Mumbai Diary page: Friday frolics

The city — sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce

Differently abled but oh so able!
MONDAY was observed as National Youth Day in memory of Swami Vivekananda, whose birthday it was. And for a group of special youth in the city, it was a very special day. The Inner Wheel Club of Mulund Hills honoured them for forging ahead despite their disabilities, and for their never-say-die spirit in battling the odds and going for higher education.

DESERVING: (L to R) Angad Mishra, Pallavi  Pandit and Santosh Yadav with Neenu Mahal, president of the Inner Wheel Club of Mulund Hills. PIC/SHRIKANT KHUPERKAR
DESERVING: (L to R) Angad Mishra, Pallavi Pandit and Santosh Yadav with Neenu Mahal, president of the Inner Wheel Club of Mulund Hills. Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar

Pallavi Pandit, who is pursuing her first year BMS course from a college in Chembur, is visually impaired. Santosh Yadav is without limbs and is pursuing his second year LLB from Government Law College. His friend Angad Mishra who lost his leg during an accident is studying Engineering at Swami Vivekananda College in Chembur.

Vrooming it at six
THIS little one packs a punch. Mumbai’s Raheesh Khatri, who is just six years old, is the world’s youngest drag racer, claiming the title from Amber Bell of the UK. Raheesh is also India’s youngest Motocross racer, and was felicitated by the principal of Army Public School, which he attends, earlier in the week.

Raheesh Khatri
YOUNG WHEELS: Raheesh Khatri has racing in his blood

Raheesh, a resident of Lamington Road, trains at Ajmera I- Land Racing Academy, Wadala. His father and former racer Mudassar Khatri trains him along with coach Rustom Patel.

YOUNG WHEELS: Raheesh Khatri has racing in his blood
YOUNG WHEELS: Raheesh Khatri has racing in his blood

Mudassar believes his son started showing signs of becoming a racer ever since he was a toddler. He says, “Rustom and I started racing together. So his interest grew by watching me his interest grew. Raheesh was always into bikes. In fact, the first word he uttered was, Vroom vroom and not Mumma or Papa.”

Raheesh owns a PW- 80 bike and Kawasaki KX 65, and dreams of representing India in the Moto GP. Mudassar says, “At 5 Raheesh told me he wants to represent India. I told him if this is what you want, I will always support you. By God’s grace, if everything goes well, he will represent India.”

Talking about international competitions, Mudassar says, “I am taking care of the finance. But when we send him for international competitions, we will be looking for sponsors. This is an expensive sport.”
Mudassar plans to take his son to Dubai this year for international training to prepare him for participating in international competitions from next year.

Twelve-time drag race world champion Ricky Gadson recently congratulated Raheesh on Twitter and Instagram, posting a collage of pictures taken during Gadson’s visit to Mumbai last year.

Metro mania slides
WITH the increase in Mumbai metro fares last week, the city’s newest mode of transport is seeing a decline in commuters. The usually overcrowded metros are now less crowded. The BEST buses which were plying empty are now overcrowded again.

TOO MUCH TO HANDLE: The rise in metro fares may be counter-productive
TOO MUCH TO HANDLE: The rise in metro fares may be counter-productive

The rickshaw ruckus which was under control for the last few months has started again, especially from Ghatkopar to Andheri. The average cost of a coupon has almost doubled meaning that BEST and rickshaws are cheaper for families.

The metro has gone from being the common man’s mode of transport to the elite mode. Hope this price rise doesn’t make the metro like the monorail which is an outing for many in the city.

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