I have generally seen people either running away from cops, dogs or villains or towards something like heroines, trains and buses. But this Sunday will see thousands of ‘geniuses’ taking to the streets to run, for no apparent reason, but fun.

One of my professors used to say that in Mumbai, one should never run behind buses, trains or girls. On being asked why, he would joke that there would be another one arriving after two minutes. The joke may be off-colour and sexist, and get my professor castigated or even see him lose his job, but it did reveal the fact that Mumbaikars enjoyed one of the best public transport systems in India. That ain’t the case anymore. So, Mumbai, in its wisdom, has decided to present its citizens with an alternative to public transport – Running.

Run to work, run to meet your girlfriend, run to college, Run Mumbaikar, Run. And so it is that as dawn breaks, Mumbaikars will take to the streets to sweat, be breathless and overall just exhaust themselves on a Sunday that they could have spent splendidly at home with their family. Oh, may be some of them are running away from family…After all, eloping is a big deal in India and what better training than the Mumbai Marathon.

Pickpockets and thieves should have been training, as well as policemen. Oh! The thrill of the chase! (The chase makes sense to me, but running 10 to 26 miles for a medal or a Facebook post, absurd.)

Anyway, running isn’t even truly a sport. It is just a more advanced version of jogging. It doesn’t involve dribbling, batting, bowling, taking aim, jumping, lighting weights or anything. They say ‘Anybody can dance’; well, they should say ‘Anybody can run’. And I mean ‘anybody’; you don’t need talent to run. And what training are they talking about? A little warm-up, a little eating right, a little stamina building, maybe a little exercise? Big deal! And all for what? To run from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’. And then get served a side order of leg cramps. On the house! Why??

By the way, I also can’t take the would-be marathoners constantly talking about their training schedules, posting great workout pictures, discussing ad nauseam their diet and daily targets, and post-marathon, the monologues on the marathon, the weather conditions, their co-runners, the proper footwear, etc. I am bored even writing this much about it; imagine having to listen to it. Kill me already.

And finally, fitness isn’t that big a deal. It helps you extend the later stage of your life when all your friends are dead; you can’t eat delicious delicacies and have to put up with the nonsense of your grandsons or granddaughters. Better to enjoy the ‘present’ and die at the ‘right’ age. Chewing gum for 15 hours doesn’t necessarily mean you can enjoy the gum longer, it could also mean that your jaw hurts and the gum is tasteless.

PS: Note to all those running: Pheidippides, the guy who started the whole marathon craze way back, was carrying a message, not running for the sake of running. And he died at the end of his 26 mile-run from Marathon to Athens. So, we need to respect his sacrifice and not repeat it and stay home and drink a lot of fluids (be it Adam’s ale or someone else’s ale, pale ale or something slightly darker).