When Deepika Padukone stepped onto stage at the flag-off of the Fun Run at the first DNA I Can Women’s Half Marathon, there was a burst of spontaneous and audible cheering from the audience.
And the sporty young film star, absolutely at ease in front of such a huge crowd, dimpled, smiled and waved at the runners before actually stepping right into the crowd below to show solidarity with the participants, unmindful of her vertiginous heels or bodyguards left behind. But such was the mood, infectious and high octave at BKC, Sunday early morning. Up on stage, flagging off the Fun Run with Deepika, was ZEEL MD and CEO, Punit Goenka, who was also smiling, showing support for all the enthusiastic women participants gathered at the start line.
And apart from Mumbai’s fit and fiery women, there were celebs who had chosen to don their running shoes too, across all sections of lifestyle — B-Town’s Tara Sharma, television’s Amrita Raichand, the music world’s Raageshwari, fashion’s upcoming face, beauty queen Iris Maity, society’s Nisha Jamval and the theatre world’s (and reality show) star Payal Rohatgi, among others. Director, Postal Services, Abha Singh flashed a broad smile as she took her place.
If early morning meant dark circles and messy hair, none of it was evident on the face of the Fun Run, Deepika. In a blazing yellow tank top, reminiscent of morning sunshine, she looking fresh-faced and bright, despite the early hour on a day of rest, a Sunday. And on the podium, cheering on the equally fresh faced ladies down below were so many from Mumbai’s glam world — jewellery designer Queenie Singh, who had come straight from the David Guetta performance in Pune (where most of Mumbai’s high society had been this long weekend after Holi), actors Madhoo Shah, Tannishtha Chatterjee and Tulip Joshi, fashion model and actor, Dipannita Sharma, theatre’s Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal, designers Lina Tipnis, Deepika Gehani and Archana Kochhar, TV’s Mitali Nag and a host of other celebrities who cheered and waved and egged on the participants, some of who held placards as they passed, demonstrating the causes and NGOs they represented.
If you thought this event had only women power in attendance, you would be mistaken, because as Deepika said later, whilst addressing the audience, it was wonderful to see so many men waking up early to cheer even more women! Up on the podium at the Fun Run were model Tony Luke, TV’s Sameer Dharm adhikari, Chetan Pandit and Mrunal Jain and B-Town’s Mahakshay, among many others.
In fact, men did their best to egg the women on, whether it was compere Hugo D’Souza with his easy speak, or the pre-race warm up with the fit Mickey Mehta or later, when all the effort was over, musician Rabbi Shergill, who’s soothing strains helped relax and refresh the tempo post-race.
Such was the buzz in the air that theatre doyenne Raell Padamsee and young actor Shazahn were seen laughing and giving a pep talk to junior participants.
Through it all Deepika’s charm seemed to be permeating through to the almost-5000 plus strong crowd as she readily posed for cameras and dimpled when the sudden flash mob dance performance by Arts in Motion caught everyone’s attention just minutes before the Fun Run. When the atmosphere’s so electric, how else?!
Source: DNA by Gauri Sinh