Monday, April 13, 2009

If It aint broke dont fix it

“Swimming tank” ..It’s a typical hard core Mumbai term.
Everywhere else in India they call it swimming pool.
But I would always call it TANK ! & my non-Mumabikar colleagues will laugh at me.
Do I care ? Hell no....Mumbaikars calls pool as "tank" ..Girl as "item" (it’s pronounced as "aeeiitam") & fight as "matter" !
& in Girgaum they even call swimming as "going to bath"...because all the ppl in Girgaum...swimming pool means Pran Sukhlal Mafatlal Hindu bath at Girgaum chowpaty !!!
Lovely place that is ..One of the very few pools be right next to beach.
That’s where the first time I was introduced to this next best thing to LOVE called swimming !
I had my cousins staying at Girgaum who would compete on PM Hindu bath & I would watch in awe
You know how it is right ??
Your half generation elder cousins are God to you & you want to do all the cool stuff they do :)
But somehow I could not follow my Gods' foot steps immediately & it took me a while to join swimming.
18 yrs of age to be precise.
They say boy’s height won’t grow after 18 yrs..& I was 5 8 when I was almost 18 :(
You again know how it is right ? my Gods had changed....they were now Arjun Rampal & Milind Soman ..In their 6 2 ' frames broad chest & long mane
I was loosing time & already started panicking...was desperately doing pull ups…Skipping ropes & what not
& I heard swimming is best exercise to grow tall
I had also heard Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Pool at Shivaji Park oops Gandhi Tank as it’s fondly called are giving out forms for new admissions !!!
GUYS Ask any body in & around Dadar/ Bandra/ get an admission form in Gandhi tank was a huge thing
Being run by BMC...these guys would give out forms for new admission twice a year...but its timing would be as unpredictable as MHADA forms coming out
You enquire for date when these forms will come out & guy in window will tell in dead pan voice ..."check in month or two"..this will happen many would finally give up on them & suddenly secret word will be out : forms will be given next Tuesday from 7 AM to 8 AM (what a weird timing :))
It was a hush hush matter...there was hardly a formal announcement but this would be anyways leaked somehow in closed circles at Shivaji Park & it would eventually find its way to Matunga , Mahim right up to Bandra
Then ppl will stand in queue since morning 5 am just like they do for new Harry potter book or I-phone
That was fun though : queue fights, some influential jerks trying to get ahead….some guys doing “setting” inside pool to get it from “backdoor” & what not :)
But after all this once you get form it was as good as getting an admission & securing your membership at one of the most beautiful locations in Mumbai.

As I said this is one more pool to have privilege right next to Dadar sea shore
But in a way it is even better than PM Hindu Bath as far as diving boards are concerned:
Both pools are right next to beach…

However in PM Hindu if you stand to dive on any diving board : i.e. 1 , 3 ,or 10 Meter you would be turning your back to see
While at Gandhi tank If you stand to dive sea will be on you right hand side
Check out both these links & you will know what I mean


So just imagine standing on 10 meters diving board on bright week day morning..
)J(week day because Sunday diving is not allowed ..too much crowd u see
Arabian ocean to your right & turquoise blue water beneath you
It’s as good as high diving in sea
It’s freakin too much adrenaline rushing to your head…
There are these 2 funny guys Mr . Warang a biig guy & Mr. Joshi who comes everyday from all the way from Thane
They are called Jai & Veeru of Gandhi Tank
JEvery weekday (remember because Sunday diving is not allowed
Both of them will go to Topmost diving board
Then do this hilarious routine in “Sholay” where Veeru is all drunk & suicidal
& Climax would be both of them Jumping in water ..a la “Rang de Basanti” or “Sholay” or whatever!
There are many rituals like this especially in Morning sessions
All these elderly “Gujju” swimmers & because of their influence us too….whoever passes each other will greet “HARI HARI BOL” which is to be reciprocated as “HARI HARI BOL” itself

Then when Morning session is about to get over some 10 15 regular members have one more “Parampara” as it is fondly called
All of them will gather on pool deck hold each others hand …make sound like AAAAAEEEEEEEEE
..come running together & jump at once in pool
& then this elderly guy will ask n confirm “AALE KA SAGLE” i.e. “HAS EVERYBODY GOT IN SAFELY”

Unity at its best J
Did I tell u diving is not allowed on Sunday ...but this rule just does not apply to this 70 yrs old gentleman...everyday including Sunday he will go on 2 'nd floor (5 meter board) & dive head first .... this life guard Vinod sir will keep yelling ...threatening to grab his pass ...kick his a** & what not
But he would dive come what may..aft all he is coming to tank for last 50 yrs..he deserves that privilege u see :)
rituals like this & million others make this pool so special
Its volleyball on deck , singing aloud in showers, Mango tree in Parking lot , & Aslam bhai's Canteen beneath it ..
Parsi Canteen owners vintage cars & Khaare seng wala outside Pool's gate

All this go back long way
& We are honestly trying to keep it that way !
Let s try against stupid decision to renew this place for no reason whatsoever
Trust me guys it's a fully functional pool just in need of some maintenance
We don’t need to break into 3 small pools or whatever

If It aint broke don’t fix it

So mates feel free to write your views opinions on this subject to this blog
Let's co ordinate & preserve our beloved Gandhi Tank