Couple of days back there was an office party at ‘Ocean Park’, a sad aspirant to the ‘Water Kingdoms’ of the world. But since am a sucker for any sort of adventure sports (read my first post, for instance) or thrill rides, took all the plunges, rides and dips that were on offer both of the aquatic and non-aquatic kind. Actually I was surprised that my bum seemed to be the only part in my anatomy which complained the next day. Looks like all those hours at the gym and the park are paying off, finally.
A few things were different. First of all, I looked better naked than I ever have in a long time, at least the time that I can remember. Of course the sense was heightened due to many of my colleagues trying to draw in their breaths in an effort to keep their paunches out of sight. But, this time my enthusiasm was more muted. I mean, I am 28, and this wasn’t like I was going sky diving or rock climbing or something. The patchy facilities at the place didn’t help the feeling either. The finishing was non existent, the machinery looked dangerously old and rusted, washrooms were dinghy and leaky and the attendants and supervisory staff looked bored as hell. Almost as if they wished somebody would break their neck and brighten up their day.
Of course, what didn’t change were the funny moments. A colleague of mine whose name translated into English means "Fearless" refused to go on any rides and no, it wasn’t because he believed there were aliens in the water. I would always advise to-be parents to go for neutral names please. Another, when dumped into a 4 ft deep tank after a high and spiraling downward slide was convinced that he would drown in it. We watched him for a minute as he tried his best to drown, flailing his arms, legs and other parts of his body in his desperate bid not to die a virgin. Finally when I lost patience, I gave him my hand and asked him to just stand up. And then one more landed in the tank and seemed to look around desperately for something.
"I am looking for my spectacles, they’ve fallen off", he explained, still looking intently into the water.
After we finally controlled our laughter, we told him he still had them on.
Even me, at the end of a slide didn’t realise my specs were off (I keep them on since I have a high –4.0 power and I don’t like to miss the view of the thrill ride). It was only when my colleagues shouted it out that I realised something was stuck under my feet.
And then of course there was the wave pool. It was fun till it got too crowded with naked male bodies. And when people started getting under and between people’s legs and overturning them in the water, I knew I had to find a more solitary space somewhere. Of course I was eventually required to participate in the ceremonial dunking that everyone got but what the heck. There was also a rain dance, you guessed it, again, lots of naked male bodies shaking their booty, but it actually rained and it was kind of fun.
On our way back, there was Antaakshari on the bus. Wasn’t quick with the song responses myself but could sing along with most of the songs and did, it’s been some time. And there was Scotch at the dinner party, which capped an end to an above average day.
In other news, shaved about two minutes off my weekly run in the park today. Finally, today did 11 rounds (9 km) of the park in little over an hour and felt really good at the end of it. I am amazed everytime I run about how much a mental thing it is, running. DazedandConfused comes up with all the usual excuses and more:
There! Your shoelaces have come off, that’s a sign!
C’mon, isn’t it too hot today?! (It was actually, my feet were burning through my soles for most of the run, till the sun went down)
The T-shirt’s too tight!
Enough, man! You can do eleven next week, c’mon!
Look, he’s overtaken you! What’s the point of running so slowly, you might as well stop! (The guy who overtook me wearing a shirt and trousers ran short bursts. I saw him sitting on all the benches on the track during the course of my run)
At such times there’s nothing else to do but say to oneself, "I’ve done it before and I shall do it again, and what’s more, I’ll go one up!"
Apart from this, the one serious impediment was when a huge frog almost hopped onto my tracks and I almost tripped trying to avoid stomping on it. Next time you try that Mr. Frog, you will be squished. Finally, nearing the end of the eleventh, it wasn’t the feet but the head, which was giving the protest signs as it, seemed to loll a bit from side to side as if threatening to fall off my neck. But if you know the trick that I use to finish the run, never fails to bring a broad smile to my face, and clears all the furrows from my forehead.
But my bum still hurts.