Bandra Fair

Some years ago when I was in Mumbai to visit my Mother and sister, the Bandra Fair was on and I thought it would be a good idea to go around and remember old memories. I was so badly disappointed that if I ever go again it would be only to visit Mother Mary on the Mount. However Bandra Fair of old was an event to look forward to. We, especially the boarders looked forward to the week in September.

If we were lucky enough to have saved any pocket money with our Prefect, it would be doled out on that first Sunday. Else I hoped to bump into a relative who would say “here take this pocket money and go enjoy yourself” or I’d drop in at my Aunt’s place where I’d be really fed and end up with a few more Rupees. Dressed up,(read: puffs, high collars, low pants, pointy shoes, rolled sleeves) we went from the back gate, cut across Bazaar road into the gully that led to the fair. Noisy with crowds and kids blowing toy horns, clutching baloons, and elbowing through the mass of people was fun. My first stop was at the eight annas photo stall. Look straight, look left, look right, Ok then go back in an hour for the pictures. Then the prop photo shoots where there was a scenery and a cutout of a nice looking Cadillac behind which you sat to have your picture taken, and presto it looked like you were driving that car. Next stop was the well of death. It always thrilled me. My favorite was Valentine and his wife, Anglo Indians with their bike throttling. Valentine was very tall, very handsome, dressed in a fancy white outfit. His wife was pretty. Then of course there was the guffing anything and everything, and gazing at the various toys for sale. We would walk right up the Mount to look at the variety of votive models in wax and candles of all sizes.

The long line to go into the church made us pay our respects from outside and make our way down.Vendors in stalls, on the path, everywhere that you could fall over them. As time went to the evening we made our way to the Wigwam where whist was played and where you could send out a request to play a song (to some gal of course). We had to be back by curfew time or else. There were the freak shows too which really conned us. Else we would just hang out watching all and sundry. Don’t forget the giant wheel and merry go round if you had cash to spare. Then in the night when all should be in bed, some were not because they bunked by going down the stairs towards the swimming pool and then the dangerous stunt of going over the wall onto Bazaar road. Our school was a favorite for trespassers oing from bazaar road to Hill road or in the other direction. Office goers routinely. But during Bandra Fair there were hoardes of them. Yes Bandra Fair can never be the same anymore. I’ve got some old quickie photos which I’ll post later.

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