Somaiya Vidyavihar Campus might have a number of metal statues standing in its 65-acre campus, but none as noteworthy as ‘The Running Man’, who exudes inspiration for everyone who passes by. Bringing him back to life in a fun conversation, we discovered his untold story.
“Now, standing beside the huge football field of Somaiya Vidyavihar feels really pleasant. However, in the beginning, it was difficult to be by myself and isolated from the rest of the statues. Even more difficult was to gain acceptance from the children of the campus. It’s not easy to be a bare-naked steel man in the middle of nowhere. Most of them weren’t aware of my existence. But as they say, with time, you get used to being the way you actually are. But I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m just another steel statue in this forest of flesh and metal. Seasons changed, students changed, and the infrastructure too, but I was still there by the football field facing North.”
“Now that I was all alone, I started noticing a lot of minor changes which then went on to become huge. The footfall of students increased and so did the number of Somaiya employees. The institute blossomed with an unforeseen pace. Being away from the hustle bustle of the world, I never knew the reason behind such changes. I found friends in a place that was previously lonesome. The people, once indifferent, now gave me friendly glances all of a sudden. I didn’t find a house, I found a home.”
Over these years, I’ve had my fair share rough times. Be it torrential rains or face-melting heat (literally), elements of the nature have threatened to render me rusted. Then again, I have found support from unexpected quarters. It is in my own self that I found the strength to endure and more than that, an opportunity to prove my mettle.
“Most people take me as a symbol of the flourishing sporting culture in the college, but I aspire to be much more. Running in the literal sense is something I proudly represent. Look beyond that. Look at yourself. Look at what you want to achieve. Think of the ways you can achieve the thing that you aspire. Think of how you’ll endure through this rat-race that you have been enrolled into, with no head-start for that matter. Like a fish out of water, you’ll be vexed. But keep running. Running towards your goal. Take pride in working hard. Even if the finish line is nowhere in sight, RUN. This is what I represent. Look beyond my bare-naked façade for this is only one of my layers.”
Change is the most constant thing that I’ve experienced.
“My existence till now has not been extra-ordinary, but a really ordinary one. You might not find my story interesting, but, from time immemorial, I’ve been standing here, witnessing everything. Someday, you will be gone, and I will still be standing here.”
Lastly, I would like to thank my creator, Artist James Seaman. It is his efforts that have allowed me to be here amongst you today. Lots of love from Somaiya Vidyavihar, Mumbai, India to Trumansburg, NY, USA.