<<I think mostly all of us will remember Kasu na jugu and chana bateta, and Ali’s bhajia.>>

Certainly, Kasu’s chana batata during recess time at ESM. There it was as good as food fair. 

Do you know that Ali himself did not prepare those bajias? They were being prepared by one lady Shirinbai Premji (Moh’dali Premji’s {Panya} wife and Toti’s mother) who resided in the Ali Nathoo gully on Malindi. Ali used to work for her since his childhood. Also Adnan’s mbatata had a taste of its own. His children have now taken over the business but that taste is missing. 

Some of you may remember the African ‘China Chakli’ who went around the town selling ghubiti (candy) moulded into sparrow shaped pattern and also gum type substance wrapped around the wooden rod. Then there was the Asian ghubiti seller (by the name Alimohamed if I’m not mistaken) who carried varieties in his big tray and cut the lumps and chunks into pieces with a metallic piece. 

As for the masis who dealt in bajias, there were several of them. Personally my favourite was ‘Masi Bajia’ (Jaffer Bajia’s mother) whose residence or eatery was behind Sheriff Dewji’s house, or beside Jacksis residence. There was also this ‘Memon Masi’ (Siddiq and Ilyas’ mother) opposite Ali Nathoo who made delicious bajias. Later along there on Malindi emerged Kiwapi, an African lady, and her bajia a different variety altogether. 

You may recall also Abedi’s mix on Malindi (now Kiponda Saloon). Also Khanbhai’s daria khali (opposite Ahmed Lakha on Tharia St.), he’d squeeze lime over daria (gram) mixed with red powder chillies. There was another Bohora called Babra who used to make ganthia with a difference. And the blind Taherbhai who went around hawking khunazi tamu papeta lamu to sell chana bor (dried cherries) and papeta (?). 

In the spirit of Zanzibar we are also reminded of some philanthropic gestures. The Sheriff Dewjis in one corner of Malindi provided glycerin free of charge. So did the Chakeras (Aagriwala beside Abedi on Malindi) who donated plasters. 

Zanzibar was just out of this world. It had real characters and that’s what made it a peculiar place.




Last updated November 2007 Copyright © Abdulrazak Fazal 2007 - All Rights Reserved