By Abhimanyu, 10 and Akul, 9
Opposite St Stanislaus’s rear gate is Cardoz Store, the shop where we buy a lot of candy from. It’s off Waroda Road in Bandra (west). Their homemade orange and lemonade is yummy! In the afternoon, they shut down for two hours and you can see their bright red sign saying ‘Coca Cola’ quite clearly.
This time, when we visited the store, we met Debra Carvalho behind the counter. She was looking after the shop. Cardoz Stores is a neighbourhood shop selling confectioneries, and daily grocery items like milk, bread, eggs, cheese etc. Debra said she is 42 years old and not married. The shop is run by her brother. She helps him look after it. “Since this is close to St Stanislaus School, we keep all items that children like having like all kinds of candy and sweets; and cold drinks. We also cater to parties with snacks like sandwiches, chicken rolls, hot dogs etc.” They also sell some Goan dishes like Chicken Xacuti and snacks like potato chops. What is available is handwritten on a blackboard the day before and people have to order 24 hours before delivery.
She said what she loved about her neighbourhood was that it was “very safe and there were no hassles, everybody is bindass. You can come as late as you want.”
When she was our age, she went to a nearby school St Joseph. Earlier this area was dominated by East Indians and the shops around here were owned by them. There were beautiful houses here – it was like the countryside. Now everything has been taken over by builders. Now you can only see big-big buildings.
Debra says she gets up every day at 5am as the water supply starts at that time. “It stops by 10am, so within that time we have to wash and bathe. Then I come to the shop. In the afternoon from 2 to 5, we take a siesta and then open the shop again. From five to seven, I take tuition classes for neighbourhood kids. By 9.30 we close the shop.”
Sunday is our day – we take a break. We go for an outing to the nearby seaside promenade at Bandstand or Carter Road. Or we go to Jogger’s Park. In the evening, we go for mass. That’s how our days go.”
Debra says she goes for holidays to Goa often where she has a house in Arpora Goa at Melha Rosa. While we were talking her niece and nephew came in. We all had some delicious homemade lemonade.