BNP Green Runners Gorai Run

BNP GR‘s mega Gorai Run

photos credit : Meeta Meher/Ajay Luharika/Suvendu

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During our Chhattisgarh roadie trip we could run with locals.

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Mr Jolly , brother of king of Kanker palace had done excellent arrangement for us. He had lined up local sports heroes who could give us company.

We did our 10 km run with three of the local heroes. They became our local guide cum running partners.

As running community is increasing across India, I feel running with friends (who are passionate to the running) any where during your tour is possible. In past I was lucky enough to run with Sainiji (old BNPGR member) in bengaluru and our run started at Cubbon Park –took us through UB group’s central business zone and ended at lal baugh.

I am more than sure that if I decide to visit Nairobi (Kenya) during the ongoing posting of Sainiji, he will be more than happy to be my local guide cum running partner for couple of mornings.

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I discuss a mega project idea with Maheshbhai and Sanjay during our Chhattisgarh runs

Project title:

Run and discover Mumbai with BNP green runners

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This is aimed towards international visitors.

Any international guest who is also a runner is invited to join. She/He can be tourist, business visitor, academic/faculty, backpacker, leisure traveller, NGO member is invited to run with pre selected BNPGR runners.

Twelve months twelve runs are posted well in advance, confirmations are lined up.

We the BNPGR members will be brand ambassadors of our city. Our job is not only making their run memorable but to share/explain part of our everyday life to those who are interested to know Mumbai and India as first personal perspective.

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This will be a free service. Only expense to the visiting guest will be the breakfast at the end of run. Every run will end at one of Mumbai’s famous local eateries…going dutch will be the norm.

All the 12 races can be well planned. The pacers can be decided. Different areas of Mumbai can be selected.

Yes some legal aspects need to be seriously studied before one can really launch this kind of programme.

This is quite an ambitious programme. It needs more discussions.

We also discuss something simpler for our members

Project title: 4 runs for BNPGR members before actual summer sets in. 2 group runs in Feb. and 2 group runs in march.

Each run with 15 to 25 runners.

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4 different zones in greater Mumbai limits

Run 1: Yeoor hills. At the end of the run breakfast (going Dutch) at satkar residency (they offer morning buffet breakfast to small groups/BMI clubs)

Run 2: Sidhi vinayak to babul nath

Run 3: May be khargarh hills

Run 4: favourite cycling route: manori uttan stretch

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Car pools /group travelling in local train will be preferred mode of transport. The whole idea is to explore new running routes with friends and increase the interaction between runners. In past we had few of the runs in non BNP areas. This kind of group run can be quite useful to female runners who otherwise do not venture into unknown territories.

Once we are back from Chhattisgarh tour Sanjay informs me

“I have already told Suvendu and Siddhi to plan a Gorai run for the group.”

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He is also inspired by Yaar ke mohalle mein run (Run with your friend in her/his area) which we could manage during weight loss project.

Soon there is a formal announcement.

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As always Sanjay wants maximum participants .His target is 100 plus.

I am “IN “. It’s going to be a huge event is the feel. I personally don’t like large groups as there is hardly any personal interaction in large gatherings. If there are 100 plus runner friends and if you decide to say a proper hello to even 70, there is no time. You may not even exchange greetings with new runners who hardly know you.

We have given our consent to 10 km run.

The run is also open to family members. Riva is not very enthu for the same. Tvisha wants to join, but she has a minor stye (eye infection.)

By this time the whole chaddi buddy gang is involved. Now it’s going to be one mega event.

In past BNPGR nere:Panvel run was organised with the help of very close-knit group of 3 families (please read :https://shaileshharani.wordpress.com/2016/06/17/bnp-gr-panvel-nere-run-12-th-june-sunday-2016/

OR

https://wordpress.com/post/shaileshharani.wordpress.com/1753

OR

BNP GR Panvel – Nere Run ( 12 th June , Sunday 2016 )

Chaddi buddy group:

chaddi group

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It’s one of the close-knit sub group within BNPGR and BNP. I have my own fond memories of spending quality time with them. They are very gracious and accommodating. The group is relatively quite big and to my limited knowledge it was started during the famous chaddi episode concerning Aadesh and Sanjay P. Soon a kind of formal group evolved and Shanshank Parkar ( shanky),Dhanraj,Suvendu, Siddhi, Sandip Shah,Ankur, Girish, Bhupen,Kashmira, ????Formed a closed knit group. They were one of the first ones to introduce cone exercises during their own group exercises. (Beyond NRC) They also have fun beyond running.

On one to one level I have the great relationship with many of the Chadi members.

I have great fond memories with Shanky of our Goa run and Lonavala runs to comrade runners.

He is one of the founder members of BNPGR and was quite vocal on its early functioning. We have our common favourite topics ranging from covert operations to Indian Arm forces.

He was one of the first ones to formally leave BNPGR.

Sandip Shah is a local Borivali boy and knows BNP in and out. BNP is like back yard of his home. A very humble personality with multi business background. He loves to keep a low profile but if required can work within BNP administration effortlessly to move things.

Aadesh, Bhupen , Ankur used to drop in at my office during evening hours.

My office is just off kandivali highway . Once my staff leaves by 6.15 /6.30 , it is my time. Either my friends drop by or I do some writing /reading or do some proactive work .Next 2 to 3 hours is my time.

After not so grateful exit of Aadesh , the chaddi group had their genuine questions towards BNPGR as mother organisation.

Even though Aadesh had his objections to the functioning of BNPGR he took a very matured exit. Confrontation was not his style . He is a very affable -sweet -self made person who loves to remain apolitical.

Suvendu , Sidhhi, Sanjay P have managed to keep fine balance between BNPGR and chaddi group and may be they are the reason to keep the whole lot ( to maximum possible numbers ) of chaddi group within greater BNPGR organisation.

This run is their collective salute to the concept of BNPGR and its vibrant spirit.

Soon the number crosses 100.

Now there is a healthy debate on “ What to do with project spoilers?? “

In every social event/project there are various kinds of spoilers/vighnakartas

They can be Participants

  1. Who enrol willingly and later do not turn up.
  2. Who demand special concessions or demand certain privileges.
  3. Who have attitude problems.
  4. Who intrinsically do not want event/programme to be successful. Either they will raise concerns on false pretext or will join the programme just to witness a flop show. ( so for days they can have gossips within their smaller groups )

One of the major concerns is wastage of food and related logistics.

If someone has to arrange breakfast for a large 100 plus group , the logistics are too demanding till the very end.( as compared to arranging for 30 to 40 )

If people do not turn up food wastage is a big issue ( one has to give the excess to all those who are willing to take home ) or find the needy. Cost, logistics, unnecessary hamaali ( efforts ) all become big burden.

Sanjay R and Nancy are crystal clear.

“Let’s fine them !”

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We Indians fall in line if there is real fear of punishment, and Hard cash penalty is a good punishment .

As usual vast majority remain silent on the issue of Penalty or No penalty.

{I (who has a ready opinion on all the worldly or even spiritual matter ) am the first one to object.

I do not like too much regulation, rules applied to the very small programmes like Sunday family run. Our aim is “ To bring people together “ The idea is to inspire member and her/his family to leave their cosy Sunday mornings and join for group run ( which they can also do anywhere else including BNP )

Why have too many conditions?

I want to believe that by and large people join running groups only when their basic insecurities related to life are taken care off. When someone gives her/his consent to this kind of initiative , she or he is fully in hosh-0-havaas. Yes there will be rotten eggs but they are not bad as individual. They are like that only. They behave in similar fashion everywhere: At their workplace, their society, their samaaj or even at their home.

The running club has to identify them, avoid them for group programmes. Their names can be easily circulated within the club so that everyone knows.}

In any case this debate has positive effect, there are very few drop-outs and yes people do come forward and pay the penalty post event.

Sanjay calls me to work out some group games. I hardly see any space for my kind of interactive games. Time is any way quite packed.

Home to gorai jetty-ferry ride-group warm up-run ( two different types)- more than 100 running-one group fully occupied in logistic and serving others-once you are on beach –food will be the focal point…..and yes we have no tangible agenda on the beach.

Only Beach games can be planned.

We agree to request Deepa M as she is extremely good at group games.Deepa K is already very busy with her Colombo/ srilanka Ironman preparations, so beach zumba dance activity is not possible.

Chaddi group is quite meticulous. They do a practise run before the run day. Fine tune all the logistics. Suvendu will be in Kolkata on Saturday. He will be coming home beyond Saturday midnight, still on Sunday morning he will be there to help BNPGR friends.

A day before the race local police station is also informed about our run.

The Gorai run day

We are up by 4.00 am.

Tvisha has her moments of self doubts.” Do I continue my sleep in my cosy razai along with my favourite hello kitty shawl or really join my parents??”

She gets up. Goes to the mirror , checks her left eye and declares “ I am coming “

We are ready and on our way to Gorai jetty.

On the way we cross Dhaneshbhai and………..

Wave at Dhanraj who is cycling on link road , Wave at Siddhi and Bhupen who are bike. All going towards Gorai jetty.

Near the jetty entrance I drop Sheila and Tvisha as they join a very large BNPGR group and take my vehicle in a lane nearby.

Rajesh Ji has just parked his Avenger and soon I join him and Patankar family ( Prashant is with his wife Neelam and daughter Ananya )

The stone cobbled path till ferry is slippery at some places.

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Vishwasji is an early morning inspiration to all the married couples. With great care and compassion he is supporting Leenaji towards jetty through the slippery stones.Bhupen is guiding every one.

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During a very short ferry ride I take Tvisha with me as she introduces herself to the max BNPGR friends.

“ The Ferry services “ across few of Mumbai creeks can be quite misleading.

One may think and compare ferry rides with Goa or Kolkata or even European ones.

The ferry ride here is kind of joke. You board the ferry, settle down, about to get used to noisy engine, just to realise that ride is over!

The distance is too short for any ferry services ( that also along with vehicles and cattle )

One can easily build a small sea link to cross over.

There are obvious resistances as

  1. Livelihood lost
  2. Environment issues ( especially post easy entry the influx of outsiders may impact the fragile eco balance of these islands/remote locations.

Even in less light she is able to recognise Maheshbhai, sanjay,Meeta, Deepa M , Ila as they have come to our place.

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Our ride is over. It is like typical Mumbai match box house visit.

You enter a house and realise you have already reached the farthest end !!

Beyond Jetty zone we all assembled to do our warm up exercises.

One side of road is kept open. I am part of initiative to kick start the warm up. We soon form concentric oval shaped circles. Bhupen manages traffic control ( which he continues till end )

Nishant takes the warm up session

Soon 5 K group is on their feet.

Tvisha is running with me. She finds our way of running i.e. slow jogging extremely boring and dull.

When it comes to running she and her friends have designed their games with fast running.

  • Lokhand Paani : In her language : “ Supposen you are the diner. You have to chase Riva didi, mumma and me….we will run in vasant marvel . As a diner you have to catch us. But we are not out if we run and stand on any gutter ka dhakkan

( Most of the societies have underground drains and there are iron lids )

  • Lock and Key ( it can have multiple locks and multiple keys )
  • Supposen you are the diner and you are running and catching me. If you catch me , you have to say “LOCK “

And if my friends come and touch me , they have to say “KEY” ….then I am not out .

We can play 3 locks and 2 keys or any way.

  • Agar batti-mombatti : it is similar to lock and key.
  • Relay race ( 3 wings / 7 to 10 participants /1 referee )

All her games require fast running.

Running has a particular pattern. 0 to top speed within a short time span , stop abruptly or totally for some time and again sprint.

Now she designs her own 5k ( which works till 7km ) Running a short distance at full speed , then stop ( even come back ) again run.

Soon different uncles and aunties become her running guides.

Surekha Dixit becomes her running buddy for some time.

5 Km batch was not supposed to do golden pagoda route, but not doing means missing the photo opportunity.

Golden Pagoda is more famous for vipasana meditation, but today for our group is best selfie/group photo place. Dozens of photos are clicked.

Dhaneshbhai is now Tvisha’s running buddy. He tries to bring in some nostalgia of his earlier years with his daughters. His daughters are now doing MBA .Tvisha rekindles his early memories of time spent with daughters during their childhood.

Tvisha even learns correct running posture and form from our yoga expert( dhaneshbhai ) .He even carries her water bottle .

We are now the last batch. Bhagyashree, Sheila, Aneesha,Myself,Tvisha.

I request Bhupen( who is on bike shuttling to and fro on the race route ) to take Tvisha on his bike for couple of rounds.

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I am running with Bhagyashree as she takes me down the memory lane. Her days from amcha pune to kudal to satara and back to pune are visited. She is a lawyer by profession. In last two decades I have dealt with good amount of business litigation and property related matters. ( When you are relatively younger , you have the typical spirit of fighting it out, but in the end you realise the whole litigation process can be interestingly frustrating.)

She is sweet, affable and always smiling. She also gives a feeling that she is ready to believe friends. She can trust others. For me , this is quite unique as I try to recall conduct of number of lawyers with whom I have interacted.

Aneesha is back to her regular walking and some running. Like me she had a good amount of frustrating time period in overcoming plantar fasciitis.

Tvisha soon joins us after couple of bike rounds.

For Tvisha it is back to her games style and now she gets Aneesha’s company.

Aneesha and Tvisha have serious short distance sprint races.

At main junction Suvendu, dhanraj are guiding everyone towards Gorai beach.

“ 2 more KM “

“It’s paining here” Tvisha informs me by pointing to her left leg’s hamstring.

Her abrupt running and not used to a longer distance may give her cramps is the worry I have.

“ She should not get cramps” I inform Sheila and

decide to take her on bike for remaining 1km.

Bhupen drops us on the main road before the entry turn towards Gorai.

We decide to walk remaining distance.

It is typical coastal lane leading towards the beach. Bungalows on both the side, some have been modified into hotels.

We are now on Gorai beach. It is low tide and water is still receding . Shore line is quite wet.

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Post quick kachi kairi break we join the main BNPGR group.

There is a group cool down by Manish Sir.

Tvisha wants to climb on big stones on the side.

Soon all the young children are going up and down . Ananya sweetly protests to her dad “ baba , tu nahi, mala tvisha didi barobar varti jaycha ahe “ {Dad ,not you, I want to go with Tvisha didi )

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The kids- Tanaya , Yash ,Disha , Siddharth have already won many hearts with their run and are having fun with stone climbing.

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Suvendu, Siddhi, Bhupen,Ankur, Sanjay P, Girish,and whole group are busy with all the logistics.

Some local vendor’s table is borrowed.

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All the food items are being brought out from personal vehicles.

Hundreds of photos try to capture the BNPGR mood.

Deepa M is coordinating with her innovative beach volleyball game.

It is a static game without any actual ball or movement. It is more of a bonding game . More you play with strangers more you start knowing each other.

Not everyone is interested in the game or games. There are more people in a long self created queue . The queue is formed on visual clues of food related preparations.

No one has announced anything on food front. Post run people have justified interest in food !

Everything is like auto action mode.

—-food being brought in

—-tables being arranged

—-queue is naturally formed….

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Soon everyone is served Pohe, Idlis, chutney and special sweet dish : HOME MADE halwa made by Kajal(Mrs Ankur.)

( It’s beyond normal urban ( bit selfish ) mind to comprehend : How can someone make halwa for such a large friends group ??.This kind of initiative makes BNPGR so special )

A local tea vendor is kind of hijacked from his spot and he loves to serve “bulk client group”

Tvisha wants to sit on flat surface, so we move ahead and the Patankars join us.

We have interesting interactions with Prashant and Neelam , which we are able to continue till the end. I am a great fan of Prashant’s sense of humour, but I guess today is not the day . As far majority of other BNPGR friends the interactions are more or less HI-Hellos.

With Bimalji latest PNB fraud is briefly discussed.

Post food the atmosphere has only one mood

“As we have eaten , we believe programme must be now over.”

We walk till the main road and take a shared auto ( packed till last possibility by BNP green runners only )

We have our return ferry ride and we have the most amazing –shortest round of ‘Antakshari”

Rajesh bhai is in full mood. Only noisy instrument we have is engine and its cacophonic sound. We still have full blast with antakshari . I tell Rajeshbhai’s : “ Sirji , I will always be in your team )

As we come out to our parking area

Tvisha : ” Mumma , give me your ear ( she wants to ask some thing )

Sheila : “What ? ”

Tvisha 😦 whispering ) Where is the certificate?

( In past she had participated in Raheja run in BNP )

Sheila 😦 smiles) ” There is no certificate”

Tvisha 😦 not very happy )..”.Oh…vaise how much we have done ?”

“ Around 7km “

“ Yes , I am going to tell Riva didi, I did 7 km and you just slept ! “ Tvisha declares triumphantly with her right fist cutting the air in front of her (I did it

! kind of gesture)

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……………………………………………..the end

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