Samuel Rufus Nallaraj started running when he went through an experience that left him feeling red-faced like Amitabh Bachchan did in the movie Deewar, where someone had tattooed ‘Mera baap chor hai’ on his arm; only in Samuel’s case, it was his weight.
“In March, the entire team from work was in Malaysia for an annual outing. One of the activities that we wanted to try out was bungee jumping,” reminisces Samuel. The semi-finalist at The Apprentice Asia (2013) and now the CEO of GluePlus, Samuel was told to step aside as he was considered overweight. “I had a bigger rope attached for my jump and as I weighed 97, the same was stamped on my arm,” he says.
It was the aforementioned incident that made him want to change his lifestyle. And Tank Bund turned out to be Samuel’s preferred location to run, as it is only three km from his house. Samuel, who has been running since April, managed to lose 15 kg and recently completed his first 42 km marathon. While the end result is commendable, it was the journey, courtesy Tank Bund that the 40-year-old admits was and still is full of terrifying surprises.
Five smelly zones: “There are these zones when you are running around Tank Bund that are so pathetically pungent that they are motivation enough to run faster,” says Samuel. “There’s one stretch that starts from the Honda showroom area, where the slum dwellers reside. That’s where they answer nature’s call when I am running past at 4.30 am,” he says.
Then comes the “industrial waste” zone just before Sanjeevaiah Park, another motivation to run as fast as you can. “Then there is the pitch dark zone, where I have almost collided headlong with another jogger and a cow. It’s dark that you can barely see your hand,” he says. And then there is the “dog zone” and the “pee zone”. “For a stretch of a kilometer, there are five dogs that always end up chasing you and since you can’t outrun them, I stay calm and walk. The “pee zone” is right in front of the Secretariat,” he says.
Unwelcome surprises: “It was 4.30 am, three men on a bike who came quite close to me. I was wearing an iWatch and carrying my iPhone, so I did kind of sense what they were up to. But thankfully, there was a police car parked on the road that started blaring its siren. The moment those men heard the sirens, they quickly overtook me and right behind them were three more men on another bike, who also changed their tracks. If the police car hadn’t been there, I would have been no match against six of them,” says Samuel, who now makes sure to leave his watch and phone at home. Then there are the fountains that showers water, unannounced, at passersby. “There are these huge fountains, so close to the pavement that joggers are usually drenched in mucky water,” he says.
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