At the age of 38, I was already far along my chosen road. I was the quintessential businessman engaged in the marketplace of life. A marketplace full of chaos. The chaos of the mind, which lives either in the past or in the future. My yardsticks for evaluating a happy and successful life were very limited.
The closest I came to Nature during a normal day was when I touched newspapers made of paper. The only clean air that I inhaled was that filtered by the air-conditioners. I did not see the glory of a sunrise but the glow of a television screen.
The person that I knew the least was myself because I spent all my time looking outside myself rather than within.
Frost wrote: “Knowing how way leads on to way; I doubted if I ever should come back.” But, I did change the road that I was on and have since realized that one need not choose between roads.
In 2006, I ran the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon and embarked on a great new adventure. Training for and running that marathon changed my life. Since then, I have run marathons and ultra-marathons all over the world. From the countless runs in the small streets and by-lanes around India, France, Italy, South Africa, Ireland, Czech Republic and the United States, I began to love the beauty of existence and that of Nature. I realized that to get the most of life, I must live not only in the present but also do so right away whatever it is that I want to do.
Running has given me a sense of pride and accomplishment and at the same time taught me the futility of having a sense of pride and accomplishment. And it is only in these contradictions of life that we can find what is true.
Running, I feel, has made me a better human being.
I am no longer the person I used to be before I started running. My beliefs have changed and what I have come to believe, for now, is that I don’t need to choose a particular road in life and stick to it rigidly. I can and must meander amongst and traverse through all of life’s roads and enjoy the pleasures they afford.
And for me, that has made all the difference.