Today Databir and I were buying running shoes. The young man who was selling the shoes was saying that all the shoes were very good, just because he wanted to sell them. When he brought out one particular shoe, he said that he had used this one to run a 4:46 mile. Then he said he had run 800 metres in 1:30. His best time of all was in the quarter-mile, he said. He was bragging that he had done a quarter-mile in 55 seconds — not only once, but twice.
I couldn’t help laughing. I said, “I am an Indian. I did it in 54 and 53.6. Under 54 I did it many times before you were born.”
Then he said, “I am so honoured that you have come.”
Then Databir told him that I had done it without shoes, on a cinder track.
The first time, in 1945, I did the quarter-mile in one minute. Then in 1946 from one minute it came down to 56 seconds, then 55 and then always under 55-54, 53.9 and so on.
RB 506. 28 April 1982↩