heels on fire: 04/08/06

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Turning on the wave of coloured lights

They appear like flashes of coloured light at first; not just white or golden, but red, purple, blue, brown, and green. There's one, and then there's another. Bobbing in the distance; appearing then disappearing as the eye tries to focus in. Then, from out of nowhere, there are so many people you loose track. The flashes of colour suddenly turn into one long fast moving stream; like a checkered rainbow, stretched out as far as you can see. I stand here - from afar - mesmerized by the rhythmic, bouncing movement. That's what seeing Marathon runners whoosh past you is like.
Isn't it?

Watching the preparation for this run from afar is actually a little bit like watching a Marathon as a dumbsbtruck bystander. So many names, imagined faces, all flashing past as the last few weeks have unfolded. Everyone is building up to the finish line; or the starting line at Kasargod, Kerala in this case. The pace is thick with visions, strategies and concepts, as each and every step has to be precision planned. Ideas appear so fast they have to be clasped and tied down, talked out, schmoozed and may be even bullied into reality by so many back stage runners, all invisible to us,
the gaping on looker. People from every corner of the globe from London, Delhi, Pretoria, and Trivandrum are jet setting, phone calling, emailing, and blogging this run into action.

There's the logistics, the media, the government of India, the government of Kerala (and so many differently shaped moustaches) to be twirled and enticed. The sweet smell of something unusual cooking is being wafted around the entire globe by an ever-growing network of friends - friends of friends, and contacts of friends. And then suddenly, this week, there are flashes of different coloured lights switching on - like glimpsing the first running vests. The hallowed Guardian might be interested, a radio station in South Africa, and TV stations across India have all seemingly magically strapped on their trainers to be a part of the action. Then there's the Indian Tourism Board, followed by the success of a much needed sponsorship deal. And it all just looks to the bystander like its just clockwork ticking into place.

So much running around! And all to get three blokes, each armed respectively with
trainers, pen and camera, to run (into) and document the real lives of people along a winding backwater road to a mysterious rock at the most southern tip of India, where you can see the sun rise and then the sun set all at the same place. Who and what will they discover?

The Run to Kanyakumari will be a classic; a mythical epic road untraveled; like the mysterious Road to Timbuktu, or its hippy cousin the Route 66; it's the so far un-run
run. So sit back, and watch closely with bated breath as it all just apparently seamlessly whooshes together.

Meena Bhandari

Website Counter