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Mumbai Diary page: Sunday shorts

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

It is two legs instead of four, for a change at the racecourse. In a first of its kind, the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) will hold a fun run at Mahalaxmi for people, not horses. Dubbed as the RWITC Club Run & RWITC Fun Run, the event is to be held on May 1 at the racecourse. Both these runs are over two-kms long (a round of the track– inner ring).


Treading new grounds: The Mahalaxmi Racecourse will hold a fun run for people for the first time

The fun race has a registration fee of Rs 300 and is open to children and senior citizens. We hear that there is a real fun element to the event with clowns, fire-eaters and jugglers. The Club Run has an entrance fee of Rs 450 and is open to owners, office staff, trainers, jockeys and Horsepower Gym members. We hear there are prizes and certificates, including medals for all. For more details visit www.emidar.com. The racecourse, domain of the four-legged fleet, has of course, been frequented for years by runners and walkers.

The runners can be spotted here more often as the Mumbai marathon nears and one has seen Mumbai’s distance stalwarts like L Leelamma and Satyabhama running laps in preparation for the event. This time, though, there’s a fun element to this and we suspect this is one of RWITC’s endeavours to become more accessible to the public.

One only wonders whether, we can hear horses sniggering looking at how slowly we run. (After all, a horse’s average is 2400 metre (it can cover a little over two kms in two minutes.) Try to match that horsepower, humans!

Vultures on the radar
With recent reports about declining number of sparrows and many other species of birds doing the rounds, it’s worth pointing out the near-extinction of vultures in Mumbai. And Parsis aren’t the only ones who miss this scavenger.

A bunch of pre-teens from Chembur, who went bird-watching in Navi Mumbai recently, were excited to sight a few rare avian species, including vultures.  “We’ve spotted a few vultures, too, on Parsik Hills,” says a 12-year-old avian enthusiast. With conservationists too taking steps to save the vultures, it seems these birds may get a new lease of life.

Close encounter of a corrupt kind
That corruption is rampant and has become an integral part of our lives is a given. But now the corrupt are becoming more and more audacious and openly flaunting their vice. Recently, this diarist had a close encounter with the corrupt kind while travelling by a BEST bus. Unmindful of the commuters, the conductor was speaking on his mobile to a friend asking him to shell out Rs  25,000 to get a BMC job. During the course of the conversation, the conductor even went to the extent of explaining to his friend that he would earn back the amount with his first salary. While the conversation in itself was not surprising, what shocked this diarist was the impunity with which the conductor spoke with witnesses all around.

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