The city never sleeps and is always up to something new. And any guesses what’s happening in Mumbai now? Well, this time its Mumbai’s church sign boards that are in the limelight. Contrary to the mundane bulletin boards, Mumbai’s church boards are going all pun-laden while handing out folky wisdom to passersby.
It all started with the message popping up outside St. Andrew’s Church on Mumbai’s Hill Road. ‘Invest in God….Our baking has failed’ read the board when the Nirav Modi scam unfolded. And the same church aimed at safe driving and showed us one of the best brews of satire and humour as their billboard read, ‘Honk if you love Jesus, text while driving if you want to meet him’.
Further when the rains lashed the city in June last year, the wisdom board outside Mount Carmel Church in Bandra read ‘Never ask for lighter rain, just pray for a better umbrella’. Well, this wisdom is quite relevant, even more if you’re in the Maximum City. It’s not just corrupt politicians or current news or weather that these bill boards call out to. These tongue-in-cheek church boards also bring in pop culture, social trends and major events, as they fashion joke by using a double entendre. St. Michael’s Church in Mahim caught the football fever as they put a picture of the holy chalice captioned ‘The Original World Cup’.
Informal, edgy and of course hilarious, these billboards are in a bid to lure younger faithful into the pews or simply put a smile on people’s faces. St. Teresa’s Church in Girgaon challenged Twitter as its bill board read ‘When I say follow me, I did not mean on Twitter’. The more trendy and wise crack this quotes race gets, the more likely they are to spiral into social media fame.
The advent of all these punnery black boards’ also known as wayside pulpits can be traced back to the 70’s, a trend that the churches in the US started to invite a staggering assembly. Indeed the place where you least expect to find humour gives us the best laughs.