Chennai or Bangalore would be competing for the lead role, but this weekend's experience yielded a surprise winner, Pondicherry!

These posters are EVERYWHERE, consistent in their tastelessness and lack of imagination. Several square kilometers of poster space, for example, were dedicated to wishing this dashing guy a happy birthday. (I'd appreciate if someone could identify him for me)
 Chennai and Bangalore may still make the podium in another category, because the next feature in this series is "Which is the Untimely Earmuff capital of India?".