A Reminiscent Tour of Mapusa Town in the 1950's - Part II

A little further from Cafe C. D'Souza, on the same side, there was 
the "Registo Civil" (Civil Registrar's office) - colloquially, it was known 
as 'Reicil'. People from all over Bardez came here to register their marriages 
and to obtain birth, death and marriage certificates. Land registration was 
also done at this office. A steep staircase led to the office upstairs. A huge 
wooden counter in the entrance separated the main office from the public. The 
Registrar's cabin was on the right side; it had a saloon door with beautiful 
engraved design on the glass and with the following writing: "Cabinete do 
Registrar" (Registrar's cabinet). The saloon door swung either way every time 
people walked in and out of the office. On the extreme right of the entrance 
there was a balcony where people gathered and waited for their turn. The 
balcony was a good waiting place because one could breathe fresh air here, 
especially during the summer when the atmosphere inside became unbearable due 
to heavy crowd. As soon as registration of a couple was over, one of the 
clerks called out the names of the next couple to be registered.

Goa is a unique case as far as personal laws are concerned. The Uniform Civil 
Code in force in Goa today is the same as it was during the Portuguese regime. 
It is in fact the envy of the rest of India since it is an extremely advanced 
and liberal piece of legislation exclusively applicable to Goa. In Goa, 
Christians have a civil marriage first and Church marriage afterwards; 
elsewhere Christians have only a church marriage which is recognized as a 
civil marriage. Church authorities in Goa do not perform nuptials unless a 
civil marriage certificate is produced. This is exactly why the Indian 
government decided to give Goans the benefit of a status-quo in respect of 
civil law even after Goa's liberation in 1961.

As soon as a civil marriage was registered, both families would celebrate the 
occasion at Cafe C. D'Souza, and the trend continues to date in Cafes/Hotels 
in Mapusa. How does one know that a particular group of people are celebrating 
their civil marriage in a Cafe? Obviously, through their talk but more 
particularly because the bride would be wearing "konvchechea kanknnancho 
chuddo" (a set of checkered glass bangles) stacked round both her wrists! 
Usually, poili chitt igorjent vachlea uprant vokol mamagher voita (the bride 
goes to maternal brother's house as soon as the first marriage ban-letter is 
announced in the church). Curious elderly women (EW) present in the Cafe would 
look at the bride and say:

EW: "Reicil zalem gho bai?" (Has the civil marriage been registered?)
Bride: "Hoi ghe mavxe." (Yes aunty.)
EW: Kazar kednam tor? (When is the wedding?)
Bride: Fuddlea Aitaradis ghe mavxe; kazarak ieo ham! (Next Sunday aunty; you 
are invited for the wedding).
EW: Zanv, Devachem bessanv tumcher poddovm; tum ganvan khuimchem bai?
(Good, may God bless you; where are you from?)
Bride: Sangoddechim ghe (I am from Sangolda).
EW: Looks at the groom and asks him: Ani tum khuimcho re baba? (And, where are 
you from?)
Groom: Hanv Siolecho ghe mavxe. (I am from Siolim).
EW: Borem assam; dogaimche ganv 's' akxeran suru zatat. Tumi sodankal suki ani 
bore saudin asonk hem mojem kirkoll magnnem! (Good; the names of both the 
villages begin with an 's'. May you always be happy and enjoy good health; 
this is my humble prayer.)

After one crossed the little lane next to Civil Registrar's Office which leads 
to the interior of the town, he came across the beautiful house of Advogado 
Pinto de Menezes. Two children from this house were my mates at the Escola 
Tecnica in Mapusa. While Terezinha was my classmate in the Primeiro Ano, her 
brother, Jose Bruno Rohin Pinto de Menezes, studied in the Segundo Ano. In the 
1980's, I met Rohin in the Health Center of my Company, ARAMCO, Dhahran, Saudi 
Arabia, where he was employed as an Internist Specialist. He migrated to 
Australia in 1990.

Walking up a little further, there was the late Diogo D'Souza's (Cafe Xavier 
proprietor) mavoddo (in-law's house) where Diogo's son, Diogo Jr. (Babush), 
grew up in the company of his maternal grandparents, aunts Elsa and Annie (I 
think she is in Australia) and uncles, Stanley and Joe known to all as 'Toto' –
 both passed away at a young age – Stanley died of a heart attack; he visited 
Anjuna on the previous day of his death on a hired motorcycle, and Toto died 
as a result of an accident. May their souls rest in peace! The road next to 
their house led to the then "Victoria Talkies".

A little further, one came across the Communidade Building which dealt with 
Communidade affairs. The Code of Communidade was revised in 1933 and special 
Administrators were appointed for the Communidades of Bardez, Ilhas and 
Salcette. Since agriculture was the main occupation at that time, an 
institution controlling the agricultural activities of not only Mapusa but the 
surrounding villages as well, was considered a symbol of power.

After the building, one reached the peak and came across a 4-road junction. 
The road on the left lead to Altinho residential area, the one on the right 
lead to Feira Alta and Peddem, and the main street lead to Duler.

At the peak of both the slopes, on the left, one came across the Lyceum 
Building which was built in 1933 and functioned as one of the two Lyceums in 
Goa. Earlier, this building was an important military center in North Goa 
which is why even after the liberation, "navieo ani gulle" (cannons and cannon 
balls) were seen positioned in front of the building. The Lyceum gradually 
became quarters. At present, St. Mary's Convent High School, established in 
1948, is housed here; it's run by the Carmelite nuns.

The main road continued down the slope into Duler with nothing much worth 
mentioning except for a few houses and a garage on the left side at the end of 
the slope where carreiras and other vehicles were repaired. If you continued 
to walk the main street, it brought you to a 3-road junction - the road on the 
left leads to Siolim through which you can reach Pernem and the straight road 
takes you to Tivim, Asnora and Dodda Marg – the border between Goa and 
Maharashtra. If one stands at the bifurcation of the three roads at Duler and 
looks up towards Tivim, he can see beautiful St. Anthony's chapel on a hillock.

>From this point, I shall return to Mapusa. On way back to Mapusa, about 300 
meters from the above-mentioned road bifurcation, one came across the Duler 
football ground which then was considered as a standard ground in the whole of 
Goa. It was one of the most active and famous grounds for sports activities, 
including football tournaments. Escola Tecnica held its annual sports at this 
ground. Adjoining the ground, with a gutter in between, there was and still 
there is "O Fomento" (Plant Nursery).

As one climbed up the Duler slope, there was nothing much worth mentioning 
until one reached the peak of both the slopes except for a few houses 
beginning with Professor Jose Minguel Braganza's; one always saw two cars – a 
Ford and a Peugeot 203 parked outside the house. Professor Braganza (Miguel 
Braganza's father) was the Principal of the Escola Tecnica; he also taught 
English. He was a wonderful person and I think he was a very good English 
teacher – I say 'I think' because I did not take an interest in English; I 
hated the subject so much that I preferred to taka a ZERO! Professor Braganza 
tried his best to change my mindset but he didn't succeed. However, with the 
ousting of the Portuguese on December 19, 1961, I was left with only two 
choices – to continue to study Portuguese and migrate to Portugal (everyone 
was given a chance; many left for Portugal but once there most crossed into 
neighboring countries – Germany, France, Netherlands, etc.), or switch over to 
English education and continue to live where I was born; I chose the latter 
and I surely do not regret.

Back at the peak of the two slopes, if one turned to the left, he could see 
the majestic Tribunal building which housed the Court of the District Judge, 
which exists and functions to date. Besides the High Court, there were three 
courts in Goa of the Juiz de Direito, established during 1937 in the three 
Comarcas of Ilhas, Salcete and Bardez. Hence, Mapusa as a chief town of the 
Comarca of Bardez gained in stature.

Shackled prisoners from the quartela were brought to the court on foot under 
armed guards. The police could easily transport them to the Tribunal in a jeep 
but they were purposely made to walk the distance so that they were exposed to 
the public and put to shame. The public exposure, especially on a Friday, was 
the worst punishment prisoners on trial received besides severe corporal 
punishment which they received as a daily dose during their imprisonment.

Behind the Tribunal building, there were prefabricated houses/dormitories 
which were occupied by Portuguese families. One of my Escola Tecnica 
classmates, Miss Bunona, lived in one of those houses. If one kept on walking 
further, he would come across Portuguese military mess where "soldados" 
(soldiers) lived. Opposite the mess, around the corner, there was a 
small 'Feira Alta' garden beside which there was a "nonurkechem zhadd" which 
provided shade to those wanting to rest for a while. Opposite the tree, my 
Escola Tecnica classmates, Elidio and Berryl (proprietor of 'Bertsy') 
Figueredo's house was located. Their parents hailed from Moira; they were 
bhattkars. In the summer of 1959, I spent a week at their house in Moira and 
had a great time there; every day I ate different fruits from their compound – 
guavas, chickoos, papayas, custard apple, mangoes, jackfruits, etc.

The road ahead of the military mess led to Peddem. So, I will take a turn here.

As one walked down the little slope to get on the main street, adjacent to the 
Tribunal, there was a small lane which lead to the then slaughter house which 
was located on a rocky place. People bought their beef requirement from this 
place. A little further on the right side of the slope, the office 
of "Delegade Saude" (Health Services) was located. All types of vaccinations 
were administered at this Center. My 4-year old brother was saved from almost 
the last stage of Diphtheria in 1959 because we were able to get to the Center 
in time and administer the required dose (they had only half a dose) until we 
could take him to Goa Medical College in Panjim. In those days, no animal 
could be slaughtered unless it was passed by the Delegade Saude. Even a "gai-
maro/maskar" (a person who slaughtered cows/oxen and sold their meat) in a 
village had to have the animal(s) passed for slaughter by the office. The end 
of the lane blended into the main street.

Returning to the Feira Alta road, as one proceeded to walk down the slope of 
the main street to attend the Friday market, one came across a few shops, 
after which a steep road from the left led to the then famous "Mesquita 
Hotel". People arriving to market from Cunchelim, Siolim, Pernem, Bicholim, 
Tivim, Asnora, Revora, etc. used the road as a short cut to get into the 
market. The hotel served tasty dishes like Caldo Verde (Green or Spinach 
soup), Sopa de Camarao (Prawn Soup), Sopa Grossa (Broth), Peixe Cozido com 
Molho Branco (Boiled fish with white sauce), Caldeirada (Fish cooked in layers 
of vegetables), Fofos (Fish rolls), Rissois de Camarao (Prawn puffs), 
Balchao/Balchao de Peixe (Prawn Preserve/Fish Balchao), Mol de Peixe (Fresh 
fish pickle), Sardinha à Portuguesa (Portuguese sardines – my favorites), 
Galinha Cafrael (Chicken cafreal), Balchao do Porco (Pork balchao), Sarapatel, 
Cabidela, Dobrada (Tripe), Assado de Leitoa (Roast piggling), Espetada (Pork 
roasted over coals), Chouriço em vinho (sausages cooked in wine), Feijoada 
(Sausage and dried beans) Beef assado (Roast beef), Arroz Refogado (Pulao), 
Manguinhas Salgadas (Chepnnenchim Toram – mangoes in salt water), fish-curry-
rice, etc.

The hotel was frequented by families, working class people, and, of course, 
by 'soldados' who always drank one bottle of 'Tinto' after their meals! I 
often visited the hotel for lunch while I was a student at the Escola Tecnica. 
At home, I ate food with my hands but at Mesquita's I ate it with kantto, 
kuler ani suri (fork, spoon and knife – [fs&k]); I was at ease with both, but 
once I got used to eating with fs&k, I continued the new way of eating at 
home; cutlery was no problem; we had plenty of it. My mother noticed the 
change in me but didn't say a word; obviously, she was happy about it. But the 
change lasted only for about two years after which I was back to eating food 
with my hand – two-in-one natural fork and spoon! Mesquita made excellent 
prawn curry with "bimblim" and the taste never varied. There was another small 
hotel in its neighborhood, owned by a woman from Morjim; hence, it was known 
as "Morjekarninchem Hotel". She too served a variety of dishes and excellent 
prawn curry with bimblim; her food was very close to home food.

Climbing up from the Mesquita Hotel via the steep road, if one turned to the 
left to follow the main street, one came across a watch repair shop in the 
corner which was also known as "Dixttikarager" because the proprietor, 
Norberto Sequeira, besides repairing watches, also took the "dixtt" (evil eye) 
away from a person by passing his hand from head to feet on either side of 
his/her body. If children did not sleep properly at night, or if they talked 
loudly in their sleep, or "ang kaddlear" (shrieked their bodies in sleep), 
parents believed they were affected by an evil eye. In villages, parents took 
their children to a local "dixttikarn" (a female who takes away an evil eye) 
or to a "voizinn" (mid-wife) who was also well-versed in the field. 
These "dixttikarni" made use of "motteo sukeo mirsango" (large dried 
chilies), "mitt" (salt), and "khoddi sakor" (crystal-shaped pieces of sugar). 
Holding these three items in hand, they would pass their hand all over an 
affected person's body after which an "unvalli" (circles made around the head 
with the three items held in hand) would be performed and lastly the left hand 
with contents would be exited from the left leg. Finally, the three items 
would be thrown in the fire in a "chul" where "khoddi sakor" would burst 
making "tto-tto-tto-tto" sound and turn into different shapes. If the shape 
looked like an eye, the dixttikar/dixttikarn would say "Poilaim mungo bhai 
Mercian, khodde sakricho sarko dollo zala; cheddeak/cheddvak konnancho tori 
dollo laglolo. Atam bhirant nam; to ulpon kobar zalo." (Did you see Mercian, 
the crystal piece of sugar turned exactly into an eye; the boy/girl was 
affected with someone's evil eye. You need not worry now; it got burnt and 

As far as Norberto was concerned, he did not use the above-mentioned three 
things to drive away an "evil eye" nor did he keep a burning fire in his shop; 
he was gifted with the power; so, he simply passed his hand on the body of an 
affected person and relieved him/her of his/her problem. No wonder people from 
all over Bardez flocked to his shop, especially on Fridays, to have 
the "dixtt" driven away by him!

Next to Dixttikar's shop, there was 'Farmacia Esperanca' after which there was 
a barren land for about 20 meters. During the monsoon season, this stretch of 
land was fully covered with tall "tavkullo" (herb-mercury). The green patch 
added beauty to the road. The next building was known as the Fazenda building -
 one of the most prestigious administrative centers in town at that time. The 
Fazenda offices were located upstairs on a wooden floor. It was an honor to be 
working in the Fazenda in those days. The poor masses could not pronounce the 
word; instead of Fazenda they pronounced it as "Hozen" e.g., "amchea sezarchea 
Lorsucho put, Camil, Hozenan kam korta" (our neighbor Lawrence's son, Camilo, 
works in the Fazenda." On the ground floor of the building there was a 
cyclostyling machine where they produced cyclostyled copies.

A little further, almost opposite Civil Registrar's office, there was Rajkamal 
Studio. There were a couple of shops next to the studio after which the road 
to the left lead to the old market area. I shall still continue to walk down 
the slope and return to the market later.

Next to the inroad, there was an old structure which had some shops on the 
ground floor, including the famous 'Dangui' - watch dealer. The wooden floor 
upstairs housed the Abreu Institute.

The next structure that one came across walking down the slope was another 
yellow building which housed the 'Banco Nacional Ultramarino' - the only bank 
then in North Goa! The common man hardly made use of the bank because he was 
always under the impression that it was meant only for the rich – 
the "bhattkars!" However, the Basurkars (Gulfians) and their wives did 
frequent it to exchange their drafts for money. My mother always complained 
thus: "Poixe ghetannam rokddech ghetat punn kaddtannam roddoitat." (They 
readily accept money but make it difficult to withdraw).

Next to the bank there was another inroad which most of us coming from Anjuna, 
Assagao, Badem, Parra, Guirim, Saligao, Saipem, Candolim, Calangute, Baga, 
Arpora, Porvorim, Salvador do Mundo, Sucorro, etc. used for entering the old 

Next, in the corner of the slope, there was the best yellow building in town 
which housed the then 'Camara Municipal Bardez' (CMB) – Municipality Building 
or the Town Hall. Following the enactment of Administrative Code in 1836, a 
full-fledged Municipality started functioning from 1842. The building was 
constructed in 1854. The offices of the Administrator das Communidades and 
Camara Agaria were located in this building. The Ataide Municipal Library 
located in the building was an institution that possessed a valuable number of 
publications and was attended to by a large number of people. The Camara owned 
red-colored ISUZU brand trucks which had 'C M B' written on either side in 
huge letters in mustard color. The CMB sweepers went around the town in trucks 
and collected garbage regularly. The garbagewas dumped in the open fields on 
way to Moira.

Adjoining the CMB building, there was the famous dentist, Dr. Pires de Costa; 
he was the best dentist in town then. He was not only good in extracting teeth 
but he also prepared excellent sets of dentures. While other dentists hurried 
to issue dentures to their customers, Dr. Pires advised his customers to wait 
for at least 3 months after all their teeth were removed so the gums could 
heal well and settle in place; only then, he would take the measurements and 
prepare a set of dentures. Obviously, his charges were on the higher side but 
it was worth it because one received excellent treatment and also he/she 
didn't have to go in for another set of dentures throughout his/her life. My 
mother had her dentures made by Dr. Pires.

Next to the dentist there was a 'Barberia' (Barber Shop) which was quite 
famous then. However, in 1959, a strange incident took place at the saloon.  
One fine summer afternoon, a married man in his thirties from Guirim entered 
the saloon, had a hair cut and a shave, paid the money and almost left the 
saloon. Suddenly, he turned back from the door and asked for a "vakor" (razor –
 in those days, barbers used real razors as opposed to today's razors which 
are fixed with blades) to do a little adjustment to his moustache; instead of 
doing adjustment, he rushed out of the saloon and slit his throat with the 
razor; he died instantly. The news spread all over Mapusa like wild fire. As 
soon as we got the news at the Escola Tecnica, I rushed to the spot on my 
bicycle but the body was already covered with a white bed sheet. The blood was 
all over the spot and its stream had run down the little steep slope next to 
the barber's shop and reached the road at the other end. We later learned that 
the deceased had some family problem which was why he had ended his life. From 
then on, no barber in Mapusa or in villages would allow anyone to touch his 

Walking down the main street slope, opposite Menezes & Cia shop, on an 
elevated place, the Anjunkars came across their taxi 'praça' (stand), where at 
the fag end of 1959, private taxis of the following waited for passengers to 
squeeze them into their cars – at least 10 persons/car - and transport them to 
Anjuna via Assagao: Pir-Sahab (Saleem's father from Arpora) – he had a Morris 
Minor car; Raghuvir from Kuddchem Bhatt, Anjuna – he had a Dodge; Nonko from 
Mazallvaddo, Anjuna – he had a Prince; Vinayak from Siolim – he had a Vauxhall 
car which actually belonged to Gabru (Gabriel) from Siolim who then owned a 
Caminhao which plied from Siolim to Betim via Anjuna. Vinayak's car was 
officially assigned piket (night duty) at Anjuna; he was required to park his 
car next to Saud Saibinninchem Kopel (Chapel of Our Lady of Health); Krishna 
Porobo from Gaumvaddy, Anjuna – he, too, had a Prince, and Dakuli from 
Assagao – he had a Hillman car. The fare to go to Anjuna or Assagao, even if 
one got down in Vollan, was the same!

If one kept on walking down the slope, he arrived at the "Tikttear" (T-shaped 
road). I shall begin my description of shops from the corner of the "Tikttem". 
The extreme corner housed the then most famous 'Janardan P. Bhobe' – a 
bookshop where one could buy his/her school books and stationery material 
during pre-Liberation as well as post-Liberation period. Janardan probably was 
in his mid sixties but he was a very active man. He always wore a dhoti and 
kameez made of khadi material; he wore spectacles. He was helped at the shop 
by his two daughters who were well-versed in the business.

Adjoining the bookshop was 'Drogaria Andrade D'Sa', and next to it there 
was 'Loja Porobo'. The proprietor, Ganesh Porobo, popularly known as 'Bahulo', 
hails from Sonarvaddo in Gaumvaddy, Anjuna; he is the eldest son of the late 
Bombo Porobo – the church painter. Bahulo dealt in stationery material but 
post liberation he was one of the first persons to take up the 'ESSO Domestic 
Gas Agency' for the whole of Bardez!

Next to the shop, there was Farmacia Jose Fernandes'. Jose was a short, thin 
person. He was a heavy smoker; he smoked 'Black Lion' brand rolled cigarettes. 
He wore spectacles low on his nose and looked like a scientist; he wore a Lab 
coat and so did his staff. Like every Chief Pharmacist/Proprietor he, too, had 
a chrome plated table bell on his desk (remember there was no phone facility 
then) which he rang every now and then to find out the status of a mixture 
which was under preparation. A different person came out with different rings, 
which meant that he had assigned different rings to each one of his 
pharmacists. Whenever Jose did not have prescribed medicine(s), he didn't ask 
customers to go to next door or a nearby pharmacy but he directed them to 
Esperança Pharmacy which was quite far away; I don't know if they were 
related. Jose spent his weekends (Sundays) either hunting or fishing.

Next in line there was Cosme Matias Menezes (CMM) Pharmacy which also sold 
cosmetics, including the famous 'Old Spice' products. Milagres Fernandes, a 
fair guy with a Charlie Chaplin moustache cut from Khorlim, was employed as a 
pharmacist at this shop. He was a very pleasant person and knew how to deal 
with customers. He left for the Gulf in the late 1960's but returned home in 
the 1980's and got employed with the 'Paradise Pharmacy' in the New Municipal 
market. Above the CMM, there was Saldanha Institute where they taught typing 
and accounting.

If one followed the down slope beside CMM, after about 150 meters he came 
across Keshav Netravalkar Petrol Pump, and if he kept on walking straight, he 
came across 'De MELLO' Workshop – the name of the workshop was written on side 
walls in huge letters in white against gray background. This was the only 
recognized workshop in Mapusa then which offered welding and mechanical 
courses, and issued certificates.

I will now proceed to walk the inner street which leads to Mapusa Church.

A little further from CMM's Pharmacy, one came across the end of the slope 
which began from the barber's shop where the suicide incident took place. 
Exactly in the corner there was a Taverna after which there were several small 
shops, mostly tailoring. My tailor, Minguel Fernandes from Morjim, occupied 
one of the shops on the ground floor in this row. The entire stretch of shops-
cum-residential quarters upstairs was attached to each other.

On the right side, opposite the row of old buildings, there was 'Agencia 
Sequeira' after which one came across a big open yard basement with 
residential houses behind it. Next in line, there is a cross by the side of 
the road. Opposite the cross, there is a narrow lane which leads into the old 
market. This lane was also mostly occupied by tailor shops, including the shop 
of Manuel Fernandes from Xapora; his son still runs tailoring business in the 
same shop. Adjacent to the lane is the renowned "Swissachem Kopel" (Swiss 

Opposite the chapel, there was the famous 'Bhairao' shop. They dealt in all 
types of hardware, zinc sheets, tools, etc. The shop was so famous that 
whenever anyone acted stupid, they would jokingly advise him to go to Bhairao 
shop and buy a few ounces of "ginean" (knowledge). Some were so stupid that 
they would take the advice, go to the shop and ask for an ounce of "ginean"- 
the result: The proprietor and his staff would burst into laughter, making a 
mockery of the customer! If one walked down the lane behind Bhairao shop, he 
would come across "Shri Ram Mandir" hall where they held Marathi nattaks 
(dramas) and Konkani Tiatros. It belonged to Messrs. Bhairao; hence, it was 
also known as "Bhairao" hall.

Opposite Bhairao shop, there was a laundry and after a couple of shops, there 
was the famous "Xavier Tailors" (XT). Xavier was the best tailor in the whole 
of North in those days; he was specialized in suits. He was probably in his 
mid sixties; he was already grooming his sons at the job. He was quite tall 
and a soft-spoken person. He wore spectacles low on his nose, and he had a 
little bend on his upper back. He was always well-dressed; he wore a pair of 
trousers and a white long-sleeve shirt; a measure tape always hung around his 
neck. I knew him very well because my father stitched me three suits through 
him. I got my first suit at the age of 9; the second at the age of 11 and the 
third at the age of 14. Actually, I told my father I did not want a suit 
because all of my friends were poor, but my father insisted and took me to the 
shop. One was required to come back for a trial in a week's time. His 
stitching was so perfect that a second trial was rarely required. If you 
wanted 100% attention, you had to avoid visit on a Friday which was the 
busiest day for him, as most people scheduled their visits to the shop along 
with their Friday market trip.

Opposite XT, there was 'Drogaria Popular'. Dr. Joe Albuquerque from the famous 
antique 'Albuquerque mansion' in Anjuna had a dispensary in the pharmacy where 
he treated patients on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Obviously, the 
pharmacy got good business from Dr. Joe. He also asked patients who consulted 
him at his residence in Anjuna to collect their medicines from the pharmacy.

Nowadays, it is very easy to find the prescribed medicine on a shelf in a 
pharmacy from where it is picked up and sold to customers; the price also 
appears on a package. But it was not so in the 1950's and 1960's when medicine 
was mostly prescribed in the form of a mixture which had to prepared by 
a "bhutker" (pharmacist). He had to have a thorough knowledge of how to 
prepare a mixture or else he and his boss would be in trouble. There was no 
Saridon or Panadol available then. If anyone suffered from 'grip' (flu), the 
doctor prescribed him/her a mixture. The pharmacist prepared the mixture, 
placed it in a sinsli (small bottle), stuck a white paper on it with several 
horizontal markings or made such markings with a pen, which indicated the 
levels of dose to be taken. Farmacia Joao Menezes had the best pharmacists. 
Therefore, most doctors, including our family doctor, the late Dr. Crisanto 
Afonso from Calangute who resided in Anjuna, directed his patients to the 
Pharmacy. Drogaria Popular, too, had very good pharmacists followed by 
Farmacia Jose Fernandes. The other pharmacies also prepared mixture medicines 
but they were not as popular as the above-mentioned three pharmacies.

A little further from Drogaria Popular, there was the famous Photo Studio in 
town 'Reis de Costa' – father of my first Professora, Iria Maria dos Milagres 
de Costa from Mazalvaddo, Anjuna. In those days, parents who could afford 
brought their children to the Studio to click First Holy Communion photo; our 
photos were clicked at this studio. They had a nice cardboard poster of Jesus 
in a standing position with Chalice and Host in his hands distributing Holy 
Communion, which they used for the photograph. Can you guess who worked as an 
assistant to Reis de Costa? He was young and energetic Mohan, the proprietor 
of the famous "JYOTI" Studio! He is a household name in the whole of Bardez at 
births, baptisms, Holy Communion, Confirmation, munz, marriages, funerals, ID 
cards, passport, silver jubilees – you name it! He has been our family 
photographer for three generations now and I am sure there will be many who 
will join me and say the same. Mohan continues to be one of the top 
photographers in Bardez. He last photographed my niece's nuptials in Anjuna 
church and thereafter the reception at the Emerald Lawn in Parra on April 29, 
2000; the photographs are just superb! He was recently recognized by 
Mapxenkars for his outstanding service.

Adjoining Reis de Costa there was 'Francisco de Costa' Studio.

About 100 meters from Reis de Costa, one came across 'Mhatmo' shop; they dealt 
in bicycles and sewing machines. Above the shop, there was 'Narvenkar Tailor'. 
In the corner there was a coffin shop which belonged to one Minguel who owned 
a 'FLORET' motorcycle - a brand quite a few Goans were proud to own during the 
Portuguese regime; we had two in Anjuna. From this corner and until one 
reached the Mapusa cemetery, there were several coffin shops on either side of 
the road. In addition, every residence in the vicinity of the Asilo Hospital 
made coffins. It was as if one had a choice to choose a coffin of his/her 
choice and finally end up in the cemetery. I had personally named the stretch 
of the street as "kaxanvanchi golli" (coffin lane!) One of the reasons for so 
many coffin shops to exist on one street must have been the location of the 
Asilo Hospital on that street.

A little ahead, there was another famous shop 'Casa Benao'; they dealt in 
stationery items. Jeremias Benao, who then studied in the Mapusa High School, 
taught us 'Mocidade Portuguesa' (NCC) at the Escola Tecnica. I used to stop by 
the shop to buy sweets and chat with Jeremias and his mother in the evenings. 
Their residence was upstairs, facing the road; a small metal staircase lead 
upstairs. Later in life, Jeremias and I maintained our old friendship while we 
traveled to work to Panjim on our motorcycles – he owned a 'Rajdoot' and I 
owned a foreign 'Honda'. We mostly crossed the ferry together and chatted 
during the crossing. Just like their shop, post liberation, Jeremias became a 
famous household name in Goa for bringing live football commentary into each 
one's house through radio. It is a pity he passed away quite early in life. 
May Jeremias' soul rest in peace!

Adjoining Casa Benao there was another quite popular pharmacy - 'Farmacia 
Ferrao'. The proprietor, Manuel, known to all as "Manu', was not only a 
pharmacist but also a tiatrist. My brother-in-law, Frank Rose, often visited 
him for tips in acting. They resided upstairs in the same building; the 
entrance was sideways. Manu's son, Anicet Florindo, studied with me in ET; he 
was one year junior to me. He is currently employed as a pharmacist in the 
Ministry of Health in the UAE.

The thin inner road next to the pharmacy, lead to Advogado Cordeiro's 
residence whose wife, Juliana, was my Professora of Portuguese at the ET. 
Their daughter, Maria Teresa, who went on to become one of the best female 
athletes in Goa in the 1960's, was my classmate at the ET. They maintained a 
nice garden in front of their house. Adjacent to Farmacia Ferrao, there was 
the residence of Advogado Benedicto Nazareth which was located upstairs; a 
nice garden all around the basement beautified the premises. Across the road, 
facing the residence, there was Aldona/Moira taxi praça.

About 150 meters distance from Benao's shop, one came across a single storey 
building which housed the 'Escola Tecnica Elementar de Mapusa' which is where 
I completed my Segundo Ano. It had two entrances; the front entrance which 
lead into the main office, classrooms and the workshop on the ground floor 
where Professor Vaglo from Calangute taught carpentry, smithy, etc., and the 
side entrance which led to classrooms upstairs. Opposite the side entrance, 
there were residential houses. At the back of the building there was a small 
courtyard where we sometimes played. Right at the back, there was a deep well 
which belonged to the next door neighbor – Oscar De Costa. A Clinic now 
functions in the building.

Besides the throat slitting incident I mentioned earlier, another gory 
incident took place in Moira in 1959. The reason I am mentioning it here is 
because the victim's brother, Conceiçao Lobo, studied with us at the Escola 
Tecnica. Wolfango Lobo (known to the family as 'Wolfao') was murdered by a 
family trio over a fishing dispute. He was only 24 years old. There would have 
been 3 deaths but the other two survived. They say in Konkani: "ghorar fator 
marun zogddim korop" (to enter into a fight by throwing stones on the roof of 
a house). This was exactly how the whole episode began. Wolfao's house was 
stoned at the dead of the night. Wolfao went to investigate, cautioning others 
in the house not to follow. As he was running, the culprits who were hiding 
behind a goddgo (rubble fence) alerted him of their presence by dislodging a 
fence boulder. He tried to run back but they chopped him with koitas 
(machetes) and dumped his body inside a fence. As there was no sign of Wolfao, 
one of his cousins, Ciriaco, went to investigate. He was done and dumped over 
Wolfao. After a while, another cousin, David, went to investigate; he, too, 
was done and dumped over the duo. When none returned, Wolfao's kid brother, 
Conceiçao, raised an alarm at home. They found them all bloodied and heaped 
upon each other with umle (red ants) crawling on their bodies. Wolfao died on 
the way to the hospital; his two cousins were hospitalized and survived.

Conceiçao returned to ET after the 7th day or week's mind mass, fully dressed 
in black clothes; we couldn't bear the sight and didn't know how to approach 
him. He was no longer the jovial Conceiçao we knew; he was shaken; he was 
lost. The usual smile on his face was replaced with a gloom. Every one of us 
sympathized with him and wanted to share our grief with him but we didn't 
really know how to comfort him because he immediately burst into tears. 
Finally, it dawned on us that Conceiçao loved bhoje, mirsango, bottatteachim 
kapam and ice-fruit. We bought these items for him during interval and it 
worked; we were gradually able to bring him back into our fold, but it took 
him more than a year to fall back to normal life. I recently learned through 
his cousin, Floriano Lobo (of Goasuraj), that Conceiçao is employed in Dubai. 
I look forward to meeting with him and renewing our old friendship.

Now back to my tour. The lane facing the ET leads to 'Kenkre Mill'. People 
took their paddy and cereals for husking and grinding at this mill; they also 
took "khobrem" (kopra) to extract oil; "tivanchem tel" was also extracted here.

Opposite the school, there was a residential house with a garden in the front 
compound, and adjoining the compound wall on the right side there was a tailor 
shop; next to it there was another residential house with quite a big compound 
with many big 'adao' trees. The front compound fence was made of loknnanche 
varanv with bale (iron bars with spear tops).

The upslope by the side entrance of the ET lead to another horizontal road on 
the top of the hill where our 'Sargente' held Mocidade classes for us. In 
those days, there was a solitary hut on the top edge of the hill in which a 
poor family lived. The residents reached their hut through a pathway; it was 
so narrow that one had to be an expert to walk on it. I tried one day and 
almost fell down. All of us, including the Sargente, wondered how those 
residents were able to walk on that narrow path with water pots either on 
their heads or in their hands!

Coming down the slope, by the corner, there was a tiny house in 
which 'bhojeakarn ayi' prepared delicious bhoje, mirsango, bottatteanchim 
kapam, milam ani khottkottem which all of us, including Pakle's children, 
enjoyed during interval time. We got rid of tiksann (pungency) by eating a 
couple of askrut (ice-fruit).

Next to bhojeakarn, there was an antique house which belonged to Dona Gracia. 
During the monsoon season we held our Mocidade classes inside the compound of 
this house. Whenever it rained, we would rush into the balcony.  In the right 
corner of the compound, by the roadside, there was a mango tree.

Opposite the house there was the 'Remanso Hospital' (RH) which was run by Dr. 
Francisco Correia Afonso. The hospital still functions in the same place.

Adjoining the RH, there was and there is still the 'Asilo Hospital' (AH) which 
then was the best hospital in the whole of North Goa. The AH and RH share the 
same compound wall. By the exit of the hospital, there was a pharmacy and in 
the opposite building, AH's Laboratory was located. Mr. Sardessai from Guirim 
worked in the Lab. He privately helped many people embalm dead bodies at home; 
he embalmed my father.

The AH had good doctors and the staff, too, was good. In the mid 1950's, Dr. 
Gaitonde was the Director of the hospital. When he left for Germany in the 
late 1950's, Dr. Qemani took over from him and became a famous doctor in town. 
He owned a black Mercedes Benz. In the early 1960's, Dr. Armando Cardozo 
became the Director of the hospital followed by Dr. Willy D'Souza. There was 
an elderly infermeira (nurse) known as "Damaokarn". Obviously, she hailed from 
Damao; she resided in one of the houses in the lane opposite the ET. One Miss 
Justine from Verna also worked as a nurse in the AH. She was very tall (six-
footer) and hefty and probably in her late twenties. She was very active and 
effective when it came to handling rough patients. Everyone in the hospital 
liked her, including patients. Rita (from Sangolda – my eldest niece's 
godmother), Angelina and Annie are three other nurses I still remember. I also 
remember 'servente' (janitor) John who helped in the Operation Theater (OT), 
and Vasanta, a short guy, who worked as a technician in the OT; he resided 
opposite El-Capitan.

The upper floor of the hospital had two patient wards. The lower floor also 
had patient wards on either side but some wings had private rooms where a 
patient could book a room for a nominal fee and have his/her own privacy. 
Moreover, a patient could have someone remain by his/her side 24 hours/day. 
The food supplied to patients in private rooms was different than that 
supplied in general wards.

We had a social worker in Anjuna known to all as Gorgon (Gregorio) who 
actually was a Mapxenkar but spent most of his time in Anjuna. He was quite an 
influential person and had a good hold in the AH. He accompanied people in 
serious condition and remained in the hospital until a sick person was 
admitted and administered treatment. If anyone answered him negatively, he 
would raise his voice, throw some references in Portuguese and Konkani and 
that would be sufficient for everyone to get going without uttering a word. He 
did take action on some of the staff a couple of times and once he had a nurse 
fired. He did all those favors for free as a social worker. He was an angel 
for many, especially for the poor. We don't come across such people nowadays.

Adjacent to the Laboratory, in the corner across the road, there was a 
Taverna. It was commonly known as 'Assisachem Dukorn' (Assisio's Taverna). 
Assisio hailed from Morjim; he studied with me in the ET but he was much older 
than me. He had good giraik (business) at his taverna. Besides regular 
customers, his taverna was frequented by people who accompanied 
emergency/accident cases to the AH/RH. It was the nearest taverna where they 
would go and temporarily drown their sorrows with local fenni. Sometimes, 
Assisio's customers crossed their limit and had to be admitted in the 
hospital! From the taverna until the back of the cemetery every house made 

Behind Assisio's taverna, on the little upslope, there lived a woman called 
Regina. She supplied home food to those who spent days and nights with their 
loved ones in the Asilo and Remanso hospitals. Many relatives and friends 
chose to have their meals at Regina's because they did not want to be away 
from their loved ones in the hospital for too long, as in those days it was 
difficult to travel home and back due to lack of transportation.

By the entrance of the AH, there is a little chapel where everyone knelt down 
and prayed for quick recovery of their loved ones in the hospital. Opposite 
the chapel, across the road, there is a little 'copelin' with an iron bar gate 
in front. Behind the copelin there were some residential houses. One of the ET 
Clerks, Pedro, from Calafura or Santa Cruz, lived in a house in the extreme 
left corner. Whenever we returned late from a picnic, we would spend the night 
at Pedro's place and attend a late night movie show at the Central Talkies.

Next in line there was the Asilo Home for the Aged with a small garden in 
front where the inmates sat and chatted with each other in the evenings.

As one kept walking straight, one could see Mapusa cemetery on the left and 
the back of Mapusa church on the right. There is a little slope in front of 
the cemetery and then a stretch of road where the "dukor-mare" (pig butchers) 
sold pork on Fridays and Sundays; the pork was spread on "konn'nnam" (woven 
coconut leaves).

That's all for today! Hopefully, I will be back with Part III next week!

Continued ……………


Domnic Fernandes
Anjuna/Dhahran, KSA

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