' The Fading Fizz of 'Goli Soda'

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The Fading Fizz of 'Goli Soda'
By Florine Roche

March 27, 2012

The market these days is flooded with numerous drinks that come in all shapes, sizes, colours and flavours. But none can match the fizz that comes with the once ubiquitous “goli soda”, which was the choicest drink of most Mangaloreans, for whom it was the only way to quench their thirst. Times have changed, and so do preferences of people and Goli Soda remains the favourite drink of some ‘old timers’ who are yet to get away from the joy they derive by pouring this carbon dioxide in their mouths directly from the bottle.

Those who are aware of those fun filled days of enjoying a bottle of soda and marveling the magic of finding the goli (marble) inside the bottle will be able to explain what it means to relish “Goli Soda”. Those were the hay days of Goli Soda (that was the only drink available those days) and every goodangadi had a crate of goli soda bottles.
Another advantage for us kids was the soda was available quite cheap, a few annas in the early 50’s. As young children whenever we used to get some loose change we used to go to the goodangadi and take delight in drinking the goli soda. More than drinking the soda pushing the marble down the bottle either with a wooden device with a projection or with the strength of our middle finger and listening to that sound of carbon dioxide escaping from the bottle gave us a high. As children we often wondered how the goli (marble) had gone inside the bottle and we had even tried all sorts of tricks to pull the marble out of the bottle, unsuccessfully.

Even drinking this soda from the bottle was quite a formidable task for us as the marble often blocked the free flow of liquid into our mouths. Only later I discovered that there is one angle in which the marble stays in its place without blocking the free flow of liquid. People could choose from five varieties of soda namely ginger soda, orange soda, Nannari soda, (sweet cola with the root of a plant for flavor) and chappe soda (unsweetened). I still remember after a heavy meal at functions a ginger soda was a must to many in the nearest goodangadi on their way back home as they believed it would facilitate proper digestion.

Over the years the good old Goli Soda has witnessed a steady decline in demand and is almost on the verge of extinction unable to face stiff competition from other drinks. There are hardly any new customers for the drink as today’s youngsters are not attracted by this simple man’s drink, say Deena and Jayaraj Anchan, who manage ‘Vasantha Soda Sadan”, at Marnamikatta. “Only some locals and those old customers who come from Mumbai or Gulf and know about Goli Soda come to our shop asking for it. Otherwise the demand has declined steadily. Now my husband goes to the line only once in his cycle supplying a few bottles to petty shops in and around Jeppu Bappal, Marnamikatta and surrounding areas”, Deena says.

Jayananda who had set up the shop at Marnamikatta along with his elder brother had a good business which enabled him to provide English-medium education to their three children and manage a family of five from the income generated from the soda business. But now he has shifted to other drinks like Rasna, punarpuli, Badam drink along with Goli Soda. “I now prepare only about 25 bottles of soda every day and supply to a few lines in this area. Ginger soda is sold at 2.50 paisa and chappe soda at Rs. 2 per bottle to the shops who may sell it to a price of their choice.

There was a time when Jayananda Anchan was too busy catering to the demands and had appointed four workers in his shop. “We used to supply soda to Platinum theatre at least four times a day as there was a great demand after every show got over”, Deena recalls. Though soda sale had come down drastically over the last two decades it was the closure of arrack shops (sharabu angadi) that had mushroomed every nook and corner of Mangalore, which sounded the death knell of goli soda. With the vanquished demand for soda Deena and Jayananda had to opt for preparing other drinks and also sell local drinks like Bajal, Joy and Bicco Joy.

Jayananda has a machine where three bottles of soda can be made at a time. He fills the cleaned bottles with water and required essence and sweetener. The machine is connected to a cylinder of carbon dioxide (co2) and the handle had to be turned for a number of times to get the soda. Once that is done the handle is turned to the opposite direction so that the marble comes up and seals the bottle automatically. Once sealed these bottles of soda can remain so for a long time.

Near Nandigudda crematorium there was one Narayana who used to supply Goli Soda to quench the thirst of those who came for funerals. After his death some people who come to the crematorium have started coming to Naveen Soda Sadan to get a feel of the old habit of drinking good old Goli Soda.

Anchan Soda near Mallikatta is one among the very few remaining shops where Goli Soda is manufactured. They manufafture only Ginger Soda and supply to Shivbhag, Kulshekar, Yeyyadi and KSRTC bus stand areas. They manufacture about 125 bottles a day and also supply cap soda and other drinks under “Anchan” brnd name to their supply line. Proprietor Vasappa Anchan says “for long we have been thinking of closing this unit as it is running under loss. Many shops have stopped manufacturing it because it is not economical”.

Now it is even difficult to find good quality Goli Soda bottles. Jayananda used to get it from Ramdas Company in Hampankatta. But now only second hand bottles given by shops which have stopped manufacturing or selling soda are available. Anchan recalls that earlier there used to be German bottles which were sturdy and large. But now they have become a collector’s item.

How long Goli Soda will be able to elongate its life is difficult to tell. There was a time when Goli soda used to sell like hot cakes during Koti Chennayya Jaathree or during Karkala church festival. To draw the attention of the customers the wooden opener of the Goli Soda used to be fixed with cycle tube piece to give that unique whistling sound. Those days when ice box and fridge was unaffordable to petty shops these soda bottles were kept in a clay pot with water to make them cool and these clay pots were specially manufactured by tile companies of Mangalore for this purpose.

For those whose childhood memories are linked to the Goli Soda they enjoyed in Mangalore, it is time they make a beeline to the nearby soda shops selling Goli Soda during their next trip to Mangalore , now that it is an endangered drink.



Comments on this article
Gursharan Singh walia, New delhiThursday, November 12, 2015
Looking for banta goli soda in America
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Nilesh Dhawad, NagpurFriday, May 29, 2015
Yes. ,,,, what a sodious. sweet memory. ,,,!!!!!!
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Yogesh, BombayMonday, April 09, 2012
Nostalgic trip down the memory lane ! During school summer vacation to native place in Ajja's general merchant stores - we cousins enjoyed drinking golisoda - all flavours - chappe, shunti(it seems it is good for gas ppl ! (tongue in cheek !), colored ones were orange, yellow, purple. The current soft drinks can't come close to that zing thing! Ha ha! Long live goli-soda !
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bangra, mangaloreThursday, April 05, 2012
Great efforts to write, this was necessary you could have done something better and accecpt everything changes with the time and we need to accecpt, hillman cars or morris oxford were privelage but now every day we have a new car and new dream.
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Evans Christopher Sumitra, Udupi/New York, USAFriday, March 30, 2012
Goli soda is fazing out as more and more use soft drinks have come out. as he childhood I used to use the same in different flavors. But things have changed as it is modern age. Fizz soda was good but times has changed.
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KRPrabhu, Kudla/BengaluruThursday, March 29, 2012
Then you may also remember Damaskatte Puttara hotelina masala/thuppa dose too.
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irene, mangalore/usaThursday, March 29, 2012
There was a article on the slow demise of our favourite goli soda a few months ago on daiji. I donot recall who wrote but same topic. My favourite type is GINGER SODA. None of the present brand can get that credit which our good old ginger soda had. Hope it will stay for some more time around, hopefully another few decades for those of us who loved it and are still looking around for it to get a taste.
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irene, kirem/USAThursday, March 29, 2012
I went Kirem school in the late 70's
& I remember Sudhakar in his cycle, and all used to wait for him to buy ice candy, bella candy. I miss bella candy. About the batli goli soda, my favourite is GINGER SODA. I truly loved it and used to drink at JOE's shop opposite kinnigoly church, his dad used to make coffins and then Joe took over when father became old. Good old batli soda, goli soda.
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Jones J, ManipalWednesday, March 28, 2012
Jaimini P.B., Manipal
Thanks for your suggestion, i am very surprised also.
Those days Mom used to give only 5 rupees per day and 2 rupees needed for bus,remaining snacks.Mom and dad would scold if i tell them i drank goli soda, more if i told i broke bottle, so couldn't pay. But since you said i will look for the shop keeper and pay back with interest,:)
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Vinod, BangaloreWednesday, March 28, 2012
It also reminds me of another old Mangalore sight that seems to be slowly disappearing - the API autorickshaws!
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Vivek, Mangalore/DubaiWednesday, March 28, 2012
Hi Harsha Malhotra,people who like
a pint of beer may not like goli soda.You better go for Whisky soda!
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Pavan, KarkalaWednesday, March 28, 2012
All that I can say, this buisiness flourished during the colonial period and ending its life now.

The bottles made in England were sturdy and safe, but soon the local made bottles defamed its former attribute. The adverse usage of these bottles in street fights made it troublesome for the shop keepers.

Being a collector, I am in proud possession of IXL brand British 3-bottle soda machine with 2 gas cylinders and several crates that includes original as well as local bottles. This machine had changed several hands for the last 80 to 100 years and now in a private collection of me.

I am grateful to anyone who can donate or sell me a pyramidal shaped soda delivery crate and few early openers. Leave the phone number and I am there preserve the heritage.
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GHOUSE MOHD, KAUP/DOHAWednesday, March 28, 2012
Last vacation in Feb 2012 ,I had GOLI SODA and enjoyed.It is prepared by a person in kaup and I used to see him prepare and selling GOLI SODA in his cycle since my schooling time.
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gee pee, mangaloreTuesday, March 27, 2012
Goli soda is now not used because of its manufacturing process. it is very difficult to wash the empty bottles and new technology has not introduced in this industry like a other soft drinks company,even storing and handling is very difficult.earlier goodangadi owners use to store in their own version of cooling system like storing in a water pot
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Jeston, Morgan'sGateTuesday, March 27, 2012
Guys no wt those 2 are my own Uncle n Aunty. Really i am proud of dem.....
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alban lewis, Kallianpur/bangaloreTuesday, March 27, 2012
S.Kukkikatte dubai/udupi
yes Goli soda is old and the only aerated drink available that time - cheppe/ginger/lemon etc. The thrill of pushing that goli down - sometimes easy sometimes difficult due extra carbon - was fascinating/thrilling and then the drink was elixir - you are talking abt danger - using it for subversive activities - that is different - anything good can be used for such purpose - this time i must disagree with u - it was never unhygenic although out goli soda was made of the dirtiest water in Kallianpur - it tasted so good and i want have more and more when i visit kallianpur - i never fell ill drinking that -
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Jaimini P.B., Manipal,SharjahTuesday, March 27, 2012
Mr.Jones,Manipal..You didn't pay Rs.8/- for breaking soda bottle 15 years ago..Now you must pay Rs.120/- plus interest...Please go and check with shopkeepr how much you have to pay. He will be very happy and settle your outstanding as compliment..and will offer you GOLI SODA..but please don't break..that is our humble request.
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Noor Ashfaq, Karkala/SharjahTuesday, March 27, 2012
Article on Goli Soda makes us nostalgic on yesteryears and brings us back our childhood days wherein carbonated drinks were ruled by Goli Soda. In fact, Goli Soda is symbolic to our cultural heritage but with the advancing of technology in aerated soft drinks, Goli Soda started loosing it's presence for obvious reasons of hygiene and safety.
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aquine, mangaloreTuesday, March 27, 2012
i still rembr the joy of drnkng dis soda. wen evr m thrsty n i hav 5rs. i rembr goli soda. wen ever i go to neermarga i rember the soda n hav one. wid out the soda ma trip to neermarga is nt fullfiled
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Lancy Moras, Bendur - Jeddah KSATuesday, March 27, 2012
CGS and Florine, if m asked a question between my wife and this awesome GOLI SODA, for a minute I will forget my wife for sure. What a produce of Mangalore I say. Florine, hats off and 10 q with myriad Godsends for bringing back my childhood memory. Aitapanna soda shop in Bikkarnakatte near police station was crowded always when I was schooling.
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Dr. R.Shenoy, Karkala(Udupi Dist)/New YorkTuesday, March 27, 2012
I am 87 years old. When I was young one "Soda Nannu" (Narayan Kamath) used to manufacture and sell these sodas. I still remember the sound produced while opening the bottle. I used to use the "Goli" to play a "goli" game. Here in New York City one does not see such bottled drinks. I know of a case where due to bursting of the glass bottle the broken glass had injured the eye causing blindness.
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Anthony Cyril Sequeira , Kateel / AhmedabadTuesday, March 27, 2012
Very nice article Florine. It brought back my school days memory when i was dooing my studies at primery school at Kirem some fourty years ago.
Mr. Sudhakar (GSB) was suppling Goli Soda to Damaskatte and nearby places from Kinnigoli during mornings and evenings.
As a special duty, he was selling icecandy-doodcandy at noon near our school just for 5 pise a piece.We used to get damaged candies for 3 pise a piece and some times free of cost beeing reguler customers!
As a soda seller he was using a wooden soda-opener covered with cycle tube rubber which was making a atractive and peculier sound which could be heard from half a kilometer and attract more customers.
Unfortunatly this peculier sound of goli-soda is missing at local shops, market places and parish-feast stalls.
I miss `Sudhakar Sodawala` a lot.
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Harsha Malhotra, Mangalore/New DelhiTuesday, March 27, 2012
even do not like color of 'goli-soda'..looks like medicine..

better opt for 'goli-baje' instead of 'goli soda'...!!
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Harsha Malhotra, Mangalore/New DelhiTuesday, March 27, 2012
i hate goli-soda..never able to drink it fully..!!
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Jones J, ManipalTuesday, March 27, 2012
In my school days I broke a goli soda bottle from a shop by mistake, and had to pay 8 rupees to the shopkeeper but i couldn't pay. Now its 15 years and i remembered that incident now due to this article by daiji :P
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Charles D'Mello, PangalaTuesday, March 27, 2012
I remember "Batthaab" were used to drink ginger soda.
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CGS, MangaloreTuesday, March 27, 2012
We miss the fizz of Goli Soda
Those were the days we used to love
Chappe Soda,Lemon Soda,Ginger Soda
But today we are satisfied with
90 plus Parle or Kinley Soda!
Come on Florine,let's celebrate
the anniversary of Goli Soda!
Bale Florine Akka,nama Soda Parka!
Wonderful write up!Cheers!!
Nanala Goli Soda Boda?
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Harold Dsouza, Belman, QatarTuesday, March 27, 2012
WOW..! i think all belmangar knew about Potto Charlie, who used to do this business for long ( as long as he can ), all the day travell & sell, even our pet dog's chasing him ( cycle ), i too was having my lunch in m'lore one banana for 35 / 50paisa & one ginger GOLI soda for 40 / 50paisa...cheap & best....missing all this now, always i take bottle & open it with my finger as i like to do that, b'coz i was not able at small age....like taking revenge on myslef...haha.
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cynthia, sornad/bantwalTuesday, March 27, 2012
'The Fading Fizz of Goli Soda' is indeed reminds me of my childhood days...we used to have specially after we attended any weddings in the village....I used to have ginger soda...good article Florine
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sathish Jm, Jeppu/DubaiTuesday, March 27, 2012
It is indeed a tradition to serve chappe goli soda in Nandigudda crematorium after the funeral as if we serve 'ganji' at home. It was not merely the 'sale'for those who served goli soda in Nandigudda,, infact they have actual shared their grivances with deceased family. Thanks Florine for this nostalgic coverage.
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john, QatarTuesday, March 27, 2012
Congratulations to Florine bringing up such a article, it really refreshed the old golden memories, they used to put a rubber tube cover to the wooden opener to give a peculier fizzie sound while opening the Goli Soda....pishqueee..... visit link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nn2hAmYwKMg another Daiji publication in year 2007
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P.Narahari, PerdoorTuesday, March 27, 2012
Perdoor Hebbar's Majjige Soda with Ginger and chilli flavor goli soda were the unforgetable experience of my childhood.People you have tasted it will never forget it.Have you ever tasted?It was Brand Perdoor Majjige Soda.!!!!!!
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JK, Udupi/DubaiTuesday, March 27, 2012
We used to drink "Angara's shunti soda in Udyavara/Pithrodi!!!!!
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arun, udupiTuesday, March 27, 2012
in the undevided district still many bars using "gOLI sODA"..
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Vishwanath Shetty, Mumbai / ManipalTuesday, March 27, 2012
O Goli Soda !
Every one talked about the Taste & its Making...
Let me share the breaking & its repurcussion...
Twice i happen to Break / the Soda Bottle & i have 2 good scars on my Body..
It blast like a Bomb !
The Glass Pieces just pierce like Bullet !
I remember carrying them in a Beeneda Cheela ( typically used for carrying Fish in Native ) , & ping it on ground by Mistake...

All Said & done...The Taste !!

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Guru Baliga, MangaloreTuesday, March 27, 2012
Nice Article Florine. You may read an interesting Kannada Story on Soda Goli on Sampada (http://sampada.net/article/6201)
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Rajesh , BrahmavaraTuesday, March 27, 2012
Chappe soda, cheepe soda and shunti soda.. nostalgia..
Kadale thindid goli soda parle..
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Goli Soda lover, MangaloreTuesday, March 27, 2012
In the past, many a times, am sure most of you would have heard this - Onji dinger soda korle :-)
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MOHAN, Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Mr.R.Bhandarkar., M
you write nice short poems . keep it up. I do visit Anchans SODA shop at mallikatte whenever i visit Mangalore. The feeling is great when you have goli soda but always wary of catching cold due to untreated being used in GOLI SODA. Anyway wish them well.
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John Tauro, Mangalore / KuwaitTuesday, March 27, 2012
I remember cola type soda was also called Vimto. I wish this goli soda business must be revived and preserved in a more hygienic manner since it is a part of the district's heritage as well as the cheapest refreshment for the general public.
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vickymangalore/israel, Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Goli soda ..ha .. namma uruda namma nirda.... Anda ruchi perda...!
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KRPrabhu, Kudla/BengaluruTuesday, March 27, 2012
Goli soda is completely outdated now.However here and there rarely soli soda is available.Goli soda is most unhygenic in todays time.In Mangalore by the side SV temple Car street Goli soda (vimto/ginger) is available still now.
In 1960-70s In our village during annual rathotsava time there were number of goli soda shops.Now all those scenes we can not see.
Kalaya Thasmai Namaha:
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Daniel, MangaloreTuesday, March 27, 2012
Those days the society, nature and person body all were quite strong and supportive to immune incase of any unHygene issue. Now in modern times all become weak. Fact is old is gold.
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Tressy R Peris, Mangalore/MumbaiTuesday, March 27, 2012
Which is the best medicine for gastric..? Chappe soda with salt or Eno
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A. Rodrigues, MumbaiTuesday, March 27, 2012
I remember this drink, so very true, is getting extinct with all modern drinks up in the brand market of todays world. Enjoyed drinking "GOLI SODA" may be more than 25 years back when had been to Mangalore for my holidays. This drink was very unique bcuz we would not get this type of soda with a goli (marble) in the neck of the bottle in Mumbai and would definately like to try when I go there on my next trip...so plzzz do save some for me.....THUMPS UP to GOLI SODA.
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Ted, MangaloreTuesday, March 27, 2012
ongi 50 OC ongi goli soda baka ongi Bangde fry Majjani life....
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antony arun d'souza, dubai,m'loreTuesday, March 27, 2012
I remember once when my friend was opening Goli soda with his finger, the bottle broke into peices.Then we stopped buying them.
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tresa , MangaloreTuesday, March 27, 2012
Wow! nice article daiji to remember, even today we sometimes crave for it and go in search or stop wherever they sell,to drink and enjoy.
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JaiminI P.B., Manipal,SharjahTuesday, March 27, 2012
PISHYUM...I can still remember Shenoy mama's Ginger Soda's sound which used to bring tears in my eyes in my childhood day.. but 100% sastisfaction..PISHYUMM...
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Amin Bhoja, Patte / RiyadhTuesday, March 27, 2012
In my early age of school I used watch so peculiar that of making the Goli Soda,a fun to watch anyway.Goli Soda, a carbonated drink, always help in for your stomach upsets,like digestion and even kind of gas trouble.
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Shiv Shankar, Mangalore/BangaloreTuesday, March 27, 2012
Very Very Nice Article and Photos thanks Daiji Bringing our childhood memories
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R.Bhandarkar., MTuesday, March 27, 2012
Onji 60 la, Onji soda la
Iski 'Goonj'Bahut Door Tak Sunti
Lekin 'Goli Soda'ki 'Goonj'
Ab simti Jaa Rahi Hai !!

Jago Peenewallo...
Suno Meri Kahani...
(Song by 'Goli Soda' in distress!)
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Vivek Baliga, Bangalore/AboharTuesday, March 27, 2012
Its known as globalization, and since we indians are known to APE the West, good things in life like Limbu Sharbath with goli soda, has now given way to Nimbooz from Pepsico, there by giving business to the west..
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Rita, MangaloreTuesday, March 27, 2012

wow good article by Florine, thanks to Daiji for publishing it. GOLI SODA was every one's pet at that time, because only that drink was available. Ginger Soda and chappe soda was fastest moving soda's. I some time go for ginger soda, specialy we take it from one uncle GODWIN who comes in his cycle with crate full of Goli sodas and he prepares him self at his residence Jeppu Bappal as far as my knowledge, But truly there is no match for Goli soda.

I just gave flash back, when i was a child My grandfather used to buy for me, I used to fight with him to open it with my thumb, many times I hurt my finger while opening it. I still love it. Old is Gold yar and it is hygenic drink. But now everything is MODERN MODERN!!!

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Lancelot N Tauro, Manglore - Doha QatarTuesday, March 27, 2012
Limbu Sharbat made of Goli Soda ummm really tasty tasty.
Yes I agree with the comments of Shahnawaz K. some poeple are misusing the bottle as weapon for fighting.
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anmol, MangaloreTuesday, March 27, 2012
In our childhood days soda sharbath was very famous....and this sharbath was made in goli soda only..... what a great combination of nimbu and soda..... ossam......
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Kevin, Valencia / MuscatTuesday, March 27, 2012
Brought back fond memories of those good old days. Nice article
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anamika, MangaloreTuesday, March 27, 2012
Chappe sodaagu uppu padedh pariyera vaa vonji maja marayree..... aa kala matha pondathaa marayree....
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Jerry Moras, CanadaTuesday, March 27, 2012
Guys, coke/pespi is healthy? Put one mettle piece or nail in Pepsi and keep it for few hours see what comes corrosion !!! Think about belly?? Hence I drink bonda Hence, i take only tender cocoanut or fresh juice.
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Naveen Pinto, Balmatta/BangkokTuesday, March 27, 2012
Wow.. Still remember keeping my thumb on the marble and strike with my palm to push the marble inside. Lime soda was my favorite. Still remember we used to fight to that goli from kaka shop every Saturday where he used to give only on that day. Missing those days badly
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vivian, dubaiTuesday, March 27, 2012
I remember ,In my school days while drinking this goli soda, dat goli would struck and many times i used straw...i like nannari soda..Today is International Whisky day.....Soda with whisky.....Nice article..cheers.
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Dinesh Poojary, Kundapura/BengaluruTuesday, March 27, 2012
Goli Soda is the home medicine for most of the problems. Just 2 Rs it was costing few years back. It is a good remedy for gas trouble, stomach problems etc..

Thanks Daiji for coverage..
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Don Amnon, Lower Bendoor, MangaloreTuesday, March 27, 2012
Nice article. Our childhood days Baajal and Thums- Up are luxury drinks. With entry of MNC’s ( Coke/Pepsi ) in India entire life style is changed
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GERALD, Modankap-BantwalTuesday, March 27, 2012
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shahnawaz kukkikatte, dubai/udupiTuesday, March 27, 2012
Goli soda is old and its most unhygenic. Its most dangerous too. Some time while opening, its blasts and injures and kills the people. In the past, people used to use soda battles in the street fights to cause maximum damage/injury to the rival gang. It should not be revived and most be banned.
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