George Fernandes (84) briskly walked down the Bandstand promenade during the peace march on Thursday, his pace belying his age. “I wanted to come out to show my solidarity and sympathy for victims of the terror,” said the Bandra resident.
The two-km route that began at Taj Land’s End and culminated at Carter Road Amphitheatre saw hundreds of people show up. Held as part of the Celebrate Bandra Festival, in partnership with the Hindustan Times, the march was anchored by the group Force 24/7. Formed in December last year, the group performed self-defence demos to alert citizens to the need to protect themselves.
“We believe it’s great to move on, but each time we wait for someone else to protect us. We need to be prepared ourselves, as citizens,” said the group’s convener and peace march organiser Naresh Karmalker.
Banners and posters bobbed up and down, candles were lit and along the route people joined in. “What happened last year could have happened to anyone. We came here to show our support,” said collegian Janhavi Sadekar.
Later in the evening, the suburb that proved it had a sturdy pair of legs proved it had a heart and voice as well. The ‘Moods of Harmony’ concert at Bandra Fort Amphitheatre brought together amateurs and professionals alike for a musical tribute to the victims. “The concert showcases harmony of different kinds, not just musical harmony,” said Dominique Cerejo before the show. “The music is the vehicle for the message.” As her voice soared to the notes of I Dreamed A Dream from Les Miserables, the audience listened in hushed silence. A string quartet opened the evening with a Handel piece. As the audience members lit candles that dropped waxen tears, the violins gently wept on stage. Punctuating the evening with respectful silences, the mood was largely sombre.
Edward Mendes’ rich tenor evoked the pathos of the occasion as he sang Bring Him Home, also from Les Miserables.
Kim Cardoz got into the act with You’ve Got a Friend while special mention should be made of group that performed an a capella version of Heal the World.
Each of the 16 acts was conceptualised by organiser Dawn Cordo as part of an “evening of harmony and opera”. Explaining the partiality towards Les Miserables numbers, she said: “It talks about people’s struggles. It reflects on our theme of paying a tribute to the people died fighting terror.”