Many faces of devotion

Many faces of devotion

Come September each year, the area around Shivajinagar becomes a wave of devout pilgrims, many of them clothed in shades of orange.

They throng the narrow bylanes and fill the grounds in and around St Mary’s
Basilica in a show of devotion that is both colourful and fascinating.

 Families making their precarious way into the church, children clad in their festive best offering floral tributes, vendors hawking their wares to the hungry and thirsty
pilgrims and blank faced security personnel all melt together in a sea of humanity which ebbs and flows for nine days.

Lighted candles cast a glow on earnest faces praying to the flower bedecked statue of the Virgin Mary.

The church itself stands calmly silhouetted against the cloudy monsoon sky while the frenzied activity below carries on regardless.

A mix of commerce and devotion — so typical of Indian festivals everywhere.