Select poems written by runners as part of the April 2016 Bandra NCPA contest.

BIJAY NAIR – winner

Woh subah ka manjjarr;
Woh bhor ki paheli praharr;
Woh chaand ki aahat bhari siskiya;
Woh raat ki aayat bhari thapkiya.

Woh chaar pahiyo ka teheharna;
Woh mastt mastanno ka aagman hona.

Koi kehte hain inhe bhagoode;
Koi inhe baawro ka Milan kehte;
Subah ki pehli laalima mein;
Woh “muchhad” ka tirkhaana.

Woh Ram ki vaani;
Woh sam ka pyaar;
Woh viv ka gyaan;
Deepa ki vasooli.

Jab chumti hai woh pehla kadam;
Pathjar ki woh ladi bhi sulaj jaati;
Woh oss ki tarah kadamo ka padna;
Maano dharti ; phool bichaye khadi ho aagman ko.

Woh pariyo ka mela;
Woh chailo ka jhamela;
Woh khushi ki lehar;
Woh swayamsevako ki kahar.
Yeh naa hai farishto se kam;
Pilaate hain Jaise paimaana;
Maano keh rahe ho phir laut Aana.

Woh mandir ki ghanti;
Woh Girijaghar ki shaanti;
Woh Dargaah ki Azaan;
Woh Aayat ki Baan.

Pairo ki Thapkiya;
Lekar ke zapkiya;
Pahunchte hai samandar kinaare;
Woh Trident ki Minaare.

Woh Dosto ka milna;
Woh pyaaro ka khilna;
Woh stretching ko jhelna;
Woh contest ka khelna.

30 din mein ek baar hai milna;
Phir Aarzoo yeh Rakhna;
Saanse chali toh phir milenge;
Yuh hi phir hansenge aur khilenge.


SWETHA AMIT – 1st runner up

We all gather at the break of dawn
Initially trying to stifle our yawns
As we slowly begin to pose with a smile
Our feet gear up for those hefty miles.

We set out in the beginning as a group,
Encouraging one another not to droop
Gradually we drift apart into our zones
Either listening to nature’s sounds or our ear phones.

MRR runs are not timed races
So we runners tend to go at our own paces
Off we go to conquer the lanes
Be it winter, summer or in the rains.

Every 5 km we are provided with a cheer
By the selfless volunteers who are so dear
Despite the sweat, fatigue and sigh
The sweet photographers prompt us to keep our spirits high.

Striding past the significant land marks
We catch the sunrise which erodes the dark
Up we go huffing on the Peddar road flyover
Yet our confidence level fails to lower.

As we run down the slope with a childlike glee
Our eyes are treated to the pristine blue Arabian sea,
Along the marine drive, we run
Ready to gear up for the NCPA fun.

As we reach the finish line,
We get ready to dance and dine
With water, bananas and breakfast
And memories that are bound to last.

Cheers and smiles are followed by chatter,
What timing one clocks certainly doesn’t matter,
As we stretch, relax and pose for the camera happily,
We go back home as one big runner family.


ANKIT KHANDELWAL – 2nd runner up

As the days get hot and nights get warm
I lay awake in my bed before my alarm
Excited as a child on his birthday
I get ready as it’s the first Sunday of May
The summers are here and its getting hotter
But I have to be in front of otter’s
So off I rush as I don’t wanna be late
With runner buddies I have a date
I park my car outside otters gate
And find the lively MRR brigade
I meet and greet and hug and kiss
And make sure there’s no lady I miss
A pack of cheetahs all fit and lean
And so many of them sporting the MRR green
So off they go at half past five
So much energy the dead could come alive
They reach the first water station at Shivaji Park
And oh my god.. It’s still dark
Water, enerzal, smiles and cheers
They take a sip and thank the volunteers
They continue on their journey south
So much fun there ain’t no doubt
And soon they take a breather at Mela
Click some pics and eat a kela
By now its dawn and dark no more
They are half way done and half way more
They keep running alongside the sea
With a lovely view of Haji Ali
And when the sea view comes to an end
On Pedder road they start to ascend
Puffing, panting with all the might and will
When the hell are we gonna get a downhill
And so they hit the marine drive
At Wilson greeted with biscuits and high five
They tell you that you are almost there
NCPA ain’t that far from here
Continuing to run along the bend
They will run till the roads end
And when they see the faster ones of the tribe
They will get a triumphant vibe
And so they dash with hands in the air
Welcomed by applause and cheer
They stretch and plan breakfast and beer
And off they go to an Irani place near.


RODMAN D’SOUZA – 2nd runner up

The runner in me wants to be free
To run and bound, with at least one feet on the ground
To ace every race, but at my own pace
To scream and cheer, when my fellow runners are near
Though I may feel pain but I’ll continue to run anyway
Podium finishes may be a distant dream for me
But I’ll smile and preen at the post race scene
ITB and PB are important acronyms to me
Though I may complain of a race
But I’ll run it anyway
Post run stretches are torture I don’t mind to endure
People may think I am crazy
To wake up before dawn
To pay for races and travel to distant places
Never winning but always jubilant
They ask me what motivates me to undertake such a futile undertaking
I’ll just smile and say
The runner in me loves to be free
I may not ace a race but I run at my own pace
I have my medals and miles to show
But then that’s a feeling you’ll never know
The runner in me loves to be wild and free.



A few years ago, when running was new,
Some good men began running on Mumbai’s girth,
RamGiles, Milton, Mumtaz and Mani, to name a few,
And that’s when a revolution took birth.

Mumbai Road Runners, as it was aptly named,
Grew from a handful to a burgeoning mammoth,
As newbies and even runners, highly famed,
Joined the MRR runs on first Sunday of every month.

MRR runs begin from Bandra to the NCPA,
A perfect distance set for a half marathon,
Many treat it as a recce for the SCMM day,
Surmounting the killer Peddar road as they trot on.

Post-run stretches and selfies galore,
“Show me some love” hollering by sexy Sam,
Breakfast, lucky draws, prizes and much more,
All these truly make it a ‘La Grande’ program.

With a signature neon tee, a website and FB group,
MRR even gives awards to the deserving athletes,
It also keeps new runners in the information loop
While Bijay‘s witty posts keep everyone in splits.

MRR, I truly consider you as our Mothership,
And look forward to the awesome camaraderie,
Which happens in every Bandra-NCPA running trip,
Truly, you are of, by and for the runners, and now, even free !!




Blow blow thou Winter wind;
Spirit of a runner you can’t rescind .
Look ferocious and you roar,
Arduous run is useful more.

Calm breeze of the Spring,
Teaches us how to swing;
It’s the time when we exert,
Day by day becoming expert.

Comes Summer, we are tough,
Hot is air , we more rough.
Body of ours is lean day by day,
We mould it as is of clay.

In the Autumn, when trees shed leaves,
Run now hard, a runner believes .
As in winter, there may be fog or snow,
Add now miles, why be slow.

All the seasons, cheer us thus,
Go and run, never make a fuss.
Blow blow thou Winter wind .
Spirit of a runner you can’t rescind



I don’t know much about the Bandra-NCPA run,
But going thru the above poems, it sure must be hell of a fun……
The smiles, the laughter, the cheer and the Camaraderie,
Running with buddies, without a hint of worry…….
Conquering every mile,
With a lovely smile…….
Some run fast and some run slow,
But everybody finishes with a glow…..
The undying spirit of the Mumbai Road Runners,
Month after month, they all are Winners……
It’s a celebration of Running,
It’s just another way of Living…..
Happy Running to All…..



First Saturday night of every month,
Barely asleep, I dreamt of MRR Run,

Bandra NCPA run has a lot on offer,
For kids, athletes or amateur.

A child’s first sporting Run,
For football, hockey or just for fun.

An Athletes professional Run,
Fame and Bread lets him earn.

An amateurs Running hobby,
keeps them fit and healthy.

Kohli & Dhoni Run between wickets,
Win India many podium places.

Keep Running men and women,
where it takes you is never known.

Mankind’s moon walks are few today,
Lunar marathon is expected any day.

Soon it will be first Monday of the month,
MRR shall be Moon Road Runners.



Every first Sunday Morning the MRR gang outside Otters Club gathers around
Loads of laughter, fun and cheer but precisely at 5:30 its all feet to the ground

All wonderful volunteers move along to their various posts
Ensuring for us Runners they play the Charming Hosts

Hydration, Photographs & all that we runners appeal
Hugs, shouts & high fives are all part of the deal

You just might be lucky to be accompanied by our mascot, Kani
All this & more & now it doesn’t even cost money

Some cruise ahead, some amble along
While some huff and puff focusing on song
All gather around at NCPA at 8
Where our stretching session with Giles does await

We end it all with breakfast, chitchat, prizes & kind
A better HM than this I promise you won’t find smile emoticon



If you ever wanted to see the “soul of running”,
When Mumbai runs together with the flames of friendship burning,
Where runners unite and run as one,
Gathering together at Carters to start together and see the rising sun,
Yeah, its the first Sunday of the month again, lets have fun on the MRR run

The joy of running knows no bounds,
Run buddies for life, just waiting to be found,
Running with passion from Carters to NCPA is so much fun,
Soon we will be by the sea at NCPA lands end, one more run dusted and done,
Yeah, its the first Sunday of the month again, lets “show some love” on the MRR run

With Sam’s “Show me some love” at the start line, our day is made,
As he captures our smiling faces, this happiness will never ever fade,
Off we set out to rock 21 km, feeling so alive,
Motivating each other on the run, we always get the energy to strive,
Yeah, its the first Sunday of the month again, our MRR run is time to dance and jive

Started by a group of passionate runners who love running so much,
The feet touching the ground and flying, its the “runners high” that packs the punch,
Of runners, by runners, for runners, so lets just enjoy and have fun and frolic,
A balm for the soul, peace for the mind, and for the body its like an energy tonic,
Yeah, its the first Sunday of the month again, our MRR run is simply iconic

So beautifully organized, the Admin team and the ever smiling volunteers, ever so caring,
Its all about the “joy of running” and our running journey, which we together are sharing,
There is no other run with the genuine love of runners at heart,
To all who havent done this before, just come one day and it will be a magical start,
Yeah, its the first Sunday of the month again, our MRR run is not about minting money, it truly has a “heart”

So fabled is the route of this run as it winds its way through the soul of Mumbai,
As we take in the majestic heritage of our city, as runners in waves after waves whizz by,
Mahim Church to Shivaji Park to Siddhivinayak, Worli seaface to Hajiali, Peddar Road to Babulnath to Marine Drive,
So tailor made this route is for long runs, I can do 21k on it any day, it gives me so much energy and drive,
Yeah, its the first Sunday of the month again, our MRR run has made my “running child” come alive and thrive

We celebrate life, we celebrate being just together, and many runs have a theme,
From Holi to Christmas to being dressed in funky gear for Halloween,
The comaraderie post run can not be captured in words, you have to just experience it,
So many lovely souls, so much motivation, that you feel you can “Just do it”
Yeah, its the first Sunday of the month again, our MRR run is the “blockbuster”, simply super hit !!



Running started as late as August 2015 for me
Being early days did not know what running would be
Joined a group in the suburb called KDR
Came to know we were invited to run with MRR

MRR run was not to be missed by any chance
For it was discussed almost a week in advance
The day dawned in the first week of September
We all started as early as 3.30am, i clearly remember

I being the newest of all decided to run the least distance
Others ran around 12k from Dadar to NCPA fence
Being a newbie, a 5k distance for me was very far
At Wilson, i was greeted by ‘smiling persona of MRR Mr. Samuel Chettiar

Before joining the run, i heard lot of stories about MRR, least to say
To meet FB friends in person post run was happiest moment of the pay
The arrangements made post run was awesome
Made up my mind would join as many runs in time to come

This small stint with MRR has a deep impact in this runners mind
So many runners doubling as volunteers, an act so very kind
Loads of memories I carried that day
Really felt like a proud runner, returning on my way

These are few verses of my experience I had
Imagination and others description, I may add
Hope to join from bandra to ncpa very soon
The day i complete this run, I would surely be over the moon



कविताका शीर्षक ” मेरी दौडनेकी खुजली “प्रेरीत है ऊन ना दौडनेवाले मेरे दोस्तसें जो हमेशा मूझे यही पुछते आए हैं..क्यों है तूम्हे ईतना दौडनेकी खुजली? ?
मेरी दौडनेकी खुजली और MRR

कभी कभी मेरी दौडनेकी खुजली
क्या क्या नही करा लेती मुझसे,
बस ऐसीही एक खुजलीका असर था
मेरा MRR से जुडना….

अच्छा खासा कलवा- थानामे
दौड रहा था,
अचानकसे इस मेरी दौडनेकी खुजलीमे
मुझे MRR का rout अच्छा लगने लगा…

फिर क्या था……..
खुजली थी, वो भी दौडनेकी
सो जुड गये MRR से…

फिर वह हर महीनेका
पहला रविवार कुछ इस
तरह गुजरने लगा….

सुबह सुबह ३ बजे उठो,
भाग भागके थानासे पहली train पकडो,
और पहोच जाओ अपनी मक्का -कार्टर रोड…

वहां जानेपर पता चलता है के
अकेले बस हम ही नही है एसी
खुजली पालनेवाले…

फिर पहले थोडी हाय- बाय
साथ – साथ एक गरम चाय,
बादमे बस भागो…

कार्टर रोडसे, शिवाजी पार्क
मेला रेस्तंरासे , विल्सन कॉलेज
कुछ angles मील जाते है,
जो दौडनेकी मेरी ये खुजली
जींदा रखते है….(thank u to volunteers)

जब NCPA नजदिक आने लगता है,
तो breakfast कि चाहमे या,
वो खतम ना हो जाए इस tension मे
कदम न चाहते हुएभी तेज दौड जाते है…

…फिर NCPA आ जाता है,
और कुछ चिजें जरुरतसे जादा जरुरी हो जाती है
जैसे की… नया Profile Picture, नया Personal Best, Breakfast,
और ये साला Stretching……….
Contest ,Prizes का नाम नही लूंगा
क्योंके ऊनसे मेरा नाता, दुरदूर तक नही आता

सबको गले मील फिर घर भाग जाता हूं
और रविवारकी वह शाम,
Indy, Chetan , Michal
फोटो Facebook पे upload कब करेंगे इस tension मे बिताता हूं…

जबसे जुडा हूं MRR से,
साला तबसे यहि लगता है
दौडनेकी खुजली कुछ लोगोमे ही होती है,
पर जिनमेभी होती है
खुष हैं वो…. के ये लाईलाज होती है………



ज़िन्दगी की जद्दोजहद में वह एक सुबह सुकून की तलाश सड़कों पर ,
कुछ परिचित कुछ अनजान चेहरों के साथ ,
कभी मायूसी ख़राब दिन की तो कभी सुकून क़दमों से दिल को छू लेने की ,
सड़क के किनारे खड़ा वह अपरिचितों को भी आस देता ,
अपनी दौड़ को छोड़ दूसरों के लिए
पानी की बोतल के साथ वह भी एक सुकून में ,
सड़क पर दौड़ रही कारें भी देती रास्ता उनको नहीं जानते जिनको वह ,
वक़्त बेकहम है
वक़्त किसी को वक़्त नहीं देता
पर यहाँ हर किसी के लिए वक़्त है हर किसी के पास
जो दौड़ में आगे है उन्हे इन्तज़ार है उनका जो दौड़ मे पीछे हैं
कभी ख़त्म नहीं होती यह दौड़ जब तक अन्तिम को गले से लगाया न हो ,
काश यही जज़्बा ज़िन्दगी में भी होता
तो शायद ज़िन्दगी की मारामारी में मिल जाती कुछ जगह इंसानियत को भी ।।।


Run se nata,runners se dosti
Yahi hai MRR!!
MRR ki toli mile month ke pahle ravivar,
Bandra se NCPA run kare,saare yaar,
Run se nata,runners se dosti,
Yahi hai MRR!!
Giles Drego, Ram , Milton aur Mani Iyer,
Kiya jo shruyaat,aaj bhi usi saadgi se,chale MRR!!
Na taka na paisa ,na kare run ka vyapaar,
MRR hi toli aisi ,Run se kare bas pyaar!!!
Run se nata,runners se dosti,
Yahi hai MRR!!




Half or Full or Ultra,
Now coming in varied versions,
10k, 7k, 5k and more,
It’s all mind game. ..

It’s going to be tough,
But I am tougher,
It’s going to sweat a lot,
But the sweat would be sweet. ..

It’s all pain,
But there is no gain without pain,
Success lies in accomplishment,
I am determined to race …

Not in competition,
Competing with self,
Excelling each time,
Moving on and on. ..