Come December and Bandra comes alive with the spirit of Christmas. The first signs of Christmas are seen at Damian furnishings near Mehboob studio with striking Christmas window displays of the Nativity scene, and creations from children story books – Jack and the Bean stock, Snow white and the rest of fairy world. The Church starts with its preparation 4 weeks in advance with Advent, a new candle being lit on the Christmas wreath each Sunday. Hill Road takes on a life of its own, with shops springing up all along the road selling decorations, stars, trees, lights, santa hats, cakes and sweets. Shoppers from all over find their way to Bandra, to purchase their Christmas outfits.
By 2nd week of December, The Bandra Gymkhana hosts its annual Christmas Market, (our version of the European Christmas markets). Its festive atmosphere, music and cheer is bound to get you in the spirit of the season. The tennis courts are packed with stall owner, selling a range of items from Christmas décor and sweets, cards and cakes, pork suckling and sausage rolls, pots and plants, the list is endless.
By 3rd week December, houses all across our quaint neighbourhood of Bandra get their annual up haul. Husbands carrying bags of old newspapers and bottles to the raddi wala, wives dusting the house and hanging up new curtains, children putting up the star, decorating the tree and gathering hay to make the crib. Women make their annual trip to Crawford market to pick up ingredients for the rum cake, marzipan, and milkcream as youth go carol singing across the neighbourhood strumming the guitar to drummer boy. From every window and lane across Bandra, you will hear the gentle strains of Silent Night and Last Christmas drifting through the air, as the smell of baked cake and roast turkey wafts through the air.
Christmas eve passes like a breeze, soon its 24th night and everyone starts dressing up in their silks and suits, micro-minis and stockings and gather to attend the Celebration of the mid-night Mass bringing in the birth of Jesus.
Post mass the party begins, wishing each other Merry Christmas and gathering together with friends and family for cake and wine, while kids rush home to see if Santa has left them gifts under the tree. Christmas day passes with greetings and gifts exchanged and families feasting over turkey and pudding. By evening the trees are lit and Bandra looks like fairyland. Couples start dressing up in their finest clothes and head to the Bandra gymkhana for the Christmas dance, while friends gather on the terrace for a barbeque party. As the night draws to an end and Boxing Day begins, people start to once more get ready for the New year bash! Oh how I love December, my favourite time of the year.
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