As most would know, Bombay was originally seven islands originally lived on by the Kohlis, it was then initiated by the Portuguese, till it was briefly held by the Marathas before the British took her over till independence. Proof of this brief Iberian tryst is quiet simple to explain, most people in India call the potato - aloo, but in Bombay it is called batata with is incidentally the Portuguese word.
I live in Bandra and drawn by the tales of home made Goan specialities Vindaloo, Xacuto and Sorpotel and not to mention Bibinca, decided to pay the fair a visit. I started at the base of the hill, at Bandra reclamation where the small entwining streets of Bandra Village end. The streets were lined with shops selling everything from strangely shaped candles to clothes to shinny new toys to candy floss and sweets to snacks and food. Hordes of people made their way slowly, in a festive spirit to the top. Kids tagged their parents hands pointing up to the Ferris-wheel and making the appropriately cute gesture, coaxing them into coughing up the money needed for some delirious fun. These are the scenes that make me as trigger happy [with the camera] as a Japanese tourist with a 2 gb flash card.
I was taking picture of the Ferris wheel when a man tapped me on my back and told me, “Bhaiya sambhalke, koi admi ulti kar lega toh ?” [Be careful , what will you do if somebody vomits] I smiled and moved out of the way taking his advice seriously.
I walked on, I was convinced by this very convincing salewomen of a girl that I needed a candle and some flowers as offering. I melted before her smile ofcourse and obliged.
[A lady pays her respect to the cross. In the backround you can see the rosary]
The central attraction of the 101 year old Bascillaca is the legendary statue of Madonna and baby Christ. Here it the legend
Although the current church edifice is just 100 years old, the history behind the current statue of Our Lady goes back to the 16th century when Jesuit priests from Portugal brought the statue to the current location and constructed a chapel. In 1700 Arab pirates interested in the gilt-lined object held in the 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. This statue has an interesting legend. It goes that a Koli fisherman dreamt that he would find a statue in the sea. The statue was found floating in the sea somewhere between 1700—1760. A Jesuit Annual Letter dated to 1669 and published in the book St. Andrew's Church, Bandra (1616-1966) supports this claim.
In 1761 the original statue was re-adorned with a child in her arms and has been in use ever since. [WIKIPEDIA]
Hope you enjoyed this post, I really enjoyed bringing it to you. May be tomorrow I can catch visarjan