The woman behind the Mumbai flash mob

November 30, 2011

It is said that each Mumbai resident passes through the city’s iconic Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus at least once. On Sunday, the railway station was the setting for 200 Mumbaikars to do something out of the ordinary.

YouTube Preview ImageThanks to Shonan Kothari, 200 people got together and danced in the middle of the crowded station, three years and a day after the November 26 attacks at the same place.

A YouTube video of the flash mob has been viewed nearly 150,000 times and went viral on social networking sites. Actor Abhishek Bachchan and director Rohan Sippy were among the celebrities who tweeted the video link.

Kothari, 23, says she didn’t mean for this to be a symbol of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, or anything else really.

“Nothing about this had an agenda. We just wanted to have fun,” she told Reuters.

Kothari started working on the idea a month ago and realised she would have to work quickly to get more people on board. Why 200? “Because in my head, that was a big enough number,” she said.

She emailed 20 of her closest friends and asked them to recruit 20 people each, on the condition they keep quiet about it.

“I didn’t want it to be announced on social media or a public platform because that would ruin the surprise element.”

Kothari even refused sponsorship, paying out of her own (or as she laughingly points out, her father’s) pocket.

“I did have people wanting to buy it out but I didn’t want to make this commercial at all. It was just about having fun.”

This isn’t Mumbai’s first flash mob (several brands have organised such initiatives in the past), but this is certainly the first time it’s got so much attention. And going by conversations on Twitter and Facebook, it certainly won’t be the last.


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This theme is borrowed from the one recently happened at the Dubai International Airport. ai-airport-flash-mob-an-internet-hit-1.9 26346

Posted by Humbird | Report as abusive

We need more of this. This is so rejuvenating!

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

@Humbird: The Flash Mob concept is not invented by Dubai Airport (or whoever organized that event a couple of months ago). I have heard of Flash Mobs at least since year 2004. In fact, Flash Mobs set to Bollywood music & dance have also been around for a few years now! Try searching “Bollywood Flash Mob” on Youtube.

Posted by CSRavi | Report as abusive

Simply… I-D-I-O-T-I-C

It takes away attention from the other 200 people protesting against violence against women/Child infanticide/farmer suicide…take your pick.

Posted by Per_se_us | Report as abusive


Thanks all participation to join with shipla ji

Posted by NilmaniBhola | Report as abusive

I wish if Flash mob in India start some thing new like helping poor, going to schools to teach etc which can bring change.and not copy Improv Everywhere.

Posted by nrkkalyan | Report as abusive