MacDonalds & Air Ace

I remember the small pastry shop opposite our school. My Aunt who visited me once on a visiting Sunday took me across and bought me a small cake. The man at the counter was a really nice guy; he recognized me as a boarder. On Sundays he would come around and ask the Fathers if we could distribute his flyers. And we were more than eager because he then gave us a real treat. Later I heard they went big time.

Else there was the bajiya shop at the corner where we could get bajiyas, and the channa chor garam bhaiya with his big tray propped on top of a cane double cone. And who was always near the gate? Ozzie! He looked like a bum, but he wasn't. A small group of boarders, my gang of course, saved small portions of food packed into 'gutlis' and we made sure that every evening after dinner we went to the gate to feed Ozzie. Come what may, Ozzie had a puff to envy and he made sure it was well watered and had the Elvis puff. People coming out after mass would give Ozzie alms and on a feast day he would have a good collection.

As years flew by I grew to love the school and especially the boarding. Though WW II was way behind us, comics with World War illustrated dog fights were easy to come by. My favorite was Air Ace. So I decided that I too would become a fighter pilot and fly Liberators. This led me to a hobby, that of aero modelling. I studied the planes in the comics and in the air, made drawings and plans to contruct them. My gang was recruited to collect ice cream sticks, cigarette packets, match boxes and broken toys. These were my raw materials, not forgetting the glue. Sure I made Spitfires and Liberators and they took off in one hand each for a tour of St Stanislaus. There is more of this and many more escapades, but later.

Francis DSilva's picture

The chikki-wallah and Hindu Hotel...

I remember the chikki-wallah who also sold other chaat stuff. He with those fascinating looonnng whiskers out of his ears -- longer than most beards. Always ready with his 5-paise "puddis" of dark-brown chikki and leaf-cups for the chaat. The borah-wallahs further down the pavement (towards CheapJack) were a treat; I guess the thrill was pinching more boras than buying them.

When I visit Bandra I miss the usal and misal stuff that Hindu Hotel (on the corner) once served. Their back-room, closer to the kitchen, was used by the "big boys" to grab a smoke. That tradition passed down, so when we were "big boys" and later junior college days we'd use the back-room for the same. Once they changed owners, it lost that part of their menu.

Anyone with tips on a good place (in or around Bandra) for usal/misal?

boscodsouza's picture

You can still have a good

You can still have a good usaal /missal down station road .As you get off the station cross over into nandi cinema lane and the guys who repair lighters just opp you will find one Desai hotel.happy eating

admin's picture


The Municipal canteen at St. Martins Road serves a good missal and ussal good enough for our iron clad Mumbai bellies.

Once you finish with missal and ussal you may want to visit Baba hospital which is near by and once Baba hospital finishes with you the Baba hospital morgue is on the ground floor.

I remember the chikki bhaya, that was the first place I had bhel puri.

Aubrey Pereira's picture

Matka and Daba joints on Bazar Road

Hey Gerry,
Are the Matka and Daba joints still running???Remember Fr.Joe catching the House Captian playing Matka figures!!
Aubrey Pereira

Gerry Mascarenhas's picture

MacDonalds or MacRonnels

Was it MacDonalds or MacRonnels?

MacRonnels still exists on Hill Road but as a shadow of them gloriuos days.The brothers have gone their own ways and one owns Candies and the other MacCraig, both still very good. The MacRonnels roof garden still exists.

I remember Ronnie Nigli used to buy a shared Club Sandwich from them and we would share it in the back benches..."after lunch" I guess it was just the thrill of doing it.

boscodsouza's picture

Mac or Mac's

Reading this article, It reminds me of the days, when we too would snack out at Mac Ronells ( we called it Macks ) Tony of Agnelo optician and Leonard ( the great Jockey)from Ice factory lane. Our favorite would be mince hotdog and coca cola.
Oh! how we would run back ( sometimes climbing the wall),as the recess break would be just 15 minutes-no bunking.

Daril B. Atkins's picture

Altar Boy

Being a boarder also meant a rigorous religious upbringing. Morning prayers, 6.15 am Mass, Rosary, prayers before and after meals, night prayers, and during Lent who prayed most, We. Then there was being an Altar Boy, but all prayers to be learnt were in Latin. Somehow I managed and frequently assisted in mass from as early as 5.30 in the Priest's Chapel, St Peter's Church, and in the girls convent opposite our school. I assisted Fr Soler, Fr Casale among others. Since Fr Soler was quite deaf we had to answer the Latin prayers loud enough else he would turn around and glare. Whereas Fr Casale was quite blind and would hold the big Gospel book near his nose; I liked him, he was a great Geologist and would reward us well for any unusual stone we brought back from picnics. But one day it was bound to happen. All because our skirts were just too large for us. So I would roll the skirt at the waist to make it shorter. Now on this day during mass, I carried the Gospel and had to go down a couple of steps, genuflect and climb up and place it on the other side of the Altar. But you guessed it, my skirt began to unfurl at the waist and got into the tip of my shoe. I flew with the Gospel down the steps flat on my face. You can imagine the rest.

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