To all my dearest ones
–Background: At some time or other in one’s life, walking down the memory lane, one begins to wonder about the roots of one's existence but invariably is disappointed to find that the people who could have told them about these things have all departed from this earth! Some of us do not care about the past, but some do care. I spoke to my cousin Agnes, an extremely sensitive and loving person, who remembers every detail of her whole ninety-one years of her life. Cousin Agnes was born on 4th May 1910. Her father, Mr. Marian S. Pais had prepared the genealogy of our family, given a copy to her, She lent it to me, and I copied it on my computer. She told me incidents of the past, at various times, with vivid descriptions, as she has a very fertile memory, in spite of her old age. She is close to becoming ninety. My discoveries were extremely fascinating. The actual situations in such a foggy past would have had so many shades of colours, had they to be described as pictures. As none of my ancestors were in the habit of writing down their memoirs, we are left to our imagination.Many have tried telling the story of their lives and those of their family. I attempt to tell you my story with the hope that it would give you an insight and appreciation of our roots and provide a clearer picture of events that have taken place in the past.
India, our Mother Land India is often pictured in the form of a lady dressed in a saree, with her legs crossed at her ankles. In this picture, Bombay her Financial City appears to be dangling from her left hip, as if it is her bunch of keys. Goa strides along her thigh and Mangalore, like a small jewel decorates her left knee, as the Arabian Sea on its West Coast bathes it. In physical terms the distance between the two coastal towns is quite large. An 18 hours bus ride going southwards from Bombay takes you first to Goa. Goa Graphic: North Goa
Some four hundred and fifty years ago, the Portuguese had come to trade with India, with their great and famous explorer Vasco Da Gama. After showing their credentials at the Court of Akbar the Great, the Portuguese purchased Goa from the Nawab of Bijapur and made it their Eastern Head Quarters. Panjim, the capital of Goa, was known as ‘Ponjem’ in olden days and many Konkani songs called Mandos celebrate the name. The Portuguese folk songs were called Fado, (pronounced ‘faad’ (and the Konkani name for songs, Pod might be a corruption of the Portuguese word.As the trade developed, the Portuguese founded trading centers on the west coast, and among such centres was one at Coondapur Catholic missionaries came and settled in Coondapur, and the Portuguese built many churches, and their influence has lasted till today. Many of these Portuguese might have intermarried with local people, and that could be an indication, why many of the Catholics in the north are fair, with light eyes. Many Goans migrated to Coondapur, to work in this settlement. The boats, which used to sail on the coast, were called ‘Patmars’. Perhaps the name might have had something to do with Bat' de Mar, meaning ship of the sea. In those days the sea-wind powered the boats with the help of sails. On some such Patmar the Portuguese and the Goans might have sailed to South Kanara. My maternal great grandfather, Christopher Castelino owned three such Patmars, which went down on a fateful stormy night in a raging cyclone. He ended up in bankruptcy, as in those days there was no insurance cover for sailing vessels.Mangalore Graphic: South Kanara District
During the time of the Mogul rule, Mangalore a small town on the West Coast of India was ruled by a Hindu king. Perhaps he was the King of Mysore. It gets its name from the Kannada words “Magala Uru” which means The Daughter’s town. Some say, that the king had two daughters and he gave this town as a gift to his elder daughter. There was also another town called Chikamangalore, in the Coorg district nestling in the Western Ghats with its verdant coffee estates. It was known for its famous warriors, the ‘Kodagas’ who have always been a part of the Indian Armed Forces. Chikka in Kannada means young or small and the town might have been given to the younger daughter. In the course of history, Mangalore came under the rule of Hyder Ali, the father of Tippu Sultan. After the defeat of the latter by the British, it was incorporated into the British Raj, as part of the Madras Presidency.Coondapur In the days of the Madras Presidency South Kanara, the 26th district was divided into six talukas, and the northern most one was named Coondapur where the Portuguese had a trading post. With its rivulets, backwater creeks, and villages full of coconut trees, this is regarded as a very beautiful part in South Kanara, Towns like Karwar, Belgaum to its north, were part of North Kanara. Catholics of the western coast speak Konkani, in different dialects. In Maharashtra, Marati, the language spoken by the people, is very similar to Konkani, in Ratnagiri; the language turns to Konkani. Down to its south in Goa it takes the shape of the Goan dialect, and as we go further southwards to Karwar the shade of the language changes, and finally in South Kanara we get the Mangalorean dialect. Even in South Kanara, the nuances of the spoken language vary from village to village. Konkani does not have its own writing script. Ratnagiri area uses Devanagiri script. Goa used the Roman script under the Portuguese and in South Kanara the language was written in Kannada script. Thus from Ratnagiri to Mangalore , the coast is called the Konkan Coast. The Railway, which runs along the coast, is also named after it: The Konkan Railway.
Chapter 1 Cojma Pais , the head of the Pais Clan On a quiet hill in Goa, called Mont de Guirrem, the Capuchins had their Monastery. Fr. Joseph, the eldest brother of my cousin Agnes, who was a Capuchin friar, told me that on one side of their monastery the landowners lived, and one among them was one Pais family. On the other side of the road lived the people who tilled the fields for the land owning families. It is said, that there was a custom, perhaps handed down by the Portuguese rulers, that during the rite of baptism, the baptized took the surname of their Godfathers. The landowners and the tillers had the same surnames, as the Godfathers of the landowners were some of the Portuguese people, and those of the tillers, were the Landowners who gave their surnames to the Indian converts. Before conversion, their family names were Prabhu, Kamat, Naik, Pai etc. The Pais household was a Prabhu family before their conversion to Catholicism. Pais in Portuguese means ‘Country’. My story starts with a family, headed by a person named Cojma Portuguese version of Cosmos. Nothing is known about him, except that my cousin, Fr. Joseph o. f. m. Cap, brother of Agnes, culled his name out of the birth and death registers of the Mont de Guirrem monastery. He was preparing data for his father, Marian Salvadore Pais, who wanted to prepare the Pais Genealogy. Cojma (Cosmos) might have had many children, but two of his sons, Salu, and Domingo, decided to move out to Mangalore. There might have been a teary send off, with their mother packing pickles, dry fish and masalas for their use in Mangalore, and some food for the voyage on the Patmar. They might have sailed from the Marmagoa Harbour, with many other Goan men, who might have had surnames like D’Souza, Fernandes, Gonsalves, Tellis, Saldana, Castelino, Sequeira etc.Salu and Domingo Pais Salu The place where these two brothers lived in Mangalore is not known, but I thought they might have landed in Coondapur ; While many of their friends remained there, others might have gone southwards looking for jobs or to start some business of their own. They may have settled in different villages and towns. Salu, the older boy of Cojma, might have got married first, probably to a girl from a Shetty family in Mangalore, as her name is recorded in the genealogy, as Zoblu Shet. Domingo married later and his wife’s name is not recorded anywhere. Probably, Salu was able to own some land with the help of his father in law. From the name Zoblu, his wife might have embraced Catholicism, the religion of her husband, or she might have been the daughter of some convert, who did not change his surname. Salu and Zoblu might have been a very loving couple, as they had nine children. The eldest was a girl called Anna whom they got married to one Morian Coelho, who might have been the son of a man who had traveled with the father from Goa. Jackie , was born after Anna and as a boy must have worked on the land, helping his father tilling it, and looking after the farm animals. He had four younger brothers, Pascu, Juze Mingel, John, and Simon. The sisters too were younger to Jackie were Modthes, (Martha) who married Kaithan Gosal (Gonsalves). Modthes was the girl in between Pascu and Juze Mingel . The latter married Anna Costa, while the former might have died unmarried. John came after Juze Mingel and between him and his younger brother Simon was their sister Mercine who was married to Juze Coelho. John married a local girl who was called Regina Mudarth. Many D’Souza families of Mangalore came from the Mudarth clan. Ignatia Coelho was the wife of Simon. The last girl Gratia married Domingo Soza. The Soza family is also known as D’Souza. From the surnames, we can surmise that many of these families might have originated in Goa, and some in Mangalore. According to the Portuguese pronunciation, the last vowels were not pronounced, thus Coelho, was Coel, Lobo was Lob, Soza was Soz, Fernandes was Fernand, Pereira was Pereir etc. Though Anna and Mercine were married to boys from Coel family, we do not know if the two sons in law were brothers. May be the wife of Simon, Ignatia might have been their sister. I am led to believe that marrying in close families helped the land owning families from de-fragmenting their lands. The land also helped their family bonds. Agnes who gave me the genealogy was the great grand daughter of Juze Mingel.Domingo Pais and his family Domingo the brother of Salu had eight children, four boys, and four girls. The boys were Niku, (Nicholas) who married Regina Mathias. Juze was married to Mercy Rego. Intru (a rare name) married Mercy Soz, and Anthony who might have died young or remained a bachelor. Since Domingo was the first generation Goan to have migrated to Mangalore whether the marriages of his children took place in Goa or Mangalore is a matter left to conjecture Children of Salu Pais Jackie Pais , son of Salu, and his family Jackie, the eldest son of Salu Pais, must have been a landowner, living somewhere in Mangalore, possibly in the outskirts, close to a river. We do not know the name of his wife, but the names of his children are recorded. The eldest boy Anton, who like his father worked on their land, married a girl from the Tellis family named Seraphine. He had two brothers and three sisters. Manuel next to Anton married Sobin Pais and Laurence married Angeline Menezes. The three girls, who came after the boys, were Clara, married Alfred Rego, Morne (Mary Ann?) married Saldor Rodrigues, and Seraphine married Anton Saldana. The children of these couples were marrying their second and third cousins. Thus my mother was the daughter of a Tellis girl but since no one thought of genealogies in those days her story is not kept alive. Perhaps it is time, that our children kept their diaries, and wrote down their memoirs so that one-day their children could use them. Anton and Seraphine Anton and Seraphine, were the paternal grandparents of my father, John Pais. Anton's grandfather sustained himself and his family from the fruits of the land, which he owned. He also had farm animals, and used to supply milk to his community around him. I think Anton moved to Mangalore proper and lived somewhere close to Light House Hill. Their eldest son Saldor married Marceline Tellis in 1877. Morne was a girl born after him. Juze , my grandfather was born around 1860. Four other siblings followed him; three of these were girls and one a boy named Isidore. The girl, Ilem who came after Juze and before Isidore might have died young. Two girls, Regina, and Anna followed Isidore. Regina married Alex Saldana, and was the grand mother of my brother in law Gratian Farias. The latter part of the history of the Pais family will show that many families were tied to each other by way of marriage right up to the twentieth century. From the second half of the twentieth century, the children started to choose their spouses and many inter faith and inter community marriages took place. The families were no more bound by the land, as the Indian government had passed a new law ‘land to the tiller’ as an agrarian reform, which broke the hold of large land owners.
Chapter 2 My Paternal Grandparents Family Photo of my Father's Family taken in 1929
Ninety years before, Vijaya’s birth, on 14th May, 1890, my father, John was born in Mangalore to Juze Pais and Regina Saldana, in their home in Balmatta, which has now become a Convent of the Nazareth Sisters.My paternal grandfather Joseph Pais (Juze Pais) a well-known coffee planter in his day was born to Anton Pais and Seraphine Tellis, on 18th May 1860. He married Regina Saldana, on his 20th birthday, on 18th May 1880. He built his plantations from scratch, with his close friend Saturnine Mathias, his distant cousin. They walked fifty to sixty miles, “hitch-hiking with bullock carts, plucking and eating tender coconuts from wayside coconut trees, and living on beaten rice”. (Mrs. Agnes Mascarenhas told me this.) During his time, he was one of the richest men in Mangalore, and was a great and generous benefactor of many Catholic institutions, like schools, churches, and hospitals. In fact, his name appears on the top of the list on the marble slab, on the left side verandah wall of the Milagres Church. He was also the first benefactor of the Kankanady Fr. Muller’s Hospital . I will tell you later an incident about this hospital when I shall tell you about my father’s death .After his death on 23 August 1925, my paternal grandfather was buried in the old Milagres church, before the present structure was constructed. “In the present church his grave is under the Sacred Heart altar on the right side of the main church.” (Source of information Mrs. Agnes Mascarenhas.) My paternal grandmother, Regina Pais died around 1930 and was buried on the left side verandah of the Church.On the inside surface of the outer wall of the left verandah, there is a marble slab of benefactors, who contributed to build the new church. The first name is of our grandfather, Joseph Pais. The church is dedicated to Our Lady of Miracles. Miracles or Milagres is pronounced as Milar, in Portuguese. Brothers and Sisters of my father: John Boniface Anthony Pais . Mary was born on 18th December 1882. Died 6th November, 1907, The oldest child in my father’s family was his sister Mary , who later married Paul Nazareth. She is the grandmother of Cornel Nazareth. She had two daughters and one son. The eldest daughter was Letitia , born on 2nd March 1892, was married to John Rego, (Children: 1 boy and 5 girls). She died on 23rd December 1931. Clifford Rego , was born on 28th August 1918 and married Ivy Noronha on 1st January 1949. His wife died, and he now lives near National College in Bandra. His children are: Shirley born on 7th August 1950 Brian born on 15th December 1951. Joan was born on 7th July 1955. Trevor was born on 10th March 1957 and last Malcolm 23rd October 1961. Irene Rego was born on 20th May 1920. She became a nun and her name in the order was Sr. Wilhelmina. Dotty Rego , b. c. 1922 also became a nun, and is called Sr. Yvette. Gladys was born on 23rd July 1924 and was married to Percy Pinto on 2nd July 1945. Sheila her eldest is married to Joseph D’Souza, son of Ubaldo D’Souza of Kankanady. They were with us in Dubai, and Sheila worked for Shell Markets.Berna was born on 24th November 1947 and lives with Gladys in Canada. They have one more young son, whose name I can not recollect. Winny was born on 28th August 1926 and is now a nun. Marcy Rego was born on 25th August 1928 and got married to Mr. Oswald Gonsalves. Hilda, born on 14th August 1904, came after Letitia, and married to Philip Tellis, (born 26th May 1894) had 6 boys. She died of cancer. Their firstborn was Joe born on 18th February 1925. He died in the sixties of cancer. Ivan born on 12th December 1927 worked in Kuwait, and got married to Susan. Now they live in England. Galdwyn born 18th April, 1930 Percy died recently in 2001 of cancer. John who was born on 8th March 1934 is a bachelor, and worked in Qatar, when I was working there. I had a nice time at his room, in his Quarters in Umm Said, while he was working for the Qatar Petroleum Company. I can still remember the nice pork dish he prepared himself. He lives with Eric in their home in Bandra, with Eric and his children. Eric was born on 25th November 1939. He was there at our wedding, Leola was quite amused with his beard, and I think she called him Bugs Bunny. He got married to Harriet, who taught in St. Sanislaus School in Bandra. She died of a painful ailment, a form of cancer, some time in 2000 or 2001. They have two children. Stan, the youngest was born on 7th February 1907. He married Zita Mendonca on 26th December 1939. He is the father of Cornel. Cousin Zita moved to Canada with her children, and died there. His eldest son is Ashley born on 8th July 1940 got married to Olga. He lives on Peter Dias Road in Bandra. They have two sons, Ryan, and Brian. Errol was born on 23rd July 1941. He now lives with his wife Margaret and son Jude in Canada. Lorena has remained single and lives in Canada. She was born on 10th April 1943. Siggy was born on 4th October 1944 and has married Daisy. They have a girl, Candice, and a boy Darren. They live close to Ashley’s house in Bandra.Cornel, born on 2nd October 1946 is married to Maria D’Souza from Thane. They have a son Rohit, born on 15th June 1980. He suffers from Downs Syndrome. They live in Flower Bloom building, on Veera Desai Road, Andheri West.Trevor now married is living in Canada. Iona also now married lives in Canada. Derrick is married to Giselle, and lives in Canada with her. Marina, the youngest and a pretty girl was born on 8th July 1957. She is always full of smiles, and is very endearing. She has decided to remain single. She lives in Canada with Lorena. Lucy Mary was followed by Lucy who was married to Marian Salvadore Pais . She had 11 children, three boys Apollinaris, Frederic, and Arthur became priests, and two daughters Edith and Jessie became nuns. She was a great help to my father after he lost the source of his income from the estates. My cousin Agnes Mascarenhas is her surviving daughter now in her nineties, and living in Mangalore . Her son Rodney is living in Bandra, and his older brother Sydney is a Franciscan Priest. Aunt Lucy’s houseUncle Marian Pais was a deputy Collector in the British Government and was in the employ of the Madras Presidency. He had retired in the forties, and their house was in the Vas Lane. She had eleven children, of whom one died. Agnes married Norbert Mascarenhas. At present the house is occupied by Aunt Lucy’s youngest son’s wife, Rose.Louis, born 8th December 1885. He died on 18th October 1949. After Lucy came Louis. He was educated in law. He managed the coffee estates after my grandfather’s death. In 1934 we lost all properties built by my grandfather, due to bankruptcy of the coffee business. Louis was married to Rose Gonsalves. They had three daughters: Molly, born 23rd May 1911 died as a nun in France. Prescy was born on 8th July 1913, died of cancer in 1976. She was teaching French in Gloria School in Byculla and taught my wife Leola, who was her favorite student. Grace was born on 31st January 1915 and on 24th April 1937 married Salvadore Fernandes, (born 21st February 1909). Mr. Fernandes was my English Teacher in St. Aloysius School, in Mangalore . This School and College run by the Jesuits completed 100 years in the 1970s. He died on 1st January 1971. Gracy is the surviving daughter, of my Uncle Louis, having six children. The eldest Clarence was born on 11th April 1938. He is married to Lorna and lives in Australia. His eldest daughter is named Shabnam. He has two sons, David and Mathew, born in May 1975 and April 1981 respectively. Maizie comes after him, is married one Hamlet Zachariah, and lives in Canada. She had been a nun for some time, before she got married. Two boys follow them: Alan married to Moira Mathias. Alan is a doctor, and lives in England. Percy lives close to the Milagres Church. His wife’s name is Hilda or Matilda, and they have four daughters. Karen the eldest was born on 30th September 1975 and was married some time late in the nineties, the same year Nisha, and my eldest brother Jossie’s daughter got married. Lisa was born on 18th December 1976. Meagan, on 23rd June 1981 and Nina, on 3rd July 1985. After them, there are two girls, Esmie and, Olive, both married. Esmie born on 14th December 1946 married Carl Mascarenhas. Vinay their son was born on 8th August 1975. Deepika their daughter, was born on 12th June, 1981 Olive got married to Allan Pinto. David, their son was born on 21st December 1980. Daniel was born on 26th January 1984. John Boniface My father John Boniface was born after Louis. My father had a younger brother, Frank, was born on 11th May, 1894, was married to one Lily Noronha, but they separated one year after their marriage on 10th February, 1920, when John and Frank got married. Uncle Frank died on 4th October 1939. My father suffered from chronic asthma, and this prevented my grand father from sending him to England to do his ICS (Indian Civil Service) examination. Ilem There was a sister, named Ilem, who died when she was young. My Maternal Grandparents Family Photo of my Mother's Family taken in 1932
Hampankatta - Hampankatta, the commercial centre of Mangalore , is not far from the sea on its west. I was born to Stella Mary and John Pais , in 1934 on the upper floor of the Catholic Bank building, which also housed its first Secretary who was my maternal grandfather, Mr John Manuel Castelino. The Milagres Church, built some 450 years ago, was situated in this locality My maternal grandmother’s sister, Francesca was married to Anacletus Coelho , the maternal grandfather of my wife, Leola. Jalas, her only son died as a young man. She had four daughters, Clotilda, Theodora, mother of Violet D’Souza, and Hilda, wife of Uncle Dennis Nazareth , whom Leola’s mother, Anne married after the death of her step sister, Hilda. The last child, Jessy suffered from epileptic stroke. Francesca died after her youngest daughter, Jessy was born. In consideration of the age of his young children, her husband married Lily Pinto, whose eldest daughter Anne was married to Vincent Aloysius Wade in 1939 and their eldest daughter Leola born on 28th January, 1940, who later became my wife.My mother, Stella Mary, the eldest daughter of John Manuel Castelino and Felicitas Tellis, was born on 1 October 1902 in Milagres. My maternal grandfather retired as the head master of Milagres School after serving it for fifty years. Many leading luminaries of Mangalore studied under him. He was well respected by his peers for his intellectual abilities, and was instrumental in founding the first bank in Mangalore that was run by Catholics, the Catholic Bank. He also helped in founding other institutions like the Catholic Club and the Catholic Provident Fund Bank. The Catholic Bank merged with the Syndicate Bank in the 1950s after management goof-ups. Mr. Irenaeus Lobo , the father of Teddy Lobo, (who was in Doha and Dubai, with us) once told us about his ability to take all sorts of challenges. Mr. Lobo was a teacher in the school, and all the teachers decided to challenge my grandfather. They used to call him “Mistry” which meant Master. They said to him, “Mistry, you can do many things, but we are afraid you will not be able to stick your coat". In answer, he told them to bring the cloth and when it was provided, he put it on the table, and started to rip his old coat, so that he could place the pieces on the new cloth and start cutting. When the teachers saw this, they gave up, in deference to my grandfather and were astonished at his mind.Both my maternal grand parents were buried in the Cemetery behind the Milagres Church. My grandmother: Felicitas Tellis Castelino, died on 31st December 1934, two weeks after my birth and my grandfather John Manuel Castelino died on 26th September 1945. We used to call our maternal grandfather “Abu” and my maternal grandmother: “Filsu Mai". My paternal grandfather was "Vodlo Aan" and my paternal grandmother was “Vokkle Mai". Vokkle was the word for spectacles, and she used to wear themThe First World War – 1914 Our Lady of Fatima – 1917 Russia in turmoil The 1917 October Revolution. End of the First World War – 1918 In spite of turmoil in the world far away, India remained unaffected, as we were not directly involved or invest in the war. It is our rulers, the British who would ultimately pay, and get out of our country in 1947. Mother was 16 years old, and was going to school. She was a large bodied girl, and tall for her age. The Nuns put her in the last row in her class. She used to eat a whole half kilo of beef for her meals. This initial nourishment helped her to last to all sorts of ordeals in her later life. Brothers and Sisters of my mother: Stella Mary Castelino. My mother, the eldest daughter of John Manuel and Felicitas , was born 12 years after their marriage in 1902. Some holy man predicted this event we are told. Alice was born after my mother, and then they she had two sons; the older was Gualbert and the younger was Linus. Alice She was married to Basil Gonsalves . Fr. Terrence Quadros, of St. Xavier’s College is the son of their eldest daughter, Marie Therese, who married James Quadros sometime in the early forties. Panny was the eldest of the boys who died at the age of 17, in 1945. Tony and Rinny were two boys after him. The former became a Captain in the Army and is now retired and living in Bangalore. Rinny married Florence Sequeira, who now live in New Orleans, U.S.A. Rinny is the short name for Gratian. He runs his own shipping company in America, and his e-mail address is email@example.com. They have two younger sisters: Genevieve married George D’Souza, and Vincia married Tony Gonsalves. Genevieve lives in Bangalore and Vincia in USA.Alice and Basil after their marriage moved to Bombay, where Uncle worked for McKinnon and McKenzie, a shipping agency. He became a manager, but when he was about 35 years old, he had a nervous breakdown, and had to return to Mangalore . Their eldest two girls, Therese and Celine, were born in Bombay. Once when the maidservant was taking Celine in a pram, on the footpath, due to some accident, the pram overturned, and the child was injured. A brain damage occurred as a result of this accident, and she was handicapped for the rest of her life. Her level of intelligence did not improve as she grew up. She died some time in the eighties in Bangalore, in Tony’s house. Rinny’s in laws, Betty and Billy, who lived in Aunt Alice’s house in Jeppu, looked after for some years after Aunt Alice’s death. They are still living there. The house now belongs to Rinny.Gualbert He married Mabel Braggs. Their eldest son Malcolm died recently in Bangalore. He married when he was working in Delhi, to Sheila Albuquerque. Odele who married Vincent Pais , was born after Malcolm. She does not have children. The youngest is David, who married Mary, while in Kuwait and presently they live in Bangalore. Simmi and I had last visited them in 1995. Linus. Linus died in Bombay in 1939 of tuberculosis, after a very short illness. Anne, my mother in law, knew him. On the 75th birthday of my brother Evy, we all would meet in my sister Minna’s house in Bandra, Bombay. My brother Jossie would sing a song written by my Uncle Linus and know for the first time, that this my favorite song: “Sweet Heart May” was written and composed by his Uncle of mine. Jossy told us that day on 28th December 2001 that Aunt Fonny’s brother Joseph was in love with an Anglo Indian girl, May, and he was to bring her to Mangalore, and Linus composed this song for that occasion. I was just very happy to know the source of my own musical inheritance!SWEET HEART MAY Abu’s housesYou already know, that at the time of my birth in 1934, my grandfather lived in the Catholic Bank quarters, on the left side of the compound in front of the Milagres Church. Some time after that, Uncle Gualbert succeeded my grandfather as the Secretary of the Bank. He moved to a house on the Coelho lane at that time. This area is known as Falneer. It was a beautiful house with gothic style windows and glazed floor tiles As usual there was a portico at the entrance. There was a shower in the bathroom, and we used to be taken often there in summer when there was no water in our well in Jeppu. On the right side of the house was a lane, which led, through a steep rising steps, to a road that met the Silva road. A fascinating stream flowing under a small bridge greeted us at the entrance of this lane. We could see fish swimming in it in the clear running water. I used to often stand on the bridge on my way to the school, and watch the wriggling fish with great admiration. Some time between 1940 and 1945, Uncle Gualbert got married, in this house. His wife, Mabel Braggs, used to live opposite Aunt Lucy’s house in the Vas Lane, which joins the Hampankatta-Kankanady road to Balmatta. Conrad Pais , the son of Aunt Lucy, succeeded him in 1945. Uncle Gualbert went to Bombay and worked in the Metro theatre complex for some time, before he migrated with his family to Uganda in West Africa. He came back in the sixties, settled down in Bangalore, and died there. His wife, Mabel and their sons Malcolm and David and daughter Odele all live in Bangalore. Malcolm died in 2001.Soon after Uncle Gualbert’s marriage, my grand father took up a rented accommodation close to Aunt Mary Sequeira’s house in Jeppu. On 26 September 1945 he died in this house, and sometime after that Aunt Mabel must have moved to Bombay and migrated to Africa with Uncle Gualbert.Marriage of my Father and Mother: I was told that my father, John Pais, at the age of 30, came to see my mother, 18 years old at that time, dressed in khaki trousers and a white shirt. He was completely unassuming, and a simple man. In those days, the parents made decisions involving marriage of their children. My mother’s parents obviously found that the “boy was good and belonging to a good and wealthy family” - so it was agreed to give “their daughter in marriage” to John Boniface Anthony Pais . The wedding took place in April 1920.For the nuptials my father wore a Western suit made of Black English serge wool. It was a dual wedding in the old Milagres Church, in Hampankatta. John and Frank two brothers were married on the same day. My mother’s house was a walking distance from the Church, but my father’s house was a bit far, so they might have used a horse drawn carriage (or even a decorated bullock cart?), to come to the churchMy mother was endowed with an exceptional mellow soprano voice, and according to my mother, my paternal grandfather, Joseph Pais asked her to sing his favorite song, composed for his daughter Lucy’s wedding by Mr. Albert Pinto. The song was “Novo Stella ”  and she taught this song to me, and it has become my favorite konkani song as well. According to Mangalorean standards, it was a grand wedding.Stella is down with typhoid - My mother stayed in the Balmatta house after she was married to my father. Sometime in 1921 or 1922 she got an attack of typhoid, a serious and dangerous disease in those days. She lived with her parents till she recovered and convalesced before she could return to her in laws’ house. Birth of my older brothers and sisters - On 23 September 1923, my eldest sister Lena was born. In 1925, on 4 October, my eldest brother Joseph was born. On 28 December 1926, they got a boy and named him Everic. On 13th September 1930 a young angelic cherub was born, and they named her Philomena, but called her Minna. America reels under the Great Depression. After the roaring twenties, which easy lending of the banks fueled and uncontrolled spending, came the crash of the banks, and many companies went bankrupt. With the disappearance of the ‘importers’ in America, the ‘exporters’ in India got affected. This was the indirect cause of the bankruptcy of our family estates. Britain, a major partner of the United States was more affected and India lost as a consequence.Lena Pais . She was the eldest child of John Pais and Stella Mary Castelino, and was born on 23rd September 1923. As a child, she could not bear the taste of pungent things. When she found some food hot, she would scream ‘thickoo’, which indicated that she, wanted water. But in my grandfather’s house, drinking water during meals was frowned upon. My mother was young herself. So my Uncle’s wife Rosy would take her to the kitchen and comfort her.When my father was teaching in schools outside Mangalore, she lived with my Aunt Lucy, and went to school to St. Agnes High School in Bendoor. I remember her coming home to Puttur in 1939, on her holidays. Joseph Pais Joseph, called Jossie was born on 4th October 1924. He was a quiet and unobtrusive boy. He was good in his studies. Once for no fault of his, his Kannada master failed him, because in spite of telling him to write even one sentence, he would not. His reason was that he did not know Kannada. When he was sixteen he worked in the Catholic Bank , and I remember how once he took Kenny and me, to the movies in Chitra Talkies in Hampankatta, to see Abbot and Costello. After our father’s death, we went to work in Calcutta.Everic’s escapades -Everic was mischievous as a child and very stubborn too. He told us many a story of his childhood. Once, when he was small, his Uncle Louis would call him to his room, and challenge him to drink a little whiskey and on doing so he would reward him with a silver rupee coin. He would lose it in the compound while playing his childhood games but the servant watching him would find it and give it to my mother. Thus my mother collected quite a few these silver coins. One day she asked him how he got them. She was surprised at his answer. She told him not to do it. She asked him, “Evy, tell me like whom do you want to be wen you grow up, like your Uncle Louis or like your Daddy?” The answer was, “Like my Daddy” Thus when the next day came he refused to drink, and when the Uncle asked him why, he gave his answer: “I want to be like my father” - and then ensured a raucous and noisy fight! Another story he told me was how he used to go to school. Mother used to send Joseph and Everic (they were called Jossie and Evy) to the Milagres School, from Balmatta accompanied by a servant. It was a half-hour’s walk. Mother told them to walk on the side of the road. So, my brother Evy goes slowly walking on the stone edge of the pavement, and when a compound gate comes, it used to carve inwards and he would walk along it, and thus delay the servant. When the servant used to ask him to walk straight, he would retort: “Must I obey you, or my mother?” This young boy was so stubborn, that one day, when it was a holiday, the spent the day at my mother’s house in Milagres. Early in the morning Evy was all dressed up to go to school. My grandfather, who was the head master of that school, told him, to remove his clothes and wear home clothes. The young grandson insisted that there was school, and the grand father did like wise arguing that it was a holiday. Finally, he had to use his cane, to din some sense into the small but fertile head of my brother!Some of the other stories he told us during one his visits, were related to his memory when the bullock cart was sent with my father’s belongings from the Balmatta house, and everyone was tense, and the cart-man waiting for his wages.The other was of his school days, when he remembered his favorite teacher Miss Josephine Fernandes One day our mother wanted to send something to her, so she asked Evy, to take it. His question was how to recognize this teacher, so he asked: “Is she the one that has the soft cheeks, always resting the right one, on her finger?” This became the joke of the town!Minna - 1930 Minna , my sister, was born on 13 September 1930 and baptized as Philomena Mary, in the new Milagres Church. She was a cute little girl, appeared more like an angel than a child was. I have vivid memories of her gentle guiding hand, during my growing up years. In one of the group photos, which were taken when she was a small girl, in my maternal grandfather’s house, she is seen sullen, as she did not get a chance to wear her favorite frock. After 4 years, I was born on 18 December 1934.Chapter 3 Early Years. The political situation in the world The American depression caused economic upheavals all over the world and as India was part of the British Empire with close links to America at that time, it also suffered. It was partly because of this, and partly on account of the amount owned by my Uncle to the banks, (around Rs 15,000, a large sum according to standards of 1934). The Creditors had panicked and were after him to return the money, the matter was handed to the courts, and it decided that our properties had to be auctioned. A cousin of my father, Mr Ubaldo Saldana, purchased the Balmatta house for Rs 9000. The son in law of my maternal grandfather’s brother: Mr John Sequeira purchased one 1000-acre coffee estate that was named “Bandara” for Rs 3000. Another large and fertile coffee estate, called “Kaunala” was sold for Rs 7000 to some cousins of my father. Even though the British had promulgated the Partnership Act in 1932, our family still continued as Sole Proprietorship, and as a result, was judged accordingly. All members of the family were liable to the debts. My father was the worst hit, as he had five children, and I was the youngest, a baby. His other brothers and sisters were well settled, and less affected. My Uncle Frank was on his own. It was a bad year for my parents, and I was born one week before Christmas, on 18th of December, and my grandmother Felicitas Tellis died one week after Christmas of a heart attack on 31st December of that year. Moving out of the ancestral home - My father and mother had moved out of the Balmatta house after the auction, to my maternal grandfather’s house in the Catholic Bank, which was close to the Milagres Church. It is said, that some old furniture from the Balmatta house was sent to my mother’s house on a bullock cart, as my father’s share, which my father did not want to accept, but my mother’s father’s advice prevailed, and he accepted them. The older brother and sister took the better things. This Catholic bank which was demolished later, was situated in front of, and on the left side of the Milagres Church compound. An orthopedic hospital is built on the place where the bank was. The day I was born, my grandfather called a young boy named Simon Rasquina who lived on the Bank premises and asked him to call the doctor. He was working with a statue maker called Martis. Simon later became a statue maker himself, and was very prosperous. His daughter became a nun. My mother gave birth to me in the house, after Simon had brought the doctor. I was a very healthy, fair and plump baby.Father’s job in South Kanara -My father had done the teacher’s training, and was employed by the (British) Government. In those days, the Government Board of Education ran schools, in different parts of every district. Our district was called South Kanara. It was one of the 26 districts of the Madras Presidency. To the north of the presidency was Goa, a Portuguese colony. Further to its north was the Bombay Presidency, which covered a large part of modern day Gujarat, and Maharashtra. South Kanara district was divided into 6 talukas. From the north to south, they were Coondapur , Udipi, Mangalore , and Kasargod. To the east of Udipi was Karkal , and to its South was Puttur. To the east of the district of South Kanara was the Coorg district, where the coffee estates were. They were in the Western Ghats. My father had served in Karkal, Puttur, Mangalore, and Kasargod. My father used to rent accommodation in placed he was transferred to. Thus after the collapse of our coffee estates, from 1936 to 1937 he was stationed in Karkal. From 1938 to 1939 he was stationed in Puttur. Gratian Farias lived in Puttur at that time. His mother, Helen was the first cousin of my father, being the daughter of his father’s sister Regina.My escapades in Mangalore I have been told of my escapades during the first two years of my life. As soon as I had learnt to crawl, I showed a great liking for sandals. Sometimes I crawled or may be walked to the entrance of the Bank, where people left their slippers. One day, a client came complaining to my grandfather, asking him if there was a dog in the bank, as he had lost his sandals. My grandfather told him: “Yes, we have a two legged dog.” and called the peon and asked him to go up and check me. To his surprise, I was playing with that sandal.My escapades in Karkal - I have few memories of these years. But I am told that I was a mischievous boy. We had as our neighbour, a Lobo family whose son Victor was of my age, and their eldest daughter Winnie, was married and living in Mangalore and had two children, Mabel and Archie. Her husband died when Archie was a small baby. Today Archie and his wife Minna, live in Bandra with Aunt Winny. Archie and Mabel were with us in Doha, Qatar and later in Dubai. The story revolves round Victor, who came to play with me with a sweet boiled potato and was eating it. I impulsively grabbed it from him and ate it. I am told that it led to a hue and cry, and my mother had to intervene and boil a fresh sweet potato for Victor. In 1937, on 14 May, my younger brother Kenneth was born. Life in Puttur – 1939The start of the Second World War – 1939 India’s place in the Second World WarIndia faced shortages of food and materials during this time. Many of our young men joined the Indian Royal Navy and the Army. Marie Therese’s future husband, James Quadros was a warrant officer in the Navy. Gratian Farias was working for the Royal Indian Army some time after 1940.In this War, the protagonists were Britain, America, and Russia on one side, Germany, and Italy on the other side. Around 1938, my father may have moved to Puttur, which is in the southwest of the district. He rented a two-storied house, with some fields in its front, along the main Mangalore -Puttur road. On the other side of the road, high up on a hill amidst trees and shrubbery with a flower garden, was the school, where I was admitted for my first class, during the rainy season, in June 1939. At this time, my mother had a severe attack of anemia, and her hair had abruptly turned gray. On 11 November of this year my youngest sister Ena was born. She was baptized in the Puttur Church and was named Ena Bertha. Ena was the short name for Regina, our grandmother. During our stay in Puttur some of the highlights in my life were: · There was a boy in my class who used to come with a soiled “Gandhi” cap, and I told him to ask his mother to wash it. The next day, I reminded him, when I noticed the same cap that it was not washed. On the third day, it was still dirty, so I took it from his head and threw it out of the window, and the boy began to cry. My teacher complained about this to my mother, and my teacher and my mother reprimanded me. I loved this teacher, because she was fair and pretty.· Once I took a coin, which was called a “Dedki” valued at three pice. I took it to the local grocer and asked him I wanted to buy a tricycle. He told this incident to my mother.· Buses used to ply between Mangalore and Puttur, and I was told a certain bus goes to Mangalore. I knew my grandfather was in Mangalore. I used to stand on the side of the road with a stick, and tell the driver to stop and take me to my ‘Abu’s'’ house in Mangalore. No wonder he did not understand what was on my mind. So one day, I stood in front of the on-coming bus, which had just started, and raised my stick and shouted at the driver to take me to my ‘Abu’s’ house. I was persistent, even after he stopped the bus, and begged me to move away. The Muslim women of the neighbourhood, started shouting and my mother sent Evy down who picked me up in his arms and whisked me away. At home, they frightened me so much, that from that day; I had no guts to do such “adventurous” escapades.· My brother Kenny was frail and small, and my mother used to give him a bath, by placing him in a small brass basin with water. I had seen how she used to bathe him, so one day I decided to give him a bath as well. He suffocated as I poured the water on his head, and in the nick of time, my mother saw it and came to rescue Kenny, yelling at me, and dumbfounding me in the bargain. · It was Christmas time, and mother was scraping coconuts to prepare sweets for the Christmas season. She must have scraped quite a few coconuts, because the scrapings were a heap-full. I asked her for some scraped coconut, and she told me to have patience and wait till the sweets were ready. The next thing she knew was when I dumped a handful of mud in her coconut. 60 years have not changed my impulsive nature. I was a thoughtless stupid boy! · I remember that on the upper floor of our house, there used to be a swing with iron chairs, hanging from the ceiling. The seat was broad and made out of wood. There were wooden stairs to go up and down. Once I took Kenny upstairs to show him the fields through the wide glass paned windows. The place was brightly lit with the sunshine pouring in through them with fresh breeze wafting through the cross-ventilated windows. While coming down, he tumbled down, and luckily nothing happened to him. · My father had a B. S. A. bicycle with angular mudguards in the V shape, which he used to tie to the window. I was in the habit of stepping on the pedal and jumping on it. One day when I was about two or three years old, I jumped as usual and the break handle of the cycle injured my forehead and I had a gash. To my bad luck, he had forgotten to tie the cycle on that day. In those days, the medicine was “Iodex". The injury left a permanent scar on my forehead.· I remember the Christmas of 1939, when my eldest sister Lena came from Mangalore to spend the holidays with us. She made a crib for us. She draped mother’s blue saree for the background. Tinted the newspapers with ash, and made rocks out of them. With the help of the anemaand a basin she made a stream, with flowing water. She studded the blue saree, which she used for the sky, with silver stars, which she cut out of cigar foils. My father used to smoke small cigars. He drank very occasionally, at meals during feasts.I also remember how it felt when he took me double ride on his bicycle. I was always told to mind my fingers so that they did not jam in the break levers. It was a pleasant experience to see the stones on the road running backwards as the cycle sped forward. My recollection of my father’s features is very weak.Chapter 4 Return to Mangalore - Jeppu House – 1940-1945Early in 1940, my family decided to move to Mangalore, as it was becoming difficult to the children to be moved from one school to another. We took up rented accommodation in Jeppu . The house rent was six rupees from 1940 to 1945.
The large compound with its mango and cashew trees gave us children ample space to play. The common well served the requirement of our house and well as that of our neighbours. On one side, Mr Thomas D’Souza and his wife Mary lived. Their eldest son was Charles worked in Kuwait. Other boys in their family were Stanny, Lawry (who is working now for St. Paul’s bookshop in Bandra as their accountant). Jerry and Jossy were closer to my age. Celine was their sister who was of Minna’s age, died recently in 2001. On the other side was the house of Mr Boniface Sequeira who was a singer in the church, and used to practice everyday his sol-fa. He had pretty looking daughters. Among whom Winnie was of my age. Behind our house was an open maidan, and beyond it was the road leading to my school. The place we lived was known as “Bishop’s Compound". My aunt, Alice Gonsalves bought a house in the same lane, and Rinny’s in laws live there today.The Seminary Church , of St. Joseph Minna was a devout girl who used to take me to the Jeppu Seminary church for Mass from the time we moved into the Jeppu house in 1940. She guided me through the important parts of the Mass. Even though she was just four years older than I was. I learnt a lot from her. She used to tell me to lift my feet and put them down carefully while walking in the dark, on the hard and stony pathway leading to the church when going for the early morning mass. Even at the age of 67 I find it useful, not to trip and fall, as now my eyesight is weak, and I can not see the pits on the road. I got my religious foundation during this time. The Seminary church was very beautiful and had a deeply spiritual ambience. During the times of Benediction and Adoration days, the bright lighting of the sanctuary with its tall glowing candles made a deep impression on me. The Jeppu Brass Band - There used to be a brass band directed by the Italian Jesuit fathers who were in charge of the Seminary. Fr. Belleri, an old, short and venerable father with a flowing white beard who exuded great holiness, used to go for his walks and often pass in front of our house. He always kept small sweets in his pocket, which he used to distribute to the children during his walks, and we were fond of running after him to get the prized sweets. He conducted wearing his round rimmed spectacles this brass band, which was a full-fledged ensemble of Italian instruments. The musicians played from written music score. They played all classical marches and religious musical compositions. It was the treat I used to long for in those early days of my life. My love for music must have been awakened at that time. Christmas Night, and the annual Diocesan Adoration procession, were the highlights of the band. They also used to be called for the funerals of the rich, and one of Handel’s funeral marches was indeed somber and beautiful.The Seminary Choir Then there was the Seminary choir, conducted by a young Italian priest, Fr. Jerome Pasi, who died in Italy in the nineties. The repertoire was beautiful, and it was a pleasure to listen to the singing of this choir. The Organist was an elderly priest, Fr. Ranzani. This was the other element in fostering my early love for music. Later on in the fifties, I would also play for this Choir on the Seminary’s Mason and Hamlin American pedal Harmonium. There were beautiful Harmoniums in other churches as well. I was fortunate to get a chance to play on the Cathedral, Milagres Church and Apostolic Carmel harmoniums, in the eighties, when the type of church music had changed, and these masterpieces were relegated to some dusty corner, where no one knew how to play them. A sad commentary on our society which forgets its history as easily as the fire fly which hovers around a light and fades away into the dark night. It was mostly this type of music that flooded my ears up till the age of 25. It is because of this that I have not been enamoured by the pop music that came up during my growing up years, as there was a day and night difference between this music and the music I fell in love with, in the earlier period of my life. Tastes are very subjective, and can not be reasoned out. Ever since my childhood, I have had a great fascination for the older Church music, and a nostalgic memory of the past, drives me to preserve it, and that is why I would attempt in the nineties to form St. Cecilia’s polyphonic choir with a band of 12 singers.Altar Server - I became an altar server, together with my older brothers Jossie and Evy, for the first time, in this Seminary Church. Once when I was 8 years old, we went out for a picnic, to the seashore. Fr. Pasi, a scholastic, accompanied us at that time. It was during this picnic I heard for the first time, his vibrant tenor, singing “Santa Lucia” that later on became my favorite song.Mr. Francis de Gama - Mr. De Gama was a sculptor, a painter, and a statue maker, molding statues out of clay with his bare hands. His life-size statues adorn the surroundings of St. Joseph’s Seminary. Br. Moscheni, a Jesuit lay brother, during the latter part of the nineteenth century, painted the beautiful frescos in St. Joseph’s Seminary Church and in St. Aloysius College chapel. He taught De Gama the art when he was a very young boy. Brother Moscheni was one among the first Italian missionaries who come to Mangalore . Mr. De Gama volunteered to teach me drawing and painting. He took a fancy to me, and for a time I took interest and learnt. As usual, I gave up out of sheer laziness. One day he met me, and told me not to give up, but to practice whenever I was inclined to do it. He was an old man, and a genius, but extremely simple and an unassuming person.Christmas Cribs The Italian Jesuit brothers of St. Joseph’s Seminary used to prepare beautiful cribs, and a corner of the church was devoted to it. They used special electric effects, to vary the brightness of the light, and lit the tiny houses with tiny electric bulbs. It was a splendid piece of work. The statues had been imported from Italy, as during the British times, there were no import restrictions. Every house made their own cribs, and children would vie among themselves to excel in the craftsmanship.The Milagres School - 1940-1948 March. I had passed the first class, in the Puttur School successfully and used to come first in every exam. Therefore, my head was in the air, when my sister Lena, took me to the Milagres School for admission. My mother wanted to admit me to the second class but I flunked the test. When the teacher asked me questions, I kept mum. The teacher recommended to my sister that I, having come from a village school, be admitted to the first class. Everything was fine till we reached home, and gave this piece of information to my mother. She was puzzled and filled with disbelief, and asked me why I did not answer the questions. My answer was: “What does the teacher think, that I am? Why has she to ask me when I know everything? Does she not know the answers.” There went a year of my studies down the drain. Again I came first in all the exams in my first lass in the Milagres School, which was on the other side of the main road that goes to Hampankatta, adjacent to the Milagres Church.In the early days, the servant used to accompany me to the school. Later I learnt to go on my own. It was a pleasant walk to my school, and I used to go along with my friend Kiran Alvares , who died in the late nineties. We used to go down the Silva Road, and turn right on to Coelho Lane, and again right on to the Marjil Road and take the Kankanady - Hampankatta road, to go to the School. All roads in Mangalore were asphalted only after we got Independence. At the left corner of Silva Road and Coelho Lane was Leola’s Aunt Martha’s house. Raefi Pinto was her grand son. On the right side of the Coelho Lane, was the house of Mr. Willy Coelho the grand father in law of Leola’s cousin Christine Coelho who is in Australia. Close by was Kiran’s house. Kiran was the son of Judge Thomas Alvares, who had retired from Ceylon, and after his death his wife Ella had taken up residence close to Mr. William Coelho ’s house. Near the junction of Marjil road and Kankanady-Hampankatta road was the Marjil School, where Minna studiedFirst School experiences - My first class teacher was Rosalie who got married. Our second class teacher taught us a song for the farewell function. I wondered why we sang “Good boy teacher", when she was a girl. I asked Kiran, for an answer. He laughed at me and said, “It is good-bye, which means God be with you”. Our second class teacher was a pretty girl, who used to stay close to the school, but she got sick that year, I think of tuberculosis, and died that year. From 1939 onwards, the second World War was going on, but all we knew of the war was from the magazine “War-In-Pictures”, which our principal, Fr. Francis Pinto, used to give me as a prize for coming first in the monthly exam. The only effect of the war, was scarcity of good rice. Once we had stinking rice, which we had to eat, with pinched noses. There used to be time, when there was nothing to eat. The older ones in the house would lay the table, and we would all sit and sing songs, till we the younger ones went to sleep, and forgot about the meals. The lost album - Kiran was my best friend in the elementary school. One day I borrowed an album from him. He had pasted the labels of different matchboxes in various designs and colours on a nicely bound photograph album. It was really very temptingly beautiful. During recess, I left the album in the desk, but after coming back, found the album was stolen. When I told Kiran about this, (we were in the 2nd class), he told me to bring a candle, and suggested that we light it in front of St. Anthony’s statue in the church the next day, and pray. So, I stole a “Dedki” from my mother’s purse, bought a candle and we both prayed to St. Anthony, with the lighted candle in front of his statue. When we went back, we did not find the album. It was then that Kiran said, “It is o.k. St. Anthony does not want to give the album back/” This Kiran became the captain of St. Aloysius College cricket team, and later joined the merchant Navy, started his own shipping business, and died in the nineties doing a lot of philanthropic work. I did not have much contact with him in the later years.Milagres School was only up to eighth class, and in those days, the schools were divided into Elementary, Middle, and High School. The elementary classes were from 1st to 5th. The Middle School was from I to III Form. The High School was from IV to VI Form. Thus in the summer of 1945 I completed my fifth class. I remember in a special way, two brothers of the Olivet congregation, who taught us. One was Br. Bonaventure, who was an older person, and the younger one was Brother, whose name I have forgotten, but he had a pronunciation problem. For “R” he would pronounce “Ga". It was he who taught us the hymn “Sweet Heart of Jesus, Fount of Love and Mercy” which became my favorite hymn.Home work - One day my brother Jossie took up my Maths tables. I did not know them. So he, sitting on the easy chair, made me kneel in front of him, and made me put my hands up and repeat after him the tables, and memorize them. In spite of all his effort, I learnt the tables only in 1960 at the age of 25! School Picnics Mr. Vaman Naik was our scoutmaster, who took us on a marching expedition to a place called Gurpur. It was nine miles away. We had to mark the road with arrows and signs for those who were coming behind us. We had to fetch firewood, to cook our meals, and by the time we finished we were dead tired. In the evening he told us to march to the bus station, and told us, “Start marching back to Mangalore” and we begged him to take us by bus. Of course he was just bluffing us. He was a nice old man, perhaps an ex military or police man.The night before the picnic, those of us who stayed far, spent the night in the school. The boys would roam the streets in the night, buy beedies, which are made of dried tendu leaves and tobacco powder. It was a memorable experience. At that time, Teddy Lobo , who married Mabel D’Souza, Archie’s sister was studying in eighth standard. He was a mischievous chap. He was our hero. We had a Kannada lesson, on bees. And one sentence told how the bees made their noise. It sounded like “gooin-gooin” so the old boys started a style of greeting each other by saying “gooin’ ba” and turning the right hand index finger a half turn. Everyone did it.Escapades in the house - From 1940 to 1945 we lived in the Jeppu house. I remember how we used to make Kenny climb the mango and cashew trees, to pluck the fruit. There was plenty of free fruit. It makes my blood boil, when we have to pay exorbitant prices for them these days. Once during this time, Rinny, Kenny, and myself decided to make liquor out of cashews. We had heard that they used them for that purpose, but did not know how to go about it. So we crushed the juice of about 30 cashews, put salt in it, bottled the juice and waited. After some time, we drank it, thinking it was liquor. Breaking Rimmi’s arm,Aunt Mary was the daughter of my paternal grandfather’s brother Julian Castelino. Her mother’s name was Josephine, and related to Leola’s maternal grandmother, Lily Pinto. She was married to John Sequeira, who had purchased our Bandara estate. She lived across the Silva road, and had many children. All their boys’ names ended with ‘mond’ like Osmond, Edmond, Raymond etc. The girls’ names ended with ‘burga’ like Adburga, Ethelburga, Edilburga etc. Raymond was my age, and we used to call him Rimmi. One day, when we were in the second class, a map of India was hung, behind the teacher’s chair, alongside the blackboard. Rimmi was adjusting it, and I told him to leave it alone. He did not listen, so I took it upon myself to pull him down and in the bargain, fractured his upper arm. He was in pain, and sent home.In the evening, I was very quiet after coming home. Aunt Mary had sent word about this affair to my mother. She asked me what had happened, and I told her. She scolded me and told me not to interfere in other peoples’ affairs. She took me to apologize to Rimmi and his mother.Bitten by a Black Dog in Aunt Mary’s HouseMy mother sold Aunt Mary Sequeira milk, which we obtained from our cows, as a means of raising some extra money. When the servant was not there, I had to take it. One day, when I went early, their black dog bit me on my heel and that was a big blow to my self-confidence. After that they always used to tie their dog. Uncle Basil Gonsalves and his house At Falneer, incident of cutlets Aunt Alice used to stay, opposite my maternal grand father’s house in Falneer, in one of Mr. Willy Coelho’s houses, in his compound. It was a short distance from our Jeppu house, and we used to visit each other often. This must have been before 1944, when once on my visit, she gave me a packet, and instructed me to give it only to mother. I had to climb the Silva road, and on the way, I was tempted by the smell. So I quietly opened the packet, and they were cutlets. After I decided to taste one, I was tempted to taste another. Finally in the end there was only one cutlet left, by the time I reached home, and I wondered, what my mother would think of Aunt Alice, that she sent only one cutlet – so I finished the last, and kept quiet.In the evening she came to visit my mother and asked her what she thought of the cutlets. When my mother found out, they called me. From that day, my Aunt would tease me, by calling me ‘Catlees Walty’.Birth of Genevieve and Vincia Genevieve was born probably in 1944, in their house in the Bishop’s Compound, which was purchased by my Aunt around that time. My mother took us to see the pretty little baby.In a year or two, Vincia was born, and she was a slender and delicate child. Both of them were very close to each other. Uncle Basil’s advice to meI spent one night in Aunt Alice’s house, when Uncle Basil was alive. I slept next to him and he told me about how he went to Bombay as a young boy, and joined a ship and worked under a British officer. Uncle did not have a chance to complete his studies, as his father had died and the responsibility of looking after his family fell on his young shoulders. So he used to copy the words from the newspaper, on its margin, and practice his English. The British officer saw him, and admired him, and employed him as his assistant and taught him more English. Later on he joined the English shipping company of McKinnon and Mackenzie and climbed the ladder to a managerial position, when abruptly he had to resign when he fell sick. He was married at that time with two girls. So, he told me never to loose the chance to study. I was in my II Form that year. It was around 1946-47.Christmas Time in 1944 - “And who knows when…”In the incident of the black dog, I mentioned about Aunt Mary. Her husband, Uncle John Sequeira, had purchased our Bandara estate. They had children of the age group of my brothers, Jossy, and Evy. Ada and Ita, who went on to become teachers, were the older girls in the family. They migrated to United States in the late forties or early fifties. Their brother Desmond, taught us the songs, don’t Fence Me In, Somewhere Over the Rainbow and With Someone like You. They were fond of music, and had an old fashioned His Masters Voice gramophone. In 1944, on Christmas Eve, they came singing carols to our house. Our house was the first one on their plan, and as a parting, they sang a song that had these words: “And who knows, when we’ll be altogether again, we’re here, we’re here". From our house they went to Aunt Alice’s house, sang the songs, and ended up with this parting song. Finally, before returning to their home, that was next to our grand father’s recently, rented house, after he moved out of his Falneer house, they greeted him with the very same songs. This was the last year they sang this song, because in 1945 there was one death in all the three families they visited. First on sixth June 1945 my father died. On 13 August 1945 Panny the son of Aunt Alice died and on 26 September 1945 my grandfather, John Manuel Castelino passed away.The end of Word War II The Last birthday of our father - 1945 Our father was born on 14 May 1890. Kenny too was born on that same date, in 1937. In 1945 he was 8 years old and I was 10 ½ years old. We decided to stage a skit in his honour. We put up some bed sheets, and placed a hanging kerosene lamp, with a glass base and a glass shade on the sidewall and by adjusting the wick, made the light dim. We used to use them as table lamps. Then Kenny, took a lamb (the young one of our goat) and holding it in his arms, sang a song, made up by him, based on the tune of a film song of those times. My father and mother were guests of honour. Wonder what went in our father’s mind that day. Death of my father: 1945 The Accident - In the summer of 1945, the Second World War ended. My father also retired from his teaching career in Board High Schools. He was a Maths and English teacher. He must have been very worried, as only my eldest sister Lena was settled, as she had joined the convent of Sisters of Charity in 1944. My brothers Jossie and Evy were 21 and 19. Jossie had started work in the Catholic Bank, but Evy was still doing his second year of College studies, Minna had finished her III Form, and was going to St. Agnes High School. You will be surprised that in those days, my father’s salary was 35 rupees, and my mother used to manage the whole household with it. It appears that my father went to visit a priest in Mulki, a place close to Mangalore, perhaps with a hope of securing a new job in the parish school. I do not know, whether it was on his way to the priest’s place or on his way back, he rode his cycle in the dark. He always used to travel from place to place on his bicycle even in case of long distances. It was a village road, and a furrow was made in the road to allow rainwater to flow. My father must have tripped in this gutter, and fell. He got hurt in the head and was bleeding. A bullock cart owner, passing by did the Good Samaritan work for him, and took him to the nearest Catholic Bank, since my father might have told me to do. The manager of the Catholic Bank in Mangalore at that time was Conrad Pais, the son of his sister, Lucy. The secretary in the village branch sent word to my cousin, who came and told my mother, with a cooked up story, after planning it with my brothers. They told her, that the Catholic Bank had organized a picnic, Jossie had to go for it, and Evy also was invited. Between themselves they decided to take different routes to track our father. The idea was to meet my father, on either of the two routes, which was connected to Mangalore. Before they could go, we saw our father coming through the gate, of our Jeppu house, with a bandage on his head. We were very happy that he was back. My father went every day to the Kankanady hospital to change the dressing, and the wound healed. But he was very depressed. He would sit all alone in a dark corner, pondering. He was just 55 years old that year.Evy had a sobering experience when he landed in Mulki, and managed to visit the Parish Priest. He kept him waiting, without offering him any breakfast or a drink. This was the high handed attitude of some of these priests in those days, but now a greater sensitivity is encouraged. However, each one’s character differs, so one can not expect the holiness, one takes for granted in Jesus.My father secures a new job –In the meantime, my cousin, Fr. Frederick Pais , also a son of his sister, Lucy, who was a headmaster of a school in Mangalore arranged to appoint my father as the head master of the parish school, in a parish called Bijai. My father was going to the school, to take up his job. Once during the May holidays of that year, my father took me to the Bijai School, to buy exercise books for the next school year. After we purchased our books, he took me to the Old Balmatta house. Mr Ubaldo Saldana was there. He took me to all the rooms of the house, and showed me where he and his brothers were born. He also took me to the granary, and showed where the coffee used to be stored. In the dining room, he told his cousin Ubaldo, to bring some Alphonso mangos that were ripening at that time, on the trees, his mother had planted. We tasted the sweet and juicy pink mango slices scooping the pulp with a teaspoon and I can still remember the taste today. When he left the place, he said something strange to his cousin, “There is a God above, and he will dispense justice in his own time". Later on I realized, that a young man of 45 was driven from riches to poverty, and faced it for ten years. The feeling of seeing his house must have been very painful to him. From there he took me to another cousin’s house. Her name was Anne, and she was the wife of a lawyer, Louis Pais, who must have been instrumental in the liquidation of our property. He was not there, but my father did not enter the house. The entrance to the Mangalore houses was from either side of the portico. In front of the portico there used to be a covered portion, for horse carriages, from which people alighted and got into the house. You might have seen Uncle Dennis’s house in Sheddigudda. He stood outside the portico, and his cousin the wife of Louis Pais, stood up in the portico and they talked for quite a long time, while I stood by my father’s side, holding his hand. Again in parting he said the same words he told Ubaldo. I could not understand the significance, but when we reached home late, my mother asked me what happened, and told her everything.The paralytic stroke - Friday, 1st of June 1945 was the re-opening of the school. He went to school. The next day Saturday, while walking back from the school, he was paralyzed and could not move. He was found standing by the side of the road, in the Vas Lane, by three of my cousins, two were sons of his sister, Lucy and the third was Stan Nazareth, Cornel Nazareth’s daddy. They were riding cycles; so they told him that they would keep their cycles in Aunt Lucy’s house that was a 5-minute walking distance from where he was standing. They came back, and held him and took him almost carrying him, which took them half an hour. They sent word to my mother, that he was in Aunt Lucy’s houseWe were told by our aunt, that father did not sleep that night, but was sitting on the parapet of the verandah. Early in the morning when they were looking for him, he had gone, and did not inform anyone. Admission into the hospital and his death - Later on it was found out that he had been able to walk, went to the Kankanady hospital, and admitted himself in the free General Ward. Dr. Lawrence Fernandes, at that time was the Chief Medical Officer of the hospital. On his morning rounds, he saw my father lying on the floor on a mat, with other poor people, in the general ward, unconscious. He was very angry with the staff, as no knew who he was. He ordered them to remove the marble slab from Fr. Frachetti’s Ward, (It was the male paying ward), because the first name on the slab was his father’s name. Immediately, they arranged a room for my father, the one used by a doctor to see patients, and our father was in it for three days and nights (from 3 June to 5 June). One Dr. William Mascarenhas diagnosed that he had a clot in his brain, which in those years was a “death sentence", but later in 1989, his daughter Lena, had the same and was saved both from the clot and paralysis. In the year 2000, October 7, I had the same clot, and it was dissolved, thanks to progress in medical science. Our father died early morning on 6 June 1945.The funeral – 6th June, 1945Even though I had very little contact with my father, I cried profusely, during his illness, and often used to spend time in the Chapel, praying that he would be saved. But God decided otherwise. On the 6th the body was kept in my Aunt Lucy’s house, and the funeral cortege went from there to the Valencia Church of St. Vincent Ferrer, which was the official parish church, even though we always used to go to St. Joseph’s Church, that belonged to the Seminary.I remember, my cousin Wilfy, son of my Aunt Lucy, and who lived many years in Abu Dhabi, was a young man then, and tried to distract our attention by telling us too look at a flying horse in the sky. For some time, our mind was distracted. At the time of my father’s death, we lived in the Jeppu House.Back to Index
 In the latter part of the 20th century the government of Maharashtra, run by a party called Shiva Sena, named it Mumbai.
 Hyder Ali came from Hyderabad, in present day Andhra Pradesh.
 Tippu Sultan had taken Catholics of Mangalore as his prisoners, since he felt they favoured the British.
 The district was divided into smaller zones, called talukas, for administration purposes.
 Vijaya is my youngest daughter, born on 1 September 1980.
 Beaten rice is also called 'phawwa'. It is made my pounding rice with its husk.
 See Page 19. Admission to the Hospital.
 Anthony is the second name of Anil, son of my brother, Joseph Pais .
 Cornel married Maria D'Souza and has a son, Rohit. They live in Veera Desai Road, Andheri.
 John and Letitia had Cliffy, Irene, Dotty Gladys, Winny and Marcy
 Philip and Hilda got all boys: Joe, Ivan, Goldwin, Percy, John, and Eric.
 Stan married Zita Mendonca and they had 9 children. 6 boys and 3 girls: Ashley, Errol, Siggy, Cornel, Trevor, and Derrick Lorena come between Errol and Siggy. Iona comes between Trevor and Derrick. The last is Marina. All have migrated to Canada, except Ashley, Siggy, and Cornel, who are in Bombay.
 Lucy had 11 children: 8 boys and 3 girls. Apollinaris, Frederick, Conrad, Gerald, Arthur, Wilfred and Egbert. The last child was a boy named Walter who died. I was told; that this name was given to me in memory of this boy my Aunt lost. Agnes was between Conrard and Gerald. Edith was between Gerald and Arthur. And Jessy was between Egbert and Walter.
 She was known as 'Foca Maushi’ to my mother.
 Yvonne Sequeira was her adopted daughter.
 Tony is married to Prescy Britto, and has two children who are married.
 Celine had some interesting qualities. She used to repeat some words, which she had heard from her elders, and this used to lead to hilarious consequence.
 Billy is the first cousin of Minna's husband, Gratian Farias.
 Odele and Vincent live in Bangalore.
 After the World War II, the British invested in Africa, to recoup their losses back at home.
 She was my mother's first cousin, daughter of her father's brother, Julian.
 My father was in Goa, after his teacher's training, and fell in love with a Goan girl, who was not approved by his parents, as that was prevalent practice in those days.
 Mr Albert Pinto, a cousin of my mother in law, was a musician and composer of Konkani songs.
 Kenny was born in 1937, and Ena in 1939.
 Uncle Frank's wife left him, when she went to her parents' home for her confinement.
 My brother Evy also mentions this. See Everic's escapades. Page 7
 The British Government had divided its territories into Presidencies, and was ruled by a Governor. Each district had a Collector for administration work.
 A taluka is a part of a district. This is still continued in the Indian Republic.
 Chikamangalore, is the capital town of this district, actually which was part of the territory of the Maharaja of Mysore.
 These are the mountain range, on the West Coast of India.
 When my mother used to walk with her younger sister, Alice her friends would ask if the other person was her mother.
 Ena died on 13 September 1995.
 A rupee was divided into 16 annas. An anna was divided into 12 pice. Fractions of a rupee were half rupee, quarter rupee. In the same way a quarter Anna was a "Dedki".
 Evy is 8 years older than I am.
 The konkani word for it is 'kadai'.
 My father had a horse in the estate, which died. He also had this BSA bicycle and a hunting torch. These were his favorite things from his past. My father met with an accident on his bicycle, which made my family members to sell it off after his death in 1945
 anema (which was a enamel jug with a pipe attached, which used to be inserted in the anus, to decongest the same, when we suffered constipation)
 To take one on seated on the front bar, or on the back stand.
 In the year 2000-2001
 It is a music script system, using the Latin note names, Do, Re, Mi.
 It was a flat, hilly area, which led to the Silva Road.
 Benediction is blessing of the people, with the consecrated host, placed in a decorated container, called the Monstrance.
 It was a full ensemble, of brass music instruments, like trumpets, Euphonium bass, piccolos, flutes, drums etc. It was dissolved sometime in 1963.
 The training of the Jesuits has different stages starting with the Novitiate, then the Humanities, Philosophy. Then they have a break called Regency, at which time they are called Scholastics. After the Regency, they continue Theology and are ordained as priests.
 It is Italian seamen’s song in honour of their patron, St. Lucia.
 This was the name of Sri Lanka, before their Independence.