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)
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
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.
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.
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. 🙂