It takes about 35 minutes for Jehaan Dhalla (17) to get from his home on Nepeansea Road to his tuition classes in Colaba. That’s normal, except that Dhalla’s vehicle of choice is a skateboard.
“The thrill of riding the skateboard is in the risk,” he said. “In knowing that that you may not get off the board in one piece — and when you do, you feel pretty good.”
It’s the penchant for daredevilry that he shares with good friend Jimmy Hilloo (17) who introduced him to the sport seven years ago after a trip to Indonesia. They've both been addicted since.
“It’s about using what you have, about adapting your movements to the environment,” said Hilloo.
But it’s hardly feasible as an everyday means of transport in this city, like it is in other parts of the world. “It’s not always easy in Mumbai because there isn’t as much space and the surface isn’t skateboarding friendly,” he said.
But that won’t be stopping Hilloo, Dhalla and other skateboarding enthusiasts from coming together on Sunday, ahead of World Skateboarding Day on Monday, for a spot of gravity-defying antics at Bandra’s bandstand.
Around 20 enthusiasts are likely to show up.
It’s the first time the tribe of skateboarders is getting together, after finding each other on Facebook.
“I never realised there were so many in the city,” said Hilloo, who has also held skateboarding classes for children in the past.
For some, the sport is as much about the hurly burly of doing as it is a spectator sport.
“I’ve been passionate about this sport, since the first time I watched it,” said Nishanth Rao (22), who decided to give it a go after watching the X Games, an American extreme sports tournament, on a sports channel.
Provided it doesn’t rain on Sunday, bandstand could be set for it’s own spot of livewire action, mini X Games-style.