Posted by: Prem Piyush | January 17, 2005

Run ! Boy Run !!

Yesterday morning, in my hotel room in Kolkata, as I switched the TV on, the coverage of Mumbai Marathon was being telecasted. Around 25 thousands of participants were there and some of them were to participate in 42 kms. of full marathon. Others were to participate in other partial categories of the marathon. The disabled persons, children as well as senior citizens everyone were participating. The professional runners were rhythmic in their running steps, sweating and running like machines. Some of the slow runners were encouraged by the clapping of the onlookers. As I see people clapping and runners getting faster due to encouragement, my eyes started fainting on the TV screen and a vast green playgrounds of a school started appearing before my eyes and a slim boy running uncounted times around it.A serious Joke:
14 years ago there lived a boy in the Navodaya school hostel. The mornings were as usual as every day. As soon the boys were ready wearing the P.E.T. dress and they have tied their shoe strings firmly, a long whistle was heard coming from the foggy playgrounds. Everyone ran towards the whistle for the morning Physical Education Trainings (P.E.T.) and whoever was left in rooms used to reach at the grounds by the third whistle. In those cold months, the temperature was enough low to put the hands inside the pant pocket. But unwillingly no one could do that because of the fear of being poked fun by the P.E.T. sir, Mr. Amarendra Singh. It was mandatory to run a full round of the playground before physical exercises. Some girls never completed the full round and of course there were some boys too fall in the same category. But most of the students used to complete the round. This boy also used to run one round and occasionally two rounds. That day as soon the physical exercises finished there was an announcement by the P.E.T. sir. It was about the inter school sports meet among the Navodaya Vidylayas of the nearby districts which is popularly known as cluster meet. So the football team and volleyball team member were enthusiastic about the event. This boy could not get selected for any of the school games team. Despite having a strong will power and deprived of the participation in any event this slim boy was searching for the possibilities near to him. So sir was today going to try the athletics team member. There were events of 100m to 800 meters in running category.

After short races trials were completed formally, there came the event of 800 meter trials. The willing participants stood in the starting line. A running of 800 meters were the two rounds of the 400 track made around the playground. Jokingly this boy stood 15 meters ahead of the other participants J . Naturally everyone resisted his position of starting. But the considerate P.E.T. sir asked the boy if he really want to race and he got a positive reply. But sir did not resist his position of starting and he convinced the other runners that let him allow running from his position and he will not be counted in the result of the race. So everybody was ready to run.

On your marks! Get Set! Go!!
The race started, and the boy also ran. He has got a false feeling of being ahead of others and he was enjoying this feeling while running. In long race 15 meters gap is a big difference. He was trying hard to maintain the distance and he maintained it in the first lap. As the first lap was going to finish and second was going to start, everyone reached the point where the race have started and where all the students were standing clapping the hands , few friends of the boy and P.E.T. sir encouraged the boy to keep it up. But running the 400 meters at such a high speed was his first experience, he has lost most of his energy but still a second lap was there. The clapping and encouragement revitalized the remaining energy. He continued the second lap and as he was in the midway of the second lap the leg muscles were aching badly, mouth was wide open gasping air, a peculiar pain in the chest and stomach started and throat became completely dry. And the lead he got from the last gap was going to disappear. In the last remaining 25 meters of the race Anil Hembrum, the tribal big guy was going to overtake him. Anil’s big strong leaps succeeded to overtake him. Seeing Anil running he tried to run parallel to him. He did not thought of the other star runners of the school behind him. His legs were out of his control while running now. He can see jumping and encouraging guys at the finishing line. He was trying more than his capacity but by the time another guy, Rabbani again crossed him before reaching the finish line.
He stood third but useless! His labour went in vain! It was the precondition before that race that his position will not be counted. He did not claim any thing but he was almost collapsed with tired, aching legs and a pain in stomach. But the day envisaged the rise of an athlete. He had tasted something and this sweet taste of the false success eased out the pain in his body.

Real Race:
Once an experimenter gets the taste of the narcotics first time as trial basis, next time he will not try to experimental basis, he will try to get the same taste seriously at any cost. False winning may be the similar kind of pleasure for him. Next day at the test trials he stood in the same line along with the other participants and P.E.T. sir was surprised to see his courage and appreciated the effort.
Stand on marks! Get Set! Go!!
So this time it was a difficult startup. So today’s result was that he was second from the last. This was his real position in school 800 meters team! But dissatisfied he wanted to get the same position as he got the previous day.
Unlike today, his physique was too slim to compete in such races. He had a burning desire to win. And from that day evening the running tracks were his companion .He used to take 6 to 10 rounds of the ground in evening and 4 or more in morning. His aching calf muscles were not paining any more now but despite being thin, the calf and thighs were getting stronger after daily practice. His diet has increased and in classrooms too some planning were done by his head about the track. He still used to take part in the daily trials and one day he stood third again but now he was real third. So his belief in himself was getting stronger.

The school team:
Being a participant of the cluster meet meant availing facilities like relaxation in attending classes, double protein diet in mess and extraordinary participant feelings among the other friends and many management works.
So on the final selection day as the race started and there were more participants than the other normal days of trials. Some of them really did good practice along with him. So as the final selection race started, he again made his favorite leading gap and maintained it until last 100 meters. Although the runner’s feet don’t remain in his/her own control in the times of running the last moments. The strong will power, confidence and tricks of bending body forward works out. For him too it worked out and he came second and Rabbani third by a difference of one second. So he was feeling much happy now with heavy breathing and still jogging. The P.E.T. sir was the happiest person like the other friends of the J.P.House to which he belonged. He was the part of the school athletics team now, which he dreamt 15 days ago.

Practice! Sleep and Diet!

Text books were given rest until the clusters meet finish.

Clusters meet Day:
His school was the hosts of the clusters meet this time, so he already had various tasks other than practicing like to arranging various things for the participating guest schools. On the day of his event in morning he participated less in the management works and took a normal breakfast. But he could not sleep well in the night, he saw himself running and flying on the ground in dream. He became little annoyed with this dream. An unknown fear had entered his mind.

The event of 800 meters started around 10’o clock. Selection of tracks are done after lottery and he was given the last track which one have to run for the first 400 meters only then only everyone can come to the first common lap. No problem! He was calm and he swallowed water and started off to his track. The whole school is there and the event’s guest is Sengar Sir, his favorite teacher.
The participants from other schools were bigger and stronger than him and some of them looking fierce too, some had already started jogging and some were doing exercise and some were wearing nice spiky shoes and he did not had such shoes. Any way he had to run today.

On your marks! Get Set! GO!! And Firing was done concurrently.
He has started with a better speed today. The last lap has some psychological disadvantages of going wider laps. But he was covering the track as soon as he can complete. But as soon the second lap started a boy from some other school was coming first with amazing speed. But Anil, the best runner of his school took over that other guest runner. On seeing Anil overtaking that guest runner he also overtook him. To succeed is hard and maintaining success is harder. It was more difficult to maintain the speed above the guest runner. The friends were shouting loudly which can be heard. The juniors’ class students were shouting “Bhaiya – Bhaiya” and surely they might be praying to God. His heavy breaths seemed to collapse the lungs and jaws stuck wide open and the last leap fall on the finishing line but alas the guest boy have already put his leap just before him. And result was Anil first, the guest boy second and he third. So host school won two medals in the same event. The winners were carried on shoulders by the friends and he was feeling stronger than all the big boys participated there. Incidentally the place where the medal giving ceremony was organized was the same place where he jokingly started the race ahead 15 meters of others! Accolades started pouring in. Sengar sir was happy like P.E.T. sir .He was so surprised and complemented “Hey you can run I am very much happy today”. He was putting the bronze medal of sports meet 800 meter event around the neck of his favorite scientific model making boy. Now the boy was feeling more confident among his friends.
And in the next house elections he was selected as he vice captain of the house. And participation in the state level event was the next milestone he reached in the same year.

He is still running today but on a different track. Run! Boy! Run!!


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