Saturday, 24 December 2011

Christmas at Bandra in Mumbai

Twinkling lights reflect from every windshield of the passing car. Rows and rows of car juggle, swirling between auto rickshaws and the big red buses. I walk on the side of the road, lost in the sea of people around me, all in the festive mood.. The loud sound of traffic distracts me from my reverie.  Going to the other side of the road takes too much time.

The footpath is occupied by hawkers on either side of the road by hawkers who are happy of the booming sale; even a loose, crumbled garment fetches a price. A sign displays the message as ‘No Hawking Zone’ but hawkers don’t seem to care. They scream to catch the attention of the passing crowd. The signal turns red and I am happy to cross over to other side of the road.

A street urchin crosses my path and offers me some trinkets for the Christmas tree; I refuse and pause to see the woman dressed in red sari behind him. She dons red hair band that have long spikes resembling the horn of a reindeer. In their hands are bunch of red caps with white furry borders. A group of young girls surround her, snatching the caps from her hand and trying on their head. One girl pays for three caps and walks away contented with her purchase.

Its Christmas time in Mumbai and Hill road in Bandra is full of shoppers. People shop for Christmas decoration and sweets. The road is lighted up and a perfect place to go for shopping and feel the Christmas mood.

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The name "Bombay" was derived from 'Bom Bahia' (The Good Bay),

.... a name given by Portuguese sailor Francis Almeida, in 1508 ....“Bounce back Mumbai” it is called by the locals, it is a city that has been through a lot in the recent past – floods, bomb blasts, riots – and come out stronger each time.

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