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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mumbai Pravashi Ashrayadata-४ - Jagdish Prasad Balodi

Mumbai Pravashi Ashrayadata-4
Jagdish Prasad Balodi : a person with guts
By: Bhishma Kukreti


These days, in the era of globalize economy, there is much talk on the board about migration. However, migration is a prominent and permanent phenomenon in plant and animal kingdom. In human being migration is a phenomenon that has been changing the human society and bring many changes in civilization too. Take example of Balodi of Garhwal, Balodi settled in Balod village, Aswalsyun patti of Pauri Garhwal were migrated about four hundred fifty years back from Karnataka , South India. . But from beginning of last century, Balodis have been migrating from Garhwal to various parts of India and abroad. This is the way human cycle goes on. Balodis of Balod were famous for Tantrik Vidya. There have been many folk stories in the air (shruti) around Aswalsyun and Banelsyun about Balodi’s knowledge of Tantric Vidya that is magic, jhad-tad. Still today, people of Aswalsyun remember a couple of Balodi personalities, who, used to change themselves into tiger for fearing their enemies, used to stun somebody for hours, could do stone rains, were capable of creating rain without cloud.

Jagdish Prasad Balodi was born in 1927 in a village Manjeli of Banelsyun patti, Pauri Garhwal. Vyas Chatti (where, Nayar river meets Ganges) and Danda ka Nagraja are the two very famous religious places of Banelsyun. Danda ka Nagraja has same importance as Sem-Mukhem ka Nagraja (Tihri Garhwal). Vyas Chatti is also famous for sage Vyas doing acts of tapah this place.

Migration is our way of life. There is one reason for human migration. There are tens of reasons for human migration. There is a story for migration of a Balodi family to Manjeli from Balod village.

A girl from Dobhal family of Banelsyun was married to a Balodi boy of Balod. She was from more sophisticated family than Balodi of Balod . No doubt, Aswalsyun and Banelsyun are adjacent pattis but. A couple of century back, the habitats were quite different between both the areas. Therefore, the Dobhal girl could not adjust herself with the newer environment in Balod. She insisted her husband to leave Balod and live in Banelsyun area. After a couple of months and regular insistence form her, her husband had to leave his village Balod and had to settle in the area called Manjeli in Banelsyun. Parents of that Balodi boy cursed the couple for leaving Balod village. It is said among Balodi families of Manjeli that that curse still persists and whenever any Balodi of Manjeli goes to puchher or bakki ( the future teller) for any matter , puchher or bakki tells about the curse of ancestor (in Garhwali it is called purano ki hantya aani cha).

Jagdish Prasad Balodi belongs to this village. His father’s name was Pati Ram and Parvati was his mother’s name. Pati Ram was pundit. Pati Ram had four sons and two daughters. Jagdish is third son of Pati Ram Balodi.

Jagdish Balodi got education up to middle (eighth ) standard in Garhwal. After passing eighth standard he joined army . After retiring from army Jagdish Prasad came to Mumbai in search of job.

He took shelter in Mumbai with Maya Ram Bhatkoti of Aswalsyun . Maya Ram Bhatkoti was one of the great Garhwali Pravashi Ashrayadata in Mumbai. On those time, getting government employment in Mumbai was easier and harder too. Easier in the sense that there were less administrative hassles and harder , because getting information for vacant seats was in any government was little bit difficult. Due to help of Maya Ram Bhatkoti, Jagdish got job in income tax department.

From ashraya (shelter, asylum or support) point of view, we may divide migrated Gadhmayunis into following categories:

1-Offers sheltering support to his own family members
2-Offers support to family members and others as well
3-Does not support family members (due to any reason)but support other migrants
4- Awol pravashi : Though capable , but does not support to any Gadhmayuni

Jagdish Prasad Balodi comes under the second category of Garhwali pravshi. He supported people of his mundit (family members and cousins etc) and many other Garhwalis. His single kholi in Maha Laxmi was always full of migrated Garhwalis came in search of jobs from their native place for bettering the family economical condition. He also provided shelters to those Garhwalis who used to wander near Maha Laxmi temple that they can get any Garhwali for sheltering purpose. Vidya Datt of Jhatari (Sheela patti) told a true tale about himself . Vidya Datt came to Mumbai in search of job but forgot to write the address of Pandurang Shastri’s ashram where he was supposed to get temporary shelter through some body’s recommendation. Frustratingly and helplessly , young but a rural habitual Vidya Datt was sitting on the stair of Maha Laxmi temple and praying God to help him. Jagdish Balodi along with his two friends saw Vidya Datt and guessed that he would be a Garhwali fellow. Jagdish Balodi asked Vidya Datt in Garhwali, “ ku chhe?” and Vidya Datt became happy that he got somebody to help him. Vidya Datt used to tell the author that from that day he believed that there must be God for human being. After knowing the problem , pain, anguishes, frustration of Vidya Datt, Jagdish Balodi took him to his kholi where nine ten migrated Garhwalis were already taking shelter. The life was simple but very hard for Garhwalis in Mumbai of that time. Garhwalis used to sleep anywhere under staircase, taxis, on the road or shelter of any temple or shop. The kholi was used for cooking food , bathing and keeping dresses . This way, Jagdish Prasad Balodi helped many Garhwalis for initial sheltering and getting jobs in Mumbai. Purna Chandra Balodi, his nephew and famous Garhwali social worker of Mumbai told to this author many stories about the helps offered by Jagdish Balodi to tens of Garhwalis.

His wife, Mrs. Sushila Balodi had been always there to support her husband for various social works and always stood behind him in all ups and downs
The author is ignorant about the financial help but the author is witness that Jagdish Balodi certainly helped morally and humanly to Pareshwar Gaur in making first Garhwali movie Jagwal.

Jagdish Balodi was aware that investment in property is certainly a futuristic benefits and he purchased a flat in Andheri in right time and purchased agricultural land in Rishikesh too.

Jagdish Balodi died in 1990. His brilliant son Vinod Balodi is a tax consultant and stays with his mother Sushila Balodi in Andheri , Mumbai. His daughter Pushpa Dobhal (wife of Prof. Radha Ballabh Dobhal) is a Hindi poet and an active member of Uttaranchal Vichar Manch, Mumbai. Pushpa is very famous for her tireless hospitality to intellectuals of Mumbai and Garhwal come for discussion with Prof Dobhal. Pushpa explains about her tireless hospitality that this quality of hospitality came from her mother Sushila and father Jagdish Balodi.

Jagdish Prasad Balodi was famous for his guts, boldness , quick decision and big heart for helping others.

Copyright@ Bhishma Kukreti, Mumbai,India,11/3/2009