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Mumbaiwale: Kudd you believe it?

At Goan community clubs in Dhobi Talao and Mazagaon, trunks wait endlessly for owners at sea.

mumbai Updated: Jul 30, 2018 15:27 IST
Rachel Lopez
Rachel Lopez
Hindustan Times
mumbai,goa,sea
These places, called Kudds or Coors, offered just the basics – dormitory style short-term lodging, access to a shared kitchen, and daily prayers around the altar.(HT Photo)

Over much of the last 150 years, if you were a Christian man from Goa, headed to Mumbai to find work, or to join shipmates on a hard-won job in the merchant navy, the big bad city offered a cheap landing strip. Clubs created by Goan villages would provide living and storage facilities in Mazagaon, Dhobi Talao and Chira Bazaar.

These places, called Kudds or Coors, offered just the basics – dormitory style short-term lodging, access to a shared kitchen, daily prayers around the altar, a feast on Sundays and festivals, and the company of those from home.

Even today, rents can be under Rs 500 a month. And if you are away on ship, you can park your luggage (strictly one trunk per person) and collect it when you return or are in the city on short-term shore leave. Most kudd members work as seamen, waiters, mess-men, cleaners and cooks on ships.

Mumbai used to have as many as 450 kudds, there are roughly 160 today. Each holds fewer trunks than before. Direct international flights to Goa have struck out the need for a stopover in Mumbai, and Goa’s own booming tourist business has kept a generation of locals gainfully employed back home. Goans now seek more skilled work, so fewer of them have need for a kudd. “The clubs now accept members from other villages as well,” says Cruz Dcosta, member of the Majorda Club kudd at Marine Lines. “The key to surviving today is good management.”

So for now, the trunks wait.

First Published: Jul 28, 2018 00:51 IST