City-based commercial artist Anuj Sinha, 29, was at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) on Sunday to catch a train for Bandra, when the station's announcement system suddenly started playing the title track of Rang De Basanti. What followed — an impromptu dance performance by 200-odd people — amazed Sinha so much that he ended up missing his train.
“A small group of people who looked like regular commuters suddenly started dancing,” said Sinha. “As the song progressed, more and more people joined in until there were at least 200. I tried to join in, but realised that it was all choreographed, and everyone was perfectly synchronised. It was thoroughly entertaining.”
It was Mumbai’s first large-scale citizen flashmob, a group of people who suddenly assemble at a public place, perform some action for a brief period and then disperse quickly as if nothing has happened.
In 2003, New York City was the first to witness an organised flashmob, which is now a regular feature in several western countries.
“I always wanted to be part of a flashmob, having watched several videos of it on YouTube,” says Shonan Kothari, 23, organiser of the flashmob. “I decided to organise one and spread the word through friends and family, and got a very enthusiastic response.”
The group was divided into four batches of approximately 50 people each, and has been practicing for the last two weeks at a yoga studio to achieve coordination. Participants were aged between 4 and 60.
“We practiced hard and they were the craziest four minutes of my life,” says Priya Srivastav, 23, who was the first to break into a jig at the station.
Actor Abhishek Bachchan tweeted, "NOW THIS IS COOL!!! Next time I wanna join too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iyt16efRrBo&feature=youtu.be Flash Mob Mumbai - CST Official Video."