Archery & aerobics take front seat, make super Sunday a hit

Written By Unknown on Senin, 29 Desember 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Despite holiday season, Mumbaikars made sure they arrived bright and early for the eighth Sunday of the Equal Streets initiative. There was Kedar Ranade who came with his family from Vile Parle, collegians Stuti and Pankaj who made the trek from Borivli, and Bandra residents Preeti and Ruchi for whom it was the fourth such visit.

"It's a lovely idea. Our favourite activities are yoga and dancercise," said Ruchi. "I have been trying and trying to get a hold of the cycles but they get rented out almost immediately. Hopefully, next time!"

The cycles were the main incentive for businessman Deepak Saroopa and his 10-year-old son Anshul. The duo was among the earliest to hire cycles from one of the docking stations along the 6.5km Bandra-Santacruz stretch. "Last Sunday, we had brought his younger brother, who is 7. We got his tiny cycle along and he learnt how to ride it here," said Saroopa, laughing. "The idea of closing the roads to cars every week is a great one. It's a nice feeling to be able to walk and cycle without feeling that you'll be run over any second."

Kids and adults alike cycled, played pickle-ball and badminton, took part in impromptu drum circles and dance aerobics. There were painting, clay modelling, origami and archery sessions. Kick-boxing and martial arts drew in the crowds, as did yoga workshops. Mumbaikars trooping in from across the city made the most of the Equal Streets initiative, which encourages citizens to re-imagine their roads as open-air dance studios, art hubs, yoga institutes and gymnasiums. The designated area runs from the HP Junction at Bandra (W) to Santacruz police station via Linking Road. It takes a right towards the Standard Chartered Junction before looping back to HP Junction via SV Road. All activities along the stretch are free.

"We get at least 200 people for our yoga sessions every Sunday," said Chandrakala Prasad, instructor at the Yoga Institute. "It's fantastic to see people of all ages coming in early on a holiday and making this kind of commitment to their health."

While most kids learnt to cycle or rollerskate, eight-year-old Kedar decided to perfect his tree-climbing technique. "He doesn't get to do that too often in our building," said mum Prachi, grinning. "How often will you get to climb a tree in the middle of a Mumbai road? This is the perfect time to try it!" Ranade,Equal Streets initiative,archery,Aerobics

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