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Anu Vaidyanathan is the first Asian, male or female, to compete in Ultraman Canada: a punishing 10-kilometre swim, a 420-kilometre bike ride and an 84.4-kilomete run. She placed sixth. Which is breath-taking. But what is your typical good Indian girl, super-nerd doing at the Ultraman? Anywhere but Home is the funny, heart-breaking, unexpected story of a woman who would notAnu Vaidyanathan is the first Asian, male or female, to compete in Ultraman Canada: a punishing 10-kilometre swim, a 420-kilometre bike ride and an 84.4-kilomete run. She placed sixth. Which is breath-taking. But what is your typical good Indian girl, super-nerd doing at the Ultraman? Anywhere but Home is the funny, heart-breaking, unexpected story of a woman who would not give up. As she followed her passion on the roads of Bangalore and across several Indian cities, coaches advised her to get married. She was stuck in sports facilities that lacked basic support systems, even toilets. If she wanted to compete, it would need to be on her own salary. All she could rely on were her own two feet and the seat of her bike. With self-deprecatory humour and characteristic curiosity, Vaidyanathan tells the story of how she found triathlon, how she came to be training in one of the most challenging sports in the world. She writes of her many firsts in the Ultraman, Ironman, Half-Ironman, but also of motherhood and pushing the boundaries of what a body can do. Heart-warming and heart-breaking, this is most of all a tale of love: for a sport and for life....

Title : Anywhere But Home: Adventures in Endurance
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9789351775249
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 176 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Anywhere But Home: Adventures in Endurance Reviews

  • Surabhi Sharma
    2019-03-05 22:29

    ‘Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing’ – Benjamin Franklin.She did something worth writing and an inspiration not only for athletes but for those too who likes to dream but could not gather the courage to face the odds and with this book she writes something which is worth a read.Coming to the book, let’s start with her. Anuradha “Anu” Vaidyanathan is the founder of PatNMarks; an intellectual property consulting firm, founded in 2001. She also has a PhD in record 26 months but her love for sport lands her in becoming first Asian female to complete the Ultraman Canada Triathlon in 2009, placing 6th amongst women.The book is written candidly, an honest mix of humor and curiosity. She did not try hard to give herself a larger than life image. She is an ordinary Indian girl born in Iyer family and race against the odds. Yes, she did fail at first, she did afraid of the hardships of the race, but her courage and determination are bigger than that herculean task. She did see setbacks but never pull her steps back and run on the road less traveled. She dreams; sudor and achieves. She always has the spirit of ‘go-getter’.You always need to have something competitive enough ahead in your life; a goal worth achieving; a dream worth swimming, biking and running for, that pushes you hard to come out of the bed every morning.This is my first no nonsense honest and heartily memoir. A tale of a girl of inquiring mind and conviction. She writes of her endurance and love for sport and life and her many firsts before landing into Ultraman in 2009. A heart-warming and heart-rending tale of love for sport.https://thereviewauthor.wordpress.com/

  • Dr. Radhika
    2019-02-23 04:36

    Anu! Your book has inspired me to train harder for my runs and not give up even on the worst days. The best part about the book, relatable and I am glad I found someone else who calls herself "frumpy"!

  • Shivam Sharma
    2019-03-02 01:46

    Anu Vaidyanathan’s ‘Anywhere but Home’ is probably the best book I’ve read in a while. It’s a books that stays with you long after you’ve read it. It’s a great book and like every great book, it becomes a part of you. Don’t let the cover deceive you. The cover fails to convey the didactic attempt the author makes to explain something most proclaimed self-help books fails to do, which is life and our role in it. Did you think it was about sport? You are way off the mark my friend.Its not a story about a girl who was too poor to pursue her dreams. That wouldn’t make it as interesting. What makes this book stand out is this very aspect of it. Anu like most of us, is pretty average. Belonging to a middle class family, she is the dork in the classroom who on any given day will fail to attract a second glance from the good looking guy in the room. She is chubby, love books, good with academics, babbles when a good looking guy approaches her and has a characteristic curiosity- the recipe for doom.And like any other average human she faces (and mostly succeeds) the one dilemma that mocks us all – the paradox of choice. And that’s what the book is all about, her choices.Her choice to move to a new place all by herself when she but a high school student. Her choice not to get committed to disappointment when she fails to make it in a competitive exam she has been so vigorously preparing for. Her choice to move to the States- where she knew no one for sake of a better higher education. Her choice of not having a television and watching a movie once in five years, so that she never digress from the pursuit of her dreams. Her choice to remain adamant in the face of failure (even what some might call intransigence). Her choice to not let the past super nerd chubby self (who would call it quits on every cliquish jocks) define her present self while she prepares for a triathlon across different geographies. Her choice not to marry any snooty or mooching man just due to the frequent gauge calls from the coterie of overly smart uncles and aunts (that all us Indians have to brave for some unknown reason). Her choice to not let any psychological relapse bend her somewhat instinctive wanderlust. Her choice to never back down even when she has no other source of finance other that her salary. Her choice to be an entrepreneur, a PhD student and a pro athlete, all at once and never letting anyone to tell her to do otherwise. And most importantly- her choice for an independent life (even when it meant being labeled as frumpy).This book taught me a great deal. Not just about the author (that would have been so boring), but about life and what it takes to make ‘it’ in life. And what exactly is ‘it’? It is about personal satisfaction. When running, nobody knows that you’re beating your time, testing your limits and you don’t want anyone to know it either. It’s about you and the clock. She works hard towards her goal because that makes her happy. Her idea of partying involves working towards something. Its all about the pursuit. This book made me laugh, made me think and made me reconsider the aspects of my life that I had not thoroughly explored till date. It made me make a phone call to a friend I was slowly but surely loosing. It made me go to the gym on the day I was too loathsome to move. And also gave me a one liner I’ll require the next time I brave my demons, “if I don’t grow a spine at age 23, I never will”.Read this book. If nothing, it will make you wanna run.

  • Sanjay Fuloria
    2019-03-13 04:33

    As far as books on endurance go, this should be right on top. To achieve something as difficult as completing Ultraman Canada requires a lot of grit. Anu deserves a great deal of applause for fighting against all odds and finishing Ultraman. Right from her childhood, she got a lot of support from her family to be independent. This, in a society from where she comes, in itself is a big achievement. The way she narrates the story is refreshing. Her interactions with her neighbor who was hell bent on feeding her are hilarious. The description of her college life with the male dominated computer science department is an exercise in patience. Her sharp intellect clearly comes out in page after page. The way she prepared for the Ultraman, first in Bangalore and then in Canada is sure to inspire many people. With hardly any money left with her in Canada, her decision to leave her overbearing partner shows her determination to succeed. Exercising, be it running, cycling or swimming seems to liberate her. She doesn't come out as arrogant but more as a solid, hard working individual. As they say in running it is all about you competing against yourself and Anu fits the bill completely. She might not like the idea of fitting into something as she suggests thinking of herself as a misfit. Anu writes about talking to the trees while on her solo rides or runs and this fact shows how immersed she was in the present while doing her favorite activities.This book is recommended reading for any adventure buff or for any person who wants something to challenge him/her in life. If this book won't inspire you and then nothing else will.

  • Nabeel
    2019-02-24 00:24

    I am following this author from the time I read her column in Livemint. It was a series of articles on running. I could easily connect to her experience as I was also going through the same phase while running. This book won't be a guide to prepare an Ironman or Ultraman. I couldn't find any training or dietary advice. Moreover the author doesn't chart out the best practices. If at all, this book is all about following our own dreams. More than the equipments and resources, this book takes us through the philosophical reflections of a runner and its impact on different phases of life - as a daughter, student, researcher, teacher, wife, mother etc. This book progress in similar way of a journal. Most of her experience is common to anyone who started running in a resource limited settings. I had minimal difficulty to understand Hindi / Tamil sentences which were not translated. But could easily pickup based on the context. Otherwise it was a very easy yet inspiring read.

  • Sarath Babu
    2019-03-10 02:22

    An Extraordinary Memoir which I have read in the recent days. When I say this, I am 100% sure that anyone who reads this book would agree with me without a second thought. It is my privilege to review this amazing book and I am grateful to have received the autographed book from the author herself.Before starting my review, I must openly confess that I have not heard about the author and I would say it wouldn't come as a surprise being in India where we give more importance and priority to Cricket over others. Off late, thanks to some stellar performance from other performers that sports like Tennis, Badminton, Kabbadi and Chess(these two have always been neglected despite producing World Champions for some time now) have been catching up interest among the youngsters.Having said that, I must also say that I am proud to be followed by Ironman of India - Milind Soman who also happens to be a good friend of my sister like friend as she is associate with him for Pinkathon.For those who do not know who the author of this amazing book "Anywhere But Home" is Anu Vaidyanathan who despite being a Doctorate(she has completed it in record time(Department and University) of just 26 months from UC Canterbury in Electrical Engineering)has not used it on the title which shows the modest character of the author. I do not want to go deep into this to avoid conflicts. She is the founder of PatNMarks, an intellectual property consulting firm. Anu Vaidyanathan is the first Asian Woman to complete the Ultraman Canada:a punishing 10km swim, 2 20-km bike ride and an 84.4km run and she was placed Sixth, which is mind blowing.Having run few half marathons and 10 km run both in Bangalore and Chennai, I know how tiring and challenging it is to compete in Triathlon let alone complete it. Now let us see the review:Anu(I would use this name to avoid mentioning her full name which is bit lengthy) did enrol it initially for a PhD and had to discontinue it due to various circumstances which is not limited to Pay Issues despite more qualification and more hours of work put compared to her male peers. The circumstances in which the decision to compete in Ironman was extraordinary.Being a woman, she has always been looked as a mere machine - to get married or to get treated less in this male dominate world. She has described the life incidents beautifully which comprised places like Bengaluru and Chennai. The mention of Kanteerva Stadium, Ulsoor had made me go back to my Bengaluru Days as I was staying there for my work from 2004-2011. The mention of R.V.College of Engineering made me get goosebumps since my better half worked there for an year after my marriage before shifting back to Chennai altogether. Her wit has been evident in many places and in one of the events she was outnumbered by her own mother since Anu could secure only the 7th place whereas her Mom secured 1st in her category. Her mom being the second Woman Patent Agent in India is needs to be mentioned here.The mix up of Golconda for Gongura is a funny one. I can understand these mix-ups happen when you have trouble with other language. Anu was treated not so good in America initially. She got her first proposal when she was 21 and not even ready to think about relationships. It was also sad to read how some of the great ambitions has to be built on unfortunate events like uttering a lie to a bike guide that she had a boy friend which was not the case by then. Anu has travelled across Countries and Continents. In 2007, she took part in 2nd Ironman contest in Brazil. Her persistence and perseverance to compete was getting up as early as 3:30AM. Her decision to move to New Zealand has opened up new avenues. Firstly she could not only enrol herself for PhD but could realise her dreams few months later. Finding scholarship was really a tough one for this not so encouraged sport in India and most of the time, Anu has ended up spending her own money. Her encounter with Magpie in New Zealand was real interesting. Just like the author, even I have come across the magpie incident for the first time. Her hard work did make her to qualify for 70.3 World Championship, Florida but she had to let that opportunity skip.The experience in various places with regards to physical landscape, weather conditions were explained in minute detail making me live there myself which is the best part of the book. I also did not knew till date that Ultraman needs a mandatory crew member for every athlete.I felt really satisfied of having read this book which I would say will be a motivating factor for many aspiring athletes, the field in which we are far behind when compared to other nations in the World. It would be very apt to say that Anu Vaidyanathan has Championed the Ultraman and I am sure this book will lead the way to many youngsters who would take her as an inspiration and prove their mettle in the coming days.

  • Chitra
    2019-02-24 03:35

    You know the other day I did ten pushups and felt very proud of myself. Then I read Anywhere But Home. For those that don’t know Anu Vaidhyanathan she is the first Asian woman to have competed in Ultraman Canada. To be honest I hadn’t even heard of Ultraman and if I had I’d have thought it was a deodorant company. But I googled it and immediately became an admirer of Miss. Vaidhyanathan. The ultraman is a very taxing endurance test of sorts. It involves a 10 KM swim, 425.6 KM bike course and an 84.4 KM run. I can’t even do a 100 metre swim so you can paint me sufficiently impressed. I heard about Anu Vaidhynathan first on twitter when people were talking about the Coimbatore race. I clicked on her profile and started learning about this impressive woman who is from a traditional Tamil Brahmin family. A while later I was given an opportunity to read and review Anywhere But Home and since the book was already in my amazon wishlist, I typed out YES in a frenzy and sat waiting. I wanted to know all about her, what made her who she is, how she went from a studious sports hating person in a curd rice eating body to someone who wanted to drop everything to go for a run on muscular limbs. It follows Anu as she takes off every few weeks on a flight with her bike box to various locations, new Zealand, phillipines, china, Canada etc etc just to race and test her endurance. We watch her running down the streets of Bangalore with dogs (real) and dogs (local romeos) chasing after her. We watch as she visits a temple town and wakes up at 4 not to perform her prayers but to go for a run. And we watch some more as she moves to a whole other country just to have a better practice space. Of course everyone goes through hardships and Anu isn’t any different. But she’s taken the nay sayers and the negative ninnies and turned their influence into fuel for her runs. I’ve learned a lot from that, particularly since I’m someone who lacks social skills and is easily affected by comments. I wish I could have taken them to heart but in a different way. And if there’s one thing you learn from her memoir it is how you never give up. No matter how much you struggle or fail, doesn’t matter if you forgot your electrolytes or if your crew are shouting something negative to you. You plod on till you reach the finish line. You can grab that IV drip after you are done with the run. All in all, I was thoroughly impressed with her achievements. Her lack of satisfaction in life and people has led her to fall in love with something that is absolutely amazing. Yes, she may not be the first Asian Woman to place first in the Ultraman or the Ironman but she is the first to participate and that is a feat in itself. Full review on booksandstrips.wordpress.comI was gien a review copy for my honest opinion

  • Nagesh
    2019-03-22 03:47

    Recipe for 'negotiations with self'Congratulations, it is a beautiful narrative. I'm sure the book will be a lot of inspiration to derive from for folks who want to take challenges and personal goals to achieve. Personally, I liked the 2nd part. The courage to strive the dream with hurdles is very inspiring. The book is absolutely a must-read. Especially for those seeking means for courage, endurance, hard work, discipline and “negotiate-with-self” Reading by, the support got from family is huge. It takes a lot to let children grow by their’s righteous terms and to back it up and see it happen is simply rare and gifted. As much as it is a spark to read out of the book on the personal goals to achive, it is for the many others (parents, friends, colleagues and mentors) to take a leaf out and to encourage those pursuing their dream and aspirations.I'm not sure if I'm going to run a marathon, but for sure, I finished the book in marathon. I read the first 93 pages in ONE-GO!. The closest I did likewise was 'Inside of UNIX operating system' way back in 1995 and that to a part of it. I thought it was very gripping to read chapter after chapterI had never dared to have read a book with so many pages. Indrajala comics was the last I read from page 0 to last and this is THE next. Taking a clue, I’m sure going to get into a habit of reading a lot. - Thanks for that

  • Maya Gopalakrishnan
    2019-02-21 23:22

    Anu Vaidyanathan is clearly a winner! It's her attitude, filled with sheer solid grit laced with the ability to laugh at herself and the world when needed that shines through the pages. It is a spectacular read. The pace is just right and the author has a real ability to put the reader in her "sneakers" whether she converses with the trees or gets irritated at arrogant coaches and swims with the seaweeds! vicarious rush of victory as she finishes each race or her thesis when you realise she is someone who is just like you!Highly recommended in and out of sports genre. You can skim the book to just rub off some of her spirit and lightheartedness.Personally she feels like the ideal heroine material: a researcher with a long surname, entrepreneur and sportswoman who might do her poojas or calls her kid "Kanna"! Go Vaidyanathan!

  • Preethi
    2019-03-01 23:44

    Such an inspirational book !! At one point when Anu was concentrating between PHD and Marathon; it makes me realize , Sky is the limit.A lot of positivity comes from it. Also the vocabulary was too good and I kept wondering if she prepared for TOEFL exams too.Hey and I may start running and biking too !!All the best Anu for your future endeavours !!

  • Saravana Kumar
    2019-03-06 05:42

    2/3 years ago, I came to know about Anu little bit through my trekking & running community.And tried to know about her through internet & Ted talks.Luckily, last weekend I found this book in my roommate's bookshelf and started reading it as first work to do by seeing the author name "Anu Vaidyanathan".It's worth reading to know about first "Iron Man" triathlete of INDIA with her own words. This book is all about her life, family, sacrifice, commitment, dedication, struggle and achievements in two extremes of sports (Ultra Iron Man ) & education (PhD).I did recommend this book to my running & trekking friends.P.S: I am very much proud to be a "Maduraikaran" ( Me too from Madurai, TN ). ***Sorry for poor english.

  • Bindu Upadhyay
    2019-03-07 06:43

    A nice quick read. It puts in perspective what it means to train well, for personal satisfaction. I could relate to some aspects of her life, where Anu talks about frustration due to lack of facilities. And about exploring the trails and forests. :) To the life ahead.

  • Sandeep CR
    2019-02-22 00:42

    Good book. A little self indulgent. Would have loved t hear more on the aspects of training and emotions experienced while racing. Not much on that front. Hence 4 stars. Good to know Anu is a fan of Viktor Frankl.

  • Kasturi Deodhar
    2019-03-02 01:35

    truly inspiring..

  • Hussain Guru
    2019-03-05 22:26

    Excellent, inspiring and brilliant book.

  • Lakshika Ranawat
    2019-03-03 05:41

    A real life account of the first Asian woman, to have completed the Ultraman Canada triathlon (comprising a 10-km swim, a 420-km bike ride and an 84.4-km run); backed up with the Ironman Canada (comprising a 3.8-km swim, a 180-km bike ride and a 42.2-km run), four weeks later.The journey and passion she seeks and follows, working rigorously towards her many firsts in the Ultraman, Ironman, Half-Ironman; training through the most challenging circumstances - both physically and mentally - but never willing to give up!Inspiring, heart warming, touching and an exceptional read; one that could move your heart - to working hard, each day towards what you love, your passion for what you love and for your life, and just by doing that which makes you happy and fills your heart with the strength to live life the way you want to, through the rocky paths - putting in your daily improving efforts.Quoting from the last few lines by the writer herself : "That being haunted by purpose, which does not control you, is not such a bad thing. And that (s)he who lasts the longest often gets to spots that are off the map, and they help us understand the changing nature of our relationship with our identity."Read it!Congratulations to the author, athlete, entrepreneur, speaker, leader (and the list goes on) @ Anu Vaidyanathan, for the book also being listed on amazon.in's - Memorable Books of 2016.Pick it up for a kick-start to the year, if you haven't already. Happy reading.

  • Praveen Palakkazhi
    2019-03-16 02:48

    This is a really well written memoir of Anu Vaidyanathan’s adventures as an endurance athlete, a PhD scholar, an entrepreneur and of her struggles navigating these aspects of life when up against meddling relatives, patriarchal coaches and research scholars, and grueling training schedules - all mostly on her own financing, because, well, it’s not cricket after all. Without sponsors, endurance sports can be a relatively expensive passion to compete in. But Anu doesn’t want to worry about the potential pitfalls. Throughout the book, if one thing stood out to me, it was her relentless desire to follow what she believes is her calling or to find her own meaning in this wondrous but mysteriously random occurrence called life. And how she never gives up on herself.She makes it clear in the beginning that she has amazing support from her parents, and it’s obvious in the number of times she refers to them throughout the book that she absolutely doesn’t take this for granted, coming from a society which usually frowns upon women who don’t pursue the common true calling of marrying and procreating according to time worn schedules. But support can only get you so far. Eventually, it’s the individual who makes the difficult choices and persists. And persistence seems to be one thing she doesn’t lack. As someone who likes running and other fitness activities but hasn’t been able to go beyond a half marathon, this is something worth pondering. This may not be the ideal book if you’re looking for training regimes and nutrition choices for doing a triathlon. It may even come across as a little self-indulgent and rambling at times. But that’s beside the point. This book is not about all that. It’s about finding your own space in the world which you call home. As they say, home is where the heart is, and if that is in running grueling triathlons while pursuing PhD’s and running businesses, then heck give me more of that. Another thing I liked is the fact that she references the famous old quote on luck – ‘the harder I practice, the luckier I get’ – this is so pertinent. And of course, wait for the good things to come while you put in your hours and remain true to yourself, whether in love or life rather than forcing it upon yourself which unfortunately is a common problem for our culturally confused generation. There are a couple of false notes – like how she tries to portray herself as socially awkward, yet ends up making ‘friends’ at every point, from cab drivers to endurance athletes. Believe me, that doesn’t come very easy to socially awkward folks. In general though, this book works simply because Anu Vaidyanathan is a pretty good writer. She articulates well, infuses little bursts of humor in the narrative and has good literary sense. Definitely one of the better memoirs I’ve read, and I recommend this quite strongly for everyone.

  • Kiran
    2019-03-25 00:18

    This was honestly so unexpectedly brilliant and funny. I love Anu's attitude and her passion for so many things. One of the best books I have ever read, the kind that stays with you after you have closed the back cover. I found it so inspiring and wonderful, I laughed out loud numerous times and wanted to devour it because it was written so well. Strongly recommend it to everybody, especially girls. You'll love it, it is less about fitness and more about meeting life's challenges with a smile on your face, having faith and finding and putting your everything into the things you love. After reading this, and while I was reading it I went back to the gym and didn't cry like a little bitch on the cross-trainer like I usually do. It honestly made me feel stronger and more capable and renewed my love for life and learning and trying new things. Sappy, I know, but true.

  • Parnita
    2019-02-24 02:35

    Occasionally it feels as if its getting repetitive, in addition at times a reader may question whats really driving Author to do such crazy hours of running especially when she is dedicating her remaining time to doing a PhD at university along with managing a business? But I guess may be I'll have to read Murakami's what I talk about when I talk about running to understand a runners mindset. :) It certainly is a good read, quite motivating in many ways....Hats off to Anu, who isn't just triathlete but has been successful professionally! Most important thing in the story is support from her parents...Its incredible!

  • Lubna Karim
    2019-03-15 06:36

    The book Anywhere But Home by Anu Vaidyanathan is all about her ‘love for sports’. The book captures a veritable Venn Diagram of Family, Friendships and Prayer, where Anu occasionally found herself at the intersection of all three when approaching milestones in sport and in real-life, through what is every young person’s reality today, itinerancy. With color pictures of her milestones, achievements, etc., this book which is categorised as ‘Memorable Book of 2016’ list on Amazon is an inspiring book to read. I am bowled by the charm the words spelled by the author.

  • Surbhi Karn
    2019-03-01 03:24

    This book by the first Asian woman to complete Ultraman Canada is extremely motivating. The author, Anu Vaidyanathan talks about challenges, failures, partial and complete successes. Truly inspiring and commendable, this book is a peek in her life and her ways by which she rose above ordinary.

  • Ankita
    2019-03-23 00:30

    A beautifully written book, by a very intelligent writer. The journey of this lady is nothing short of miraculous. For the entire review on this book, please find the link provided below: https://prodigyandprodigal.blogspot.in/

  • Narayani Vedam
    2019-03-20 22:31

    A brilliant and gripping read.

  • Kausambhi Majumdar
    2019-02-27 22:35

    It comes naturally, comparing Anu Vaidyanathan’s memoir to Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk about When I Talk about Running. For both of them, being an amateur triathlete has been a means of self-discovery rather than a pursuit of glory or fame. While Murakami’s book is contemplation on endurance sports and how it fuels a writer’s life and his creative process, Vaidyanathan’s story is about a tenacious woman and her will to find a way to her goals deftly maneuvering curveballs hurled at her by life and naysayers.When you do an Internet search of Indian triathletes competing in and completing the mind-boggling Half-Ironman, Ironman or Ultraman, you will find innumerable articles. Once you begin reading them, you will notice these talk only about men triathletes. This is quite an irony (pun not intended) because the first Indian to become an Ironman is a woman. In August 2009, Bangalore-based Anu Vaidyanathan became the first Asian to complete Ultraman Canada. Three weeks later, she completed Ironman Canada breaking a new record in the history of triathlons. This fact makes Vaidyanathan’ s Anywhere But Home a notable book to read.Read the full review at https://bookishchronicles.wordpress.c...[Much thanks to the publicity team for sending a copy of this book. The views here are completely personal.]

  • Aravind Samala
    2019-03-03 02:20

    I got pumped up and ran a half marathon following week after reading this book. The writing is candid and motivational. Running became one of my favorite thing to do very recently. Anu's narration of course of events throughout her life and her rigorous training sessions motivated me to take that one step closer towards that passionate hobby. A worthy read.

  • Rajesh Shah
    2019-03-23 03:22

    There is funny anecdote in the book where a guard at an institute wonders the weirdness of the fact that the people running the marathons pay to run it, instead of they been given participation fees. It perfectly captures the question on why do we take part in this races. Most of us know of sure that we won't be winning any medals, any mentions in newspapers, people don't come to watch us participate (as they do in others sports such as Cricket, Football, Badminton, etc). The whole thing feels quite lonely sometimes."Anywhere But Home" doesn't answer all the questions but it provides the most important answer. We run for personal goals; we run to compete with ourselves, to outdo what we achieved last time; to be in peace with nature. The feeling we get when we cross the finish line in beyond expression, its full of internal applause, of slaying a monster. Anu writes beautifully; the writing is witty at times. She explores various issues such as how difficult it is to train in India, of overcoming personal loss, of how difficult it can be to take tough decisions, leaving behind friends, and moving on to something completely new. But she was also fortunate in receiving the kind of support from her parents which is very rare in India. That she is hardcore athlete is proven right from the blurb which mentions completing the Ultraman. But reading about her training regime, pulling of some serious hardcore numbers while running, cycling, swimming is where you start to get the real picture on how tough this can be. Its quite scary at sometimes. And personally, I am not sure if I can pull of anything near to those numbers. But I now have an inspiration.

  • Aruna Kumar Gadepalli
    2019-03-08 22:39

    I always write positive reviews unless and until the book is very uninteresting. Before opting for the give away I checked the book to see instantly I wrote asking for the copy for the cover and title attracted me. While reading I am not at all disappointed as the book made me at ease. Quick read and honest account of the adventures. While reading book I felt any one who take up a different path go through the same plight, and I admire the positive attitude and determination with which the author continued to do what she dreamt of. Apart from this the books that author mentioned in the book are worth reading.

  • Sarita Wariyer
    2019-03-13 23:29

    Anu Vaidyanathan in her book, Anywhere But home: Adventures in endurance gives all women, in particular Indian women from traditional households inspiration to literally, run, jog behind their dreams and catch it before they disappear into thin air. Her education is probably her biggest strength in a field that ironically tests physical endurance. It is evident that more than her stamina and talent, this has helped too immensely on her way up; a point all should take notice of. There is unfortunately no substitute as yet for a good education.As a triathlete who has faced Eve teasing which is very common in tropical countries like ours, where the climate is not the only thing that has high temperatures!She is witty making a serious matter like sports training enjoyable and interesting. Humour has been laced in with the dirt and sweat of technical knowledge telling a lot from a woman athlete's point of view which we do not get to see much. Apart from using humour as a tool to tell facts in an entertaining way, many moral aspects and virtues that athletes should adopt has been touched on.Will power is just one aspect of an athlete and along with that, as is told here is a smart understanding of how the system works and making it perhaps, work for you and not against you. No help, no rewards, plenty of criticism and lots of unsurmountable other hurdles than the ones on the field are jumped by Anu. The book does not let us just read with her but takes us along with her, running and jumping and feeling the highs and lows and most of all, the true spirit of the sport.As a mother, her insights are double in its worth and notwithstanding, the petty politics, ego hassles and tough taskmasters, she despite wanting her family and friends with her keeps them apart and well not wanting to expose them to or know about the heat of it all and be cooked alive in it too, like her.It is a person from the inside speaking as a person from outside could see it and gives a tour that guides well from that aspect.Anywhere but home strikes a place in our hearts and will find a home in many of our bookshelves because of its simplicity and because we as Indians are known to be such good hosts. It is a welcome guest on our literary book club discussions. Sarita M Wariyer, MLS

  • Rachna
    2019-03-03 02:25

    It was a good quick read and another reminder of what it takes to pursue a sport in India that is not cricket, especially if you are a woman. It took a few pages to get into the flow and some thoughts in the book seemed hastily finished but an extra star since it's a story that should be told about perseverance and following your passion*The book was gifted by the author for an honest review

  • Kalyanaraman Durgadas
    2019-03-03 02:30

    A gruelling 10-km swim, a 420 km bike ride and an 84.4 km run. Exactly what you would expect your average Tam-Brahm would attempt. Not. Anu Vaidyanathan is anything but average. Despite her toning her achievements down in her book, what comes through is the tale of an incredibly determined woman battling against odds of poor infrastructure, equipment and the like, performing miracles despite everything.In fact, Anywhere But Home is not about her achievements. It’s not meant as a motivating spiel. It’s a simply told story of her passions, her experiments, and her life. It’s a story of her running— at times her running with her boyfriend, at times running away (literally) from her boyfriend. it is also an engrossing story of a researcher, entrepreneur, teacher, daughter, and a mother. I loved the subtle humour in her writing and the catchy chapter titles. The only glitch that i could find in an otherwise perfectly edited book was the bad rendering of the Tamil script in places.One gets the impression of reading a serialized version of a fascinating journey, which is still ongoing, with many more exciting chapters to come. At the end of the book, you cannot help but be inspired and motivated despite her self-deprecatory style and trying very hard not to be preachy.Buy the book now. I went back and bought one for my son.