Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Bandra of Yore: Where Have All the Pigs and Cottages Gone?

“If you tossed a stone up in the air, it would fall down upon either a pig or a Pereira” was an old Bandra saying. In places like Chuim or Chimbai, the prevalent version ended with “a pig or a Fernandes.” Apparently, since there are hardly any pigs left in Bandra, the  Pereiras and Fernandes have eaten them all up. But there has been a steady decline in the number of Pereiras and Fernandes in this area as well, due to  such factors as migration, the high cost of real estate and the pressure tactics employed by unscrupulous builders. No longer do we see those beautiful cottages with their breath-taking gardens. Bandra has indeed changed a lot and mostly for the worse. 


We now live in a concrete jungle filled with malls, shopping centres, eateries and mobile stores. This concrete jungle bustles with humans but is devoid of humanity. It is a “might is right” world where kinfolk slap court cases on each other. This is a far cry from   the  Bandra  of  yore. It  is  as  if  when the old wells of Bandra were blocked, the old Bandra died and a new one, much adored by our modern teenagers and shopaholics, came into being. And  even   now   the   process   of   change  continues  as  talented  musicians  compete   with recorded music, top notch athletes  turn  into online gamers and face-to-face conversations are substituted with impersonal greetings on Facebook.


“Waterfield Road got its name from the water that collected on the paddy fields when we were school kids,” said Uncle Neville, who then provided me with a nostalgic image of the Bandra of yore. Yes, we need to lament the change that has happened to this queen of suburbs; but we also need to keep an eye on the future and somehow endeavour to cope with this change.


Vivek Pereira said...

This article had appeared in the Bandra Buzz a couple of years ago.

Anonymous said...

I remember it. I read it in the Bandra Buzz itself - Edgar.