Rahgiri: Dancing on the streets

The Inner Circle at CP

I went to Rahgiri today with my parents and sister at CP. The idea is for people to reclaim their streets. So every Sunday, the inner circle is blocked from traffic from 6 am to 10 am. This was the the third week since it was started. There were people walking, running, cycling, skating. There were some kids playing football on the side and cricket in the parking lot. Sponsors such as reebok had set up zumba and aerobics session and there were crowds of people aping the instructors on makeshift stages. Dancing on the street was so much fun. I dont think I’ve done it before. There was yoga happening at one place but that didn’t seem too popular. There was a gym equipment area too. You could rent bicycles for free, but there was a long line. There were performances too, one of them by Papa CJ. Times of India had initiated this and had heavily advertised everywhere by putting up billboards. There is no way you can go to CP on a Sunday morning and not know that Times of India has organized Rahgiri. 

All India Skating Association had set up in a small part of the Inner Circle

A biker among the crowd (and TOI adverts in the wheels of the bike)

Gyming in the parking lot


No fitness event in India is complete without cricket

After spending some time hanging out and walking around the inner circle, we went to get breakfast at a popular south indian restuarant nearby called Saravana Bhavan. This proved to be a popular choice and we saw several other people in sports attire coming for breakfast here. By 9 am, there was already a waiting line.

I loved seeing people out on the streets and so many health freaks and adventure lovers. India has not always had so many such people (atleast not at the forefront) and it was nice to see a gradual increase. It reminded me that in a country of 1 billion people, even if 0.1% people show an interest in something that’s 1 million people, which is a huge number and market in itself.

Being used to Japan and Singapore, I was initially being careful to walk in the right place and obey the rules, but a few minutes of being at Rahgiri reminded me that this is india, where you are free to do what you want. Not that things were chaotic, infact they were quite orderly by India standards. But I loved whatever little chaos and disorder there was.

The implications of being a democracy: Social activists take advantage of open streets and have people scribble anti-rape messages on the ground with chalk