Palojori is the name of the place where I spent most of my childhood, finished my primary schooling (in the school, where my dad was the class teacher 😦 more of it in later posts) and after some memorable years spent there, moved on to places like Hyderabad for further studies to make myself a name (trying to do that, till date)
Palojori is situated on Dumka – Dhanbad Road in Deoghar District. Deoghar is a very famous tourist place mainly because of the Lord Shiva Temple which is one of the Twelve such temples in India, commonly known as Dvadas Jyotirlingas of India. Because of this temple, Deoghar is also known as Vaidyanath Dham. More details about Deoghar can be found in this wikipedia entry.
Coming back to Palojori. It is a small place, struggling to make its own identity but most of the time overshadowed by the neighboring block Chitra, which is famous for its coal mines. The actual residents of Palojori were the Santhals of Chotanagpur and some of the Bengali families. Some time in late 60s Palojori was declared as a Block which made the route for outsiders to come here. And soon the place was flooded with businessmen (the Marwadis and the Baniyas) and the govt employees which included the block administrative officers, the doctors and nurses in the local hospital and the teachers.
My father was one of them. He joined the local primary school in the year 77 for his second posting of his third job as a primary school teacher(there was no third posting for him, he never accepted a transfer from this place, its been almost 30 yrs in this place and he wishes to retire from here only). He liked the place, bought some land, built a small house and then brought all of us from our village Uparbahiyar.
Palojori wasn’t the first place that I came to know after I gain the conscience and the ability to understand things but it was Uperbahiyar my village. I was born in this very rural part of Jharkhand where till this date there is no electricity and no proper road to go. And it so happens that if you wish to go there in Rainy season there are very good odds that you may have to walk some 10 kms or so from the main road to reach the village.
The good thing of being in Uperbahiyaar was that that untill we were there we were treated as
demigods. Though the days of Zamindari Raaj was long gone but our family still had that old Rutba among the natives. All of the villagers still had a fare amount of land and there used to be local tribes who used to work on those farms. They used to refer my grand pa as Maalik (Master) and in turn us as Chhoto Malik’s (Younger Master).
But that was 20 years back. Now the situation is very different. We still have the farms but after the exponential growth in the population and the resulting land divisions, the land possession has come down to very minimal. Therefore, while there was a time when people used to discourage their sons to go for a job considering this as Naukari (as in Slavery), now almost every family has atleast one member gone out in search of some job.
Despite all these shortcomings of not having electricity and a Pakka Road and all, there were several good things about my village. It was culturally very rich. We had a Natak Mandali of the village and it was a matter of pride for any family if some one from that family was joining that Natak Mandali. Ours were again a blessed family in this sense as my father and both of the uncles were the members of this Natak Mandali at some point or other of the time. My Eldest Uncle during his time was a renowned musicians in the nearby villages with his mastery over Harmonium, Tabla, Dholak and several such instruments. My papa was good with Harmonium and Tabla and my youngest uncle just managed to be in the league by playing Dholak.
It was a family tradition, which me and my brother broke with absolute dignity. Some time in the end of last year I tried to compensate it by joining the guitar classes but seems we no longer have those musical genes left in us and after several unsuccesful tries with Guitar, I realised that and I stopped going to Guitar classes. That Guitar is still lying in one corner of my room like a fallen warrior. I wish someday that music feeling to come-back so that I can once again try my hand on the Guitar.
Anyway, the other two good things in my village was the presence of Post Office and the Middle School. Though, I never really utlised the services of this Post Office but that School is a place which I can never forget. In this very school me, my brother and my sister and I had their first encounter with education. It was here only where I learnt my first Alphabets (the Kakahara of Hindi) and the Ginati.
(Meaning, One Moon, Two Fortnights, Three eyes (of Lord Shiva), Four Yugas, Five Arrows, Six Rasas, Seven Seas, Eight Years, Nine Planets and Ten Directions)
The village atmosphere was changing, some of the villagers thought that the school teacher are at their mercy and when one teacher beat a student for making noise in the classroom, his guardian came to the school in rage and had a verbal clash with all the teachers. This entire episode irritated the teachers so much that they all got themselves transffered to other schools and the village school remained closed for some 2-3 yrs.
While all these things were happening, Papa thought that its better for us to come to Palojori, stay with him and study under his guidence, afterall he is a teacher and the best place to begin his teachings is his home only. That was it, and the next week all of us were in Palojori.
I still remember, when after that 10 kms ride on my uncle’s bicycle I first saw the main road and the buses running, I was so amazed that I spent the rest of my journey by singing the then very famous bhojpuri song
Pahli, Pahli baar Hum aayeli Gawanawa, Dekhali Diesel Gadi ho Dilwar Jaani
(Meaning: O’ Dear ! Its the first time when I have left my home (after marriage) and
Wow ! what a sight, I saw those Diesel Vehicles about which I had only listened so far. !!)
Technorati: Hindi, Bhojpuri, Jharkhand, Deoghar, Memories