Morning is when we party!

Morning is when we party!

high on life

Morning is when we party!

M anthan Thakkar, 27, is a young Mumbaite living in the concrete city conundrum. Work-life balance? What’s that, he’d ask. But last December, a refreshing party that he went to changed his perspective towards health and fitness.

“I would love to hit the gym and keep fit, but where’s the time?” he used to wonder. A weekend party person, his life revolved around work and the dreaded commute that Mumbai is infamous for. So, when his ex-colleague Sambhav Jain invited him for what he described as a morning party, Manthan was sufficiently intrigued. “I thought it’d be good to catch up. Yes, it was in the morning and getting up was a bit of a task but I did it,” he says.

The party was organised by GrowFitter Super Sonic, formerly GymTrekker, an online portal for fitness solutions. After the initial bewilderment over a party at sunrise, it is difficult to talk the young man out of it now. Manthan has been present at every single party that GrowFitter has hosted since then. “It was an exhilarating experience. I was rubbing shoulders with not less than a thousand people, I think. Everybody was up early and exercising, chatting and, for a change, not drinking!” he says with a laugh.

COO and co-founder of GrowFitter, Sambhav Jain is gung-ho about the concept of morning parties. “We were launching our fitness app and we thought we should throw a fitness party in the morning instead of a regular evening party with booze. The response was wonderful,” he says. Held last December at Radio Bar in South Mumbai, the party was thronged by fitness enthusiasts at 6.30 on a winter morning.

With Gold’s Gym, Talwalkars’ Gym and independent zumba trainers backing them, the team realised they had something brewing here and egged on by family and friends, organised more such parties. “In the three parties that we have organised till date, we have seen at least 30% repeat faces and never a drop in enthusiasm,” Sambhav adds.

Grooving to it

At bars, pubs and even gyms, the party brigade is committed to not missing a beat. Rakhee Mehta, concept creator and co-founder, Wonderise, and chief evangelist, Mingle, says that while any big city has a sufficiently-vibrant nightlife, party-goers miss out on meeting the huge community of ‘morning people’. Every Indian city could use a wellness movement, she adds. “Take for instance Mumbai, where we started out. There is an amazing coastline where one can enjoy many a gorgeous sunrise. The early hours of the morning are scintillating and pure and need to be taken in. Our idea is to re-imagine nightlife by bringing things back to the basics with community dancing and wellness.” Wonderise parties are an alcohol-free zone with free-flowing juices, coffee and other healthy treats.

However, Rakhee adds that she wasn’t too surprised with the enormously positive response their events garnered, with approximately 500 guests every time. “People are bored with the same old routine and an early morning detox party was just what they needed. The element of surprise – dancing to Zumba, Piyo, Capoiera and Bollyfit – makes people want to visit us every time.” Artists like Sucheta Pal, Dhanashree Mehta and Bombay Bairaag along with other celebrities have conducted these sessions.

Sambhav concurs that the health and wellness quotient attached to these parties gives it a unique twist. “More than the timing, a morning party is about the experience – we tell people that fitness can be fun too. Moreover, it is presented in a way that it overtakes the normal ways of having fun. At GrowFitter events we have fitness competitions, juice shots, healthy food, zumba, yoga, crossfit, bokwa and celebrity fitness trainers,” he says.

Food for the mind

Shaswati, 33, a regular at morning parties (including one in London last year) says it’s all about the vibe and the general feeling of wellbeing. “I love to party but I don’t like alcohol much. It used to be very weird for me, holding a glass of juice all through the evening and smiling sheepishly when people offered me a drink. But I love to dance, hang out with my friends and meet like-minded people. Thank god for morning parties, I’d say!” she says with a laugh. Many regulars love the fact that they meet fitness enthusiasts like themselves at such events. Manthan, for instance, was inspired by a heavily-built guy at one of the parties who gave him workout tips. “It’s also the only time when I party and am still sober.”

While in India, morning parties are still restricted to weekends, in other countries, they’re held even on weekdays. Rakhee says Wonderise is eventually looking at hosting morning parties on weekdays. “We want do this during the week as well so that people can attend a wellness party and go to work feeling refreshed.” Starting September, Sambhav of GrowFitter plans to take this across India with a party a month in five cities – Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Delhi, and occasional ones in Goa too.

With innovative photo booths, party caps and quirky decor adding to the ambience that is balanced out with healthy juices, smoothies, snacks and a high-fibre brunch, be assured that this is one party where you don’t need to count calories.

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