Subconscious Chat with Legends

This is an old post I wrote for a contest on Indiblogger. I was going through the archive of my old blog and thought of sharing this. 

There were and are legendary people in this world who had transformed the way it is at present. Without them the world would have been a very different place to live in. Since the beginnings of my existence, I have grown up to see, feel, understand and do a number of exclusive and remarkable things, all thanks to these legends. There have been a number of questions which have remained a mystery till date to me.

The sun shined brightly outdoors in the evening with a warm gust of wind. The organisers of Hyderabad Marathon are a passionate and a sadistic bunch of runners who had planned the marathon just after the cessation of scorching heat spell. That means the majority of the training is to be done in the hot and humid weather of the “City of Pearls”. But that didn’t deter Anand from venturing out to train. His mother shouted from the air conditioned bedroom, ‘Beta, where are you going in this heat? What is the use of running so much if it is just a hobby?’ The sound faded as Anand closed the gate and squinted towards the sunny sky. Non runners will never know the joy of running.
Anand, a college going student in Hyderabad has been influenced by of some marathon and ultramarathon runners around the globe. He looked every bit like a runner with a strong athletic structure. In quest to realising the ‘truth’, he had embarked on the journey of running marathons. A newbie in the sport, he has been a quick learner of the discipline and patience of the sport of pain and repetitions.

After stomach bursting dinner of cheese, chicken and prawn macaroni, he was ready to crash in his bed. He picked up his mobile and started browsing apps while sitting on the bed. In between he gently massaged his perfect dew drop shaped calves which were still sore from the long weekend run. Anand had watched “Saint Ralph” a few days ago and was experimenting with the concept of being a martyr to achieve greatness in marathon running. He was toying the with the idea of more pain, more gain. But this evening run today had sapped every millimetre of energy out of him and left him apprehensive about the concept.

He laid down on his bed and opened a mobile chatting app. The battery indicator had turned orange. Damn, can’t these smart phones have better batteries, he thought with a irritated brow. I will charge it before I sleep off, he thought and opened the pending notifications.

Priya had left countless audio and written messages with as many number of smilies of varying moods asking about his whereabouts, if he is planning on killing himself in this heat and getting annoyed on not taking her out on a Saturday night. Anand gave a sigh of denial and kept the phone on the bed side table to sleep off. It was barely ten in the night.

Triing, the phone beeped. A notification. Anand turned and picked up the phone with a scowl on the face. Pheidippides…who the hell is…oh my god!

Pheidippides was a hero in the ancient Greece on whom the sport of Marathon running is based. Pheidippedes was a courier who was sent from Marathon to Athens, a distance of about 42 km, to announce the Greek victory over Persia in the Battle of Marathon. “Joy to you, we have won” he said to the magistrate in session and there and then died of exhaustion.

‘I heard you wanted to speak to me’ he messaged.

‘Yes,’ Anand typed while jumping on the bed. ‘You are one of the legends I worship’.

‘One of the?’

He could feel his surprise with the message. ‘No, I mean you are my idol because of the heroic feat of running 240 km from Athens to Sparta in two days and 40 km from Marathon to Athens.’

‘Yeah, I know it was not a big deal’ he replied.

‘You are so humble. I have got tons of questions for you.’ as he kept thumbing the QWERTY keypad furiously. ‘Were there water points in between the places you ran, what was the weekly mileage, any kind of cross training you did in those times, what kind of shoes you wore and what was your nutrition plan?’

‘Phew, son, you do have some queries.’ and he started pouring in with the answers.

Triing, the phone beeped. A notification. It’s already so late, who the hell is this, Anand thought while picking up his mobile. Superman…who the hell is…oh my god!

We all know who Superman is. Superman is the creation of writer Jerry Siegal and artist Joe Shuster. Superman’s human side is a journalist working for Daily Planet and madly in love with a cute fellow journalist.

‘I heard you wanted to speak to me’ he messaged.

‘Yes,’ Anand typed while again jumping on the bed. ‘I have always dreamt of being a Superman and flying around the world, escaping from the demons in my dreams.’

Superman replied with a typed laughter. ‘What do you want to know son?’

‘Oh, I am so excited to be chatting with you.’ He seemed to have forgotten the questions he had since childhood to Superman. ‘Okay, tell me honestly how do expect to be a man of steel and get married to a mortal human being, what do you eat, can I also fly like you, why the hell do you wear your underwear over your pants or tights – whatever you call it. I mean it looks so awkward.’ his thumbs were already sore from all this typing.

‘Phew, son you do have some queries.’ and he started pouring in with the answers.

Triing, the phone beeped. A notification. Anand was tired and not getting a good night sleep but an extremely insightful night with his heroes. He wondered who is it this time as he picked his mobile with one hand while rubbing his eye with the other. Armstrong…who…that sonova@#$*h.

Lance Armstrong is an American pro cyclists who had fought cancer and won Tour de France for seven consecutive times. He is also an author of a couple of very inspiring books on his life. And was disgraced recently for doping and disrobed of all this Tour de France titles amongst many other and sponsorship deals.

‘I heard you wanted to speak to me’ he spoke.

‘No,’ Anand typed while propping himself on his right elbow. ‘It was a long time back, maybe last year, that I wanted to seek inspiration from you’

‘Well, I am here now. And I know I messed up. I am sorry.’ came an eager voice.

‘You know I admired you but you betrayed us all. But anyway, I still acknowledge your feats.’ Anand said slowly. ‘I saw the Oprah show. I hope you had told the truth there.’

‘Yes, yes, absolutely. I myself feel very ashamed about the whole deal.’

‘Then I have nothing to speak to you about. Take care and good luck’

‘Thanks buddy.’

Triing, the phone beeped. A notification. The sleepy eyed college going runner muttered the choicest of the Delhi abuses while picking up his mobile. Kru…Krupicka…holy mother of god.

Anton Krupicka is an American ultra runner. He has won a number of 100 mile ultra races. He is a runner known for running in the most primal way and loving the mountains. He is truly a romanticized image of ultra distance running.

‘I heard you wanted to speak to me’ came a laid back voice reply.

‘Tony(his nickname), I am one of your biggest fan.’ Anand was finally awake.

‘That’s good to know man.’

‘Yeah, I just love the way you run. It is so effortless and smooth.’

‘Thanks man’

‘I have generally read all your interviews, videos, blog posts and have generally updated myself with your take on this sport. But there is one thing intriguing me.’ Anand asked. ‘Will you be able to run so much after getting married?’ Anand asked having heard from his father that he had stopped hanging out with his friends after office because of his mother.

‘Hahaha…that’s an interesting one.’ He continued to give him answers.

Triing, the phone beeped. A notification. This time Anand was wide eyed. Dean Ka…yeah man, I am on a roll tonight.

Dean Karnazes is an American ultra runner and an author of three books on the accounts of his running. He has run 50 marathons in 50 states of US in 50 consecutive days. The man is a legend.

‘I heard you wanted to speak to me’ he said in an eager tone.

‘You are a legend. I bow to you.’ Anand was ecstatic.

‘Hey, come on. You don’t need to do it.’ he said. ‘I feel honoured’

‘I have read all your books, saw all the videos, the documentary of 50-50. You are amazing.’

‘Gee thanks buddy. Ask me anything you want.’

‘I have generally read all your interviews, videos, documentaries, blog posts and have generally updated myself with your take on this sport. Hey, this is the same thing I said to Anton Krupicka.’

‘Hmm.’ came the buzz. He didn’t seem to be interested in Tony.

‘Though there are few things I want to ask you. How do you manage your energy levels after so much running, don’t you ever have any problems at home for having too much of your own time and is it possible to make a living out of running?’

‘Hahaha, I will be glad to answer all of them.’

Anand was soaked with perspiration. It was 5am and electricity had gone for sometime. He woke up with a start and recalled the chats of yesterday night. He had got the answers from some of the best in the field of health and fitness and was eager to share the wisdom with his mates. He picked up his mobile from the side table. It was dead. He cursed under his breath and wearily got up from his bed to charge it. He still felt the soreness of yesterday’s long run. And then remembered that there was no electricity. Damn, he said and at that very moment the ceiling fan came back to life.

I don’t understand, he thought while toying around the app. The chats were not there. How’s that possible, he tried to remember while scratching his head. I remember chatting with them, he said aloud while slumping back in the bed and dozing off again.

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Author: Neel

I am Neel and the creator of borN. I am an ultra marathoner, scuba diver, adventurer, writer and father of an extremely active child.

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