Teaching adults how to cycle

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Ali Poonawala

Oct 20, 2021, 9:33:39 AM10/20/21
to Sharath Chandar, GGI-Club (Go Green Initiator's Club)

Hi friends...

Since most restrictions are now off, we will resume our teaching sessions starting Sunday 24th October.

Kindly register at Google form link by Friday 9 AM since we have to organise for volunteers and cycles :

There are changes in Cubbon Park timings since cycles are allowed only after 8 AM, we will have session between 8.15 AM-10.15 AM

Exact location and names of volunteers will be announced on Saturday evening on the WhatsApp group.

If you register you are strongly advised to join the WhatsApp group since last minute communications will be only on WhatsApp and not on Facebook or individually. Send Hi and name of student to 9845363803 on WhatsApp for admission to the  group or use the link 


Once you join, introduce yourself please. Only name will do.


Check response roster. Register only if a trainer has registered for the date. Do not register if there is no trainer  !!

Response roster link


If there is a trainer for a session , please fill up this form :

Attendee roster form


Classes are usually on sunday mornings. Details of timings venues and volunteers as well as students for a particular session are on the Google form roster response page linked above.

The final announcement of Sunday's sessions is only late Saturday (around 10 pm),   This is on the Bangalore Bicycling School whatsapp group.

if you can not attend after registering.....request you to inform the teacher or me ,off the group.
This is voluntary work for us and everyone's time is precious !
(Please do not announce on the  group !)
Very rarely, it may not be possible to run a centre inspite of our best efforts.

Bring some water.

Ladies to avoid wearing sari, (and men, mundu !!) or loose bottom trousers, since they may catch into cycle chain. Use comfortable shoes or sandals with secure grip.

Our Facebook page :

If you want to know how we have evolved...Go here !

Bangalore Bicycling Club google group thread : https://groups.google.com/forum/m/#!topic/bangalore-bikers/FdIO50vXc-c

CycleDay :

Please do not come if you have symptoms of Covid or any of the family members or work contacts have had Covid positive in past 10 days.

Full vaccination is desirable but not mandatory.

Let us hope and pray we all remain safe and enjoy while learning and teaching !

Warm regards

Happy cycling 👍

Ali Poonawala

Ali Poonawala

Oct 24, 2021, 10:26:58 AM10/24/21
to Sharath Chandar, GGI-Club (Go Green Initiator's Club)

On Sun, 24 Oct, 2021, 7:40 PM Ali Poonawala, <alfa...@gmail.com> wrote:
Hi Friends..!!
Bangalore Bicycling School is back !

Cubbon Park report on 24th October :

Gate into the Tennis club car park remained closed except for couple of trucks and cars allowed in...

Today's count :

Eight students : 
Vighnaraj, Praveen, Nima, Neha, Ranjith, Harsha, Rohit Ashwini

Seven trainers : 
Ali, Ajith, Junaid, Paveethra, Krishna, Poojyà and Vimalkumar.

The cycles from Vijay's store came in the mini pick up with Shalini, Prashanth and Arya helping to get them to the teaching area.. seeing Ajith there was such a nice surprise !

Vighnaraj opened the innings, with background skill of balancing two wheeler, pedalling was a small part to be cracked and took very little effort. Started with circle training on first day...too good !

Neha and Nima are two sisters and it was a good day for them too, balancing, the stumbling block was out of the way !

Ranjith, Rohit and Praveen formed young men's brigade and were zooming around but a crash with Ranjith..and sobriety prevailed..

Harsha and Ashwini ( with hubby Vivek and darling Ankit) technically seniors, having been for session BC (Before Covid) but with a year and half between, were newbies too and downslope could be negotiated. 

Soon it was camera time..
and curtain time was when students helped with the cycle transport to the waiting Auto !!

Great start of the second innings... We all loved the opening session where all students learnt balancing without any difficulty ...

Great Omen !!

Keep pedalling !!


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Ali Poonawala

Oct 25, 2021, 2:28:56 PM10/25/21
to Deepak Majipatil, Sharath Chandar, GGI-Club (Go Green Initiator's Club)
Hi Deepak...
Yes...we have resumed after a year and half... and feels good to be back..!!

The rumbles of a third wave with another variant from the UK are not happy tidings though !! 😩

Wish you a successful run at TFN...

Warm regards
Ali Poonawala

On Mon, 25 Oct, 2021, 8:16 AM Deepak Majipatil, <deepak....@gmail.com> wrote:
Ali Sir,

 It feels so nice to remember old days in 2007-2008 when we did this kind of activities and then all our effort was consumed by TFN preparations in further years

Looking forward to be there soon

Thanks and Best Regards,

Biking conversations on the world famous "Bangalore Bikers Club" :)
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Ali Poonawala

Nov 7, 2021, 5:21:40 AM11/7/21
to Sharath Chandar, GGI-Club (Go Green Initiator's Club)
Hi friends !

Cubbon Park session today !

Lovely chill in the morning even at 7.30 am...Sun trying to shoo away the clouds but faltering..Bengaluru traffic remembering it's heydays and in a hurry to eclipse previous highs ( or lows, depending which side of the green wall you are leaning on )..

And me, waiting at Hudson circle gate for 8 o'clock to chime, worrying my innards.. ,"will the rental guy show up or not !!" 

Reassuringly, he didn't.
And was not reachable by phone either. Nor was the boss.
Chapter over !

Leaving Keshava with Grandpa and Sumit in the queue - in case luck takes turn for better- I made my way on my foldie to primary area.

3(+) Trainers: Vivek, Junaid, Ali (Krishna)
7 students 
Newbies : Sumit Keshava, Sumati
Seniors : Neha Nima Ranjith Praveen 

Junaid reached on the dot, so did sisters Neha and Nima. Nima got on to the Goldie. Junaid accompanied Neha to get a Yulu...

Ashwini turned up with bike- trainer-husband Vivek  and bike-entertainer-son Aniket. !  I like self sufficiency of this degree !!

Keshava came up followed by  Sumit after no show from rental guy, while one yulu was all one could get hands on, between Ranjith, Praveen, Neha later Sumit. 

Neha set a blistering pace, even uphill was easy peasy lemon squeezy for her. Ranjith, at ease with balance, took time but conquered uphill too. Praveen hardly got chance to ride  but was very comfortable from word go, anywhichways. 

Nima is steadily improving and will be on her own in couple of sessions. Keshava had few rounds and progressed well.
Sumit needs to relax and let the hands do the balancing. Sumati despite all the ruckus before reaching the spot, was good for a newbie.

As we struggled through the session, respects to Ranjith for sharing the bike so selflessly.

Lovely to see Ashok back in running  mode, despite his multiple injuries and surgeries...cheerful as ever ! So much positivity here !!

Last, on the way out, Promise from Bangalore Bikers Club with family  was another happy bumping in.. especially the Gujju speak part..!

Let us all keep pedalling !!

Warm regards
Ali Poonawala


Ali Poonawala

Nov 12, 2021, 8:51:18 AM11/12/21
to Sharath Chandar, GGI-Club (Go Green Initiator's Club)
Hi friends..!
We have Shyamala spearheading a teaching session this Sunday morning for a bunch of women, about 40 of then in total,  working in garment factory. Cycles for the session are provided for by Greenpeace. 
We want volunteers to teach them ..
Please help:

Where :

 12°57'02.7"N 77°31'16.8"E

When : 
9am -1pm 14th November , Sunday.

Contact : 
Chiddu.   : +91 98807 63941

myself       +919845363803

Warm regards
Ali Poonawala


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Ali Poonawala

Nov 13, 2021, 9:03:26 AM11/13/21
to Sharath Chandar, GGI-Club (Go Green Initiator's Club)
Hi friends !

We have two sessions tomorrow

1. Cubbon Park :

Cubbon Park officially still has restricted activities and request students to be prepared for last minute changes. 

Two areas to pick up rental cycles, both at periphery of Cubbon.

KSDH Cycles on Rent ( inside Hudson circle gate of park )

Yulu zone ( near high court gate 3)
Dr. B R Ambedkar stn. Vidhan Soudha Metro Station

Primary Teaching Area : 

Tennis club car Parking area, opposite Bandstand.

Uber / Ola : 

Venkatappa Art Gallery 

Time :
                    8.00 am to 10.15am 

Trainers :
Ganesh.   8.0-10.0   09742291304
Junaid.     8.0-9.30.  09845559944
If primary area is occupied by any event, please go to secondary teaching  area :

Near Gate No. 3 High Court.

Metro : Purple line, 
station : Dr. B R Ambedkar (Vidhan Soudha)
Take high court south or Nrupathanga road exit.

Uber/ Ola location pin :
Vidhan soudha bus stop

2. Nayandanhalli session:

(Teaching by Invite only )
Cycles provided by Greenpeace.

Location : 

Time : 11.0 -1.0 PM

Trainers : 

Shamala            09483961307
Chidambaram. 09880763941
Anindita.            08105484832
Pavithra             09845454746

Hope all have  good sessions !

Keep pedalling !!

Ali Poonawala

Ali Poonawala

Nov 15, 2021, 7:58:24 AM11/15/21
to Sharath Chandar, GGI-Club (Go Green Initiator's Club)
Thanks to Ganesh and Junaid for this session !!
and Ganesh for this report :

14th Nov, Cubbon Park report:

Can't ask for a better morning to cycle. Cubbon for a Sunday was quite deserted, including the band stand. Must be the effect of continuous rain and cold weather in the previous few days. By the time I reached a bit late with the foldie, Junaid was already waiting alone for students. Soon we had Keshava coming with mom and grandpa while Ranjith figured a Yulu cycle from some far off point (later to realize that the seat was terribly broken after he brought to the strip) 

We started with Keshava on the foldie. He had more problem with speed control than balance. Junaid and I took turns helping him out before Sumathy joined to time share the bike with Keshava. By end of the session she is a lot confident riding straight line independently, need to work on leg strength to push uphill. Keshava has stopped hopping out of the bike, doing straight lines very well independently. A bit more of practice to judge his speed and he can move on to next level of U turns and circles. Sumathy tried the Yulu bike with the revolving saddle and gave up on it though Ranjith seemed to be so comfortable riding it. 

Our training strip was carpeted with rangolis made of real flowers grains, betel leaves,... Looked like remains of a competition that had happened recently. Many of them remained intact as a special foreground for our click of the day. 

 We had a few walkers enquiring about our initiative. Hoping to have more clear sky and registered students showing up next weekend. Until then, stay fit and keep spinning... 🚴‍♀️🚴🏻‍♂️



Warm regards
Ali Poonawala

Ali Poonawala

Nov 21, 2021, 11:16:59 AM11/21/21
to Sharath Chandar, GGI-Club (Go Green Initiator's Club)
Hi friends !

Cubbon Park reporting !

Finally the Sun God smiled through the weil of thinning clouds...

Promise for a great day..with nine students registered for the morning session and twenty five expected for midday session..... was tantalizing !

Move to get a Yulu cycle to shore up my armamentarium was immediately quashed by line up of electric mopeds and not a single bicycle visible in Yulu zone of Vidhan Soudha.

Calls to Nammacycle drew a blank as well.. At that point It was so heartening to see  Junaid  on teaching terrain !! Saviour indeed !
 Keshava was there too and shot off like a bullet on the foldie..
soon asking if he was fit to go onto the road !!
Krishna came in with Karthik..trip to Mysuru next weekend crowding out everything else on his mind. Both went off for a ride seeing there were no students waiting.
Charan, cycling veteran, a  story writer and creative reporter with TOI enriched us with his recent exploits with pen and bicycle too, having clocked more than 100000 Kms, SR title and counting. Humble bicycle changing life of a 7 class school drop out was so uplifting... Thanks for sharing those golden moments Charan !!
Harsha came in...sporting a great smile, hiding her annoyance of running from pillar to post, unable to get a bike.

Another surprise..  ! Anindita had come in too  and the pair of them teamed up for a short session. 

Shamala came in and Junaid treated us all to coconut water and bananas before the next session began. 

Soon the cycles came in a mini van. Students too joined in batches and all of us got busy with young beaming ladies eager to get their hands on the cycles..We had 7 cycles 6 trainers and 20+ ladies..
Some already could balance, some learnt today and some are on the way. 

A pretty lady was capturing the action for instagram following, and we hope our drop will help to grow an ocean of cycling fraternity !

At 1 pm we called it a day..since other commitments stood in wait. Group photos and promise to come again.

Can't thank enough the lot of  Junaid, Anindita, Krishna, Pavithra and Karthik for great participation and Shamala for both, the event and training.

Finally Kudos to Greenpeace for such grassroot activity. Hope this sort of work catches on like wildfires and not our precious forests..

Keep pedalling

Ali Poonawala

Dec 4, 2021, 12:35:00 PM12/4/21
to Sharath Chandar, GGI-Club (Go Green Initiator's Club)
Hi friends..

My apologies for late report filing !
I was riding back from Mysuru and Anindita, Pavithra and Shamala did both the sessions.

Anindita's report:

No worries. Class was a mixed bag. No cycles, so students had to wait until the Greenpeace cycles arrived. There were 2 BBS students and one ex student Param who came to meet old teachers and went back bit crestfallen. Sumathi has learnt to balance both up n down and started on turns. The other lady was with Pavithra. The Greenpeace women were a bit late to arrive but turned up en masse. Too much for me, P, and S. So the group had management people chip in to teach. There were two falls. One with me and one with the group people. The lady I was teaching was wearing loose pants that couldn’t be rolled up and got caught in the crank arm. I managed to keep the bike off her and she scraped her knees a bit. No blood and she got back on the bike. Left around 11:40 so too much traffic to run back. Krishna turned up but went home due to our late start.

Shamala's report:

Hi All. Inspite of some doubts about the weather and the number of volunteer-trainers the last Sunday'straining sessions went rather well,with two women who were first time riders who took off and kept going, they were natural cyclists!! We also had two new volunteer-trainers who joined us and were super kicked about the idea of 'Bicycling School' in Bengaluru! We are hoping they will turn up every weekend for the sessions. In all thank you to @vol byk pavitra 2 @⁨Anindita Cycling Student⁩ for showing support and helping in training women to get on bikes second Sunday in a row!! Also @Krishna for turning up and encouraging us. This week again calling volunteers for the Sunday session to train working women from Garment factories to get on bikes. Please do spare some time for the lovely mornings in cubbon park (we cudnt have asked for a more pleasant and enjoyable weather than this). I'll share the timings for the Sunday 'Working women' training session soon - we might have an earlier batch considering the trainers do not want to wait for long between the sessions. Thank you and kudos to all of you who are helping out with this and to everyone in this group.

Pavithra's :

Yes Nita* came and also learnt Cycling with the rental cycle she brought along with her.She struggled a lot reach the venue but still she dint loose hope.

*Meeta is the actual name !

Three ladies did a wonderful job ☺️
Apologies for the delay and "sneaking" it in before the week is over !

Keep pedalling 
Warm regards 

Ali Poonawala

Dec 5, 2021, 12:31:53 PM12/5/21
to Sharath Chandar, GGI-Club (Go Green Initiator's Club)
Hi friends !!

Finally..Suryadev is slowly making the clouds know who is the boss around !!

Pradeep was very much there  at Hudson circle rental place to give out cycles and thus relieved, I weaved my way through milling health conscious and cynophilists to the training area . 

Just as I was to put up the banners..Shivani, Aayushi's mom, rolled in on her skates, with Sapna in whom I spotted my first learner of the day !
Sapna got Ganesh busy and Brigadier Ravi Muniswamy of Bharat Rakshak Foundation whizzed in, he who had organised last weekend's Mysuru ride. Junaid and Kartik already knew him and  soon trainers' numbers swelled as Krishna  Anindita and Vivek arrived. Charan of TOI, came in and was the focal person for various issues we could indulge in happily since no students till Bhanupriya and Sumathi came in. Sapna just sampled the cycling flavour and moved on with Shivani.

Thankfully, second batch Greenpeace students were already in as Shamala and cycles arrived almost at the same time and we had soon 30 ladies with about 8 cycles. Vivek did the initial presentation and soon we all were employed, ladies with various levels of energy and enthusiasm as well as trepidation and almost dread. Shamala had to smuggle the photographer since someone objected to their presence ( Can you believe ?? For Cubbon Park !!) 

Some trainers moved on and fresh hands joined in, notably Chidambaram aka "Chiddu", a founding and christening member of Bangalore Bicycling School.. others, we are struggling to put names to faces ! Thank you all !!

There were some falls and minor injuries which most of these brave souls ignored and carried on. Some were great learners,  some need more time.

Overall...a great day, all considered 

Keep pedalling 
Ali Poonawala

Ali Poonawala

Dec 7, 2021, 11:00:57 AM12/7/21
to Sharath Chandar, GGI-Club (Go Green Initiator's Club)
Hi friends...
I have received a request from Satya Sankaran, Bengaluru bicycling Mayor for volunteers to teach bicycling to group of about 30 ladies for this Sunday 11 am in Peenya. Cycles will be provided. exact location will be informed soon 

This will run parallel and is apart from our Cubbon Park late session with similar group of garment sector workers who will be given bicycles, again Greenpeace initiative. 

There will be further follow up sessions there too, just as in Cubbon.

Please raise hand and mobilise friends if you are nearabouts of Peenya !! 

Let me know If  you want to help these hard working ladies to transform their lives too, just as you did,  for yourself !! 



Warm Regards
Ali Poonawala

Ali Poonawala

Dec 12, 2021, 11:51:49 AM12/12/21
to Sharath Chandar, GGI-Club (Go Green Initiator's Club)
Hi friends !

Very eventful day....!!.

Suryadeva was playing hide and seek with superb random incordination throughout, and has become very habit forming !!

Started at 7.30 AM with the small homage function organised by Brigadier Ravi Muniswamy of Bharat Rakshak Foundation, in front of Vidhan Soudha, to pay tribute to departed souls of First CDS of India General Bipin Rawat and Mrs Rawat and others who lost lives in tragic accident. 

Cubbon Park sesion :

The Porter tempo with  Vijay's ( Social Virus) cycles arrived early at Venkappa Art Gallery so received them with Mr  Shashidhar and other passer bys help to get them to teaching area.

Five cycles, which previously were used for rental, attracted passer bys like moths to the light !! 

"Sorry .... These are for teaching purpose and not for rent, Apologies !"

must have been repeated about twenty time by me , and other volunteers too !

As Shashidhar's son and DIL went for complimentary rides,  Daivik arrived with Mom and Junaid took him over with foldie.

Ujani and Anitha, both friends, arrived and I started with Anitha who was super scared and got into the lesson with wide eyed petrified ease and high decibled screams... Who needs a bell !! 
However, by the end of the session, she had kind of got balance issue under fair control...well done !

Krishna, our seniormost volunteer arrived and I had Daivik for a while to work on, he suddenly tightens up, losing balance. Mom gave charge to Anant, dad to look after his progress, which I am happy with.

Sumathi was entirely in her own doing emergency stops with almost perfect 10 score  ! She need to move to next level of doing circles and hand signals. 

Parag Patankar and Ram his friend from Dallas arrived and chatted before Parag got into action himself. 

Anitha is progressing well too but has fear of falling and keeps jumping off the saddle at slightest inclination, both of bicycle and her mind !! More handling of the bike by regular lessons is the answer for her fear. 
Brief refreshing rides were taken by Sharada our ex senior student.
Brigadier Ravi arrived towards last part and we had Mr. Chandrashekar Mrs shantha Lakshmi and Jasbeer singhji saying hello returning from the walk. 

What an enriching experience, socially... with such distinguished stalwarts, in beautiful Cubbon Park, on a lovely day !

We deposited the cycles to rest at their new home within KSLTA perimeter and again thanked Mr. Appu, the manager KSLTA for helping out.

Shared some laddus and moved on with Brigadier Ravi to Peenya.

 Peenya session :

Took a while on the Foldie to reach the spot and Naga helped to locate the seat of action : an uneven small play ground with stones at places and mud at others, which I found insurmountable challange,  having been spoilt by the Cubbon experience ! 

Shamala came up with brilliant way out, pointing to  adjoining road...which on cursory look looked OK and Brigadier with other volunteers swung into action of shifting cycles above the fence !

Slope was a bit steep and  horizontal trenches for pipe laying made the shift not a complete success but these brave ladies are used to tackle any adversities head on and focus ahead and past such minor nuisances ! 

As the pattern has emerged...some won the balance battle handsomely... some continued to wage determined struggle and Kalpana, had a minor nail injury making her retire.

Chiddu joined little late getting to work straight away, despite finger injury with strapping..great commitment !

The best moments come when least expected... The sari clad lady doing upslope ride with token support made my day !!

 Finally with coconut water to quench thirst and group photos happened, banners and all...! mine were clicked by a little cutie named Advaith !!

Slow trudge home on the not so busy ring road with satisfaction of a well spent sunday morning warming up the little heart... and looking forward to quell the growling and grumbling tummy !!

Keep pedalling 

Warm regards 

Ali Poonawala

Dec 19, 2021, 9:19:24 AM12/19/21
to Sharath Chandar, GGI-Club (Go Green Initiator's Club)
Hi friends !
Super short report !

Winter chill..clear blue skies.
Foldie chain problem..out of action !

Session 1
Students : Newbie:Manasi,Jayashree, Paridhi
Seniors:Bhanupriya, Savitha 
Alumni : Sharada, Param
Ganesh, Krishna, Vivek, Ali
Cycles : 5

Jayashree got a whiff of balancing on first coasting. Great beginning ! Sandal grip issues.
Manasi training was appropriated by Ganesh...he should tell. Paridhi came in late, and is getting used to balancing. 
Bhanupriya and Savitha learnt ' half pedal' concept...let us see how they implement it !

Session 2 (Greenpeace)
Students :13 ladies turned up
Trainers : 
Shamala, Parag, Vivek, Chiddu, Ali, Narender ,Enthu students !!
Cycles:  9 + 5

Notable inspiring presence :
Kittu from CFAM
Sebastian, Riya, Sharath and Esther from Greenpeace and associates !
Mr and Mrs  Chandradhekar, Jasbeer Singh. Wishing good health to all, especially Chandrashekarji awaiting spine surgery. Please pray for him.

And the cherries to top it all..

Lovely little kids ....
huddled on skates, on itsy bitsy cycles or on mom's lap... barely reaching handle bar !!

What more motivation you need.. to keep enjoying Cubbon Park on Sundays in days ahead ?

Keep pedalling !
Ali Poonawala

Ali Poonawala

Jan 4, 2022, 8:32:03 AMJan 4
to Sharath Chandar, GGI-Club (Go Green Initiator's Club)
Hi friends !

Happy new year ! 💐

Chilled but Sunny start of the second day and the first teaching session for the year 2022  !!

Reached on the dot..so did Kadirvel with family ! Ganesh arrived with bunch of duplicate keys and the lock and Junaid was waiting  at KSLTA cycle park area so we exchanged the locks after taking 4 cycles. Daivik was there too by the time we reached back.
Ganesh started with Kadirvel and Junaid carried on with Daivik, who is balancing much better. Mom was happy with his progress too and both left early.
Nihal came in and Junaid magic worked on him and got balancing sorted straight away !
Lata came in and Ashwini too. Lata struggling with balancing. Aswini riding well, needs to work on hand signalling  for road worthiness. 

Today's highlight was clearly the celebration  ( for completing  massive 2021 kms  in year 2021 ) Anindita had graciously announced sweets specially flown from  Kolkata and lovely Chocolate Cake !!

After gobbling up...afterthought prompted the question " what was that we polished off ?" 🤔

Answer :

Ani Quote :

Haha.. they are from this old sweetshop in Kolkata called Ganguram’s. They are one of the few who send sweets this far down south. The sweets are made from nolen gur - winter special date palm jaggery. The large ones are called nolen gurer jolbhora - center-filled sweets and the smaller ones are nolen gurer monohora sandesh. Literal translation “the one that steals hearts”! Winter’s not set in very well this year in Kol, otherwise there would be more jaggery in the center-filling.

 The cake was from Happy Belly Bakes. One of the handful of bakers I trust outside Kol 😜

Ani Unquote 

 Anindita with the party essentials, Krishna with Anusuya, Shamala with sister Gayathri and Pradeep, Parag with friend  and Vivek with Ashwini and Anish completed the bunch who enjoyed the feast and camaraderie... Kadirvel family too joined. 

Kedar and Smita (Anusuya - Krishna's son,  and DIL) with a delightful dog, Cutlet, were final Hello Sayers to close a fun filled and useful morning in Blessed Cubbon Park !!
Remain Healthy and Happy for year 2022 and beyond !

 keep pedalling 

Ali Poonawala
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