hat Mumbai’s Parsi community has a connection to the Bandra fair is a fact known to few. Fr Francis Correa, a local historian, tell of how one of the most famous Parsis of the city Sir Jamshedji Jejeebhoy played an important role in making the journey to Mount Mary’s shrine safer by building the causeway linking Mahim and Bandra.
Quoting from Parsi community sources, Correa said crossing the creek was dangerous during the monsoon and the pilgrims were at risk. Jamshedji’s wife, Lady Avabai, had several sons but none of her daughters survived. The daughter of Sir Rogerio Faria, a Mumbai businessman, told her to write her wish on a piece of paper and deposit it at the feet of the statue of the Virgin Mary at the shrine. A girl was born to Lady Avabai in and was called Piroja. When the child turned eight, there was a storm and 20 boats capsized while crossing the Mahim creek to Bandra. Lady Avabai decided that the family would fund a causeway, keeping the vow she had made to the Virgin at the shrine Three years later, the Jejeebhoy family funded half the cost of the steps leading to the shrine.