It was the occasion of New Year in Mumbai- Gudi Padwa, the auspicious beginning of the year celebrated throughout Maharashtra. The commercial capital of India, on this day, highlighted a complete different mood of the citizens, who are otherwise workloaded and busy. The streets and lanes of Mumbai, draped in tradition, propagated the custom and culture at their best.
In traditional wears and dresses, people thronged on the streets to join in the revelries. The Ville Parle area, which is a strong cultural base of Mumbai, had a 5-km procession lined up with the theme ‘Urja’-meaning Energy. Besides folklores and traditional music and dance, the organisers belonging to the NGO, Janseva Samiti, invited several sportsperson in the event. Keeping in sync with the theme, the sportsperson representing Mallakhamb, Lazim, Gymnastics and Pickleball showcased their respective sports in front of around 2,000 strong crowd.
Of all the sports, Pickleball is the newest and least-heard among the people. The All India Pickleball Association (AIPA), represented by around 12 sportsmen, encouraged nearly 60 citizens to play and know about Pickleball. The game that is a combination of badminton, tennis and table tennis, with its sheer charm and fun, attracted people to get a hands-on experience.
At every intersection, the citizens were encouraged to hold the paddle and hit the ball across a portable net. Some held it reluctantly, some did it out of curiosity while some others responded enthusiastically. But there was one thing that was common-everyone had a fun-filled feeling that, at least, helped the name of Pickleball to reach them.
At the end of the parade, international Pickleball player Manish Rao, was felicitated by the local people headed by Sunil Deodhar, Parag Alwani and Jyoti Alwani.
A new sport like Pickleball, that is gradually picking up in this country, needs this type of initiative for its spread. Locality-based evolution is the key as that will help in spreading the game to the corners and get into the mind of the people.
PoulomiKundu started her career in 2000 as a freelance journalist in Hindustan Times. Soon after she was selected an intern in Zee News, Kolkata.
After her post- graduation in English, Poulomi joined the leading television production house of eastern India, Rainbow Productions. She was a journalist in Khas Khobor, a Bengali news magazine programme in Doordarshan and also headed the post production department of another programme, Khas Kolkata.
In 2004, Poulomi moved to Delhi as a creative writer in an advertising agency, Brand Stewards Pvt. Ltd. In 2005, she again shifted her base for a better opportunity and that in Mumbai. There she got the job in Raa Media Pvt Ltd. as an associate director of two programmes for Doordarshan-Yuva and Paisa Vasool. In the meantime, she also wrote features in DNA as a freelancer.
Poulomi directs promotional videos, develops scripts for films for Corporate and NGOs. But an ardent sports lover, Poulomi always had an urge to contribute somewhere in the field of sports. Her love for sports started from an early age when she played gully cricket and football for local teams. Academics and professional hazards sometimes took her away from her passion, but it never died in her. She always nurtured the never-ending dream.
So she materialized her dream in the form of ‘SPORTSAVOUR’. It is an online sports portal that serves sports with the tagline ‘For the indigenous, unconventional, unknown’.