Mera gaon…

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Yes, I am from the west, actually! 😀 😀 No wonder that line used to be a synonym of the word cool or hep! 😛 😛

However, I must confess, this is my first trip to my gaon, having taken birth in Mumbai and brought up in Mumbai, Jamnagar, Bharuch I actually had very little connect with my western native. The fact that my father has also not been to Kutch till date means very little connection realistically speaking. In my heart I will always belong to Bharuch and yet this connection beckoned. I wanted to see the place my ancestors hail from. A lot of the Kutchi’s have spread far and wide across the country establishing themselves in business’ largely and jobs to certain extent. I guess the fact that the place is not that fertile the people were perhaps forced to seek greener pasture’s but the fact that actually stumped me all through my visit to this place was how green it was, perhaps, the fact that I went there with an image in mind that it must be brown yellow dusty place it surprised me even more. Take a look at the picture of my village (interesting how it becomes my village so naturally)

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This take from the top of the Jain Derasar in the village show’s no trace of any dry area. Albeit, that Jakhau is quite near to the sea, infact in ancient times this used to be a very famous port. When I studied Parsi history I also came to know that the Parsi’s first touched base in India at Jakhau Bandar(Port) and there are old stories that very fair god’s came by ship to Jakhau! 🙂 Oh I love such stories I tell you! 😀

The village has no pucca road’s and has dusty narrow street’s full of peacock’s by the way! There were quite a few peacock’s always running to safety. It was great to bring my wife and son along with mom to this place, my mother’s family house is still intact, where as my dad’s family land is something that me and my cousin sister have made a pact to one day find out and claim it between us! 😛

Apparently, a long long time back, when my mom’s grand parents used to live here our Kul Devta (family god) appeared in the kitchen when some wall broke and a statue appeared. Now that is how the story has been told to me and that is what I am telling you. They have a small temple cabinet there. Once my Mama(maternal uncle) wanted to get a proper construction around the God done and get proper marble temple made but the god came in the body of a Bhua ( folks who get spirits in their body and answer your questions about your future and confusions ) told him to not show them his money and to leave them as they are!!! So till date they stay unmoved and no other construction is done there.

I have heard a lot of stories about spirits entering bodies of people, apparently it is more popularly believed in these parts. I will say it all adds a touch of mystique to the whole story and I kinda like that. So it stay’s as they tell me. A non-believer I remain, however, its none of my business to change anything here. Here is a picture of the ancestral house

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The highlight of the village is the Jain temple here which unlike most Jain temples which are completely white this one is a coloured version, whilst inside the temple photograph’s are not allowed, they did permit to click pictures of the walls outside.

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The village also has a lovely lake that had birds about, but it was late evening by the time I reached the lake and hence poor light to shoot birds. However, these kids were happy to pose in front of the lake.

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Last but not the least was the dinner at the Bhojanshala (Dining room in the Dharamshala) was super awesome. I have not eaten Baajri(Pearl Millet) ka Rotla that was this sweet ever, not coz it was my village but seriously I have eaten Bajri ka rotla at tonnes of places, however, this one was in a league of its own. We had the yummiest of Baajri Ka Rotla, Choli(green beans) ka subzi, Khichdi and Kadhi ever for dinner at 6pm before we left for our hotel in Bhuj. Yup Jain Dharamshala’s don’t serve food after sunset.

The visit was short and crisp, although I would once again like to go back and stay in Jakhau for more than a day and probably mingle more with the local’s here. I left the place with a full stomach and an image of my village in my head which is clearer now. 🙂

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18 thoughts on “Mera gaon…

  1. R's Mom says:

    oh thats such a wonderful wonderful wonderful write up..for some reason I got goosebumps reading about the God cabinet! I loved the first pic so much…cant believe its Kutch..I lived in Baroda for 24 years of my life and havent explored Gujarat at all :(:(

    I loved this post 🙂

  2. shail says:

    And visit when the light is better, so you can click some birds 🙂
    Now I am tempted to go to my ancestral home and click pictures and write a post. But then the whole structure has been demolished and a new one stands in its place 😦

    • hitchy says:

      This was a very fast visit.. I am surely going to take a more laid back visit next time…!
      Fortunately this place was only slightly damaged during the earthquake and was easily repaired… they have tried not to change the whole look but to try and maintain it in its original form!

    • hitchy says:

      thankfully Jakhau is not a tourist attraction.. although the Jakhau port is one… apart from the natives and some pilgrims I doubt a lot of people visit this gaon! It has only one shop and no eat outs or anything and that ensures no plastic no bottles! 😀

      I hope tourists stay away… for Indian tourists litter a lot!

  3. Sandhya Kumar says:

    Your gaon is full of wind-mills!

    Where is the close up picture of the peacocks? That would have been lovely!

    I never knew that Jain temples had sculptures like this. I have visited just one or two…I don’t know much, though.

    Visit once more and write more about your place! It should be interesting, Dhiren!

    • hitchy says:

      Apparently being near the sea coast in entire Gujarat mean’s you are full of wind mills!

      Unfortunately the light was poor and I was too busy talking and soaking to chase the peacock! some other day for sure! 😀

      Jain temples have all sorts of sculptures, particularly wonderful are the one’s in Ranakpur in Rajasthan and Abu as well…

      I would like to spend a couple of days just there to soak in the place… too bad this time the Dharamshala there was already booked and we couldn’t stay…

  4. Ashwathy says:

    What a fantabulous narrative and write-up hitchu…. accompanied by awesome pics. I felt like I was actually transported there!! Wow…..
    Rural India contains all the stories, don’t u think? Urban India is so dull in comparison…!

  5. abs says:

    nice write up n lovely pics….one gets all emotional while visiting an ancestral home…more than u mom must be happy to visit her ancestral home and must have relived the memories….

    • hitchy says:

      Yes, Mom was really happy that she managed to drag one of her son’s and grandson to the place 🙂 This was a special trip in many ways… one of them being the joy of watching the satisfaction in mom’s eyes!

  6. Navin Patel says:

    just came across to your page and rather exited to see your comments. It is just the same feeling for someone visiting Kutch first time. It is a land of love and affection. We need some more visits of Kutchies like you who has ‘lost’ their Motherland due to any reason.
    Each Kutchi must visit Kutch atleast once in two year and do something (whatever you feel better) for kutch – Twice in one year and see the results.
    For some mor info on Kutch visit http://www.kutcharpan.webs.com
    Thanks and regards.
    – Navin Patel

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