A way of life for the Goans, hid­den amid the hus­tle, bus­tle of Mum­bai

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Hu­maira An­sari hu­maira.an­sari@hin­dus­tan­times.com

MUM­BAI: There are clubs in Mum­bai where the house rules in­clude com­pul­sory evening rosary and lights out at 10 pm. They’re called kudds, and they were set up 100 to 150 years ago, to help mi­grant work­ers from ru­ral Goa find their feet in Bom­bay.

In­cred­i­bly, the dor­mi­to­rystyle spa­ces are still in use.

At their peak, there were 450 kudds in the city (the word is Konkani for ‘room). To­day, 160 re­main, scat­tered across Maz­gaon, Dhobi Talao and Chira Bazaar. Each is named af­ter the Goan vil­lage it serves, and is open only to Catholic men from that vil­lage.

“When I first came here 20 years ago, my shoul­ders would graze against the shoul­der of ship­pies sleep­ing on ei­ther side. That’s how packed the club used to be. Now, there is enough space for me to roll around on the floor,” says Nalvey Fer­nan­des, 35, who works as a waiter on a cruise ship and has spent a week of his three-month lay­over at the Car­mona kudd near Dhobi Talao, fin­ish­ing pa­per­work at his com­pany’s Mum­bai of­fice and shop­ping at Craw­ford Mar­ket for his fam­ily.

De­spite monthly rents as low as Rs50, the num­ber of users is dwin­dling — mainly be­cause there are now di­rect flights from Goa, so the need for an overnight halt no longer ex­ists.

>> JOIN THE CLUB, P15

PRATHAK GOKHALE/ HT

Dhobi Talao’s Jer Ma­hal Es­tate still houses 23 kudds.

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