Holi in life : The Run Of Colours

The colours

Holi: 2nd March, Friday 2018


Photos credit:Sanjay Raut/Mahesh Sharma

Colour Blue: The idea

(Colour blue may also positively represent: calmness, serenity, focused)

A phone call (27th Feb. 2018: morning)

Sanjay and I have been talking regularly about BNPGR’s first international marathon. Last evening we (five of us:maheshbhai, sanjay, sree, tushar and myself ) already had 2 and half hours marathon group meeting discussing the same.

“How about a run on holi-day?? ” I ask him casually.

A whatsaap message is sent.

BNPGR toli ki holi


It covers a run (a bit serious one) followed by holi colours and breakfast in thakur village.

Sanjay does not take much time in either accepting or rejecting my ideas.

Depending on the scale of idea /project, he has to take his team in confidence.

“Yes, let’s go ahead” is his message.

What follows: more phone talks.

Which eateries will be open in the morning hours?

Which one can serve something related to holi?

Mac D, konark, Rama and various options are discussed. Sanjay even contacts Rama to find out menu and bulk discount if available.


5 K or 10 K. masti (fun) run? Or serious run?

This run also has an undercurrent of Yaar ke mohalle mein run (run in your friend’s area)

Siddhartha nagar / thakur village /thakur complex has a large number of BNPGR runners.

During weight loss project we had thought of having one run within thakur village as it is quite open (it is tough to run within thakur complex if the number is large.)Some how after two really good yaar ke mohalle mein runs things did not work out.

Soon he posts a colourful post on BNPGR.

As always we have our sweet difference of opinion.

He being president of BNPGR wants max to participate. 100 plus is his style and expectation.

Colour Black: Authority & Power

(Colour black may also positively represent: Strength, intelligence)

So 100 plus BNPgr runners running in BNP, Thakur village and having group breakfast is strength of power. Whoever witnesses this kind of gathering is going to be impressed!!

My take is simple: Unless it is really very large project, the participation should not be too large. 15 to 25 is a manageable no. Smaller the group, more is the interaction, more is the fun.

Larger group, no doubt is a power statement is difficult to manage .Also people automatically get divided into the natural sub groups.

Max participation may not be possible due to other reasons like

  1. Gorai run was recently over and people may not look forward to another one so soon

2.The food is not included ( to be read : it’s not free) Everyone has to shell out from their own pocket.

  • For some runners Holi mornings may not be easy as they have preparations lined up for the festival
  • Being a long weekend ,many might use the opportunity for small vacation
  • Colours: not everyone would prefer to play holi. And yes you play holi with friends with whom you have some comfort level.

On 28th programme is posted.

The exit is towards thakur village side.

We take help of Meeta and Shashikant for probable route and best place as cool down zone.

Sanjay has already visited and finalised with Ramas.

Meeta comes up with route plan.

There is no need to take head count so simple thumbs are requested.

As there is no guarantee of exact number or who will really turn up, Sanjay leaves the selection of pacers (so that every participant is genuinely pushed to do a serious run) for the 11th hour, just before the run.

1st evening: there is a nice close group party within our residential complex. It is a theme based party and good amount of preparations are going on to make it fun filled. Interesting couple games are included in the theme.

I am out at Vapi. Friends call and ask me and Sheila to join. They know my nature; I love this kind of parties which are beyond just food and drinks. Interactive parties leave great memories.

I am in dilemma. Once we are there in the party, even with an idea to just drop by and leave soon: which may not happen as I will be will be naturally get dragged in and party will go beyond 2 midnight. So either it is run next day or party.

Sheila wants to prepare for the festival. She wants to have most ambitious menu for the festival

Mahrashtrian style Puran Poli

Marwadi style (modified in her mother’s style) Dahi wada

Punjabi style Chhole

And With Sindhi kadhi

She doesn’t have time for run or late night party.

Apologies are given to host , who till the end insists : try to drop in for some time ( he sweetly complains the next day while applying colours : Oh you guys didn’t turn up, didn’t like it ;next time no excuses )

2nd morning:

I am up by 4.40 am

I do not take any vehicle as our return in from ramas and not from BNP.

Friday is also couch batch day (0 to 5 k). One of the major initiatives of BNPGR is to introduce running to a non runner: a couch potato (colour blue may positively represent: calmness, serenity, focused) who can be inspired into magic world of running. A nine week’s structured programme which can lead an absolute non runner to 5 km distance.

Colour Grey: Timeless

(Colour grey may also positively represent neutral, practical)


We all join the batch. Komal is taking the session. She is quite natural and leading from front. She is helped by Punit and Nishant.

Punit is adding his personal touch (in his characteristic style) and helping every one with correct posture and technique. His attention is to the details. Even a simple looking exercise like shoulder rotation can be corrected near to the required perfection.

The warm up is a detailed one. Obviously this warm up is any time better than any individual attempt (which we all do) as it is a detailed one and leaves less chance of any short cuts.

It is beyond 6.40 am.

Sanjay and Punit take the final call and decide two batches of 65 minutes and 75 minutes for 10 km runner group.

Arsalan and Divya are the pacers.

All others and couch batch guys will do 5 km ( may be more of walking ) and they will take the first turn at old MSEB ( now separated as the transmission business entity ) to directly reach at dream park at thakur village.




Colour Orange: Energy

(Colour orange may also positively represent enthusiasm, excitement, warmth, change, stimulation, sophistication)

Arsalan has started his Garmin and we are “ON”

He has decided to run 1st km a bit slower and then increase the pace.

We are going to run till 5 km point and return. The MSEB turn will be the 2nd turn when one comes from kanheri caves side.

Soon we start talking or rather I start my chatter and Arsalan (and also Divya ) has to zelofy my questions.

“How does one correct one’s form?”

“Or how difficult is to correct a wrong running form or even posture?”

Colour Purple: Respect

(Colour purple may also positively represent wisdom, spiritual, mystery)



“Even I had issues with heel landing. Meticulously I trained myself so that at fast pace I can strike with front foot. It is not that heel strike is absolute NO NO. If one has proper cushion heel strike may be handled, but for a good pace front of mid foot landing is preferred.”

“One has to be constantly aware about posture, leg movement, pronation…. Correction has no short cuts. You really have to train yourselves “

“What about walk breaks? “ I ask this questions once we cross 2 km. usually we take walk breaks at every 2 km.

“Oh I don’t take walk breaks for 10 k distance “ he looks at me with smile.

“For 21km, usually there is one around 17 k. Yes one has to slow down if water station has only cups for water. “

“Finally it depends on how you train? What training you give to your mind and your body? Over the time period body gets used to your commands.”

“Train and train hard “

Arsalan and Divya agree for walk break every 3 km. Chirag is also running with us. He describes his one to one encounter with a leopard.

“I was running in front, Punit was behind; and a leopard passed between us. I was frozen “

Now we are running ahead of other 10 km runners.

On our way to 5km mark we meet Suvendu, Siddhi and chaddi gang.

Suvendu confirms our route but informs “Oh we are not joining “

May be they have to go home fast or may be chaddi gang may have their own holi programme..

Soon we are back in conversation mode

“Elite runners also aim for one or two main events, other races even if they participate are from preparation point of view only.”

“Yes there can be days when you realise: Today is not the perfect day, but there are reasons. The whole week before the race can play a crucial role. It is not just Thursday to Sunday, what you eat the whole week, your water intake over the week, wrong food even once may affect your performance”

“Sometimes even I can’t run at 4.30 pace , it just doesn’t happen”

“I wanted to do a trail run and did the same in matheran “

“Yes I want to do a full marathon “

During the conversation I share Feb 2019 project idea.

“God willing, we all can go to auroville marathon as BNPGR project. Maheshbhai , Sanjay, Sree all have liked the idea.”

We take our turn at 5 km and return . On our way back we cross Nirmalaji, Dharmeshbhai,Sharmaji, Ila, Shreya. They are almost running in pairs.

We decide to run till MSEB colony gate and return back .

“ We will take the off the road trail towards thakur village together with all “

“One O Six” Arsalan tells us when we complete 10 km on our way back to meet slow 10k runners.

66 minutes and 10 k.

I have the typical “ Ye dil mange more : thought :” “Oh if I had asked Arsalan to take me on 60 minutes bus , he would have willingly helped

We run towards 2.5 km bridge and soon join every one and merge. Now I am running with Ila.

Colour White :

Colour of Purity

( White colour also may positively represent cleanliness, innocence, sense of space)



The whole Grover family is into running.

“Who started first? And how everyone got into running?”

In past , I have interacted with Ashokji . His journey from Vadodara to Mumbai is kind of “ Move with the flow kind of journey “

It’s like living the great show of “ all the colours of life as it shows and encompasses you “

During the run I have a different perspective.

This time it’s a daughter’s perspective, as Ila tells me how it is being the youngest in her house.

Yes, nowadays Riva is able to correct me. “ Oh dad , you can’t introduce me to your friend with your kind of humour which is nothing but a kind of opinion in a camouflaged way.”

“Let her/him interact with me and form the opinion. “

Need to sharpen the sensibilities .

Soon we are at MSEB gate. We all take the trail. We meet Komal has she has come till this point to see off the group.

There are illegal encroachment as shacks have been made inside the National park are using the walls of national park.

A small gate with attached security cabin takes us to the one end of thakur village. The entry is near the Gundecha group’s chatrabhuj school.

We run towards Amantran hotel to take left turn.

Colour Yellow :Happiness

( Colour yellow may also positively represent laughter, optimism, warmth, cheery, intensity )

Soon we are with the whole group.
“Oh we are here since last 20 minutes “ Aneesha informs when asked.

It is obvious that they have completed their cool down.

Surprisingly except Nareshbhai there is no one from Siddhartha Nagar or Thakur village for today’s run. We do not get much time as we all start playing with colours.

Those who do not like playing with full colours are given some symbolic touch up .


At Ramas we take a few tables. Over all it is a manageable group. Jokes can be heard and laughter can echo.

BY this time I realise Maheshji, Nirmalaji and Nareshbhai have a good sense of humour

Over food we also discuss various foodie joints in thakur village and borivali west. Shreya wants to know whether I am a writer by profession or trying to be a writer by profession!

OMG! Looks like, I should bore people less.

In any case at times I am labelled by Sheila “ person who has verbal diarrhoea.

If I keep writing long blogs (and may be really boring to many ) soon I will be labelled with new name.

Chaita is looking at Jalebi being made at Ramas and casually asks “ are this jalebi good ( are they famous ?? )


Even we discuss other options like exclusive franchise of mumba devi’s jalebiwala, our own basic Menu of Idli-chatney-sambhar with thandai gets modified to include garma garam jalebi when she gives us the clue.

Nareshbhai takes the lead and includes the jalebi. He is already collecting money and has done quick calculations of balance money which can easily allow everyone to have jalebis.

Colour Green : Harmony

( Colour green may also positively represent natural, cool, health, tranquillity, calmness)




Post individual orders of jalebis some of us decide to walk.

At main junction of W.E.highway Nirmalaji and Ila leave to take straight road towards thakur complex.

Priyanka and Sanjay decide to give company till Vasant Marvel turn.

As I am taking final turn I remember Sheila’s special menu for today’s festival.

How about treating maharashtrians friends with maharashtrian style puran poli?is a simple thought and I invite them to our residence.

Yes I am somewhat a better version of my dad. My dad throughout his life has invited friends at our house without giving any advance warning to my mom.

Colour Red : Intensity

( colour red may also positively represent love, warmth, life, blood )

Since child hood I have seen all kind of friends coming to our Pune residence. Engineers, consultants, clients, college friends, Urdu poets etc

Sheila is extremely accommodative , but she needs proper space.

Colour Pink :Love

( colour pink may also positively represent romance, gentle, calming )




She loves hosting people, but her condition is “ I will only do in proper style “

I can’t have stupidity of my earlier generation as in today’s modern times you just kind be a kind of MCP. Earlier one learns to be sensitive better will be marital harmony.

Still I do stupidity. There is hardly any time to call her and announce, but I am sure on her readiness of festival delicacies.

Soon friends have Puran poli and dahi wada. Yes they approve the puran poli . (The approval becomes pucca as in the evening we have our other maharashtrian friends ( pre invited ) who taste Sheila’s puran poli like connoisseur and approve the same.)

Post light breakfast and tata bye bye, we also get ready to go down to join our society’s holi with rain dance which goes on beyond 1.40 pm

Great way to start colourful holi !!!

12 k plus run + holi with friends +breakfast I with friends + breakfast II with family and friends+ Colourful holi in the neighbourhood with family and friends


…………………………………..the end

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