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The serenity of a church is unmistakable and one of the foremost reasons why I'd like to visit a church. Last weekend I was at Mount Mary's at Bandra, one of the few churches I visit regularly, but one of my favourites. I like being in or around Bandra; I've spent two of the most important years of my life here when I did my management as my college was in Bandra (E). Every now and then, we used to hop in a rickshaw, cross the Bandra creek flyover, over to Mehboob studios and then climb the hills of Mount Mary to reach our destination. First the church, then the round circuitous Mother Mary steps on the opposite where you can get a fantastic view of the Arabian sea and Bandra sea face, home of the rich and famous. Afterwards, we used to go to the sea face and sit and have long chats, gossip, bitch and all of that.

And sometimes, on the way up to Mount Mary's, we used to hit the Hearsch Bakery at Bandra (W). I haven't been there in over 10 years now, but when we used to go there so frequently, it used to serve- what I would call it back then- the world's best chicken burger. It was certaintly one of the largest I had ever seen with loads of wafers at an unbeatable price of Rs20 (around the year 1999). I don't know what is its price now, but now that I am reminded of it, I am itching to go back there. For old time's sakes.  :)

But let's stick to churches for now. St. Micheal's Church was the other church I used to go to, again during my Bandra college days. Every Wednesday, it hosts the Novena prayers. You got a wish, you go and attend Novena Prayers for some seven to nine Wednesdays, continuously and your wish gets answered. I used to believe in all this earlier- who doesn't when you are in school or college- but over time I grew out of it, thankfully. But that doesn't mean I am not religious and that I don't believe in the All Mighty. The difference is I no longer bargain, like God I will come to you 10 times and you grant me my wish in return. This is something that- believe it or not- I learnt from a pastor at St. Micheal's Church when one of them was giving sermons on one of the Wednesdays I was there. Wednesdays are very crowded at St.Micheal's; rows and rows of streetside vendors set shop right from Mahim station area, all the way to the Church, selling candles, religious artifacts and all sorts of assortments. A half-hour prayer session led by a priest followed by paying respects to a few other places within and outside the Church area and then I head for the bus-stop for ride back home. I stopped going to the Novena prayers because the journey towards the Church and back home became too much for me as my work pressure went up. Once in a while I go there, though.

My favourite times to be in a church a few days leading up Christmas when Christmas choirs are practicing their carols. The other Church I like visiting is the St. peter's church in Panchgani. It's a magnificent structure from the outside, though it's quite a small church from inside. You can't miss it as you come out of Panchgani town, on your way to Mahableshwar. As you walk past by the Kimmin's school and the Panchgani Club little ahead, the road takes a sharp right and on its left you could see the gates of St. Peter's Church that lead you to the Church up a small hillock. Except for Sundays I think where there are masses, the Church is practically deserted on most of the days.

Picture courtesy: Wikipedia


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