Bandra Fair: Pork At Fair Prices. But Should You Go There?

If you haven’t already been put off by that terrible pun in the title it means you’re a true believer, and the power of pork compels thee to read on. Now I’ve been strictly instructed to keep the blasphemy to a minimum so I will, begrudgingly. But first a bit about Bandra Fair, which according to Wikipedia, the world’s second biggest source of plagiarism after Anu Malik’s iPod, started around three hundred years ago because someone had a dream of a floating statue of Mother Mary. It’s gone on every year since.

Bandra Fair, just like bringing a guitar to a party, is a ridiculously Catholic thing, but other faiths are welcome to try it. Every year, thousands of people partake in the festivities, though at least half of them are lost Salman Khan fans who’ve wandered into the fair after having completed their weekly pilgrimage to Bandstand. The rest are folks from all walks of life. But there’s one key demographic that doesn’t really show up to Bandra fair; the people of Bandra. Which tells you a little something you ought to have figured out; Bandra fair isn’t as amazing as it used to be.

Bandra Fair is great if you’re a ten year old, a person of faith, a tourist looking to soak up a bit of the local culture or a Ferris wheel enthusiast, but terrible if you’re a Godless, uncultured glutton like I am. It’s crowded, loud, the food is okay but not good enough to justify walking uphill and the rides are awful and outdated. It’s not a popular stance for Bombay based City guides to go against Bandra Fair but I would never advise my readers to visit a place that has, sadly, become an overpriced waste of time masquerading as a cultural event. If you’ve been going there all your life, you’ll be sad to know that gone are the salesmen selling you bubbles and wooden swords along the side of the road. Gone is the 15 rupee candy floss and the blissful glee of your youth. What remains is a steaming, crowded mess of people, all cashing in on Bandra’s culture and persuading you to get your name written on a grain of rice (why), as they sway mindlessly to EDM blasting through Mt. Carmel church’s towers of speakers. They don’t even allow me on the Mickey Mouse bouncy thing anymore.

If you’re a foodie or pork person you’d be way better off getting your yearly dose of Catholic grub elsewhere, or being my friend and coming home for lunch. Please be my friend.

The verdict: Bandra Fair is a bit like the Gateway of India, if you’re a tourist you should absolutely check it out, but if you’re a Mumbikar you should know better.

Dates: September 10th- September 17th

Venue: Mount Mary Church all the way down to Lilavati, Bandra West.



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