The Hash routine involves a mad sprint ending with a swig of beer

Trust hashers to find sylvan stretches in the unlikeliest of places! The offices of Infosys and TCS are located within a kilometre-and-a-half from Madhu Futnani’s Red Stud Farm, the setting for Chennai Hash 3’s Run # 197. The sprawling farm and the pristine land around it gave the CH3 hashers a fresh idea about the OMR.

After getting over this pleasant surprise, the pack settled down to their hashing routine. As usual, there was cursing directed at the hares, a term for those who mark the running course with chunks of good old chunamb. After a trail that seemed to take them to the parallel ECR, the CH3 hashers took up what they call their ‘preferred activity’ — drinking beer.

As beer means a lot to them, offering it free can result in a financial disaster for the organisers. “We follow the pay-as-you-take principle. In other words, no money no Kingfisher. For dinner, we find a sponsor or organise a potluck,” says Sasi ‘Lord Krishna’ Varma, one of the founders of CH3.

For a hashing neophyte, the Circle can be something of a shock. Participants form a circle around a block of ice. The ‘Religious Leader’ who presides over the Circle decides who sits on it and does his bidding.

At CH3 Run # 197, the ‘victims’ had to drink beer holding the mug with a hand whose movement was hindered by a long tube. Zak ‘Zzz’ Samuel, a CH3 founder, was singled out for a special performance. He had to drink the spirit poured in his wife’s new shoe! He successfully ducked it.

“Hashes are all about having fun,” says Varma. “In the West, hash rituals can be shocking,” says Vasu. “In India, they are conducted with a lot of dignity.” Flesh Trader explains, “To give an example, in the West ‘chosen ones’ have to remove their pants before sitting on the block of ice!”

For more details about hashing and CH3, call 98408 66083/ 98401 49716.