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Am writing this to explain the hiatus since the last post.

I did run the NYC Marathon on Sunday Nov. 7th.  But a few days before the race, I was aware that my mom’s condition in India was getting worse. That weighed heavily on my mind and I was expecting a call to rush home any moment. So, with a lot on my mind and a heavy heart I showed up at the starting point at Staten Island on race day. It was cold and windy and the wait was about 4 hours before the start of my wave. This wait is the part of NYC marathon that I did not like.

However, I was finally off the corral and breezed through Verrazano bridge and Brooklyn. By the time I reached Queensboro bridge at 15th  mile I was starting to cramp and was struggling to keep up with my race partners. I asked them to go ahead and told them I would walk for some distance. Team Galloway, the running group I belong to, had our own aid stop at about 17th mile. I stopped there for a while to overcome my disappointment and replenished myself with much needed snacks and Gatorade. The temptation to give up the race was very strong, but then I thought of my mom and decided that even if I had to crawl on my hands and knees, I will finish the race and get the medal for her.

So off I went, limping, walking and hobbling to complete the rest of the distance. At about mile 20 I saw Al Roker, the famed NBC weatherman. That’s when I had a sly thought. Come what may, I was not going to let myself finish slower than him! In the end I finished about 75 minutes ahead of him. He probably struggled during the last few miles.

Somewhere during the course, I had also seen the rescued Chilean miner Edison Pena running with two pace setters carrying the Chilean flag. He eventually finished a few minutes ahead of me.

Nyc_Marathon

There is me in the white cap somewhere during the race

I finally finished the race both physically and emotionally drained. A couple of days later, I received the much dreaded call from India. My mother was admitted to ICU, after her body reacted adversely to radiation. She was undergoing chemotherapy and was being started with radiation to arrest the cancer that had spread from her breast to most parts of the body.

I rushed to see her in Chennai. Though she could not talk, she did open her eyes a couple of times and I believe she recognized me. And then one morning she breathed her last. She had turned 70 couple of months ago.

Funeral and post-funeral rites were stressful and heart-wrenching. I returned to the US sad and reflective. Updating the blog seemed trivial given what I had lost.

I miss her and hope and wish her soul has found its resting place.

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NewYorkCity

Today, I complete three years of living in New York City area. This is the longest that I have ever lived in any place in the US., the closest being Colorado Springs, CO where I lived for a little over 2.5 years.

What does it mean to live in New York?

To me, New York is the greatest city in the world. Granted, it can be an insane place. NY challenges you in many ways but this is also a place where people help and support each other. The differences you see among people living here are so amazing that you can spend a lifetime just observing them. You can find people from all religions, skin colors, traditions and languages of the world. You can find those of differing sexual orientations, millionaires, homeless people, intellectuals, artists, musicians and celebrities riding incognito in the subway. This is also a city where you can wear a dress from any part of the world and people would hardly raise an eyebrow.

There are beautiful parts and there are terrifying parts in the city.

New York is the city of dreams. People come here from all over the world to make a living and many succeed.

Manhattan Skyline  © copyright Marc Cappelletti

As I complete three years in The Big Apple, I couldn’t agree more with this quote –

The present in New York is so powerful that the past is lost.

~ John Jay Chapman

Writer & Director: Anusha Rizvi
Cast: Omkar Das Manikpuri, Raghuvir Yadav, Shalini Vatsa, Farrukh Jaffar, Malaika Shenoy, Vishal Sharma, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Sitaram Panchal, Naseeruddin Shah, Aamir Bashir
Producer: Aamir Khan
Music & Songs: Indian Ocean and Ram Sampath

Peepli_Live_Tempo
Natha and his brother on their way to meet the local politician for help

I finally got to watch this movie over the weekend after hearing and reading much about it. Unlike most Indian movies which run close to 3 hours, this had only a running time of 104 minutes, keeping the storyline taut and gripping throughout.

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Official Stats:
13.1 Miles
2:17:30 Minutes
10:36 Pace

My Garmin Stats:
13.21 miles
2:15:01 Minutes
10:13 Pace

LibertyStatePark

Pic: The waterfront after mile 11

I had run this race last year too, but when I signed up again this year, I had wanted this to be a training run for my 2010 NYC Marathon.

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