I was in Kohls with my wife when I received his call. This guy was from Boston. He said he wanted to join Dandi March II (DM2). I thanked him for his interest and asked him to contact the local DM2 coordinator so he can join the solidarity event on the last day of DM2, March 26. But he clarified….he wanted to join us for the 240 mile walk. I did not believe him.
I thought this guy must be very motivated or he was crazy, or may be he is just another guy who got emotional with the concept. Even though I was more than happy to realize it is not just Jawahar and me in this entire world who thinks this is a sane idea, I tried to discourage him several aways knowing the difficulties in the commitment. . Once convinced he was serious, I told Jawahar that we found another crazy guy like us. His name is Srinivas Nandiwada.
We talked a couple of more times on the phone. He told me that he is fit for the 240 mile walk because he ran a half marathon about 4-5 months ago… First of all, I have no respect for half marathon. Full marathon is for real men (and women). Second of all, how is 13 miles compared to 240 miles? This guy scared me with his over confidence.
Well, I didn’t have to wait too long before I know I was wrong. Through out the 240 mile walk, he never looked tired, nor he lagged behind. In fact he caught up with the miles he missed on the first day (he joined one day late). He was always on the iPhone, literally taking care of the business.
He started as an outsider in the group. He wasn’t a news junky like the rest of us, nor he did not think Dr JP could win elections (most of the rest of us are big Dr JP fans). He was not afraid to disagree in the group, even though sometimes he had no support. I was really impressed when he first addressed a group of participants, asking them to be proud of their participation, and tell all their friends about what they did (I think that’s perfect marketing). I copied that, and continued saying that to all the participants for the rest of the march.
At the beginning of the march, I thought, if anyone, he would bailout first (6 of us completed DM2). By the end of DM2, one thing I know: more than his business, more than ANYTHING, he loves his children. This unlikely Dandi Marcher is a very likely guy. Srinivas Nandiwada is my friend.