If you have to ask you'll never know ! [L.Armstrong]... thats Louis not Lance.

Jun 28, 2008

Curry House !

If you came out of St. Andrew's church. Straight down past the Christ the King statue. Past the grotto on your right, waving goodbye to Graveyard Lorna, who seemed to live there. Negotiated the crossing of the St. Pauls Road and Hill Road intersection. Did'nt get seduced by the kheema at Yatch Beer bar and restaraunt. The beer you had to steel yourself at little harder against. Then passed Carmel Convent. Then turned left into the walkway that led to the little house behind the big house. Then walked up a flight of wooden stairs. You would find yourself at a door that was always open. Keeping guard over this always open door was a dove. And just over the threshold was a chair. A rocking chair which rocked on vertical springs. Shock absorbers of it's own. A red leather seat. And on it sat U. Carlisle. U standing for Uncle. He and his family lived in this magical home. With a wooden staircase. Bunk beds. A breadfruit tree that started it's life in adjacent Carmel convent and was meandering thru it's mid-life crisis past their window. An African Grey that whistled and shrieked even more than a Redemptorist. And the power behind the rocking chair was A. Aylma. A for Auntie of course. When you have seven children, a parrot, a dove and U Carlisle the logistics of keeping them in food drink and clothes would be a nightmare for most people. BUt not for A. Aylma. Who took the attitude that if nine people were sitting down to dinner one or two more was not going to make any difference. So at a table in the kitchen. [ Me often being a part of the one or two more ] You would'nt be able to eat . Because you'd be laughing so hard. At impersonations , at jokes, at stories. Or you'd be caught up in the intensity of a discussion. About anything. And everything. Or you would be entertained by U. Carlisle as he lit up his post dinner cheerooot. Of stories of his trips around the the world. Long ago. Or his son's Colin's stories.Of around the world. But of just days or hours ago. [ He flew with Air India ] . While Cheryl and Charmaine [ Carlisle's daughters ] stitched. Sticthed every costume for every production,for every play that was put up in Bandra during the eighties and the nineties. Priests would drop by to consult with Carlisle on matters pertaining to the well being of the parish. Zonal committees would come asking for advice. Conrad [ Another son ] 's ex- girlfriends would come by not knowing they were ex. As of today. The parrot would shriek it out, but they never got it. It would have been easier to win Kaun Banga Crore pati than to guess who Conrads flavour of the week was. The labourers were many. But the gatherer was one.
And thru it all the equanamity of A. Aylma. The oil in the gear box of this home.
Other students submitted reports. Reports and assignments that they got done on manual typewriters by the guys at Bandra Station. Mine stood out. Beacuse they'd be done by Cheryl. On her electronic typewriter. In fonts that changed. In justified columns. I never had to worry about content. Not when the packaging was the best.
This open hearted generosity. Of spirit. Of time. It was'nt confined to this home. You could visit Cordie. [ Another daughter, with Cordie being short for Cordelia ] who had married and moved. To Madh Island. And the same open door policy. A branch office of the Bandra HQ.
The house came down for a building to come up. The family moved. U. Carlisle made the big move upwards. The kids all got married. They’ve moved into homes of their own.
The door is closed. That’s what they do in buildings. The landscape is different. The people who walk the streets are different. But A. Aylma is the same. And if you drop by the Curry house you’ll know. Overflowing with Carlisle Curry’s grandchildren. With laughter , with warmth and with love.

8 comments:

Floyd C said...

I remember going there most thursdays to enjoy U.C's passion for stamp collecting. he had an amazing collection which had stories for each set. He tried to convince me that the 3D stamps were not for real collectors. But Padamsi and Kimji told us otherwise Rs5. per stamp ( a lot of money when you could get bhel for 25paise.)
And the there were his song books which were part of eyery bus ride to every Virendra Picnic.

Rohan Cornelio said...

i've red your blog ages back! but reading your article on the inbandra website made me come back here and just read your stuff!!!

good stuff! cheers!!

Anonymous said...

Gotta love the Curries!

Rash said...

whatta blog...glad a friend found this. Read My big fat bandra wedding and can't get over it :)

Scribbler said...

I didn't know the Curries as a family, but did know Mr (Carlisle) Currie... he and my grandfather were very good friends and he was always around my grandparents' house when we were kids. After he died, my grandfather was told but somehow managed to forget... so he quite possibly still thinks Mr Currie is around! Judging from your post, the spirit of the Curries still is. :)

The Pixy Princess said...

I loved Mr. Currie! Everytime he would visit Papa (the same Papa as Scribbler) and if I was around (which I usually was) he would call me "Ms. Trouble" and it tickled me to no end. I think my Papa knows (deep down) that Mr. Currie died. But perhaps when you are 94 and there are not too many of your peers around, you like to pretend that you're not the last one of your kind.

Scribbler said...

pixy, yes, I think that's right -- which is also why Papa occasionally asks about Mr D'Silva too (remember him?). Drives poor Grana up the wall, and then we try to tell her to just say they're fine...

bandrabugger said...

I know this guy whose Grandmother had Alzhimers. S he's knock on his own door and ask for himself. Then get intot he back door and when his Grandmother came and told him someone at the door asking for him. He walk out looking for himself.
Am I a butterfly dreaming I'm a philosopher or a phlosopher dreaming I'm a butterfly. Who knows ?