It was a cold January morning. 17th January 2016 to be precise. For everyone else, it was just another lazy Sunday to sleep and not give a damn about the world. But for me, it was D-day or if I may, it was M-day aka Marathon day!
On most other mornings, Marine drive is populated by couples, groups of boisterous youngsters, dog walkers and dog poop. But on this day, there were couples, boisterous youngsters and dog walkers but they were joined by scores of people old and young, big and small, all there in shiny jerseys and hot pants to run the Mumbai Marathon. While there were a few dogs to be seen, luckily for the runners, there was no dog poop.
Mumbai Marathon is the day when it’s Queen’s necklace is really decked up even during the day. Being a resident of the SPMC Girls Hostel, Marine Drive, my friends and I have always had a lot of fun at the marathon and have always been a part of it even when we just watched from our windows.
This year too, the excitement was running high as I had planned to run the marathon with my friends. All was well until the chilling morning of that Sunday (aka ‘me, my bed and my pillow’ day), my friend Aayushi decided that sleep was a better companion than I, and ditched me for the day. Left alone at that last moment, I was actually considering whether to go out or just sleep back and enjoy the Sunday lazing around as I usually do. But, this time, it was different. I decided to tie my shoes up, pick my camera and go for it. On my way to marine drive which was just 10 minutes away, I thought at least 10 times to just go back and sleep. But I didn’t listen to myself and continued to walk and then to run.
And there I was amidst all the people cheering, running, singing, dancing and at the top of it enjoying the day. So did I! I got to click pictures of some really cute kids running, old uncles and aunties dancing, walking hand in hand.
The day didn’t just end with the end of marathon. It has more to it. For the first time in my life, I went for a Marathi movie (not knowing how to read, write or even speak Marathi) – ‘Natasamrat’ and that too alone! Thankfully, the movie had subtitles and some great acting by the cast left no doubt in my mind that this was a great movie. In fact, despite the language handicap, I was able to connect to the movie and had become very emotional by the end of it!
Before coming to Mumbai, I was really shy and not very outgoing. Its not because I wasn’t given freedom at home but I never used to be outgoing at all (forget going alone). But the experience of being in Mumbai has completely changed me as a person. I am more independent, think freely and don’t think twice before giving a shot to a new thing.
Thanks to this, I realized that you can sleep late every sunday but you don’t get to run a marathon every Sunday. And if a friend doesn’t turn up, you don’t get to make her jealous later. And most importantly, you will miss experiencing Mumbai for what it is and having fun while you do it.
About Chhaya Gupta:
Chhaya claims to be a 2 year old with 20 years of experience. She is an advertising professional who loves food, family, friends and photos. She believes that magic happens with everyone, and that we just have to wait our turn!
(Edited by Aamil Syed)