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Taming the beast Image Credit: Outlook Business
Taming the beast Image Credit: Outlook Business

Taming The Beast

FOR AJAI JHALA, CEO, BBDO INDIA, RUNNING PROVIDES A CATHARTIC RELEASE

Madhuri Rao

As the summer sunlight plays peek-a-boo among the misty receding clouds, the flickering bright rays light up the pavement at Siri Road, Malabar Hill in Mumbai and greet joggers. As the bells clang at the Hanuman temple, which is situated on the top of the mound, Ajai Jhala, CEO, BBDO India arrives for his morning dose of dopamine. Running, according to him is a legal dopamine, and he claims to be addicted to it.

The top executive at the ad agency follows a unique routine in pursuit of his hobby that involves distinct locations. And he’s even formed an acronym for his high-intensive interval training regime — BEAST. This includes a run along the freshly trimmed grass at over 75,000 square yards, Brabourne Stadium (B); or working out on an elliptical (E) machine; racing up a flight of stairs in apartments (A); gliding down Siri road (S) or sprinting along Toys Hill (T) at Kent in England. Elaborating on the logic behind such a vastly unique routine, he says, “I switched from long distance running to interval training since I realised the importance of working out at an intense pace. The pain and the amount of exertion that one has to put on oneself makes me push myself harder. The idea is to become a tamed beast from a pain beast.”

It is only aft er having participated in a marathon in Barcelona in 2008 that he decided to quit playing squash and start running. Nature and solitude are two things that are very necessary for Jhala to run. He


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