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Review: A-Run for India

TimTim Sharma
EXPERT COLUMNIST
Modified 21 Oct 2013

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When you come across an Ultra runner who has the word “Run” in his name, you know you have met someone special – a man who has chosen his destiny and is living his dream. I had the good fortune of meeting Arun Bhardwaj while he was passing Bangalore on his K2K journey. It only took spending a few joyous moments with him on the run to feel the positivity emanating out of this man.

For those who are not aware, Arun Bhardwaj is India’s only international Ultramarathoner. He has participated in and completed the course in impressive timings in countless events which include the 24 Hour Race at Athens, 6 day Self Transcendence race in Athens, 10 day Self Transcendence race in New York, 210Km Thar Desert Run, Badwater Ultramarathon and the list just goes on. Let’s just suffice to say that this list is huge and extremely impressive. The beauty of this man however is his humility, his gentle nature, an omnipresent smile on his face, his determination and will which he exhibits over and over again.

This documentary is a welcome gift to the running community. We have seen in recent times the explosion in the number of runners. And it is just very sad to know that the sport is not given the recognition it deserves – be it the shorter track events or the longer marathon and ultras.

This film documents the  journey of Arun Bhardwaj who is the first person in the world to run solo from Kargil to Kanyakumari via Leh, Manali, Chandigarh, Delhi, Agra, Jhansi, Gwalior, Nagpur, Hyderabad and Bangalore from 1st Oct 2012-30th Nov 2012. It displays this man’s grit and patriotism for his country. It attempts to show us what goes into the making of a legend. The journey was an eye opening and spiritual experience not only for Arun but also the entire support crew. It displays the strength that people wield when they come together for a common cause. It provides us with a glimpse of how truth, honesty and good intentions can overcome very real and tangible obstacles – right from the financial constraints, to the physical pain, the emotional ties, logistical requirements  and the support required to endure a journey of this magnitude.

We get to see the pain that is to pound over mountains through high altitude tarmac and pollution laden plains across the length of the country. It also proves the strength of human spirit and the bonds of duress that bring people together. How beautiful it was to see one man undertake a journey impossible to comprehend. Even more beautiful it is to see the spirit of the sub continent which comes together to make this journey a reality. We get to see our country in all its glory – the varied and stunning physical attributes of nature, the scenic routes, barren land, fertile plains  - WOW!!!;  the joy and support of the people of India and the adventures and experience that the crew and our protagonist have had through this journey. We get a glimpse into the different languages, cultures, food habits and hospitality that the people of India display across the length. We also see the one thing that brings the country together – the human spirit.

Being a traveler at heart and a runner myself, it is easy for me to  relate to the dialogues and experiences of Arun and his crew. Watching this documentary made a difference to me and changed something inside me. It humbled me. It put things in perspective and helped understand how small one individual is in the bigger picture. It inspired me. It also proved to me how one man and his will can make a difference. It proved to me yet again how the law of attraction works to ensure that things fall in place and bring balance to the universe. It bought out real issues faced by sportspeople in India today. It made me think.

This film was made to document a journey which changed the people who were part of it. It is a representation of a journey across India by an Indian to display his love for his country and bring such a vast and varied country together. It is a film made to portray reality. It shows us how one simple, working man follows his passion and supports this passion in the face of minimal support and he triumphs. He achieves greatness in everything he does by simply being true to himself – his spirit emanates joy to all those around him. This film will inspire you. It will make you think and  it will make you want to make a difference. This film will make you pay attention. This film WILL change you.

The documentary covering Arun’s epic run from Kargil to Kanyakumari is now available on DVD. This film will move, inspire and motivate runners and non-runners alike. For Rs. 500 (postage and shipping included) you can help contribute to Arun’s eventual goal of preparing his children to achieve Olympic glory ! Please email your requests to: aRunforIndia.movie@gmail.com

Published 16 Oct 2013, 20:08 IST
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