Residents around Mount Mary Road are not a happy lot. At least during the Bandra Fair. For, the 10-day din that they have to bear leaves them with only one option: Move out for a vacation.
Senior citizen Sybil Sequeira from Dr Peter Dias Road has moved to her flat in Nashik. “I’ll come back on Monday. The primary reason for this is that there’s public transport for pilgrims, but not for the nearby residents. The sounds of balloons blowing and the chaos goes on till the early hours,” she said. Several residents from Nirmala Co-operative Housing Society who share a compound wall with Mount Mary Bascilica and Ashiana on Mount Carmel Road have also opted for a week-long vacation.
“My neighbour from my society has gone to Delhi as her asthma aggravates due to the large-scale cooking on roads. The sellers and buyers haggling over prices also adds to the bedlam. Only senior citizens prefer to leave town during this time as children have school to attend,” said Lilian Paes, a resident from Mount Carmel Road.
Another resident from the area, Fonseca N, agreed, “The vacation is mainly for senior citizens who prefer peace and quiet. Mosquitoes also increase in number during the fair. There is no easy access to public transport for the residents.”
Paes also said that the nearby dental clinics and dispensaries on Mount Carmel Road prefer to remain closed during the fair.
When asked if they lost out on Bandra Fair, Sequeira said, “We have already paid homage to our Lady on September 8. We know this is unavoidable, and the crowds only get bigger every year.”
But not all are complaining. While the actual feast for Catholics got over on September 8, the feast for BMC’s H(west) ward and vendors who rake in the moolah will continue till September 22.
Meanwhile, devotees from different faiths thronged the Mount Mary Bascilica in the rains to get a glimpse of their loving ‘Mai’ on Tuesday. “I have come here from Pune with my family for the first time to seek Mother Mary’s blessings,” said Ranjit Pardesi, a devotee.