I have seen Marine drive in Mumbai at various points in time. Early morning 4 AM when there are none but stray dogs, beat cops or the incorrigible insomniacs; the middle of the afternoon, with the hot Mumbai sun beating down on the sticky necks; the pleasant evenings with the cool sea breeze flowing though your hair; late nights with the neon lights courting the curving road....but never had I seen it like yesterday morning! It was madness, it was chaos, it was magical! There were a million people, running, walking, laughing, cheering, singing and having a ball. Never in my life have I seen so much energy at a single instance. I loved the Mumbai marathon!
Ofcourse Dream a Dream (www.dreamadream.org) was there. The fifty member gang were all geared up in bright yellow shirts symbolizing the chirpy mood of the morning. The whole reason I ran the marathon was for Dream a Dream to begin with. I had heard of how marathons world over are used as a channel to spread awareness, drive home messages important to the world and obviously generate charity. Having been involved with DaD for over three years now, I was wondering how I could contribute to them staying here in Mumbai now. And there was no better opportunity than the marathon. So I set myself a humble target of raising 5000 bucks for DaD and registered myself with GiveIndia, the official charity partner for the Mumbai marathon. Little did i know that I would be hit with this wave of goodwill from friends, family, professors and a whole motley bunch of people. It is a quiet reassurance to know that there are many who are concerned about those who were not equally blessed with good fortune like us. I collected a whopping 15333 bucks, more than three times my original target.
Some wise man said "Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach him to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime". Dream a Dream believes not in providing basic necessities but developing life skills among the underprivileged kids and helping them integrate better with the mainstream society. In other words teaching them how to fish. :)
I bow to the indomitable spirit of Mumbai and to all the fantastic people like you who make this world a better place to live in! I am feeling so light today.