We all jogged to the start point of the 15 Kms marathon. As I ran, I was lost in the scenic beauty of Ooty.
This story begins last year in May when I had registered for Go Heritage Run happening in Ooty. Like all other running events, I had registered myself for the 15KM event and was ardently practicing hard every day for the race. However, due to a medical emergency, I wasn’t sure anymore whether to go or not. Finally the day arrived and our bus to Ooty was booked for 9:45PM. Until then, I hadn’t decided whether to go or not. It was pouring cats and dogs in Bangalore. After much thought, I finally decided in favor of Ooty.
My friend Santhosh Sundar and I tried booking a cab but couldn’t find one. Finally, we climbed onto a private bus which unfortunately got stuck in traffic. So we decided to run and catch an auto as it was getting late. And guess what, we ran for a good 1.5 kms to catch an auto and we finally reached the bus station. We got to know that the bus to Ooty was also delayed due to the infamous Bangalore traffic jam which intensifies during the rain.
At the time, I didn’t know that something wonderful was waiting for us in Ooty.
We got into the bus and reached our destination early in the morning. After finishing our breakfast at Ooty’s YWCA, we headed to the place where our accommodation was arranged — The Lawrence School located near the Lovedale station. And this was the wonderful thing that I was talking about! So here we were at this wonderful venue. We registered ourselves for the run at the entrance of the school and entered the campus. It was mesmerizing!
I had goose bumps all over just when I realized that I was going to stay in this heritage school for the next two days. The Lawrence School is one of the one of the best boarding schools in India. While moving our luggage to the dorm, I met a group of brilliant kids who were playing cricket inside the school compound. I introduced myself and joined them for a game of cricket and Frisbee. We must have played for at least four hours or more. They were so friendly and pure hearted kids that I forget all my stress. I was emotionally attached to all of them within a very short span of time.
And that’s when I knew the reason why my bus to Ooty got delayed in Bangalore. It true that there is a reason for everything that happens!
The day ended with a visit to cemetery inside the school campus with my Adivaas friends, Thyagaraj, Annaswamy, Vivek Shenai, KAbhisek Kumar Singha. And finally it was time to sleep.
Next morning before the run, we have bun and tea at the Junior School dining hall. Then we all jogged to the start point of the 15 Kms marathon. There were children running for 5 km. As I ran, I was lost in the scenic beauty of Ooty. The winding road that went up, down, round and round gave me new challenges, and I forgot all the pain once I saw my friends reach the finish point and started cheering for me. As soon as they saw me coming, they rushed to the finish point and started screaming my name. There were people around me looked on with admiring eyes after seeing us congratulating each other after the run.
We finished our break fast and went to play cricket again. Though I was tired after running 15KM, I still wanted to spend the little time I had with my friends whom I know will miss a lot. I played wholeheartedly, splashed water, took snaps and then it was time for lunch. We went to the dining hall, and had lots of food, especially mangoes.
And finally, it was time has come to depart and say goodbye to my friends with whom I had spent the entire time during the Ooty trip. Heart filled with emotions and eyes filled with tears, I left The Lawrence School campus, and my friends. I was going to miss them dearly and the time I spent with them was very valuable. These friends are the best things that happened to me since I started my journey with Adivaas. They have given me memories to cherish for my whole life, and undoubtedly Ooty was best of them all.
What a way to spend a weekend!!!!
Written by Kiran K. Dasari.
If you have run at a Go Heritage Run and want to share your run experience, please email editor at goheritagerun dot com.