Mumbai’s First Ever East Indian Museum

 

Rita Rodricks
15th August, 2017

The East Indian Museum renamed as Kaka Baptista East Indian Museum is situated in the compound of Theresa Villa (Mobai Bhavan) on the Manori- Gorai road in the gaothan of Manori

After obtaining consent from Theresa Fernandes (Chuim/Manori) to use their space temporarily, it was conceptualized and built by Alphi Dsouza and his hard working team of the MGP

The MGP is awaiting government land for the Museum which it is relentlessly pursuing

Hence two huts were built in the compound of Theresa Villa in the year 2010 and a museum was born for viewing

The grand opening of the Museum which was renovated by Clyde Henriques, a boat maker from Gorai was on the 19th of May, 2013

There was a Eucharistic celebration which is celebrated annually since followed by song, dance and traditional cuisine

Its main objective is to preserve the culture and traditions of the East Indian Community

That is fast disappearing under the guise of urbanization and migration into cities

There is a wooden structure which houses artifacts, traditional jewellery and earthenware

Two life sized mannequins pose elegantly draped in the lugra with a distinctive air

Photo frames depict images of the days of yore with titles in both English and Marathi

Documents and religious articles are also displayed for future posterity

There is a statue of St. Gonsolo Garcia the East Indian patron saint which is donated by Ossie Dsouza  from Bangli naka, Vasai

 A fiber made fishing boat has also been donated by Clyde Henriques from Gorai

The vintage wooden altars that have been hand carved so exquisitely it makes you sigh

There are rare and unusual wine glasses also called chavnis which today you cannot buy

Tizar is a big copper vessel which was used for cooking everyday meals

Transport was the Renkla, a bullock cart with big wooden wheels

Parada was a clay drum which was used for storing grain

It kept the grain dry and prevented it from getting spoilt in the rain

The meat safe was a cupboard with mesh which was used to store condiments

Instead of stovetops, chullas or segris were used along with flints

 Bhudda was a half coconut shell with a long wooden handle which was used to draw water from a pot

Baanks were wooden benches where one could relax when the weather got hot

There are bricks made by gaothan brickmakers donated by Corina Misquitta from Vile Parle which are more than a hundred years old, there is proof

They were used to build the old type huge East Indian houses with red tiles on their roof

There are salt making implements which have become obsolete

So too are the farming equipment which standards do not meet

The Ghumat is a traditional musical instrument to the East Indian it belongs

It is a clay drum with skin and it is used to play Marathi traditional songs

Outside there are sheds which have life size models depicting village life

Professions, Occupations and even a man in his kitchen with his wife

A Toddy Tapper can be seen climbing the palm tree

While below a farmer is busy tilling his field you can see

A fisherman wearing a langoti proudly poses in his boat

The salt pan worker seems to be sweating it out make a note

Half of the artifacts have been generously donated by members of the community

You can see their names on the items; most of them now live in the city

After you are done you can relax with an authentic East Indian meal

Savor the atmosphere, the vibrant culture and contented you will feel

Make sure you book in advance to ensure availability it has to be done

For further details on the museum please feel free to call Alphi on 9820087771!

Happy 50th Birthday Cousin Penny!

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Rita Rodricks
13th August, 2017

Dear Penny today you celebrate your 50th Birthday

 It has not been easy but tough along the way

You have achieved your goals and ambitions

By always making the tough but right decisions

In the field of education you have excelled

Integrity and honesty is what you have up held

You always take pride in your appearance

Completing tasks is your perseverance

Baking delicious cakes and sharing it is your passion

Visiting the old and aged is because of your compassion

Mentoring a child who has succeeded has made you proud

You also enjoy music, dancing and singing out aloud

As a child you used to be quiet, timid and shy

But today you can orate on stage without batting an eye

We share great memories while growing up in the summer time

Even now whenever we go out together we always have a fun time

Here is wishing you a very Happy 50th Birthday

May you always be happy and successful in each and every way!

Ode to Varnika Kundu

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Rita Rodricks, Mumbai
10th August, 2017

Varnika you are our ‘Wonder Woman”

You have taken on a Demonic Demon

Your father has stood behind you like a solid rock

The ruling political party is trying to make it a mock

I admire your courage and resilience

Hope it makes all these VVIPS brats wince

You are indeed a woman of substance

I salute you for the stand you have taken since

As you rightly said it is not your fight alone

But a fight for all the women who have faced the same scorn

Here is hoping that the truth will prevail

And that our judiciary system will not fail!

Mumbai’s East Indians

  Like mother ; like daughter

Rita Rodricks
7th August, 2017

I belong to the East Indian Community

My native place is Mumbai City

The women drape a traditional sari called a lugra with a lace shawl

They adorn themselves with jewellery that will leave you enthrall

The men wear a large colorful handkerchief folded into a triangle called a kashti

Their favorite drink is Khimad which is a homemade brew with liquor, spices and tea

The language is Marathi where the dialect varies according to the region

Engagements, Weddings and Funerals follow a certain tradition

Our cuisine is an experience which will take you on a gastronomic trip

The singing, dancing and merry making at the festivities will surely make you flip

Aapas is flat bread made out of rice flour; it is also called hand-bread and can be used as a wrap

Fugias, Orias and Chittaps are also bread which is served at festive occasions which is apt

Khudi, Moile, Fritath and Lonvas made of chicken, duck, meat and fish are our favorite curries

We also like Indal, Sorpotel, Tamrial and Sambarin all pork dishes served at our parties

Our sweets are Lethri, Cordeal, Nankaties, Marzipan, Milk Cream, Boros, Thali sweet, Kulkuls and Neuries

On Christmas day our friends and neighbors look forward to receiving our plate of goodies

Ghumat is our traditional musical instrument which is a small earthen drum

It is played by using your hands on the skin, the beat of which is awesome

The Bottle Masala consisting of around thirty spice ingredients which is hand pounded is our specialty

Add a tablespoon of this spice powder to any dish and it will tickle your taste buds that’s a guarantee

Farming, Fishing, Carpentry and Barber used to be the main occupations depending on your caste

We all had our huge ancestral homes and fields which were sold off in the past

We still come together once a year to celebrate our community with traditional clothes, food, drinks, music and dancing

Awards and felicitations to members of the community are also part of celebrating!

 

 

Raksha Bandhan

Rita Rodricks
7th August, 2017

Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi is an Indian Festival

It symbolizes the brother-sister relationship of goodwill

It falls in the month of Shravana in the Hindu calendar

Or in August according to the Gregorian calendar

 The sister performs aarti(ritual of worship)after which she ties a Rakhi (sacred thread) on the wrist of her brother

The brother promises to protect his sister and gives her a gift which she will cherish forever

The sister feeds her brother sweets and prays for his prosperity and happiness

This festival symbolizes the love and duty between brother and sister that is what it is!

Editor’s note: Everyone should treasure their siblings, irrespective of whether it’s a brother or a sister.In my opinion, it’s a relationship that will last forever.Even after your parents die you will still have each other. Also growing up, it was mostly me protecting my brother but that was a role I was only too happy to carry out.Cherish the moments you spend together.

Charlotte’s Twenty-fifth Birthday

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Rita Rodricks   5th August, 2017

My Dear Charlotte you have grown up so quickly, you are twenty-five years old today

Since the last year you have handled your own responsibilities in a much matured way

Your picture as Wonder Woman in the Kochi and Malabar Times made us proud

You are indeed my Wonder Daughter you stand out in a crowd

In the last two years the house seems empty and nothing can fill that void

You are nearly done with your studies and will soon be employed

When you were little you would confidently tell people that you were going to be a Vet

You are indeed special that you could follow your passion and now you are all set

Here is wishing you a very Happy Birthday we sure miss you

May you always remain happy and successful in the future too!

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday to my brother Jervis

Rita Rodricks
5th August, 2017

Dear Jervis as you celebrate your birthday in New Zealand today

I want to thank you for always being there for me in every way

You were always a bright student and fared exceptionally well in school

Being the youngest boy in the class you made sure you followed all the rules

In college you starting getting fit by learning karate, jogging and exercising

Strumming and singing on your guitar was your way of relaxing

Fishing is what you enjoyed; catching big fish was such a thrill

 You also loved trekking, hiking and climbing up a hill

Your job in research in a pharmaceutical company is what you have always pursued

But it is being with Lisa, Janelle and Jayden that puts you in a good mood

So here is wishing you a very Happy Birthday even though you are afar

May you always remain happy and contended because that is who you are!

 

 

 

 

Uncle Peter – The Rebel

Rita Rodricks
22nd June, 2017

My father maintained a good relationship with his elder brother Walter and his only sister Josephine but he never spoke to his brother Peter. He had severed all ties with him since Peter had married outside the community his mother Rita had asked him to leave the house. Peter rented out a house right next to us but we never spoke to them even though they lived there for a few years before moving on elsewhere. We would see our cousins when we went to Juhu for our summer holidays especially on the beach in the evenings and for Sunday Mass but it was an unwritten rule that we did not attempt to speak to them neither would they. Peter had five sons and a daughter, all their names began with the letter ‘R’ maybe it was his way of remembering his mother who had disowned him. They had one son who was differentially-able and we too have one brother who is the same it’s probably a family gene. One of Peter’s sons, Rohit was adopted by his wife Helen’s sister who had no children. Rohit had never seen any of us since he lived with his aunt. When my sister Jackie was in college she had attended a party. There she met Rohit and she casually mentioned to him that he looked exactly like my brother Jervis; on probing further they realized that they were cousins. What a way to meet your relatives. Peter and Helen are both dead and are buried right next to my father.

 

Bandra Gymkhana

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Rita Rodricks
26th July, 2017

The Bandra Gymkhana is our place for social activity

Throughout the year it also celebrates all kinds of festivity

The tennis courts are always occupied with young and old, it is a mix

My son Kevin has been playing tennis since he was six

The snooker room is named after Michael Ferreira an ex billiards champion

 On the terrace is the swimming pool where you can dive in

There is a badminton court where you can practice with the shuttle

Or you can attend the yoga classes where the asanas are subtle

The Fitness centre is where my son works out whenever he can

When he is done he relaxes in the canteen with a juice under the fan

The inter school elocution is held every year with talent that is awesome

My son has participated when he was in school and has always won

The Library has a collection of old and new magazines, novels and books

It is my favorite place where you can either read or borrow after having a look

Every Wednesday and Friday evenings there is live music for dancing

On Sunday mornings there is Housie with cash prizes as they keep announcing

The annual Christmas Bazaar has always been a major attraction

It has stalls that sell everything from food and clothes to decorations

With live performances and carol singing it is the highlight of the year

It is definitely a meeting place as it brings people from far and near

The Children’s Christmas party has Santa giving out sweets and gifts

While the Christmas and New Year’s Dance has the adults in a twist

Sports Tournaments and Competitions are held in the Gym

With teams participating and vying for the trophy going for the win

There is a Bar where entry is only for Adults who want gin and lime

For fine dining there is a restaurant where the atmosphere is sublime

Cultural socials are held with traditional clothes, music and food

Weddings, Anniversaries, Reunions and Birthdays are also celebrated in a good mood

We have enjoyed many a pleasant occasion at the Bandra Gym

If ever you are in the vicinity make sure you drop in on a whim!

 

 

Kevin‘s 24th Birthday

Rita Rodricks
25th July, 2017

 My Dear Kevin you are twenty–four years old today

Since the last couple of years you have come a very long way

You started your Career with apprehension and joined Ventes Avenues

Where you interned and learnt about digital marketing which was new

Making the move as a copy writer to ibs, a unified media company was a good decision

So was joining tonic media where you handled AXN and Sony where you created a good impression

Now you have settled and joined Chimpandz Media LLP where Tata Sky is your marketing responsibility

You have conducted workshops for your colleagues it has given you confidence and stability

I know you have been trying to complete writing your novel and creating your own comic book

It will all fall in place I have faith and confidence in your capabilities you just need time to take a look

So here is wishing you a very Happy Birthday from all of us

Have a wonderful and amazing day with all the fuss!