The first time I heard of Raahgiri was from my sister and brother-in-law, who reside in Gurgaon (35 kms away from New Delhi). They were all gaga about this unique concept which was happening in their city every Sunday morning. In fact, they were so excited, they wanted me to fly down over a weekend, just to experience the event!
But, Know-All, as you all know, knows better! So, he smirked and carried on with his daily routine of spreading his know-allness! 😀
Finally it was time to make the annual trip to his sister’s place in October.
One fine Sunday morning, we woke up very early and drove all the way to Connaught Place (CP) in New Delhi, to find out what this thing Raahgiri was all about!
The first impression was that of confusion…caused no doubt by my lack of sleep! Is it a Circus? Is it a carnival? Is it a meeting of members of a gym? Or is the entire city performing aerobics early morning on the streets? As I found out, it was all that and more!
The idea of Raahgiri was conceived by a national daily to encourage people to get out of their homes and engage in some sort of physical exercise- be it walking, be it cycling, yoga or aerobics. Initially started in Gurgaon, the immense popularity of the event convinced the organizers to add Connaught Place to their list of locations.
So, every Sunday from 6 am to 12 noon, the entire road is cordoned off to traffic, and people from across the metropolis descend to CP and Gurgaon, partake in activities, according to personal preference; they either participate or watch a street performance, engage in aerobics or yoga, even brush up cycling skills. One can also teach kids how to roller-skate, maybe watch some Indie band belt out their numbers.
The energy of the place is infectious and provides one with positive vibes. I had gone there not with much expectations, but having seen hundreds of happy faces running around, all my languor had vanished.
I will love to go there again. And the good news is the concept has now started here in Calcutta also, from today and is called Happy Streets. Gotta go there one Sunday. 🙂
Hope you enjoyed the photographs! 🙂