Old school romance: Bandstand at Sunset
When I first moved to Mumbai almost two years ago, I shared a 2BHK with 6 other girls by Bandstand. It was up Kane Road, between Mount Mary Church and Shah Rukh Khan’s bungalow. I had come not directly from Canada, but from Varanasi, where women cover their heads when outside and don’t meet men’s eyes in the streets. More than the beauty or breeze of the seaside promenade, I was struck by Bandstand’s freedom.
At Bandstand, women of all ages walk around at all hours in dresses, more carefree than any women in any other part of India could be. In the early evenings, teenage couples express their love and hormones freely, meandering lower onto the rocks if they want more privacy. Chaat and chaiwalas of all sorts parade their goods on the promenade, stray dogs following them hopefully, helplessly.
At 8AM on a weekday morning, students meet and flirt secretly, having left on the guise of going to college early to study. At 5AM on a Saturday morning, when everything else is closed, other partiers can be found revelling the breeze at Bandstand. Friday night hasn’t yet ended for these young dreamers. At that same time, aunties in salwar kameez and Nike trainers are too tired for dreams and staying up late. They’re up early, attacking their Saturday morning with a brisk walk and a gossip session. For some, one day hasn’t yet ended, and for others, the next has already begun. All in the dark before dawn.
Bandstand feels like old Bollywood and is an iconic part of Bandra.