23 07 2014

ArunJohn alias Ironman70.3 alias Half-Ironman, a dream come true. Oh baby I feel like flying, flying up above in the air. The journey towards this was not so easy and I could reach there only by perseverance. It all started around 3 years back when I had just learnt swimming and I could not even cross 25m in water at a stretch. I used to be really afraid of depth then and used to take 3 breaks to complete a lap i.e, 50m at the velachery aquatic complex. I used to see mails from CTC conducting triathlons and one of my friends used to talk about someone who had completed half-iron triathlon and used to practise at the same Velachery pool. I had then (2 years back) registered for sprint level triathlon and completed it but my swimming was so shabby and I managed to complete it somehow by taking rest on ropes every now and then. I used to wonder how these people swim such a long distance(1.9km) but I was not giving up so easily and there was something from inside of me telling I will be able to do it one day. The next level was Olympic (1.5 year back) and this time CTC were conducting it in Anna swimming pool which had varying depth from 4-12 feet and the ropes were not so strong. I had not got better in swimming by then though I had taken membership at velachery pool and I could not stand in the middle as the ropes were not so robust and I was not so confident about breathing techniques and I had to quit. I went straight to Velachery pool and started practicing, corrected my mistakes on my own, learnt to feel comfortable in water and slowly started to get rid of my fears. Then I started to be a regular at the pool and started observing people and learnt breaststroke just by observing people. This helped me a lot in my floating techniques and feel more comfortable in water and this in turn had a positive effect on freestyle as well as then I became more confident and I started to breath sub-consciously in water just like changing gears after learning to ride a two-wheeler well. Then I increased my maximum distance gradually from 50m to 100m to 200m to 500m to 1km to 1.5 km to 2km. I had crossed a non-stop 2km twice so far without even stopping for hydration and now I am so confident that I can do a non-stop 1km everytime I get into water even without stopping for hydration.  After such rigorous practice I was waiting for that big day , the next event when half-iron will be one of the categories. Finally it was announced , the 13th of july 2014. I had 3 months to get prepared physically and mentally. I know mental preparation was the most important of all. I had asked 2 of friends to watch over my swimming on the day since it was in open waters at ottiambakkam quarry, even took one of them to the pool a month before and checked the pool, prepared all the backups and made sure there was no hiccups, then registered for the event and started practicing, of course only swimming. Even before one week of the event , the excitement started piling up and I was visualizing my finishing style and status after completing. The day before the event, I had got good sleep throughout that week, I had Balaji to fetch cycle from Balaji cycles, I had my friend Bharathi, my swim guard staying at my home, hydrated myself well, loaded carbs and was all set and slept well.

It was the big day the next morning. We woke up at 3.30 and got ready and carried the cycle to the event spot in my bike, had a little struggle to find the spot but we made it well in time, stretched well and I got into waters as Bharathi took a good position to watch and said “bayapadaama eranguda, nee adichiruva enakku nambikka irukku”. Immediately after the getting in, after 2 strokes got back to the rock and signalled “all is well” to my friend. The water was warmer than outside since it was in the quarry. Then the race started in batches of 10. I was H12 and I started to swim as they signaled for the 2nd batch and now there was no fear just smiles, even as I was swimming towards the rocks on the other side, seeing people swim and seeing the surfers on the other side rowing their boards. The happiness of finding myself swimming in the open waters confidently was the only thing I could feel then. The next 1.9km was a cake walk and it was my personal best as I completed it in 1hr and 12 mins. Then I got out of the pool and changed to cycling/running costume, had 2 sandwiches and gave a send off to Bharathi as he was supposed to come back only around my finishing time and then started towards Kalpakkam, I took a wrong turn for about 1.5kms up and same distance down at the T-junction of OMR and ECR seeing Mamallapuram board pointing on the opposite direction, then saw the Chennai board and realized I had to travel in the opposite direction. As I returned to the T-junction I could see people already coming back and I still had about 10km to the turning point. Reached the turning point at 10.45 and got hydrated, ate some fruits and returned, I knew the return will be easier due to winds in the favorable direction and it was as expected and further one of the volunteers paced me in his bike and gave company from the T-junction till the running spot. We reached there at 1:25pm. My running time started at 1:28. It was here I learnt running, (in fact walking fast I should say) was my strength. I overtook many of those who reached before me in cycling and even my running was the second best of all in my category. I did it in 3 hrs and 2 mins. I listened to my body well, hydrated and ate well during the course and I completed it gracefully and thanked God at the finish and then gave an interview to Peter, “It felt great. I learnt swimming only 2 years back. Cycling took the longest time since I never practised” and then got the medal from him. Got my T-shirt and posed for fotos and then drove the bike back with Bharathi carrying the cycle and we also had to pay fine at the entry into 200feet road. Got ready and went to NLAG for 6pm service which I reached at 6:20, then only I felt sleepy and left to home at around 7:20 and then took some rest before watching the FIFA finals. But still I could watch only the first half before I dozed off for the day.

This was the title for my FB profile picture that day

Arun John alias Ironman70.3 alias Half-Ironman. Now its official. Dedicating this feat to God first and then all my friends and well-wishers. Some names deserve a special mention, Bharathi Dasan, my swimming guard, without whom I would not have got into open waters in first place, Srinivasan, for taking my running to next level with Vibram shoes, Bala Vishwanath, for fetching cycle, Gokul Raju for all his motivation and tips, Gurumoorthi anna for being my inspiration, Tamil Selvan for giving me confidence to register and all CTC volunteers without whom this would not have been possible. — at ottiambakkam.”half_iron

Mangalam Sezhikka – keyboard notes!

17 07 2014

Scale- G major

Aasirvathiyum karthare! – keyboard notes

1 07 2014

I got a request from one of my blog readers for keyboard notes for christian marriage songs. I thought it should be useful to many if I post in my blog itself, well it could be useful for myself in near future ;) . Also I realized I should be posting notes for more songs including devotional songs. Anyway here is part I, aasirvathiyum karthare,. others to follow:

gfec d e gC
g efg e cd
gfec d e gC
g    a    b  C  D  C
C    b   C  D   C    b    a        g a b   C
immayae motchamaakkum vallavare
Cbagfed ed
gfec d e gC
g    a    b  C  D  C


i could not get the lyrics from net properly . But it should be easy to sync with those 3 lines I have, I guess. Its a simple beautiful song in C scale. ‘C’, ‘D’ is higher octave, other small letters are in lower octave.

world tcs 10k marathon!

18 05 2014

open panna namma hero (enna panradhu ithellaam padikkanumgirathu unga thala ezhuthu :P) double decker train’le jannal seat le Chennai noakki thannoda rendu nanbargaloda travel pantrikkumbodhu intha blog post Ezhudheetrukkaaru. Cut panna hero’oda FB page’le oru msg “Arun, neenga world TCS 10K register panteengala” “itho I will do it now”.

Then Tamil and Balaji also joined the Bangalore trip to visit Qgang member Vivek who had also registered for marathon. Friday night oru vazhiya Tamil’a ready panni, we boarded the train along with our randonneur. After hearing stories from Tamil we settled finally and slept at around 11. At 4 o clock in the morning there was a slight tap on my shoulders “anna, next station KR Puram , five minutes aam” it was Balaji. Then we got freshen up and got out of train at KR Puram and boarded a bus asking for JP Morgan stop. Ulla yaerna udanae, Tamil hinted ” Raja song da machchaan” , I said “ya aamaanda machchan”. I was almost half asleep and it did not immediately strike me that we were outside Tamilnadu ;). Then at JP Morgan stop was waiting Vivek to take us to his house. He had made everything ready for us, comfortable beds for 4 of us in his AC room and I had a good morning sleep even as they were talking and sharing memories since it was long time since we met Vivek. When I woke up at around 9am , they were sleeping and I got ready, said my prayers and then learnt from Vivek’s father that they already had breakfast and I went out for breakfast. After lunch we went for BIB collection. Me and Balaji found the indoor Kanteerava stadium after almost roaming around the entire city. It was awesome and I thought we would be finishing inside the stadium but that later only today I realised it was not the case. After collecting the BIB, we went to visit my ex-colleagues who had joined TI in their office. It was drizzling through out the afternoon and we roamed around their office and even played TT at their office, had coffee, had good one hour vetty-talks and then reached Vivek’s house. I purchased some fruits, and chocolates for preparation. Tamil’s friends joined with Vivek and Tamil and they partied till 12, however I slept at 11 and around 4 I got up and woke Vivek up “dey, enthiri 4’o clock da, kelambuvom” “machaan naan varle da, night vaera saapadala” “machaan enakku vazhi vaera theryaadhu da, naethae unna prepare’aaga sonnenae da” after few conversations “ok, anga edhaavadhu saapda kedaikkuma” “aamaanda , they will give oranges banana, juice and all” “ok machaan naanae varren, epdiyavadhu will finish” . We reached at around 10 mins before the start. When I entered the stadium people were already queued up at the starting point and I managed to reach in time. Started the run as usual with my favorite song. Maintained a good speed till 2 to 3 km. After that I could not carry on with the speed, as I did not take any fruits or chocolates in the morning since I had to cross so many hurdles even to make it on time. From then on normalized and finally got some oranges at around 5-6km and from then on regained some speed and made it at 1hr 10s . Could not complete within 750 rank and missed the T-shirt. Also did not get a good feel of run since it was like a running in a herd , no space, not much energizers provided and I would say they did not organize well for the money they collected. After the race, I had to struggle to get to know where the exit was and then to find the way to parking. Finally I reached the parking, called Vivek and he also managed to reach parking after struggle and then we took fotos and left to house. Got ready and reached the 10’oclk English service at FGAG church Indiranagar in 20 mins . In the mean time I realized that I had learnt to drive Vivek’s discover efficiently. After the service I reached home, got things packed and we left to KR Puram after lunch and boarded the double decker. I got the jannal seat and started writing this post hearing my favorite collection songs in my old phone…

Harjaiyaan – Queen – Keyboard notes !

11 05 2014

I have been requested to take notes for this song for about 2 weeks now. Finally I made it. Here it is.Image


Kandangi Kandangi ! – Jilla – Keyboard notes.

27 03 2014

Long since I posted. Wanted to post notes for this song since long, but could not find time. Finally its here.


Nagala East trek with CTC !

26 02 2014

I have been to Nagala West in a private trek with colleagues 2 years back, but I am a fresher to CTC. I stayed at my junior’s place in thiruvanmiyur the previous night. 2 of his roommates also registered for South East trek so we got up early in the morning and started towards tidel. Luckily we got a taxi which was going towards tidel ,. he stopped and dropped us at tidel at around 3:10.In the meantime I called the organiser Muthu and informed him I will be late by 10mins. When we reached tidel there were 2 vans ready(for the 2 treks). Those 2 guys with me were welcomed by the south east trek organiser. I got introduce to Muthu and Prasad, we waited till the 2 Reddy brothers (Anil and Nagarjuna) arrived and then we boarded the bus and Muthu followed us in his bike. In the next stop ( Guindy ) , few more people boarded the bus. Among them were Nizam, Balu, Nithin and a veteran trekker Vinothji. At guindy one more guy from south east trek wrongly boarded our bus and as we were discussing , he realised we were going to the east and then he got down. At Koyambedu , the other organizer Jayanthan and Aravindh and few others joined and three college students(John,Vinoth and Kamal) came in bike. During van travel, Vinoth was explaining his trek experiences in the past. Though we all were talking aloud, Anil had good nap and he was sleeping as if in his bedroom , after he woke up he shared one of his stories from his treks where few people had wondered about his sleeping skills amidst good amount of noise and everyone one of us said in chorus “we have no doubt or wonder about it ” :D . Then we reached Uthukkottai at around 5:30. That is the only place wre we can get breakfast before we go into the village and further up to the mountain and the shops would open only at 6:30 and so we halted there till 6:30 ,..while the guys in bike also arrived and we had breakfast and left to the village. As soon as we entered the village , the driver and Jayanthan both found some bundle on the way , they were not sure what it was, they took it for some waste bundle and he rode the van over it. Suddenly few villagers came running and we stopped the van and we found the bundle had a water tube and the villagers were bargaining with us for a replacement which would take around 3500bugs. We bargained and finally settled the issue giving 2000 rupees through the driver, it cost each of us around 100 rupees.

Then we started towards the forest. After a kilometer we reached the Nagala dam. It was dry and we found burnt trees inside the dam and we heard from Jayanth, they used to burn the trees there. We also found the  water level scale at the very end of the dam. We crossed through the dam into the woods. We assembled near the temple and the organizers gave instructions to be with the group always and incase if anyone lost the way, just follow the stream back to the village. Then we proceeded along the stream and after a couple of kilometers or so we reached the first pool. There was another group already at the pool and met one of my friends in that group. That group left towards the central peak as we started to enjoy in the first pool. It was very shallow till some point and deeper after that till some 15m and at the other end was a small falls. Nizam, Anil, Nagarjuna, Nithin and Vinoth were good swimmers and they reached the falls and enjoyed. I was little hesitant and later went till the falls and Anil helped to hold the rock and stand at the falls and then I returned back. I dint have goggles and I could not see clearly when I took my head out for breathing. So I was not still confident about swimming and came back to the shallow area and was just lying on water back floating. We spent around one hour and at around 10.30 we started towards the dead end pool. After an hour or so we reached the dead end pool and our organizer asked us to wait as there was another group at the pool already. They were from SRM college and they were returning. They were ferrying their bags using rope and swimming tubes. The pool was such that it has to be crossed by swimming and climb up the rocks on the other side. After half an hour the other group crossed and we were ready to cross the pool. Anil was checking out his goggles, and since he was a good swimmer and he could manage without it , I borrowed it and tried to swim across the waters of unknown depth. Nizam gave me confidence, “ungalukku nalla float panna theryudhu ji , ulla poana kooda ungala easy’a thookkeerlaam ji, thaiyiriyama vaanga , naanga irukkom” . I asked him to go in front and check if there was something to hold on the other side and then I would come. After he reached the other side and got hold of the rocks, I followed him and these people helped me to hold and climb. Anil, Nizam and Nagarjun enjoyed diving into the pool from the rocks. I just plunged into the water from the lowest point, reached the land and returned again under theri guidance. That was my first swimming experience in a natural pool of unknown depth and I felt great. Just then I remembered the Nagala west trek 2 years back, where I got the urge to learn swimming when I could not cross the water about 15m to reach a falls. It was like an achievement. Then we ferried our bags across the pool using swimming tubes and sleeping mats. At the other end of the pool was a shady place, where we had Pav bread with thakkaali thokku and mayonaise for lunch and then we had a power nap. Then we proceeded towards picnic pool, our destination. After a 200m or so, we were at a gorge and we had to climb a steep cliff beside the gorge to cross it. We had to be careful at each and every step and our legs were literally shaking. As we reached over the cliff we had fantastic view of the gorge. It was so beautiful at same time very fearful at the top of the cliff then we had to climb down and walk on a flat terrain for about half a kilometer and then we had to climb up. At this point I was following Balu, and following me were Nizam and Prasadh. As we were climbing up Balu lost track of the one before him and just after 2 mins, others had gone in some route and we 4 were lost and we tried to climb up further and shouted every other name in our group, but there was no response for some 15 mins and then we heard some shouts from below on our left, we knew it would be a different group since there was not much noise ever from our group. We thought we would wait for few more minutes and then go and join the other group if no one turned up. Then after few minutes we started down and luckily we found our group as well and it was the destination, the picnic pool. We went and spoke to Muthu to keep head count and to come behind everyone. Then we got ready to dive into the picnic pool. Me and Nizam were standing near the edge of the pool and were talking “Vaa, dive panni andha falls kitta poavom” ” Ji, neenga poai , hold panra edam paathu vainga, then I will follow you and come”. As we were discussing we heard a shout and Jayanth came and pushed Nizam into the water. He was treading the water and I was asking him “enna ji semma depth’a?”, I heard a voice from behind “Semma depth thaan poa” and the next moment I was in water near Nizam as Jayanth had pushed me into the water, I treaded for a moment then swam to a shallow area. Then he went near the falls and found a hold and I followed. Vinoth found another pool and a falls nearby and we tried to go there and it was almost evening and Anil spotted some rope like thing inside water and was unsure of what it was, so we dint want to risk and came back to the camp. Then we collected firewoods, cooked yummy Maggi noodles, everyone ate, chose their spots for sleeping and we all had a good sleep under the star stubbed sky.  We hit the beds at around 8. I got sleep at around 9, I could spot some minmini poochis flying all around and it was a great sight. Early in the morning, there was mist all around and it wetted our bedsheets, then I had to use another bedsheet of mine, luckily I carried 2. In the morning, Vinoth ji was doing yoga and I read my bible and said my prayers. Yet another ambition of mine fulfilled , pray on a mountain. Then we took bath in the picnic pool, went to the nearby falls with swimming tube. Then we boiled milk, had corn flakes and rusk for breakfast and at around 8 we start our return journey. After that we had to again cross that thrilling cliff, Anil and Nagarjuna swam across the gorge on the return journey and later shared their experience on the beautiful view, We crossed the dead end pool, this time I did dive from a better height, though with some hesitation (under guidance of swimmers). Then before returning to the first pool, we decided to go to the magic pool. There was a deep slide and a steep jumping spot to pool and I did not want to attempt it and I was videographing Nizam, Aravidh, Nithin and Nagarjuna jumping into the pool. Then we all had bread and jam for lunch and started towards the first pool at around 4. Here at the first pool, Balu and myself went to fetch water and we were mimic’ing the swimmers ferry at the dead end pool, here at the shallow pool. Then we took photo with the entire group and bid goodbye to Nagala as we reached the base. We had asked the driver anna to come to the temple there and from there we reached the village , where we had good bonda and bhajji from a local akka and left towards Chennai. We had dinner at Uthukkottai in a Bhai hotel and reached Chennai at around 10pm. I took my bike from friend’s place and reached home by 11. It was a thrilling experience and I got new friends. Looking forward to see my friends in near future treks :)


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