These are strange times. Reason, which once combatted faith and seemed to have conquered it, now has to look to faith to save it from dissolution.

– Reading Johan Huizinga

A resume

But a résumé is cold comfort on a winter night, or when you’re sad, or broke, or lonely, or when you’ve gotten back the chest X ray and it doesn’t look so good, or when the doctor writes “prognosis, poor.”

– Anna Quindlen’s words.

Dispatch from Delhi

Jeffrey Gettleman writes from Delhi. The fear in his words are palpable.

India is a story of scale, and it cuts both ways. It has a lot of people, a lot of needs and a lot of suffering. But it also has lot of technology, industrial capacity and resources, both human and material. I almost teared up the other night when the news showed an Indian Air Force jet load up with oxygen tanks from Singapore to bring to needy parts of the country. The government was essentially airlifting air.

Skyline

A year later the skyline has changed. A large African Tulip canopy had to make way for the latest concrete block addition. Bird life has had changes too – a few Magpie Robins now perch around. Kites have been booted out after the canopy fell.

Sunsets from this vantage point are subjected to equinox shifts now.

The little baby on a distant balcony is now growing up behind the new building.

The light bulb on the adjacent terrace is forever on these days.

City breaks into activity and falls into silences as the numbers on Covid dashboard changes.

Evening rain

23/04/2021

It began as a dark, overcast sky over Cubbon Park. Began the usual 5K loop with extended run if it isn’t too dark to probe the way through unlit stretches. Soon it turned to a heavy downpour for over an hour.

After more than a year a rain run happened. There’s something appealing about the cold enveloping effect of rain on a body working heavy on a run.

Had to abort the rub by fourth km and get back, as the hour long spell had caused a near deluge on the roads.

The city feels good in evening rains. With it the usual package of run – rain – coffee – music – dinner follows.

Runs in Second Wave

21/04/2021

Cubbon Park

Ran a short 5K trail at the park. By now, running with a face mask on has become comfortable. The park has emptied out this week. Very few people. City has become quieter all over again, except for the ambulance sirens piercing through.

This quiet does not feel comfortable. For what one knows of the effect of second wave, one wishes that the city gets back to it’s noisy self.

Running is not restricted yet. Hopefully the situation doesn’t get to a level where it seems to be a risk. There are fewer people one crosses on the park perimeter. Even in those crossings there is a quick check and adjustment of face masks as soon as the individuals spot each other.

There’s a carpet of fallen flowers from Copper Pods, Jacaranda and Gulmohur trees. All of them are in full bloom now. Sight of them, vacant benches underneath and absence of people together make gloomy what was otherwise a pretty setting always. Aprils in the park were never this way.

A brevet

10/04/2021

Went riding a 200 km brevet. The route looped around places I once knew well. Endurance cycling has this obfuscating ability – to blur out all that one is feeling, except the effort and heat of the effort.

In that blur, riding past known places is interesting. They don’t come across as they once did. They lack the meanings and associations that were layered on them. Moreover, the rider is just too spent to bother with remembering anything other than the Control Points.

That kilometre to kilometer living of a brevet with minimum pace to ensure is unique. Living a randonneur’s headspace for a while.