Bandra's spirit captured in cakes, tattoos
By: Shikha Shah
Tribal tattoo artists
A row of tribal men and women sitting along the street, are in fact tattoo artists armed with an array of tribal designs and symbols belonging to various tribes and communities. The designs are engraved in green, black, and red ink. Those who desire to get themselves inked should know that the archaic tools used,
might not be all that safe.
Rs 5 to Rs 400
The usual coconut-based Goan sweets (Black Dodol, Roasted Gram, and Kerala Halwa available in pineapple, mango and almond flavours) aside, the Bandra Fair has a stall that sells melt-in-the-mouth, home-made cup cakes and pies. They are available in plum, date and walnut, wine, mixed fruit, and chocolate mawa flavours.
Slice cakes: Rs 40 per packet
Cup cakes and pies: Rs 6 each
The Bandra Fair is abuzz with mini bazaars. Look out for hawkers selling artificial plants. These are dull, light-brownish in colour when dry, but once you dip them in water, they turn a lush green. They are self sufficient, and don't require daily watering. If you want to add some green to your home or workstation, but hesitate with the thought of taking care of them, go buy a Sanjivani plant.
Cost: Rs 10 each
Buy fashion from Colaba at Bandra
Among a bustling mix of street stalls selling cheap
earrings, necklaces and export-surplus garments, the wares of a hawker who had come all the way from Colaba Causeway, caught our eye. He stocks a trendy range of wooden bangles, trinkets and fashion accessories at reasonable prices. Accessories made from semi-precious stones, wood and brass specially ordered from Jaipur and Delhi for the Bandra Fair, are also on display here.
Bangles and trinkets: Rs 10 to Rs 20 each
Neck pieces: Rs 50 to Rs 75 each
Bamboo and solar-wood flower
This stall of Bamboo and Solar-wood flowers is set up by a local. The soothing white and ivory coloured flowers are delicate, and make for an elegant gift.
Bamboo flowers: Rs 5 each
Solar-wood flowers: Rs 10 each
Historical trivia about the Fair
In the month of September, the festival of the Virgin Mother culminates in the week-long Bandra Fair that starts on Mother Mary's birthday. The Bandra Fair is a 300 year-old event, and attracts 10 lakh visitors every year.
The history behind the current statue of Our Lady dates back to the 16th century when Jesuit priests from Portugal brought it to Bandra and constructed a chapel. In 1700, Arab pirates interested in the gilt-lined object held in its hand, disfigured the statue by cutting off the right hand. In 1760, the church was rebuilt and the statue was substituted with a statue of Our Lady of Navigators in St. Andrew's church nearby. Legend has it that a Koli fisherman dreamt that he would find a statue in the sea. The statue was found floating in the sea between 1700 and 1760. A Jesuit Annual Letter dating to 1669 and published in the book St. Andrew's Church, Bandra, supports this claim.
The Bandra Fair will continue till September 21