Yesterday, I discarded the 2020 calendar. This year is like a bad dream, and like most of you even I want to forget about it. In Maharashtra, we had one more twist with another round of night curfew announced by the Chief Minister. Apparently, this is a preventive measure to regulate unwanted movement of people and gatherings at public places. The night curfew is imposed for 15 days, from 11 pm to 6 am, between 22nd December 2020 to 5th January 2021.

So, practically commercial activities are further reduced and there won’t be any major festive celebrations this year. Fortunately, before the curfew was announced I explored Bandra area in Mumbai to check-out the Christmas lighting. And this time I also made a video of the festive lighting to show you.

While I was filming the Christmas lighting in the by-lanes of Bandra, many spots were still getting decorated. Typically, the residential facades and the narrow streets display an ornamental look during this time of the year. The old colonial style houses and villas look most beautiful and attractive; complimented with a chilly weather that encourages you to take a walk in the upbeat ambiance of the city. Thankfully, the winter season in Mumbai is not as harsh as witnessed in northern states of India and other parts of the world. Therefore, evenings are preferred for outings and people like it to be that way.

Ranwar village, Pali village, St. Andrews road, Mt. Mary road, St. Paul’s road, Mt. Carmel road, St. Sebastian road and Bandra street market are some of the locations that adorn the festive spirit. And I am convinced that there are numerous small and interesting hidden corners most of which are best viewed either when you are walking or on a bicycle.

There are many Churches to visit in Bandra and some of them are more than 200 years old. The services, however are limited due to the ongoing corona virus situation and people can offer their prayers through the online mass.

Usually, the residential areas decorate their houses, balconies and streets. Even shops, cafes and restaurants join the festivities by decorating their premises. Collectively, it adds up to the grandeur of the locality and creates a mesmerizing experience for the onlooker.

The Christmas lighting at the St. Stephen’s Steps and the Church is a visual treat and awe-inspiring. The artistic Christmas Tree installed at the steps unfolds a minimalist design. Curated by Abraham John Architects, this years tree is sharp, classy and edgy …, and impressive enough for a photographer to creatively capture its various moods in the camera.

When I visited the steps, I saw local tourists photographing themselves with the tree and kids playing around it. I am assuming more people will visit the steps and other attractive areas of Bandra to celebrate Christmas and appreciate the decorative lighting. I wish you have a great visit to this part of the Mumbai city, and for others who cannot travel due to restrictions can enjoy the festive video.

This is my last post for this year and I am taking a short break from this blog. From 1st week of January, you can expect posting activity to resume like earlier.


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Author: Vijay Malhotra, Mumbai

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