Mythology of Parkar: Story of Hothal fairy and Jam Odho

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MythologyThe story is a moving love story reflecting commitment with people and motherland. It also describes the different areas and people. Mr. Mangharam Ojha has attributed this story to Bhodesar pond and Karoonjhar Mountain. However, the story revolves around Parkar, Gujrat and Kachh, a cultural and commercial triangle of the subcontinent.

By Noor Ahmed Janjhi

Antiquity and annals of Parkar offer many a myths and legends. The legends and myths represent different phases of the history and human behavior. People used to settle at the river banks or near to the water reserves. The same is case of Parkar. Being a rushed beach it was a great center of social as well as economic activity. The story of Jam Odho and Hothal fairy is one of the stories attached with the alluvial land of Parkar. The story revolves around the land of Bhodesar, some 5 km northwest of Nagarparkar town and 10 km southwest of old cosmopolitan city Pari Nagar. Jam Odho belonged to Sama tribe. His forefathers had firstly migrated to Kachh and then settled in Parkar. According to Mr. Mangharam Ojha (Purano Parkar p 54) they were very cruel in their attacks so were tagged with the word Kehar as suffix to their names. Kehar is a Sindhi word for a ferocious kind of lion. Hothi Kehar was from the third succeeding generation of Manahi.  Jam Odho was brother of Hothi Kehar. Melandi, wife of his brother fell in love with him, but he refused her offer and said that it was against the traditions of Rajputs. The wife of elder brother was regarded like a mother. He rejected her offer by quoting the couplet:

هي پلنگ هوٿيءَ جو ، هو منهنجو ڀاءُ

تنهن جي تون گهر واري، ٿئين اسان جي ماءُ

(This is Hothi’s bed, who is my brother. You are his wife so you are our mother)

KaronjharShe tried a lot but did not succeed in her mission. Reacting to the failure, she complained against Jam Odho. It infuriated Hothi Kehar. He ordered to send Jam Odho in exile. Thus Jam Odho paid farewell to his principality and left for Gujrat to settle in Patan, ruled by his cousin Veesalday Waghelo. He was received with open arms there. After the passage of time, one day Veesalday asked Jam Odho to take revenge from Jam Banbhiniyo son of Khairuddin at Samoi Nagar. Jam Odho left for Samoi Nagar with a brief army. On the other hand, there was a Rajput of Kachh, Sugal Nigamro by name. He had two sons and a daughter Hothal. Nigamro had also enmity with Jam Banbhiniyo. At the time of death, Sugal took a word from his offspring to settle the score with Jam Banbhiniyo. The sons did not dare to do it. However, Hothal the daughter pledged a commitment for it and left for the campaign. She adopted the male name ‘Aikalmal’. It was said that she was an Avtar of a fairy but taken birth there because of a curse.

Karonjhar MountainBoth the troops of Jam Odho and Aikalmal met on the way at a distance of two kilometers from the starting point of the former. They shared about each other’s campaigns and became happy to know about the commonality of the enemy. They reached Samoi and took 140 camels of Jam Banbhiniyo. On their return, when they bade farewell to each other, they moved in tears. She took her way and came to Chakhasar pond to take bath and relax. Jam Odho also followed the same route and reached at the pond. He was amazed to see a beautiful lady without dress bathing in the pond. As the lady noticed Jam Odho, she declared as follows:

اوڍا ات اُڀيج ، ريکڙيارا ڄام

نه ايڪلمل آئون، هوٿل منهنجو نام

(Stay there O Jam Odha! My beloved Jam. I am not Aikalmal, Hothal is my name.)

They met each other and Hothal took the word from Jam Odho not to share with any one about her real identity as a fairy. They did formal marriage and settled at the foot of Kinrro range. They lived happily for ten years and were blessed with two sons Jaisal and Jakhro. One day, as they were sitting in a pleasant mood, tears oozed out of the eyes of Jam Odho as he missed his homeland and relatives. The peacock cried from away. It enraged Hothal and she cursed the peacock for untimely cry. The peacock replied:

اسين گر را مورلا، ڪانڪر پيٽ ڀران

رت آئي نه ٻولان، هنيون ڦاٽ مران

(We are the peacocks of Girnar Mountain and fill our bellies with pebbles. If we will not cry at the time of season, we may have died because of the infarction of heart)

She was in much anger on the response by peacock and asked Odho about his tears. Jam Odho shared his intension to return back to Kachh. Hothal replied in rejection by telling the benefits of Kinrro range and backwardness of Kachh. Jam Odho replied about the natural characteristics of Kachh. He tells about the plants, committed people. He tries to motivate her to accompany him to his native land by reciting this couplet:

گرموران ، بن ڪونجران، آنٻا ڏار سوئان

سڄڻ ڪوچن، جنم ڀومي، وسرسي موئان

(Peacocks don’t forget Girnar Mountain, elephants don’t forget forest and parrots don’t forget mango branches. Bad and bitter word by a friend and motherland will be forgotten only after death)

Camel of KatchhThey came to Kera Kot and then went to Patan on the suggestion of Hothal. There was a terror of a ferocious lion in the area. Brave people could not kill the lion. However, an arrow thrown by Jaisal killed the lion and brought great applause for him. Veesalday came there and became happy to see Jam Odho with his wife and two sons. He asked his cousin about the in-laws. Jam Odho presented many answers but could not succeed to satisfy properly. At this, the two sons also opened their swords and enquired about the parentage of their mother. Jam Odho tried to persuade them that it was of no use to ask about it, as it may be detrimental for all of them. It became mind-boggling for Jam Odho as he had given the word to his wife for the secrecy of her origin. At last Jam Odho surrendered to the demand of his sons and shared about the origin of their mother. As Hothal sensed it, she left away for Kinrro range and deserted Jam Odho forever. She left four chits describing her will and suggestions for their sons:

هوٿل پنهنجي هٿ سان ، چٺيون لکيون چار

اڍا وانچي نهار ، اسان اچڻ ايترو

(Hothal wrote four chits in her own handwriting. Look into carefully O Odha ! We had been so far with you)

Memorial-stone-fixed-on-pillar-of-temple_ Courtesy Research GateThe story is a moving love story reflecting commitment with people and motherland. It also describes the different areas and people. Mr. Mangharam Ojha has attributed this story to Bhodesar pond and Karoonjhar Mountain. However, the story revolves around Parkar, Gujrat and Kachh, a cultural and commercial triangle of the subcontinent.

  • Sama tribe is an indigenous tribe originating from Rajput background. Their principal seat had remained Samoi Nagar but they ruled at Kachh and had matrimonial relations with Gujrat also. Veesalday Waghelo was the son of the sister of the mother of Jam Odho.
  • It has been a tradition to attribute humans with the names of animals. The family was called Kehar after the ferociousness of their attacks.
  • Love is blind. It does not consider any sensitivity of relationship. The wife of elder brother proposes Jam Odho but he refused it. It was his honor for relationship and commitment. Consequently he was expelled out of the country.
  • There comes a twist in the story when Hothal and Jam Odho met on the way. The sudden meeting paves the way for a strategic alliance and consequent success. The second twist comes at their separation on returning back from Samoi Nagar. They felt moved on separation but met again and became life partners. It was their mutual longing that bonded them while it was missing in the case of the wife of Hothi Kehar and Jam Odho.
  • Making commitments and honoring them has been a characteristic of human socialization. Such commitments are also broken away. Jam Odho made a commitment with Hothal to maintain the secrecy of her real identity. He maintained it for a long time. However, he could not survive before the pressure of his own sons. Mostly, successors cross over their predecessors.
  • The story tells about the love of motherland. One cannot forget the native land. Parkar is the land of commitment and patriotism.

The story ends with a tragic note of separation described in the four chits written by Hothal. The chits read for taking good care of the sons and their marriages. It reflects that a human and a fairy have the different ways. However, she wants a good and prosperous well-being for her sons.


Noor Ahmed janjhiNoor Ahmed Janjhi is a senior educationist based in Tharparkar. He is author of several books on folk literature, and writes blogs for various newspapers.



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