Sunday, January 18, 2009

18 January, 2009

Today, I had a unique experience. I participated in the Mumbai Marathon. Dream Run to be precise. But that does not negate the significance of the marathon because I had a lot to see while running and walking. When you are running a half marathon or a marathon you tend to concentrate on yourself. But when you walk 6 kms you concentrate on what goes around you. And the fact that I did not have the camera to capture the euphoric and enthusiastic moments makes this post all the more significant. In fact, if this post comes even closer to the actual thing on the ground that is captured by a camera then I will call it a hugely successful post. I had wanted to run the Mumbai marathon for the sake of experience. I was curious about it and registered pretty early. Frankly speaking I had not done any preparation for it because the race did not need one. But then I look at the positives. And the best way I could have enjoyed the Mumbai marathon was to actually enjoy the sheer experience of running with a huge contingent of free human spirit. And the dream run (as it is called) went like a sheer dream. I reached the place at the scheduled time and saw a huge gathering. Seldom have I seen such gathering being managed in a disciplined manner. Kudos to the organisers!!! Learning curve at its best!!
I saw gatherings of people propagating different causes. Some were pretty esoteric, some were contemporary, and some were frankly silly. I saw pretty girls from high society of Mumbai espousing the cause of tribals. I saw dancing troupes carrying placards, I saw different companies showcasing themselves, I saw old people aptly advertising LIC, I saw body builders, I saw handicapped people. Some causes were relevant. Like girls from poorer neighbourhood exhibiting the cause of the girl child. School children promoting Literacy, patients from Dyslexia, AIDS and hug campaign, rock show. It was a huge jamboree with different colours. The dream run signified the wide variety of choices and being an individual who stubbornly supports free choice the sheer variety was as mind-boggling as satisfying. I saw Mumbai enjoying in that one moment of the year. The free spirit was in complete harmony with nature. Man at his best!!! This was the day when you could do anything and everything without being ridiculed. I believe that this must be the most satisfying day in the life of Mumbaikar. Can money replace the happiness that was in full-show today?
Like blood passing through the body enmeshing it with life the crowd ran in a continuous spirit enlivening Mumbai. Yes!! This is what I wanted to see.