road to redemption

i have a story to tell. a story because that has nothing absolutely funny or whimsical about it. but because it taught me a lesson. a lesson of how much abuse my own body suffers silently at my hands and though i was very much aware of the problem, never recognized it really, because as i say ‘it depends’.

most of you might be knowing about tirupati, the magnificient temple town atop the seven hills – to reach the top either you take to the road by bus or a private transport or you could just take the road and your feet again.

we chose to go by foot as usual, its a breathtaking sight while climbing all the way to the top, you are truly in the cradle of nature, dense forests in the valley, trees along the walkway to the top. the whole trip walkway has three parts to it. the first part is a half foot high steps marginally steep till the checkpoint called the Gaali Gopuram. the second part is fairly flat and easy and you could easily sprint through it. the third part is what is called the MokAlu parvatam (The mountain of Knee), partly from the steps that the old steps were so tall that if you were to step on one of it and your foot was in the previous step, you ankle would touch your chest. thankfully though, it isnt so bad now, but yes its half a foot in height and is quite steep.

the journey in itself is a reward.

about three years ago when we had climbed to the top we had done it in 3 and a half hours and we had set a target to ascend in 3 hours flat this time and if numbers are anything to go by its quite easy to accomplish if you are fit marginally fit.

after reaching the first half of steps of gaali gopuram, i was giving a serious thought to giving up the walking plan. knowing me i belong to that class of idiots who believe giving up is never an option. dizzy, nauseated and quite sane, the truth hit me like a ton of bricks. not to speak of thigh cramps in the third part of the trip.

  • i was living the lifestyle that combines the worst of everything thats wrong with a software engineer
    • irregular sleep/work timings
    • no exercise
    • no balanced diet
    • 30-40 inch waistlines
    • 100 calorie cool drinks for refreshments
    • binge eating of extremely spicy, ghee laden food (aka biryani)
    • extremely sedentary lifestyle

thankfully, not being a addict to smoking or drinks turned to be a saving grace. living in a hellhole of financial returns it was an fall from grace – atleast the self image took a heavy beating – always fancied myself to a strong guy, the extra fat notwithstanding i was pretty ok at physical fitness and stamina levels – and this experience completely blew that to bits…

we finally finished the trip in 4 hours. but then it was a decrease of efficiency of 15% in three years! and that coming from a guy in his prime of his years…

and this is when the nail finally hit the coffin when yours truly spoke of my revelation to my folks. paraphrasing my dad “we come from a generation where we had lot less money to spend and so couldn’t eat all the goodies we yearned for. but you are a generation where money is not at all a  problem but you guys have no health where even if you want to enjoy them you cant”