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Mumbai roads, a training ground for our athletes!

With the curtains coming down on the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, a quirky look at how Mumbai roads can turn training ground for the next Games, four years away


Gymnastics
Pretend the pothole is a floor mat. Spring from one end to the other, doing cartwheels and flips, try landing spot on, splash, even in the middle of a pothole. You can pretend there is a jury, an electronic scoreboard at a traffic light, and spring Nadia Commaneci like over potholes. Go for a perfect 10.


Hurdles

The 400m hurdles or the 110m hurdles, fly over the pothole, hurdler in a hurry style. You can even pretend it is a race, dash towards the pothole, stick a hurdle in it and sail over, fluidly like P T Usha of old used to do. Practice effortless grace and pretend the honking of cars is applause at a stadium.


Badminton

Make the pothole your net, choose a partner or go solo. Let the shuttle fly across the makeshift net, as you practice. Leap into the air, try some fancy backhands and smashes, and pretend the motorists around you are applauding your shuttle skills. Meanwhile, dream that you are P Kashyap who took the gold at Glasgow. After all, deep potholes, give rise to deep and profound dreams.


Swimming or diving

Rain filled potholes are for swimming practice. Do an array of strokes, if deep enough, divers can plant a little springboard at the edge of the pothole and dive in. Start practicing dives with different degrees of difficulty. There is also synchronized swimming. So versatile, these potholes can be, oh civic authority we thank thee.


Long jump

The pothole makes an ideal long jump pit. Sail over it with confidence. Choose a rain-filled pothole for a softer landing, if you land in it, you will be caked with mud and water but pretend it is a mud facial and smile. Keep training, there are several huge craters that will challenge you as you improve. Take that leap, athlete, the gold medal is within reach.

(Text: Hemal Ashar; Cartoons: Amit Bandre)

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