The Possible Dream -- The Story of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, a coffee-table book that documents one of the city's largest charity events, was launched late last year. Noted columnist Anil Dharker tells Gretchen Ferrao about his experience of tracking SCMM's nine year-long journey
What has been the most significant social impact of SCMM?
You just have to go out early in the morning any day and see how many people are running on Mumbai's streets. Did this happen 10 years ago? No. This is entirely due to the Mumbai Marathon and its message of healthy exercise combined with healthy competition. It's also amazing how the aspect of charity has become such an intrinsic part of the race. A single event raising Rs12 crore!
Were there any humorous stories that stuck with you?
During the Dream Run, there was a slogan for water conservation with a man dressed up as the Amitabh Bachchan character in Paa, 'Save Paa ni'. Or the man dressed as a condom, 'The weapon of mass protection'. Then there was the young Belgian who didn't have a slogan, only his mobile number, 'So many pretty girls here, maybe one of them will call me!'
The book features a collection of award-winning photographs. Which is your favourite?
If I had to choose, it would be the one by Raju Shinde (Pg 176), which shows an old lady in a nine-yard saree covered by a T-shirt, jogging to the encouragement of spectators. Just look at the joy on the face of everyone!