Deepak Ramachandra, Narayan Ellappa and Vinay Sharma. Heard about them? They are proud of themselves as Schumacher, Alonso and Montoya do after Formula One racing!
These three emerged as winners at the 'Dhoom Mache De' Autorickshaw race which was a part of the Mumbai festival concluded recently. The Go Karting track at Hiranandani Gardens, Powai is where the auto drivers took part in the race in a fun, yet professional way.
Each semi-final had four pitstops, very creative ones, like tying lemon and green chillies, eating samosa and water. . .
One of the semi-finals was flagged off by the Regional Transport Officer K. T. Gilani. My friend from Mumbai says, the RTO told the drivers, "We are the ones who gave you a license, justify our faith in you." There was a perfect tie among the three sections, the auto-drivers, RTO and the cops!
There are big banners behind the festival, huge prize money for this race and insurance in tact for the drivers! But what kept this race and other events of Mumbai festival is the involvement by the 'mumbaikars' for the city - 'Amchi Mumbai'(Did this term come into vogue, because of the popular surnames of Maharashtra - Gavas'kar', Tendul'kar', Ambed'kar'. . .??!!)
Wonder if this Mumbai formula could be applied to 'Enga Chennai' and 'Namma Bengaluru'! But the initiative is already on in Chennai - they are celebrating the Madras Day for the past two years