I mentioned earlier about my plans to visit Sweety in St. Louis (USA). But instead of flying via New York as I had earlier thought of, I am flying via Chicago now (yes the tickets are booked). I changed my plan because a) Mumbai-Chicago was a cheaper flight, b) from Chicago I can just take a bus to St. Louis which is like a 5 hours ride (compared to the costlier option of flying from NY) and c) I would like to go to NY with biwi – some other time, and roam properly.
I shared my US travel plans on Facebook and Jhops, a junior from IIT saw it and he said he is moving to Chicago later this month and so I must come stay with him while in Chicago. I said ok, that’s awesome! I can stay in Chicago for couple of days before taking a bus to St. Louis. Never been to Chicago anyway. Jhops also told me that Chicago Half Marathon is happening on 25th September and that he will be participating in it. He wondered if I wanted to, too. Now, I knew I would land only on 24th night (after flying for around 20 hrs, with a brief break in Istanbul). So I thought it would be too much to sign up for. And so I registered for the half marathon. It is always fun to push oneself.
After about one week of trying to get back to running (hadn’t run since last four months), I finally managed to get up early enough today morning to do a slow 6k (took me 44 fucking minutes). As of now, the pace doesn’t matter much though. The discipline to keep running regularly for the next 44 days, sure will. Would I be able to maintain my training? Time will tell.
There is another big conundrum to address – should I say no to free alcoholic beverages that would be offered to me in my Mumbai-Chicago flight (so that I can do a better job of running a half marathon within less than 10 hrs of landing)? Well, I have 43 days to answer that question. Don’t want to think about it right now. I mean, I have never ever said no to free alcohol in any flight in my entire life. Would I miss on it this time?
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In terms of work (before I leave for US), other than a wedding shoot (for few hours in Hyderabad), I am doing one very interesting project. It’s a 3 Minute Story on a blind guy who will be cycling from Manali to Khardung La – a journey of ~600 Kilometers in extremely high altitude, that has five passes to conquer altogether. Isn’t that amazing? It takes about six days to do this (at an average rate of 100 kilometers per day, in a mountainous terrain). I had undertaken a similar cycling trip myself seven years ago (the feature image of this post is from that trip in 2009). It is an experience I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Mainly because I have blogged about it. By the way, if you are wondering how a blind guy can cycle – his way out is to do tandem cycling (the other cyclist riding with him can see – that will ensure they don’t fall off or anything). Weirdly enough, I was chatting with one of my cousins in a Whatsapp group few hours ago, and it so happens that he is starting Manali-Leh cycling from tomorrow! All the best to him.
I will probably have to figure out how to keep running regularly even when I am shooting the documentary. But then there isn’t much figuring out to do really, is it? Manali or Ladakh – I gotta get up in the morning and run. Of course running in mountains is enormously more challenging. But what is not challenging in this life anyway? What can be more challenging for a documentary film-maker than to finish editing his own wedding documentary movie?
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Most of last week (till today in fact) went in editing my wedding movie. Yes, it took me three and a half years to edit the movie. Of course I didn’t work on it full time. For the first one year, I think I didn’t even go through the footage properly. And later when I did, I got so lost that I could never manage to create anything worthwhile anyway. Luckily, biwi started helping me with editing for some professional wedding movie projects (starting late last year), and once she became good at editing over time, it was she who undertook the giant task of finishing our own movie. Without her, I am not sure how many more years it might have taken. It’s a ~20 minute movie and I love the way it has finally come out. It’s hilarious and entertaining and insightful. This is the best wedding movie that I have created over the last four years (in spite of very average quality of footage per say – with which I had to work with) and I am not saying this because it’s my wedding movie. It really is awesome. Remind me to show it to you, when we meet the next time, and I will prove my point.
See you until then. Lot more running to do!