Rooftop Ruffians

Weekend Stories by Trishikh

At about the same time that David Belle was inventing the acrobatic training discipline of Parkour in France in 1988, a much cruder and somewhat hilarious version of the same was emerging on the rooftops of closely stacked houses in the northern crannies of the port city of Kolkata.

Similar to the Yamakasi-the nine founding fathers of Parkour, the ‘Rooftop Ruffians’ of Calcutta were nine in number too. They were a closely-knit teenage gang of varied ethnicity. Friend circles of such motley races could only be possible in a vividly cosmopolitan city like Kolkata. The difference in their language, religion or food preference was not a deterrent to but acted as the glue that bonded this unique friendship of theirs.

Very different from Belle’s French town of Lisses, the little city of Kolkata on the east coast of the Indian peninsula had always been a boiling cauldron of…

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