So I am back with my second story on my city, Mumbai. I am sure most of us who live in Mumbai or outside, knows about the famous Mount Mary Church. It is located in Bandra West and sees millions of devotees coming in every year to receive graces from the Lady of the Mount.
When I had moved to Mumbai with a job, I was staying with my best friend who is very spiritual. She had mentioned about Mount Mary Church to me and had asked me to visit it. However, buried under urban life pressure I couldn’t make time in the first two months. However, I did go and visit it with her, sooner than I had expected to. It was my third month in the city.
This time when I visited Mount Mary, I met Richard. Richard sits at one of the shops outside the Church and sells candles, magnets, idols of Lady of the Mount and so on. It his friend’s shop whose wife died of blood cancer. Richard chose to come over and stay with him so that his friend doesn’t feel lonely. His own family stays in Pune and he visits them often. Richard is in his 60’s and shakes a little while talking. I went up to him and asked him a little about the history of the place. His belief is what today’s post is about.
Richard has done a lot of social work and charity when he was younger and could afford to do so. A couple of years back, due to high cholesterol, he found out that he had blocks in his chest and had to undergo treatment, else his chances of survival was nil. Since the cost of treatment was more than he could afford, he asked his family (wife and son) to be mentally strong since he wouldn’t live long. One day before his tests, he visited Mount Mary Church and spoke to his “Mumma Mary” (that’s what he calls the Lady of the Mount). He told her, his responsibilities are a lot and if he goes away soon, his family will be suffering. He prayed with a clean heart. A couple of days later, he had a sponsor for his treatment. Richard who was going to die soon, is still living a healthy life. And this, as per him is because of his Mumma Mary. In his words, “in other places, they say, der hai lekin andher nahin (it will take time but your prayers will be answered); but here, if you pray with a clean heart you will get instant results.”
It was so beautiful visiting The Lady of the Mount again and meeting someone so positive like Richard. It is people like Richard who keeps the faith alive. Remember, I mentioned I visited the Church when it was my third month in the city? It was because I was going through an awful time at work which would make me cry day and night. I had to quit, else I would have run away from the city. But I managed to get another job before I could quit. This was the phase when I had visited the Church. After speaking to Richard, I feel, maybe at that time my prayers were from a very clean heart and I needed someone to show me the way. Now I want to believe, that it could have been Mumma Mary who answered my prayers and took me out of that awful job.
If you are in Mumbai or plan to visit Mumbai, you can include Mount Mary Church in your itinerary. Trust me, you will not be disappointed. Don’t forget to pick up a souvenir. They have some really beautiful candles which is a must buy.
About the outfit: This beautiful outfit is by PadamKripa. Abhilasha started her journey of creating beautiful and contemporary Indian wear a couple of years back. The above set is a pair of dhoti pants with a peplum style kurti.
Photographs by: Sougata Datta