Summering in Bandra

Updated: May 31, 2019, 07:36 IST | Suman Mahfuz Quazi

A flea market in the suburb comes with the promise of a good time, but also aims to give back to society

Summering in Bandra
Visitors check out the stalls at the festival

What do you call people from Bandra? "Pretentious," our colleague in the newspaper quips. And even though the correct answer is Bandraites, this joke is not a new one. It's common for Mumbaikars to jest about people from the swish suburb, and sometimes, we're part of the bandwagon, too. At other times, we are that starry-eyed migrant who is amazed by its eclectic ethos.

It's a community in its own right — if Tiger Shroff and Ananya Panday frequent a diner each Sunday afternoon, then there's also a group of women from different backgrounds coming together for Buddhist prayer meetings around the same time each week. Poetry readings, picnics, gym buddies having organic coffee at a new cafe, best friends shopping — there's truly something for everyone. If a festival would at all draw people out of their homes in this scorching heat, it would have to be in Bandra.

Chicken berry pulao
Chicken berry pulao

Founder of The Bhukkad Flea, Niraj Agarwal is aware of this, and so it follows that he's now getting ready to kick off the Bandra Summer Festival this weekend. "I have always tried to promote indie businesses and women entrepreneurs. I was keen on doing something in the summers, but was sceptical if people will be interested, considering it's so hot," he tells us. Organising food and cultural festivals is something Agarwal does regularly. For this one, he started laying the brick a month and a half ago. "I spoke to all the flea vendors I have worked with to understand the logistics. For example, most of them suggested that the event should start in the evening," he explains, adding that the USP of this festival is that all stalls will have monopoly. "We have only one stall for each vertical like food, dessert, clothes, jewellery and so on," he says.

So, the festival will feature a range of things from Irani food by Scherazade to colourful juttis, live music, drinks as well as artist Tarun Durga's works which will be on display and sale for the first time. But the heartening bit about this festival is that it's fun with responsibility. "Every stall owner will be donating some food. Plus, we will be raising funds from the stall sales to buy meals, all of which will be donated to Robinhood Army, which is a pan-India NGO that's working towards eradicating hunger," Agarwal shares.

At: Corona Garden, 11, St John Baptist Road, Bandra West.
ON: June 1 and 2, 4 pm to 11 pm
ENTRY: Rs 50

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