‘Juice & Charmuri Mamu’ Ananth Shenoy aka ‘Mangli’ Remembered & Sadly Missed by Aloysians
Mangaluru: The present generation students of St Aloysius High School/College will never know who this person is, but every Aloysian who has passed out from St Aloysius Institutions in the 1970s, 80s and ’90s will still remember Ananth Shenoy Mamu, popularly known as ‘MANGLI’, that remained as a Signature Name, and no one even bothered to call him by his real name. But sadly, after a prolonged illness for few months, everyone’s favourite ‘Mangli’ is no more, who passed away on 12 May at the age of 80. The last time that I had a chat with Mangli was in February 2021- and if you all saw him wearing Ramakrishna Mission Mangaluru ‘Swachh Bharath’ T-shirt all the time, I had given him three shirts. A familiar face that brightened every Aloysian every morning on their way to School or College at the Aloysius Institutions was that of Mangli. Never did a day go past without students sharing pleasantries on their way back and forth not forgetting the lip-smacking charmuri and the special cold or iced Sugarcane juice he would turn out for the student masses.
Ananth Shenoy, fondly known as ‘MANGLI’
If you happen to be alumni of St Aloysius Institutions, studied there between the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, then you will surely remember the name “Mangli” who was running a makeshift sugar-cane juice cum Bhelpuri/Charmuri shop near the entrance gate of St Aloysius College, opposite to the mosque on Lighthouse Hill Road. I still remember it was February 1990 few days before I left for the USA, when I went to say goodbye to Mangli and when I told him that I was going to America, with tears in his eyes he said in Konkana language, “Tumi Sakad Porbu Loku Amerikak Vottati Ani Magshi Yanayi..Tashi Makka Visornu Gelleti Tumi’ (All you Probus (Catholics) go to America and don’t come back.. and forget about me).
But when I came back for good few years ago from the US, I met him in the year 2017 when he had his make-shift sugarcane juice shop near Mangala Stadium, opposite Canara High School after nearly 29 years, he couldn’t recognize me at first sight, but gradually remembered me and was very happy. Even though I had come down to Mangaluru so many times after I left for States, but never thought of meeting Mangli (sorry!!)-until in 2017, after watching a sports event at Mangala Stadium I decided to have a sugar cane juice- and what a surprise? I found my dear old friend Mangli, once again serving me a delicious frothy Sugar Cane Juice, which brought memories of my days at St Aloysius High school and College.
Photo taken with ‘Mangli’ in the year 2017
And I reminded him of his words “Porbus if they go to America, won’t return back to their hometown ….’, he giggled and said ‘Welcome back to Kodiyalu”. Anyways meeting Mangli on that day was indeed a “Close Encounters of “Mangli” Kind” after two decades, and I was overwhelmed to meet my longtime friend whom I had associated with during my high school and college days at St Aloysius. Before and after school and college hours we used to spend some leisure time at Mangli’s shop- and Mangli used to crack some jokes or leave some Pataki’s (Gossip?). We all loved him, more than he loved us- such was the bond between many Aloysians and “Mr Mangli”.
Mangli’s was a familiar face that brightened us every morning on our way to school or college. Never did a day go past without us sharing pleasantries on our way back and forth..not forgetting the lip-smacking Bhelpuri/Charmuri with tomato or Kadle (peanuts) and the frothy special juice he would turn out for us. Not just for Aloysius students, he was also friendly and familiar with others who used to patronize his shop during evening hours, while spending their time near the Tagore Park, during those days. He was like a GPS for everyone- also a friend and mentor to students who always took guidance and advice from him during youth trouble times. For his kind gesture and fruitful advice that he used to give to students, he was felicitated by the then headmaster of St Aloysius High School, Fr Louis SJ, who still remembered and appreciated it even in his senior age.
Even though he was close to 80, Mangli had never stopped working since he started crushing sugarcane in 1958 at the age of 16, and was still at the helm of the Sugar Cane juice shop, located opposite Canara High School-Urwa–he used to daily come there at 4 am, get ready with everything, and by 5 am he was ready to serve his early-bird customers- some who go on their morning walks and those who come to exercise or play at the Mangala Stadium. And later in the hours, he had students from Canara school and other general public- and also his friends and well-wishers. One thing for sure- he still loved children and others like his friends, more than his customers.
When asked how it all happened to get that nickname as “Mangli” -he narrated the story “As far as I remember there was a student at Aloysius High School whose name was Ozzie Pereira, whom once I called him ‘Mangli’ for fun and just for the heck of it, and the other students near my shop who heard this began to call him by this name. Even though Ozzie didn’t like him to be called Mangli, but we both decided to be nicknamed Mangli- and it worked quite fine for both of us- and here I am still a Mangli for many, but Ananth Shenoy for a few.” And that’s how, K Ananth Shenoy became ‘Mangli’ to students and the rest- from priests of St Aloysius Institutions, lecturers, teachers and other staff.
Looking back at his history- it was at the age of 16 after his father’s death he took over the business of running the sugarcane juice shop. During that time he was in 9th standard- to earn the bread for the family, either his mother had to work or he had to start working- and Ananth Shenoy opted for the latter. During then there was one, Ramachandra Mallya, who was running a juice stall in Nehru Maidan who had brought two sugarcane juice machines from Bombay (Mumbai) and Ananth hired one machine on a daily rent of Rs 2/- and started his makeshift juice shop near Aloysius campus.
His sugar cane juice shop helped many sports enthusiasts to quench their thirst after playing hockey, basketball, football, cricket or other games. An avid cricket enthusiast himself who had captained his team in school in rubber ball cricket, Mangli even used to inspire the Kabaddi team of St Aloysius school which then went on to win a medal at the state level. Mangli had a fascination of roaming and during the off-season (monsoon time) he used to go to Bombay- and while in Bombay visiting Chowpatty Beach he saw vendors selling pani puri, bhel puri and other chaat items, which tempted Mangli to introduced such items in Mangaluru at his shop. This addition of Mumbai snacks at his juice shop attracted more customers, which helped him to buy the machine from Mallya instead of renting it.
But when everything was working good for Mangli, his wife Asha aka Jayalakshmi became a victim of paralysis at a very young age. A few years after the birth of their only daughter Nandini, she became paralytic and was bedridden for 20 years. Mangli along with his sister took care of his wife who died at the age of 39. He got his daughter married off soon after her graduation and she is now settled in Karkala, married to a civil engineer. Though his daughter and son-in-law have been forcing Mangli to quit working and come and stay with them, he was stubborn and wanted to continue working till he was able to.
In 1986, Mangli handed over his LightHouse Juice shop to his employee Seetharam (who still runs it even today) and shifted his business to the Bunder area, as one of his clients, a port officer offered him a shop there, along with an electric sugar cane juice making machine. But unfortunately, during 1992 Ayodhya tension between Hindus and Muslims, his shop was set on fire by miscreants. Many offered him help to restart his business at the same location, but Mangli who didn’t want to take any more chances of such communal incidents decided to move his shop near Mangala Stadium, where he continued his business.
For many years Mangli was staying alone in a rented house at Bejai Kapikad. But recently until his death, had settled in Karkala to be with his elder Sister who was a Government Employee .His Daughter had her family also reside in Karkala. in 2017 he had shifted from his Bejai Kapikad House and had moved to another rented house behind Urva Canara High School. He used to get up early in the morning around 3 am and after bath he rushed to his shop-where Mahesh, a college student at Besant Evening College used to give him a ride on his scooter every morning. Mangli said that Mahesh is like his son, who even helps him out at the shop- and he treats him well as his family member. Regarding his business, Mangli said he was happy, where he makes around Rs 400-500 daily, and Rs 1000 plus during summertime, between 5 am-4 pm business hours. While running his business opposite to Canara High School he became close to a student named Shravan Kadri- and their association grew so well, that Shravan is not only a friend, but Mangli said he was also like his own son.
Shravan, who is a bill collector for Mescom used to make a daily visit to Mangli’s house and provide lunch/snacks without charging anything to Mangli- and Mangli said that Shravan even checked on his health and even took him to the hospital when he was sick. Mangli appreciated what strangers have been doing and done for him, rather than his own brother and his family whom he had supported during those days, but don’t help him when he needs help during his old age now. He said when he was hospitalized with Malaria a few years ago, none of his relatives came to see him nor provided any help- it was his friend who cared for him when he was bedridden.
But even though none of his family members/relatives came forward to help him when he needed help, but Mangli appreciated the love and support shown by some of the customers, whom he called as friends, among those are the family members of J F D Frank, whose lived very close to his Light House Hill road sugar cane juice shop. Naveen Frank, one of the son’s of JFB Frank had said, ”We lived adjacent to his juice shop at Light House Hill and grew up knowing a young Mangli. He had great regard for my mother, who although being a Catholic, officiated on Mangli’s wedding day as one of his own family members. So great was his regard for her, Mangli closed his business for three days following the unfortunate death of my mother at the young age of 37 years. Yes, I agree he was part of our family.” Mangli had great respect for Late Benjamin D’Souza, who was the Physical Director at St Aloysius College, who had also supported him whenever he faced difficulties. He still remembered former Rector of SAC-Fr Denzil Lobo SJ (who had once visited his shop near Mangala Stadium), and also Fr Prashanth Madtha SJ and Late Fr Ronnie Prabhu SJ (former SAC Rector).
“Mangli” the name brought back good memories at St. Aloysius College after many Aloysians heard about his death. Used to have sugarcane juice with friends after playing basketball. Fr Denzil Lobo SJ, former Rector at St Aloysius College says, “Very sorry to learn about the sad demise of MANGLI- Mr Ananth Shenoy- the sugar cane juice vendor. May God grant him eternal rest and console his near and dear ones. My memories go back to those days, since 1972 when I was studying at St Aloysius College and later as lecturer at St Aloysius. He was the person students used to approach for sugarcane juice, bhel puri and charmuri. Students liked him and used to spend time near his joint, sip the juice and also talk to him and listen to the gossip. He had a knack to attract the attention of students. The “Samosa Ajja” and MANGLI are the two persons remembered by our alumni. Mangli was their friend and also a mentor ! Students have passed through the portals of this great institution and these two persons who were there for umpteen number of years, meeting so many youths, have made a dent in their minds and hearts and are remembered fondly”.
Ravishanker Rao, an Aloysian and now a professor of English at Mangalore University writes “When my classmate broke the news that Mr Ananth Shenoy had passed away, I could not believe that our childhood friend was no more… One knows that death is inevitable, but I guess we don’t want to let go of fond memories, and also one has got used to seeing someone for 30, 40 years that one begins to think that the person will always be around! And so it was with Ananth Shenoy! For those who do not know, Mr Ananth Shenoy was the ubiquitous sugarcane juice seller outside St Aloysius College atop Light House Hill, or Edyah hill (as the college fathers used to say).
I guess the notion of a permanent life is a fairly romantic one. We all knew that Ananth Shenoy lived such a hard life, but we also knew he lived it with dignity. He brought so much good cheer to those around him, to all us school and college going children in particular. And the froth bubbling in our glasses and the cool, fragrant sweetness of the juice — well, it was simply divine!
Certainly, Ananth Shenoy is blessed…Somewhere, he must still beholding out a glass of juice to a thirsty soul! O for that glass again, O for that sunburnt mirth, O for the beaded bubbles winking at the brim! With infinite sadness, I pray for the peaceful transition of his soul to realms that have no pain or sorrow… Goodbye, Ananth Shenoy, cheers to you for the sunshine you brought to many a tired soul! RIP…
Dr A M Narahari, former Registrar of St Aloysius College , “Very sorry to learn about the sad demise of “MANGLI”- Ananth Shenoy- the sugar cane juice vendor. May God grant him eternal rest and console his near and dear ones. My memories go back to those days, since 1972 when I was studying at St Aloysius College and later as a lecturer at St Aloysius. He was the person students used to approach for sugarcane juice, bhel puri and charmuri. Students liked him and used to spend time near his joint, sip the juice and also talk to him and listen to the gossip. He had a knack to attract the attention of students. The “Samosa Ajja” and MANGLI are the two persons remembered by our alumni. Mangli was their friend and also a mentor! Students have passed through the portals of this great institution and these two persons who were there for umpteen number of years, meeting so many youths,
have made a dent in their minds and hearts and are remembered fondly”.
Donnet Joseph D’Souza, HOD, Dept of Physical education, St Aloysius college says, ” Mangli has left to his heavenly abode. He was a well-known name among the student community of St Aloysius College Institutions from the middle school up to the UG college from 1970 till 1990. A man with a smiling face who always greeted the staff and students with the utmost respect and had a cordial relationship with the management. He was a silent supporter of the student activities in the college in his own ways, like the college elections and sporting events. Mangli would be the first to garland the achievers with flowers and a glass of his famous sugarcane juice served with lime and a hint of ginger. He was a keen lover of sports and followed all the college and association matches in hockey, football and various other sports events and was always up to date with the results of these events”.
“The players would always go to his shop for a refreshing glass of sugarcane juice after a hard day’s practice or matches. He always kept a very good rapport with the sports department. As we look back today, Ananth Shenoy (Mangli) was a hard worker all throughout his life till his yesteryears and served the people with the utmost dignity to his craft till 2019 near Canara high school. He always had fond memories of the sportsmen from our college and would cherish these moments whenever he met the SAC alumni at his shop. A Tribute through this letter goes out to this silent yet avid sports fan and lover in the demise of Mangli, we bid you farewell” adds Donnet.
Dr Anant Agarwal, an Aloysian and founder and CTO of Tilera, a fabless semiconductor company, and also CEO of edX, a joint partnership between MIT and Harvard University, USA that offers free online learning writes, “I still remember Mangli’s sugarcane Juice and Bhelpuri which he always delivered to us on the other side of the wall near the auditorium very close to his shop (Our favourite place) while studying at Aloysius till my PUC. I cannot forget this man for his affection and humble nature. Really have great memories eating Belpuri, charmuri and frothy sugarcane Juice. Having a wonderful personality we enjoyed his gesture during our college days. Every time I came down from the US to Mangaluru I never missed sipping the tasty sugarcane juice and bhel puri specially served by Mangli. We Aloysians should salute this personality. He was a household name among the students of St. Aloysius High School and college as well as surrounding places of Mangaluru. Sad to note his demise. May His Soul Rest in Peace”.
Ananth Shenoy had found happiness in what he had been doing until his death. His wants were limited and his needs were frugal. He wanted to work as long as he was able to and not to be a burden on others. Early to bed and early to rise seemed to be the secret of his good health, until his death at 80. Dealing with children also seemed to be his antidote that kept him in the pink of health. He was not bothered by material wealth or and was happy with what he had though life had been an odyssey of struggle.
In conclusion, all I can say is that K Ananth Shenoy aka “Mangli”, until his death such a was simple person, so affable, striking the sentimental chords of so many people! Isn’t it great? People with lots of wealth, with stiff upper lips should a take a leaf out of the lives of people.like Mangli, and follow in his footsteps. He was not looking to be rich and famous but wanted to work hard until he was able to, and wanted to save enough money for his retired life or health care expenses, thereby not being a burden for others. He still had love towards students, and remembers many of them who used to still come by and meet him- and he felt happy when he saw them. As the saying goes “Early to Bed, Early to Rise- his daily routine, going to bed early and waking up early had kept him healthy and active until 80 years- and he wanted to remain that way forever. ‘Amchegelo’ K Ananth Shenoy aka “Mangli” is no more with us-sadly missed. Any more, I will be looking at his shop near Canara High School without him, on my way to Press Club daily. Sadly missed. May His Soul Rest in Peace!