| Mumbai |
Published: August 3, 2018 4:57:02 am
A step taken to make Girgaum Chowpatty safer by installing LED lights has given some Gamdevi residents a chance to fulfil their dreams to play cricket. The opportunity, however, comes on weekdays after sunset under the LED lights on the beach. For the men in the age group of 20-35 years, sports might have taken a backseat now, but the LED lights on the beach have made it possible for them to pick up their cricket bats once again.
Around 20 people who stay in and around Gamdevi area, come to the beach and play cricket from 10.30 pm till midnight. The lights that were fixed at Girgaum Chowpatty five years ago for security reasons, have been put to use by these people to fulfil their dreams of playing under flood lights.
Kamlesh Khale, who works at Zaveri Bazaar, said: “After finishing my work, I usually reach home by 9 pm. So, everyone comes to Chowpatty after having their dinner. It serves two purposes, one is that it helps in digestion and it also keeps us together, as earlier, we could not find time to hang out. But since the time we have started playing, it has been reminding us of our childhood.”
At midnight, for security reasons, the group is asked to leave the beach by police officials. “Earlier, when we were college goers, we used to play in our colony. We used to play during the day time then. But as everyone started working, we could not find time to keep our passion for the game alive. One Sunday when we were sitting and talking to each other, a friend suggested that we could play cricket at Girgaum Chowpatty,” said Uday Govankar, a player in the group.
The group has restricted itself from playing on the weekends, as the beach has more visitors. “On weekends, the beach is very crowded and we avoid playing then because someone might get injured,” said another player, Ajay Advilkar, who works as a house keeper.
The men also have a WhatsApp group, which helps count the players every night. “We usually start our head count from the afternoon. Someone posts on the group about ‘cricket tonight’ then people start informing if they would be available that night. So we have a head count in advance,” Khale said.