Canada

A Marathon tale

Yesterday, I ran my first marathon despite not being in best of health.  My body is crying for help. Everything is hurting from hips to knees and from back to toes. I quit running on the 19th mile and walked the remaining distance. If I were alone I wouldn’t have gone for even 10 miles but there is something about the New York’s crowd- it cheers you up and makes you push your limits. I got a cheer when I ran past  east 81st street on 1st avenue – Yorkville, the place where I live. At 19th mile I just sat on the road thinking whether to quit. An old couple who was distributing bananas gave me wet kleenex and a pair of socks for my toes were bleeding. I injured my feet and ankle ,pulled hamstrings and have sore toes but I felt ecstatic.

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I came across the small documentary by ESPN about Joy Johnson , the woman who ran 25 New York marathons. She was 86 and passed away hours after finishing her 25th marathon. She never ran before the age of 59. I am overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and perseverance shown by the great woman.

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An excerpt from the interview of the director of the documentary “I love that she found a passion for running so late in life. At age 59, most people are thinking about retiring and sitting on a beach. She started running and fell in love with something brand new, which is so cool. Most 30-year-olds feel lost if they aren’t on the “right” path. She taught us it’s never too late to try — or fall in love with — a new direction.”

http://espn.go.com/espnw/athletes-life/article/14009608/the-story-86-year-old-woman-ran-25-nyc-marathons

Image Source :   http://www.nytimes.com/news/the-lives-they-lived/2013/12/21/joy-johnson/

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Migrant Crisis and Europe

I generally don’t get involved in political debates online as they turn nasty and people circumambulate the main issue to play their own fog horns of race,cast,color,religion. yesterday morning I woke up and browsed through news on phone; A photograph of a Syrian toddler lying dead on the beach of Bodrum in Turkey. I checked my Facebook and a sea wave of the similar posts had inundated the feeds. It indeed was a tragic event and world lamenting over the unfortunate demise of the kid shows that humanitarian values are still not dead. 11,000 people from Iceland have signed an online pledge to house Syrian migrants. Iceland is geographically far away as compared to Greece, Italy, France, Germany etc , so the first choice by the migrants is obviously these countries.

I would like to view this event from a different angle and I might be rebuked for the same.Its not the first time that migrants have been trying to flee their home lands to safety in the neighboring ones but this one caught our attention for here a child was involved. yes, kids are innocent and they know nothing about how the world works but in my point of view all the other ordinary people who were going on with their lives happily without causing trouble to anyone else in the name of religion or in any other possible cause are innocent too. I have been hearing and reading the news of capsized boats carrying immigrants for a long time now. So, why this story got viral? Others who were drowned were not human enough. If a human life is lost irrespective of the color, race, religion , its a tragic event and to me death of a child and that of an adult are equally barbaric.

Second this is this new trend I have seen on social media. Every one is blaming European union for the migrant crisis. There are news headlines which read “Migrant crisis or a moral crisis for Europe”. People are denigrating EU for its so called inaction. Ok, I concur that action must be taken on humanitarian grounds and it is being taken. There are thousands of migrants in Italy, France, Germany, Greece, Turkey already and Germany is penning a way out to absorb another 800,000. Why don’t people get their stats right before commenting on each and everything. Why the migrants are not fleeing to the other gulf states such as Saudi, Kuwait. Well, one reason is that the procedure of entering the country is quite tough but so is for entering the other countries. They share much more in common as far as the culture, religion is concerned. Why Arabic states are not opening their doors to the refugees?

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Where the brotherhood has gone? Who is the ‘infidel’ now? Who is racist and hypocrite now? Why everyone is blaming EU and not addressing the big elephant in the room – ISIS? ISIS has strong holds in the middle east and last I heard was they have started minting their own currency. It is an established state ! people ! try and understand this thing. Strong actions need to be taken to uproot it. Do you think its practical for an entire country to migrate to other country and share their resources. Why people who are voicing their opinions against Europe’s so called anti racist stance are overlooking the root cause of the problem? The kid in the end of this video is making much more sensible statement than the online oracles we have who are ready to castigate anyone at the drop of the hat and do nothing except spreading negativity in the environment.(Link to the video here as well – https://www.facebook.com/ajplusenglish/videos/612254708916040/?pnref=story ) The kid says just stop the war in Syria and we don’t want to go to any European country.

When they need help , when they seek refuge they go to more prosperous nations.When they look for a better future they go to the west . I hope all those with extreme ‘fidelity’ will remember that it was the ‘infidels’ who helped in the tough time and will think twice before bombing India, European countries or US or any other country as a matter of fact because following a different religion from yours shouldn’t be cause of anyone’s death.

Yes, the situation is grim and a collective action is required.

Warsan Shire wrote these lines

You have to understand,
No one puts their children in a boat
Unless the water is safer than the land